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 : http://twitter.com/JGage

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 http://www.JGage.com ) ; 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