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this week\'s newsHere’s a spattering of articles I’ve stumbled upon this week, and found interesting, relevant and shareworthy…

“Bulk REO Properties – Is the ‘bulk’ REO deal a myth?” (The REI Brain, 7/16/08)

“I have been seeing all kinds of people saying lately that they are “bulk reo property” buyers. Then they go on to say that they have “$1 billion ready for investment”… or “I have access to $400 million”.  Really?  No… I mean… really?  Yes.  Bulk REO package deals with banks are happening.  Mostly in the several hundred thousand dollar to several million dollar range with 3-15 properties…”

“Is that preforeclosure really for sale?” (Inman, 7/17/08)

“Many homes in preforeclosure are not on the market and their owners do not intend to sell them…Listing sites like Yahoo Real Estate and Trulia have been criticized for not taking…steps to make clear that preforeclosures from RealtyTrac that are mixed in with for-sale listings are not necessarily for sale…”

“Avoid probate with TOD deed” (Inman, 7/17/08)

“There are currently nine states that permit a TOD deed, also known as a beneficiary deed, to be recorded for a piece of real estate…In these states, you can record a TOD deed (Transfer of Death) that names your heir as the grantee…upon your death. You would record the deed just as you’d record a regular deed…The big savings: You don’t have to go through probate…”

“Fannie, Freddie problems not pushing rates up” (Inman, 7/17/08)

“Fears that the government will be forced to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may actually be helping drive mortgage rates down, an effect that could be dampened as investors rush back into the stock market this week.”

“Investors Hunt For Bank-Owned Property Bargains In Packs” (Investors’ Business Daily, 7/17/08)

“One man’s castle is another’s commodity. Investors, alone and in groups, are negotiating volume deals to buy bank-owned homes and defaulted first mortgages at deep discounts. It’s a new twist in an upside-down real estate market. Forget negotiating with a bank for one repossessed house — too slow, too pricey. Investors now buy whole subdivisions or bundles of 10, 20 or 50 defaulted loans for pennies on the dollar…”

“Are You a Real Estate Professional? Maybe Not, Says IRS” (Realty Times, 7/17/08)

“If you’re a real estate investor who has ever taken a real estate loss on your tax return, there is a target on your back. For months, members on my Forum have been complaining about being selected for audit, and losing, based on the IRS’s new set of real estate professional guidelines.”