May 28, 2006

It’s A Renters Market In Florida!

The Palm Beach Post has two housing bubble reports this morning. “Easy money has led to hard times. More than $106 million in home loans collapsed in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties in the first quarter of this year alone. In terms of real people, that translates to about 2,100 families in danger of losing their homes.”

“Experts say the worst is yet to come. ‘We know the whale is coming, we just don’t know how big the whale is,’ said Mike Flagg, of the Center for Responsible Lending. As the state’s red-hot real estate market grew hotter, thousands of new brokers and brokerages obtained licenses. That coincided with the availability of new types of loans, which gave far too many middle-income buyers who couldn’t afford it a shot at living in a half million-dollar home.”

“‘I think the reason we are going to see so many foreclosures, so many more than we have ever had in the past, is because a broker or loan originator has gotten people into these crazy kinds of loans,’ said Steven Schneider, president of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers.”

And it’s a renters market. “According to local real-estate agents, condominiums and single-family homes throughout Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are leasing for 30 to 50 percent less than the monthly costs, including property taxes and sky-high insurance premiums, of owning the same property.”

“In Riviera Beach, for instance, three-bedroom townhomes are renting for as low as $1,150 a month. Owning one would cost about $1,800 to $3,000 a month, after a 20 percent down payment.”

“This spring, Michelle Lewis and Rudolph Maragh of West Palm Beach were preparing to buy a condo when they took one last look at the local housing market. And decided to rent.”

“The couple and their two kids leased a 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house in the gated West Palm Beach development of Briar Bay for $1,500 per month, about 40 percent less than the monthly mortgage payments on a comparable home. ‘It was the same price as an apartment, so we might as well get the house,’ Lewis, said of their decision.”

“Welcome to the flip side of the housing boom, where renters can afford brand-new dream homes while landlords struggle to meet their monthly mortgage payments.”

“In West Palm Beach, $400,000 townhomes are renting in the $1,500 range. Owning one would cost nearly twice that per month. In Lantana, a $450,000 three-bedroom condo with an Intracoastal view is available for $1,850 per month. In Port St. Lucie, three-bedroom, $450,000 houses are renting for about $2,200, a third less than they would cost to own.”

“And in Wellington, $800,000 homes that would cost nearly $6,000 per month to buy are renting for about $3,000.”

“According to many real-estate agents, potential home buyers are now in a wait-and-see mode. Before they commit to buy, they want to see whether prices will fall, and whether the region will be hit by a hurricane this year. The result is a rising inventory of homes for sale, and, increasingly, for rent, at relatively low prices.”

“‘A lot of sales are turning into rentals,’ said Steven Saines, an agent who specializes in Treasure Coast homes.”

“Discussion of the strong rental market makes some real-estate agents uneasy. Several refused to comment publicly, fearing it would further erode sales in an already slow market. ‘People are walking away from sales contracts’ and renting instead, said one who didn’t want his name used. That agent said he sold his own investment property and plans to rent a $2 million house for the bargain price of $3,500 a month.”

“Speculators in particular seem to be fueling the renter’s market. As buyers drag their feet, people who thought they could turn a quick buck by buying real estate last year have been left with empty houses and expensive mortgages. ‘They were hoping to flip their properties but they didn’t, so now they’re trying to rent them out,’ said Putnam.”

“Terrence McManus, president of Florida RentFinders, said now that the interest-only periods have ended on many investors’ mortgages, ‘they’re trying to get income out of their houses any way they can.’ McManus said that most of the landlords he works with are renting at a loss. ‘None of them is cash-flow positive,’ he said.”

“Some agents are advising landlords to slash rents in order to create even a trickle of cash. ‘If it takes seven months to rent at $4,000, you’re better off getting $2,000 right away,’ said Saines.”

“The situation is creating sleepless nights for investors, such as Dena Webster of Wellington, who hasn’t been able to sell any of the 14 houses that she purchased at the peak of the boom. Eleven are in Olympia, a Wellington development where houses routinely carry price tags of more than a million dollars, but where rents are in the $1,800 to $3,000 range. ‘I’m upside-down on every one of them,’ Webster said of her properties.”

“To help make her monthly mortgage payments, which total $50,000, Webster has renters in four of her houses and is advertising for tenants for two more. Still, she’s taking large losses every month. ‘I’m not sleeping,’ she sighed.”

“Renters such as Michelle Lewis and Twanya Robinson, on the other hand, are slumbering soundly.”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2006-05-28 05:28:06

Thanks to the reader who sent in these links. I think the reporters at the PBP have been lurking at this blog!

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 05:35:34

“Several refused to comment publicly, fearing it would further erode sales in an already slow market.”

As if staying silent could somehow stop the unwinding of a worldwide credit bubble.

Comment by BigDaddy63
2006-05-28 07:01:28

Ah.. the Sargeant Schultz methodoligy of Real Estate investing working wonders I see… I know nuzzing! I zee nuzzing!

Comment by Les Pendens
2006-05-28 07:31:31

Shhh !!!!

Hush the Bubble Talk !!!!

Shhhh ……..

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 16:00:46
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Comment by Chip
2006-05-28 19:56:08

I could well be wrong, but I think the article about Dena what’s-her-name is a setup by herself and a sucker trick to rope in buyers. The following two discoveries are courtesy two other posters: First, she apparently is a RE agent and owns a mortgage brokerage. Second, she apparently paid waaay less than $1 mil a piece for many, if not all of these properties. I would not be surprised if this ploy was just to sucker some dupe into paying her $750-800K for these properties and for them to feel they got a steal. Fishy, fishy, fishy, down here in Florida.

Look at:

again, courtesy of another poster below. These two posters did the research. I am just opining I that I think it is a very fishy.

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 05:56:01

Sort of OT but relevant considering that we know at least 14 houses are going to be for sale cheaply in the future. There are a few posters here who have stated their intentions of buying similar properties in the future at a discount.

My warning, as a contractor, is to make sure you get a qualified and super conservative builder to look over the home you chose. Personally, I would look for an older builder and shy away from home inspectors unless you know they have actual building experience because as far as I’m concerned there has been a lot of trash thrown up in the last few that may look fine on the surface but that will become an upkeep headache in the not too distant future.

There has been no possibilty that the city building inspectors have been able to keep up with the sheer volume of building.

Comment by Mike_in_Fl
2006-05-28 07:00:17

I posted this several days ago, but just to repeat: My wife and I bought a pre-construction home (to actually live in, not flip) back in 2003 here in Palm Beach County. Was completed in Nov. 2004. In the first year (thankfully still under the builder warranty), we ended up needing to get tons of problems fixed. Air conditioner drainage pipe not hooked up properly. So condensation built up/overflowed in garage closet, forcing rebuilding/re-drywalling/painting of that closet — and someone needed to come out and fix the drainpipe. Outside AC unit broke within a few months of home completion. Baseboards didn’t line up properly in several places … hurricane shutter bolt anchors popped out of the wall in several places when I had to install shutters for Hurricane Wilma … tiles cracked in a few places … a pipe was improperly capped off in the master bedroom shower, so first time it was used caused water to pour out behind the shower wall. Need I go on?

You are absolutely right when you point out that a lot of crappy work has been done on homes down here. We just hope we caught it all during the warranty period and don’t get slammed with other problems that are on our tab later. So far so good on that front.

Comment by BigDaddy63
2006-05-28 07:06:39

FLorida construction as a whole is crappy. Most is subcontracted out. Half of these builders will file Ch. 11. It takes a few years for new construction to settle, and then you get to see the cracks in the foundations, pool decks, walls, etc.
I would personally shy away from new construcion unless it is reputable builder. I would also ask around to existing home owners about their experiences. I remember years back Lennar had some major lawsuits about their poor quality.

My first choice would be a pre existing home that has already had the opportunity to show the problems that happen during the first years and will be of higher quality materials.

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Comment by Anon in DC
2006-05-28 07:19:52

Subcontracting does not necessarly mean poor construction. Subscontracting is the ownship / legal / finanacial arrangement that high employment taxes / high insurance / and potentially high litigation costs require. My dad was a contractor. He had the same ’subs’ working for him for many years. Most were execellent craftsmen / tradesmen. When I bought a condo recently (to live not flip) bought in an 1940s building - all brick and cinder block.

Comment by Anon in DC
2006-05-28 07:21:04

that should read ownership

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:44:56

Most were execellent craftsmen / tradesmen
A good friend of mine is a fire marshall, He said the job sites are filled with illegal workers, most of the trade workers where cut out to save money, he said the plans (Blueprints) are a waste of time, if you cant read them what good are they, on one condo the walls where in the wrong place, its kind of funny, cost money to save money ? and the jobs cut for illegals to do jobs the americans cant at the pay, Florida the mexico east,

Comment by We Rent!
2006-05-28 07:48:43

What y’all need down there is some proper building codes to begin with. While this doesn’t help your poor workmanship problem, there is no reason a house built in hurricane alley should not be able to withstand a little wind. Typhoons were actually fun to experience in Japan - nothing fell down in the wind, and no one there is stupid enough to build below sea level…

Too bad every house presently standing’s “value” would drop effectively to zero the day you change the building standards. Think politics might be involved here?

Sorry - just tired of people blaming someone else for their problems/mistakes, then asking me to pay for them. Crap, that’s what is going to happen with this bubble business, isn’t it? I tell ya, if an earthquake flattened San Diego someday, I wouldn’t ask for nothing from nobody - and I sure as hell wouldn’t point fingers. I choose to live here.

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 08:09:38

The problem is, along with the realtors and mortgage brokers that have popped up in the last few to keep up with the volume, an army of unqualified subs has materialized.

Comment by Russ Winter
2006-05-28 07:06:13

Altered reality and hat tricks:

Comment by xynamax
2006-05-28 05:34:47

“The situation is creating sleepless nights for investors, such as Dena Webster of Wellington, who hasn’t been able to sell any of the 14 houses that she purchased at the peak of the boom. Eleven are in Olympia, a Wellington development where houses routinely carry price tags of more than a million dollars, but where rents are in the $1,800 to $3,000 range. ‘I’m upside-down on every one of them,’ Webster said of her properties.”

Hey Dena,

HA HA HA! As for your sleepless nights, try some Unisom.

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 05:43:35

Fricken 14 of them!!!

Ben could you possibly get this woman to participate in a Q & A session here. If we all chip in we could even pay her a speaking fee. God knows she needs the cash. Would just love - and not to belittle her - to hear the rational behind her decisions.

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-05-28 06:09:32

What lenders let her buy 14 houses at peak prices . A 50K nut per month ? Unless she had major assets in millions and unless she had a income of 1 mil a year or more ,you would be just sitting up someone for a big fall as a lender/underwriter . I’m telling you ,they were making loans based on the premise that “real estate always goes up “. When did they stop making loans based on the amount of rent you could get on a investment . Did she go to 14 different lenders ? Did the Lenders even check to see if she owned other property ? Old time underwriters would of stopped someone from getting over their heads like this ,(unless one put big down payments on each property) .

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 06:16:29

HW, I think there was a situation where 20something loan officers where listening to 20something realtors and 20something appraisers.

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:30:31
Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 06:40:14

This is why I think the NAR’s 40% investment is bogus. Posters here have been saying it is much higher because of mortgage fraud. 14 houses and she is CF negative. Unless she is very wealthy she will lose everything. This reminds of the saying - You know how to become a millionare? Start out a billionare and then own an airline! We need to modify this - You know how to become BROKE? Start out a real estate “millonaire”!

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:43:47

crispy - what’s “NAR’s 40% investment” all about?

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 06:47:32


We used to say “Do you know how to make a million in aviation?…..Start out with 2 million.”

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 06:49:33

The National Associtaion of Realtors claims that 40% of all homes sold in 2005 were sold to investors/2nd home owners. I think this numbers, like all the other ones they use, is bogus.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:51:36

40% is pretty high. You think it’s higher?

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-05-28 07:08:35

Gekko….I think it’s going to end up being alot higher than 40% .
Its bad enough being the bagholder on one property purchased in 2005 ,but how many people own 3 to 12 properties. Somebody posted yesterday that the realtors he knows on a average have 3 properties . No question , speculation kept the market going in 2005.

Comment by CrazyintheOC
2006-05-28 06:44:42

You know, its the old story,Fear and Greed, it happens in every mania. The flippers, lenders and builders all are afraid of missing out and then after a while there is a feeling that you cant lose, like the young Minneapolis investor who bought an Arizona condo over the phone in 15 seconds to add to the 10 he already had an then declared it a “no brainer”,this was from last years Money Mag article on the housing boom, I wonder how he is doing now. FEAR and GREED! It is amazing how we never learn.

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:58:20

“At the beginning, it’s driven by fundamentals, then speculation takes over. As the old saying goes, what the wise man does in the beginning, fools do in the end. With any asset class that has a big move, first the fundamentals attract speculation, then the speculation becomes dominant. Once a price history develops, and people hear that their neighbor made a lot of money on something, that impulse takes over, and we’re seeing that in commodities and housing…Orgies tend to be wildest toward the end. It’s like being Cinderella at the ball. You know that at midnight everything’s going to turn back to pumpkins & mice. But you look around and say, ‘one more dance,’ and so does everyone else. The party does get to be more fun — and besides, there are no clocks on the wall. And then suddenly the clock strikes 12, and everything turns back to pumpkins and mice.” - Warren Buffett

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:01:28

Dena is Cinderella. It’s midnight and her 14 “investments” just turned into pumpkins.

Comment by veritas
2006-05-28 06:57:23

When my wife and I moved to Miami 2 years ago our RE was getting our paperwork in order. My wife had just finished college and I had been self employed since 9/11, so we had no references.

He just opened a folder with blank letterhead from a dozen different companies, pulled a sheet from one and proceeded to tell us who my wife worked for and how much she made a year. Then he asked me to pick which company I wanted to be from. We laughed and asked if this was S.O.P. He responded with the catch phrase “Bienvenido Mi-ami”

Engaged is a similar ethical practice a junior RE agent in his office was buying 3 houses the same day. They would submit the loans to 3 different lenders at the same time, who in collusion with shady underwiters (for a fee) approve him simultaneously. No one would know he was buying 3 properties at the same time. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t earning 3k a month.

I am sure it ended badly.

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:05:58

that’s a scary story. how many more “timebombs” are out there? how many are IO/ARMs? HELOCed? and what will they do to the market?

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-05-28 07:21:15

I knew fraud must of been involved with these multi-purchases . When you have the NAR/realtors saying real estate always goes up ,and even being so bold as to say by what % it will go up ,everbody and their brother wants some of that action .

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:28:17

and realtors/lenders started to believe their own B.S. “RE always goes up!” - so WHY NOT sell as many houses as you can to one person and LEND as much as you can to one person. It’s a WIN WIN for everyone!!! It’s a CANT’T LOSE proposition!

Reminds me of tech stocks in 1995-2000 - stockbrokers/margin debt.

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 06:02:06

I wonder if Dena thinks her 14 renters are suckers who are throwing their money away paying her mortgages and making her rich… living in her million-dollar houses for $2K/mo.

Comment by Scorpion
2006-05-28 10:44:03

She may be the sucker. What many of these people fal to realize is how many quality renters are truly out there. A renter has the potential to really trash a home and cost thousands of dollars in damage. These flippers aren’t really experienced when it comes to property management. That has been a big issue her in Phoenix as far as home rentals go. Usually these rental homes look like hell afther the renter has moved out. I actually live in Gilbert, AZ. and from my front yard which is on a cul de sac I can see six For Sale signs. This development was built in 1996. I am waiting to here more on the apartments that have ben converted to condos. This is the business I am in, but I just sell products to convert them to condos,doors, blinds, etc. I look at my house that I purchased in 1998 for 142,000 which is about 1800 square feet with a huge yard and a pool and compare it to this thirty year old converted apartment in Tempe. I mean they want $125,000 for a 405 square foot cnverted condo in Tempe. Now granted they did put in the new cabinets, granite countertops, and hardwood floors, but I have a hard time thinking that there are lot of buyers out there looking for this.

Comment by sfbayqt
2006-05-28 12:42:02

Actually, it’s worse than that. She only has 4 renters and is advertising for 2 others….only FOUR out of 14 rented at the time of that article. She is drowning.

Boy, oh boy. I’m glad I’m not her.


Comment by bystander
2006-05-28 07:57:26

Time for a couple of oldies but goodies

What is the last thing that goes through a high-rise condo flippers mind?

The Sidewalk!

How do you get a flipper out their custom his and hers closet?

Cut the rope!

Comment by Sunsetbeachguy
2006-05-28 15:53:50

You are sick!

Tell me some more, they are funny.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 05:41:04

I have been in southwest florida all my life, I cashed out in nov. I sold my home and some land I had, I rent a condo on the water in a gated area, my rent is less then my payments were and my renters ins. is about 350.00 a year, I made a sh@tload of money selling, I feel bad about selling the land (5 acres of low land ) but I never listed it, I was called by a broker that pulled my tax info, it was greed, I feel bad but it don’t last long ,now the land will need alot of fill (380.00 a truck load) I paid 14,000 in 1989, sold it for 965,000
how dumb are the flippers, You tell me !

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 05:45:18

If the idiots come knocking there is no need to feel guilty.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:40:05

Nice gain. Congrats. It seems you timed it perfectly. Not sure if it was luck or skill - but who cares!

“It’s better to be lucky than good.”

Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 06:41:10

Take 3 months interest from the $850,000 in the bank and buy it back for the $14,000 in back taxes in 2009. The ultimate what goes around comes around!

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:42:54

yeah - stay in touch with the buyer. he may need you to buy it back for 20 cents on the dollar someday.

Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 06:50:53

Would -you- but five acres of SW Florida lowland, partially filled for $200,000? Say the last sucker overpaid by double, would you pay $100,000. Think a minute before answering. You’d have to pay cash for at least half and the rest will be at historically normal or higher interest rates -if- youcan find a bank that would loan you money to buy land in Florida in 2009.

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:56:52

no, but i wouldnt have bought it in 1989 for $14k either so it’s a moot point. “landeal” knows the area/value etc., i don’t. “20 cents on the dollar” was simply for illustrative purposes only. Perhaps it’s 2 cents, i wouldnt know.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 06:56:09

This was just dumb luck, The new owner has a sign on the land, all around it are for sale signs, nothing is selling, he wanted to build 12 homes on it but I think the price of fill scared him, (dirt cheap = I think not ). I found this in the new today,

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Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:07:13

when I got the land i was looking to build on it, but the market was bad, fill was about 30.00 a load then, I lease it to a cattle rancher,and just sat on it, the area changed so much to build was just something I never got around to. But I think he will lose big time, most ranchers are gone and just the taxes will kim him, I dont get it

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:09:50

whats the taxation on that puppy? ~50%?

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:12:58

I Don’t know, I had a agricultural exemption, but I know he don’t, I’ll look and see if i can find it.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:14:59

you have a $900,000+ gain and you don’t know? i’d have that shiit calc’d out to the penny.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:20:52

I had to pay gains,400,000 its was a pain in the a**, but I was talking about county taxes,

Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 07:38:24

Cap Gains of 40%? And I thought I was being screwed at 24.30%

Anyway, it was not dumb luck. Dumb luck is what Gen Xers call any form of success for anyone older than them. Gen Xers love to harp on the truth that they don’t have the same opportunities that the boomers had. Of course not, they have different opportunities but consider anyone younger than early thirties has never known a down market that concerned their interests. This will be interesting because I fully expect them to be purchasing err.. housing all the way down. They seem totally focused on driving with a rearview mirror.

Comment by Peter Gerard
2006-05-28 07:50:53

Do not understand cap. gains at 40%. 15% is the rate.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:58:57

Florida history is proof,( 1920s ) as a boomer we did the gas thing it the late 70s, we saw the housing boom and bust, we were trained by the traditionalist who remember the great depression. the gen Xers have a lot of opportunities, saving money is a lost art, this is the biggest mess I can remember,

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 08:07:55

I had to pay on 400,000. 500,000 was clear.

Comment by Claudia
2006-05-28 14:41:01

I think a lot of these mini Real Estate moguls are going to end up being people in their 20’s and 30’s. It seems like they are the ones buying the hype that RE will make you rich without having to do much work for it.

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 05:59:30

That coincided with the availability of new types of loans, which gave far too many middle-income buyers who couldn’t afford it a shot at living in a half million-dollar home

You know, for a while there I was getting the notion that I was the only person who thought that $500,000 is still a lot of money to pay for a house (and I can “afford” one, under traditional metrics).

Comment by Peter Gerard
2006-05-28 06:11:13

John-I thought the same thing. 500k is a lot of money, and I find it enormously expensive and time consuming to maintain just one house. It blows me away to see this unfolding, and I think, do these people have any common sense whatsoever?

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 06:30:54

It blows me away, too, Peter. Where we live, my wife’s friends used to say (in 2005), “Oh, you should buy the place that just went on the market on our street - it’s only nine hundred thousand.” Now, almost all of these people bought their houses before 2003, when they were in the $300-400K range, and most of them admit that they could not afford to buy their own homes at today’s prices. Yet they toss out nine hundred grand as if it’s pocket change. For a tract house, no less!

Comment by CrazyintheOC
2006-05-28 06:48:15

Hey thats another point as this thing unfolds are we going to see alot of big homes in nice neighborhoods fall into disrepair complete with rotting roofs and 2 foot tall grass and weeds? I wonder.

Comment by House Inspector Clouseau
2006-05-28 06:03:54

Holy CRAP!
14 homes? $50,000 a month???

What on earth does she do that she can cover that?

I don’t feel sorry for her one bit. If my tax money bails her out, or ANY of the last 13 banks that lent to her, I will be PISSED.


Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:41:52

I wonder just how many “Denas” are out there. The vise is tightening, my friends. The ice is melting right underneath their feet.

Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 06:54:16

“Ice Shelf B” has calved . Denna finds herself hopping between 14 tiny rapidly melting icebergs (7/8th of which are underwater) and all she can say is “the weather isgtting warmer and look at the oceanfront property I own.”

Comment by SeattleMoose
2006-05-28 11:54:33

Was looking to rent a house here in Seattle a few months ago in a nice neighborhood. The house we were thinking about was vacant. The “landlord” drove up in her SUV. Must have been about 35 or so. She was in “soccer gear”. She was very agitated as she just came from her other “rental” which was also vacant. She said it was tough to get renters. Well after we saw her house we realized she was asking too much and we started to plan a graceful backout. But as we were parting she said that she was not sure if she wanted to sell or rent as the “market was funny now” and would let us know.

We checked the home on Zillow and yep, she was a flipper. Bought in 2004 for $420K and trying to unload for $750K just 2 years later. Honestly, I could not see ANY improvements. No granite, Pergo, nothing!!

I can’t believe that so many “ordinary” people are playing RE roulette.

Life is too short to be undone by your own greed….

Comment by rudekarl
2006-05-28 06:44:16

Pissed - I’m planning my trip to D.C. for the protests. God knows the 70 percent who presently own won’t vote these idiots out of office. The bailout will be yet another screw job to those of us who were fiscally rational enough not to buy over the last couple of years at these inflated prices. Oh yeah, I imagine a couple of trolls will now chime in that I’m a moron for not buying into the multi-level marketing scheme, blah, blah, blah. Well, eff you.

Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 07:03:28

No, no, no! The revolution will NOT be televised! Come’on Rudekarl, think. Where did you learn about the bubble, where are you now? That’s right, the revolution will not be televised but it will be podcast. The resources I can and will bring to bear down on my representatives are the shock and awe of the politcal landscape.

Comment by House Inspector Clouseau
2006-05-28 08:03:56

“God knows the 70 percent who presently own won’t vote these idiots out of office. The bailout will be yet another screw job to those of us who were fiscally rational enough not to buy over the last couple of years at these inflated prices.”

Not necessarily. MANY homeowners will also march in unison for “no bailout” with you. I am one of them. (only here do I have to be ashamed to be a homeowner/debtor!). We bought in 2003, an “undervalued” home that was perfect for us, total purchase price was about 1.1x our yearly income, and PITI payment is 6.9% of my gross monthly income (and 13.7% of my monthly paycheck, AFTER all taxes, social security, health insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, dismemberment insurance, AND maximum 401k contribution are all taken out).

Remember, a LOT of homeowners have considerable assets. Assets we do not feel like sharing. Many of us would RATHER see our homes plunge $50,000-$100,000 than pay for a second S&L scandal.

There is no way in HELL that I will agree to another tax or fee to bailout some people who took a gamble on the RE machine and lost. NO WAY. I pay enough in taxes as it is. (and I’m a liberal pseudo-socialist! Just think what the conservatives will say!)

I feel that 33% federal taxes (marginal rate of course) AND 7.85% state taxes (again marginal rate) AND sales tax over 7% AND my property taxes (I forget the %, it’s like $4,000/year though) AND my car tax ($120/yr) is enough.

I’ll protest with you.

Tax me to feed the children. Hell yeah.
Tax me to give soldiers health care. Of course
Tax me for the disabled. Yep again
Tax me to pay for education. Yep.

Tax me for some flipper who flipped then flopped. HELL NO!


Comment by pinch-a-apenny
2006-05-28 08:21:40

Unfortunately, you and I are going to bail them out, or at least the lending institutions that are partly to blame for this fiasco. They will institute a fee like a 1 per 1000 dollar withdrawal fee from ATM’s, or whenever you write a check, pay a bill, etc, and there is NOTHING that you can do about it, because it is for the good of the “people”.
People being understood as those poor underpaid CEO and VP’s of those lending institutions, and their minions…

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Comment by rudekarl
2006-05-28 09:34:14

Clouseau, I’m glad to see your perspective on this subject. I completely discounted the numbers of home owners, like you, that should be outraged at the thought of bailing out the folks that contributed to the housing/credit debacle.

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Comment by Bill
2006-05-29 02:34:24

Clouseau, I’m a very fiscal conservative social liberal. I agree though with “tax me to give soldiers health care, for the disabled, and to pay for education.” But not for those other two. The reality is there are about 200 other “little” items that people want spending on, and this all adds up. No, we’re going to bail out the people who got into this bubble. We’re going to bail out the boomers who have very little savings. That’s why I made it a point to diversify my investments in various low tax schemes, including municipal bonds and dividend stocks. Face it: Most people in Congress, INCLUDING DEMOCRATS) are multimillionaires and take advantage of tax breaks. They are investors. They are not going to kill their own tax breaks. That’s why my own diversification will help me keep my taxes from going terribly higher. They will go higher. Thanks to the gimme attitude of Americans.

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Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 06:46:54

You are already bailing her out. Her banks are busy building cash reserves to cover her nonperfoming loans , spending money tracking the loans, ramping up their foreclosure staffs, preparing to pay massive severance packages to their mortgage depts, hoarding cash for a slew of upper management retirement bonuses, on and on. All that is money they are not paying you in interest and dividends.

Comment by jm
2006-05-28 11:24:43

Well said, Robert.
And it’s clear that very few of the savers in this country understood how they were bailing out the banks in the early ’90s and the last few years when the Fed lowered short-term interest rates to far below long-term rates so that banks and others could recover from losses due to earlier bad investment decisions by using short-term borrowings to buy long-term bonds and pocketing the rate difference (a very risky thing to do if the central bank is not making it clear it will signal well in adance when it thinks enough profit has been made). Note that this basically amounts to extracting money form the accounts of small savers people who keep their money in CDs and giving it to the banks. If the AARP were worth plugged nickel they would have organized a million-many march on Washington to protest this rape of the retired.

Comment by tj & the bear
2006-05-28 11:18:36

Bailout? How???

* New taxes? The RE bust will decimate revenues; new taxes won’t even cover a fraction of the shortfalls.
* More liquidity / lower rates? Might as well burn USD for all they’d be worth.

This isn’t Chrysler, the airlines, the S&L’s or even LTCM; the sheer magnitude of the problem precludes any “bailout”.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-29 10:36:58

could this be Dena ?


Comment by grubner
2006-05-28 06:06:41

“Welcome to the flip side of the housing boom, where renters can afford brand-new dream homes while landlords struggle to meet their monthly mortgage payments.”

I love this line. It describes my own housing situation and it’s gotta make you think that in some areas, the financial “fundamentals” in this market got way way way out of whack.

Comment by redfish
2006-05-28 06:08:47

financially dena is burnt toast, the longer she takes to recognize it the worse it will get, debt never sleeps.

Comment by Sammy Schadenfruede
2006-05-28 06:24:24

“The situation is creating sleepless nights for investors, such as Dena Webster of Wellington, who hasn’t been able to sell any of the 14 houses that she purchased at the peak of the boom.

Would someone please tell me how this ginch, who bought at the peak of the boom and is underwater on all her “investments” (cough), qualifies as an “invester”?

“Bagholder” is more fitting.

Comment by Jupiter-Renter
2006-05-28 07:11:37

Why would anyone want there name, let alone their face in the paper, in an article describing their complete lack of common sense or judgement? Check the link on the article page for a pic of “investor” Dena. Her broker Suzanne must have researched all of the lisitings for her.

Why isn’t her mortgage broker being brought up on felony charges?

Comment by Sunsetbeachguy
2006-05-28 07:37:30

There is no shame left in the world.

And yeah, that is a bad thing.

Somehow cultural mores need to revive public humiliation and shaming to keep these dumba$$es in line.

Comment by Claudia
2006-05-28 15:29:21

I googled Dena Webster and guess what? She’s a realtor and a mortgage broker! Here’s a link to her eBay Me page:

Comment by Chip
2006-05-28 19:42:09

Great find, Claudia. I see that she owns a mortgage company — that presumably answers the question of how she got the financing for the houses. And lower on the page you can click on her Ebay items for sale and up pop two $1.4M townhouses in Wellington.

I dunno — this is almost a bit too “pat.” Who’s being snookered?

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 06:39:06

Bring on the CARNAGE!!!

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 06:45:39

A St. Andrews Country Club home fell into foreclosure only 60 days after its owner took out a $1.9 million loan.

Could not even make two payments??

Comment by Shawn
2006-05-28 11:49:45

This is likely because the seller and buyer were in together, with the buyer overpaying dearly, with no plan whatsoever to pay a single payment and declare BK, while sharing in the profit with the seller. More likely, the buyer takes out a 110% loan and puts the extra 10% under their pillow.

Comment by Chip
2006-05-28 19:43:42

Shawn - believable, unfortunately.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 06:47:54

Renters such as Michelle Lewis and Twanya Robinson, on the other hand, are slumbering soundly.

I guess its not always a good time to buy!

Comment by realestateblues
2006-05-28 06:54:20

I looked her up on Palm Beach appraiser site, she bought all those properties in late 2004 and spring/summer of 2005. And even thouse the article talks about million dollar homes most of her purchases were in the 500-600k range. But still, I wonder if she’ll find 14 greater fools.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:07:50

The thing that’s scary is that even if there are Greater Fools still out there - are they capable of buying anyway with these higher mortgage rates? So it’s a double-whammy. Even if you can find a WILLING sucker, is that sucker ABLE given mortgage rates and tightening standards?

Comment by realestateblues
2006-05-28 08:25:29

I agree, I don’t think we’ll see those prices for a while.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:01:02

Sacramento Bee story on Sign Spinners:

Living signs
They’re multiplying on busy street corners — but how do you dance and twirl a 6-foot arrow?

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:03:01

Then, as a bonus, Marketshare’s living signs are given scores on a scale of 1 to 10 by supervisors who drive around and check up on them throughout the day. Those supervisors rate the human billboards’ enthusiasm and movement. Anyone who earns a 6 gets an extra $10, a 7 earns an extra $20, an 8 earns $30, and so on up to a bonus of $50.

“I get paid well to hold a sign, listen to my own music and dance,” Althiser says. “I work my heart out.”


So I guess if some guy is a good dancer I will be that overpriced tract home for $500k?? These builder are DESPERATE!

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:03:44


Comment by Robert Coté
2006-05-28 07:09:02

I know i’m a numbers junkie but when Iread this I couldn’t help but do the math. Say you are the only person to buy that day. That means the first $1000 of your “equity” went to pay the 10 or so sign twirlers that got you in there. Talk about pay per view.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:05:00

Then there are the passersby.

Some walking by just want to chat or show off some of their own dance moves. Others yell obscenities from cars whizzing by and Althiser has seen plenty of middle fingers.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:06:38

Tanya Colorado-Haak remembers thinking it was an egg flying toward her one day while working as a human directional. But as the white object splattered to the ground, she realized it was a packet of ranch dressing.

Clifton Tucker, 27, of Sacramento, has seen a water bottle whiz by him, a milkshake and even a BB gun pellet.

Comment by Subsonic22
2006-05-28 07:05:49

Buying that many homes means Dena has the ability to repay about $3,000,000. Something tells me she doesn’t make the $1,000,000 per year that she would have to make in order to qualify under traditional mortgage underwriting standards. She either closed all these loans simultaneously, or had phony rental agreements for the investment properties, or got no doc financing. She probably is making IO payments, which means she will be losing even more money, and if she bought in the top of the market. Sep-Oct 05, means she will paying higher taxes and the higher 06 insurance premiums. She will be bankrupt, but her loan officer will still be sending her thank you cards for all the business she gave them.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:13:12

so what happens when she defaults? the banks sell the properties for as much as they can and write off any loss? and Dena declares BK and everyone goes home???

Comment by Subsonic22
2006-05-28 07:21:28

I’m pretty sure the new BK laws prevent Dena from having her remaining mortgage debt discharged, even after FC sale. She will be getting phone calls from collection agencies for the rest of her life until she pays what she owes or can come up with a settlement. It all depends on how hard the mortgage lender wants to squeeze her.

Comment by Sunsetbeachguy
2006-05-28 07:43:02

At this point being early out thru BK may be preferable to when the lenders are in a fouler mood.

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Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:48:39

can someone run us through the timeline of what happens when Dena finally gives up and cries “Uncle”?

Comment by subsonic22
2006-05-30 08:17:11

This lady has been on mind my all weekend. There has been some excellent detective work done on this blog. It just hit me what happens if she files BK. The lenders are notified and given a list of other creditors. There they will see all the mortgages and properties she owns. If they compare it to the 1003’s she signed, she is up sh@t creek if she did not disclose she was purchasing additional real estate with more debt obligations. She could be prosecuted for mortgage fraud if she files for bankruptcy protection. Best case scenario for her is to sell her properties at a loss, work out an agreement with the mortgage companies to pay back the deficiency judgment, and get it done before the mortgage companies find out about the other properties.

Comment by Chip
2006-05-28 19:45:10

Looks to me like maybe she is her own loan officer. I get the feeling that just maybe we’re being taken for a ride on this article.

Comment by CA renter
2006-05-29 00:07:58

Yes, Chip. I do believe she is doing her own loans. Not only that, but she has over 100% LTV on at least a couple of those homes. She also has partners on a couple.

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 07:09:40

Amid this unfolding Florida bubble carnage, we have the comic relief of the NAR’s anti-bubble reports, such as this one for Port St. Lucie:

• The baby boomers in their peak earning years and have been active in purchasing second homes, which many consider their future retirement homes. The baby boomer impact could continue for another decade.
[the only baby boomer impact we're going to see for another decade is the impact on foreclosures and bankruptcies]
• The region is a prime retirement destination. The local market will benefit from second-home purchases by U.S. baby boomers as well by wealthy foreigners. [they forgot to mention that the region is also a prime hurricane destination]
• Price declines in the local market are unlikely according to our stress test.
• The local housing market will experience a price decline of 5% only under extreme unlikely scenarios. For example, mortgage rates rising to 10.3% in combination with 7,000 job losses could lead to a price decline.

Are they kidding? 10.3%??? With all of the ARMs out there, 10.3% rates would devastate the market. We’d see mass foreclosures and price declines of probably greater than 60%. However, in the NAR’s mind, even this wouldn’t be enough by itself — you’d need 7,000 layoffs, too!

By the way, here are three words you won’t find in the anti-bubble report for Port St. Lucie:
- hurricane
- insurance
- speculation

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 07:25:05

you forgot flood, in florida you will get a storm surge or sheet flow in almost all areas,

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 07:33:24

I also forgot eaten by an alligator

Comment by Les Pendens
2006-05-28 08:09:57

Port St. Lucie is on a flood plain.

It was underwater until the Corps of Engineers put in the C1 canal many many years ago.

I live here in Winter Haven, right in the middle of the “Orlampa Metroplex”

You can smell the fear up around Four Corners (Orange, Osceloa, Polk, Lake border ) and also it’s beginning to look like Christmas as a renter here in Winter Haven.

Yankee speculators bought my small apartment complex and hired a Rental Management company to collect the rent. Dumba$s paid twice what the property sold for in 2002.

Anyhow, I got a notice last week that my rent was going up approx 25% on July 1 when my lease expires. I live in a bad neighborhood but have a nice apartment on the inside ( full oak kitchen, 2bdr / 1 ba, WD hookups, etc ). I am gettin’ ready to tell ‘em to stick it. We have two other tenants that just moved out of the 12-unit complex this weekend for the same reason. I bet I could tell ‘em to keep my rent the same or I’ll bail….and they may capitulate.

I was looking at todays newspaper and there are plenty of decent spec rentals popping up ( EX: NEW 3bdr/2Ba w/ carport and shade tree yard - from 900-1000 month.) Some are now taking small pets…

I am seeing the same ads for the same homes and have noticed the rental rates dropping as the local $10.00/hr population is refusing to pay the carrying costs of absentee Trumpster-flipper millionaire wannabees.

Anyhow, we have over 500 properties on the MLS here in Winter Haven, a town with a population of around 60 - 70,000. Most of the stuff is flippered and I get a riot going to the tax assessors office website and seeing the purchase history.

We have a flood of flipper inventory that has been purchased as spec property from 2003-2005. Old houses that were $60,000 dollar shacks two years ago now languish in the Florida sun under a new coat of paint and a $140,000 price tag.

It’s getting fun to watch all these greddy bastards fidget. Lots of boats and trucks and Harleys and SUV’s For Sale are parked all around town on front lawns everywhere. More than in the past.

Soon, we will get a real separation between the people that live here and belong here VS the greedy people that sought to make their get-rich-quick fortune in this flipping game.

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend !!! Headin’ off to Cypress Gardens to swim and watch Hank Williams Jr. tonight !!! YEE HAWWW !!!

Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-05-28 10:39:47

LOL……love your “Trumpster-flipper millionaire wannabees”

Comment by seattle price drop
2006-05-28 13:17:27

If you want to stay in your rental, DEFINITELY tell them you are leaving. This has worked each and every time for every single person I know who’s tried it in Seattle over the past few years.

On several occassions, people (myself included) were actually offered a rent REDUCTION if they would only stay!

The situation in FLA sounds about 10 times worse than the situation in Seattle ever was in the past. So it’s hard to believe the “giving notice” wouldn’t bear fruit there.

Anyway, what’s the worst that could happen? By the sounds of it, you’d just go out and find a place that’s twice as nice as what you’ve got now for half the price.

Comment by winjr
2006-05-28 10:59:07

What a complete and total crock. I love how the NAR sees fit to manipulate the data any which way it sees fit. You’ll note that their Port St. Lucie home price / income ratio is calculated at 2.8. They note this was done using per capita income x household occupants. Yeah, well, if you use median household income (@ 12/31/05) instead, the result is significantly different. $260,200 median home price (1st qtr 2006) / $49,093 median household income = 5.3! Very different than 2.8, I’d say.

Comment by winjr
2006-05-28 11:12:30

Total crock, Part II. The NAR calculates the mtg .debt servicing ratio at 20%. It’s actually 32%, assuming 20% down, 6.62% 30 year fixed. Hey, but Suzanne did the research, and Lereah ran the numbers, right?

Comment by flat
2006-05-28 07:20:02

relative sold a hous ein FL at 2005 prices and rents a NEW condo for 1200 w allinclusive
was for sale for 388
I think even rents will dive in most overbuilt markets= wow !

Comment by Sammy Schadenfruede
2006-05-28 07:29:02

That agent said he sold his own investment property and plans to rent a $2 million house for the bargain price of $3,500 a month.”

The sheer hypocrisy of these realtors is breathtaking. You can rest assured this guy is still spouting the “it’s never been a better time to buy!” mantra to his clients while he himself sees the writing on the wall and acts accordingly.

Comment by saratoga
Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 07:53:02

nice find. interesting that she’s a realtor. from the article, i surmised that she was simply an “investor”. i’m glad some of these relators drank their own poison Kool-Aid.

p.s. she’s too rough to work the pole at Pure Platinum for mortgage money.

Comment by pinch-a-apenny
2006-05-28 08:08:32

I guess if you go her other web sites, you can see the slew of “million” dollar crack houses for sale!. I might pay 150K for them! (all)

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 07:59:22

GOOD FIND! I think most realtors have done this shit! They not only pumped their clients, but also bought into the ponzi scheme.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 08:08:32

I wrote her a “nice” email and asked her to visit this web site and ler her know what SANE people think of real estate in this INSANE world!

Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 09:01:43

“I’m Your Local Expert”

If she’s the expert Florida is going to implode.

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 09:27:11

“Local expert” in what - over-extending yourself on negative cash flow properties? Flipping for a loss? Paying way too much for real estate?

Comment by Les Pendens
2006-05-28 09:03:43

Dena looks like a three-time divorced ex-trophy wife who landed in Real Estate when she ran out of husbands.

Bet she used Minority Enterprise funding from the gubment to get her started when the ex’s traded her in for younger models.

Still, I’d like to see a full body shot of her; maybe in a bikini like that chick from California.

What has this business come to.

Comment by Jupiter-Renter
2006-05-28 10:41:21

Les, For a full body shot, go to the original article and click on the photo gallery link.

Comment by landedeal2
2006-05-28 14:03:20

My focus is on giving you personal attention and the best service.
14 homes in the hole I’m not sure what the service is,

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Comment by slynch401k
2006-05-28 14:57:23

From her website:

I can help you with every aspect of buying or selling your home because I’m experienced, because I’m professional . . .and because I care.

I also am a mortgage broker, owning Home Mortgage Corporation of America, LLC. This gives me an advantage over the average real estate agent. I am able to prequalify Buyers for Sellers and assist Buyers in obtaining financing for a new home. Home Mortgage Corporation specializes in creative financing solutions for all types of buyers.


Yeah - she’s real experienced and she also owns the mortgage firm, so she can get the loans with a little tricky paperwork.

She probably made a boatload selling RE and doing the mortgages and abount to give it back.

I have NEVER seen a market more out of whack than S. Florida, and I live in both S Florida and DC.

Comment by softlending
Comment by waaahoo
2006-05-28 09:13:38

There’s how she qualified for her morts. She’s the president of her own mort company.

100 to 1 she falsified her apps and if so why on earth would you advertise your plight?

Comment by John in VA
2006-05-28 13:54:39

She’s the president of her own mort company.

Classic mistake - successful drug dealers resist the temptation to use their own product.

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 20:09:26

“Don’t get high on your own supply.”

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Comment by JanniFL
2006-05-28 09:15:22

Well her being a realtor explains how she bought all the properties, she probably bought them through a corporation and really has nothing personally on the line.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 09:37:26

I doubt that! No bank would let someone buy single family homes WITHOUT a PG (personal guarantee)!

Comment by JanniFL
2006-05-28 10:00:07

O.K. so lets go with your supposition that the current lending in is honest and conservative. Not my recent experience or some of the other bloggers here. How did she do it? This is important, because I was predicting that there could not possibly be a “soft landing”, based on my guess that there are many, many who have 2-3 houses, NOT 11! I guess if she is wealthy then she may land softly. I suppose she could have leveraged each property to buy the next. Hmm lets see how much equity do you think she has in them? A lot? $50,000 divided by 11 is $4,545.00 average monthly payment on each. No I do not think she has a lot of equity if they are $400,000 to $500,000 each on average. Of course she is “saying”, they are worth $1,000,0000 each, so that may be it. Scary isn’t it. When I read something like this it gives me that deep fear, chill feeling. Anyone here predicting a “soft landing” for Dena? Anyone here bullish enough on real estate to bail here out? She doesn’t even sound bullish, but she must have been at one time.

Comment by crispy&cole
2006-05-28 10:09:20

I agree with you on that. She will have a HARD LANDING! Its just very difficult to buy SF homes through a Corporation or LLC. Did you go to the Ebay link. LOL. She is also a mtg broker and in the construction biz. She has all her eggs in one basket. I am sure there is some fraud involved here. Write her an email and ask her, I did, so far no reponse. I will share it here if she does.

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Comment by Housing Wizard
2006-05-28 10:45:27

Didn’t she admit she was upside down on all the properties ?

Comment by Gekko
2006-05-28 11:14:15

leverage is great on the way up and a biitch on the way down.

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Comment by Mo Money
2006-05-28 10:05:50

I also am a mortgage broker, owning Home Mortgage Corporation of America, LLC. This gives me an advantage over the average real estate agent. I am able to prequalify Buyers for Sellers and assist Buyers in obtaining financing for a new home. Home Mortgage Corporation specializes in creative financing solutions for all types of buyers.


Dena is a double threat, to HERSELF

Comment by Subsonic22
2006-05-28 10:56:43

Some mortgage lenders refuse to buy loans from brokers who are doing loans for themselves. With purchasing 14 properties worth $4-5 million dollars, if you are using stated, no ratio, or no doc financing that don’t prove you can repay $4-5 million, you can see why some companies have this policy. After this lady and others like her go down, pretty much all lenders should have this policy.

Isn’t is also a conflict of interest with her obtaining a commission from the real estate sale in addition to getting commissions from the financing?

I guess making 3-6% on the sale, another 2% from the financing, off of $300,000 - $600,000 properties just isn’t enough money for some people. I guess 7 to 8 points doesn’t compare to the hundreds of thousands she thought she would make from flipping. If the lender who bought her paper reads this article and puts two and two together, she is in a lot of trouble. If you think being foreclosed on is bad, wait until she gets a letter from the lender she sold her loans to asking her to repurchase the mortgages. I guess I would have problems sleeping too.

Comment by Shawn
2006-05-28 12:03:03

I wonder which houses she recommends to the buyers she represents. I’m going to guess she knows of 14 “great values”.

Comment by WArenter
2006-05-28 13:58:44

“That coincided with the availability of new types of loans, which gave far too many middle-income buyers who couldn’t afford it a shot at living in a half million-dollar home.”

Or maybe it gave far too many middle income buyers a chance to PAY $500k to live in a house that is acutally worth only about $200k

Comment by CA renter
2006-05-29 00:45:18

Exactly, WArenter!

Comment by BigDaddy63
2006-05-29 05:58:43

How unethical is it for her as a broker/realtor to act as agent on her own listings trying to unload properties she knows are tanked to prospective buyers?

What sleaze..

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