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8/7/07

Is the Mortgage Crunch Really a Bad Thing?

In my previous post Multiple Streams of Income: Real Estate as a Business, I discussed the real estate business as a potentially lucrative business for new entrepreneurs. Well, I am here to tell you that the time to strike is now.

News broke yesterday that the tenth largest mortgage lender, American Home Mortgage, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This fueled speculation that the mortgage market was in heavy turmoil. This is due to the fact that American Home Mortgage was not a sub-prime lender and because some of the company’s investors included some of the largest financial firms in the world.

However, even if this is true, real estate investors can still benefit from this kind of market. The current situation is that people cannot obtain mortgages. These people are not necessarily financially inept, but these people do have a problem (whether is be substandard credit or lack of a down payment) that prevents them from obtaining a mortgage and thus, owning a house. These people have two choices: they can either leave their current location, move to place where the cost of living is less, and attempt to buy a house at this new location; or these people can rent a home, condo, apartment, etc., until they can afford to buy. Due to considerations such as employment, family, friends, etc., most people choose the latter option.

How does this help real estate investors? If, as a real estate investor, you practice the Buy, Improve, Hold, and Refinance model, this current market is great news for you. As more and more people are unable to obtain mortgages, more and more people will be looking to rent. If you are the owner of an investment property, you should have no problem filling any vacancies, and because of the large influx of renters, you should also have no problem getting a premium rental rate.

What if you do not have an investment property? The good news is that you are not out of luck; the bad news is you will have to have great credit and probably a small down payment, but more of this in a minute. Another effect of this market is that people are having trouble selling their homes. Less people qualifying for mortgages equals less buyers. If we all remember back to Economics 101, we will know that the economy revolves around the principle of supply and demand. Right now, there is a far greater supply of homes than there is a demand. This means that you, as a real estate investor, can grab a property for less that its fair market value (if you have the right credentials a.k.a. good credit and a down payment).

Although the market looks bleak for some, the market looks great for real estate investors. Strike while the iron is hot and find a good investment property today!


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