Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As we look forward to the great opportunities of 2009 in real estate I want to share with you an e-mail that was sent to me; it said …
94% of people dwell on the negative, and 6% see an opportunity in nearly everything that comes their way.
I'm looking forward to 2009. I'm convinced it will be a year of great opportunity, as it will also be a year of great change and paradigm shifts!
The best advice I can give is to "prepare for change". Keep a level head, work-out what is working and what is NOT working, mix this with an opportunity, and change accordingly. If your horse is dead, get off it and find another (I'm into riding several horses at a time). If your horse is wounded, then decide if you are going to fix it or shoot it. BUT whatever you do – DO SOMETHING - take action.
Good business is a combination of hard work, commonsense, grit determination, and gut feeling.
Talk with you soon.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
On behalf of everyone at Gage Consulting Group, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas. May the coming weeks entering the New Year be a time of refreshening and redefined goals and business plans for a prosperous 2009.
To your ongoing success,
PS: Don’t forget our annual 50% Holiday Sale ends tomorrow, Christmas Day!!! So before you start your holiday festivities why not stop by our web store and get a jump start on your 2009 investing : http://www.jgage.com/Real-Estate-investing-shop.htm
Friday, December 5, 2008
"Lease Option Marketing"
Brian Higgins & James Gage
Saturday, December 6, 2008
9:40 AM EST
XM Satellite Radio Channel 169
James Gage here, with a quick note to invite you once again to join me on MYB Talk the topic will be " Lease Option Marketing" - the details are below...
See ya there.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
XM Satellite Radio Channel 169
"Mind Yo Business Radio Program. AKA MYB Talk w/ Brian Higgins"
Time : 9: 40 AM, EST
Topic : " Lease Option Marketing "
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday and didn’t eat too much turkey – I know I did…
Many of you have asked me to let you know when I see another real estate trend/cycle developing, so your wish is my command.
What I am seeing is just starting to develop, that is, another real estate tsunami in the making – Commercial Real Estate ! I was very reluctant to call this cycle until I could confirm this with solid data, and now I have! If you’re an investor stay clear of commercial properties unless you use 1 of the 3 strategies I lay out:
- Unless you have someone waiting in the wings to lease or buy said property- don’t touch it with a 10 foot pole!
- You can negotiate it 35%-40% under Fair Market Value
- You can use a Lease Option to secure the property; remember it’s the ultimate escape clause!
Now there is an exception to every rule, and commercial real estate is no exception. That being said, you will hear people and guru’s hyping up commercial real estate as the last frontier for investor’s to invest. But I believe that we will soon see massive empty commercial dwellings with tumble weeds blowing through them due to the following reasons:
- Consumers are holding on to more of their income; people are becoming savers again.
- Christmas sales will be much lower then forecasted causing retailers to close stores.
- If big retailers who use leverage to buy are feeling the pinch what does that mean for “Mom & Pop” stores.
- More people are turning to the internet, rather brick and mortar stores.
- Businesses are filing for bankruptcy at an alarming rate, and start up businesses are at a 35 year low!
This is just a brief schedule of indicators supporting my call – there are at least 50 more…
I have been accused in the past of being the type of person that looks at a glass half empty Nothing could be further from the truth, actually, I look at it half full also! I want to be a balanced investor, looking at best case and worse case scenarios, thereby allowing me to make educated and balanced decisions on my investments. That is how I have been able to survive the last 21 plus years as an investor in changing trends and cycles; now I pass on my observations to you my fellow investors.
Until next time – may all your investments be profitable.
PS: Don’t forget my 50% Holiday
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
National Radio Debut"The Economy & Leveraged Real Estate Investing"
Brian Higgins & James Gage
Saturday, November 29, 2008
9:00am - 10:00am
XM Satellite Radio Channel 169
James Gage here, with a quick note to invite you my national radio debut on " The Economy & Leveraged Real Estate Investing" - the details are below...
See ya there.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
XM Satellite Radio Channel 169
"Mind Yo Business Radio Program. AKA MYB Talk w/ Brian Higgins"
Time : 9 AM, EST
Topic : " The Economy & Leveraged Real Estate Investing "
Sunday, November 23, 2008
James Gage here with Gage Consulting Group hoping that this e-mail finds you and yours in good health, and wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
So what does Thanksgiving and real estate marketing have in common? If you don’t do it the right way it won’t come out with the desired results!
If you're like most real estate investors your head is probably still spinning from the state of the real estate market and economy – you’re not alone…
You may be asking yourself how the heck can you make money in business, or for that matter as a real estate investor in these troubled times. Well, here is the “Magic Bullet” answer!
Knowing how to market! Sounds like a no brainer- right? Wrong ! Marketing is like opinions, everyone has one. As many of you know I called this market melt down both in real estate and the financials some 24 months before it happened in
As you also may know my approach to real estate investing is with a 3 prong attack plan: 1. know the strategy you will use to control the property 2. know how to negotiate like a seasoned pro, and 3. know how to “Fusion Market”.
With real estate investors running scared and real estate buyers at a stand still, with limited amounts of qualified buyer’s to buy or lease option your deals, it is now crucial for you to take your marketing skills to the next level!
That being said, you won't want to miss out on "Real Estate Marketing The Fusion Way!"
Before I let you go to read over exactly what these CDs contain, many individuals have called me and ask if I would put together a step-by- step CD series on "Real Estate Marketing The Fusion Way!" well your wish is my command. I have put together a 2 CD
Set on that very subject please visit the following link for more information :
but it doesn't stop there!
Normally priced at less then a 1 trip to your local gas station at $37.00, it is a great value if I do say so myself. But for the next 3 days (Nov 23 - Nov 26 ) I am extending to you, my newsletter subscribers the astonishing price of only $18.50!
That's a whooping 50% off my normal website store! Enter promo Code 555 on you order/check out page to receive your discount.
After Nov 26 it will return to the normal price of $37.00. You maybe asking why am I doing this? Simple, I am committed to getting this information into as many investors hands as possible, thereby getting our properties sold or under control; not only does that increases our bank accounts $$, but it will also help our economy hopefully stabilize.
So please visit the link provided for more information on this jam packed 2 CD Set :
To your success,
James A. Gage
With theses 2 jam packed informational CDs you will never have to worry about marketing again!
What you will learn on this powerful 2 CD series:
Create winning and effective awareness campaigns that attract qualified buyers overnight!
Learn how to ignite real estate sales and increase commissions overnight through innovative marketing techniques that James Gage — who has made a killing throughout his successful
investing career in niche markets such as lease options, short sales and probate homes — will reveal during this special 120-minute 2 CD series.
James will teach you how to become an "outside of the box real estate marketer," blending various strategies — traditional and new — to create winning campaigns in 24 hours or less. It's all about "fusion" to gain exposure — the more eyeballs you can attract to your listings and services the more money you will make.
And with repetition comes recognition, which is paramount in a market starving for buyers and agents and brokers fighting over scraps. The time to change is now ... the calls, emails and inquiries will start pouring in tomorrow.
Here's just a sample of what you will learn on the 2 CD Presentations:
• Old approach vs. new technologies
• Effective marketing on a shoestring budget
• What works in different market cycles
• How to get winning campaigns up and running in 24 hours
• Should you have a website?
• Marketing strategies & techniques your competition is not using!
And of course like all of James's products you will receive much
Click here to get your copy !
Friday, November 14, 2008
I hate to tell you I told you so, but I told you so! If you remember I posted on my blog back in September that this 700 billion bailout ( more like 2-3 trillion) was a joke, and that they, the government, would come back to us looking for more money or stating that they mismanaged the funds that they were entrusted with.
Let’s take a look at what Motley Fool got from Mr. Paulson, AKA “Boy Wonder” speech today:
“Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's recent comments about his shifting strategy for tackling the financial crisis have made many people wonder whether they're being robbed blind -- and, adding insult to injury, whether the perps are kind of clueless, too. In addition, he opened the door for the possible need for another cash infusion”.
This is too funny, if it weren’t so sad. You can’t make this stuff up!
To profitable deals,
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Here is a small sample of what’s happening around the country with foreclosures as of November 2008.
Friday, November 7, 2008
What Exactly Is a BPO?
Broker's Price Opinion (BPO). A BPO is the opinion of property value given by real estate agent or broker. The BPO is an estimate of the selling price of property based on condition of the subject house, selling prices of comparable homes in the area and other conditions. This process is often used in the place of a full appraisal when a property goes into default and considered for loss mitigation. You must understand the BPO is an art and not a science so values can vary hence the reason for influencing a BPO. As an investor you want the BPO to be reported to the servicer as low as possible.
Comparable's - must be within 1 mile radius or less of property being valuated and typically sold within the last 6 months.
Comps are based on square footage, lot size, condition, bedroom/bathroom...which are graded on a plus or minus scale. If the comparable home has a garage and the subject property does not the subject property is less valuable the price to add a garage
The BPO always indicates if the property is vacant or occupied. If vacant the property must be secured with or without homeowner valuables inside the home.
There are 3 subject properties used to indicate property value. The BPO contains photographs of the property usually front, sides, street scene backyard and inside pictures if not a drive by BPO, if there is physical damage it.
What to expect during a BPO:
The agent will take pictures of the surrounding neighborhood, subdivision, or area, and make the following observations – they will :
Inspect the overall condition of the home
They will Estimate the cost of repair
They will walk the property and move quickly typically have a full day of reviews so in a hurry a few days later they Submit a detailed report of their research to the lender.
How to Influence the BPO
When speaking with the lender always request a Full BPO or Appraisal, explain the inside of the house is in worse condition than the outside and to get real value the agent needs to go inside. Give the lender your phone number as the contact number and explain to the lender that the homeowner is not available and there is no lock box. You have to let the agent in the house. You have to be flexible because they set the appointment and want to get the request out. Be sure to run low comps, high repair costs and any other flaws in the property or information about the neighborhood that will justify a discount and have available a list of negative factors, including a list of sexual predators that may reside in the area.
You need to be very familiar with the property and arrive early to do a last minute run through to familiarize yourself with conditions again. Be sure homeowner is not available for the BPO. The BPO agent will ask questions to homeowner and disregard your opinions and information. Be sure you are thorough with repair values and be very close with estimates. As the agent walks the house follow the agent very closely and highlight defects and give history of the house including what you are doing and what price you need in order to buy the property. Ask the agent if they have the same opinion of the property value. Be sure you are not too intrusive and let the BPO Agent be in charge and thank them over and over again for their time. You need to be the expert on the neighborhood so the BPO agent will trust your opinion.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
When you're a landlord, most of your time is spent dealing with maintenance and tenant issues. If you're lucky (and you've done your homework), your tenants don't cause too many problems - and the problems that do crop up are minor.
However, despite your best intentions, the person who looked like a great tenant on paper can become the tenant from hell. Bad tenants cause real headaches, for a number of reasons:
- Evicting and replacing them is aggravating, costly, and time consuming
- Their disruptive and noisy behaviors can drive out your good tenants
- They can cost you big money if they damage your property
Before I give you my hard-earned advice about how to find and keep good tenants, let me first describe the four types of bad tenants.
Deadbeats - Simple - these are the people who don't pay their rent.
Demanders - These types of tenants drive you crazy with their incessant demands. On the other hand, demanders are usually the best bad tenants to have because they have high expectations for themselves as well and are usually well-behaved and neat.
Disrupters - The worst kind of tenant: These people drive everyone else in the building crazy by playing loud music, arguing, or exhibiting other disruptive behaviors.
Destroyers - Not to be confused with a renter who accidentally breaks something, destroyers are the type that repair their motorcycles on your new carpeting or get drunk and break your windows.
So how do you weed out the deadbeats and destroyers? In addition, how do you work with the demanders and disrupters so they don't drive you and everyone else insane? What follows are my six tips for finding and keeping good tenants:
- Check all references
As with job references, a prospective tenant's previous landlord won't give honest feedback because they're afraid of being sued. When conducting your reference checks, instead of asking questions regarding a prospective tenant's character (e.g.: "Was this person a good tenant?"), ask questions based on facts that can be documented.
You can ask, for example, if the tenant paid his rent on time each and every month and whether he had any late payments. You can also ask for any incidents of property damage or disruptive behaviors.
It also pays to verify job and income history to ensure your potential tenant can pay the rent each month.
While still useful, a credit check is less important. Due to divorce or medical issues, people find themselves having to sell the family home and become renters. Such events can kill someone's credit in the short-term - which is why it's much more important to verify job and income history. A person who is working and making good money will often be grateful for the opportunity to help put his life back together by being a good renter.
- Set clear expectations from the get-go
Many tenant problems can be traced back to the landlord's failure to set clear rules and consistently stick to them. In addition to stating when the rent is due, the lease should also state any rules about modifying the property, acceptable noise levels, any building-wide rules (e.g. no on-property vehicle repairs, no pets, etc.), and contacting the landlord.
During the lease signing, you should go over these rules and expectations in detail to be sure your tenant understands them.
- Learn how to "read" potential tenants
As with anything, you cannot pre-judge people based on appearance. One of my best tenants had long hair, biker boots, and tattoos when I was landlordind. One of my worst tenants was a gentleman in immaculately pressed slacks, tassel loafers, and a designer polo shirt. When meeting potential tenants, watch for the following:
- Over-eagerness - Your landlord "antennae" should be humming if someone wants the place right away - like now. This could mean that they need to get out of their current situation fast.
- Lateness - If a potential renter shows up to the appointment late, doesn't return calls, or seems unreliable, pay attention. Usually this type of person will be unreliable in terms of paying the rent, too.
- General weirdness - Always pay attention if someone makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up or if he or she just seems "off" in any way. Often times we dismiss our suspicions, only to find out later that we were right about our instincts.
As I said, demanders are the best type of bad tenant to have - they demand things because they have such high expectations, which means they want to keep a property looking nice and well-maintained.
To keep demanding tenants at bay, especially those who expect you to rush out at midnight to fix a broken light switch, give all your tenants a cell phone number they can call to report any problems, rather than your home phone or business number. Let them know what hours they can expect to reach you, then be sure to check for messages regularly.
Give disrupters the benefit of the doubt at first. People used to living in detached homes forget how noise travels through the walls of apartment buildings, so they may not be aware that their loud music or late night guitar playing is bothering others. Often, just asking them to turn down the volume is enough, but if the problem persists, they've got to go.
- Enlist the help of tenants you can trust
As a landlord, you want to know immediately if there's a real emergency with your building - for example, if it's on fire or a water main is busted. However, you don't want to give out your home or business numbers on the lease - because then you have those pesky demanders calling you night and day.
In this case, you'll want to find the most reliable and trustworthy tenant you have and give him or her your personal phone numbers - with instructions they're to be used for emergency purposes only.
- Be a great landlord
The best way to minimize bad tenant problems is to be a good landlord to begin with. This means staying on top of things and keeping your promises. Be proactive about maintaining your property, promptly fix things when they're broken, and ensure contractors and repair people arrive when promised.
In short, treat your tenants they way you would want to be treated. You wouldn't want to sleep in a bedroom with a broken storm window in the middle of winter - and neither do your tenants.
Finding and keeping great tenants takes some time and due diligence, but your efforts will pay off. State your expectations and rules up front, conduct full reference and job/income checks, and maintain your rental properties as if you lived in them. Your tenants will thank you.
Monday, October 20, 2008
James Gage here with Gage Consulting Group hoping that this blog entry finds you and yours in good health.
I have received a lot of phone calls over the past 2 weeks asking me how I could have possibly foreseen the financial down turn that we are currently experiencing. Rather then getting into a 50 page e-mail, I will be commenting on this very topic in my up coming newsletter. However, I would like to briefly comment on the turmoil in our world
right now and how I have learned to profit from it!
Today's a great day. Frankly, I was standing out side my house watching the leaves drop from the trees, while remembering my recent annual Snook fishing tip to Northeast Fla - a couple of weeks ago. I remember standing in the surf one morning with the bathtub warm
I didn't care if I caught any fish or not. (But I caught two red fish - and released them.) Just standing there, feeling the ocean breeze and the sunrise on my face, I was very happy.
One reason was that I wasn't worried about anything, because as I was fishing I was making money! Other people were doing things for me that I used to do myself. For example, while I was standing in the ocean, my home back in the Northeast was being stained to give it a fresh look, my bird dogs were looking for deals for me, my option trades in the stock market were continuing to increase in value, and a lease option I had put together up the street from the beach was ready to close.
My only goal in life now is simple: Have no worries.
I can do that in a couple of ways:
a) Become a master negotiator so whether the market is up, down or going side ways I can profit in real estate or any business venture I decide to venture into (that's my chosen route)...or...
b) Ignore my troubles and let 'em slap me up side the head when I'm not looking. (Been there, done that...)
The thing I've learned in my 45 years - finally - is that faith in your negotiating skills is the key to happiness and financial security.
That's tough today when you look at the stock market, the banks collapsing, the government pumping $700 billion (more like 3-5 trillion when all is said and done) into the economy to "save" us.
I was a stock broker for a few years. And here's a little piece of advice: ignore the news media. Period ! They are the last people to state the obvious.
They love it when you're scared because you tune in more and they make more money. And the more you tune in, the more scared you'll become. Don't buy into that. Just remember my wife's mantra:
ALL IS WELL, IF YOU CAN PERCEIVE THE SEASON!
So, what does my wife mean by the season? I'm not getting into this very deep now. I'll save that for a future newsletter. But just suffice to say, that it means being aware of what environment or cycle the business and or real estate market is in, so you can fine tune your negotiating skills for maximum profit and success.
Unfortunately, you can't do that if you're scared, or have no confidence in your negotiating skills.
It has been said, that you can have the best product, the most capable service, the best real estate strategy or technique, but without a negotiating system and the determination to make it work you won't be able to give money away in the middle of
Before I let you go to read over my exactly what this timely system contains, many individuals have called me and ask if I would put together a step-by- step “ Negotiating System" well your wish is my command.
Normally priced at less then a few trips to Starbucks at $97.00, it is a great value if I do say so myself. But for the next 4 days (Oct 19 - Oct 22 ) I am extending to you, my faithful newsletter subscribers the astonishing price of only $33.00! That's a whooping 66% off my normal website store price!
Enter promo Code 555 on you order/check out page to receive your discount.
After Oct 23 it will return to the normal price of $97.00.
You maybe asking, why am I doing this? Simple, I am committed to getting this information into as many investors hands as possible, thereby you the best deals through negotiating in these challenging times.
So please visit the link provided for more information on this jam packed “Negotiating For Profit System” :
Also, as a thank you bonus I am including: A Newly Released CD entitled “ Unlimited Cash Flow” !
Don't forget to place promo Code 555 on your order page
To your negotiating success,
Here is what this recession proofing package will do for you :
- Never make a cold call again.
- Qualify any prospect within 5 minutes.
- Learn to set an agenda up front.
- Never make a formal presentation until you have qualified and closed the prospect upfront.
- Why you should forget about the word Yes and always go for the No's.
- Never ask for the deal, make the prospect give it to you.
- How to avoid buyer’s remorse during the negotiations!
- Learn six figure income thinking by working smart and getting paid.
- Fear of rejection will no longer be an issue.
- Learn what works and what doesn’t work in negotiating and why.
and much, much more…
With this Negotiating For Profit package, which is jam packed full of one of a kind negotiating information, you will never have to worry about ending up on the short end of the stick or leaving to much money on the table ever again. What you will receive :
What you will receive :
- 1 Manual : You’re A-Z resource on Negotiating For Profit
- 1 CD Introduction to Negotiating For Profit
- 1 CD Negotiating For Profit: Discover How To Apply NEW brain research to catapult yourself to success;
- 1 CD Tutorial to bring all that you have learned – together.
Bonus: Newly Released CD entitled “ Unlimited Cash Flow” ! Take your financial life to the next level.So don’t wait another minute, click on the link below and start Negotiating For Profit.
Again, here's the places you should visit now: http://www.jgage.com/
Have a great rest of the weekend.
Peace & Prosperity to you and yours!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Ask for a copy of the lease before the lease signing, so you have time to review it. If you're reading this tip right before the lease signing and have yet to see the lease, don't worry. Just read over the lease carefully at the signing. If you feel uncomfortable with the lease or want someone to review it, ask to reschedule the lease signing appointment – have all legal contracts and documents reviewed by an attorney.
- Negotiate only with the landlord or someone who has the authority to make decisions. The broker cannot make any decisions, unless they have “Power of Attorney”, or are the “Trustee” of the Land or Realty Trust that the property may be in.
- Choose one person to be the negotiator, if you're signing the lease with your roommate or spouse. You don't want multiple people chiming in with points that contradict each other.
- Know basic information about the landlord and try to understand the landlord's position. Is your apartment owned by real estate management company with thousands of units or a family renting out a room or their second home? Will a $25 reduction in rent be a big deal to them? Knowing the landlord's concerns will help you tailor your arguments in the lease negotiation.
- The best negotiation time is during the signing of the lease when the landlord has approved you for the apartment and is ready to close the deal. You only have negotiation power when you have something the landlord wants.
- Ask questions before you begin the lease negotiation. It's good to demonstrate your reliability as a good tenant. This is the one thing you can offer the landlord that will make him or her more open to negotiation. Asking questions is one way to show the landlord that you want to follow the rules.
- Begin the lease negotiation after you've read the lease and asked all your questions. First identify what you want to change and why. Maybe you want a lower rent because it's higher than all the other apartments you've looked at and you see no reason for the higher rent. Or the ceiling is leaking and you want a guarantee that it will be fixed within a week, because you've had bad experiences with neglectful landlords.
- If the landlord resists putting any changes in writing or seems offended or hurt by your negotiation, be ready to reassure him or her that you trust him, but you are a person who likes to play it safe.
- If the landlord argues with you or puts you on the defensive, acknowledge the landlord's points by explaining why these concerns don't apply to you and remind him or her of your qualifications (good credit, timely rent payments, no disturbances, no damage).
- Always ask twice, followed by the reason. Giving more than one argument during the lease negotiation lends further support to your request.
- Write down all agreements on a piece of paper that is signed by all the tenants and the landlord. If it's a change to the lease, correct it on the actual lease, or write a lease rider that specifies it is overriding the lease. If any of the agreements are promised actions--such as repairs--write down a deadline (the water pressure must be fixed by this date).
- Know what your expectations are beforehand. Will you sign the lease if the landlord refuses? How flexible will you be if the landlord agrees to part of your suggestions?
- Be polite. Don't get angry or hostile, even if the landlord does. Take the higher ground and the landlord may respect your professionalism and believe you to be a good tenant.
- Do not make ultimatums--change this or I won't sign the lease--unless, of course, you mean it. If you don't mean it, this will only backfire and prove to the landlord that you're being manipulative, and therefore untrustworthy.
- Only negotiate items that are most important to you. Decide which issues are too small to argue over. The landlord is unlikely to concede to every issue, so pick your battles.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
What a mortgage company can do to your loan depends on who the investor is and the type of loan a borrower has. Most likely the reason why the current loan went up from the initial payment you have been paying was because the new payment now is fully amortized(Principal+Interest+ or Escrow). What I also know is that to PRE-QUILIFY for any type of workout options with the bank you will have to show your hardship has been resolved or that you're able to afford your current payment. So if you have an arm at a 5% intro interest rate and you adjust to a 6.5 and that caused you to be in a hardship then yes most likely they will help you out by giving you a int rate freeze at your intro rate. But if you show that you cannot make your payment and are negative(short) each month on money then they will talk to you about liquidating the property before you become delinquent and fall in foreclosure.
Yes I know its tough but they can't help everybody! I suggest if you know you cannot afford the payment and will become delinquent, think about renting out your property and move into a family member's home or rent an apartment till you can refi out of the loan you have, or sell the property when it has equity so you can buy another one. I know this is not what you want to hear, but it's the best advice I can give if you want to preserve your credit profile to some extent.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
With all the bad news in the market place, and the pain that real estate investors are experiencing that do not use our leveraged investing strategies, here is something to laugh at...
My New Investment Strategy-Take up drinking
If you had purchased $1,000 of Lehman Bros. stock one year ago, you would
have $49 left.
With Wachovia, you would have $16.50 left.
With AIG, you would have less than $5 left.
But if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the
beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would
have had $214.
Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily
It's called the 401-Keg plan.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Use Lease Options to Control Properties, Or Sit On The Side Lines!
The last few weeks has everyone wondering whether real estate investing is DEAD! REIA club attendance is down, real estate agents are waiting tables or working at Wal-Mart, mortgage companies are closing faster then the drop in value of the US dollar and mortgages are almost non existing ( being reserved for those with 20% down and FICO scores of 720 or higher). So what is the simple answer? Here is my take as an investor with 22 plus years of experience…
Yes, times are uncertain and who knows what tomorrow will bring, however, I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity available to the real estate investor to bring in a steady income with little or no risk! What is it? Lease Options!
I know, most of you, my faithful readers have heard me over the years advocating lease options as a way to be a leveraged investor in an up, down or side ways market. Frankly, when the housing market was booming most people didn’t pay attention to lease options, but now that our great politicians on both sides of the coin have gotten us into this bailout mess, my phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting to know how they can cash in with lease options – here’s why…
- Control without ownership
- If the deal doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, you can get out of the transaction without any financial harm – “the ultimate escape clause”!
- You make non-refundable money at the beginning of the deal, middle of the deal, and at the end of the deal!
- Make 10% - 15% above FMV because you are giving people terms.
- Use lease options on single family homes, multi-families, land, mobile homes, foreclosures, probates, new construction and pre-construction…
These are just a few reasons that why you should take a serious look at lease options and the many benefits they provide to you as a real estate investor. Please visit my site http://www.JGage.com for lease option articles, strategies and resources. Of course you could always sit on the side lines and do nothing.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I get this question on a regular basis so I thought I would post it for all to view!
Q: I want to be a landlord, but I'm afraid to do so in this market. What is your advice to me?
A : My advice is don't, but if I can't change your mind do the following:
1. Buy the income property 35% or more below fair market value.
2. Put only Section 8 tenants in those dwellings or other state/federal like programs. Why? In a market/economy we are currently experiencing and with more job losses to come, you must make sure you have an uninterrupted stream of rental income from your properties to prevent you from becoming a statistic. When and if our economy turns around then you can think about going back to renting to the general population.
I hope this helps with those of you who are thinking of landlording.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I have been shouting from the roof tops to investors for the past 24 months on the financial tsunami which would hit our economy; not only did I call the sub prime market, but I also said that after the banks started bleeding, this crisis would expand the into the insurance industry- this has happened as we have seen in the past several weeks. But what now?
The government is proposing a 700 billion dollar bailout, which at the end of the day will be more like a couple of trillion dollars with all the pork trimmings that the politicians can think of putting in. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these are the same politicians and administrators that got us into this mess in the first place, and now are asking for unrestricted, unsupervised card blanch with our takes dollars to fix what they created in the first place - " I was born at night, but not last night!"
As many of you know I am a Conservative Independent, so I don't have a horse in this race or in the present administration, but I know something has to be done. That being said, I don't think this bail out is going to solve the problem; in my humble opinion it has a 25-30% chance of success!
In the short term we may see some temporary signs of possible improvement, but this will be erased when this tsunami spreads to the credit card and unsecured loan industry, followed by the home insurance industry, followed by the market sustaining a severe correction, which will finally result in the dollar being at par with the Peso!
But in all this bad news there is light at the end of the tunnel ! Keep investing short term with lease options, and in the stock market play puts and calls on the indices on the giant move swings we have seen in weeks gone buy. Pay down or pay off your mortgages if possible and start putting an emergency fund aside if you haven't already done so.
Finally, look at buying silver to hedge against any possible unforeseen disaster; gold is to high but silver is a great value at the time of this post.
Be well and stay leveraged.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
I received a question this morning concerning my last post on land trusts, so I thought I would post it with my answer for the benefit of all my faithful blog readers.
Q: Do we have to have an attorney represent the trust in case of any legal disputes or can we represent properly the land trust in California?
A: It depends on what the legal action is about. For example, if it's an eviction then the trustee can defend or bring the litigation to the court on behalf of the trust. If on the other hand it is a civil or criminal action against the trust I would use an attorney to represent the interests of the trust; keep in mind the engaging of an attorney on behalf of the trust is a responsibility of the trustee.
Friday, September 5, 2008
1. Avoids property being probated (out of court transfer upon death of beneficiary)
2. Ease of Transferability
3. Judgments do not attach to the beneficiary
4. No Partition (avoids spouse’s “forced share” sale buyout upon divorce)
5. Easier management with multiple owners (multiple owner do not have to sign docs)
6. No costs upon transferring beneficiary
7. No registered agent needed
8. Legal and Equitable property interest in trustee’s name (never be in the "chain of title")
9. Income and Expense conduit, not a business with tax consequences
10. Trustee has no personal liability
11. No annual fees like other entities, if trustee is an individual or friend
12. Estate planning benefits – automatic successor beneficiaries
13. Less expense with grantor creating the trust entity
14. Avoids the due on sale clause (lenders never know what happened)
15. Privacy of ownership (no recordation of the Trust Agreement) Helps avoid Identity Theft of your name
16. Keep sales price private
17. Able to fracture interests of multiple owners without being "partners"
18. Ease of linkage to other asset protection entities
19. Non-judicial repossessions of real estate sold on installment contract
20. 1099 not required for transfers (personal property not subject to real estate regulations)
21. Ease of operating across state lines
22. Lots of case law to support land trust administration
23. Many attorneys do not study this section of the law – not profitable for them (yields a competitive advantage)
24. No recordation of the Trust Agreement
25. No tax return to file (pass through entity)
26. To avoid “seasoning” problems (secondary market rules of ownership)
27. To save title insurance premiums (Trustee-insured-remains the same)
28. Good negotiating technique in the sale or purchase of property (Disney World used land trusts to acquire its property prior to construction...to avoid price escalation)
29. To provide non-recourse financing
30. Lowering of real estate taxes (prevents re-assessment)
31. Avoids state regulations that apply to corporations and LLC’s
As you can see, Land/Realty Trusts are a wonderful tool for you to use to hide your assets, avoid real estate tax increases, privatize your sales transactions, avoid probate and use for many other benefits. Now that you have a basic understanding of why people use Land/Realty Trusts, please consider acquiring our Land/Realty Trusts Made Easy Home Study Course. You will be amazed at the logic behind how to structure your Trust Agreement so no one but YOU understands what is going on.
At the end of the course we give you all of the forms needed to create and maintain your own Land/Realty Trusts on 1 CD, and we have even included 2 DVDs on how to file out the trusts page by page and line by line - this will save you thousands of dollars in legal fees. As a bonus you will receive on CD Oxford's Law Dictionary.
By the way, I want to let you in on a secret! When attorneys put together land /realty trusts for their clients they hand over your information to a paralegal who uses a computer program (that only attorneys have) and 20 minutes later you have your document. And sense I have a legal background as many of you know, I have this software which I use for creating my own trusts, and now I am making not only my knowledge and expertise to you, but also these very valuable trust documents. So please take time out of your busy day to visit my web site.
This is available by going to: www.JGAGE.com clicking on “Investing Tools” then clicking on one of the “Package Deals” tabs.
Are you working hard to acquire your assets? You will spend a life time building your financial estate…spend a little time and
money learning how to protect your net worth from the deadbeats and their contingency fee lawyers!
Please visit our website at www.JGAGE.com. You can read even more about Land Trusts and how they benefit you.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
This head line just crossed the wire, and did my e-mail box get flooded with nervous investors! Hopefully they will read this blog post, because to answer all of them I would certainly get carpal tunnel syndrome.
I want to put every investors fears to rest and state here for the record : "every negative, brings with it a positive!"
I have said numerous times on this blog I think we are at least 24 month away from a bottom to this cycle. That being said, I would not be purchasing property now unless you can obtain it for 35% under fair market value, or in the case of rental property, you need a big positive cash flow of at least 40% debt to profit ratio.
Or, you can do what I do and use lease options to invest! If the deal and or the market goes against you, you can escape without financial harm to your investment portfolio!
To your success,
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
James Gage here with a real estate tip that may save you hundreds of dollars on a yearly basis on your property tax bill ! Many of you may say I already know about this, but my question is how many of you are taking advantage of this strategy on a yearly basis?
You see all communities offer what is called an " Abatement Process", that is, usually in January of each calender year, the city or town of where the property is located allows owners to petition the city/town government through the abatement process to lower said properties real estate taxes. You will have to call your local town hall or city hall and request an abatement form along with the proper time frame to file. When you receive the form you make a case on why your taxes should be lowered, such as value of the property in your opinion has dropped, what you purchased the property for is not what you could sell it for, the neighborhood as a whole has lost value etc...
It has been my experience that the powers that be will always allow some sort of decrease in taxation just for the mere fact that you took the time to file for abatement.
Hope this helps.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
This months question comes from Karey of Cooper City, Florida.
Q: Should I use an attorney on every real estate transaction?
A: Well that's the million dollar question that has been debated since the time of investing in real estate! Some very successful people say yes, and just as many say no to legal counsel. I am of the former! Since I have a legal background I can tell you hundreds of train wreck transactions that I have either been witnessed to, or at least once removed from.
Many people think since they have experience they can represent themselves, and yes I have seen some sharp individuals in my day, however, there is an old saying in law school " he who represents himself, has a fool for a client" !
When we invest in real estate 9 out of 10 times we are emotional involved with the transaction, and are prone to overlook or at the very least make excuses to bring a speedy resolution to a problem that shouldn't be hastily tackled. That's where a good attorney comes in- you noticed I said good. When searching for an attorney that will represent your best interests, always search out an expert who only handles real estate investing transactions! Contrary to popular belief all attorneys are not equal ! Only engage an attorney that dedicates their practice 100% t0 real estate; stay away from attorneys that have general practices and do a little of this and a little of that. Also, make sure you interview your legal candidate and see what their stance is on creative real estate investing, you want to make sure that they are open to this time of investing and like wise versed in the law concerning such transactions.
Before I get a ton of e-mails asking me about states that use title companies instead of states the using closings with attorneys let me end with this caveat.
Investors in states such as Florida that use title companies for their real state transactions are not exempt from my advice on the use of attorneys! However, any and all title companies have attorneys on staff for the real estate transaction rendering, so therefore they are in a large sense representing not only the title companies interest, but also your interest as far as the legal transfer goes. It should be noted that more and more individuals are starting to engaging their own attorneys in states such as Florida in addition to the staff attorney at the title company!
Why is that? Plain and simple most people residing in Florida come from states that use attorneys for closings, and most attorneys are now capitalizing on that very thing with their marketing dollars through the use of bill boards and other advertising materials through out the state.
That's my two sense on the subject.
Friday, August 29, 2008
When he says yes, I offer to use all or a portion of the original consideration/deposit to purchase a zero coupon bond (not subject to state or local tax usually) that will be worth X in X period of time. Really, any type of financial investment will work here.
"So if I could give you $X as consideration, then you would be able to go ahead today?"
It is easy to show the seller the value of say $3,000 in x years when you have a Barrons financial news with you. I have paid for the brokering fees associated with this. Using this method, I have been able to turn $1,000 into $2,500 for the sellers option consideration/deposit. This works nicely with higher priced properties, since the sellers can understand the concept.
In addition, all of my lease options to a tenant buyer include a clause requiring electronic funds transfer of the monthly rent and option consideration. There are two types of services I use.
One allow a third party service to draft the tenants account, I am sent a postdated check every month so I can cash them myself. I pay $1.50 per transaction. The other uses true funds transfer from one account to another. This can be done on your own PC.
I also avoid future problems for tenant/buyers qualifying by NOT giving monthly rent credit. In instead, they pay monthly OPTION consideration. This prevents the bank from questioning the rent as being fair market or above.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
James Gage here with Gage Consulting Group hoping that this e-mail finds you and yours in good health.
If you're head is still spinning from the recent changes in the lending marketplace, and you're wondering how the heck you can finance your investments with the lending industry running scared from anyone but the best buyers, you won't want to miss out on Profit Big: The Lease Option Secret DVD.
In addition to this week being my wife’s birthday and the beginning of the Labor Day holiday weekend, we learned also this week that the housing crisis is far from over and that the default rate on the Prime Loan market is starting to become a factor (source: Yahoo Finance). Banks are even tougher these days with who they're lending to, and they're looking more and more at your credit. What if you have less than perfect credit, don't know how to best present your deal to the bank, don’t have enough of money to get a hard money lender to sign off or you are unable to secure a private investor. So what do you do? Do you walk away from investing till this housing cycle plays out? Do you get a second or third job to help pay for the lifestyle you hope for, or have grown accustom too?
I say NO ! It’s time for real estate investors to start thinking out of the box and use time tested leveraged strategies and tactics to invest in these uncertain economic times- can you afford not too?
Before I let you go to read over my exactly what this DVD contains, many individuals have called me and ask if I would put together a step-by- step DVD presentation on "Lease Options" well your wish is my command. I have put together just that, a DVD presentation on that very subject please visit the following link for more information : http://www.jgage.com/Lease-Option-Strategies.htm
but it doesn't stop there!
Normally priced at less then a few trips to Starbucks at $37.00, it is a great value if I do say so myself. But for the next 3 days (August 27 - August 30 ) in honor of my wife’s birthday and the Labor Day holiday, I am extending to you, my newsletter subscribers the astonishing price of only $18.50 ! That's a whooping 50% off my normal website store! Enter promo Code 555 on you order/check out page to receive your discount.
After August 30 it will return to the normal price of $37.00. You maybe asking why am I doing this? Earlier in this e-mail I mentioned that this is my wife’s birthday week, and while she was deciding where she wanted to dine for her birthday dinner, she reminded me how blessed we were as a couple and as a family. I couldn’t help but to look back over the last 20 plus years of my life and that of my family, and I can say in no small part, that our financial success is do to the real estate investing strategy of Lease Options. That being said, this is the reason I come before you today, not only to make this educational resource affordable for you, but to encourage you to learn about this powerful investing technique, and to show you that I am living proof that this is a very lucrative strategy.
So please visit the link provided for more information on this jam packed DVD Presentation :
Don't forget promo Code 555
To your success,
James A. Gage
With this jam packed informational DVD you will never have to worry about getting or controlling a property again in any type market, whether up, down or side ways! What you will learn on this powerful DVD Presentation :
What you will learn on this powerful DVD Presentation :
On this DVD James, a seasoned real estate investor with over 20 years of leveraged real estate investing experience will provide helpful tips and advice on how to control properties through short sales without paying the mortgages on them! During this presentation, I will share five separate strategies for successful real estate investing and much more. In particular, I will focus on the relatively unfamiliar — yet extremely lucrative — real estate investing technique known as the lease option.
Here are just some of the amazing benefits of this DVD presentation:
* Learn five different money-making lease option strategies that work
* Understand the anatomy of a lease option from soup to nuts
* Find lease option deals fast and easy
* Learn how to negotiate with buyers, sellers and lenders (in the case of foreclosures).
* Learn how to exit a deal without financial harm if it doesn’t work out like you envisioned!
* Use lease options with Foreclosures, Probates, Up Side Down Properties etc…
* Learn to invest/work smart and not hard with James’s investing principles.
Monday, August 25, 2008
" Housing starts are up for the month of July, is that good news?"
Hi Ken, thanks for the question. Unfortunately the data that was provided in the month of July is known in the investor arena as a false positive!
Sales of existing homes rose 3.1 percent in July, easily beating Wall Street's expectations, as buyers snapped up deeply discounted properties in parts of the country hit hardest by the housing bust.
However, the number of unsold properties hit an all-time high, the latest indication that the worst housing market slump in decades is far from over.
Even though President Bush last month signed sweeping housing legislation that aims to prevent foreclosures by allowing an estimated 400,000 homeowners to swap their mortgages for more affordable loans, but only if their lender agrees to take a loss on the initial loan it seems this will not be enough!
Even with government help, nearly 2.8 million U.S. households will either face foreclosure, turn over their homes to their lender or sell the properties for less than their mortgage's value by the end of next year, predicts Moody's Economy.com.
So now, more than ever it is the time to think about using lease options (http://www.jgage.com/rent-to-own.htm) to control property for maxium profit - please visit my web site for latest tips and strategies for the leveraged investor. http://www.JGage.com
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Contrary to popular belief you must always elect title insurance on all your transactions whether you’re buying or selling!
First, let us explore why you should buy title insurance as a buyer. When you borrow money from a lender to buy a new home you will be required to pay for title insurance. This title insurance is for the lender and covers them only. You will be given the option to purchase your own title insurance at the closing. Typically the cost is two or three hundred dollars. This insurance, should you decide to buy it, will protect you from any defects in the title. Before the closing the attorney will order a title search which looks for liens against the home and to make sure the property has a clear title.
The purpose of title insurance is to protect you against any unforeseen problems or claims against the property. You will be charged a one time fee for this protection. If you don't buy title insurance and your attorney did not do a good job with the title search you could be held liable for existing liens against the home. You could owe someone thousands of dollars for work done on the house before you bought the home or because there is another property owner that you did not know about.
The bottom line is for only a couple hundred dollars you can protect you from the unexpected title problems and gain a little piece of mind.
Now let’s explore why buying title insurance as a seller is equally important.
Any prospective buyer will need evidence that his investment in your property is free of title defects. In fact, your contract of sale probably requires it. The title insurance policy that you provide the buyer is a guarantee that you are selling a clear title to your real estate, unencumbered by any legal attachments that might limit or jeopardize ownership. It reassures your buyer that the title has passed the most careful scrutiny. In addition, it can help your deal close more quickly and easily.
You may be asking yourself isn’t that what a title search is for, so why should I pay the expense of title insurance- it doesn’t make sense! I learned long ago a title search is only as good as the searcher…
I’ll give you an example: when I bought my first home it was a foreclosure through the RTC ( as you can tell this was many moons ago), and as is customary my attorney did a title search which came up crystal clear, When I put it on the market for sale 3 years later, the buyer did their own title search, but this time it came back with an IRS lien from a previous owner to the tune of $35K ! If I didn’t have title insurance I would have been on the hook for the 35K, even though it wasn’t mine! NOTE: Remember, liens are on properties, not on individuals.
Until next time, be well…
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Editor's Note: You can find everything you need to know about making money with lease options PLUS great practical, "how to" tips like these in James Gage's sixteen -hour audio/video workshop, : http://www.jgage.com/Lease-Option-System.htm Enter promo code 500 and receive a 50% off back to school discount!
Here are some practical tips I have learned from doing lease options over the past 20 years. Lease options are great, except when the seller decides not to live up to their end of the bargain.
Sure, you can always sue the seller to force them to sell you the property, but this can cost you thousands of dollars in legal fees and take years to accomplish in our over saturated legal system. You always need to position yourself in a better position if you want your option to be protected. Here are three good ways to protect your option:
1. Record the option. If your option was signed before a notary, you can record your option in the public real estate records. This will give the world public notice of your interest. If the option was not notarized, you can sign an affidavit called a "memorandum of option" and file it at the Registry of Deeds in your county. Keep in mind that this does not create a lien, it only creates a "cloud" on the title do the owner can not sell it from under you.
2. Escrow the deed. If your seller has died or disappeared, you will have a big problem getting him to sign a deed. An escrow should be created up front in which a title company or attorney holds an executed deed. When you are ready to exercise, you simply tender the money to the escrow agent (which can be your or the owner’s attorney) and collect the deed.
3. Record a mortgage. Typically a mortgage is recorded to secure payments on a promissory note. A mortgage can be recorded to secure performance of any agreement, even a purchase option. You as optionee (buyer) will now be a lien holder, in the same position as a secured lender. If the seller refuses to sell the property, you foreclose. Now the SELLER has to go to court to protect himself, rather than the other way around.
Here are some tips to prevent a tenant from asserting equitable mortgage. On paper you should make everything look like a landlord tenant relationship, but you operate the transaction like a Buyer – Seller relationship.
1. Use separate agreements. Give your tenant a lease and a separate option agreement. Make certain the lease does not refer to the option. More than 75% of the time, the tenant loses his paperwork. You don't show any option agreement to the court until the judge asks for it.
2. Keep your term short. Do not give tenants more than a one-year lease option at a time. If the tenant insists on three years, give him a one year with two rights to renew. Draw up brand new leases and option agreements each time he renews. If you give a cumulative rent credit, raise the purchase price each time.
3. Take a security deposit. Sellers don't take security deposits, landlords do. Make it look like a landlord/tenant relationship, even if the security deposit is small.
4. Make sure you pay the taxes and insurance. Do not let the tenant pay the taxes and insurance. This makes it look like a sale.
5. Don't give large rent credits. The more "equity" the tenant has, the more likely a judge will favor an equitable interest assertion. My rule of thumb is that if you choose to give a “rent credit”, it should never exceed 35%. I know many gurus tell you to give 50% or more in rent credit, but I believe that the more rent credit you give the more equitable interest exposure you create for yourself.
I hope these tips help you on your next lease option transaction.
To claim your 50% off Back to School sale visit : http://www.jgage.com/Lease-Option-System.htmand enter promo Code 500
To your success,James Gage