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Five Fears that Might Keep You from Investing in Real Estate by Diana Hill

You're aware that I consider Real Estate a sound long-term investment. Real Estate can also be used to create cash flow either through rental property or buying and reselling. I refer to this as quick turn Real Estate – kind of like trading... READ MORE


Always Dreamed of Buying a Fixer but Don't Know Where You'd Get the Money? How About a HUD 203(k) Loan? by Diana Hill

When you go to get conventional financing, a lender won't close on the loan unless the condition of the property is enough to ensure the loan. What this means is that a property that needs work (maybe as simple as toilets and fixtures) would be out-of-reach for many buyers because they don't have the cash to buy and rehab the house... READ MORE


It's a Hand Up, Not a Handout by Diana Hill

Last year at this time, I wrote an article about Habitat for Humanity; I'd like to revisit that topic.

I said to my niece the other day that Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. She said, "Oh, you must really like turkey." I laughed and then explained the reasons for my love of Thanksgiving. It's about gratitude – which is one of the pillars of my life. It's about the first Thanksgiving when people of different backgrounds came together for a common cause and had great success. It's about the "can do" attitude of this country. It's also about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, football and TIME with family... READ MORE


What is a Title Insurance Company's Liability When They Provide Title Insurance Versus the Free Information They Give You? A relationship with a Title Insurance company agent is one of the important ones we need on our team for investing (building our team is an exercise we do in class). It's important as an active real estate investor to have this on-going relationship. Frequently, your Title Insurance agent can provide you with free information that is part of doing your due diligence on a deal. This is a great asset; however, we need to be careful on how much we rely on that FREE information... READ MORE


Mortgage Rates at Historic Lows – Things You Should Know if You're Looking for a Mortgage or to Refinance by Diana Hill

Contrary to what the media says, there is money out there being loaned. You must, however, know how the new rules work. The rules are tougher. Unless your FICO credit score is 740 or higher, you no longer can expect to get the best available interest rate, regardless of your net worth, income or how much the property is worth. "Stated-income" mortgages, commonly known as "liar loans," which are mortgages given without income documentation, are out there but MUCH harder to find and expense... READ MORE


What's the Best Website for Real Estate data? by Diana Hill

First, let me start with a couple of updates on the real estate market and the leading indicators.

A freeze on foreclosures for all 50 states by Bank of America (B of A) was announced about three weeks ago. They just announced that foreclosures will resume in about 23 states. B of A says, it has not found a single occasion where a foreclosure proceeded in error... READ MORE


There's a Big Freeze and it's Only October by Diana Hill

I know you have seen the headlines about "FORECLOSURES HALT," but what does it really mean?

The fact is that PNC, JP Morgan Chase, Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC) and B of A have stopped all foreclosure sales for now so that they can review their processes. Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst with Concept Capital, says, "We expect all the major servicers to freeze foreclosures to ensure the paperwork is correct. To do otherwise risks an even bigger backlash if a servicer were to mistakenly foreclose on a borrower."



Homeowners Associations and How They Can Affect Real Estate Investments, Part I by Diana Hill

I had a question from a student not too long ago asking what was the best form of real estate to purchase for rental income, ie, SFR (single family home), Condominium, Townhouse, Duplex and on and on, you get the idea. They can all be good rental opportunities, depending on your strategy and if the property is purchased correctly. One of the things that can make a Condominium or Townhouse less desirable, however, is the HOA (Homeowners Associations) and the rules they create – CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions). Let's take a closer look at how this can affect your investment... READ MORE


Short Sales and the Government - Don't You Just Love It! by Diana Hill

If you have tried to buy a short sale, you know that you better not be in a hurry. A short sale can be one of the most difficult kinds of transactions. Just a quick reminder of what a short sale is: A pre-foreclosure with no equity, it's defined as an asset that is sold for less than the loan balance. For example: If you owe $250,000 on your mortgage, but your home will only sell for $225,000, that's considered a short sale... READ MORE


Will There Really be a Sales Tax on Real Estate? by Diana Hill

I know some of you have heard the rumor about a 3.8% sales tax on real estate. It isn't true, the National Association of Realtor (NAR) has been publishing "Myth Buster" commentaries on this subject since this spring; however, the rumors keep going and growing... READ MORE


What are Homebuilders up to? And, is it a Good Time to Buy a New Home? by Diana Hill

Last week I touched on the idea that buying new homes was a lot easier and maybe even a better deal than buying short sales. So this week, let's take a little closer look at that strategy. But first, we need to know what homebuilders are up to... READ MORE


Short sales: Are They Really the Best deal in Town or Just a lot of Wasted Time and Energy? by Diana Hill

A year ago, people thought short sales were the best way to find bargain real estate. Agents were taking classes to become "short sale" specialists; classes for investors could be found on every street corner or real estate website. So, are short sales really all that great? ..READ MORE


Exploring the 10 Top Metro Areas to Buy Real Estate in the Next Few Years, Part II by Diana Hill

These next 5 markets really interest me because they are smaller, but also because they have seen a smaller drop in prices during this downturn. This fact leads me to believe that these 5 markets are more likely to have steady, sustained growth... READ MORE


Exploring the 10 Top Metro Areas to Buy Real Estate in the Next Few Years, Part I by Diana Hill

Last week, when we looked at the real estate forecast, I listed the markets that experts think will have the most growth between now and 2014. This week, we'll explore the first five of those markets in more detail... READ MORE


The Real Estate Market Today and a Peek into the Future by Diana Hill

The Federal Reserve's Board of Governors came out with their most recent economic forecast and labeled it a "Modest Recovery." The Governors said that, "Yes, we are still in recovery mode, but it's a slow slog." Let's look at data related to real estate and the economy as a whole as it affects the current real estate market... READ MORE


Today's Real Estate Investment Market Requires Creative Financing by Diana Hill

The focus of this article will be on a financing technique known as All Inclusive Deed of Trust (AIDT), also called a Wrap Around Loan.

Simply said, an AIDT takes a preexisting loan and absorbs it into a new loan. The new loan is made by the seller of the property to the new owner... READ MORE


Continuing Down the Multi-Family-Road - What's Better, Four Fourplexes or a 16 Unit Building? by Diana Hill

I'm often asked what kind of investment property I personally like best; it's all good, however, diversification and flexibility are of the utmost importance. It's better to own multiple smaller multi-unit properties rather than one large mega-multi-unit property. I am a big fan of two, three and four unit buildings. There are several reasons.. READ MORE


A Paradigm Shift in the Real Estate Market & Investing by Diana Hill

I believe we've seen the bust side of the boom market and are emerging into a different housing market that is on a (slow) road to recovery. Even if you don't agree with me, one thing I'm sure we can all agree on is that the market isn't going to operate the way it did at the height of the boom cycle.

There are distressed properties all over the market (and will be for sometime). Conventional loans and underwriting rules are much tighter (as they should be)... READ MORE


Is the Real Estate Picture Clear, Mixed or Cloudy (With a Chance of?) by Diana Hill

What are leading indicators and indexes telling us about the real estate market today? We usually start by looking at the Case-Shiller Index which gives us a good view of what home prices did in prior months. These indices (the 10 city and 20 city composite) measure home price changes for 30 of the major cities in the US. A review of the index shows that home values have fallen approximately 32% from the peak in 2005; this decline is truly unprecedented since the Great Depression... READ MORE


Tips for Investing in Your Own Backyard or Thousands of Miles by Diana Hill

"Real Estate investing is alive and well," a recent report states. We are now nowhere near boom-time numbers, but real estate investors are responding to these rock-bottom prices and plunging into their local markets at more than double the rate they were a year ago... READ MORE


The HAFA is Hoping to Make Short Term Sales Uniform & Predicatble for Buyers by Diana Hill

The Obama Administration is at it again, trying to help the housing market and troubled homeowners.

The HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives) program, first released in November of 2009 with an effective date of April 5th, 2010 (although participating lenders were free to adopt the program earlier), has been created to help bring uniformity, predictability and order to the short sale process... READ MORE


"Shadow" or "Black Cloud" Inventory. That's the Question by Diana Hill

There is a term that I often use when conducting workshops and classes related to the real estate market, "shadow inventory." A student asked me the other day what that term meant and why they should be concerned about it. I realized that maybe I needed to spend a little time explaining what "shadow inventory" is and why it's something we have to consider in today's market... READ MORE


Investing in Real estate Through Probate and Eliminating the Competition by Diana Hill

"What is the best, most profitable real estate buying strategy?" Diana answers this question this week and discusses why her answer is Probate, a tool that every real estate investor must have... READ MORE


Muliti-family Commercial Properties Fundamentals - What You Need to Know by Diana Hill

Diana looks into the multi-family sector of the commercial real estate market this week- a part of the market that has fared okay during the downturn and has more upside potential at this time... READ MORE


Really, Do I need a Property Inspection? by Diana Hill

This week Diana discusses the importance of getting a property inspection before you purchase any property... READ MORE


TIC - Real Estate Without Daily Management by Diana Hill

Many of you think of real estate only in the context of either residential or rental property. In this article, Diana revisits a previous topic and shares with you a couple of ways to get involved in real estate that are completely hands-off... READ MORE


It's Time Again to Look at the Real estate and Economic Leading Indicators by Diana Hill

Diana looks at the real estate and economic leading indicators this week. It appears the housing market and economy are headed in a positive direction, but she doesn't characterize it as a "rebound" yet... READ MORE


Valuing My Real Estate by Diana Hill

How do you find out the answer to the question, "What is the value of my home?" Diana walks through how to value what is probably your biggest asset... READ MORE


Commercial Real Estate Market on the Road to Recovery? Part II by Diana Hill

In the second installment of her series, Diana discusses how the Commercial Real Estate Market is more segmented than the Residential. She will look at each market segment and its specific market conditions. There are some great opportunities out there!.. READ MORE


Commercial Real Estate Market on the Road to Recovery? Part I by Diana Hill

There is a question Diana asks in her classes about residential markets and that is, "A Bottom" or "The Bottom?" This article and the next will discuss the "A" or "The" bottom of the commercial market... READ MORE


All Kinds of Government Incentives to Buy a Home Now! by Diana Hill

Diana looks at all the government incentives that might be a good reason to buy a new home right now... READ MORE

Current and Future Effects of New Demographic Trends, Part III by Diana Hill

Diana wraps up her series on new demographic trends and their effect on housing now and in the future. This week she will focus on Generation Y and immigrants... READ MORE


Foreclosure Update and Guidelines for the Novice Auction Goer by Diana Hill

This week Diana gives you an update on the results of the Anti-foreclosure program and gives you guidelines to go by when you participate in foreclosure auctions... READ MORE


Current and Future Effects of New Demographic Trends, Part II by Diana Hill

Diana gets to Part 2 of her series on new demographic trends and their effect on housing now and in the future. This week she will focus on the Younger Baby Boomers and part of the Echo Boomers, Generation X… READ MORE


Positive Movement for Housing Market Indicators – Proceed with Caution by Diana Hill

Diana will discuss the recent publishing of the leading indicators for the real estate industry. She will look at how this positive movement could affect your investing and what the future may hold… READ MORE


Current and Future Effects of New Demographic Trends, Part I by Diana Hill

Diana begins a short series on how the new demographic trends are affecting housing now and in the future. This week she focuses on Aging Baby Boomers… READ MORE


O Canada, the Games, the Real Estate Market and the Future by Diana Hill

The starting of the Winter Olympics prompts Diana to take a look at the current state and future of real estate in Canada. She looks at whether or not hosting the Olympic Games promotes an increase in local housing prices, and if there is a correlating crash in prices after the games are over… READ MORE


Flipping Real Estate in this Market and the Anti-Flipping Rule by Diana Hill

This week Diana defines what flipping is in the real estate world, the anti-flipping rule, and how these affect you as an investor... READ MORE


Want Real Estate in Your Portfolio with No Landlord Hassles? Consider REITs, Part II by Diana Hill

Diana continues in Part 2 of her article and explains why it may be a favorable time to consider REITs, and lays out the criteria for doing so… READ MORE


Want Real Estate in Your Portfolio with No Landlord Hassles? Consider REITs, Part I by Diana Hill

Diana begins a two-part series about REITs. This week she defines them and explains how they work. Next week she'll discuss whether this is a good time to add them to your portfolio… READ MORE