Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Short Sales Can They Still Be Done Successfully?

I'm asked on a regular basis, Jim, can the average investor still do Short Sales, or has that market opportunity played out? The answer is No! Let me qualify my statement. You can be successful with short sales as long as you know what you're doing... That being said, there are numerous gurus out there claiming that you can get these deals done in 30 days or less - that just isn't true!! Actually the truth is, that it may take at the very least 90 days!

So, that's why I tell my students that it is imperative that they have multiple deals in the pipe, so when one closes the next one replaces it on the profit train. Remember, not all deals close, so if you are doing these deals one at a time, you better think about getting a job at the "Golden Arches" AKA McDonalds.

For more information on how I do successful short sales click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Real Estate Investing Wishes

On behalf of myself and everyone here at Gage Consulting Group we wish to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

As we rest and spend time with our loved ones and families, let's get ready to make 2010 the best year yet!

Peace be with You.

Jim Gage

Monday, December 21, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing Resources

Hello All:

I know everyone, including me, is doing their last minute Christmas shopping and that's all that is in our cross hair's - but....
I would ask everyone to take a few minutes and ask yourself what 2010 will look like for you in relation to real estate investing. Will 2010 be the same as 2009 for you? Are you burned out on real estate investing clubs, real estate tele-seminars and real estate boot camps?

If you are, then you will want to sign up for my Free Newsletter, which will also get you immediate access to all my e-mails that I send my fellow investors; information that shows you step by step how I invest in real estate with 100% leveraged techniques! If your interested in making a change in 2010 click here to receive your cutting edge creative real estate information.

Until next time.

James Gage

Monday, December 14, 2009

Experts Conclude Further Deterioration of Mortgage Securities in 2010

Despite signs that the U.S. economy is now on a slow path to recovery, collateral performance will continue to be weak for all U.S. structured finance sectors next year, Fitch Ratings said in its 2010 outlook report. The firm expects downgrades to continue for residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), though at a slower pace than during the debilitating days of the recession.

For more breaking real estate news click here to sign up for our Free Newsletter.

Until next time be well.

James Gage

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Three Cardinal Rules of Negotiating Real Estate Transactions

You can find hundreds of books on the art of real estate negotiation . . . but pardon my frankness, many of these books offer stale strategies and tactics that just do not work.

For example, in many books you can find the ABC rule – “always be closing.” That is, you want to have a bunch of deals in the works and you want to get to “yes” as quickly as possible in order to close that deal.
However, getting to “yes” ASAP means you leave out a bunch of steps in the middle, such as carefully pre-qualifying your prospect by asking lots of questions. (I call this process “Getting to ‘no’ first – meaning, you weed out those who aren’t serious about a deal).  

It’s also why I’ve simplified negotiation down to three cardinal rules: the person who mentions price first loses, get to know your opponent before meeting with him or her, and always get your agreement in writing.

Negotiation Cardinal Rule #1: The person who mentions price first loses
When I first started doing lease options, I had a woman call me to see if I had a specific type of property that she could then lease to own.  She had $8K put aside but unfortunately at the time, I didn’t have anything in inventory that met her requirements. A few weeks later I found a property and called her about it and said that if she liked what she saw after doing a drive by, we could do business that very day.
She ended up loving the property. We did the walk through and as she and I talked, I knew that $8K was sure money in my pocket.
“Jim,” she said. “I have a problem. Remember how I said I had $8K? The problem is I don’t have $8K.”
My heart fell clear to my stomach and my knees went soft. “Uh oh,” I thought.
She then went on to say, “I don’t have $8K, I have $10K. Is that ok?”
Now, I if had opened my big mouth and had said at the beginning of our negotiation talk, “I’ll need a check for $8K,” I would have never learned she had an additional $2K in her pocket. The moral being – never be the first person to talk about price.
Instead, ask lots of open-ended questions that will give you solid information in order to determine where people stand. For example, when I’m talking to a person who is looking for a house or a lease option, I ask questions such as, “It sounds like you’re living in a great place. Why do you want to move?” (What I’m really asking is, “Are you a deadbeat?”)
Or, if I’m sitting at someone’s kitchen table and he’s spilling his guts to me about his house going into foreclosure, I ask, “If you’re able to sell the property, what you would you be comfortable asking for it?” Having the property owner tell me first what he wants for the property is akin to him showing me his cards before he makes a bet. In other words, it gives me the advantage.

To finish the rest of the article click here

Monday, December 7, 2009

Real Estate News: Will FHA Loans Become More Expensive For Home Buyers?

The problem is simple; with foreclosure rates skyrocketing, the FHA has had to pay out more and more insurance claims to the mortgage companies. Part of every FHA loan is the mortgage insurance premium (both upfront and monthly). The upfront mortgage insurance premium is paid (who would have guessed?) upfront at closing. However, it is possible to roll that premium into your financing (so many people don't actually bring that cash to the closing table).

The monthly mortgage insurance premium is a monthly fee tacked onto your your mortgage payment. Like other insurances, you're paying today, in case something goes wrong tomorrow. In the event a home buyer defaults on their loan and the house is foreclosed on, the lender gets paid out of the FHA funds that are built up through the collected of these mortgage insurance premiums.

So somebodies got to pay; guess who....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Breaking Real Estate News: Housing Data

Hello Everyone:

Oct existing sales are up! However, when you break down the numbers what does it really tell us? According to CNBC : 33% of existing home sales are attributed to first time home buyers, 50% to real estate investors and the remaining 17% to normal market buying.

So what does this all mean? On face value it looks like great news, but when you put it together with last weeks news of : 10% of American home loans are either in default or 30 days or more behind! Could this be budding proof of my prediction of a 3rd wave of foreclosures on the horizon? Only time will tell...

Until next time be well.

James Gage

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breaking Real Estate News: Foreclosures

Just when you thought it was just about over...

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 6.25 percent of U.S. mortgage loans were 60 or more days past due, according to credit reporting agency TransUnion. That's up 58 percent from 3.96 percent a year ago.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Short Sale Time Lines

Hello Everyone:

I was asked a question yesterday and I thought I would share it with you. I was asked:"How long do short sales take to complete?" Wow! That's a loaded question...
But the answer is at least 3 months! I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but that's the truth! Be prepared to be in it for the long haul; that's why it is so important to have multiple deals in progress. If you count on one transaction to put food on the table, you might be losing a few pounds; if you have several deals in the pipe you will have a better chance of consistent cash flow.

Remember, you should always keep the lease option strategy in the back of your mind when dealing with pre-foreclosures...

Until next time be well.

James Gage

Friday, November 6, 2009

Real Estate News: Foreclosures

You can't make this stuff up :Fannie Mae program to turn homeowners into renters!

Can you believe this? So much for being a landlord! Just another job/business the government is killing. Read the full article here:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Breaking Real Estate News: 8K Tax Credit

President Obama will sign an extension measure at the end of the week that will effect the housing market. The measure will also extend through April 30 a popular $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, while creating a new $6,500 credit for homebuyer's who have been in their current residence for the last five years or more. The credit, which many say has boosted home sales in recent months, was set to expire after Nov. 30.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Real Estate Tip: New Flooring Product

Hello Everyone:

My friend Ann Belemy just sent me this E-Mail, so I thought I would pass it along to you for your review.

Be well.

James A. Gage

Update on the new product below!

One of my customers read last month's newsletter and tried the new flooring product I mentioned. He said it went down extremely easily and was great! In case you missed it, I've included the tip below. Thanks, Brandon, for the feedback!!

New product might make a landlord's life a little easier

Hey, I have no stake in this, but I saw a new product the other day that I thought looked awesome. It is similar to laminate flooring, like Pergo, but has a lot more pluses.

It's called Allure, and it is a solid vinyl, somewhat flexible flooring in planks that are oblivious to moisture, wear like iron, look much better than most laminate, and are cost effective for the longer term. The planks adhere to each other with a double faced adhesive strip that can be lifted and replaced at will. The floor can get soaked without any effect other than having to clean it or get the moisture up from under it.

So you can install it in a rental without worrying about moisture causing the seams to swell and buckle. No underlayment is needed.

I haven't tried it yet, but the flooring guy at Home Depot loves it. It is in stock at $1.79 per SF, and you score it with a utility knife and snap it when you are installing it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Breaking Real Estate News: Foreclosures

Breaking Real Estate News....

Wall Street Journal is now reporting that a 3rd wave of foreclosures are poised to flood the housing market as early as the end of the month!

As I have been saying over the last few months this 3 rd wave of foreclosures will drive housing prices down again, but in turn will open up unbelievable opportunities for creative real estate investors.

Stay tuned for more info as I mull through it...

Be well.

James Gage

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why clients don’t say YES. Real Estate Investing Tip

There are only 2 reasons, other than money, why clients don’t say YES.

#1 They don’t understand the information presented.

#2 They don’t see how it benefits them.

And the only way you’re going to know is by asking questions. Becoming a powerful communicator is the number one skill you need to be successful. The best part is that this is an easy and painless way to catapult your business to the top.

You can learn how to communicate effectively with anyone, really.

To be incredibly successful, you need to realize the person who makes the most money is the best communicator. Learn the principles of communication and practice them. Perfect the principles before you worry about learning specialized techniques for your particular business.

The communication skills you need to be successful in earning money are the same skills you need to be successful in any area of your life. I can tell you for a fact that the people you’re going to be talking to don’t care if you know every little thing about your topic, they care that you care about them.

If you show that you care about who they are, and what they need, and what they want, they will be incredibly forgiving of your level of knowledge of the product, or technique or whatever you’re discussing. Right from the beginning, even if you don’t have everything all figured out, you can be very successful just by caring about the people that you’re talking to.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Real Estate News

Right now on CNN, a honesty man by the name of John Adams, a real estate broker, agrees with me, that the real estate market is on "life support"! Finally, some validation on what I have been saying for the last several months from the main stream media. As I have said, the government must extend the home buying tax credit past November of this year, and even extend it to people other than first time home buyers or we will see a reversal of the halt in the declining home prices and values we are seeing across the country.

Until next time, be well.

James Gage

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Foreclosures up in August

Hello Again:

Breaking news again!! For those who have said that opportunity has dried up in the foreclosure investing arena - then listen up! Foreclosures nationwide for Aug 09 are up 18% over last year at this same time frame according to Realty Track! August 09 foreclosure filings 358,000 - I think there maybe some opportunity there, do you?

Be well.

James Gage

Short Sales: U.S. Treasury set to finalize home "short sales" plan

Hello All:

Here is breaking news on short sales:

Be well.

James Gage

Monday, August 31, 2009

Short Sale Considerations

The majority of the time this blog is devoted solely to real estate investing from an investor’s point of view, however, during this post I will address the homeowners’ position in terms of short sale considerations. That being said, a short sale is dependent on a buyer making an offer to purchase. If you do not receive an offer, you will not qualify for a short sale. So even if you meet all the other criteria, it is possible that no one will buy the short sale. It is also dependent on the lender accepting the buyer’s offer. If the lender rejects the offer, a short sale will not take place.

• Tax Consequences
• If the lender agrees to the short sale, the lender may possess the right to issue you a 1099 for the shorted difference, due to a provision in the IRS code about debt forgiveness. Many situations are exempt from debt forgiveness, according to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.
• You should speak to a real estate lawyer and a tax accountant to determine the amount of short sale tax consequences, and whether you can afford to pay those taxes, if any.
• Blemished Credit Report
• A short sale will show up on your credit report. It’s a pre-foreclosure that has been redeemed. Short sales affect credit ratings. While the damage to your credit report may not seem as significantly bad as a foreclosure to you, creditors may not make the distinction. Experts say the drop in your FICO score is identical to a foreclosure reporting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Real Estate Investing in Florida

Flagler County Florida's unemployment rate rose in July to 15.9 percent, up from 15.6 percent the previous month, according to figures released today. Ouch!!!! Bet there are some great opportunities there for real estate investors . I'll let you know :-)

See you in Florida.

James Gage

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Foreclosure News

Hello All:

Many have called a bottom in the real estate market, while others, not as bold have stated that foreclosures are decreasing! I have to respectfully disagree on both points! Last month their were 360,000 foreclosure notices sent out, so the the third wave,the term I have coined, is on it's way and we should see the effect by fall.

So, what does this mean for us that are real estate investors? Get ready to make some tremendous profits with my "kibble and bits" strategy...

Until next time - be well.

James Gage

Monday, August 3, 2009

Real Estate Tip of The Month Aug 09

I have a valuable tip for Home and Condo renters, and for individuals that do lease options.
Have a clause put into your lease and lease option contracts with the seller, which requires the Property owner to supply documentation to you monthly that proves that they paid the mortgage. By documentation I mean a copy of their mortgage statement. Also state that the Rent payment will not be made until the mortgage statement is received. If they do not agree to these terms, just move on to another landlord or lease option seller. A reputable landlord eager to rent their property will agree to this.

Note: In the case of lease options, if you feel that the seller might not make the payments; insist that you pay the bank or mortgage company on a monthly basis.

This is just a sample of the useful information you receive as a Gage Consulting Group Newsletter subscriber, why not tell others? They will thank you for it; direct them to

Thank you in advance for your support.

Until next time, be well.

James Gage

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Real Estate Tip

Hello All:

Have you ever encountered a homeowner that is in pre-foreclosure and there is no way you can help them because of the numbers? Of course, we all have and as ethicial real estate investors we want to help people even if there is not a pay day in it for us.

So, that being said, I have used this non-profit organization that will help the homeowner, FREE of charge, obtain a loan modification. This organization is Springboard, which is endorsed by the Attorney General of the State of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley. They can be reached at 951-781-0114. They also provide credit counseling for FREE, which will provide a certificate, if an individual needs to file bankruptcy! Since the bankruptcy laws changed in 2005, you must have a counseling certificate before you can file a bankruptcy petition.

Until next time - be well.

James Gage

Friday, July 24, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Radio Schedule

Hi all, I'll be on XM Satellite Radio tomorrow morning discussing lease options and how to use them for maximum profit. For more info follow the link - see ya in the morning:

Be well.

James Gage

Monday, July 20, 2009

Real Estate Investing : Without Recourse

Hello All:

There has been a lot of misinformation circulating through the real estate investing community about liability issues concerning assignments of contracts.

My attorney had me add these two simple words about 5 years ago, they are “without recourse”, meaning, if the party I assign the contract to defaults there can be no recourse against me.

Be well.

James Gage

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Real Estate Tip of the Month- July 2009

Real Estate Tip of the Month

Watch out when purchasing or lease optioning newer construction, say within the time frame of the last 5-7 years. Why? In a rush to fill demand during the housing boom, many builders cut corners and did very substandard workmanship! Now, these practices have come back to haunt home owner’s and sellers of both residential and commercial property in the form of expense repairs; in some cases repair costs surpass the current value of the property!

So what can you do as an investor or home buyer if you are debating purchasing or lease optioning a property referenced above? Make sure you get a good home inspection by a reputable company, and have an expert evaluate any areas of concern that the home inspector may note on their report. Remember, contrary to popular belief, the home inspectors job is just to give a general opinion on the shape and condition of the property, any “red flags” that he or she points out should be addressed by an expert in that particular field of concern.

You may want, if available in your geographical area, to purchase a home warranty on the property you are purchasing or lease optioning. These policies protect you, the owner, from footing the bill for major repairs or replacements of costly appliances in and on the dwelling. You can research via a search engine on the web, such as Google, and do a search under “Home Warranties”, and choose a plan that is right for your situation and budget,

Until next time – be well.

James Gage

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Lease Options

Hello All:

Rumor has it, that my Lease Option Home Study Package is on EBay for $197.00 !!!! It regular retails on my website for $495.00, what a savings...

Here id the link :

Be well.

James Gage

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Real Estate Investing & Facebook

I have a new fan page on Facebook. Join now. After you join, you can post pictures, ask questions of the group, and meet interesting people just like yourself!

When you go there, you will see that I have posted a lot of tips and stratergies on creative real estate investing.

And the best part is that I started posting secret discount codes there! These are codes to secret sales that are only shared with my Facebook fans.

Here is the link:

I'm actually online on Facebook right now. So, I'll see you there. Have an outstanding day!

Be well.
James Gage

Monday, July 6, 2009

Real Estate Tip of The Month

Hello All:

Now is the time to get your properties sold! Why the hurry? The $8,000 home-buying incentive from the U.S. Government ends in December 2009, and if you are in a state that takes longer then 30 days to close - time to get those prospects!

Be well,

James Gage

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Happy Father's Day

To all of you that are Fathers out there - Happy Father's Day!

I wish you a great day with your family.

Be well.

James Gage

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Real Estate Investing: New Appraisal Regulations Under Fire

On May 1, the responsibility for managing home appraisals has moved to a middleman, known as appraisal management companies or AMCs.

Under new federal regulations, mortgage brokers and loan officers can’t directly order appraisals. Instead, they are expected to go through third-party AMCs, which are supposed to prevent them from pressuring appraisers.
But critics of the new plan say nobody is watching the AMCs.
The new rules have transferred the improper influence problem to these appraisal management companies, which are not regulated by anybody.

The marketplace is still vulnerable to appraiser pressure because the incentives are still there to get deals done and collect the fees,”
Federal housing officials, who helped write the new laws, say they will hold AMCs accountable.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lease Option Investing

Hello All:

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning to hear yours truly nation wide speak about why now is a perfect time to use Lease Options in controlling investment real estate with little or no money!!!!!

Now Every Saturday Morning !

XM Satellite Radio Channel 169

"Mind Yo Business Radio Program w/ Brian Higgins"

Time : 9:45 AM, EST

Topic : " The Economy & Leveraged Real Estate Investing "

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Why The Up Tick in Foreclosures?

Hello All:

You may be asking yourselves why foreclosure filings are accelerating again? The answer is simple; when President Obama took office in January of this year, most mortgages companies place a moratorium on foreclosures. What this means is that until they figured out what he was going to due about a potential rescue plan for home owners, the best course of action would be to place everything on hold.

Now that the President has revealed his plans, the moratoriums have been lifted and the foreclosures have resumed. Truth be told the President's plan hasn't really helped the majority of individuals facing foreclosures, due to the fact that it is a voluntary program for the banks and mortgage companies.
In my humble opinion if they wanted to really help people facing foreclosure they would have passed the "Cram Down Provision" which would have allowed bankruptcy Judges to decide the fate of individuals facing foreclosure.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lease Options: Preparing to Call Sellers in 3 Easy Steps

First you have to go through your newspapers, preferably 2 weeks old. Start with the houses for sale by owner, cross out any by Realtors (at least for now). Next go through the houses for rent. Go online to the major FSBO sites and pull down homes in your area. Remember, with some of the changes these sites have made they provide bare bones information unless you sign up. up.
To save time, just take down the telephone number if provided or address so you have a starting point to make contact with the owner.

Now you are ready to organize your calling. Go through the above lists, be sure you don’t have any duplications.
Check your database to be sure there are no duplications; if you don’t have a database now is the perfect time to start one.

Now you are ready to call, here are the 3 steps :

1. Get your yellow pad and make up your headings of: telephone number, type of property, price, and notes.
2. Pull out your telephone calling script and start calling. If you get an answering machine, leave your message script for the appropriate type of property. When you get to speak to the seller, ask all of the questions in the script.
3. Remember, you want to build rapport with the seller.

In addition, by using your script you will get all your questions answered before you leave your home office to view the property. If not, you don’t leave your home office. Remember, your time, knowledge and energy are valuable commodities, you will not squander them.

Now you are on your way to making profitable deals, and it was easy as 1-2-3 !

Friday, May 8, 2009

Real Estate Investing Tip: RE Radio

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning to XM Satellite Radio, Channel 169 @ 9:45 AM, EST "Mind Yo Business Radio Program w/ Brian Higgins" I will be his guest, and we will be discussing what's happening with real estate investing across the country...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Real Estate Investing: New Appraisal Regulations

New Appraisal Regulations Under Fire as of May 1, the responsibility for managing home appraisals will move to a middleman, known as appraisal management companies or AMCs.

Under new federal regulations, mortgage brokers and loan officers can’t directly order appraisals. Instead, they are expected to go through third-party AMCs, which are supposed to prevent them from pressuring appraisers.

The new rules have transferred the improper influence problem to these appraisal management companies, which are not regulated by anybody!

The marketplace is still vulnerable to appraiser pressure because the incentives are still there to get deals done and collect the fees.

Federal housing officials, who helped write the new laws, say they will hold AMCs accountable. Yea right, just like AIG, Citi, and all the others....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Real Estate Investing: March Housing Numbers

Hello Everyone:

March 09 housing numbers are in! Existing home sales are down 3% over Feb 09 sales, with foreclosures up 49% over last year at this time.

Hot spots for foreclosures: Las Vegas, NV , Florida, Charlston, SC and IL; in fact 1 out of every 22 homes in Vegas are in foreclosure - scary!!!

That being said, now is a great time to get involved in lease options, it's the ultimate escape clause with control without ownership! For more information on lease options please visit :

Be well,

James Gage

Monday, April 13, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Tip of The Month

Hello Everyone:

Have you ever had a great real estate deal, but was unable to go through with it because it was in a flood zone & you couldn't get flood insurance? Or, you could get it through your agent, but you would have to sell one of your children?

Well, that is a thing of the past! The government has set up a program through FEMA to assist home owners and renters obtain flood insurance starting at $119.00 per year - please visit : for more information.

Be well,

James Gage

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Real Estate Investing : Article of The Month, Real Estate Success Strategies

The PMA “Secret”: It’s All in Your Execution

By James A. Gage

Do you find yourself struggling with keeping a positive mental attitude (PMA)? Does reading or watching the news make you feel like there’s no point in trying to sell or buy real estate? Did you attend a conference recently and come home all pumped up – only to feel like a deflated balloon a week later?

Yes, the standard advice for developing PMA works – i.e. read self-help books, attend conferences, have goals, etc. But, none of these tactics will work if you fail to act.

That’s why I believe the real secret to PMA is taking action – versus simply believing the universe will send you what you want. What do I mean by this? Here are my three tips for achieving action-based PMA:

1. Look for opportunities in negative data.

It’s a fact: we’re in a recession. And yes, the real estate industry has been hit – hard. You have two options: you can get very depressed and give up or you can figure out how to survive and thrive.

We live in a time when data is easily accessible and plentiful. Instead of ignoring the news, learn how to disseminate hype from fact. This means that you take “negative” data and look for trends and opportunities within it – or as I say, “go where they ain’t fishin’.” Even though 25% of people were unemployed during the Great Depression, you could still find millionaires because these people knew where to fish.

When foreclosures began to skyrocket, I didn’t look at the numbers of foreclosures only. I also noticed a huge surge in people renting because they were losing their homes and didn’t qualify for a prime loan. I remember thinking, “Woo, wait a minute. I have to change my strategy.”

I knew I could take my properties and turn them into traditional rentals and wait out the market – or I could make this negative data work for me – which lead me to really looking at my lease-to-own strategy.

I’d always done lease-to-owns but due to the rental data, I put my lease-to-own strategy on steroids – and it’s working. My first step was to place a small ad on Craigslist. Due to this ad, I received an unbelievable 150 calls! I haven’t seen the numbers I’m now seeing – ever.

2. Look for inspiration outside of the real estate industry.

If you read history, you’ll know that downward trends, no matter how severe, always pass, so it’s important to get your head out of real estate, real estate, real estate and into other sources of inspiration – not just for positive mental attitude but for a fresh perspective.

One place I find inspiration is in my children. If I don’t stay positive and proactive, they won’t have a future.

I listen to John Maxwell, a former pastor and International motivation speaker, who is very down to earth and practical. He talks about how we’re not reinventing the wheel and how the struggles we’re going through now we’ve already done. He helps me keep things in perspective.

And, I take specific theories for living and apply them in different ways. For example, I’ve transferred the concept of homostatius ( def: physiology metabolic equilibrium actively maintained by several complex biological mechanisms that operate via the autonomic nervous system), a medical term for keeping the body in balance at all times.

PMA gurus talk about not hanging around with negative people. Applying the principal of homostatius, I’ve learned that I don’t want to hang around with those people who use extreme PMA techniques.

You can find lots of real estate gurus who have what I call “real estate diabetes.” They push the ultra positive things to the hilt and when you try to follow their advice, you end up “failing,” which brings me to my third tip:

3. Set realistic and achievable goals.

It’s very easy to go to seminars and get all pumped up with a “yes, I can!” attitude. You get a huge shot of adrenaline – then five days later you crash as you realize you’re still in the same rut.

You want to think “big” and push yourself, but you also have to set milestone goals that you can realistically achieve. If you’re currently making $100K right now, setting a goal to make $1 million in 12 months is unrealistic.

Instead, set a goal to make $1 million in five years and then set milestone goals to achieve it, and keep working until you achieve your goal (while celebrating those milestones).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying new strategies and failing. Where many people do go wrong is trying new things, failing – and then giving up. Successful people, on the other hand, have can-do attitudes in the face of failure, and will persevere until they achieve their goals.

Keeping a positive mental attitude does begin in your head, but it’s manifested in your actions: search for opportunities where none seem to exist, look for inspiration and advice from successful people outside of the real estate industry, and set realistic goals that you can achieve. You’ll find that it’s much easier to keep a PMA every day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing : Real Estate Article of The Month

Here is your Free March 09 Real Estate Article of The Month. This month I will share with you the 6 steps I use with my mentoring students to get unbelievable bargains in a down real estate market.

If you find this article helpful don’t forget to pass it on to a friend or real estate investing colleague or have them visit http://www.JGage for more educational articles and tips…

6 Steps I use to help my coaching students get some of the best bargains on investment properties - even in a down market !

Study The Market Cycle: Homes in general may take longer to sell these days because of pricing, perceived seller value and a more cautious pool of buyers. But that doesn’t mean sellers are any less motivated to move on with their lives. At one time, we thought little of homes sitting on the market for 90 days or more. These days, we seek buying opportunities if a home has been on the market over 60 days-- and are seeing some heavy price discounting from our buyers if days on market goes over 90 days.

Check Tax Records and other Sources: Is there more debt on the home than what it is worth? Has a Notice of Default been filed that would indicate a looming foreclosure? If so, and if this is a home of interest for our buyer, we submit an offer contingent upon the successful negotiation of a short sale (where the lender sells the property for less than what is owed). In this case, either we or professional negotiators deal with the lender(s) to reach the best possible price for our buyer.

Did Owners Pay Cash or Have They Owned Their Home for Longer than 10 Years? These sellers may be in a position to sell at a discount or may be motivated to do so due to life transitions or other investment opportunities. They may also be open to owner-financing for all or part of the home mortgage. Become knowledgeable about installment sales and other creative financing strategies.

Are You Open to Rehab? Homes sold in as-is condition, typically REO (Real Estate Owned) properties, are more likely than others to sell at a substantial discount. Even owners, especially when the home has been on the market for some time, are often overwhelmed with the thought of remodeling and updating–and fearful that their decor choices will not suit potential buyers. In many markets, older or outdated homes are sometimes sold at land value.

Foreclosure Sales: The foreclosures are occurring even in the luxury home market. Highly leveraged homes purchased in the last few years are more frequently ending up on the courthouse steps. Foreclosure purchases, which require cash and carry no disclosures or guarantees, offer both great potential for profit–and big dangers for the uninformed. Bidding should be non-emotional and it is best to have a professional bidding for you–but only after thorough-as-possible research has been done regarding the home’s condition, its history and resale potential. Cracked slabs, structural defects and boundary line encroachments are unwelcome surprises.

Why Check Out The Realtor: If the property you want is listed, has your agent check the other real estate agent’s listing history. If that agent tends to have listings on the market for a long time, you may wish to lower your offer. On the other hand, if the agent prices properties aggressively and has short “days on market,” you may consider coming in near to, at, or over list price. You will likely find those listings already priced at or below market to attract multiple offers.

A combination of patience, perseverance and the ability to move quickly will serve all astute buyers of real estate these days, but the greatest potential of all may lie with properties whose replacement value could far exceed the purchase price--or those with great locations. Therefore, have your mode of financing in place and have your buyers lined up in your database for a quick and profitable transition.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Housing Strats Surge or Did They?

Hello All:

Well, Wall Street is doing back flips on today's surprising surge in housing starts of 22.2% ! But if you look a little deeper you will find the surge is based on speculators who are building apartment building complexes; anticipating increased demand for rental units.

I'll give you my take on what that means for you and me as creative real estate investors on my next blog entry.

Be well,

James Gage

Monday, March 2, 2009

Real Estate Investing Article:Recipe for Successful Real Estate Investing

Yes, I did say recipe, not a cookie cutter formula. You see in my humble opinion cookie cutters are good for one thing – making cookies! Each real estate transaction that you will do will have some things in common, however, most have different logistical and or legal considerations, which make each transaction unique.

Sense most recipes usually have one or more interpretation by the chef(s); here are my essential ingredients to a successful real estate transaction.

1. Know Your Market: This can not be stressed enough in these challenging investing times. Know what investing strategies and techniques will work for maximum profit and leverage in your geographical area.
2. Know Your Exit before you go in the Entrance: Another words, know what you will do with the property before making an offer or instituting a leveraged investing strategy such as a lease option.
3. Budget 20% Above “Fix Up Cost” Estimates : Why? Unforeseen circumstances! In contractor lingo that means “we didn’t know the walls were horse hair plaster, when we gave you the quote”. You get the idea, it’s better to over budget and pocket the overage, rather than start financially hemorrhaging because your profit margin is shrinking faster then the balance in your IRA account due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
4. Be Pro Active: Stay in the game. If you’re working with a real estate agent don’t leave it to them to handle the deal. This is especially true with short sales; most real estate agents don’t know how to facilitate a short sale, so in order to get a YES from the bank you must insert yourself into the equation. Ask questions, demand answers and know who the players are and how to contact them.
5. Have Your Buyer or Tenant In Place: Contrary to some modern day gurus who tell you to find and complete the deal, and people will magical appear to buy or occupy your property – that just doesn’t make good financial sense. Does the movie “Pacific Heights” ring any bells?
My take is to have someone waiting in the wings who is already pre-qualified and is looking for that particular property, in that particular neighborhood. This ingredient goes hand in hand with ingredient # 2 at the beginning of this article, so before you sign on the dotted line for any property make sure you have a winning investing plan in place.

There you have it my essential ingredients to a successful real estate transaction; use them and never worry again about coming out on the short end of the real estate investing stick.

To your success…

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Real Estate Education Tip: Who do you listen too?

One of the most important questions you have to answer for yourself as you build your real estate investing business is who are you going to listen to and learn from?

This is especially true now with so many real estate investing gurus/coaches vying for your attention and screaming “me, me, me!”

I have found that there are 3 types of “teachers & trainers” in real estate investing, and only one type is always worth following:

Type 1 - Someone who has read a book or gone to a seminar on a topic, has never successfully done it, and is now going to teach you how to do it. I recommend my RLH response here: Run Like Hell!

Type 2 - Teacher has successfully done what you want to learn, is going to teach you, but is no longer doing it. Approach with caution: while you might be able to learn some good tips and strategies, you will be learning what got them where they are, not what they are doing right now to be successful. You won’t learn leading edge new stuff.

Type 3 - Teacher has successfully done what you want to learn, is going to teach you, and continues to do what is being taught. With this kind of teacher you get it all: what got them to where they are, what they are doing now to continue to grow, and what are the new next steps and strategies to keep you moving forward.

This is the kind of teacher with whom I will spend my time and money. By the way type number 3 has been my One-on-One Mentoring philosophy for over 20 years!

My recommendation: Learn from and follow only those who have done it, are teaching it, and continue to do it in their own businesses every day.

If you agree with my philosophy why not check out my mentoring program at :

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: New Short Sale Formula

I received an e-mail today from a fellow investor asking me if I had made any changes to my short sale formula I use to submit offers to banks and mortgage companies; as a matter of fact I had and now I am sharing it with you my faithful newsletter subscribes.
I hope this helps you do many successful short sales.

Be well,

James Gage

PS: Don’t forget tomorrow at midnight ends my 50% off offer on my “Probate Investing Made Easy Package” normally priced at $37.00, but yours for $18.50 when you enter promo code 555 on the check out page :

The “New” Making a Short Sale Counteroffer

“Crunching Numbers “

The following is excerpted from proprietary material created by James A. Gage of Gage Consulting Group, LLC,
Copyright © 2009, not to be reprinted or reproduced without the consent of GCG.

Although some of your initial offers will be accepted, you must also be prepared if the lender rejects your offer. Just because your first offer is denied does not mean that the deal is dead. This is now the perfect opportunity to learn precisely what you have to do in order to close the short sale.

The first thing you will want to do before making another offer is find out from the lender exactly why the first offer was rejected. Here are several key factors that may result in your offer being rejected.

1. They will not net the required amount needed to justify accepting your short sale offer. Simply speaking, your offer was too low!
2. The lender is adamant that they can do better waiting for a better offer or foreclosing on the property.
3. They do not agree with the terms of your contract or net sheet.
4. The loan is government insured and therefore they are protected against a foreclosure.
5. The investors of the loan are asking for more money to close out the loan.
6. You tick the loss mitigations rep off so bad that the last thing they want to do is help you.
7. The hardship was not proven enough to persuade the lender to accept a short sale.
8. The lender would like to explore alternative payment options with the homeowner instead of doing a short sale.
9. Your offer was much lower than what the BPO assessed the house for. This is another example of your offer being too low.
These are just some of the reasons you may get from the lender for your short sale being rejected but the main thing to remember is that you must at least probe and find the exact reason why.

I can confidently say that the main reason your short sale offer will be rejected will be because the offer is too low. Remember, the lender’s number one priority when doing a short sale is how much money they will net.
The best way to find out how much the lender needs to net is to just ask! Once you identify the right loss mitigations rep you can simply ask:

"How much do you need to net if we agreed to a reasonable short sale offer?"
Will the lender tell you how much? That is to be determined after you ask the question. The point is that you will never find out unless you throw it out there.
Even if you don’t find out initially, the next best time to ask is prior to the counteroffer.

You want to start and maintain a constructive dialogue with the loss mitigations rep where you are constantly probing for information that will determine what your best offer will be.
When I do short sales, I mainly develop my initial offer based on how much equity or profit I want to make with each deal. However, from time to time when I’m preparing a counteroffer I use a formula to help me come up with the most accurate guess on what I think the lender is willing to accept. If used correctly, this formula alone will more than pay for the price of this course 1000 fold.
Here it is...

Step 1: I take the estimated or actual BPO amount or the value of the house, based on the comps then multiply that number by 65%.

$175,000 (Estimated BPO value) X 65% = $113,750
Step 2: I then take the number I got and multiply it by 92%

$113,750 X 92% = $104,650
If this were an actual deal, I would use this final number or something close to give me my counteroffer amount. Although I have reason to believe that the lenders use a similar formula when they determine the amount they are willing to accept on a short sale, I cannot say that this is exactly it.

I do know that this formula does two things.

1. It gives me a calculated number to use for my initial offer or counteroffer.
2. It allows me to breakdown to the lender how I came up with my offer.

Be resilient yet realistic when making your counteroffers. Understand that it may not stop with the first counteroffer. You may have to counteroffer a 3rd or 4th time just to get the amount down to where the lender feels comfortable to accept. At times it may only be hundreds of dollars that you are negotiating.

If you are game for a strategic a methodical approach to negotiating your offers you can always use my 3 step approach to getting your offer accepted.

Step 1: The first offer will be used to get the number that you and the lender are negotiating down to tens of thousands.
Step 2: The first counteroffer will be used to either close the deal or get the number that you and the lender are negotiating within thousands.
Step 3: The second counteroffer will be used to either close the deal or get the number that you and the lender are negotiating within hundreds. Usually at this point, the lender is the most flexible and the loss is obviously not as great.
Another thing to consider when determining your counteroffer is if in fact it even makes sense to offer one. Sometimes the lender is non-negotiable and will only accept what they will accept. Period!

If this is the case does it make sense to continue trying to persuade someone who is not willing to work with you? You have to make that decision on a case by case basis.
The most important thing to remember when making your counteroffer is that the deal has to make sense for you. I’ve seen investors get their short sale accepted but fail to agree to an amount that is highly profitable.

Like I mentioned, I cannot determine the value of your time and effort. That is something that you must decide, but I can say that short sales are big money deals and if you are making offers that do not put a lot of money in your pocket you are probably leaving it on the table for someone else to enjoy.

To your success,

James A. Gage

Monday, February 16, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Go where they aint fishin...

James Gage here with Gage Consulting Group hoping that this e-mail finds you and yours in good health.

One of my greatest mentors, who made a great impact on my life, was a gentleman by the name of Paul Gutierrez. Paul was an average Joe by today’s standards, hard working with limited education, but what he lacked in classroom hours he made up one hundred percent in wisdom.

He was the one that told me one day while we were fishing “ Jim, you gotta go where they aint fishin”...

That phrase has guided my investing strategy for over 22 years and I would now like to pass it on to you, so you too can also profit like I do from this simple phrase.

That being said...

What are you going to do to improve your real estate investing business in 2009?

I know that this is a question that many of us are asking ourselves this time of the year as spring approaches.
Many of us made New Years resolutions last month – are you keeping them?

Did you know that one of the best kept secrets to not breaking a new year's resolution?

Not making them!


Why not start this evening...You know February 15, 2009.

Get a jump on all the other people who are going to Wait until next year!

What I am about to reveal is a little used strategy to make money in real estate. is not Bankruptcy!

Yes...there are very few people using this strategy.

Yes...many of these properties ALREADY HAVE EQUITY! will learn a TON on how to expand this lucrative strategy. can implement this strategy as early as next week!

What is it?


Discover The Proven Steps To Buy Property 50 -60 Cents On The Dollar even in a down market through Probates !

Nationally known real estate investor James Gage will show you :

How to buy property 50- 60 cents on the dollar
How to find properties
How to negotiate like a seasoned pro
What paper work is involved in the transaction
How to turn Probate property around in record time

with this jam packed CD Package – “Probate Investing Made Easy” .

James takes the mystery and uncertain out of this lucrative, leveraged real estate investing technique.

Before I let you go to read over exactly what this package contains, many individuals have called me and ask if I would put together a step-by- step affordable Probate package on Probate investing, well your wish is my command. I have put together a step by step compressive package on that very subject please visit the following link for more information:

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 (February 15 - February 18 ) 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.

So please visit the link provided for more information on this jam packed Probate Made Easy Package :

Don't forget promo Code 555

To your success,

James A. Gage

With this jam packed informational package you will never have to worry about how to invest with Probate properties again.

What you will learn with this powerful Probate package :

On CD 1 James, will teach you the ABCs of successfully Probate investing:

* How to buy property 50- 60 cents on the dollar
* How to find properties
* How to negotiate like a seasoned pro
* What paper work is involved in the transaction
* How to turn Probate property around in record time

On CD 2 you will receive James’s Power Point presentation that he uses to teach people One-On-One how to invest with Probates, This presentation will be a timeless resource for you to refer back to.

And as a bonus, you will receive the very letter that James uses to this day for contacting the individual(s) in the Probate process!

And of course like all of James's products you will receive much more.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Fannie Mae raises loan limits for investors

Hello All:

Here is some breaking investing news...

Fannie Mae has announced on their website that the 4 loan limit has been removed, and, under certain circumstances, will allow an investor to have up to 10 loans.
This is great news for investors who are picking up foreclosures and keeping them for rental or selling on lease options.

Check out FNMA's website :

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Stop Drinking The Kool Aid !

Hello All:

Did you read the headlines today? Chrysler sales plunge 55 pct; GM, Toyota also down !

Is it just mean or did we, the tax payers, just bail out the big 3? Why yes we did...
Answer me this, why on earth would anyone keep investing money into a losing business model; can anyone tell me the answer to this seemingly million dollar question?

But that is exactly what real estate investors have been doing in these challenging investing times. Let me explain...

For far too long during this cycle I have witnessed countless investors drinking the "Kool Aid" of these so called Gurus trying to convince individuals to hand over the hard earned cash to learn about a strategy that can not possible work in this economic cycle. I understand that people like to surround themselves with winners, but most are just glorified salesman and have no interest in your success - just your wallet.

Some may say that James Gage is jealous of those hundreds of thousands of dollars made in cramped hotel rooms for 2-3 days of work. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I have purposely structured my business model in such a way that I can work One-On-One with people while I continue to do my own deals. Not only doing I think that the individual mentorship approach is the only way for maximum success, but I believe that only one who chooses to teach another, anything, you must be actively involved in it while you are teaching that individual.

So that being said, join with me today and vow to stop drinking the Kool Aid in every aspect of your life.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Real Estate Investing: Breaking News

As many of you know yesterday the real estate data came out for the month of December 2008, and in the famous line from the Wizard of OZ “Are you a good Witch or a bad Witch?’

Let’s go over the numbers: Existing home sales up 64%, median home price down 15.3% to $175,400 compared to December 2007 numbers.

Some say this is the housing bottom we have all been waiting for and January’s numbers will be even better with median homes prices increasing.

I say NO! What a surprise. This is what is known as a data head fake! You see the media outlets are so desperate for a glimmer of positive news that they will take bad news and try to put a positive spin on it.

Let’s further break down how I came to my conclusion…

First, inventory generally decreases in the winter months, ask any realtor, so less inventory means better news for existing listings.

Secondly, most sellers who can’t sell their homes or have had their homes on the market for numerous months are taking them off the market and attempting to rent them out to stop or attempt to stop the financial hemorrhaging, thereby further reducing inventory.

Thirdly, the above numbers are a reflection of Short Sales and REO properties that banks and mortgage companies are unloading, coupled with deeply discounted properties AKA “Fire Sales”. I have always told my students and faithful newsletter subscribers that if you drop the price of anything low enough someone will come along and buy it, and that doesn’t mean there is a positive trend developing in the real estate market.

Finally, more inventory will be hitting the market in February and March due to loans readjusting again and more individuals will unfortunate loose their homes with the unemployment rate racing towards 10% nation wide.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Be well,

James Gage

PS: Now is a great time to do lease options, especially in a market which has lost its’ way:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Don't Forget Your Abatement!

Hello All :

Just a quick note to remind you that in most states your last day to file for a real estate abatement on property taxes is January 31, 2009. You can fill out these requests for abatement for both residential and investment properties on a yearly bases.

For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, I'll recap briefly the process. First, you call your town or city assessors office and ask for an "Abatement " form , and of course the time from to file. Next you fill in all the requested information, along with making a compelling statement on why they should reduce the assessment on your property. Then, file it with the right governmental office and await their reply.

It has been my experience that most organizations will at least decrease your assessment, even by a few dollars for taking time to apply to the process, others will grant you a substantial reduction.

Remember, you have not, because you ask not !

Be well,

James Gage

PS: Don't forget to follow me on Twitter :

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Part 2 2009 Predications for Our Economy


My last post I promised to give you what I believe is the answer to combating my 2009 Predictions on the economy and the real estate investing industry which we are a part of.

The previous post is just a few elements of what I see happening in 2009, I hope they don’t happen, but 90% of my predictions last year have unfortunately have come true…

The good news here is if you start planning and taking steps with the info I have given you in these few lines you will be able to survive the storm, Remember, even in the “Great Depression” there were people who profited and actually became millionaires.

So what do I suggest?

  1. Become a leveraged investor through the use of lease options, assignments of short sales and probates.
  2. Buy silver to hedge against inflation - it is getting ready for a big move per ounce.
  3. When investing in the stock market use “Options” – play the cycles, get in and get out.
  4. Play the cycles in the Forex market.

Until next time be well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: 2009 Predications for Our Economy

Hello all:

As I do every year I would like to give you what I see happening in the coming year in our economy.

  1. You will see gasoline prices increase once again.
  2. You will see oil prices escalate once again as speculators and corporations manipulate the oil and oil futures market !
  3. You will see unemployment increase further towards 10% or more !
  4. You will see the stock market increase to Dow 10,000 or even 11,000 in the months following the installation of the new President, after the optimism is gone and reality sets back in the stock market will retreat back into negative territory. We could possibly see Dow 6,000 before all is said and done !
  5. You will see Gold escalate to $1600.00 or higher an ounce !
  6. You will see the further devaluation of the U.S. Dollar against other foreign currencies !
  7. You will see a temporary stabilization of the housing market, and then we will return to the downward trend in home valuations and the foreclosure arena !
  8. You will see more banks fail and more bank mergers, until we end up with 1 or 2 banking institutions. Note: this may take an additional year or two !
  9. You will see your state and local taxes escalate, because federal funding will be greatly reduced or cut off entirely, not to mention business revenue paid to the states will greatly be impacted because they will be going out of business in alarming numbers !
  10. You will experience inflation on the rise in every aspect of our economy !

These are just a few of what I see happening in 2009, I hope they don’t happen, but 90% of my predictions last year have unfortunately have come true…

In my next blog post I will give you some ideas on how you can profit from the continuing decline in our economy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Creative Real Estate Investing: Post Follow Up

James Gage here hoping you and yours had a great holiday season. As many of you know, my faithful blog subscribers, I had blogged about what I believe is the next financial tsunami – “Commercial Real Estate” ! Needless to say, I received many e-mails asking me to expand on my comments and my take on the best way to approach commercial real estate. Not only will I expand, but I will give you my take on commercial and residential leases.

As far as commercial real estate goes I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole, unless I could use a lease option! Why? As most of know a lease option has many strategies within a strategy ( for more info on lease options visit my website ) ; remember, if the deal doesn’t workout the way we envisioned it, we can exit without financial harm. The last article I read forecast business closures to accelerate into the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2009 – you do the math on what that translates into vacant commercial properties.

Hopefully we are all on the same page as far as commercial real estate and why we should stay away from it unless we use lease options. That being said, now is a tremendous time to renegotiate leases whether commercial or residential due to the down turn in the economy with your landlords.

In fact I was speaking to a friend of mine who is looking to open a business in the next 30 days in Virginia Beach, VA. Guess what? He was able to get a rent 45% under fair market value and 6 months free rent !!! Talk about landlords being hungry…

So the morally of the story is ask for everything, expect nothing and you will be surprised what you get.

Be well,

James Gage