Monthly Archives: November 2013

Custom vs. Cookie Cutter

My parents have always bought houses that mirror every other house. Cookie cutters in large neighborhoods. The last two homes have been Pulte.

I like their taste. They always buy houses that resell very quickly. I think though I would would want a custom build. Not because I want to show it off or to build something that is a dream house. I  want a custom build because I want to feel like it’s mine. My vision.

The question is can I afford a custom build? I’ll need to do some more research to see if the costs are the same. Any thoughts?



A New Rent-to-Own Program

Back in the early 1900′s, around the 20s and 30s, society introduced mortgages as a way to give people a way to buy houses. They thought it wasn’t fair that everyone couldn’t own a home. So they started with 5 and 7-year mortgages. 4 out of 10 people owned a house back then. They put 50% down and paid 50% off in that span.

Over the years, I think around the 40s, they extended the mortgages to make it possible for even more people to buy houses. As of 2012, 56% of people own their own home. However, only 17% of the population own their home free and clear.

We’d like to see the number of people who own their home outright increase. Plum Genius introduces our 7-year mortgages. It’s part of our rent-to-own program. Learn more about it today.

The Black Friday of Real Estate

Do you look forward to Black Friday? I didn’t but now, every since I have been teased intensely about my outdated television, I’m gearing up for it.

Makes you wonder if there are any Black Friday real estate deals out there. There are. You have to know how to handle it. The first thing you do is look in the auction section of the paper or on auction websites. If they require all cash, no problem. There’s a way to make it happen.

This method is a bit risky but only if you don’t do your homework.

1. Find a house that doesn’t need any work done. Many of the auctions have fixer uppers, but sometimes you can find one that wasn’t vandalized or was taken care of.

2. Then, you go get pre-approved from a bank.

3. Next, you go to a hard money lender. They require you to have 30% down for them to cut you a cashier’s check, but there are some out there that won’t take the money. They just want to know its in the bank.

4. When you win an auction, make sure you only bid 70% or less of the comps (in the same neighborhood).

5. Then, you pay the hard money lender their fee, probably about $10,000, and you finalize the loan with your bank.

The bank transfers the money to the hard money lender and you just saved 30% on your real estate purchase. The sticky part is to make sure you have enough cash for the down payment. Negotiate with the hard money lender for buyer-friendly terms. Maybe they won’t require you to write them a check for 30%.

Now it’s really Black Friday! Walmart can’t offer you that big of a deal. Be careful though. Investors say this is a viable option but only if you play it smart.

It’s Time to Get a Great Deal

It’s the busiest time of the year for almost everyone except real estate agents. If you are considering moving, now is the time to do it. The competition is limited and you should be able to get your offer accepted.

Here are some easy tips.

1. Visit the houses that have been on the market the longest. Some of those homes are exceptional.

2. Call the agent to see if you can easily get in to see the house. If the agent is eager to let you see it, that’s a very good sign.

3. Place an offer. Try making an offer for 5% below the asking price. You may be surprised at the response.

Good luck!


What To Do With a Notice of Default

A notice of default is very stressful. Whether you are  underwater or have some equity in your house, you will quickly need to decide whether you want to save your house or sell it.

There are a number of things to consider. I’ll suggest some alternatives in later blogs but for now, I suggest you consider wholesaling your house. Wholesalers, like us, offer you a way to clean up your credit and take a nice down payment with you if you decide to move.

If your house goes into foreclosure, they will auction it off and you will lose your equity. Not to mention, your credit will be damaged for years. Therefore, consider letting a wholesaler get you top dollar for the sale and take over your mortgage and title.