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by The Bass Group

Billionaire Says Real Estate is Best Investment Possible

Billionaire money manager John Paulson was interviewed at the Delivering Alpha Conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. During his session he boldly stated:

"I still think, from an individual perspective, the best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you're the owner-occupier of.”

Who is John Paulson?

Paulson is the person who, back in 2005 & 2006, made a fortune betting that the subprime mortgage mess would cause the real estate market to collapse. He understands how the housing market works and knows when to buy and when to sell. What do others think of Paulson?

According to Forbes, John Paulson is:

“A multibillionaire hedge fund operator and the investment genius.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Paulson is:

“A hedge fund tycoon who made his name, and a fortune, betting against subprime mortgages when no one else even knew what they were.”

Why does he believe homeownership is such a great investment?

Paulson breaks down the math of homeownership as an investment:

"Today financing costs are extraordinarily low. You can get a 30-year mortgage somewhere around 4.5 percent. And if you put down, let's say, 10 percent and the house is up 5 percent, which is the latest data, then you would be up 50 percent on your investment."

How many are seeing a 50% return on a cash investment right now?

Paulson goes on to compare the long term financial benefits of owning verses renting:

“And you’ve locked in the cost over the next 30 years. And today the cost of owning is somewhat less than the cost of renting. And if you rent, the rent goes up every year. But if you buy a 30-year mortgage, the cost is fixed.”

Bottom Line

Whenever a billionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This billionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.

Freedom from Mortgage Frustration

by The Bass Group

In the news you've been reading a lot lately about talk of the housing recovery. All of the experts that had talked so strongly about the negatives of the housing market have now all jumped onto the bandwagon proclaiming the recovery is now here! They are finally feeling more optimistic about the state of the housing industry in America. However, if you or someone you know is one of the millions of homeowners who is stuck with a home on which you owe more than the property is worth, the feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Many people don't realize that just because they are in danger of losing their home to foreclosure doesn't mean they have to wait around for it to happen. With help, they can take matters into their own hands.

As Certified Distress Property Experts (CDPE) in the Boca Raton, Florida real estate market, we make it our business to know all of the ins-and-outs of the options that are available for people who are in danger of losing their homes and help the challenges head on. We have helped dozens of South Florida homeowners in the past year.

Contact us today to schedule a free, Confidential, consultation today.

The Bass Group

info@bassgroup.com

561-218-1230

The Foreclosure Fairytale

by The Bass Group

It's amazing just how much misinformation is out there.

It would not surprise me to find out that you have heard (sometimes from very professional sources) that a foreclosure is sometimes the best option for you. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the vast majority of homeowners out there how are in danger of losing their homes, a short sale represents a vastly superior option.

The reality is that a foreclosure is a devastating option for a number of reasons.

As real estate professionals in Boca Raton Florida we have earned the designation of Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and have helped dozens of family with short sales in the past year. We have put together all of the benefits of a short sale over a foreclosure in a free report that is available to anyone.

Contact us for a free copy of the report entitled "The Foreclosure Fairytale"... read it over in your own time, and then contact us for a free, confidential consultation.

The Bass Group

info@BassGroup.com

561-218-1230

A Great Testimonial.....

by The Bass Group

We hired Gail to be our realtor in both selling our home and buying our new home. We sold our East Boca townhome back in July of last year. The market was terrible, and Gail helped us sell it in just 3 months. It's difficult to sell in a community where there are so many other apartments on the market at the same time as yours. Not only did we sell our place quickly, but it sold for more than ten thousand dollars more than similar properties in our same development. She gave us advice on how to stage our home properly for quick sale, and created marketing materials for potential buyers to take with them after viewing the property. Gail was super professional every step of the way, and she was always looking out for our best interest. She clearly answered and explained every question we had, and she always got back with us promptly when we left her voice mail or email. I highly recommend Gail, because she's been in South Florida for over 30 years and really knows the area inside and out.

In addition, Gail helped us find our new home in West Boca the very first day she took us house hunting. She picked my brain before we ever started looking in order to get a feel for our needs. The third house she took us to was the one. We made the offer 3 days later, and the offer was accepted on the first shot. Not only that, but the house appraised for more money than we offered. We actually close this Friday. Everything has run so smoothly with both the selling and buying of our homes, and I have Gail to thank for that. She is a true professional! Gail also has so many great contacts in all aspects of real estate, that we ended up using her recommendations on a mortgage broker, inspectors, and movers. I plan on staying in this place for a long while, but in the event I have the need to move again, Gail has earned a customer for life. 

E.R. Boca Raton

Where is the Real Estate Market Headed in 2012?

by The Bass Group

There’s both good news and bad news on the foreclosure front for Boca Raton real estate.

The good news? According to RealtyTrac’s Year-End 2011 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, total U.S. foreclosure activity and the foreclosure rate were both at their lowest annual level since 2007.

The bad news? Foreclosure levels were artificially lowered due to delays following the robo-signing scandal. However, those delayed foreclosures will likely reappear in 2012.

There were strong signs in the second half of 2011 that lenders are finally beginning to push through some of the delayed foreclosures in select local markets. That trend is expected to continue this year. Fortunately, both the financial and government sectors are more committed than ever to finding alternatives to foreclosure, including short sales. In fact, Bank of America expects a 60-70% increase in short sale closings this year.

Veros Real Estate Solutions recently released its real estate market forecast 2012. Their findings indicate “the national housing recovery will continue to be gradual and slow without any significant changes in markets.” They predict up to four percent appreciation in the strongest markets, including Fargo and Bismark, North Dakota; the Washington, D.C. area; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Anchorage, Alaska. Veros is also projecting the five weakest markets—which include areas of California, Nevada and Florida—to depreciate five to six percent over the next year.

On Jan. 4, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a letter and white paper to Congress outlining his insights and recommendations on restoring the health of the U.S. housing market.

Among the key findings on current market conditions:

  • Housing prices remain 33% below their early 2006 peak
  • Currently, 1 in 5 mortgage holders are underwater (12 million homeowners)
  • In states with the price declines (i.e. Nevada, Arizona and Florida) roughly half of all mortgage borrowers are underwater on their loans
  • The number of properties currently in the foreclosure process is more than four times larger than the number of properties in REO inventory

The white paper suggests that no single solution exists and that progress will come through “persistent and careful efforts to address a range of difficult and interdependent issues”—a position we have always stressed. Among these efforts, the paper strongly recommends incentives for alternatives to foreclosure, namely a short sale or deed-in-lieu.

The white paper also emphasizes a fact we are all too aware of: foreclosures drive down property values in the surrounding area and lead to a “ripple-effect” that harms homeowners, lenders and taxpayers alike.

One of the scariest figures we’ve heard in a long time is that almost 90% of all homeowners that go into foreclosure have never talked to a Realtor about how a loan modification or a short sale can help them out of a horrible situation.

It’s Still A Local Market

Statistically Palm Beach County real estate is showing a 19.7% decline in the number of homes on the market. Sales for the 4th Qtr of last year were up 10.3% over the same Qtr of 2010. The Average Sold Price was virtually the same as the year before and the days on market has dropped slightly.

In West Boca Raton (West of the Turnpike), the numbers are even better. The listing inventory is down 24% while sales in the 4th Qtr of 2011 were UP 18.7% over 2010. Both the median and average prices have declined slightly as has the average time it’s taken for a home to sell.

Locally for Boca Raton real estate, the news is nowhere as scary as you read in the national news or hear in the media. The reality is that overall Boca Raton real estate is a strong market!  Personally we can tell you that when homes are priced correctly for the market, and the home is in “showable” condition, we receive multiple offers on it.

As your Boca Raton neighborhood real estate experts and trained Certified Distressed Property Experts, we can share with you the benefits selling your home with The Bass Group. Give us a call today at 561-251-3520 and talk to one of our trained experts or visit us online at www.BassGroup.com

 

Who's the Best Agent to Use...

by The Bass Group

The other day we received this question from a local resident. Since it's something we're asked from time to time we thought we'd post it here....

Gail: We are considering selling our home and have interviewed a couple of local agents. My sister who lives out of town has recommended that we interview the agent who sold her home. The agent’s office is about a hour drive from our property. What are the differences in choosing a local agent as opposed to one from another town such as Palm Beach Gardens?  Carole

Thanks for the great question, Carole. When I first started selling real estate in the mid-1980’s, things were considerably different, with limited access to information on homes. With the public having more access to homes online one would think that using an out of town vs a local agent would make little difference. Let’s take some time and explore the differences.

Choosing either agent, your home will be marketed on the Multiple Listing System; this is a given. However, once the home is on the MLS system you might see some differences that can help or hinder.

Once the home is placed on MLS how would local agents, like ourselves, attract serious buyers to your home?

- Go thru the leads in our database that we have collected. Contacting all of the leads that have called or emailed us on other properties similar to the one listed for sale. 

- Network the property with our office colleagues and the sphere of local agents.

- Hold an agent open house to promote the property to the local agent community.

- Host a public open house and advertise the home to the public in ways that have been proven effective.

- Market the home to the data base of agents who have shown other local listings.

Having the experience to market homes in ways that are effective is one of the most important issues to selling a home.  Knowing the tools the local buyers use to look for homes allows the marketing to placed in front of the most buyers. Once the agent has attracted a buyer who is interested other factors come into play.

Being an expert in the community is also a key element in getting your home sold.  Potential buyers tend to ask similar questions when responding to an ad. Questions such as: what are the schools rated?, is there a dog park in the area?, or what are the most popular restaurants in town? Buyers purchase homes to meet their lifestyle needs. It is not unusual for a buyer to ask dozens of questions about services, schooling and leisure options when “scoping” out a potential home.

Once the buyer has selected a home from one of our marketing sources and made the decision to view the home, how fast can the agent be at the property to show it to the buyer? It is not unusual for a buyer to call me from a brochure or from the “for sale” sign and request a showing. If the agent’s office is close by, the showing can happen quickly.  If a agent has a team of Buyer Specialists, like we do, it’s even easier.  Buyers like easy: homes that are easy to find with effective marketing, easy to view when they get excited about the property and agents that are flexible and easy to contact.

Carole, local and out of town agents offer very different services. I would suggest interviewing a few agents, using the above ideas to help you form your questions and choosing the best person for the job. For more information on how to choose an agent to help sell your home or for archived articles on the home selling/ buying process go to www.TheBassGroup.com

Why "Strategic Default" may be wrong.

by The Bass Group

In my last post I mentioned that currently more than 25% of all American homeowners are now "underwater" (owe more on their home than it's worth). Another recent study also found that 36% of all Americans would consider "strategic default" - another way of saying they'll walk away from their mortgage - if they were underwater.

I feel that it's important for people to understand the truth about strategic default.

Foreclosure carries with it many credit issues, both current and future employment challenges, issues with security clearances and possible debt collections... to name just a few. Foreclosure also carries a heavy emotional burden that is hard to quantify, but psychologists rank it right up their with death of a spouse or losing a job.

There are 3 main reasons that the term "strategic default" is misleading:

1.   There's nothing strategic about defaulting on purpose, especially when people have options.... like short sales or refinancing or mortgage modifications... that might keep you from foreclosure.

2.   If you're looking to apply for a new mortgage in the future it will make a difference of at least 5 years less in doing a short sale vs. a foreclosure.

3.   A foreclosure will be on your credit report every time you apply for a home loan, try to buy or finance a car or fill out a job application,etc. It will affect your financial life for years to come.

If you are underwater and can no longer afford your mortgage payments, your need to create a strategy to avoid foreclosure, not a strategic way to default.

For any questions about what steps might be open to you, please call the Bass Group today at 561-251-3520 or visit our website at www.BassGroup.com

 

Do you have Unaffordable Mortgage Payments?

by The Bass Group

A study that recently came out found that only 5% of distressed homeowners knew that there is a choice other than foreclosure. Scarier yet is the fact that only 3% of them took advantage of those choices. It was also discovered that 1 in 4 homeowners took the path of "strategic default", or allowed their homes to go into foreclosure on purpose!

Millions of homeowners in this country are feeling trapped by mortgage payments that are no longer affordable. Over 25% of all homeowners in this country are now upside down on their mortgage... meaning they owe more than the home is worth.

It is clear to us that very few of these people know what their options are. They simply don't understand the fallout of foreclosure or the choices open to them to prevent it. If they did know and understand those choices they would understand that there is nothing 'strategic' about defaulting on a mortgage and that avoiding foreclosure is always the best plan for long term financial stability.

Education is the key. The more that people understand their choices, the better choices they have to make, and the better they are at making the right choices the better off they are at overcoming their financial challenges.

The Bass Group is here to help you understand the choices. We have been helping distressed homeowners to become better educated in the choices they have and to help them build stronger financial futures.

Give The Bass Group a call today at 561-251-3520 or visit us as www.BassGroup.com for a confidential meeting and get started on the right path.

Should I sell now?

by The Bass Group

With the inventory stabilizing and prices finally leveling off many home owners are wondering if they should sell their homes now (notice I said sell... not put it on the market) or wait for a period of time until prices go back up. In the past few months the inventory has dropped by almost 30%. Homes in the under $200,000 price range have been selling with multiple offers and as a whole the entire market has been very active again.

Problem is the REO (Bank Owned) situation. For the past couple of months the pipeline of new foreclosures coming on the market has dried up. The banks are in the midst of cleaning up their records from the Robo Signing mess and haven't actively been foreclosing on any new homes. Nationally the reports show that foreclosures are down almost 30% from this time last year..... So, what's the problem?  As soon as the banks put new systems in place to clean up their paperwork this huge backlog of inventory (shadow inventory) will start hitting the market. It's hard to tell just how large that inventory of homes is, but if you follow the financial news reports it's ranging anywhere from 1.8 million to over 5 million homes. Depending on how fast the banks start moving to clean up this inventory it could have a major impact on the number of homes on the market and therefore the prices.

Bottom line.... don't wait. If you are serious about selling your home, this is the time to make the move. Call the Bass Group today at 561-251-3520 or visit our website at http://www.bassgroup.com .

Price your home to SELL!

by The Bass Group

Too many home sellers are still trying to "test" the market by pricing their homes outside the reality of today's market. While inventory is dropping (we'll talk about that in a later blog) there are still way to many homes that are sitting on the market for way too long. When a home is priced properly you should be seeing multiple offer situations. Is that a result of pricing the home too low? Not really. It's more a function of the reality of the marketplace. We've been saying for a number of years now that we're in a market that's a "Price War and a Beauty Contest". That means that when a house is priced right and shows well it will sell... quickly! Serious buyers who are out there looking to buy a home today know the market... sometimes better than the sellers or their agents. They're comparison shopping, and when they see a home that meets all their criteria, chances are it meets someone else criteria as well. The smart buyer knows they have to move quickly to buy the best house.

My message to sellers... price your home to sell in todays market. For buyers... don't be afraid to pull the trigger when you find the right house.

For more information on buying and selling .... or investing in real estate call The Bass Group today at 561-218-1230 or visit our website at http://www.BassGroup.com

 

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The Bass Group
Keller Williams Realty Boca Raton
7280 W. Palmetto Park Rd. Suite 110
Boca Raton FL 33433
561-218-1230
561-245-4813
Fax: 561-207-7783

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The Bass Group at Keller Williams Realty Boca Raton is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.