Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't cry over all the foreclosures.

That’s been my take for quite some time. MBA announced a report today on 3rd quarter loan performance. I found some very telling information in the report.
…foreclosure actions were started on approximately 384,000 loans, but of those foreclosures, 63 percent were cases where the borrower did not live in the home, the borrower did not respond to repeated attempts by the lender to contact them, or where the borrower failed to perform on a repayment plan or loan modification that was already in place.

They broke the data down further in the report. Approximately a third of that number is made up of investment properties. The others are empty homes. The report leaves open that it’s possible that these homes were owner occupied, and now abandoned. When is the last time you heard of someone just abandoning their home before closure proceedings were initiated? A few maybe, but my bet is that the bulk of these abandoned homes were never occupied in the first place. They were investor homes secured through occupancy fraud.

The biggest problem with just about any study that tries to quantify our market situation is that it either tries to explain how sub-prime lenders over extended themselves, or how fraud is rampant, but I never found anyone who tries to show how both of these factors work together.

Hundreds of billions lost. Your gain?

The End is Near! The sky is falling! George Bush said things are great so it must be true. Ben Bernanke isn’t sure whether things are great so keeps lowering interest rates and crushing the dollar in the process. Your friendly banker knows things are not great. Your above average Foreclosure/Short Sale Investor is buying foreclosure properties at prices that are phenomenally low and feels like this foreclosure craze is the start of something big.

Who is right? Maybe all of them and maybe none but I tend to side with the foreclosure investor. Not since the Great Depression has the housing market seen this many foreclosures and taken a hit like it is currently undergoing.

Great fortunes were made in the Great Depressions and greater fortunes were lost. The goal here is to be one of the winners not one of the losers. Buy when the blood is in the streets is an old Wall St saying that is very true is today's real estate deflationary blood bath.

Foreclosure investing is a skill that is quickly coming into its own as a legacy-building vehicle. By this I mean if you properly plan your strategies now you can be building wealth that will endure into the future. Opportunities like this only come about once in a lifetime. Being in a position to capitalize on it will make you on of the “lucky ones” that comes out of this downturn with a big smile on your face and a lot of friends dying to get some of your tips.