Archive for January, 2013

One Stop Shop To Fill Duplex Vacancies

said on January 7th, 2013 categorized under: Multi-Family Property Investing

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orange for rentIf you’re a duplex owner or landlord, you might find and its sister site, to be a great tool for getting your vacant units rented quickly.

Padmapper is a site geared toward tenants looking to rent in a specific area. It appears to gather rental listings for the area from places like Craigslist and, as well as postings placed by investment property owners on Padlister, and highlight them on a map of the area.

Each rental address has a pin in it, which, when clicked on, gives the basics about the unit that’s for rent; like number of bedrooms, baths, and how much the rent is.

It also publishes a figure of how the amount of rent being charged compares to other properties in the area. For example, it may say the vacant unit is a certain percentage below market rent, or above.

This can be a useful tool if you have a vacancy and want a resource besides Craigslist to help you determine market rent.

One note of caution however; the site does make mistakes. Two neighborhoods can be separated by just six blocks, and have completely different values when it comes to rent.

Padlister provides landlords with a free advertising tool. It allows rental property owners to post their vacancies for free, provides a template to create better looking ads to post to places like Craigslist through Postlets, and even provides an online rental application form and credit check for prospective tenants.

The site is free, so it might be worth a try.

FHA Rejects Duplex Short Sales

said on January 3rd, 2013 categorized under: Short Sales/Foreclosure

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minneapolis duplex short sales rejectedIf you’re behind on your duplex payments, and are considering a short sale, you may need to act fast.

Specifically, local attorneys who specialize in negotiating short sales have begun to see a disturbing trend with FHA and VA mortgages. Simply put, if the sheriff’s sale has occurred, most banks are refusing to negotiate a short sale.

In Minnesota, the sheriff’s sale is usually scheduled when a duplex owner is six months behind in mortgage payments. While most short sales and foreclosures in recent years have in fact taken much longer than this, it is best to prepare as if the lender will work within the time frames allowed by law.

The first thing a distressed duplex owner must do is find out whether or not the sheriff’s sale has occured. The bank is required to inform the property owner of the first scheduled sale. If ┬áthe sale is postponed, the lender is not required to formally notify the seller.

If the sale has happened, it’s important to contact the lender to obtain confirmation that they will still consider a short sale.

If the sale hasn’t occurred, duplex sellers should contact their lender to begin the short sale pre-approval process. If the seller is eligible, the lender will order an appraisal and issue an “approval to participate” document.

This letter will state what the approved sales price is. It’s important to note, however, that it will not stop the short sale process.

If there isn’t time to complete the FHA pre-approval process before the sheriff’s sale, or the seller has a VA loan, the duplex owner may be able to get the sheriff’s sale postponed five months, provided they live in the property. However, obtaining this extension must be done at least 15 days before the sale.

If you’re a duplex seller facing foreclosure, it is probably best to get seasoned professionals on your side, who can help guide you to resources and through the difficult months ahead.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me for solutions.

Real Estate Makes Like The Roadrunner

said on January 2nd, 2013 categorized under: Legislation

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A Real Roadrunner

A Real Roadrunner

Whew. Real estate didn’t go over the fiscal cliff.

Just like the Roadrunner, a last minute Congressional dash helped avoid what could have been a disaster, when late yesterday, the U.S House of Representatives passed the Senate’s legislation to avert any further damage.

What this means to people who own or are selling real estate is:

  • Mortgage debt cancellation, which was a non-taxable event under the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012”, will be extended. In other words, if you sell your property as a short sale or lose it to foreclosure, you may not be taxed on the debt forgiveness. (Duplex owners should consult with their tax professionals, as part or all of your debt forgiveness may, in fact, trigger tax consequences.)
  • The capital gains tax rate will remain at 15 percent for most households. Anyone earning more than $400,000-450,000 a year, however, will pay a rate of 20 percent.
  • Taxes for gains on the sale of a principal residence of up to $500,000 for married couples and $250,000 for individualts remains in effect. Only homesellers who earn more than than $450,000 a year may face tax consequences on the sale of their homes.
  • The tax deductions for mortgage insurance pemiums and state and local property taxes have been extended.

This is good news for a still recovering real estate market.

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