In the Market to Buy a Foreclosure? Here’s What You MUST Know

By Christopher Boyd

Rampant foreclosures over the last three years have ravaged real-estate markets nationwide, dragging down housing prices and shredding the value of local tax rolls. But even blights have their bright sides, and this one favors investors with the insight and tenacity to spot bargains.

In December 2010 alone, about one in every 500 U.S. homeowners received a foreclosure notice, the first step in what can be a drawn-out legal process that in many cases ends with a lender taking possession. In January, the total number of bank-owned homes in the United States exceeded 1 million for the first time, reported RealtyTrac, a research firm that also offers a detailed checklist for how buyers should approach the foreclosure market. More…

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Is It Time to Invest in Real Estate?

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

You’ve read the headlines. Housing is down and, in many markets, there seems to be no end in sight to falling real estate values. Foreclosures have kicked the bottom out of the housing market, and so many people are upside down in their homes that it seems crazy to even think about diving into housing as an investment.

But remember: What goes down usually does come back up.

True, the sustained drop in real estate values has scared the majority of investors out. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least consider the possibility that the sickening decline may be nearly over. More…

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Commercial Real Estate: Hope on the Horizon?

By Amy Cortese

New York’s Stuyvesant Town in default, massive General Growth Properties succumbing to bankruptcy, Las Vegas’ mega-project CityCenter barely back from the brink. High-profile commercial real-estate blowups just kept coming.

Even playing host to a high-profile PGA Tour event and to Tiger Woods’ televised mea culpa in February couldn’t keep the owner of the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., from filing for bankruptcy protection a month later.

And for each multibillion-dollar failure, there have been hundreds of smaller commercial defaults on hotels, offices, shops and apartment complexes that didn’t make the national news. More…

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Home Ownership: The American Dream or a Costly Nightmare?

By Martha Fry

The American dream has always included home ownership. However, with foreclosures mounting and home values plummeting, for some that dream has become a national nightmare. Trying to decide whether to buy, sell or rent a home in the current real estate market can be tricky, but there are ways to hedge against loss.

The first thing on many buyers’ minds is: Are housing values going to continue to fall? While no one has a fail-safe crystal ball, the foreclosure crisis does not appear to be over in many places. More…

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Mobile Home Parks: Gold Mines or Money Pits?

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

If you ask multi-niche investor Frank Rolfe what he thinks of investing in mobile home parks, his answer is simple:

“They’re a gold mine,” he says. “We are willing to bet money that they are the best real estate niche in existence in America right now.”

Rolfe says he has personally owned and operated more than $100 million in parks over the last decade.

Rolfe of MobileHomeParkStore.com finds mobile home parks to be a phenomenal investment—if you get educated and do your due-diligence research. More…

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Real Estate Investment Trusts: The REIT Way

By WEALTH Editors

In today’s volatile real estate market, should REITs be part of your portfolio? In order to answer that question, you first need to know what REITs are all about.

A Real Estate Investment Trust (commonly referred to by its acronym) is a trust company that gathers a sum of money through an initial public offering, or IPO, then uses that money to manage, develop, buy or sell real estate. More…

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Buying Real Estate Tax Liens

By Larry B. Loftis

Creating wealth in real estate may sound like an oxymoron since the real estate market has imploded since 2007, but savvy investors can still garner double-digit returns today—in the form of tax liens.

Here’s how it works: More…

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Why Now Is the Time to Buy Real Estate

By Larry B. Loftis

John D. Rockefeller, considered the wealthiest man in modern history (with an estimated wealth equal to $318 billion in 2007 U.S. dollars, according to Forbes), once said, “Buy straw hats in winter.”

The point Rockefeller was making is simple—buy when others are selling, and sell when others are buying. But that’s a whole lot easier said than done, right? Only the confident and courageous move against the herd. More…

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Renting to Uncle Sam: Profiting From Housing Choice Vouchers

By WEALTH Editors

With real estate going for bargain prices in most of the country, it may be the perfect time to pick up some rental houses. But becoming a landlord means you need to find and keep tenants. You can enlist the federal government’s help by renting to people with Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly called Section 8 ) and letting Washington help pay the monthly rent. More…

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