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Why Choose Probate Investing?

By Sharon Vornholt

Probates have been my #1 source of leads for more than a decade.  I love working with probates, however that’s not true for all investors.  The reason this niche is so good is because you will never run out of leads, and the heirs almost always need to sell the property.  It’s usually just a question of whether it’s a “pretty house” that will be listed (listen up Realtors), or it’s an ugly house needing repairs and updates that will be sold to an investor.  It’s a pretty straight forward choice in most cases.  Whether it’s a pretty house or an ugly house, there is so much opportunity here.

Why Do Investors Shy Away from Probates?

I think there are 2 main reasons investors are reluctant to work in the niche of probates.

1. First of all, they just don’t understand how the probate process works.

Investors think that they have to know a lot of legal stuff which just isn’t true. Since probate is a legal process, you do need to have a basic understanding of the probate process and the steps involved. Specifically, you need to know when the house can be sold.  One other thing that will help you tremendously is being familiar with the terminology used in probate.  Knowing these two things will allow you to show up as the “expert” to help them with their problem which is an unwanted house.

2. The second reason is that their mindset holds them back.

Probate investing isn’t that much different than other niches in real estate, particularly when it comes to off-market deals. There will be things you need to learn that are unique to that particular niche.

Because the property is part of an estate, it makes a difference in the way people feel about it.  Investors often feel like it’s creepy working with probates. Or they feel like they are taking advantage of someone at what is undeniably one of the worst times of their life when they make a low-ball offer.  They feel guilty even when it’s a fixer-upper that needs a lot of work.

It’s important to understand that it couldn’t be further from the truth.  In almost every case, the property must be sold before the estate can be closed.  That means that the heirs have to take care of the business of settling the estate, before the they can collect what they have inherited.

Here is the main thing to remember about probate; this is a great niche for investors because the heirs almost never want the house.  They just want the cash sitting in that property. This is also a very profitable and untapped source of leads for Realtors. In a seller’s market like we’re in now, a large percentage of those properties will likely be listed on the MLS. I’ve been doing this a long time, but I don’t know of a single Realtor in my area that specializes in probate property. As I said before, there is so much opportunity for both real estate investors and agents.

Showing Up as the Expert

Remember that marketing is how you get leads, and branding is why they choose YOU.

When you are able to show up as the expert to talk to a motivated seller, they will choose you over the other investors every single time because of your knowledge about probate.  The seller will be able to identify with you. They will also be confident they’ve made the right decision because they view you a trusted expert.

Armed with your knowledge about probate, all your marketing will get better results because you will have built a rock-solid brand around your expert status.  You begin this whole process by changing your mindset.  That’s the first step. Then once you have learned the terminology, you know the steps in the probate process, and you understand how to market to these folks, I can promise that you will be light years ahead of your competition.


 

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.

To find learn how you can become the probate expert in your area, check out my course, Probate Investing Simplified

 

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Using a Probate Lead Service Can Make Your Business Efficient and Profitable

By Leon McKenzie

Have you been working in the probate business for a while and aren’t sure you are making any progress?  Do you find yourself dreading your trips to the local courthouse, frustrated by the amount of paperwork to sift through, when you could be spending time with friends and family?  If this describes your situation, then it may be time to take a hard look at how using a lead service can save you time and help make you money.

Professional probate leads services are designed to fulfill the needs of probate investors in two major areas.  First, by using a probate leads service, you can have access to a customized list of probate leads that are located in the areas that you choose to target.  Secondly, taking advantage of a leads service can make your business run more profitably and efficiently.  These are the main reasons that highly successful probate investors take advantage of a leads service.

Probate Leads Fuel Your Business

When a loved one passes away, they generally leave quite a bit of property behind, which has to be sold by the Executor of the estate.  The Executor is the court appointed representative of the individual who has passed away and has the job of making sure that legal and tax paperwork is filed in a timely manner and, once the assets are sold, will make distributions to heirs as noted by the will or the court system.

Gary Digrazia writes, “In my Probate Real Estate business our life blood, of course, is the leads we work.  Estates have real property which needs to be sold to settle the estate.  Where do we receive the leads and how do we have a constant supply for now and future business?”  This is really a core question for every probate real estate investor to answer.  If you are working in the probate business, then you know that having access to data is critical in order to move your business forward.  As an investor, you certainly can take the time to visit your local courthouse to see the records in person.  When you are beginning your business, this is probably a good exercise in understanding the process of how probates are filed and what is necessary in ensuring that the property is sold and the profits are distributed.  Taking the time to see and understand the process can be helpful in gaining a broad understanding of how the probate process works.

That said, taking half a day on a regular basis to visit your local courthouse can become a drain on your business.  In addition to the travel involved in going, there is the use of gas, the time spent parking, paying for parking if necessary, and then the hours spent finding and locating viable leads.  While having access to viable probate leads is a necessary part of the business, it frankly might not be the best use of your time.

Using US Probate Leads Gives You an Edge

As an entrepreneur, how you spend your time directly influences the ability of your business to succeed.  Going to the courthouse week after week can eat up a good deal of the time that you have available to actually work your business.  While you are at the courthouse, you could be sending communications campaigns, meeting with potential sellers, networking with attorneys that specialize in estate law or speaking to business and community groups in the area, getting more exposure for your business.  Taking the time to dig through records simply might not be the best use of your time.  This is the reason that many probate professionals choose to use a probate leads service.  Said Leon McKenzie, the CEO of US Probate Leads, “Our researchers, numbering into the hundreds, are in county courthouses across the country finding a never ending stream of probate real estate leads. This really puts us in the unique position of being the only source of probate real estate leads with such a broad reach into this niche market. US Probate Leads is second to none when it comes to both the quality and the breadth of research that goes into providing you with prospects that are both well vetted and favorably located for you.”

Having probate leads that are focused on areas and types of property that you are looking for gives you an edge in the real estate market.  While other probate entrepreneurs might prefer to get their leads the “old fashioned way” by going to the courthouse, you can move right to contacting the Executor and visiting the property.  By the time a competing probate investor finds what they are looking for, you may have already made a deal!  This is one of the most compelling reasons to use US Probate Leads.

Why Do Executors Want to Sell?

Once a probate has been filed with the courthouse, in order to have the best opportunity to purchase it at a low cost, you’ll have to move quickly.  Having access to a lead service can keep you abreast of the changes in your area and immediately shows you new filings.  Finding out as soon as a filing has been made gives you a distinct advantage in providing you time to drive by the property and also in contacting the seller.  There are real reasons that you want to have access to this information so that you can make a deal.  While leads are generally good for up to eighteen months, there are many Executors that move at a rapid pace once a loved one has passed away.  They may do this for a variety of reasons.  If the Executor is struggling with grief, it may be easier to simply sell the family home to eliminate the painful memories.  Also, if the Executor lives out of state, they may feel the need to sell as soon as possible.  This is because they will be facing repairs and maintenance of a home that they cannot easily supervise.  Selling the home quickly is a way to eliminate that stressor.  Executors also may need cash in order to pay bills that have accumulated in the individual’s name, such as funeral expenses, tax bills, medical charges or credit card expenses.  By selling the home quickly they will have cash to cover these financial needs.  The Executor may also have no one who is willing to live in the property and may not want to be in the position of having to rent it out.

All of these reasons are what compels an Executor to move quickly when selling a probate property.  If you have access to professional probate leads then you can take advantage of making a deal to assist them in moving on from their family home.  This is an important reason to have a professional lead service identifying options in your area.

The Professional Probate Leads Process by US Probate Leads

It might seem too good to be true to be able to have probate leads delivered into your inbox on a regular basis.  With the US Probate Leads service, you can have just that.  Said McKenzie, “We have relationships with banks and credit card companies that utilize our service. These contacts have allowed us to establish a network of Data Researchers throughout the US. This network coupled with our proprietary data mining tools and processes allow us to access probate data at a cost which allows us to provide reasonably priced information to you. Our network of Data Researchers located throughout the US provides the first wave of data access. We couple that with proprietary tools and processes which allow us to access the data you need.”

What this means is that every probate investor working with the experts at US Probate Leads can have access to probate real estate records without the hassle of sifting through tons of other types of filings, saving time and effort.  McKenzie went on to say, “We provide all estate-related probates. Most probate courts also handle guardianships, conservatorships and cases pertaining to minors. There can be a great deal of excess information in these records – information that does not benefit you as a Probate Investor. We cull those records out and provide you records that have the potential for having real estate as part of the estate.”  Once the record has arrived to your inbox, all you have to do is to contact the Executor and follow up on a regular basis if it is a property that you are interested in pursuing.  This streamlined process is what allows probate investors to net huge profits each and every year.

Finding More than Just Residential Real Estate with Professional Probate Leads

When you choose to use a professional probate lead process like the one offered by US Probate Leads, you may find more than just residential real estate.  Many probate cases have homes, vacation homes, businesses, commercial property, apartments and personal property attached to them.  This means that there are many ways to profit.  Having access to information that will propel your business forward is a powerful tool in a competitive market.

Being able to access information about more than just residential real estate offers your business the ability to diversify as well.  Instead of simply buying and selling or holding and renting residential real estate, you may be able to find a business that will generate additional cash or add commercial or vacation homes to your portfolio.  Having leads gives you this type of flexibility which will allow you to adjust to changing market conditions quickly. 

US Probate Leads is the Expert in Probate Leads Service

Now that you understand why it is critical to have access to a probate leads service and how the process works, it is time to take advantage of what US Probate Leads has to offer.  Whether you are a new probate entrepreneur or you have been in business for a long period of time, you can be sure that adding automated data retrieval will give you a competitive edge in your business investments and access to the newest properties coming on the market.

Contact US Probate Leads today for more information on how we can assist you in accessing probate leads for your county.  Our trained, friendly team of probate associates will help you get set up in just minutes.  And, if you are looking for additional support, look to US Probate Leads for software, books, webinars, seminars and individualized mentoring programs that can take your business to the next level.  Call today!

 

Sources:

http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/1936988/how-do-we-find-probate-leads

http://www.usprobateleads.com/FAQ.aspx

 


US Probate Leads
Leon McKenzie
Chief Operating Officer

Leon cofounded US Probate Leads more than 12 years ago and has witnessed its growth during that period from a one city lead provider in the probate space to the only national provider of probate leads for virtually every county in the country.

Leon likes to point out that US Probate Leads is the only company providing Probate-related Real Estate-related leads to Investors and Realtors based on data collected directly from individual probate courts in virtually every state. This has been achieved by building a National Network of Researchers that visit each county one time each month. Leon’s team processes this incoming data and makes it available to individual subscribers for their use in reaching out to highly motivated property sellers.

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Vast Inventory of Underwater Homes Causing Lead Shortage

By Leon McKenzie

Professional real estate investors who are looking for properties have had a hard time finding a good supply recently.  Market forces, issues with the overall banking industry and consumer perception have all created changes to the real estate industry that have certainly hampered the purchases of homes and other forms of real estate.  These changes have made it difficult for real estate investors to find properties that fit the needs of their portfolio.

Underwater Homes Part of the Problem

You may have heard the phrase “underwater” used in the real estate market.  What it means is that the value of the property is less than the amount that it was originally mortgaged for.  This is common with homes that were purchased before the recession that started in 2008.   For the homeowner, this means that they are prevented from many options that would allow them to move to a bigger home or even to downsize.

When a home is underwater, the owner, in order to sell the property would have to provide the gap between the sale price and the mortgage value.  Most homeowners don’t have the financial wherewithal to come up with the thousands of dollars that it would cost to get out of a current property and move into a new property when they have to come to the closing table with cash.

Homeowners with properties that are underwater are also generally unable to refinance their homes as most banks require a full appraisal of the property before they will close on a new loan.  When a home is underwater, the new appraisal will establish the current value of the home, which may be tens of thousands of dollars below where the home was originally appraised when it was purchased.  This means that many, if not most, homes won’t be able to be refinanced. 

What is the result?  For the most part, homes that are underwater stay with their current owners until their mortgages are paid off because the owners can’t afford to sell them.  This situation in the market is a direct contributor to the shortage of real estate in the market.  Trey Garrison writes, “Redfin asks what’s causing the inventory crunch and what they found is that, according to RealtyTrac, more than 7 million homeowners can’t sell because they’re deeply underwater, meaning they owe more on their properties than they’re worth. That figure is falling as rising home values put more homeowners into the black, but those same price gains, coupled with weak wage growth and tight credit, are discouraging many from selling and trading up.”

Overall Inventory is Well Below Average

Due to the challenges with home values, there are fewer homes on the market than need to be in order to support a strong real estate investment market.  Garrison said, “Nationwide, the total number of unsold homes rose 5.3% in March to 2 million, but at the current pace of sales, that supply would be exhausted in only 4.6 months, according to the National Association of RealtorsIn the 50 markets Redfin analyzed, about 30% of unsold houses were fresh as of March 31, up from about 24% three years ago.  In Charlotte, where the number of properties for sale is at its lowest in at least three years, fresh listings — those less than 30 days old — accounted for only 5.5% of Charlotte’s inventory as of March 31, also a low. Last month, only 55 new properties came on the market, compared with 225 a year ago.”

This is a phenomenon that is being seen all over the country, though some areas are better off than others.  The shortage in real estate inventory means that prices are increased and real estate investors are having a much harder time finding properties that meet their budgets.  Garrison goes on to say, “In Indianapolis, even a 26.6% year-over-year surge in new listings in March wasn’t enough to replenish depleted inventory. Inventory is so low in Oakland, Denver and Dallas-Fort Worth that fresh listings abnormally accounted for a larger share of inventory last month as buyers whittled away at less-desirable properties and builders raced to keep up with demand. Dallas-Fort Worth added more than 100,000 people between 2013 and 2014. Last month, there were 14,332 fewer properties for sale than in March 2012. New listings fell more than 27%.  ‘All the desirable properties are getting snatched up in three days. The ones that are left become our stale inventory,’ Dallas Redfin agent Connie Durnal said. ‘It’s driving the prices up and increasing multiple offers. I don’t see it ending.’”

California is one area that is seeing both contraction and expansion in real estate inventory. Nick Nisperos writes, “Sales growth could be stiff where inventory is tight, experts said, such as the San Francisco Bay area. But in less expensive areas, such as the Inland Empire, demand will remain strong thanks to solid job growth in warehousing, transportation, logistics and manufacturing, experts said. John Husing, chief economist for the San Bernardino-based Inland Empire Economic Partnership business advocacy group, said sales are ‘gently rising’ during the economic recovery. ‘I think what is starting to come online a little bit more is migration from the coastal communities because a large share of the market has been priced out of the ability to buy anything,’ Husing said. ‘I think we’re going to start to see more of that migration with the economy of Southern California as a whole strengthening and the inability of a very wide percentage of the population to afford housing in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties.’”

Certain geographical areas are seeing a rise in prices due to low inventory and other areas are more affordable.  What is happening in California is typical of what is happening throughout the country.

Slow Construction Another Factor in Lead Shortage

The shortage of homes on the market has also been impacted by slow construction. Decreased construction means that there are fewer new homes for people who want to move into another form of housing.  Construction has been slowed by a lack of demand as well as challenges for builders in finding financing in order to move forward with new developments.  Garrison writes, “Builders haven’t kept pace, either. They’re breaking ground on 1.07 million houses, condominiums and apartments a year, but the U.S. requires between 1.6 million and 1.9 million new units just to accommodate population growth and household formation, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing.”

New construction is an important way for the real estate market to create opportunities for people to move.  When enough new construction isn’t being created, then it decreases the overall amount of housing inventory for possible buyers and sellers, driving prices upward as supply slips.  Memphis is a prime example of where new construction has taken a nosedive, resulting in fewer leads overall for the total area and forcing companies to take radical steps in order to continue to build.  Not only is there shortage of homes being built, but a shortage of lots on which to build them.  Amos Maki writes, “’The lot situation in Shelby County is getting critically low,’ said David Goodwin Jr., owner of David Goodwin Jr. Cos. LLC and president of the West Tennessee Home Builders Association. ‘We know what the problem is. There is very little coming online as far as new developed lots are concerned.’ Some builders, including Grant Homes, even waded into the development world, developing lots and other subdivision infrastructure that developers normally handle. ‘Quite frankly we’d rather be a homebuilder but right now we’re a developer, too, because we need lots to be able to build on,’ said Kim Grant-Brown of Grant Homes.”

With a slowing of growth of the economy, fewer lots to build on and homeowners that are underwater, the stage has been set for investors to struggle in finding new homes and properties to add to their portfolio. 

Probate, Divorce and Bankruptcy Lead Sources Offer Hope to Real Estate Investors

Savvy real estate investors have come to the conclusion that current market forces are not that favorable in the traditional market.  There are other ways to find properties that do fit within most investors’ criteria.  Probate leads are one of the most popular and productive ways for investors to find homes and commercial property that can be purchased at a discount.  When a loved one passes away, an Executor takes charge of dispensing with the personal property that has been left behind, as ordered by the court system.  Due to the fact that items need to be sold to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, taxes and unpaid credit cards, Executors are generally more than happy to sell property for thirty to fifty percent off.

Divorce and bankruptcy cases are another area where investors can take advantage of discounted prices.  Like Executors, those going through a divorce or a bankruptcy may be ordered by the court to sell a certain amount of assets in order to complete the case.  Many times, the owner is happy to let these go for a discounted price so that they can move on with their life.  It is important to note that the language used in these types of purchase agreements may be different than the typical forms used.  Check with your attorney to ensure that you are comfortable with the requirements of the court.

Finding Probate, Divorce and Bankruptcy Leads

Do you need to go to your local courthouse and spend hours digging through filings?  Smart investors use a lead service to avoid this frustration and streamline the process.  Professional lead services can deliver the results of a specialized search in your area directly to your inbox on a weekly basis, giving you the information you need to begin to evaluate these properties and connect with the individuals who are the current owners.

Using a lead service allows you to concentrate on the money making end of your business – evaluating properties, making deals and getting estimates completed.  This is especially critical when you are starting your business.  A lead service can provide you with a steady stream of viable, timely leads that will help you to find the best properties in the area to add to your portfolio.  In addition to residential homes, a lead service can help you find businesses, vacation homes, vintage cars, antiques and other personal property that can be purchased and resold. 

Get more information now!  U.S. Probate Leads is the top provider of probate, divorce and bankruptcy leads.  Contact us today for more information on how we can assist you with lead services as well as individualized training to help your business succeed.  We offer webinars, seminars, books and even individualized mentoring to help you build your best business.  Call today!

 

Sources:

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2015/jan/28/lot-shortage-leads-to-fewer-new-homes/

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33654-redfin-home-inventory-shortage-worse-than-it-looks

www.dailybulletin.com/business/20151009/housing-shortage-in-california-expected-to-continue


US Probate Leads
Leon McKenzie
Chief Operating Officer

Leon cofounded US Probate Leads more than 12 years ago and has witnessed its growth during that period from a one city lead provider in the probate space to the only national provider of probate leads for virtually every county in the country.

Leon likes to point out that US Probate Leads is the only company providing Probate-related Real Estate-related leads to Investors and Realtors based on data collected directly from individual probate courts in virtually every state. This has been achieved by building a National Network of Researchers that visit each county one time each month. Leon’s team processes this incoming data and makes it available to individual subscribers for their use in reaching out to highly motivated property sellers.

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The 10 Most Common Questions I’m Asked About Probate Investing

By Sharon Vornholt

I love working in the niche of probates, but that’s not true for all investors.I think the reason is they just don’t have the knowledge they need about probate investing and how the process works.Probate investing is not that much different than other niches, but because the property is part of an estate that seems to make a difference in the way people feel about it.

Why Do I Love Probates So Much?

Here is the main thing to remember about probate investing:

The heirs rarely want the house; they just want the cash sitting in that property. If the house happens to need a lot of repairs or updating it is an investor that can solve their problem so they can go on with their life.

Folks Have a Lot of Questions

People have a lot of questions about probates. In fact, I am asked the same questions all the time.

Today I decided to take the 10 most common questions I am asked about probate investing and answer them.Many of these topics could be (or have been) entire blog post or video so today you’ll be getting the “short version”. I plan to take some of these topics and elaborate on them in the future.

#1. Why Is There Less Competition in the Probate Niche?

There is less competition for several reasons.

  • A lot of investors just think it’s just strange working in this niche.
  • Others just don’t know the process and how they fit into it.
  • Another reason is they just aren’t willing to do the work involved to get the information needed to get those leads.

If you want to jump into this very profitable niche, take the time to learn about the actual probate process and about probate investing in general. You are going to find that these folks are some of the most motivated sellers on the planet.

#2. Why is it So Hard to Get Probate Leads?

The reason it’s so hard to get the information is because the process is different everywhere.This is also the reason there is less competition. There are over 3300 counties in the US and each one of those counties has a different process for getting probate leads.

When you think about probate investing, the reason this niche is so great is also the reason a lot of people won’t go to the trouble to learn the process for getting leads in their area. It’s not always easy. Just know that you may have to do a little detective work.

#3. I Feel Bad Profiting off of Dead People or – Isn’t it Weird Talking about Dead People?

I hear this comment all the time.Sellers are all pretty much the same.It just so happens that folks in probate are there because someone died.They are also there because they have a problem; they have house they need to sell and that’s why the need us.We are there to help them solve a problem. It really is that simple.

Remember this: The sellers of probate property don’t want the house; they want the cash from the sale of the house.

#4. Why Can’t I Just Call the Family Instead of Sending Direct Mail?

My initial contact is never by phone.I always send a letter to the executor/administrator.If you think about this for a minute; how would you feel if someone called you out of the blue when your loved one passed away?You wouldn’t like the intrusion.

These folks will call when they are ready.Some families will dive right in and open the estate.Other people may wait a year or longer.Generally speaking, when they open the estate they are ready to move forward with the sale of the property.

#5. Can You Wholesale Probate Deals?

Absolutely!

Any real property must be sold before the estate can be closed. In most states you just put the property under contract and move forward.Be aware that some states like California have a very different procedure.You will need to learn how the probate process works in your state. (Remember that detective work?)

#6. Don’t Most Probates Want Retail for the House?

Some sellers will want retail and some won’t.When you think about probate investing, these sellers are no different than any others.Houses that are in great shape will generally be listed on the MLS.Properties that need repairs and updates are the likely candidates to be sold to an investor.

#7. Can You Use the Multiple Offer Strategy for Probates?

You can, however you need to remember that these sellers almost always want to “cash out”.That’s the main reason they are so motivated. They just want the cash. There may be rare occasions where they will be willing to do owner financing or some other type of creative deal but that isn’t typical.

#8. What Can I Say When the Family is embarrassed about the Condition of the House?

Truthfully, this happens all the time.As a member of the family walks through the house with me they are apologizing because there is so much “stuff”.If you are sincere, it’s pretty easy to put the seller at ease just by telling them this is typical especially when the deceased is elderly.

It’s not unusual to see stack of butter tubs, receipts from decades past and just a lot of junk.You may also run into some hoarders. Remember to always offer to clean out the house for them.That’s often the one thing that will seal the deal.

#9. What If the Deceased’s Relatives Won’t Move Out of the House?

The short answer is let an attorney handle this problem.Just get the house under contract. Your real estate attorney will know how to take care of this.

#10. What Can I Do When the Heirs Don’t Agree?

When you are talking about probate investing, things usually go smoothly and the closing is typically uneventful.

However … there are times when you feel like the peacemaker/counselor/teacher.People will need to be educated about the process. So in many cases, you will be there to initiate problem solving conversations with the family and to help soothe hurt feelings. After years of working in this niche, I have found that you usually just need to be a good listener.


Sharon Vornholt

Sharon Vornholt is the owner of Innovative Property Solutions, LLC in Louisville, KY.

Sharon owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. She began investing in real estate in 1998 and became a full time real estate investor in January of 2008.

Sharon specializes in wholesaling, and is also an experienced landlord and rehabber.

In addition, Sharon is an internet marketer and also writes articles for several national real estate sites. Sharon is the author of a popular real estate blog called the “Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog”. For your FREE REPORT “Probates and Absentee Owners: Your Fast Track to Real Estate Riches”, stop by her blog at: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com.

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5 Apartment-Hunting Secrets That You Need To Know

By Wendy Dessler

Getting The Best Living Situation

Apartments can be useful for a number of reasons, though they can also be expensive, and they can be a real hassle if you don’t choose carefully. Following are five considerations to help you make the best choice in terms of your rental living situation.

  1. Use Available Resources To Streamline Your Search

At The Urban Avenue you can get an idea of the city in terms of available apartment rentals; according to the site: “Whether you’re completely new to Dallas or have lived here your entire life, we can help you find the best available deal for your move-date.”

(source: http://theurbanavenue.com/dallas)

Wherever you happen to be apartment-hunting, you want to use resources like this to help you find the best possible options. Check out classified ads online and in local print publications. Ask around as well. There are sometimes rental opportunities that are unlisted, but if you get an idea of the local “spread”, you’ll likely find something which matches your needs.

  1. Know Gas And Electric Differences

Depending on your geography, this may not make a big difference. In Los Angeles, you’ve got to worry more about air conditioning than you do about heating. But if you do have gas or electric atmospheric controls, you’re going to have a different utility bill. You’re likely going to find that gas heating is less expensive than electric heating.

  1. Understand The Neighborhood And Cost Implications

Another example from Los Angeles, but worth considering: your neighborhood will affect both your cost of living, and your safety of living. Sometimes cheap apartments are that way because they’re in the middle of a high crime community. Sometimes they’re not centrally located, and the commute is high. But you can shoot yourself in the foot if you’re not careful.

Say you’ve always wanted to live in Hollywood because you’re some kind of aspiring performer. So you find an apartment for only $1,500 a month just off Hollywood boulevard. That’s actually not a bad deal at all. Sure, the apartment is a studio with a bed in the living room, an attached kitchen, a small bathroom, and nothing else. But it’s right in the middle of everything!

Meanwhile, just ten miles north of you, in San Fernando, there’s an apartment that’s three times the size, costs half as much, and is located in a less crime-ridden community. The catch is the commute. If you leave at the wrong time, or take the wrong route, it can take you two hours to travel that ten miles to Hollywood. What’s the solution?

Well, if you take the cheaper option north of town at $750, you’ll save $9,000 a year—in an expensive town like LA, you’re going to need that. It would be advisable to learn traffic patterns and adapt yourself to fit the more cost-effective situation. What’s the takeaway for you? Wherever you choose to live, know the neighborhood, cost, and travel considerations involved.

Also, know your own personal situation. If you’re a single guy, you’ve got a little bit more latitude than a newlywed couple, and newlyweds have more latitude than a family.

  1. Tour Multiple Properties

Don’t just take the first apartment which fits your price range, proclivities, and location needs. Look at five different apartments at least. Especially as you are on the hunt for a new living situation you’re going to have a temptation to settle. This may net you a bad lease, a bad deal, or a rough situation of some caliber that you’re stuck in.

A better way to go about it is to look at multiple properties and choose the best one. Find five that meet your qualifications, and go with the best deal in terms of location, neighborhood, utilities, and commute.

  1. Keep Copies Of All Paperwork

This is a strange one that you’ve got to be aware of today in the wake of Craigslist. There are going to be rental or room share or cohabitation opportunities out there which aren’t as “official” or “established” as that which was available in previous years. These are great ways to save money and get more for what you spend, but they’re also great ways to get stabbed unexpectedly in the back.

Imagine if you signed paperwork and paid a $500 deposit only to have the “landlord” of the property go “sideways” on you, demanding you do things that weren’t in the initial lease agreement. If you didn’t keep a copy of the agreement, you’re out of luck; it’s his word against yours, and he owns the property. If you’ve got a copy of the lease agreement, meanwhile, you can “keep him honest”, as the saying goes.

Getting The Best Apartment In Your Area

You can additionally check out this further list of apartment considerations to help you modify your search. It can be difficult to source a dependable rental living situation, but it isn’t without the realm of possibility. If you take your time, know what you’re getting into, scout multiple possible properties, and retain the paperwork after you decide, you’re likely to find a more dependable situation that will better serve your needs.

 

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Probate Leads: Massively Discounted Properties in Your Market that You’re Not Getting… But Your Competition Is.

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation, US Probate Leads

“My market is crowded with investors and everyone is chasing the same deals.” That is usually what we hear when we first speak to a potential customer. They are often looking for a source of leads where there isn’t “so much competition,” and they are thrilled when they begin to realize we have a solution for them – marketing to probate properties.

Increasing Numbers of Properties Available at a Huge Discount

Baby boomers believed in collecting assets like real estate. Many are cash poor but asset rich. They often own property outright with no mortgage or at least have a lot of equity in their property. Often their homes are in great condition with only basic updates needed. We are entering a phase where baby boomers are passing their assets on to their heirs.

Generation Xers and Millennials, who are inheriting the assets of their parents, lived through the rise and fall of the 2007 bubble. They are often strapped with debt. When they inherit property from their parents, they suddenly find themselves responsible for paying all of the estate expenses with little cash to do so. Also, inherited property is often split between multiple family members, so offering $20,000 less on a property may only be a $5-10,000 loss per person. Since the heirs didn’t put money into the property, unlike a foreclosure or divorce, they are more interested in selling the property quickly than they are in trying to get as much money out of the property as possible. They want cash – quick.

Studies have shown that over the next 30-40 years, more than $30 trillion is projected to transfer from baby boomers to their heirs. This means that there will be a lot of properties passing through probate. Moreover, when property is inherited, most often the heirs will sell or transfer the title of the property within 18 months. Probate leads are a great and growing source for smart real estate investors.

Many Types of Properties Available in Probate

Real estate tops the list of probate assets that can frustrate heirs and impede the probate process. Anything from residential homes, to rental units, vacant land, office buildings, and even commercial property may be among the inherited property the Executor is left to negotiate.

Personal assets also generally fall into the probate property category. These include items such as valuable cars, heirloom pieces, pianos, jewelry, antiques, and other such pieces that may have been long forgotten or remain in state of familial limbo but still possess value.

Probates may also include business interests. More and more, heirs don’t want to be bothered with assuming control of the family business. And yet there is opportunity there as well.

A knowledgeable probate investor can work with the Executor, ease the burden of their job, and creatively get the family the cash needed to clean things up while creating their own income opportunity.

How to Get Probate Leads

The good news about probate is that it is public record and available at all county courthouses across the country. The bad news is that each county handles probate leads in a different manner. In some cases, it is a painstaking process of daily visits to the courthouse to manually collect probate data. In other cases, an individual can sort through public, county records that are available online. Either way, researching and collecting probate leads on your own is very time consuming and ineffective, which is why this source of leads is often overlooked. However, one company, US Probate Leads, developed around the need to make probate leads simple and easy to use. US Probate Leads has been walking people through this process now for over a decade.

A Probate Investing Program

US Probate Leads has literally taken the lead on providing timely and local probate filings to investors looking for a growing source of access to motivated sellers. We have a large team of researchers dedicated to doing the legwork of gathering and organizing probate leads so that you only have to buy and work those leads.

Investors can purchase leads at whatever level (25/50/100/250) they deem appropriate. Or, you can invest in a plan which provides you all of the leads available within a given county. A very affordable pricing structure and a guaranteed “in” as far as knowing what is available in probate filings, make this a wonderful opportunity for savvy investors. US Probate Leads’ flexibility is perhaps what makes their program most attractive. Getting in at whatever price point you’re comfortable with, and however many leads you can manage is certainly feasible.

Probate Leads Available Now – In Your Area

US Probate Leads has access to virtually any county in the United States, meaning regardless of where you live, you can start receiving leads monthly. Go to the US Probate leads site: www.usprobateleads.com, click on your state and get started. Or you can contact them directly at: (877) 470-9751. Now is the time to make your mark in this little-known niche – never before have more properties become available than will in the coming years.  Becoming a US Probate Leads subscriber could really be the start of a whole new future, a more lucrative career, and an exciting investment opportunity.

 

 

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Having Trouble Finding “Good Deals”?: Use Probate Leads to Diversify Your Lead Source and Find Motivated Sellers

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

We’ve all heard that the real estate industry is changing.  Investors often wonder – “How can I find properties worth investing in?” With more and more competition in the marketplace, challenges in getting loans, and cautious homeowners staying put, it can feel like it is impossible to find property that you might be interested in purchasing for your real estate portfolio.

What new and experienced real estate investors are seeing in the market is a fundamental change that may last for the foreseeable future.  Overall, the nation is experiencing a shortage in the amount of properties that are being put on the market, leading to a lack of leads.  This is creating increased pricing on homes that are for sale and issues in trying to build and acquire a real estate portfolio.

Does This Mean Real Estate is a Bad Investment?

In short, the answer is no. Real estate is not a bad investment and has proven to be a very good investment over time. However, investors are probably changing their investment strategy and looking at markets that still have “room to grow.” In addition to looking to new markets, some investors are looking to expand their source of leads.

Housing Shortage Equals Inflated Prices

Most economists will tell you that the biggest drivers in the market are supply and demand.  As you can imagine, decreased supply in the housing market means that pricing has skyrocketed, something that real estate investors simply cannot afford when they are looking for business opportunities. These historically high prices mean that people who are making less money have to spend more of the income that they do have on a home.

Surviving the Shortage as a Real Estate Investor through Probates

If you are interested in continuing to work in real estate, then you know something has to change.  Real estate investors have a limited amount of options when facing a market like this.  Some investors have simply moved on to other business opportunities, while others have succumbed to the increased prices, which have hurt their business and their balance sheets.  But, there is a segment of real estate investors who have found a profitable way to deal with the challenges of the housing shortage by finding a new source of leads.

While many investors are only looking at the traditional segments of the market – single family, residential homes that are for sale by families who want to upgrade that are listed on the traditional MLS-style forums – there are other homes on the market that can be purchased at a significant discount.  Properties owned as part of a probate are widely available and can be purchased for well less than comparable homes in the area.  In fact, there are an estimated 100,000 probates entering the market each and every month throughout the United States.

Probate properties are those homes, apartments, multi-family homes and commercial sites that were previously owned by an individual who has passed.  The local court then appoints an Executor to ensure that these homes and other properties are sold to take care of paying medical bills, funeral fees and other obligations.

Probates Provide Motivated Sellers

Once you start working in probates you will understand why Executors are motivated to sell their properties quickly and for a substantial discount.  Each Executor is responsible to the court to ensure that the assets of the individual who has passed have been liquidated in order to meet financial obligations and provide an inheritance to the individuals left in the family.

Executors not only feel the pressure to sell because of the court, many also feel the need to sell quickly because of other pressures.  While Executors can be a family attorney or an accountant, many times the Executor is a family member who has responsibilities of their own.  They may even live out of state and making repeated trips to show a home or apartment building can be nothing short of challenging.  Executors also understand that, in addition to time constraints, the home their family member owned may not be fully updated.  In addition, most Executors have to split the profits of the home sale with other family members. All of these conditions provide the opportunity for homes and other properties in probate to be purchased for a fraction of the current market value.

Finding Probate Leads

Now that you understand the value of having access to probate properties in this challenging economy, you may be wondering how to get access to them.  Many individuals who are starting a probate business decide that going to the local courthouse is the best way to look for opportunities in their area.  This can take time, as you need to allow for travel to and from the courthouse as well as time evaluating filings to see if there are holdings within the probate appropriate for your business.  As you can imagine, this can take away valuable time from your growing investment business, your family, and the job you currently hold.

There is a better way.  By using a professional probate lead service you can have up-to-date information and leads delivered right to your inbox on a weekly basis.  With no more trips to the courthouse, no time wasted looking at complex filings that are hard to understand, you will have more time to go out and evaluate properties and opportunities.  Unlike traditional leads in the current real estate market which can be nearly impossible to find and create the environment for high pricing, there are literally thousands of options for probate purchases each and every day. And, as Baby Boomers grow older, these leads will only continue to grow.

Build a Vibrant Real Estate Investment Business with Probates

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing.  With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties at a favorable price. The key to success in probate is making sure you buy leads from a high-quality and trusted provider. Then, you must reach out to Probate Executors and continue to do so for a minimum of six months. This allows you time to truly work probates and to patiently await those Executors who do not want to sell immediately.

Probates also help you to diversify in that they are not limited to residential real estate. What you will find is that you may come across and Executor who has inherited apartment buildings, multi-family units, businesses, vacation homes, and even personal property, including antiques, artwork, and vehicles.  The variety and opportunity with probates is endless because there is always a supply of leads available.

The Most Reliable Source

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs?  The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today.  Our certified lead specialists visit nearly every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors.  In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. We can also work with you on your mailers to help you easily reach out to Executors. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, monthly newsletter, e-books, seminars, webinars and even our individualized mentoring program.  Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives.

 

Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation

US Probate Leads

Email: sales@usprobateleads.com

Web Site: www.usprobateleads.com

 

 

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Communicating with the Executor: Tips for Working Your Probate Leads

By Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

While many real estate investors say probate leads are one of their best lead sources, there are still many real estate investors who are reluctant to get started in this business. One of the common concerns we hear from potential probate investors is that they are unsure of how to communicate with the executor or personal representative. As a refresher, probate leads are potential seller clients who inherit properties. They are often highly motivated to sell the inherited property for a variety of reasons.

If concern regarding how to communicate with the executor is holding you back, read on for some tips compiled from the experience of expert probate investors.

The first step is to determine your contact strategy.

We recommend mailing a formal letter as your initial point of contact, followed by similar letters or postcards every other month. The letter should be sympathetic. The reader has most likely recently lost a loved one and is in the middle of a very difficult time in his/her life. We recommend acknowledging the loss and the stress of being an executor. The letter should be reflective of you and your style but focused on the recipient. That is, if you are very formal, your letter should reflect that. However, if your style is more casual and laidback, it is alright to reflect that too. You do not want to present something that you are not in your mailings. Your message should reflect that you are here to help during this difficult time. Highlight that you can make the selling of a house easy, fast, and relatively painless.

The second step is to have a conversation with the executor.

Ideally, the executor will initiate the phone call after receiving your mailer. However, if you are not getting return calls, you may want to make phone calls yourself. They key to these calls is to be prepared to listen. You will want to let the executor do most of the talking and only guide the conversation with your questions. Many executors are in a particularly tough time in their life, and they need someone to talk to. If you can listen, you are providing something the executor needs, and you are on your way to developing the rapport that will be necessary to move this potential transaction forward.

The third step is to continue to build that relationship with the executor.

Understand the unique situation of the executor and determine if you are able to offer assistance in any way. Often times the executor does not live near the house. Offering to run by and check on the house, pick up the newspaper, or even mow the yard can be a huge help to the executor.

Once you have built a rapport with the Executor, you are well on your way to determining if this property is of interest to you, and you can proceed as you would with any other opportunity.

Persistence is Key

In the scenario outlined above, you have contacted the executor and have the opportunity to build a relationship. It takes time and persistence to actually be in this position. You will not receive a call from many of your leads. They simply are not interested in your help for a variety of reasons. However, if you continue to work the leads and are continually adding new leads to your pipeline, you will have success.

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing.  With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties at a favorable price. The key to success in probate is making sure you buy leads from a high-quality and trusted provider. Then, you must reach out to the executors and continue to do so for a minimum of six months. This allows you time to truly work probates and to patiently await those executors who do not want to sell immediately.

Simplify Your Business

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs?  The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today.  Our certified lead specialists visit nearly every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors.  In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. We can also assist you with your mailers to help you easily reach out to executors. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, mailing service, and e-books.

Kristine Gentry, Ph.D.

VP of Innovation

US Probate Leads

Web Site: www.usprobateleads.com

 

 

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Helping Others while Making Money in Real Estate

By Leon McKenzie, CEO, US Probate Leads

Are you looking for ways to do something meaningful with your life? Studies have shown that all of us, not just millennials, want a job that does good in the world. Helping someone who has recently lost a loved one is one way to do that.

Imagine this: Someone you loved has died suddenly. You find yourself the executor of their estate, and you are thrust into a situation where you must not only grieve the loss of your loved one, plan a funeral, but also take care of numerous legal and financial details to settle their estate. This on top of your already busy everyday life. Wouldn’t you want someone to be able to help you handle some of this work?

Now you, an expert in the real estate industry, are constantly looking for leads. Without a steady stream of properties to look at, it can be nearly impossible to meet your investment goals.  That said, there is an ongoing challenge in finding investment properties in the real estate market due to ongoing tightening on the supply side. You are also looking to do good in the world.

Probates Are a Meaningful Option

While no real estate investor should eliminate a lead source from their business as each of them can yield a gem, whether the traditional, new construction or foreclosure market, there is always room to add another option. Seasoned real estate investors, motivated by a desire to make money while helping others, are turning to probate leads.

While many people aren’t familiar with probate leads, they have been and will continue to be an ongoing source for leads. Probate leads are generated when probates are filed in a local courthouse and can be a great way to add to your options for your buying area. Included in probates can be a wide variety of investments. Having access to these leads is a great way to diversify your lead strategy and give yourself some additional options when looking for properties to add to your portfolio.

What probate leads offer is a way to diversify your lead strategy and include more than just one type of real estate listing. This option can give you ways to find lower priced properties that may have more flexibility in their terms.

What are Probate Leads?

Probates leads include information on property that is part of a legal filing after the death of a loved one. These cases include many types of property that may have been owned by someone who has passed on. This can include homes, vacation homes, cars, RVs, businesses, commercial property, rental property, artwork and other personal property. These cases are listed in each county after the death of a loved one where a probate needs to be filed and are controlled by the local court.

Generally, this property has to be sold in order to pay for medical, tax, legal, and funeral expenses. The court will assign an Executor to handle the sale of the property so that these obligations can be met and the heirs can receive any remaining funds.

By Purchasing Properties in Probate You Can Help an Executor

As part of an overall investment strategy, probate leads are valuable because they often come with very motivated sellers. Executors need to deal with the property that is in the probate filing in order to meet the court requirements. Many times, they need cash in order to pay bills that have been left after the passing of their loved one. Often they find themselves with a lot on their plate in order to settle their loved ones estate while going about their every day life.

Executors may feel lost and overwhelmed and do not have the time, energy, or desire to go through all the usual steps of getting a property ready to sell. They are likely to have just inherited a property that they do not want and that needs updates in order to sell for full price. Typically, the property has a lot of equity because the owner has been making payments for years, or the property may be fully paid off.  This creates a situation where the Executor may be willing to sell the property for a discount in exchange for being able to unload the property with as little work as possible and knowing that any profit is a gift they did not expect.

Finding property at a discounted rate in today’s market is a real challenge, and that is what makes probate leads such an important part of an overall lead strategy.  These properties may be available for thirty to fifty percent off of the market price and are generally available for a quick closing.

Probate Leads are Viable for Quite a While

New users of probate leads may think that the leads would have a short time on the market.  That is not the case. Generally it take some time for Executors to get all of the paperwork filed and to go through their loved one’s things before they are ready to sell. There is also the process of grieving, which can cause Executors to hold onto a property for a time before they are willing to sell it. With these parameters in mind, real estate investors who are looking at probate leads will find that Executors who are selling property may not be ready to sell for twelve months after the filing.  In many cases, the leads are still viable eighteen months after the passing of a loved one.  This allows for plenty of time for real estate investors to make contact with the Executor.

Probate Leads Include More than Residential Real Estate

For real estate investors who are looking to diversify their property portfolio, probate leads can be an excellent source of alternative investments.  While many people start looking at probate leads for discounts on residential real estate, what they soon realize is that probates can include a wide variety of other types of investments.  These can include businesses that are up and running, artwork, jewelry, personal property, furniture, antiques, cars, vintage cars, boats, RVs, commercial property, vacation homes, and rental properties.  It is important to ask each Executor what types of property they have for sale in their portfolio rather than just assuming that it is only residential property.

Get Access to Probate Leads Today

Using probate leads is a great way to find more leads in your area as a real estate investor.  With long term viability and Executors that are motivated to sell, and your desire to be helpful, you will see that probates are a way to quickly find discounted properties.  If you are looking for diversity in your lead package, then you can get access to probate leads easily and quickly by vising US Probate Leads.  We offer county by county listings of the probate leads in your area delivered directly to your inbox.  Each county in the United States is covered by our trained team of lead specialists.  Our team makes sure that you have the leads that you need in order to make your business grow.

Want more information?  You can visit us at www.usprobateleads.com today and get more information on our lead services or sign up.  In addition to our lead service, we also offer seminars, webinars, eBooks, software, and individualized mentoring for dedicated investors.  Contact us today for more information and learn how we can help you to meet your real estate goals.  Call now!

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When You Can’t Find Real Estate Leads, Look to Probate!

By Leon McKenzie

The real estate industry is changing. With more and more competition in the marketplace, challenges in getting a loan and cautious homeowners staying put, it can be nearly impossible to find property that you might be interested in purchasing for your real estate portfolio. Is there a solution? Is there a way to combat the real estate lead shortage that has permeated virtually the entire industry and has stalled your efforts at investing?

What new and experienced real estate investors are seeing in the market is a fundamental change that may last for the foreseeable future. Overall, the nation is experiencing a shortage in the amount of properties that are being put on the market, leading to a lack of leads. This is creating increased pricing on homes that are for sale and issues in trying to build and acquire a real estate portfolio.

Why a Shortage in Real Estate?

The shortage in real estate leads that is occurring in most areas of the United States is due to issues in the lending industry that started several years ago and that continue today. With it becoming more and more difficult to qualify for a mortgage, homeowners are holding onto their homes instead of buying and moving because they have no other option. Homeowners that want to expand their homes are simply adding on or remodeling to avoid the issues with lenders and the hassles in moving. This is leading to a painful shortage in the real estate market. The Philadelphia Inquirer agrees, “. . . Some observers believe they are seeing the emerging signs of a housing shortage. . . Predicting how much housing is needed involves a complex calculus that weighs hard statistics (new-home starts, sales of previously owned homes) against a certain amount of demographic tea-leaf reading (household-formation forecasts). Thus, there isn’t complete consensus on what will be enough.”[1]

As mentioned, while the overall interest rate is the lowest it has been in years, there are few people with good enough credit to purchase a home. When someone does decide to sell their home it is usually because they have to move for a job relocation or for another pressing matter, such as medical treatment or because they need to downsize – or they are in the enviable position of having good enough credit that they were able to secure a preapproval on a new loan to purchase a bigger home.

How does this create a shortage? Since lending is tight, fewer people can afford to put their homes on the market. That means that the availability of homes has decreased. To add to the shortfall, the slow economy has led to a construction slowdown, which means that fewer homes are being built to accommodate new communities and homes that are being torn down. Overall, this has led to a painful real estate shortage for much of the nation. The Sacramento Business Journal reported that, “One analysis of the region’s housing market thinks there’s just not enough for sale. Again. A shortage of inventory is driving everything in the residential market from pricing to rental affordability, according to Zillow. One reason for that is a lingering hangover for the building industry from the housing bust of the last decade, said Svenja Gudell, senior director of research with Zillow. Though the economy began to recover three years ago, housing construction is still lagging, she said. In 2012 and 2013, only 159 new home permits were issued for every 1,000 new residents, according to Zillow.”[2]

The overall lack of new homes available and the persistent challenge in getting a loan is creating issues for investors as they try to navigate few options and high prices.

Housing Shortage Equals Inflated Prices

Most economists will tell you that the biggest drivers in the market are supply and demand. As you can imagine, decreased supply in the housing market means that pricing has skyrocketed, something that real estate investors simply cannot afford when they are looking for business opportunities. The Sacramento Business Journal reported that, “For both renters and homeowners, Sacramento is now defined by Zillow as one of the 10 least affordable metro areas in the country. Mortgage payments here take up 26 percent of income, compared to 15.3 percent nationally. Though the percentage is lower than Sacramento’s historic mortgage payment percentage of 29.5 percent, Zillow noted buyers at the moment also tend to have lower median incomes.”[3]

These historically high prices mean that people who are making less money have to spend more of the income that they do have on a home. Realtor Magazine reported on the decreased inventory across the country and the increased prices, saying, “The inventory of existing homes is at its lowest level in seven years, while newly constructed home inventory has hit a 50-year low mark. Falling inventory is causing home prices to shoot up higher and faster than most analysts anticipated. The national median price of transacted homes was up 9.5 percent in August. Other price measures, like Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency price index, which look at price changes in sales of the same properties over time, have been rising as well, at double-digit annualized rates in recent months. Of course, not all markets are this robust. Phoenix is looking to notch a 25 percent gain for the year, while Chicago is just emerging from negative territory.”[4]

Surviving the Shortage as a Real Estate Investor through Probates

If you are interested in continuing to work in real estate, then you know something has to change. Real estate investors have a limited amount of options when facing a market like this. Some investors have simply moved on to other business opportunities, while others have succumbed to the increased prices, which have hurt their business and their balance sheets. But, there is a segment of real estate investors who have found a profitable way to deal with the challenges of the housing shortage by finding a new source of leads.

While many investors are only looking at the traditional segments of the market – single family, residential homes that are for sale by families who want to upgrade that are listed on the traditional MLS-style forums – there are other homes on the market that can be purchased at a significant discount. Properties owned as part of a probate are widely available and can be purchased for well less than comparable homes in the area. In fact, there are an estimated 100,000 probates entering the market each and every month throughout the United States.

Probate properties are those homes, apartments, multi-family homes and commercial sites that were previously owned by an individual who has passed. The local court then appoints an Executor to ensure that these homes and other properties are sold to take care of paying medical bills, funeral fees and other obligations.

Probates Provide Motivated Sellers

Once you start working in probates you will understand why Executors are motivated to sell their properties quickly and for a substantial – 30 percent to 50 percent off – of current market values. Each Executor is responsible to the court to ensure that the assets of the individual who has passed have been liquidated in order to meet financial obligations and provide an inheritance to the individuals left in the family.

Executors not only feel the pressure to sell because of the court, but they want to sell because of their own convenience. While some Executors can be a family attorney or an accountant, many times the Executor is a family member who has responsibilities of their own. They may even live out of state, and making repeated trips to show a home or apartment building can be nothing short of challenging. Executors also understand that, in addition to time constraints, the home their family member owned may not be fully updated. All of these conditions provide the opportunity for homes and other properties to be purchased for a fraction of the current market value.

Finding Probate Leads

Now that you understand the value of having access to probate properties in this challenging economy, you may be wondering how to get access to them. Many individuals who are starting a probate business decide that going to the local courthouse is the best way to look for opportunities in their area. This can take time, as you need to allow for travel to and from the courthouse as well as time evaluating filings to see if there are holdings within the probate appropriate for your business. As you can imagine, this can take away valuable time from your growing investment business, your family and the job you currently hold.

There is a better way. By using a professional probate lead service you can have up-to-date information and leads delivered right to your inbox on a weekly basis. With no more trips to the courthouse, no time wasted looking at complex filings that are hard to understand, you will have more time to go out and evaluate properties and opportunities. Unlike traditional leads in the current real estate market which can be nearly impossible to find and create the environment for high pricing, there are literally thousands of options for probate purchases each and every day.

Build a Vibrant Real Estate Investment Business with Probates

Having access to leads on a regular basis means that you will be able to find success in probate real estate investing. With time, patience and a carefully thought out business plan, you can be sure that having these leads will make an enormous difference in your ability to purchase homes and other properties as well as acquire them at a favorable price.

Probates are not limited to residential real estate, either. What you will find is that you can expand your investments to include apartment buildings, multi-family units, businesses, vacation homes and even purchase and resell personal property, including antiques, artwork and vehicles. The variety and opportunity with probates is endless because there is always a supply of leads available.

The Most Reliable Source

Are you looking for a reliable lead source for all of your probate investment needs? The experts at US Probate Leads offer the highest quality leads available on the market today. Our certified lead specialists visit every courthouse in the United States, constantly evaluating new probate filings and making those available to our investors. In addition to our premium lead service, we also offer services that can keep you informed on the newest trends in the market. Contact our office today to learn more about our lead service, monthly newsletter, e-books, seminars, webinars and even our individualized mentoring program. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable customer service representatives.

 

Sources:

[1] http://www.matrixrealestate.com/about-matrix/market-news/slowing-construction-could-lead-housing-shortage-experts-say

[2] http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2015/03/30/inventory-shortage-is-hurting-sacramentos.html

[3] http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2015/03/30/inventory-shortage-is-hurting-sacramentos.html

[4] http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/economy/article/2012/11/seeds-housing-shortage