Friday, May 18, 2007

I Need Help With My Georgia Foreclosure

Purchasing a home in Georgia these days requires that you either have a few hundred thousand dollars just sitting in the bank, or that you get a mortgage. Mortgages are really the only way the average person can afford to own their dream home. The bad thing about mortgages is that if you do not pay your monthly balance, you end up looking for help with Georgia foreclosure problems. If you came here looking for foreclosure help, Georgia homeowners, you have come to the right place.

The first thing to try to do is to stay out of foreclosure in the first place. If you pay your monthly bills on time, you will build up equity in your home, and your credit will rise as well. The better your credit is, the better off you are for future loans or mortgages. Things happen, however, that we don’t expect, and you end up needing help with Georgia foreclosure proceedings.

Georgia is what is called a “title theory” state. This means that the lender that gives you your mortgage actually owns the deed until you have fully paid off the mortgage. In Georgia law, the mortgage lender must first make sure that you are notified, by certified mail, that they intend to foreclose on your home. The lender must then post, for four weeks, their intent to foreclose on your home. At this point, the only option you have for help with Georgia foreclosure, when it comes to dealing with the lender, is to give them your home, peacefully. You may end up with bad credit, and you definitely would have no money to show for it. The lender would then put your home up for sale and make a huge profit.

Once they have notified you of their desire to foreclose, you have very few options for foreclosure help, Georgia residents. If you have a huge sum of money in the bank, or are able to sell a vehicle or obtain a large sum of money by some other means, then you will probably be okay. You can just give the lender the amount they have requested, which is sure to include various fees and tons of interest.

Another option you have, if you are looking for help with Georgia foreclosure issues, is to sell your home. Selling your home the traditional way, through a “for sale” sign on your front yard, or through a realtor, can take a long time. People have had their homes for sale for months, even years sometimes, before they have even gotten a nibble. There are companies, however, that take that sort of hassle away. They purchase your home outright, which allows you to not have to worry about how long the sale will take. The company gives you fair market value for your home, which gives you the ability to pay off your mortgage, including the back amount owed, and exit the situation with your credit fairly intact. You can then take any of the leftover money from the mortgage and purchase another home, where, hopefully, you will not have to worry about foreclosure again.

John Panico is the author of this article. John is an active investor of properties throughout NE Georgia. He is the General Manager of Local Guys Equities, LLC, one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in Georgia. John founded the NE GA Real Estate Buying & Investing Group and wholesales properties to real estate investors around the country. Feel free to contact John about selling your house or other information.

Keywords: "help with GA foreclosure" and "foreclosure help Georgia"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I Need Help With My Foreclosure

Personally, I get nervous about almost anything large that I buy. Houses, in particular, tend to make most people nervous. However, most people, when they are searching for their dream homes, are quick to jump to action. They rush around, getting pre-approved for mortgages and looking at homes. They sign the dotted line on the mortgage and move in to their new home as fast as they can, decorating and renovating along the way. Often, new homeowners have no idea that they could soon lose their home if they aren’t careful. After a few months of mounting bills, you may start asking yourself, “Why did I buy?” House mortgages are a huge responsibility, and if you find that the pressure is too great, don’t worry—there is help.

If you purchase a home using a mortgage, as many of us have to in lieu of having a huge amount of ready cash in the bank, you are not only putting your credit on the line, you are putting your new home on the line as well. Why is it that new home owners are so quick to purchase, but are very slow to say “I need help with my foreclosure issues”, until it is too late?

Foreclosure is a very scary thing to a home owner. It means that your beautiful home can be taken away from you in a heartbeat. It means that the good credit you had going into the deal will be so bad that you possibly may not get another home loan. Most of the time, people who are facing foreclosure freeze up like a deer in the headlights of a car, when, at that point, saying, “I need help with my foreclosure” is a moot point. The truth is, though, that the best way to stop a foreclosure in its tracks is by doing something immediately.

“I need help with my foreclosure,” is one thing that most first-time homebuyers have a difficult time saying. The words get stuck in their throat as if they have failed. The truth is that they have not failed. Things happen that can not be predicted, and you might end up missing a few mortgage payments. Even missing just one mortgage payment can be difficult to catch up on.

There is a solution, even if you have gone so far down the foreclosure road that the mortgage company is unwilling, or unable, to work with you. You may have seen one of any of dozens of ads stating, “I buy houses.” These are investors that purchase homes and resell them, often at a much higher level. Some of these investors are only looking out for themselves. They do not care how much you loved your home, or what you have gone through to keep it. “I buy house mortgages” is another thing you may have seen. These are investors who purchase the mortgage from the original seller, only to turn around and charge you insane amounts in order for you to keep your home.

You can, however, find real estate investors who will care about you and your situation. Often, selling your house quickly and efficiently is the only way to get out of a foreclosure situation with both your dignity, and your credit, intact. The trick is to look at all of the investors who claim, “I buy houses”, and ask them exactly what they can do for you. Some home investors are even able to give you some money from the equity you have already built in your home, which will allow you to have a starting point for your next home purchase.

John Panico is the author of this article. John is an active investor of properties throughout NE Georgia. He is the General Manager of Local Guys Equities, LLC, one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in Georgia. John founded the NE GA Real Estate Buying & Investing Group and wholesales properties to real estate investors around the country. Feel free to contact John about selling your house or other information.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why Your Home Isn't Selling

I get asked a lot of questions both from fellow real estate investors as well as potential private money lenders whose only familiairity with real estate investing is what they have heard on television. “Isn’t this a bad time to be investing in real estate? “ is a common question.

My response is always the same. "The market is the market. You have to sell and buy real estate in this market, not last year's market, and not the market you wish it would be."

I think what separates my company, Local Guys (along with other succesful real estate investors) from others is that we "get it" about what kind of market in which we find ourselves in. That alone gives us an advantage over most of the buyers and sellers who are trying to move from one property to another.

I would hope that your phones are ringing regulary (another subject entirely), but here are a few of the most common statements that seller's put forth when trying to convince Local Guys to purchase their property:

Some property owners will reply to the question of why there home hasn’t sold with “I have advised my agent to hold more open houses and to advertise more."

Do you know what your best advertising is? A property that is priced correctly for your market.

Some homeowners tell me something to the effect of: "If I don't get (they will spout a number), then I just won't sell."

The truth is: That is their ego talking. What this boils down to is they have their house overpriced and will die in it rather than drop the asking price."

I need "X" (number of dollars) from the sale of my house."

The reality of the situation is (however sobering it may be) that to a great extend, it really doesn't matter how much you "need."

While at the end of the day, I think of Local Guys more as “problem solvers” than a real estate transaction company, the bottom line is that the market determines the sales price of a house.

Just this week, I was visiting a person who had a beautiful house that he was 13 months behind on. Including his back payments, he owed $282,000. His home had been for sale with a realtor for over 6 months. The house was going to the auction steps in 2 weeks, but he insisted he still needed $380,000 for it. This seller doesn’t understand that his personal “need” isn’t going to get his house sold.

On the other hand, we have a property that we have recently reduced twice in the last 60 days. We really did “need” to make the profit from the original asking price (which was $20,000 lower than everything else in the neighborhood). However, if we want to sell the house and move it to preserve the greatest amount of profit, it is better to make less and move on.

Just like other real estate investors, our best opportunity is to deal with motivated sellers.

Some sellers will try to justify their price by saying, "I have a bigger lot."

My response is that is something that is akin to…”So what!

While the size of your lot will make the property more desirable (for some buyers), it doesn't necessarily mean it adds more value in a buyers market. Overall, prices are set by comparing houses that are similar to yours. They really don’t judge the value by similar lots. Otherwise, my lot that has a tear down on it would be worth substantially more than your house because it has a much bigger lot size. This fact is especially relevant in subdivisions where the lots are mostly created exactly alike.

Many times I have seen property owners let their home sit on the market for months thinking, "There's one special buyer out there … ."

That goes to the “next biggest sucker” theory. And in some cases, this may be true. Usually though, If you have priced the property correctly and the home is in good condition, there are typically several buyers for your property.

Overpricing a property and waiting for a stupid buyer ends up at the least of taking a lot of time to sell. When I get that comment, I will ask the property owner to consider the cost of making the mortgage payment each month, how their family feels about having their home on the market being a phone call away from showing it, and the reality of agents looking at the number of “days on the market” reasoning that there is something wrong with the home.

I also point out that while all this is going on, their is the cost of not being able to find the home you want to live in or their inability to get on with their lives.

There are three determining factors of the salability of a house: , price, condition and location.

Price is what most homeowners are battling in today's market. If a house looks great and is over priced it will not sell. Even some "fixer uppers" I've seen these days are overpriced. They may be asking for less than other homes in the community (which are also overpriced), but they're still not moving because there's a great looking house in the neighboring community that sold for the fixer upper price a week earlier.

Just because a house has more amenities than the competition, this doesn't automatically mean it's worth $30,000 more. In today's market, it may mean it's just going to sell faster.

The condition of a property is vital to the salability factor. I have taken to asking stubborn sellers to drive around with me to compare their house with those that are already on the market. When I have been able to coax the homeowner to do this, reality usually sets in (not always that day I might add) and their price comes down substantially.

Finally, in areas where commuting is an issue, location definitely makes the property more desirable than a house miles and miles away. Location may also mean the location in the desirable community. The former model home facing the four-lane highway may be in great condition and be in the right community, but the location on a busy road could adversely affect the salability of the house.

The bottom line to all this is that sellers who understand the current market and price accordingly are able to cash out and move on with their lives.

John Panico is an active investor of properties throughout NE Georgia. He is the General Manager of Local Guys Equities, LLC, one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in Georgia. John founded the NE GA Real Estate Buying & Investing Group and wholesales properties to real estate investors around the country. Feel free to contact John about selling your house or other information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Getting Started in Real Estate Investing

Are you like me and have both watched and wondered about those real estate infomercials that are on television late at night?. You know the ones I am talking about. No money down and get a house? Get cash back at closing? Spend 15 minutes a week, make $150,000 a year? Because of my financial situation, (or more for fear of what my wife would say), I never bought any of those courses. But I can tell you I have spend the amount that those tv ad programs cost and more on books.

And while I will tell you that books on different aspects of real estate investing have broadened my horizons, no one book ever put it all together for me. I will give some credit for trying. They painted a picture of what should be done (buy off of motivated sellers, people that need to sell, but at a substantial discount as compared to the retail price of a home) but all of them left out the part on “how” to perform such a feat.

If you are just starting out in real estate and have cable, you can’t help having watched those “Flip this house”, “Curb Appeal”, and many other tv shows thinking, “Wow, even if I am just half as good as those folks, I am going to make a killing in real estate.” Then you start thinking, “You know I am vaguely familiar with what a hammer looks like, so why don’t I just quit my job and 6 months down the road, I will be rich. Taking vacations when I want, work when I want. In fact I am going to tell my boss today to take this job…” Well, you know the rest, because we have all had those thoughts at one time or another.

At the end of the day, I wish it were as simple as they make it seem. And sitting here a year later, people look at me like I am some kind of “wunderkind” of sorts. The things that seemed daunting to me when I began to invest are merely an afterthought at this point in time. Funny, how 25 homes will do that do you. My monthly marketing budget is more than some people make. To be sure, it wasn’t always that way.

Looking back over the last 15 months, I want to impart to others who either are in the same situation that I was or just want or need to a change how they are going about the business of real estate investing to become even more successful than I have been. To be clear, I am not here to toot my own horn. I was making good money at the job I had. But I was on the road 50 weeks a year to get it done. I missed important family functions both scheduled and unscheduled. No matter what amount of money you make, at some point, you want a different way of life. I knew I did.

But I would like to have some people after they have finished reading this article say, “Yea, I get it. I understand what he was talking about. This time is different. I am going to be a real estate investor starting….NOW!”

We all have the opportunity to be a real estate investor. But fear usually comes into play at some point for all of us when it comes to real estate investing. After all, the largest expenditure most people make is a home. Making a mistake there can seem catastrophic. Remember that same fearful wife who I took into consideration when contemplating buying some of those tv real estate programs? Well, she comes from a family that by and large needs the security of a regular paycheck coming in, a structured retirement program (she is going to start getting $150 a month next year on her program) and believes that health insurance needs to be partially funded by an employer. In her nicest of ways, she would tell me all of those benefits were too much to give up on to do real estate investing. This is kind of amusing to me because in one deal the profit I made was over 75% of what I earn from my job. And those type of deals aren’t a once in a lifetime experience. (Nor are they weekly either!)

So where do you start if you want to be a real estate investor?

  • Be clear about the “why”. I have had several folks having seen my success want to jump on and learn. I don’t have a problem with that. There is enough business for everyone. But the question they have to answer before I take them on is: “Why real estate?” For some real estate investors were the stock day traders of a few years back. They are quick buck specialists. I am not saying you can’t make money quickly here. You can. But you also earn your money as well. So figure out for yourself why you want to do real estate. The answer may surprise you.

  • What are your financial goals? People by and large get in this business to make money. I know that. But what type of money do you need currently? If you don’t have any cash, creating wealth isn’t as important to you. Determine where you are currently and where you want to be in six months. You can re-evaluate it then.

  • How are you going to make money in this business? The above two answers will greatly drive this. This can be a moving target over time. But I would recommend sticking to a certain model until you get comfortable. If you need cash, then flipping or bird-dogging might be for you. If you are interested in additional cash flow, acquiring property might be a way for you to go. Analyze this fully. Do you have the temperament and the expertise to be a landlord (and yes if you have managed these for any period of time, there is an expertise to it)

  • Review your SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) for your approach to the business. Find a partner if necessary to help you through the first few deals. Get educated always. The laws are constantly changing. Join a local real estate investment group.

When you have all that done. Write it down on paper and put it into a place you will see it. While a lot of days will be good, you will need to remind yourself WHY you are doing this business on some days.

That’s a good start. Obviously, there is much more to the business than that. But if you get the above done, I have found that you are way ahead of the competition.

John Panico is an active investor of properties throughout NE Georgia. He is the General Manager of Local Guys Equities, LLC, one of the fastest growing real estate investment companies in Georgia. John founded the NE GA Real Estate Buying & Investing Group and wholesales properties to real estate investors around the country. Feel free to contact John about selling your house or other information.