Real Estate Vs. Da Stock Market – Part #3

8 March 2010 | talking about Real Estate, Stock Market

Overview


The point I am going to make in this post is you can use the different markets outside of Real Estate to help with timing your Real Estate transactions. Great timing can do wonders for your bottom line. I have to setup my point so read all the way through. I will put it all together at the end.

To continue my argument, (see past posts), that I believe that at the very least if you are a Real Estate investor you should have an eye on different markets outside of the Real Estate world I am going to highlight Mortgage Back Securities and what it means for the common Real Estate investor.

First lets define what a Mortgage Back Security is, or MBS. More or less a MBS is a bond sold on wall street from the big government backed firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These loans are originated by banks we all know and love. Then the banks sell these loans off to Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac in big pools (collections of mortgages). For example (and to keep things simple), lets say Bank of America lent out 100 thousand dollars to 10 people (total of 1 million dollars). Bank of America collected a bunch of fees for putting the loan together (from the borrower), also mostly likely will get to continue to service the loan (charge more fees for the service of collecting loan payments).

Now, BofA will sell this pool of loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. So the amount of loans BofA is willing to make each week/month/year is almost a factor of how willing Freddie and Fannie are willing to buy the loans.

Once the pool of loans are sold and out of the bank's hands, Fannie and Freddie then bundle the loans up into bigger pools and sells them off on Wall Street as bonds. So when you make your home mortgage payment you send the money to your bank, then the bank send your payment to Fannie and Freddie, and then Fannie an Freddie sends your payment to the owner of the bond. You can learn way more about this process at Wikipedia.

Why should you understand all this?


It is one big chain of influencers; The seller, the buyer (borrower), the bank, Fannie/Freddie, and the bond holder. Each phase of this chain relays on entity below it. So lets look at each phase.
 
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Real Estate Vs. Da Stock Market - Part #2

23 February 2010 | talking about Real Estate, Stock Market

From my first post (Real Estate Vs. Da Stock Market - Part #1) many people contacted me and told me that they disagreed with me. The stock market and the Real Estate market were not the same. Many people expressed that they liked Real Estate, (and made it their "thing"), because they had far more control over the investment. You can pick your tenants, you can pick your lender, you can remodel, and so on. While in the stock market you have no control unless you have the capital to be a major share holder. All you have is the ability to cast your vote in a share holder meeting. While this is true, in fact you do not have much control over the direction of the company you own stock in, you have control over if you own the asset or not. In terms of personal wealth, this is way more powerful than than the direct control you have with Real Estate. Having the ability to liquidate your ownership in an asset within seconds is very powerful. When managing your assets their is two parts; growing your assets, and protecting your assets.

Wise investors can spot a downturn coming, such as the one in late 2007. No one really knows how bad a downturn is really going to be, but a wise investor should know when to shift from capital appreciation mode to capital protection mode. Below are the things you can do to protect your stock and real estate assets in a downturn.
 
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Real Estate Vs. Da Stock Market - Part 1

11 February 2010 | talking about Real Estate, Stock Market

One of the things that drives me nuts, is when I hear people say "Real Estate is my thing", or "Real Estate is what I am into". It is not a drug it is an investment! You buy Real Estate, (as an investment), for it to go up in value and maybe collect rent. Hmmm, that sounds just like buying a stock, and the rent would be the dividend (or even a stock buy back). Real Estate, (from an investment standpoint), is not a way of life. It is not something you are into. It is not "your thing". It is 100% an investment. So many people, particularly young people, don't get that. With this post I am kicking off a series of blog postings talking about the importance of understanding all markets not just the one "you are into".

First of all lets clear somethings up. When I say Real Estate investment I am not talking about your home, or a vacation home. Those have personal emotional aspects; you need a home to live in and you love staying at your ski condo on the weekends. I label these assets as personal property, there is a luxury element you may or may not be paying up for. I am talking about the rental property you purchase, to collect rent, or even flip.

Second thing I want to clear up, I am giving general statements and rough numbers in this blog series. With any investment there is always another side, another stat, another point of view. I get that. This is what makes markets if we all thought the same way no one would buy or sell anything. This is just one man's view. I hope you can share you view points in the comments below.

Lastly, I am not talk to the people that do this for a living. If you are a Real Estate Developer, or a hedge fund manager you have built a business around a particular asset class. While I think every point I am going to make applies 100% to you as well you can make a business case against some of my statements and I might agree with you.
 
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Eviction: The Other Way To Handle It

9 February 2010 | talking about Land Lording, Real Estate

Eviction ImageEveryone thinks being a landlord is all fun and games. You sit back each month and just let the money roll in. I have even talked to some landlords that complain about what a pain it is taking all their rent money to the bank each month. Don't get me wrong, being a land lord can be a very rewarding job, part time or full time, but this week has been particularly hard for me as a landlord. Which reminds me there are times that this job is not very rewarding both emotionally and financially.

I had to evict a tenant this week for being over 30 days past due with rent. These days people are not past due with rent because they are just unwilling to pay rent, they are past due because they truly have no money. This particular tenant truly has no where to go nor the means to go anywhere. The particular labor market this tenant works in is just dry right now. There is no work. So I am left with a very big decision to make; Do I move forward with the eviction, or continue to hold out. Part of me says it is my American duty to help out others in this slow economy, and part of me (the business man) tells me I have to do what is best for my business.

Furthermore, I also have the problem of this tenant might not have anywhere to go. I can post 72 hour notice but the tenant will not leave because they have no where to go. Leaving me with the addition hassle of having to file papers with the local court and have the tenant removed. Normally, this is the best way to go because then you would get a judgement for the amount owed as well, but if the person is not working you will not have any means to collect anyway. So whats the point?
 
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