September 17th, 2010, The Norris Group returns with its award winning event I Survived Real Estate 2010. The Norris Group has assembled an incredible line up of industry experts to discuss the state of REO from the inside. Topics will include regulatory intervention and aftermath, bulk buying, myths and facts, and opportunities emerging for real estate professionals. 100 percent of the proceeds support the Orange County affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This event would not be possible without generous help from the following platinum partners: Foreclosure Radar and Sean O’Toole, the San Diego Creative Real Estate Investors Association and Bill Tan, Investors Workshops and Shawn Watkins and Angel Bronsgeest, Invest Club for Women and Iris Veneracion and Bobby Alexander, Claudia Buys Houses, The Business Press, Frye Wiles, MVT Productions, and White House Catering.
This week Bruce is joined by Peter Wayman. Peter is the Senior REO Sales Director for Freddie Mac. He oversees the design of sales strategies and how those strategies are applied across the REO portfolio. His group oversees the retail sales process, auctions and investor sales. Peter is responsible for the Affordable Housing Strategy: selling homes to organizations engaged in neighborhood stabilization. Peter came to Freddie Mac with 32 years of executive relocation experience. In that position, he has won national awards and is in the hall of fame.
The major product offered by the relocation industry has been the purchase of the transferee’s home. Peter is accustomed to valuing and selling on a cost plus basis. He does not have to foreclose and evict transferees, but he does have to call executives of companies and tell them the value of their homes. The relocation industry operates globally.
Freddie Mac’s primary method for selling homes is to put them in the hands of great brokers. Also, special incentives are offered to owner occupants to encourage purchasing. Freddie Mac’s focus is to make home buying possible, and to do that by positioning their homes fairly for owner occupants. To effectively use this strategy, homes must be conditioned for financing, buyer’s closing costs must be addressed, and home warrantee programs are offered as well. Freddie is biased towards getting owner occupants into homes.
History shows that if an owner occupant lives in a house, their occupancy improves their neighborhood. Freddie Mac is concerned with neighborhood stabilization. When owner occupants invest their money into a house, they connect more with the community and have more pride in their community.
In 2009, Freddie Mac ended the year with 71% of its homes going to owner occupants. This year, we are slightly under that percentage. We are in a prime selling season now, and Freddie Mac is finishing one of their special programs for owner occupants.
The ratio of 70:30 for owner occupants to other types of owners is considered acceptable by Freddie Mac. Freddie realizes that some of their properties are not currently suitable for occupants. Freddie puts the Neighborhood Stabilization funds into the hands of an NSP grantee for properties in bad condition. The NSP grantee uses the funds to renovate the home, add green energy options to it, and then sell it to an affordable buyer. These homes often receive $30,000 in renovations, which is not something that many private investors can do. Most of these funds are targeting extremely hard hit areas and some homes are even being considered for tear down.
Not all investors do a bad job of renovating properties, but Freddie Mac has to deal with a wide scope of investors. Freddie Mac considers responsible investors to be a viable option for getting rid of inventory.
NSP funds are delivered from a city or county. The largest portions of the funds come from the federal government, but state governments, land banks, and non-profit associations are also engaged in neighborhood stabilization. Freddie Mac is open to working with all of these companies.
Companies with NSP funds have an advantage when looking for properties owned by Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac uses an NCST (National Community Stabilization Trust), which provides access to grantees with NSP funds. The NCST works with a large number of grantees and servicers. It creates an interchange which shows all of the servicer’s properties on a google-type map. The grantees may then look to see if there are properties being offered in their designated census tracks for neighborhood stabilization. They then immediately have the opportunity to ask the servicer for a home’s price. All of this happens during the pre-list phase of moving REO inventory, so grantees have the opportunity to view properties while Freddie Mac is still valuing the properties.
Some cities have had trouble spending their funds for damaged properties. This may be due to the difference in reaction time when compared to a private investor. Some of the NSP-1 funds had to be committed as of today, but there are also NSP-2 and NSP-3 funds. Each grantee takes a different approach on assembling their programs. Some of them got started more quickly than others.
Freddie Mac has been heavily involved in the modification process and in foreclosure alternatives. Peter believes those two tools are becoming much more effective, because the servicers and Freddie Mac are developing more effective automation. Also, staff training has improved, and the real estate community is becoming more educated. All of these things have helped make modifications and foreclosure alternatives more effective.
Banks are beginning to address serious delinquencies. At the end of the 4th quarter of 2009, serious delinquencies peaked at 4.13 percent of all mortgages. This percentage has been coming down for 5 months in a row.
We are also seeing the REO inventory increasing. In January 2009, we had 21,000 REO homes, and in January 2010, we had 45,000. At the end of July 1st, we had 62,000 REOs. That 62,000 represents inventory in redemption, eviction, pre-list, listed, sold and going into closing. Generally speaking, over 50 percent of REO inventory is in redemption, eviction, and pre-list. That number is currently closer to 55 percent.
Peter believes it has been proven that losses are lessened by modifications. The sooner you address the problem, the lower the costs are in the process. A foreclosure should be considered a last resort.
Modifications had a 60 percent failure rate. Peter believes that as the modification process has gone to using written verification and careful coaching, the failure rate has gone down.
In September, Peter will be a part of the I Survived Real Estate 2010 panel. He will be speaking in front of about 400 eager investors, who will be trying to figure out how to get their share of Freddie Mac’s properties, and possibly even get a chance at a bulk purchase.
Peter is very excited to work with this charity program. Freddie Mac has to be primarily concerned with getting rid of properties at the lowest cost to the tax payer. Freddie Mac has discovered that nothing works better than listing properties with a great real estate broker, exposing it to the entire market, having a property priced and conditioned right, and allowing that exposure to drive a retail sale within 90 to 120 days. This focus tends to work extremely well. There are some assets that do not sell within that time frame. When assests don’t sell well, Freddie Mac turns to ballroom auctions and online auctions, and finally to bulk sales for investors. Investor bulk sales are not perceived as having the highest potential recovery rate. Less than 0.5 percent goes through bulk investor sales. Freddie Mac is currently developing a better strategy for bulk sales. There should be more bulk sale activity in the future.
Some states have different real estate problems, and there are some problems that necessitate different solutions. In Florida, Freddie Mac has a waver on REO condo requirements, so Florida condos make great candidates for bulk sales. Properties with Chinese drywall, low values, no insurance options, no occupancy certificates, or environmental problems will be more likely to end up in a bulk sale. Lots of investors contact Freddie Mac asking to buy all the $200,000 properties in California and Arizona. Peter responds to those investors saying, “You mean all those properties that I get multiple offers on within the first two weeks of being listed on the market?” Freddie Mac does not need investors to buy those properties.
For more information about The Norris Group’s California hard money loans or our California Trust Deed investments, visit the website or call our office at 951-780-5856 for more information. For upcoming California real estate investor training and events, visit The Norris Group website and our California investor calendar. You’ll also find our award-winning real estate radio show on KTIE 590am at 6pm on Saturdays or you can listen to over 170 podcasts in our free investor radio archive.
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Tags: affordable housing, auction, broker, bruce norris, bulk buying, bulk sale, chinese drywall, condo, delinquencies, eviction, foreclosure, freddie mac, inventory, investor, modification, NCST, neighborhood stabilization, nsp, owner occupant, Peter Wayman, podcast, Radio, real estate, redemption, renovation, reo, the norris group