Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Making Money in any Market

Sent in by a reader:

"Heh, here's a good one. I went and looked at this place - huge foursquare type, not terrible neighborhood, too bad it's a 100% total ruin (foundation half gone, porch sinking off the front of the house, broken windows, eaves totally shot etc etc). Great big house asking 116K - the punchline is from PortlandMaps, somebody named "Fast Cash House Buyer LLC" bought it in December 08 for 106k. Don't click the link too hard or the place will collapse!"

These guys are proving there's an angle in any market. It looks like they bought the house at a foreclosure auction and are turning around and putting it on the market with no work. No so much as a flip as a wholesaler.

It looks like a great house with lots of original "charm" intact, and a little lot of charm that has been "added" over the years.

Proving once again that he who has cash in a crisis is king. Course you gotta sell it first.

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BB said...

Perhaps before too long the new owner (bank or not) will be ENCOURAGING squatters to live there.

Think I'm crazy? It's happening in Florida:



patient renter said...

Don't click the link too hard or the place will collapse!

LOL. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good option for an FHA 203K buyer.

The profit that fast cash is looking to make seems like to little to bother. After closing costs on the buy and the sell along with some holding costs they are looking at basically a commission with a lot more risk than a Realtor ever takes. Maybe they thought is was better than it was when they made their bid.

bearlee said...

Actually, if it's as bad as reported I doubt if FHA or a VA loan would qualify, especially given the shape of the foundation.

BB said...

Anybody catch this @ 6:30pm on 91.5FM? Marketplace interviewed PORTLAND realtor Carmen Mazzia with Prudential Northwest Properties.

Here are some interesting quotes she lays down in the interview. Priceless! You can't make this stuff up!!!!

"Well, right now it's a great time to be a realtor. Because people who weren't serious about real estate have left. So the professionals have stayed."

"Has it gone down a little bit? Well, some things were overpriced. I mean, I'm not going to lie. I think...I'm sorry...but the media has caused this frenzy, and so a lot of buyers are fearful. But people who wouldn't be able to get into a home before, can now get into a home."

"And we are throwing in landscaping and window blinds. It's a great deal."

Here's the link:



Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor that Prudential NW were evicted from their Hollywood area offices for nonpayment of rent?

Anonymous said...


Why do you doubt FHA would do a loan on that house through a 203K? Do you have any experience with these loans or are you just wishing and talking out your a**?

Anonymous said...

FROM HUD website...FAQ's of FHA 203K loans

"7. What eligible improvements are acceptable under the $5,000 minimum requirement?

A. Structural alterations and reconstruction (e.g., repair or replacement of structural damage, chimney repair, additions to the structure, installation of an additional bath(s), skylights, finished attics and/or basements, repair of termite damage and the treatment against termites or other insect infestation, etc.).

B. Changes for improved functions and modernization (e.g., remodeled bathrooms and kitchens, including permanently installed appliances, i.e., built-in range and/or oven, range hood, microwave, dishwasher).

C. Elimination of health and safety hazards (including the resolution of defective paint surfaces or lead-based paint problems on homes built prior to 1978).

D. Changes for aesthetic appeal and elimination of obsolescence (e.g., new exterior siding, adding a second story to the home, covered porch, stair railings, attached carport).

E. Reconditioning or replacement of plumbing (including connecting to public water and/or sewer system), heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Installation of new plumbing fixtures is acceptable, including interior whirlpool bathtubs.

F Installation of well and/or septic system. The well or septic system must be installed or repaired prior to beginning any other repairs to the property. A property less than 1/2 acre with a separate well or septic system is not acceptable; also, a property less than 1 acre with both a well and a septic system is unacceptable. Lots smaller than these sizes, usually have problems in the future; however, the local HUD Field Office can approve smaller lot size requirements where the local health authority can justify smaller lots. The installation of a new well or the repair of an existing well (used for the primary water source to the property) can be allowed provided there is adequate documentation to show there is reason to believe the well will produce a sufficient amount of potable water for the occupants. (A well log of surrounding properties from the local health authority is acceptable documentation.) Refer to HUD Handbook 4910.1, Appendix K, for additional information.

G. Roofing, gutters and downspouts.

H. Flooring, tiling and carpeting.

I. Energy conservation improvements (e.g., new double pane windows, steel insulated exterior doors, insulation, solar domestic hot water systems, caulking and weather stripping, etc.).

J. Major landscape work and site improvement (e.g., patios, decks and terraces that improve the value of the property equal to the dollar amount spent on the improvements or required to preserve the property from erosion). The correction of grading and drainage problems is also acceptable. Tree removal is acceptable if the tree is a safety hazard to the property. Repair of existing walks and driveway is acceptable if it may affect the safety of the property. (Fencing, new walks and driveways, and general landscape work (i.e., trees, shrubs, seeding or sodding) cannot be in the first $5000 requirement.)

K. Improvements for accessibility to a disabled person (e.g., remodeling kitchens and baths for wheelchair access, lowering kitchen cabinets, installing wider doors and exterior ramps, etc.). Related fixtures such as new cooking ranges, refrigerators, and other appurtenances, as well as general painting are also eligible; however, it must be in addition to the $5,000 requirement."

Looks like bearlee barely has any knowledge. The listing should qualify... Houses in good shape would not.

Anonymous said...

I think you are treading on some very thin ice here. I am seeing more and more hurtful and disparaging things on blogs such as this one. It's like you are all a bunch of vultures feeding on the carrion of other people's suffering. Are you aware that a recent $25,000,000 lawsuit has been settled against a real estate blogger in Florida? It's true. You can find it at http://latimesblogs.com/laland/2009/01/why-blogging-co.html Not that I like lawsuits, but when I read horrible and disparaging comments that are personally directed against Realtors and home owners, well, it makes me feel like there is bound to be some push back.

bearlee said...

My experience is from our home purchase and our 'real estate expert' and a VA loan assessor. We were going to use a VA or an FHA and our 'experts' guiding us through the process said that homes in poor disrepair would not qualify, ie, major foundation problems, structural damage. At the time the VA process was more lenient vs. the FHA route but that was sooo 1998!

So I guess I was talking out of my old realtor's/VA dude's arse!

Thanks for setting me straight Mr. Anonymous:O)

Is anonymous really just "Daycare" in disguise who is quite bitter that he/she took out a $600K Jumbo ARM a few months on a depreciating asset? Don't worry, Portland has 'strong fundamentals' and these lay-offs will have NO impact;O)

bearlee said...

Anon 1:14: I was a homeowner who saw this coming and given my current circumstances, ie, spouse's career change, kids on the way, etc, we sold near the peak and since then I have been called a loser renter, accused of throwing away my $ on a rental, accused of being priced out forever, etc. So sure there is push back.

The tables have definitely been turned in a year, haven't they?

And anyone who didn't see this bubble burst coming was ignoring the red flags all around. Portland ain't that special.

PDX Outsider said...

anaon 1;14.

First off, I have a hard time taking anything seriously from someone posting anonymously.

Secondly, I'm well aware of the risks of lawsuits and it's a risk I'm willing to take, or I wouldn't be doing this. But I don't think anybody has said anything libelous here. I monitor comments and keep them in check.

But most importantly I honestly believe that bloggers and the people that participate on blogs are doing a better job of digging out real information and keeping the government and corporations in check than the mainstream media, who is beholden to their dwindling advertiser base. The only Realtors that are brave enough to post here are the realists who know the market sucks and are facing it head on, not the ones who think "throwing in window blinds" is going to suddenly ignite the market.

And for the record, I'm a homeowner. But not a real estate agent, and certainly not a Realtor.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:14 -- your link is bad (latimesblog.com's registration has expired). Any other source?

For my part, I look forward to the demise of real estate agents (R). I think redfin.com should be allowed to do business in Oregon, but the real estate lobby spent enough money to block them from Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Bearlee, rather than post like you have any idea of what you are talking about, learn the difference between a 203B and a 203K.

203K is a rehabilitation loan and is designed for major fixers like the one in question, that is why I suggested that this house may be a good candidate. 203B is just a mortgage insurance program and it used to require a special structural inspection but has not for over a decade.

Since you once bought a house and talked to an idiot "TOR" you post here like you have something to offer besides negative comments about how all purchases are bad ones. Oh well, it makes time here less valuable for all.

bearlee said...

Sorry, never meant to give the impression that my experiences were anything more than my experiences.

I thought by using the word 'doubt' it would make my comment sound more like a curiosity than fact. I will chose my words more carefully.

BTW I have posted links to some great deals on this blog and over at the Portland Housing Blog, specifically some gorgeous OLD PDX style four squares in the Hawthorne area, foreclosures and short sales, but still good deals IMHO. And most recently a Riverscape property but the taxes were rather steep. Oh, and keep an eye on Polygon's Timberland development, prices are down 25% from 6 month ago if that neighborhood is of interest to you. But must of my posting are over at the PHB.

I find it interesting that there is so much criticism reserved for bubble believers when there are still realtor blogs posting BS about being a great time to buy due to low interest rates, it's a great time to buy because Suze Orman said so, it's a great time to buy due to the tax write off, blah, blah, blah.

Where was the criticism during the last 5 years that lead up to this bursting bubble? The crazy lending was all OK for y'all?

squeezed said...

"but when I read horrible and disparaging comments that are personally directed against Realtors and home owners"

I prefer home-debtor and you forgot the (TM).

Relitters were key enablers of this economic cluster-f**k and deserve all of the disparagement we can muster.

And your link is dead and has an expired domain.

Anonymous said...

Giving it a second go. The link is: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2009/01/why-blogging-co.html
It works when I use it.

PDX Outsider said "I have a hard time taking anything seriously from someone posting anonymously."

I've spent some time surfing around your blog and so far I haven't found anything that identifies who you are. Are you hosting this blog anonymously? If you have it anywhere, you've buried it.

8675-309 Jenny-for a good time call. said...

The new link works, but let's analyze what the basis of the claim was. Here we had a blogger who said someone filed for and went bankrupt, but that accusation was false.

Case dismissed, with a sealed agreement between the parties.

Some REALTORs, such as Charles Turner, hold out to be a public figure. The standards are much lower for public figures. We can bash on Sam Adams, even if we have little, if any, basis for our claim.

Here are some nice resources for you:


And then we cannot forget that everyone is allowed to have his or her own opinion.

Do you really think you are improving the tone here?

I hope you get interesting, get funny or get out.

Greg said...

>"I think you are treading on some very thin ice here."

Regarding the laughable threat to bloggers who post information about the typical real-estate broker and/or speculative home buyer:

Real-estate brokers and speculative buyers are the primary CAUSE for the mess we find ourselves in. The bank bailouts, the TARP, the layoffs, the recession. They deserve nothing more than to be discussed publicly and even figuratively linched for getting us in the mess were in.

BB said...


You have much more patience with that RE troll than I would have.

Good on you!

bearlee said...

BB, Anonymous 203K guy had a good point about the loan options. His delivery just sucked and was a bit harsh in my opinion. He is likely a lender who is struggling and didn't think of saving during the glory days when homes sold themselves and lenders just had to have ink in their pens.

I would be upset, too. And I am. My 401K has been stagnant after losing about 7% in late 2007 but I guess I should be happy that I haven't lost any more.

Anonymous said...

Well don't judge the place by its picture. I saw it in person and I really think any house that requires a new foundation and a new everything else isn't a fixer, it's a vacant lot with a lot of debris to remove. There's a point of no return and sadly, this place reached it long ago. The amount of rehab is probably well more than the asking price, if it's even possible, which I doubt. Go see it, it's hilarious.
-the reader who tipped it