360 Real Estate Blog

Steve Aranda of 360 Real Estate Group blogs about real estate in Northeast Los Angeles on topics as diverse as avoiding foreclosure, debt elimination, flipping, high return investment strategies and properties for sale.

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Recent blog posts

Want to know what it can cost to remove a tenant in the city of Los Angeles, subscriber to some tough laws?  Check out the forms from the city that list the costs associated even if you want to move in yourself!  To read, just Click Here

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Posted by on in House Flipping

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As the real estate market heats up again, people seeking quick profits by "flipping" properties are coming out of the woodwork. Experts worry that they are going to hurt the California market, but what is a flip? As it turns out, there are good ones and bad ones. A Good Flip, is one where a junker property is purchased, improved, and resold. The improvements can range from upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, and paint, to complete home renovation, including all major systems, landscaping, and possibly adding substantial square footage. In these situations neighborhoods are improved, as eye-sores, or even abandoned homes are replaced by desirable homes, with new owners that ultimately reshape the community for the better.

Tagged in: Flips Real Estate
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Posted by on in Real Estate Investing/Wealth Building

Over the last few years it seems like there isn't much to be excited about when it comes to finances in the Good Ol' US of A. Every time you turn on the television, click on yahoo, or read a magazine cover (possibly while standing in line to buy groceries) you're hit with something negative:

  • Unemployment Up
  • Unemployment Down (But not far enough)
  • Foreclosures are Rising
  • Gas Prices Rising
  • Rents are Rising

You get the picture...

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Posted by on in The Market

RENT a 2 bed unit in Silverlake for $2900/mo, or OWN a renovated bungalow in Highland Park for only $2700! Which would you choose?

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This cooler than cool Bungalow will have Whole-House Sound, a Giant Back Yard, Super Sweet Kitchen with Island Bar, and a Master Suite that opens onto a 300 sqft deck!  How’s that for summer parties?

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Rents are going up! - I got a referral a few weeks ago to someone who probably had the ability to buy a home, but instead was looking to rent. There weren’t any extenuating variables such as an upcoming relocation, or jeopardy of job loss. This guy was the perfect candidate to buy something, but he thought that by renting he was making a better "financial choice." I scratched my head and said “OK.” A good personal choice for him and his life? Who knows. A good financial choice? Nope. Doubt it. You can take your chances in a rising rent environment, or lock in a mortgage payment based on a combination of record low interest rates, and some of the most affordable real estate in decades. Take a look at the following L.A. Times article to see what’s going on out there. (Click Here)

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The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is set to expire in December. What does this mean?  Basically this: For those those of you who are facing a potential foreclosure, or short sale situation, the government has been offering a holiday on the capital gains taxes that could potentially be incurred as a result of the event. This will be ending soon.

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Do you own a home that has seen better days? Can you see daylight through the ceiling, but never even installed a skylight? Have you been thinking you would like to sell that junker, but you just know you wouldn’t get anything but a bunch of low-ball offers?

How would you like to sell that thing for full pop, top dollar, full market value or above?

Ever hear of an Equity Split?

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

In my last post I mentioned the trend of homeowners finally giving up on their properties, and just resigning themselves to letting their homes get foreclosed on. This has been happening even when homeowners have a great deal to lose – tens of thousands of dollars for example. I also mentioned a couple in Alhambra who were about to let their home go into foreclosure, but who by working with us instead, earned about $40,000. A happy ending, as it were.

Today I am going to talk about another man who gave up on his property. I will call him Clarence. I knocked on his door on 3 separate occasions. Each time I saw him, he was polite, but told me that he had the situation under control. He told me that he was going to refinance to cure the foreclosure. To get to the point, he did not refinance. He did not qualify for a refinance, as I had told him on two occasions. The last time I saw him was about 8 days before the auction date.

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To capitulate means to give up, or to stop resisting. More and more I see people who are giving up on their homes, giving up on their options, and have stopped resisting the tide that leads to foreclosure. I hate to see this, especially when having your home foreclosed on, and sold at auction, is almost ALWAYS avoidable. Take my clients in Alhambra for example. I will call them Bill, and Mary.

I met Mary by knocking on her door – a habit I practice when looking for likely candidates in need of the assistance of a real estate professional like yours truly. Like many people, when she opened the door, she immediately dismissed me. There was something very different about Mary however.

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

If ever a homeowner is trying to obtain either a loan modification or a short sale from a bank, he, or she will be asked to prove that there is a hardship, which makes paying the existing loan at its existing terms impossible. One of the primary pieces of information the bank will need to ascertain this is the Hardship Letter.

Although it might seem self explanatory, I have seen some pretty wild letters come by my desk, as well as countless questions about how to write one of these. Indeed, there are some things that really need to be in there. So, here is a little guide to helping you write a Hardship Letter if ever you need one.

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

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As I speak with people in foreclosure, I have come to realize that almost no one I talk to understands what “foreclosure” really means, and that it is a process with rules that must be adhered to. I am going to lay out the most important steps in that process in hopes that you will gain confidence in working your situation out, by knowing exactly what you are dealing with.

Step 1You have missed at least 3 payments.Even though this technically isn’t a part of the foreclosure process, this must happen before the process can begin. It is standard practice for a bank to begin the foreclosure proceedings after you are 90 days late on your mortgage. *Note – In today’s crazy environment it is not uncommon for banks to wait substantially longer before initiating foreclosure.

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

Every single day I speak with people who are in foreclosure. These conversations always have several things in common: A stressed, and frustrated homeowner, a bank that has been utterly useless in terms of making the situation any better, and the one that burns me up more than anything else – someone who has attempted, or worse, succeeded at taking advantage of the homeowner in distress, by attempting to perpetrate any number of scams.

I want to cover three of the most common scenarios I come across so that if you run into any of them, you’ll know to run away from them just as fast as you can.

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

Last Sunday morning, I sat down with some homeowners to discuss their options relating to the foreclosure mess they were in. Through the course of the conversation, I learned that they had just received a letter stating that they didn’t qualify for a loan modification, after having been in a period of “Trial Modification.” Some of you might have heard of people in Trial Mods. Maybe you are in one yourself. If so, there are some things you ABSOLUTELY need to know about how these things work.

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Posted by on in Off Market/Discreet Listings

I just signed 3 new properties. A large condo in Glendale, near the Americana, a nice little 2 bedroom house in Mt Washington, and a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Monterey Park. It’s going to take some time to negotiate them with the bank and close, but be ready if those areas are on your radar. You will have the chance to buy these without having to compete with other buyers, or having to wait months and months for the bank to decide if they will sell them to you or not. Call me if you want to see one.

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It was sensible. It was reasonable. It went something like this: If you didn’t pay your mortgage for 90 days, a Notice of Default was filed. You got 90 more days to pay, and if you didn’t then a Notice of Trustees Sale was published, and if you still couldn’t pay, your home was sold to the highest bidder 21 days later at the county courthouse steps. The total process from the days the NOD was filed took 111 days. Ah, the good old days. If only things were so simple today.

In today’s world there is no obvious rhyme or reason to the manner in which foreclosure is conducted. The average home in foreclosure doesn’t actually go to auction until (Ready for this?) 461 days after the NOD is filed! Some take substantially longer than that. Some people might say that given the overwhelming numbers of people in foreclosure today, and the existence of a genuine crisis for so many, this could be a good thing. It could help someone when they need it most. Although it can feel that way for many people, I couldn’t disagree more.

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Posted by on in House Flipping

Just closed a short sale flip in Mount Washington.

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Posted by on in Avoiding Foreclosure

Have you or anyone you know ever had to deal with foreclosure? If you live in CA 2010, and if you stop and think about it, the answer is probably, “Yes.” If this is the case, then I have some info you need to know. According to ForeclosureRadar.com, within the county of Los Angeles alone, there were 3026 foreclosures in 09. These weren’t your ordinary “I’m sick of hearing about them on every front page” variety foreclosures. No sir. These were special. This unique group of foreclosures represents the worst variety of foreclosure known to man. These 3026 foreclosures were properties that went back to the bank while the owner still had at least 30% equity in the property.

What does this mean? In plain English the people in this group lost between $50,000-$250,000 each when the bank foreclosed. I don’t mean they lost this money on paper. This isn’t money lost because the house dropped in value. I mean that had they simply sold their homes before the bank foreclosed, they could have walked away with between $50,000 and $250,000 hard, cold cash in their pockets.

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When faced with foreclosure, the first thing most homeowners will do is to call their lender in hopes of obtaining a loan modification. The vast majority of people would like to remain in their home if at all possible, and a loan modification is usually the only way that this can be achieved.

For a very select group of people, loan mods are the answer to their problems. For most however, putting your faith in the success of a loan modification can cause serious problems.

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This sweet little condo is the least expensive one to be found in Old Town Pasadena. “Location, Location, Location” as the saying goes. Just steps away from the Paseo Colorado, The Gold Line, and all the night life that Old Town has to offer. Brand new hard wood floors, and fresh paint make this move in ready condo perfect your cozy get away, or for a renter who wants to be near the action.

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