Justin Ford is an active investor in real estate and global stock markets. He is also a veteran financial writer. He has published, edited and written for over a dozen international investment newsletters, including launching the US version of the Fleet Street Letter, the oldest continuously published newsletter in the English Language.
He is the author of Seeds of Wealth, a program for getting children to adopt good money habits from an early age. He is the editor of the Seeds of Wealth Quarterly Investment Update Bulletin. He is a contributing editor and author to a number of books on personal finance, including Michael Masterson’s Automatic Wealth and Dr. Van Tharp’s Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom.
One of my banks cut me a nice check the other day. It was a refinance loan for $412,500 on a property I had bought for $397,500 a little more than a year ago. This during the worst credit crisis in 75 years.
“Something is worth precisely what someone else is willing to pay for it.” So said a stock-market analyst to me one fine bull-market day many moons ago.
A statement like that can seem profound, but it’s useless. Yet it is the mantra of many investors in all fields. In bull markets, the sellers say it. In bear markets, the buyers say it. But it is about as helpful as saying, “Wherever the sun shines, there it is daytime.” So what?
It’s ugly out there.
Properties aren’t moving; sales volume has plummeted. Foreclosures are up 48 percent from a year ago. Prices are down as much as 20 percent to 30 percent in markets ranging from Miami to Los Angeles.
A title company wired just over $97,000 into one of my bank accounts this afternoon. Once I get the insurance and escrow refunds, it will amount to a little more than $100,000.
As real estate prices fall, the income you get per dollar invested rises. This means greater cash flow and the ability to deliver bigger dividends to your investors.
I’ve advocated buying only cash-flow properties using fixed rate, amortizing loans. But now that you’re in this situation, here are a few things to consider:
Using a master lease option to create cashflow is a great alternative to investing in real estate in a declining market.