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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AZ Investment Property Appreciation: How to Choose A Neighborhood

Many factors impact how profitable an investment property is, but nothing has a more significant hit to its long-term value than appreciation. It is the #1 way to build wealth within your portfolio.

Selecting the right neighborhood may sound simple, but experienced investors realize that it is critical to get it right. Treating this carelessly impacts the maximum rent you can get on the property, the type of tenant you are most likely to put IN the property, and appreciation. Phoenix neighborhoods can be particularly difficult, because there are pockets of good and bad all over the Valley.

Here are a few savvy tips on choosing the right neighborhood from Noel Pulanco, Realtor® and Sales Manager at HomeLovers, one of Arizona's fastest growing real estate investment and property management companies. Read this newest article on HomeLovers.com for expertise that is sure to make YOUR portfolio more profitable.

Friday, December 4, 2009

When your tenant does the disappearing act, here is what you do.

I'm hoping that you never need this advice, but here is a helpful article on "what to do if a tenant abandons your rental property."

While you may want to just pack up their belongings and have a garage sale, legally it is very important that you follow the right steps.

Getting tired of managing your own AZ rental properties? How this specific situation would be handled is a GREAT question to ask prospective property management companies. Having a property manager with extensive experience can save you from landing in some very expensive hot water.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What Investors Need to Know About AZ Short Sales

by Barbara Broyles, HomeLovers

Short sales are very popular with investors because they represent an opportunity to buy a home at less than market value. However, before stepping into the quicksand, there are a few things investors should be aware of.

You may be riding on the Titanic, so diversify

Short sales are a slow process. We have seen competitive cash offers made six months ago that still have not been accepted by the bank. If you are making offers on only one or two homes, be careful that you don't tie up all available cash on a short sale that may stagnate for three to six months as you watch other great cash deals sail by.

It is best to make offers on short sale properties when...

Read the full article here, just published today on NuWireInvestor.

Read Barbara Broyles bio.

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Photo credit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Investment Property Article on eHow.com - Screening Tenants

When it comes to az investment property, one of the most important factors impacting profitability is selecting the right tenant.

Read the new HomeLovers article on eHow.com here on "How to Screen a Prospective Tenant for your Rental Property".

It has nine tips to help ensure you are putting the right tenant in your home for maximum long-term revenue on your investment property.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scottsdale Investment Properties

Demand For High-End Home Rentals Increases

Because HomeLovers manages hundreds of rental properties all across the Phoenix metro area, we have our thumb on the pulse of the home rental and investment market. We see trends as they begin to shift and evolve, which can be critical to the long-term success of our investor clients.

Rent in the range of $1,000 - $1,200 have been the market's sweet spot for the last six months or so. Interestingly enough, the last few weeks have seen a major shift towards more expensive, larger rentals. Demand has picked up substantially for homes ranging in rent from $1,800 to $2,400. We aren't seeing it just in Scottsdale - it is all over the Valley.

We like this! These more expensive rentals attract a different type of tenant.

They are business people who often make great tenants, perhaps coming out of foreclosure on a similar home. They have a homeowner mindset, instead of a renter mindset, and they take care of the property. Some are coming out of a very large mortgage payment, realizing they can get a similar property for 1/2-2/3 less money each month. Turnover is less, and maintenance is less.

Scottsdale Investment Property Remains A Strong Investment

Scottsdale is still a choice location for investors, especially when it comes to homes that rent for over $2,000/mo. Historically, it has shown very strong appreciation, which is a critical factor of any long-term property investment strategy. For example, the 85253 zip code in Scottsdale had an 80%+ appreciation over a five-year period, even including the price decline in 2008.

Much like a stock portfolio, diversifying the types of homes in an investment portfolio is very important.

Unless you are a speculative investor that prefers to flip properties and is investing for the short-term cash flow, true investing considers the long-term gains. While cash flow can be good for the low-end properties, they just don't appreciate as much as the mid- to high-end properties can. This appreciation is critical in building wealth.

Including a few higher-end homes, such as those in Scottsdale, can be a very smart move.

For details on diversifying your investment portfolio for maximum long-term profit, give us a call to schedule your free consultation today at 602.792.5324.

Read Barbara Broyles bio.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009


HomeLovers had an interesting interview with Arizona Republic real estate reporter Catherine Reagor recently on renter trends and issues - real life examples of what's going on in the rental market with tenants right now.

One of her questions was the current renter market - are landlords negotiating with renters or bargaining? Are they settling for lesser tenants out of sheer desperation to end a vacancy?

For some investors, this is true.

For investors that purchased a home several years ago or longer – maybe not the ideal HomeLovers property, but still an investment they are stuck with - they are desperately trying to find tenants that will pay enough to cover their mortgage, instead of renting the home for current market value.

These desperate landlords are anxious to find a tenant. To compete with cheaper rentals priced at what the market will bear, they are accepting terms, negotiations and tenants that otherwise wouldn’t be in their best interests.

These investors might be in the tough position of trying to cover their costs, instead of running the investment as a business with temporary price adjustments based on the market.

It is very important to realize that if the investor has a mortgage for $1,400 a month, they may spend months chasing that rent instead of renting it quickly at the actual market value of $1,000.

Many fail to realize they lose less money renting a year at $1,100 (a $3,600 loss) than having a six-month vacancy because they are pursuing the full $1,400 (a $8,400 loss).

To get the full $1,400, those investors end up compromising, offering dangerous incentives or not thoroughly screening prospective tenants just to end the vacancy. (Read the HomeLovers article here on "How to select the right tenant.")

Renters that find they are paying too much are the same angry renters that tend to strip or damage homes. They feel taken advantage of and take that out on the property.

It is important to realize that if a home is in rent-ready condition and priced right, there is a huge demand of good renters available.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Canadian Buyer Looking for Arizona Foreclosures?

HomeLovers' Barbara Broyles was on Trulia this morning, answering a question from a Canadian Buyer looking at Arizona foreclosed homes. Click here for the full Trulia dialog.

One rule of thumb for Canadian buyers that are not paying cash? Get your financing in order BEFORE you start looking. It can take longer than you think.

Here is another important point, according to Barbara:
"Being in a different country does present its own unique challenges. Be sure that you have an agent in place here that has a team of individuals that can help with all aspects of purchasing a home including financing, insurance, accounting, etc. You don't want to be on your own for investigating and finding each professional you need via long distance."

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, part of Arizona’s appeal to Canadians is that the exchange rates have been fairly level between the U.S. and Canadian dollar.

10 Questions Canadian Buyers Should Be Asking AZ Real Estate Agents
BEFORE they decide on a long-distance partnership:

1. How many out-of-town investors have you represented?
2. What is your process for selecting good investment properties?
3. What is your average vacancy rate for properties you have selected for investors?
4. What about for properties brought to you for property management that have already been purchased by the investor?
5. What other resources do you offer, such as insurance, mortgage, title, taxes, etc.?
6. What happens when I go home?
7. Give me some examples of properties you have selected for an investor, and walk me through their process start-to-finish, all the way through the signed lease.
8. Give me some examples of what you think makes a good investment and why.
9. What data do you have that supports your theories?
Post a question for Barbara on Trulia or read her other blog articles here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How To Select A Property Management Company

by Noel Pulanco, HomeLovers Sales Manager, Realtor®

Shopping for a Property Manager can be one of the most confusing things you will ever do.

When people contact HomeLovers in their search for a property management company, inevitably one of the first questions that they ask is “what are the costs?” Some managers look very expensive while others seem unbelievably cheap. With the worst companies, you almost need a CPA to figure out what the real costs are.

So how do you read past the sales hype? Click here to read the full article just posted today on www.HomeLovers.com.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

HomeLovers Hits 500 Follower Milestone on Twitter

HomeLovers just exceeded the 500 follower milestone on Twitter - a big thank you to all of our fantastic followers!

If there is something you want to learn more about when it comes to real estate investing or property management, please post a blog comment or send a Twitter DM to @azhomelovers with your request or question. Then we'll tweet or blog all about it!

HomeLovers on Twitter:
@azhomelovers - for Arizona real estate property management and investor information
@rent_homes - for the newest rental property listings in Arizona

Friday, September 4, 2009

HomeLovers On Home Page of NuWire Investor

HomeLovers has landed a spot on the home page of http://nuwireinvestor.com/ - with an article on "How to avoid investor pitfalls".

Doin' the happy dance. Whoot, whoot!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Arizona Investor News Over The Weekend

In case you headed out of the office early on Friday and/or didn't keep up with your Phoenix real estate RSS feed over the weekend (subscribe to ours), you might find these local articles interesting.

Have a great Monday!

HomeLovers on Twitter

HomeLovers is now on Twitter - tweeting about local Arizona real estate, property management and real estate investor news, and sharing expertise and options.

Follow us at @azhomelovers today!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Arizona Real Estate News Feed

Ever notice the "Google Alerts" box on the right-hand page of our blog? It is an RSS news feed with the latest residential real estate news happening in Arizona.

(What is an RSS feed? Here is a great post explaining it from one of my favorite blogs, ProBlogger by Darren Rowse.)

We monitor breaking news all over the internet for search terms like "Arizona housing", "Arizona foreclosures" and more to be sure we are on top of our market, including both local and national business and trade publications.

We would like to share it with you - just check it out when you read new postings. You can also bookmark the RSS feed page itself to see the full listings, instead of just the five latest headlines.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 Questions To Always Ask A Prospective Property Mgmt Firm

When looking at property management companies, there are a handful of questions that savvy real estate investors should ALWAYS ask.

It helps you weed out those agencies that charge "junk fees" and don't have the experience to make sure your real estate portfolio is consistently profitable - whether you have one investment home or a dozen.

According to HomeLovers property management expert Noel Pulanco, these are the areas critical to address during the selection process:

  1. What area do you specialize in?
  2. What types of properties?
  3. What services do/don't you offer?
  4. Who handles maintenance?
  5. How do you qualify tenants?
  6. What types of tenants do you look for?
  7. How do you handle non-paying tenants?
  8. How did you advertise?
  9. How long to rent a home?
  10. How/when do owners get paid?

Detail on each of these ten questions coming soon from HomeLovers, one of Arizona's fastest growing property management companies. Stay tuned! We want to help you stay profitable with your real estate investments.

Can't wait and want more information now? Contact Noel at Noel@HomeLovers.com or (602) 792-5324 for a little advice over the phone. It's free.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

USA Today - Home sellers frustrated as short sale deals collapse

USA Today recently ran an interesting article on how home sellers are increasingly frustrated as short sale deals collapse - often months into the deal when potential buyers walk away due to lengthy delays. Read the article here.

The author wisely points out that the banks are only part of the problem. Buyers/sellers can’t do much about the banks, but they have total control over the agents they choose.

Now, more than ever, it is critical to choose your experts wisely. Way too often, we see first-time buyers and real estate investors alike being assisted by agents who don’t have enough experience to make the process smooth.

For buyers looking to get a deal on their next personal residence, this will lead to lost deals, frustration and wasted time. Many buyers are putting their moves and future plans into the hands of agents who simply lack the knowledge to get the job done.

For real estate investors, this is an even bigger problem. The inexperienced agents are recommending properties that we would never suggest as an investment. There are great deals out there in virtually every price range, and a short sale can be a great way to get into the perfect property at a nice price. We just caution new homeowners and investors alike to start with the best expert they can find… then shop for the best possible properties… and THEN look for the best deals in the properties they know will work.

If you are going to go through the hassle of a short sale, you want to make sure the home you end up owning is a prize worth winning.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bio - Dave Zundel

Meet Dave Zundel
Co-founder, Real Estate Investor

To take the model of a drastically improved property management firm from an idea to fruition, Dave Zundel and Mike Sargent partnered in early 2008 to build HomeLovers, an Arizona-based property management company that specializes in residential rental properties including purchasing and managing rental property to building and growing a robust, profitable investment portfolio.

Dave's Experience
Dave Zundel has been building businesses for over 20 years, including hands-on consulting work with the owners of nearly 200 companies.

Recently, his experience allowed him to redefine residential property management and implement new levels of efficiency for a local Phoenix real estate investment and property management company, resulting in aggressive growth from 300 homes under management to nearly 2000 homes - almost a 600% increase. With a focus on numbers, Dave created tools to assist investors with avoiding purchasing mistakes, maximizing ROI and attracting ideal tenants.

In the same time frame, Dave accumulated a personal portfolio worth over $3 million that included 15 single family homes.

At age 40, Dave retired from his position as CEO to focus on his personal real estate investments. After three years in retirement, Dave could no longer resist the lure of reentering the business world. In looking at all the different types of businesses he had worked with over the years, none had more appeal to him than property management. With the luxury of hindsight, Dave was able to reflect on things that had created challenges and unhappy clients.

After nurturing the idea for several months and launching a joint partnership with Mike Sargent, a dramatically improved property management model evolved.

Today, HomeLovers is one of Arizona's fastest growing home rental and property management companies.

Read Dave's articles on the blog
Join Dave on Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phoenix Foreclosure Sweet Spot

According to MSN, Phoenix is still one of the top three leading destinations, regardless of all the marketplace grumbling. Read the article: http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=19873357&gt1=35000

In spite of all the stress in the economy, people on the move are still coming to Phoenix. This steady growth in population over time is fueling our recovery and contributing to the rapidly shrinking inventory of homes for sale.

While many other cities in the country are still affecting the headlines and promoting a national sense of crisis in real estate, Phoenix is well on its way to a stable market with healthy sustainable growth.

Many of these families flowing into Phoenix are coming from areas of the country where unemployment is high and opportunities tight. The demand for great rental properties is growing fast.

We are working daily with increasingly savvy investors who know the sweet spot in Phoenix is homes for middle-upper middle income families, NOT the cheapest home in the most distressed neighborhood.

Interested in learning more? Read our blog article on "Getting a great deal on an Arizona foreclosure" or yesterday's press release on major pitfalls during today's foreclosure buying frenzy.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bio - Mike Sargent

Meet Mike Sargent
Co-founder, Real Estate Investor

To take the model of a drastically improved property management firm from an idea to fruition, Dave Zundel and Mike Sargent partnered in early 2008 to build HomeLovers, an Arizona-based property management company that specializes in residential rental properties including purchasing and managing rental property to building and growing a robust, profitable investment portfolio.

His experience
Mike Sargent has personally owned and managed more than 30 investment properties, both residential and commercial, and was recently instrumental in growing a local Phoenix real estate investment and property management company into the largest property management firm in Arizona.

His leadership, investment and portfolio management experience allowed him to rapidly expand the number of homes under management to 2,000 homes during his tenure.

Prior to this, Mike spent 18 years as an executive at Inter-Tel, Inc., a major public telecommunications company; and Cirillium, Inc., a hi-tech Inter-Tel spinoff, both headquartered in the Phoenix area, where he was influential in launching VoIP (voice-over Internet Protocol) to major clients worldwide by leveraging his software design engineer background, financial acumen and boardroom experience.

He is an experienced international traveler who has visited more than 30 countries. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Arizona State University.

Read Mike's articles on the blog

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today's HomeLovers Press Release

HomeLovers Urges Real Estate Investors to Avoid Major Pitfalls During Current Foreclosure Buying Frenzy

Investors are flocking to purchase sub-$100,000 "bargains" only to learn too late that they aren't good investment properties

Glendale, AZ, July 20, 2009 – HomeLovers, one of Arizona's fastest growing Arizona home rental and property management companies, today announced that second quarter home trends in Metropolitan Phoenix showed a mild upswing. Home prices have started to stabilize and even increase, and banks are becoming more willing to work with buyers. As home inventory begins to shrink and interest rates remain low, the better bargains are getting multiple offers from interested buyers and investors are eagerly snapping up homes - often under the mistaken assumption that every short sale, foreclosed or REO (real estate owned) property is a highly profitable investment opportunity.

Unfortunately, according to HomeLovers, while a home may be a great bargain, it may not be suitable as a rental property. "We are still seeing way too many people apply the right timing and enthusiasm to the wrong property," stated HomeLovers Co-founder David Zundel."Investors are bringing their new steals to us to manage, only to find out that the home they bought has long-term challenges and attracts the wrong types of tenants or is prone to vacancies."

"Over 80% of the homes brought to us for management are the types of homes that we would never have purchased or sold as investments," added Michael Sargent, HomeLovers' other co-founder. "Even the cheapest foreclosure can be a very expensive investment mistake."

Before jumping into what seems like a great opportunity, HomeLovers urges real estate investors to be cautious in avoiding common pitfalls:

1. Do your homework before shopping for a home, so you have a thorough understanding of your long-term plans for the property and the type of tenant you want to attract. It is important to know what your ideal tenant is looking for and the type of property that is most likely to meet their needs. For example, a two-story home in Sun City, Ariz. might lend itself to vacancy issues simply because the senior demographics of the area are adverse to stairs, where a two-story home in Chandler, Ariz. near a park or school may be in high demand because of its younger demographics.

2. Spend time looking at the demographics of the prospective home's neighborhood. Some neighborhoods are simply prone to attract the wrong types of tenants by nature of their affordability. If you are looking at homes renting for under $1,000, understand that you are looking at tenants that typically earn double or triple that - or $24,000 to $36,000 annually. Renters in this income level may struggle with bills and add an unwanted risk factor to your portfolio. The most common mistake, according to HomeLovers, is that investors are scrambling to buy the sub-$100,000 homes. While that might be a great price, there are many more issues that impact a property's profitability, and the advice of a reputable portfolio planner is critical.

3. Don't wait for the bottom of the market. By the time sources confirm the market has hit bottom, prices and interest rates are already on the upswing. Many people tend to sit back and watch before taking action, but if you watch too long, opportunities are missed. The time to buy is now, but it should be done carefully. Investors need to purchase with the long-term returns in mind. With the right tools and/or the expert advice of an experienced property manager, it is easy to crunch the inventory of available properties down to a short list of homes that would make a truly great investment. Once you have a short list, you can shop for the best deal without compromising long-term investment ROI. This strategy will put you ahead of the masses that are getting a great "deal" on bad investments.

4. Consider homes in the $1,000 - $1,500 monthly rental range. This is the "sweet spot" of the market that attracts financially stable, reliable tenants. With all of the foreclosure activity, many people who are used to owning will not be able to buy for a long time. These people make fabulous tenants, and will make a strong pool of tenants for years to come. Until the foreclosed owners get their credit back and start buying homes, we will enjoy a larger group of mid- to high-end tenants. The nicer properties are getting rented faster than ever, and there is a huge demand for middle to upper income homes to rent. Savvy investors need to consider bargains in this area of this market, instead of chasing the homes under $100,000.

For investor information on choosing the right property or choosing the right tenant, please visit HomeLovers' website at http://www.homelovers.com/. HomeLovers also offers a blog focused on property management and investing at http://www.arizona-investment-properties.com/.

About HomeLovers
Established in early 2008, HomeLovers is already one of Arizona's most rapidly growing home rental and property management companies. It was founded on the premise of creating a drastically improved property management agency model, including full disclosure of fees and anticipated costs in a market that is prone to "junk fees," unexpected costs and inexperienced agents that make it difficult to manage profitable real estate investment portfolios.

Because of its focus on the development of proprietary tools that assist investors with avoiding purchasing mistakes, maximizing return on their investments and attracting ideal, long-term tenants, HomeLovers was one of the first property management agencies to offer access to real-time online accounting, documentation and reporting.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is land a good investment In Phoenix?

An interesting article hit the Phoenix Business Journal yesterday on how investors are starting to pick up speculative land purchases at fire sale prices, now that "we know the world is not coming to an end."

Love that quote. Anyway, it is true that the real estate market is emerging from the gloom slowly and things are starting to pick up.

Vast majority of market is speculators
Reporter Matt Culbertson goes on include a quote from his source, “As long as you’re near the bottom, they feel comfortable in buying, The vast majority of the transactions that we’re seeing are speculators, for lack of a better term.”

We at HomeLovers have to agree that land investment is MUCH more speculative than homes, even in today's depressed market.

Buy homes, not land
While land investments have obviously been good for some over the years, HomeLovers does not recommend it to the average real estate investor. We point them to the much more stable and predictable housing market.

Watch for our press release on Monday that talks more about the state of the Arizona market.
Want to learn more about the nuances of real estate investing for free?

Call HomeLovers today at 602-792-5324 for a free consultation from expert investors with very successful portfolios of their own - Mike Sargent or Dave Zundel. I think you'll be extremely impressed by the level of advice and skill that is offered.

They are great at understanding the nuances of rentals and investing in Arizona, and sorting out which properties are good deals, and which are actually good deals for an investment. Very different things!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Do You Have a Realtor in the Family?

by Barbara Broyles

Almost everyone has a friend, cousin, brother, sister, or uncle that holds a real estate license. But real estate transactions are much more than a simple relationship business. Especially when it comes to building a real estate investment portfolio.

Is that family member or acquaintance really who you want to trust with your financial future?

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand the true significance of a good agent. Obtaining a license is not that difficult, but keeping up with market trends and truly studying the financial end of real estate is very complicated.

Why it matters
Right now, the feeding frenzy is at the bottom of this market - meaning the lowest priced homes - and homes can be purchased as low as $40,000.

Does that make it a deal? While it sounds reasonable and smart, buying low is only a fraction of the equation when it comes to owning investment properties.

What if it takes six months or more to get that home rented?

Will you get the kind of tenants that you really want in a home that is in a low priced, low rent neighborhood?

How often will you have evictions?

What kind of rehab work will you have every time a tenant moves out?

These kinds of questions are essential, and ones that the right real estate agent should be helping you ask AND answer.

Selecting an agent
Investing in Real Estate is not a one-size fits all, and the right agent should require a detailed consultation to learn about your needs, your finances, and many other issues. Your portfolio should be as individualized as which home you choose to live in.

You should be asking about things like Return on Investment, Cash on Cash Returns, Cash Flow, Appreciation Rates - not focusing on how cheap a house is.

The bottom line is that your Realtor(r) or agent should be your guide to the right investment home, not someone who will just write a contract on a low price home then leave you to figure out the rest.

071709 © Barbara Broyles, HomeLovers

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bio - Barbara Broyles

Meet Barbara Broyles
Associate Broker, Director of Portfolio Sales

As Director of Portfolio Sales and Associate Broker for HomeLovers, Barbara shares her strong investment and portfolio management expertise by actively training and managing a team of HomeLovers agents, and is an essential force behind its roster of successful investor clients. She also manages a personal portfolio exceeding $1,000,000.

Barbara's career began with stunning success, as she collected awards for "Rookie Of The Year" and "Top Salesperson" during her first year, and produced total sales exceeding $10 Million consecutively for two years. She earned Associate Broker status during her third year, and is a member of the Arizona Real Estate Investors Association.

Barbara's ongoing passion for investment management and education keep her at the top of her field. By combining her investment, financing and market acumen with proprietary HomeLovers portfolio planning tools and a network of proven experts in related areas such as financing, title/escrow, LLC formulation and more, Barbara inspires rapid confidence in her clients.

Prior to her career in Real Estate, Barbara was a 25-year veteran of client relations and management for Qwest Communications who was instrumental in large business sales, management of 30+ technicians, and the establishment two call centers from the ground up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HomeLovers on YouTube

Coming within the next few weeks - HomeLovers will be launching the a new, first-of-its-kind "Investor Broadcast Channel" on YouTube. Watch for great educational videos on topics like:

  • How to select rental properties
  • Property management
  • Tenant selection and screening
  • Foreclosure, short sale and REO purchase tips
  • What makes a great investment property
  • How to choose a property management company
  • Reducing vacancies
  • Getting a GREAT deal

Subscribe to our blog now, and you'll get an email every time a new video is posted. See you on YouTube!

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Friday, July 3, 2009

HomeLovers Now On Trulia

When it comes to real estate advice, there is a lot of noise in the market place about grabbing up foreclosures. In all the excitement about "the next great deal", investors can't forget to educate themselves on the market at a deeper level.

HomeLovers is now on Trulia - answering Arizona investor questions, property management questions, and more.

Ask Us A Question
Want to hear about the Phoenix market, the nuances of how the economy is impacting rentals and vacancies? Don't hesitate to jump on Trulia (or post a comment on this blog) to get a dialogue going.

Be Trulia to yourself instead of impulsive - ask the right questions BEFORE you buy that potential investment property. We help far too many investors step out of poor choices, when a free consultation or dialogue on tools like Trulia before the purchase could have guided them into a great cash-flow opportunity from the beginning.

This week's activity on Trulia:

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Renters Hit By Foreclosure Market

For an interesting article in today's Washington Independent, click here. It talks about the Phoenix market and how renters are hit by the foreclosure crisis.

As owners/investors land in a bind and either are forced into foreclosure or a short sale, they need to do the right thing when it comes to their tenants.


You’ve ridden your investment property as long as you can and have determined that it just doesn’t make sense to keep making the payments.

The reasons are probably one of the following:

1. You don’t have enough money to keep making payments (due to job loss, other major expenses, etc.),

2. You feel so insecure about your current source of income that you need to pay on only those things that would be left if/when you DO lose that income,

3. Your rental property is so upside-down and/or market rent is so much less than your mortgage payment that it is a poor financial decision to keep throwing money at it, or

4. Some or all of the above.

You have a few options. They include working things out with your lender to keep the property under freshly negotiated terms that work for you, short-selling the property, or letting the property go into foreclosure. The latter will produce the worst effect on your credit.

Despite what you may have heard about lenders working only with borrowers in owner-occupied scenarios, lenders WILL work hard to create a workable outcome for investors. If you would like to keep your property but need relief on payments or past-due balances you should discuss this with your lender’s loss mitigation department. You’ll be surprised at how receptive they are to talking productively.

If you cannot or don’t want to keep the property, you should attempt to short-sell the property before the bank forecloses. The lenders are very willing to work with you to do this (much more willing than six months ago), because it provides them with a much better outcome than having to foreclose on the property and pay the costs of a trustee sale. Find a licensed real estate agent who has experience in this area.


These first two options can happen prior to missing any payments on your loan. In most cases, borrowers don’t start these negotiations until they have missed one or more payments—giving them less time to reach an agreement with the lender. In either case, keep open lines of communication with the lender letting them know of your intentions and current situation.

Have questions or need an experienced property management company to assist you? Contact HomeLovers today at http://www.homelovers.com/.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Getting a Great Deal on an Arizona Foreclosure

There is a new feeding frenzy developing in the Arizona housing market. The buzz words are auction, foreclosure, short sale, REO, etc., but the common theme is “deal”.

During the run up of 2004-2006, people were pretty much buying anything with a "for sale" sign and we all know how that story ended. Today I am seeing a similar lack of judgment with people rushing to buy any property that looks cheap.

I was on a great dive trip over Memorial Day weekend. Part of a dive trip is being on a small boat with a group of total strangers. Without fail, somebody on the boat reminds me that while anybody CAN wear a tiny string bikini or a Speedo, most people shouldn’t. Even if they found a store that was handing them out for free.

Don’t get me wrong... I love a deal as much as the next guy, as long as it is a deal on the right property. The wrong rental property, even at an amazing price, will never deliver an incredible result in terms of revenue. Just like that free Speedo, it may not be the best fit.

Even the cheapest foreclosure bargain can be an expensive investment mistake.

Before you run out shopping, do your homework (see a related article on "Choosing the Right Property"). Get clear about the long-term plan for your investments. Know what you expect the investment to do for you over time. Decide what type of tenants you want to attract. Then, make sure you understand what type of property will meet all those requirements.
If you don’t do your homework on the front end, your chances of ending up with the perfect property are remote.

We get calls from hundreds of investors looking for property management every month. The worse a property is, the more difficult it is to manage, so many of the people who call are tired of the hassle and regretting the purchase. Over 80% of the homes people bring to us are homes we would have never purchased or sold as an investment.

Having said that, there are incredible deals in every price range, so there is no reason to settle for the wrong home.

With the right tools, it is easy to crunch the inventory of available properties down to a short list of homes that will make a truly great investment. Once your list of potential purchases is limited to the great investments, you can shop for the best deal without compromising long term ROI. If you know how the planning, building, and managing phases of your investment impact each other and take action accordingly, you will be way ahead of the masses that are getting a great “deal” on bad investments.

You will also avoid being the investor equivalent of the big guy on the boat who really thinks his bright yellow Speedo makes him a sexy supermodel.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Housing Demand Stabilizes

According to Business Week, recent signs point to a stablizing housing market. Read the article here.

What does HomeLover owner and real estate investor Mike Sargent have to say? "Those that wait for the bottom of the market to be obvious are acting too late.

What we are seeing in the Phoenix metropolitan area are investors aggressively moving in to purchase a tremendous number of foreclosure deals. They are coming from Canada and Arizona's surrounding states to eat up the inventory because they are confident the market at rock bottom or close enough to not matter in the long run.

Arizona declined earlier than most housing markets so we are seeing an earlier recovery.

There are bidding wars going on right now similar to the real estate boom in 2005-6; if you want 2 homes for your investment portfolio, you need to bid on 5. The demand for bargains is extremely high.

That being said, just because a home is a bargain does NOT automatically make it a good choice for an investment portfolio. Using a property investment advisor to carefully select the RIGHT "bargain" is critical to the health of your investment portfolio. Don't snap up the best deal until you are certain it is the best investment. "

Click here to read the full article on HomeLovers.com about choosing the right investment property.

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