Thursday, March 11, 2010


Secrets Revealed: Investing in foreclosures. Own your dream home or best real estate investments in auctions

So why foreclosures???

I never knew that there were auctions that only required down payments as low as 5~10%! Anyway, having a low down payment requirement is really one of the advantages of buying foreclosed properties. I often hear people say that investing in real estate requires a lot of money. I beg to disagree! However, I do understand where these people are coming from as I too had the same thoughts until I found out that only low down payments are required when buying bank-foreclosed properties and this is often called leverage.

I’m not really sure what the last sentence meant but what I do understand is that longer payment terms mean lower monthly amortizations which translates to higher positive cashflow. The last sentence could also mean that you will be paying amortizations based on the value of the real estate at the time of purchase (so you peg the price). At the end of the payment period, the value of the property has already appreciated and you can profit from the appreciation when you sell the property. Hedging basically means that you buy low now and peg the purchase price because you anticipate that the value of the property you bought will appreciate later.

8% interest rates are usually available only for the first year and this is often not a fixed rate. This means at the end of the year your loan may be subject to “repricing” or adjustments in case the market interest rates have changed. What happens if a new financial crisis happens(God forbid) and interest rates shoot up? Then the interest rate of your loan shoots up as well along with your monthly amortizations, which can lead to negative cashflow situations and even more foreclosures. This is the reason why I often advice that one should always make sure that their interest rates are fixed for the longest possible term. By the way, other lending institutions like Pag-IBIG may offer lower interest rates (6% for loans up to Php400,000 and 7% for loans over Php400,000 up to Php750,000). I suppose transferring a loan from a bank to Pag-IBIG would be a good option in such cases.

Some banks use a Contract-To-Sell (CTS) wherein the Title of the property is not yet transferred to the buyer until the purchase price is paid in full. In contrast, if a property was bought through a mortgage loan, the Title is already transferred to the buyer and the same Title is then mortgaged to the bank. Because of this, the latter may require more stringent requirements. But still, even if a bank or a lending institution will be using a CTS, they would still do a credit investigation like checking a buyer’s capacity to pay, etc.

Banks are supposed to do due diligence before they accept a property as collateral for a loan so this is very true. Nevertheless, one should always do his or her due diligence even if one is buying a foreclosed property from a bank  because sometimes foreclosed properties are involved in pending court cases (like the red tag foreclosed properties from BPI-Buena Mano)  and these are annotated on the Title as a lis pendens (pending case). Always do your due diligence. At the minimum, one should get certified true copies of the Title plus traceback from the registry of deeds, etc.

I believe what they were trying to say was one can get immediate appreciation in the form of instant equity (Equity is the difference between a property’s current appraised value /market value and the loan principal balance) if you are able to buy a foreclosed property at a price below market value. This is the essence of the statement “You make money when you buy, not when you sell” as often said by Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. Just make sure that you really are buying a property below market value by doing your own property valuation.

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