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Investment Property Charleston SC | Income Producing Real Estate

CHARLESTON SC INVESTMENT PROPERTIES & INCOME PRODUCING REAL ESTATE

For investors in Charleston SC the real estate game is a tricky one. We all made thousands and — probably millions if you add it all up — flipping houses, leasing offices and renovating condos. Then the real estate market collapsed, throwing the U.S. into the 2007-2009 recession.

Now the prognosis for real estate investments is looking much better, though it’s anything but simple. Some commercial real estate has rebounded, with investors craving income that real estate provides, while Low-country residential Charleston real estate — particularly single-family homes — may be at once-in-a-lifetime bargain prices.

Four top experts were asked for their take on the the opportunities and potential pitfalls facing real estate investors in the coming years. Edited excerpts of their interviews follow:

Jim Sullivan, managing director of REIT research, Green Street Advisors

Every diversified investor should have some exposure to commercial real estate, and REITs [real estate investment trusts] provide a terrific, transparent and liquid way to get that exposure. Operating fundamentals in most property types range from good to great, with good being the shopping center business and industrial business and great being the apartment business. The economy is not doing great, but the silver lining for commercial real estate is how little new supply is coming on the market. Too much new commercial construction is typically what puts a halt to real estate recoveries. This time around, it’s just not an issue.

Multi-Family Income Properties

 

REITs tend to be specialized by property type. You can pick and choose, depending on what your economic outlook might be. If your forecast is a little rosier, you’d want to be in property types that respond well in economic recoveries — hotels, for example, or REITs that own shopping centers with lots of small tenants. If you wanted to be a bit more defensive, health care REITs are a terrific place to be. When investing in Charleston real estate the safe bet would obviously be in tourism based avenues considering that is the most consistent driver of revenue.

The biggest opportunity is buying distressed single-family homes, because that market has been completely beat up. The next biggest opportunity is buying land because very few people have been focused on it. If you have a long-term view, you’ll probably see a significant multiple return. Buying land is a complicated business, though. Mom-and-pop investors should not be buying land.

Lauren Pressman, director of investment research at wealth management firm Aspiriant

The U.S. is in a period of sustained but very slow growth. Job reports are huge factors for real estate, because jobs create demand for housing, for offices, for travel and at retail establishments. We’re wary of things like retail and office, except in very unique circumstances. Multifamily real estate (apartment buildings) arguably had all the tail winds at its back to do the best of all asset classes. However, be careful. There is so much capital chasing multifamily, and that can lift prices beyond a point where your return is commensurate with risk.

No matter what your strategy is always be careful and have a good local agent to help you navigate through the maze of options out there for investing in real estate in Charleston or anywhere. Find a great contractor in Charleston and let them help you with the renovations, and repair necessary to get a C.O. and move onto the next real estate opportunity.

VACATION RENTALS

One of the long tried and true income producing real estate investments popular in Charleston area is in beachfront homes or resort vacation rentals. It’s no mystery that homes in beach communities are very attractive year round and hundreds of thousands of visitors come to our beaches in S.C. to unwind. Homes for sale on the Isle of Palms and in Wild Dunes real estate make big money on weekly vacation rentals for their owners. Many developers and investors will even buy an existing home, tear it down and build a new one just for the returns it can produce. Weekly rentals on Folly Beach, Kiawah, Seabrook Island, and even downtown Charleston garner upwards of $4000 to $7000+. Even with HOA Dues in Wild Dunes, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island + monthly regimes for condos/villas these properties can get easily $30,000 yr for one bedroom to $90k+ for beachfront and 3 bedroom units. 

There has never been a better time to pull money out of the equities market and into real estate, rates are low, and prices are too.

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The ABCs of Short Sales – Bank Owned Homes – Foreclosure Help – Distressed Sales

This information is from the National Association of Realtors. Hopefully it helps you.

What is a short sale?

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agree to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt.

Supplemental Directive 09-09 (November 30, 2009) gives servicers (those who process payments) guidance for carrying out the program. All servicers participating in HAMP must also implement HAFA in accordance with their own written policy, consistent with investor (lender) guidelines. The policy may include such factors as the severity of the loss involved, local market conditions, the timing of pending foreclosure actions, and borrower motivation and cooperation.

A short sale agreement (SSA) will be sent by the servicer to the borrower after determining the borrower is interested in a short sale and the property qualifies. It informs the borrower how the program works and the conditions that apply. After the borrower contracts to sell the property, the borrower submits a “request for approval of short sale” (RASS) to the servicer within 3 business days for approval. If the borrower already has an executed sales contract and asks the servicer to approve it before an SSA is executed, the Alternative RASS is used instead. The Servicer must still consider the borrower for a loan modification.What are the steps for evaluating a loan to see if it is a candidate for HAFA?1. Borrower solicitation and response. 2. Assess expected recovery through foreclosure and disposition compared to a HAFA short sale or DIF. 3. Use of borrower financial information from HAMP. (May require updates or documentation.) 4. Property valuation. 5. Review of title. 6. Borrower notice if short sale or DIL not available (to borrowers that have expressed interest in HAFA). 

Why was the number of short sales rising?

Due to the economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses.

A short sale can also be the best option for a homeowners who are “upside down” on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially.

What challenges have short sales presented for REALTORS®?

The rapid increase in the number of short sales, and the short sales process itself present a number of challenges for REALTORS®. Major challenges include:

  1. Limited experience
    Many REALTORS® are new to the short sales process; a difficulty which is compounded by many lenders’ lack of sufficient and experienced staff to process short sales. Even if the REALTORS® are experienced, most servicers are under-staffed and still not adequately trained, making negotiating a short sale particularly difficult.
  2. Absence of a uniform process and application
    Currently, both short-sales documents and processes are lender-specific, making it very difficult and time-consuming for REALTORS® to become knowledgeable and efficient in facilitating these transactions.
  3. Multiple lenders
    When more than one lender is involved, the negotiations are much more difficult. Second lien holders often hold up the transaction to exert the largest possible payment, in exchange for releasing their lien, even though in foreclosure they will get nothing.

As a result of these challenges our members have reported difficulties with: unresponsive lenders; lost documents that require multiple submissions, inaccurate or unrealistic home value assessments, and long processing delays, which cause buyers to walk away.

What is being done to address or eliminate these challenges?

Well it goes without saying that we are in tough times economically as a country and Charleston South Carolina is no different, and even more so as it pertains to real estate. With all the bad news we hear about real estate and the economy there is some good news to report. Even though our government is has made many mistakes with our money recently it appears as if those in the white house are doing their best to help homeowners.Help with ForeclosuresThere is a program to help those who can’t afford their homes any longer quickly sell their homes (that’s relative) without being forced into foreclosure. It’s called (HAFA) or Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program.HAFA is designed to simplify and streamline the use of short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure by improving the process. Specifically, HAFA will:• Complement HAMP by providing a viable alternative for borrowers (the current homeowners) who are HAMP eligible but nevertheless unable to keep their home. • Use borrower financial and hardship information already collected in connection with consideration of a loan modification under HAMP. • Allow borrowers to receive pre-approved short sales terms before listing the property (including the minimum acceptable net proceeds). • Prohibit the servicers from requiring a reduction in the real estate commission agreed upon in the listing agreement (up to 6%). This is to ensure the seller/borrower can still utilize the expertise of a real estate agent. • Require borrowers to be fully released from future liability for the first mortgage debt and if the subordinate lien holder receives an incentive under HAFA, that debt as well (no cash contribution, promissory note, or deficiency judgment is allowed). • Use standard processes, documents, and timeframes/deadlines. • Provide financial incentives: $1,500 for borrower relocation assistance; $1,000 for servicers to cover administrative and processing costs; and up to $1,000 match for investors for allowing a total of up to $3,000 in short sale proceeds to be distributed to subordinate lien holders (on a one-for-three matching basis; up to 3% of the unpaid principal balance of each subordinate loan).HAFA is a complex program with 43 pages of guidelines and forms. To help everyone better understand the process, below are some frequently asked questions that address the basics.Initially announced on May 14, 2009, with guidance and standard forms issued on November 30, 2009, the program will help owners (referred to below as borrowers) who are unable to retain their home under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). A borrower (the current owner) may be able to avoid a foreclosure by completing a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) under HAFA. The guidance and forms released on November 30 do not apply to loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Those enterprises will issue their own HAFA guidance and forms.

On May 14, 2009, the Obama Administration announced its upcoming Foreclosure Alternatives Program. Among other things, the new program:

  • Establishes financial incentives for servicers, sellers, and second lien holders to encourage the completion of short-sale transactions.
  • Requires that a timeline, of no fewer than 90 days, be set to allow a homeowner to sell a home, without threat of foreclosure action.
  • Requires the short sale agreement to specify reasonable and customary real estate commissions and costs to be deducted from the sales prices. (The servicer must agree not to negotiate a lower commission after receiving an offer.)
  • Will provide standardized documents, including short-sale agreements and offer acceptance letters.

The Foreclosure Alternatives Program is anticipated to launch in late July.

For more information on all the short-sales provisions included in the program, see NAR’s Short Sales Incentive Summary and the government’s Foreclosure Alternative Program fact sheet (PDF 44K).