Archive for April, 2014

Download Your FREE Poster by filling in the blanks in the form below

PosterScamWhiteSAMPLE




 

Odds are, if you are in the residential rental property world, you have heard or know an investor who has been scammed by one of the internet dirt-bags.

This is nothing new. Remember the online scam where the victim is sent an email from who knows where, reporting they have won or inherited a billion dollars? But in order to claim it, the victim must pay for the processing fees and government stamps, etc.

You and I both say “there’s no way anyone with any sense would fall for this.” But Guess What? It is still happening every day with normal folks. These scammers would NOT be doing this if it did not work.

Here is how I know it is still happening and the scammers are still getting money from victims. My banker told me just a few weeks ago, he gets one or two customers a week who want to wire money to these scammers. Unbelievable. The scams continue.

Even as a retired Louisville Police detective, I have been scammed on several of my rentals. Let me share with you how it works.

The scammer surfs the internet for houses for rent. They find an unlimited supply of homes for rent on various websites from www.VistaKY.com, www.TenantFinderService.com, www.RentalHouses.com, www.Zillow.com, www.Craigslist.org and many more.

They find your rental house to target. The address is 123 Main St., Louisville, Ky 40207. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with finished basement and 2 car attached garage. The rent for this home is $1200.

Here is what usually happens in this rental property scam.

STEP 1: After finding your target property, they download your all of your photos and details about this property from the online source they viewed. Think about this for a moment. The scammer has everything you have entered on the internet for the public to view. PLUS, most of the time they can use Google Maps to drive down the street, see what is on the corner (Walgreen’s, McD’s, etc) and the scammer can describe your rental and the neighborhood in great detail.

STEP 2: The scammer enters ALL of the information on your rental by “Stealing and Pasting” into a CraigsList.com Ad or any other website allowing investors to enter rental properties for free. The scammer lists the rent for your home at $899 which is a bargain for your rental home.

STEP 3: The Scammer’s ad will always have some kind of B.S. story about them being an “Out of Town Owner.” Some times they request a deposit up front and they will give them the key to see the home after receiving their money. They also inform the interested potential tenant that they have hired a local company to help get it rented and you might see their sign in the yard. Scammer tells them he is not satisfied with their service and he just decided to rent it himself or herself.

STEP 4: Unfortunately, many times the applicants actually send  money to the scammers and wait for the key to the house. After receiving no response, these folks then call the number on the yard sign and complain to the real owner (YOU) they want their money back. Don’t laugh, this is true.

You are totally blind-sided when you get this call. You are furious, ticked off, and want to find out exactly what is going on with your rental. Your jaw drops and you want to do something, take action now to stop it now.

What Can You Really Do? Think about it. Can you call the police? OK, what will the police do after hearing your story. First of all, you are NOT the victim. Your potential applicants are the victim. Who is going to pay for this? Who will get locked up and go to jail? Good Luck!

So what is a poor investor to do?

Here is your Best Tool To Prevent Your Leads from Being Scammed. It is simple and easy.

Your solution is shown below. Get some bright neon yellow paper and print.

Print 2 or 3 copies and place several on the inside of the front windows of your vacant rental and I promise, this will definitely get the attention of your prospective applicants.

To Your Continued $uccess,

Mike Butler

 

POWER LUNCH Chalk Talk Series

Back by Popular Demand!

00 PowerLunchTues15 – 20 minutes of “Meat & Potatoes” Training for Real Estate Investors

For Gold Members and Inner Circle Members Only
Gold Members are emailed the link to access Power Lunch Chalk Talk Series

 If you are not a Gold Member, Click to Join Now

 

 

 

 

FLOOD INSURANCE

Earlier this year, your real estate market was devastated with the implementation of the new flood insurance program. Previously, any home in a flood plain, that had a federally insured loan (most do), were required to have flood insurance, no exceptions,
Prior to January 2014, if a buyer got a federally back home loan and borrowed $125,000, their annual flood insurance policy premium is roughly 1% with an annual premium of $1,250 in addition to all of the other regular insurance, etc.
I first learned of this mess when my wife Beth and I had dinner with our next door neighbors, Heidi and Sean. When we met them at the restaurant on a Tuesday evening, they were furious, angry, frustrated and shocked.
Heidi and Sean were selling their previous home, had a contract on it and were scheduled to close on “this friday.” (we are in the restaurant on Tuesday evening.) Heidi just learned on Tuesday afternoon, 3 days before the scheduled closing that their buyer’s already approved loan was being cancelled due to the new flood insurance program that went into effect around January 10th or so.
Heidi and Sean’s annual flood insurance premium for their previous home they were selling was about $2,000.
Their new buyer’s flood insurance premium for the same house, jumped to $23,000 a Year because of the new changes. WOW!  No wonder their buyer’s loan was cancelled.
As you can see, there was no way they could sell their previous home and they rented it for the time being.
This rocked my local market big time and killed many pending real estate transactions and it also did the same for many communities across America.
UPDATE: with a lot of uproar from the real estate industry, our federal government recently passed a bill making some modifications to the federal flood insurance program.
What triggered the original fiasco is the turning off of federal government “subsidizing” flood insurance premiums. Insurance experts explained that the flood insurance premiums were never increased. The extreme price increase occurred when the federal government stopped the funding of flood insurance premiums.
The recently passed new modification to the federal flood insurance program postpones terminating federal assistance in 5 years.
This means for right now, you are ok, but only for 5 years, then the mess is triggered again.
TIP:  If you or your family members or loved ones own real estate in a flood plain, you might want to do some more homework on your local market and give serious consideration to selling now before the bomb drops in 5 years.
My personal concern about all of this flood plain and insurance changes is not so much for the investor, like me and you, but just think about the poor old homeowner. A homeowner who worked their whole life at a job, who considers their home an investment, and in one fell swoop, our federal government just causes these folks to go belly up.
What if these homeowners live on a pension and their flood insurance premium skyrockets from $1,200 a year to $12,000 annually. They are sunk. They can not sell because the value of their home has tanked.
And these homeowners are somebody’s mom and dad, aunt and uncle, brother, sister, and so on.
 
To Your Continued $uccess!
Mike