Archive Monthly Archives: May 2016

Spring/Summer Checklist

Keep your Rentals and your own Home) running smoothly and looking grat with this simple checklist. Making these repairs an/or additions may also attract possible Tenants to that vacancy you have been trying to Rent out!

  • Handout different colored stickers to each Tenant to place on anything in any basements or storage areas that they’d like to “SAVE”. Otherwise in two weeks it’s gone! Cleanout time.
  • Repair window screens and check screening on porches before bug season arrives. Save old screens for patches.
  • Build or repair fences and arbors so they will be ready for planting season.
  • Aerate lawns, de-thatch, rake and bag your first cut. Then you can mulch each week with no leaves or branches.
  • Repair deck boards as needed, remove protruding nails and replace with coated or galvanized screws. Be sure to check and tighten bolts in deck supports.
  • Tighten all the screws, nuts, bolts in any garage doors.
  • Clean and seal wood deck as necessary. Deck stains with at least some pigment lasts longer than clear sealers.
  • Reverse ceiling fans – they should have been blowing upward in the Winter and clean the tops of the fan blades.
  • Check that Winter wind hasn’t lifted vinyl or aluminum siding then repair it.
  • Wash black streaks from the roof. Use prepared cleaner or save some extra money  and mix your own: Combine one part chlorine bleach with three parts water and a handful of trisodium phosphate. Apply to small section of roof with a garden sprayer, let soak 20 minutes, then rinse lightly with a hose. Rain will finish the rinse. This mixture is extremely slippery, use caution if you have to a walk on any of these areas after you’ve sprayed them!
  • Wash siding and gutters with a similar solution. You’ll have fewer streaks if you start form the bottom. Always spray on the horizontal or down, spraying upwards can penetrate between windows or under the siding lap. Always be careful with ladders around power poles.
  • Scrape and touch up exterior paint, paying special attention to window sills, gable vents and garage doors.
  • Complete large exterior painting jobs. Follow the shade – don’t paint in direct sun – and quit before dusk so the paint can dry before dew forms. Cheap paint is not a bargain. For most exterior jobs, look for 100% acrylic and buy at least the “better” quality.
  • Clean gas grill and replace any rusted or damaged parts.
  • Check crawl space for moisture and remove debris. If you spot signs of carpenter ants or termites, call a professional.
  • Clean concrete drives, walk-ways and patios.

Thanks to the Chicago Area REIA

Your weekly news and updates NationalREIA Lori Hudson

36k Completed Foreclosures in March 
This week real estate data powerhouse CoreLogic released their March 2016 National Foreclosure Report which shows national foreclosure inventory declined by 23.2% and completed foreclosures declined by 14.9%, both numbers year-over-year.  The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 42k in March 2015 to 36k in March 2016, representing a decrease of 69.7% from the peak of 117,782 in September 2010.
Rising Compliance Costs Hurt Home Builders 
A new study from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) shows that, on average, government regulations account for nearly a quarter of the price of the average new home.  Three-fifths of that final number, 14.6%, is due to a higher price for a finished lot resulting from regulations imposed during its development.  The other two-fifths of the house price, 9.7%, are from costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot.
CFPB Acknowledges Problems with Regs – Will Seek Input 
The Washington Post is reporting that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has acknowledged problems associated with its attempt last fall to add more transparency to the home loan closing process and is now seeking public input on how to fix them.  Title companies and real estate agents have complained about the confusion and inconsistency brought on by these new “Know Before You Owe” rules, which took effect last Fall.  Reform proposals will be published in the Federal Register and comments from the public will be considered (how nice of them). Then, at some point, the CFPB will issue a “final rule” with the issues they chose to address.  Stay tuned.
Foreclosure Starts Lowest in 16 Years  
The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting that the percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were initiated was .35%, down one basis point from last quarter and 10 basis points lower than this time last year.  In addition, the data reveal that foreclosure starts were at their lowest level since Q2 of 2000.  The delinquency rate for mortgages on 1-4 unit properties remained unchanged from last quarter at 4.77% of all outstanding loans.  This is the lowest rate since Q3 of 2006 and 77 basis points lower than one year ago.
Combining Real Estate Investing with Notes 
RealtyTrac recently featured an interesting article by NoteSchool’s Eddie Speed & Kevin Shortle entitled “Make 5 Times the Profit by Combining Real Estate Investing with Notes.”  In the piece, the duo discuss how a husband & wife team purchased a vacant home using real estate and note investing techniques, instead of the traditional approach of buying and then reselling to a rehabber.  It’s quite fascinating.
Real Estate Industry’s 1st “data mart” 
This August, data-powerhouse CoreLogic plans to launch what it calls Trestle; “the ultimate listing data management and property information tool for brokers, technology providers, and multiple listing organizations.”  Drawing information from over 300 MLS’s, (and their own data), CoreLogic is setting up a virtual data marketplace targeting  brokers, technology providers and multiple listing organizations.
7 Things to Consider Before Investing in a Crowdfunding Project 
There is no doubt that crowdfunding will have an incredible impact on the way real estate deals get done in the future.  We’ve featured many posts about the subject here at REI2Day.  Today’s infographic suggests seven things to consider before investing in a real estate crowdfunding project.

Memory Points Sell! Dave Lindahl

Memory Points Sell!

Dave Lindahl who’ll join us July, 26, 2016!

Memory points can help sell a customer (renter or buyer) on your multi-family property. Sometimes even something small can make your property stand out from the rest. That something small is a memory point. And a memory point is what sticks in potential customers’ minds making them much less likely to forget you and your property.

Anything you can do to increase a potential customer’s favorable impressions of your property brings you that much closer to completing a deal. You can even begin before you show the property. For example, you can set up a model unit for showing  that is home to a unique color scheme. This is likely very unforgettable.

Or, you can give potential residents of a larger multi-unit a memory point of the property’s clubhouse as an inviting community space. One way to do this is by creating the image of a front porch. There are few methods to use to achieve this. You can put out welcome mat; you can put in banisters; or you can create a path through the grassy area to get to the new porch. These are all inexpensive options.

It is a very good idea to get your potential customer interested in your property from the moment he or she enters the leasing office. If customers have to wait for any length of time, give them something to do that provides them with memory points of the property. One idea is to let them view video of the property. This is unique and the experience will stick with them.

You definitely do not want a negative memory point. If you see unhappy residents, keep them out of sight with a rolling display. On this display, you would have floor plans and the site plan. Roll your display away from the unhappy residents and into a friendlier environment.

Another great way to create memory points is to place words in various locations around the apartment or condo unit. These words should be suggestive of pleasant feelings or ideas. Wall decals/stencils are now widely available, or you could make your own cut-outs of words such as “ENJOY” or “HOME” in the dining and/or living rooms. Then, have your agent use the same word in a sentence or two to subtly bring the message home. For example, “You will enjoy meals in your dining room.” Or, “This room feels like home for me.”

As your customer leaves, give him or her something to remember you… A brochure of the floor plan with a written message from you is a great memory point. Also, follow up on the visit with a phone, email or text message to jar the customer’s memory of the unit.

Another nice idea is to create a special greeting to send prospective residents. This could be in the form of an email. And, it could (and should!) include streaming video of the property.

Do whatever you can to make your property stand out from the rest. Create memory points—big or small—that make a lasting impression. This all adds to your investing success!

You have to Rent to Criminals?

HUD’s new guidance on Criminal Background checks places Housing Providers and Municipalities in conflict over the recognition of Arrests!

 For the ten page HUD Guide –  https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=HUD_OGCGuidAppFHAStandCR.pdf

HUD’s guidance includes the banning of arrests from consideration for housing.  While this may seem legitimate, it places housing providers in a very awkward position, as many municipalities have laws and regulations on the books regarding drug users, and justify eviction for drug-related arrests.    HUD states, “As the Supreme Court has recognized, “[t]he mere fact that a man has been arrested has very little, if any, probative value in showing that he has engaged in any misconduct. An arrest shows nothing more than that someone probably suspected the person apprehended of an offense.”  While this harkens back to a better understanding of “innocent until proven guilty,” until the municipal nuisance conflict is resolved, housing providers will face aggressive city enforcement on one side, and assertive housing advocates on the other.  National REIA suggests working with your local housing advocates to address this concerns with municipalities.

National Real Estate Group: HUD goes too far!

NREIA Says Guidelines Will Have Chilling Effect on Criminal Background Checks

HUD goes too far(Cincinnati, OH) The National Real Estate Investors Association (NREIA) said today that new guidelines issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development go too far and will have a chilling effect on criminal background checks used to screen potential tenants. According to HUD, because a disproportionate number of African Americans & Hispanics have criminal records, they face potential discrimination in housing options based on race, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. National REIA believes this would severely restrict a landlord’s ability to protect residents from predictable harm & violence.

From every Congressman who rents an apartment in DC, to the poorest of their constituents in every district, has just been made less safe with HUD’s pronouncement that makes criminal background checks tantamount to discrimination.

Fair Housing Discrimination is a serious issue. No person should be discriminated based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status. For HUD to claim that an individual’s criminal behavior should somehow be protected is a gross violation of the Fair Housing Act, and undermines the First Amendment protection of Free Association.

HUD’s flawed argument on “Discriminatory Effects Liability” makes the case that Safety, is neither a substantial nor a legitimate concern. In fact, according to HUD’s theory, until a property has residents raped, rapist shouldn’t be banned. Similarly, unless there have been murders at the property or community, murderers shouldn’t be banned. Ironically, HUD recognizes that convicted drug manufacturers and distributors can be banned, because of specific federal language, only to make exceptions for those who use drugs, or are convicted of any other criminal act!

The approach recommended by HUD, to individually consider each applicant flies directly in the face of HUD’s stated policy and directive from Congress, to treat each person equally. Today’s guidance does little more than try to make the criminal class a protected class – beyond the scope of congressional authority granted by the Fair Housing Act.

Charles Tassell, Chief Operating Officer of NREIA said “While we agree that an arrest is not a justifiable reason to deny housing, after all a person is innocent until proven guilty, the banning of convicted criminals is an entirely separate issue.”

Tassell further stated that “the safety of the renting public should not be sacrificed.”