Saturday, 24 April 2010

Smart Investment - Mortgage Foreclosures Or Tax Foreclosures?

When it comes to making a smart investment in real estate, there's really only two ways to go: mortgage foreclosures, or tax foreclosures. Everything profitable is some offshoot of one of those two things. Certain aspects of both are profitable, but hands-down, the smart investment is in tax foreclosures, one of two ways. Which way you go depends on whether or not you're interested in owning property - and we're not talking liens or deeds here.

First, if you want to own property, you're not going to have much luck at the tax sale. There's too much competition, and too much risk associated with buying property you can't inspect first. Would you ever buy a home to live in you couldn't inspect? Obviously, if you want to make a smart investment, you're going to have to know what you're getting into - and it doesn't hurt if there's little to no competition for it.

It's simple: wait until after the tax sale, and then buy directly from the owners during the redemption period (where they can still get their property out of foreclosure). Most investors don't realize that this is legal - in most places - and thus, you're not going to find a lot of competition for these deeds. Owners that can pay off during this period, will, and those that can't need to do something, to avoid losing everything.

You can easily buy up these deeds for a few hundred dollars - no strings attached, with a lot of owners. With other owners, maybe of nicer properties, you can make a deal with them to give them a percentage of whatever you can make off the property. This is an amazing way to make a lot of money without having much money to start with - the definition of "smart investment."
Second, if you don't want to own property, you can still make money hand over fist from the foreclosure process - both mortgage, and tax, by going after the overages. When more is paid for a property at auction than is owed in debt, usually that money is available for the owner to collect. But frequently, the owner just assumes that he's lost everything and doesn't realize it.

Unfortunately for him, if he doesn't collect it, after a year or two it becomes legal property of the government. He will lose it permanently. Your knowledge of the location of these funds is valuable, and you can easily make a deal with this owner to collect the "found money" that you know about. Here's the best part: these funds aren't subject to money finder fee caps in most states. This means you can collect up to a 50% finder's fee - or more, depending on the complexity of collecting the money.

While maybe not a "smart investment," since it's not exactly an investment, any business that can make you six figures a year and needs about $1000 in operating capital is arguably rocket-science level intelligent.
You've got to know how to find lists of these funds, and how to find and approach these owners so that they don't try to collect without you and avoid your BMA editorial

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Bailing Out the Auto Industry

Where will it end? That's the question on everyone's mind as GM, Ford, and Chrysler-the big three of the U.S. auto industry-paid a visit to Washington, D.C. The companies want a piece of the government bailout, but no one is quite certain if such a move will help the ailing automakers.

America is a country that loves to have her cake and eat it, too. When the free-market economy was red-hot, and people were making big money, there was no better economic system in the world. Too much regulation was regarded as the death knell of a prosperous economy, and fat cats stood against social programs, like welfare.

It's now interesting to see who has recently visited Washington, D.C. with hat in hand. The vaunted auto industry has finally imploded, and they've joined the nation's top financial institutions in crying out for government assistance.

Big three sparked the big mess

GM, Ford, and Chrysler have long fueled much of the growth and prosperity in this country. They employ nearly a million people among them, and are responsible for the financial success of a series of related industries including steel and auto-part companies. With so much at stake, everyone, including members of Congress, is wondering why the companies have fallen so low.

Mired in an inventory of SUVs and big sedans, the big three have looked foolish when fuel prices recently skyrocketed. Meanwhile, Honda and Toyota were patiently waiting for the energy crisis that everyone knew was coming with their compact, fuel-efficient cars. Choking on their exhaust were the big three, who looked positively blind-sided by the turn of events in the marketplace.

Credit crunch the final blow

By their sheer enormity, the big three have remained afloat, even while foreign car companies have been driving circles around them. It's in no small part thanks to the huge subsidies that they've received from Washington, and an oil industry that has kept fuel prices artificially low.

Now GM, Chrysler, and Ford are in a tremendous crunch. They have no cash to innovate, and no time to raise more funds. Should the auto industry be allowed to fail?

Pundits agree that the impact would be extremely painful, and are discussing the possibility that letting the big three fall would be in the best interests of the economy in the long run. If a pre-packaged bankruptcy was initiated, where terms and conditions for creditors were negotiated ahead of time, the companies could start from scratch. They wouldn't be committed to overly-expensive pension plans to vendor contracts. They would have the latitude to innovate, building their companies based on the successful models of Honda and Toyota.

At this point, no legitimate alternative seems plausible. A government bailout would stop the bleeding for a time, but it wouldn't heal the wound. The big three and the government need to make a decision: Either embrace a free market system with all of its ups and downs, or choose the much-maligned alternative.