Cash is King in Las Vegas Foreclosures

Cash is King in Las Vegas Foreclosures

Over the last 5 years I have sold a lot of real estate in many different markets nationwide. In 2003 droves of investors came into the Las Vegas market and purchased single family homes and condos. In 2004 the scene repeated itself in the Phoenix market. In 2005 markets like Albuquerque and Austin had a large amount of investors snatch up new construction homes. In 2006 the Carolinas became hot and east coast investors invested very heavily in many markets in Florida.

All the while I was out buying and selling in many of these markets myself I was sitting on the sidelines in the Las Vegas market because home prices were too high and just did not make good investor cash flow sense. That all began to change in the summer of 2008 as prices began falling faster that normal and the point of cash flow was once again reached. This point of cash flow I speak of is a simple equation in which the amount of money an investor can get from renting a home exceeds his/her costs of ownership. These costs of ownership would include the mortgage, taxes, insurance, repairs, and character management. With a 20% down payment positive cash flow can now be achieved in this market for the first time in several years. Las Vegas has rule the nation in foreclosures for well over a year now and the amount of foreclosures coming on the market are near triple the amount from just a year ago. Nearly 1 home in out of every 70 is in some stage of foreclosure here in the Las Vegas market. The median home price in Las Vegas has come down near $10,000 a month over the last year from a high of near $300,000 to a new median price of only $189,000.

As a complete time investor and also a licensed realtor I use my time looking for the best deals for myself and my investors here in this market. Local newspaper articles and analysts talk about 30% declines in values. The reality is that we are seeing prices that are being discounted 50-70% off of where they were just 2 years ago. Many of my deals over the last month or two are coming in at well below 50% of older higher values from 2006. I just sold a one bedroom condo at $53,000 that was $148,000 two years ago. This is near 35 cents on the dollar folks. New 2 year old three bedroom homes that were as high as $300,000 just 2 years ago are now priced under $120,000.

This opens the doors for virtually anybody to step back into the Las Vegas market and begin buying once again. Because of the governments Housing Recovery Foreclosure Bill 1st time buyers have a $7500 tax credit to take advantage of; baby boomers and retirees looking to move to a warmer weather destination do not have to head south of the border as the Southwest has become affordable once again. The vacation capital of the world now makes sense again for second home and vacation home buyers and of course investors are delighted to be able to cash flow on their investments again. Of course all of these groups will assistance greatly as the possibility for appreciation is guaranteed over prices from 2 years ago. Let’s confront it, anyone that purchased in 2006 or 2007 bought at the height of the market and have seen their equity evaporate almost overnight.

We all know that lending has tightened up over the last year. But prices are ½ of where they were also. If you have a good job and good credit it is a great time to be buying a home. Interest rates are at historic lows so I soundly suggest you put a 30 year fully amortized observe in place to lock in historic low interest rates as they literally have only one place to go and that is up. Earlier this week I was chatting with one of my title company officers and she informed me that 85% of her closings are being financed by a lender. I offered her the suggestion that she get more cash buyers as only 2 of my 11 deals in the last month have been financed and the other 9 deals or 82% of my deals have all been cash deals. The old phrase “Cash is King” is never more applicable than right now in this market. Not only am I getting more deals accepted, but I am getting them at a lower than list price amount in most situations and getting them pushed by rapidly. My buyers are very happy because they are getting a great deal at a great low price, closing quickly, getting a great cash flow play and getting tremendous upside appreciation possible too. I just had a lender counter me over the weekend stating they will accept our lower than list price offer but they want to close in 10 days with our cash offer. They had two other offers on the table but edges do not want to fool around with financing either. They want to take the sure sale of cash already if it is at a huge discount.

So folks if you were able to save up some money, not use it all over the lasts associate of years during the great real estate expansion or you nevertheless have a line of credit open I suggest you come on back into the Las Vegas market and start looking around for some real bargains. The edges are ready to deal and the timing to buy a great foreclosure is as good as it gets.

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