6 Real Estate Investment Resources for Investors

If you’re like most real estate investors, you probably like to keep your finger on the pulse of the overall real estate investment market. If you’re looking for clues and insights and an “edge” on the competition, check out these six resources. You can add them to the mix of our more “creative” real estate investing information.
I check each of these resources once or twice a week to see what’s happening in the broad real estate investment environment. For example:

  • Is it getting easier or tougher to get new real estate investment loans?
  • Are there any new laws that might affect real estate investment activity?
  • Are foreclosures increasing or decreasing? What’s the effect?

1.  Market Watch (Real Estate Section)

Market Watch is a division of The Wall Street Journal and, while about as “mainstream” as they come, it’s an excellent resource for staying on top of mortgages (including rates, costs and availability), housing and home buyers. Here are a couple of recent articles:

Millions waiting for right time to buy a home

“Nineteen percent of homeowners and 29% of renters are considering the purchase of a home within the next two years…”

Someone needs to sell these folks a house. Why not you?

Fewer will get a mortgage next year

“Next year, mortgage volume is expected to be lowest since 1997…”

Great opportunity for real estate investors to sell by using lease options or a wrap!

2.  Foreclosure Pulse

The Foreclosure Pulse Blog was created for those “in the trenches of buying, selling or investing in real estate.” This blog has a ton of info on (what else?) foreclosures. Here are a couple of recent examples:

Millions of homes lurk on bank inventories, casting doubts of rebound

“Officially, there are 3.5 million homes for sale nationwide. But there are millions more lurking in the shadows….”

How can you take advantage of this situation?

New wave of foreclosures to push prices lower

“The paralyzed U.S. housing market is once again up against an obstacle it has seen before — mounting foreclosures….And a fresh drop in home prices is likely to result.”

Is it true? I don’t know. But it’s worth considering as one piece of the real estate investment market puzzle.

3.  Housing Views

Looking for Real Estate Investment Clues

This is S&P’s blog on the housing market. It “features posts, reports and commentary from analysts across the Standard & Poor’s organization reporting on a wide-range of housing topics such as residential home prices, home building and mortgage financing in the United States.”
Here are some recent articles.

How the Cities Did

This article discusses the most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Cities report and posts the full chart, which leads the author to state “Although everyone talks about the national economy and the collapse of the nation’s entire housing industry, these data suggest a deeper look may be in order.” It’s interesting data, so check it out.

If you want to beat your competition, take the extra step, walk the extra mile.

Health and houses: foreclosures can make you sick

This never crossed my mind, though it makes sense because stress is a big cause of illness and disease.

Yet another reason for you to help distressed homeowners out of a bad situation.

4.  RealtyTrac

RealtyTrac is a paid subscription service for foreclosure information, but there’s no charge for all of their articles or general market information, which can be illuminating. Recent examples:
Top 10 Short Sale Markets

    1. Los Angeles, CA
    2. Phoenix, AZ
    3. Cape Coral/Ft. Myers, FL

Top 10 College Towns for Buying Foreclosures

  1. Palo Alto, CA
  2. Columbus, OH
  3. Louisville, KY

5.  Bank Rate Mortgages Blog

Here’s a recent article:

Homeownership dream fading?

“Mortgage rates hit a new record low in last week’s Bankrate survey, but homeowners still aren’t biting, as proven by a drop in applications for new mortgages and refinance loans….”

I think it’s because banks aren’t making loans to anyone unless they have off-the-charts superb credit and a 20% cash down payment.

Mini luxury home boom

“According to the Wall Street Journal, sales in Palm Beach were up 50 percent in the year ending June 30 and in Long Island’s pricey Hamptons sales spiked 50 percent in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.”

Interesting… Are you in the market for a mansion?

6.  CNN Money (Real Estate Section)

I can’t flip this house

What? The facts are stated there, but I strongly disagree with some of the conclusions drawn in this article. While it’s true that it’s become a great time to invest in rentals, that does not in any way mean investors can’t flip the house.

It’s food for thought, but analyze the data and come to your own conclusions.

While none of these articles is “earth shattering” on its own, taken together this kind of market info paints a broader picture of the real estate investment marketplace. I hope these six real estate investment resources are useful to you.

By J.P. Vaughan

Born in 1935, J.P. was the only child of Joe and Ora Vaughan, who both worked at the Craddock-Terry Shoe Factory in Lynchburg. From his father, J.P. inherited a strong work ethic and a remarkably high level of empathy for other people. As a boy, J.P. spent most of his days playing ball with friends at his beloved Miller Park, a short walk from his Park Avenue home. In 1945, their sandlot games took on mythic proportions when Happy Lee, the park’s playground director, pulled together a group of blue collar boys to form the Mighty Mites football team. J.P. and the rest of the boys adored their young coach, who taught them how to play as a team and to always look out for each other. After two undefeated seasons and even besting the Shoeless Wonders, the team went on to win the Pop Warner Santa Claus Bowl in Philadelphia in 1948 to become national champions.