How to Get Free Courthouse Real Estate Leads

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Why would you pay someone to get your Free Courthouse Real Estate Leads if you can get them yourself?

If you are only looking for lender defaults in the past month, go to the County Clerk’s Office website. Here you can register to have access to all public property records online. Once you register and sign in, go to “Foreclosures” or “Notices of Default” or “Lis Pendes” and put the dates you are searching in the search box. It will pop up anywhere from 10 to 1000 pre-foreclosures (NOD’s).

From here, you can see the official NOD from the attorney’s filing for the lender. It should list the name of the person that defaulted, the date the original loan was made, the address of the property, the original lender and the lender now, also, the servicing agent. It will list on the NOD the date of auction (which you need to be at least 6 weeks if you don’t have a lot of practice with short sales).

I usually look at the origination date to see if the home might have any equity, and I look at the zip codes to make sure they are in an area I want to buy homes. Then I come up with a snappy letter or a postcard to contact the people that have defaulted and see if they will sell their homes.

Be prepared for a lot of drama and stress. After all, these people are losing their homes and don’t want to deal with reality at this point. They just want a solution to ALL their problems.

Source by Janine Perez

Real Estate Valuation

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The Approaches to Establishing Property Value

Sales Comparison Approach

The sales comparison approach is used at property tax hearings for houses, land and owner-occupied buildings. It is sometimes used for income properties as a secondary method of valuation. To perform the sales comparison approach you need information on sales of property similar to your property. You can obtain this information from a variety of sources including the appraisal district, real estate appraisers, brokers and third party vendors. Inspect and photograph the comparable sales making detailed notes regarding differences between the comparable sales and your property. Then make adjustments for differences between the subject property and comparables. Adjust comparable sales to the subject property. For example, if a comparable sale has four bedrooms and your home has three bedrooms, make a downward adjustment to the sales price to the comparable sale to bring it down to the level of your house. Select sales as similar as possible to the subject property to minimize adjustments. Comparable sales data is given strong consideration in property tax hearings for houses, land and owner-occupied commercial buildings.

Income Approach

The income approach is typically used for income properties. The basic theory is that investors purchase income properties for the income stream they produce. This income stream can be converted to an indication of market value for the property. The primary steps in the income approach are to estimate the potential gross income using rent comparables and information regarding actual income at the subject property. An allowance for vacancy is estimated based on the performance of the subject property and average vacancy in the area. Operating expenses are estimated using actual expenses at the subject property and market expenses for similar properties. The net operating income is calculated by deducting vacancy and operating expenses from the potential gross income. Net operating income is converted to an indication of market value by dividing it by the capitalization rate.

Cost Approach

The cost approach is not typically used at property tax protest hearings except for new buildings. Appraisal districts often use the cost approach for properties up to two or three years old. After that, they typically use either the sales comparison approach or income approach depending on the type of property. The appraisal district will apply the cost approach for a new property by adding the market value of the land (typically the purchase price) to the construction costs for the building. In addition, they may add an allowance for soft costs and for entrepreneurial profit. If the sum of land and construction cost exceeds the appraisal district’s assessed value, it is unlikely they will reduce the assessed value in the property tax hearing. However, if the sum of land and construction cost is less than the appraisal district’s initial assessed value, providing this information at the hearing will likely generate a reduction in your assessed value and property taxes.

Uniform and Equal Approach

The Texas Property Tax Code was amended in 2003 to allow property tax for property owners to protest based on “a reasonable number of comparable properties appropriately adjusted.” This new section of the Texas Property Tax Code allows a protest based on a limited number (perhaps 3 to 10) of assessment comparables. Some appraisal districts agree and are considering protests under the section. Others have chosen to interpret this section differently.

To prepare a protest using Uniform and Equal, gather data on assessed values for property similar to your property. Make adjustments for significant differences between the assessment comparables and your property. This can include items such as building size, land size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size of garage, site influences, age, etc. Make negative (downward adjustments) to an assessment comparable for items that are superior in the assessment comparable. For example, if the assessment comparable has four bedrooms and your house has three bedrooms, make a downward adjustment to the assessed value for the assessment comparable for this item. After applying appropriate adjustments to the assessment comparables, calculate the median level of assessment for the assessment comparables. The median is the middle data point after the adjusted assessment comparables are arrayed in order of increasing or decreasing (on a per square foot value basis). Multiply the median per square foot assessed value times the size of your property (improved area) to calculate the value your home should be assessed for based on Uniform and Equal. Section 41.43 of the Texas Property Tax Code provides you the opportunity to protest using this methodology. However, don’t be surprised if your local appraisal district is not receptive to this method of protest. The appraisal division of O’Connor & Associates is a national provider of investment real estate appraisal services including commercial real estate appraisals, commercial comparable sales database, San Antonio commercial comparable sales [], Austin commercial comaprable sales [], condemnation appraisals, due diligence, residential appraisals and investment hypotheses.

All commercial property types benefit from our appraisal services including nursing homes, discount stores, truck terminals, tennis clubs, supermarkets, country clubs, medical offices, mini-warehouses, restaurants, vacant lands, skating rinks, community shopping, centers, power centers, car wash facilities and service stations.

Source by Patrick OConnor

A Short Armando Montelongo Biography

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Armando Montelongo was born in 1970 and grew up in San Antonio Texas. He co-founded Montelongo House Buyers along with his brother, David, and now presides as president of the company.

Armando’s main company is called Montelongo Worldwide Incorporated and is headquartered in his home town of San Antonio, Texas.

This Texans small family ran business became a huge success in just 5 short years after it became popular on the A&E television show “Flip This House”. He is accompanied by his wife, Veronica, and brother, David, in all of his housing flipping adventures on the show.

The reason behind the mans quick success is nothing but pure motivation. He firmly believes in hard work, a philosophical view on life and positive thinking. He also believes everyone should have very big dreams.

The Montelongo family are as laid back as they appear on the television show. They all love playing practical jokes and rarely pass up the opportunity to do so. This is seen often in their hilarious antics in front of the camera.

Most recently, Armando has brought his success to the internet to share with others. He is now offering a program filled with a home study course and ebooks that can teach just about anyone all the methods he uses to build a run a successful business. So far, things must be working too. There is an awful lot of buzz about this man all over the web.

He has met his share of heat from the fans for his sometimes forward attitude on the show, but most view this as someone who just doesn’t take well to being messed with. While there are some people that feel this doesn’t make for a good business owner, others feel it is the exact reason he became successful so quickly.

Source by Fredy Oliver

Mustang Island Texas Real Estate 101

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While much of the country suffers through a difficult housing market, the Gulf Coast City of Port Aransas is in the center of a very active real estate market. Both retirees looking for a beachfront community (one that isn’t synonymous with “steel and glass high-rise”) and investors looking for a winning investment in a difficult national housing market are discovering Port Aransas.

The town of Port Aransas (Port A as the locals call it) is the center of the Mustang Island community. Mustang Island is an 18 mile barrier island running parallel to mainland Texas north of Padre Island, with Corpus Christi Bay to the West and the Gulf of Mexico to the East. The northern end of the island is connected to the mainland by a ferry system run by the Texas Department of Transportation. The trip is free of charge and takes only three minutes to cross to the mainland. On the southern end, the JFK Causeway connects the island with mainland Corpus Christi.

Because of this, Port Aransas is as accessible as it is beautiful. With a life of its own and a lot of character, this peaceful beach community has miles and miles of unspoiled beaches lapped by gentle waves. Port Aransas is an area of immense natural beauty that (combined with the opportunity for a sound real estate investment) is becoming especially popular with Baby Boomers. The island is perfect for people looking for a laid back coastal lifestyle different from the one offered by tall-and-glittering condominiums elsewhere in the U.S. To many, Port Aransas is the kind of place described in a Jimmy Buffett song.

The Port Aransas Housing Market

In general, Texas housing markets are some of the most undervalued markets in the nation. Because of this, the state has been able to avoid “the popping of the great real estate bubble” which has been occurring in growing communities all over the country. Texas homes have resisted the downward trend in pricing suffered by other U.S. states-instead, many coastal Texas communities are showing strong and steady growth.

Port Aransas is one of the strongest of these communities – the active Port Aransas market boasts some of the best value in coastal property in the U.S. While much of the Gulf Coast is dotted with towering condos, Port Aransas is an attractive option for those looking for a quieter retirement (or just a sound investment) in a beachfront home or condo. It’s also an affordable option, as lot and housing prices here aren’t inflated they way they have been in popular beachfront communities in Florida.

Why is Port Aransas a growing community? Part of the reason is that Mustang Island boasts a large portion of the total Texas coastline available for development. Of the 375 miles that make up the Texas coast, 293 miles are unavailable for development, 56 miles are fully developed, and 26 are available for development. Many of those 26 miles lie on Mustang Island. According to Ann Vaughan of the Chamber of Commerce, the area of Port Aransas is “absolutely exploding.”

Communities on Mustang Island

Port Aransas has always been a mecca for those looking for a beach or fishing escape. It has now become a popular destination for second home buyers from Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and beyond. There are many planned communities built and being built all over Mustang Island. These communities range from modest condominiums and town homes to entire planned communities complete with marinas, golf courses, parks, shopping and restaurants.

Cinnamon Shore

Cinnamon Shore is a 64-acre planned community which began construction in the spring of 2007. Upon completion, this master planned community will feature about 240 single-family homes, 275 housing units, and 1,100 feet of coast line. The development is designed around the idea of beautiful architecture and pedestrian friendly streets, as well as having only a minimal impact on the environment around it.

Royal Sands

Established in 2003, Royal Sands is a 32 acre Mustang Island beachfront community consisting of 90 home sites. The development features family and adult pools, birding ponds, protected dune areas and a beach walk over. Royal Sands provides onsite management, security and maintenance support for vacation rentals.

Newport Beach and Golf

The Newport Beach and Golf master planned community is planned around the concept of a European port city. At the heart of this community will be the Town Center Marina, surrounded by residential villages with luxury homes, hotels, shops, a marina, and waterfront cafes. Weaving through the community is the Newport Dunes Arnold Palmer Golf Course.

The Palmilla

The waterfront Palmilla resort will be situated on 30 acres of land and will consist of 94 home sites. The community will feature a mile of bulkhead walkways, floating boat docks and a resort style pool. Construction should begin in the spring of 2009.

Tortuga Dunes

Tortuga Dunes is a $100 million community on 137 acres of Mustang Island land with 1,000 feet of beach. This community and the architecture of the homes are based upon a Caribbean feel, full of meandering pathways, tropical trees, and wooden shutters. It will have a simple but eclectic design, with gated access, walking trails, and beach views.

Village Walk

Village Walk, located in the heart of Port Aransas, consists of 98 homes and opened for occupancy in 2007. This community is made up of coastal cottage style homes, with gated access, gulf views, pools and extensive landscaping, all only two minutes from the beach.

Mercer Village

Located in “Old Town” Port A, the Mercer Village condos are conveniently located and within walking distance to the harbor, shops and restaurants. Twelve cottages will surround a private pool and tropical palapa. Construction will begin summer 2008.

Researching Area Real Estate

The real estate market on Mustang Island is ever changing. For updated information or to search the MLS network for current real estate listings, visit To further refine an MLS search to Mustang Island and Port Aransas, enter Nueces as the county and 78373 for the zip code.

Source by Keith McMullin

Tax Deductions – Tips For Individual Real Estate Investors

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Tax deductions are not the top priority for most individual real estate investors. They often work out of their home with no employees, other than those on-site at the property. Challenges (aside from tax deductions) include selecting what property to purchase, screening tenants, repairs, managing expenses, obtaining financing, and deciding when to sell. This article addresses tax deductions sometimes over-looked by real estate owners.

Tax deductions reduce taxable income but do not directly reduce taxes. For example, $10,000 in additional tax deductions will generate $3,500 in federal income tax savings ($10,000 X 35%), assuming a 35% federal income tax rate. Since most require a cash expenditure, increasing actual expenses to increase tax deductions is not desirable. Let’s review fine-tuning the depreciation schedule and reclassifying existing expenditures to increase deductions.

Real estate depreciation is a potent but underutilized source of tax deductions Real estate depreciation schedules are commonly established by just separating land from the improvements. This is analogous to asking a world-class pianist to play a piano which is not tuned and has several keys which are not functioning. The results are just not as good as they should be.

Congress has provided depreciation as a tax deduction to encourage real estate ownership and investment. Numerous court decisions have provided clear guidance for accurately and precisely depreciating real estate. Cost segregation can typically increase real estate depreciation by 50-100% in the first 5-7 years of ownership.

Owners can claim a tax deduction windfall for properties owned more than one year by “catching-up” previously under-reported depreciation. After obtaining a cost segregation report, you can “catch-up” depreciation without filing any amended tax returns.

Another meaningful source of tax deductions is to scrutinize any cash expenditures which are being capitalized. Have minor repairs been capitalized in error? Are there more significant repairs which do not clearly extend the life of a component? Discussing these items with your accountant can yield additional tax deductions Also review items which were capitalized in prior years; can you claim any of them as current year tax deductions?

Child labor can be good when they are your children and you claim a tax deduction. Consult your accountant or CPA but this can generate additional tax deductions of $5,000 per child, upon which they pay no taxes. (If they are feeling generous, they may return the money as a tax-free gift.)

A tax-deductible vacation is an attractive option to make an expenditure deductible. Simply plan a vacation around a business trip for a meeting or seminar. Your airfare and hotel for the business period are deductible. Hotel before or after the business activity and your spouse’s airfare (assuming that your spouse is not involved in business) are not deductible. Half of meals during period with business activity are deductible.

Reviewing personal expenditures can generate additional tax deductions Items used for business such as computer, printer, office supplies, seminars, association dues, and business publications can be deducted. Long distance business phone calls can also be deducted. Self-employed persons can deduct the entire cost of health insurance premiums.

Record keeping for tax deductions does take a modest effort. However, the federal income tax savings make it worth the effort.

Cost segregation produces tax deductions and reduces federal income taxes across the country and in every size market. Below are just a few examples of cities where cost segregation generates meaningful tax deductions.


  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Boston, MA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Hartford, CT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Memphis, TN
  • Miami, FL
  • Denver, CO
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Orlando, FL
  • Boise, ID
  • Chicago, IL
  • El Paso, TX
  • Oxnard, CA
  • Rochester, NY
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Jackson, MS
  • San Jose, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Omaha, NE
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Allentown, PA
  • Austin, TX
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Jacksonville, TN

Cost segregation produces tax deductions for virtually all property types, including the following:

Property Type:

  • Used car lot
  • Research and development
  • Nursing home
  • Lumber storage
  • Truck stop
  • Tennis club
  • Hospital
  • School
  • Movie theatre
  • Lodging

Almost every industry, including the following, can generate cost-efficient tax deductions by using cost segregation.


  • Golf courses and country clubs
  • Textile product mills
  • Nondurable good wholesalers
  • Durable good wholesalers
  • Real estate lesser
  • Electrical component manufacturing
  • Textile mills
  • Laundry facilities
  • Automotive parts distributors
  • Plastic and rubber products manufacturing

Source by Patrick C O’connor

5 Helpful Ways to Sell Your House Fast

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There can be many different reasons why you would want to sell your house fast. Maybe you’re relocating for a job in a few weeks, and if you don’t sell in that time period you are stuck with it. It could be that you need to free up capital for other ventures or maybe you’re facing a foreclosure so you want to make a quick sale. There are many reasons why somebody would want to sell their house fast, but how? In this post I will give you 5 ways that a homeowner can sell their house fast.

Price low to sell your house fast

One of the fastest ways to sell a house fast is to put the property on sale for less than the market value, people know a good deal when they see one and it won’t be too long before you start getting offers. It’s not uncommon for people who put their houses for sale at the market value to wait several months before a sale is made.

The obvious major drawback to pricing your house low for a fast sale is that you’re not getting the true value for your property, which leads to the next question, are there better ways to sell your house faster than pricing it low?

Get an offer from a local cash home buyer

One of the most effective ways to sell your house fast is to sell it to a local cash home buyer. For one, you don’t need to deal with banks and jump through all their legal paper work then end up waiting weeks, or even months before anything gets signed. Selling to a cash buyer also reduces fees of lawyers, admin fees, and most of all it’s a pretty stress free process as you don’t have to worry if the mortgage for the buyer will be approved, or how well your house will do in the appraisal.

Ultimately selling your house to a local cash home buyer is fastest way to sell your house with the least amount of stressed involved, as most of the variables have been cut out.

Keep it clean

The saying you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression is true when people are viewing your home. When you get potential buyers, ensure the house is immaculate. When people buy a home it’s usually with the idea to live there for many years. By keeping an uncut lawn or not having everything neat and tidy, will leave your buyers with an unappealing opinion of your house.

Think neutral, don’t take any risks with funky colours or décor. Try to make everything look as plain and simple as possible.

Invest in your home

This may sound like a crazy idea to invest money into your house if you’re going to sell it, but just hear me out for a second. Giving your house a new gloss of paint, replacing a few old doors or giving a room a mini makeover can be a smart way to sell your house fast. Making your house ‘ready to move in’ appeals to a lot of buyers. Buying a house is already stressful and most would rather move into a new home and start enjoying it right away than move in and have to think about what needs to be fixed or replaced.

I don’t advise on installing a new bathroom or getting a fully equipped kitchen installed. Sometimes just replacing the cabinet doors would be a big enough change to give your house a new look without breaking the bank.

Be flexible

If you have found a buyer who wishes to take your home off your hands at a date that is not convenient for you, accepting the offer is a much wiser move than being stubborn. The short term hassle of living at a hotel or a friend’s house for a week or two is going to be much better than waiting months on end to sell your house.

There are many ways to sell your house fast if you’re willing to put in the work and make some sacrifices. If you combine all the methods I’ve suggested today, you will be sure that you will sell your house faster than if you just went to a real estate agent and let them list it for you.

Source by Danny L Johnson

Texas Real Estate and Homes For Sale

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With a population of over 23 million, Texas is the second largest state in the nation. The housing market in Texas has remained strong in most cities and counties, with Houston (population 2,144,000) being the largest and most active in the real estate and housing market, followed by San Antonio and Dallas. Texas homes for sale are remaining at their fair market value, with little or no loss in sales compared to some areas of the country. This can be attributed the diverse economic make up of the state and the lower than average unemployment rate.

Land sale in Texas are at an all time high with no significant reduction foreseen in the near future. Commercial retail property rentals have remained steady in spite of the overall national economic downturn.

Southeast Texas, (which includes Houston) having the larger portion of population density, is by far the most active in the housing market. New home sales were at an all-time high in the beginning of 2007, however it has since experienced a downturn with a high inventory of new unsold homes.

The Texas existing home market has remained strong with more of a ‘buyers market’ driving sales and is expected to remain steady throughout 2008 and early 2009.

For example, the Beaumont and Orange Texas area (southeast Texas) will be creating 13,000 plus new construction jobs in the oil and petro-chemical industry over the next 4 years. This will create a severe housing and apartment shortage in this area. Housing is at a premium at this writing.

In conclusion: The overall outlook for Real Estate in Texas is good compared to other areas of the nation. With the diverse make up of various petro-chemical industries, Texas can maintain its share of steady housing market sales in the foreseeable future.

Importance of the "Execution Date" on a Real Estate Contract

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In case one didn’t know it, the actions taken on a contract are all tied to the “execution” date, also known as the “date of final acceptance” (Texas Association of REALTORS® (TAR) form 1601, pg.7). This means that all addendums or agreements with specified time limits must be met within the time specified on a calendar day basis with day one beginning the day after the executed date.

The most important time frame that the home buyer or home seller should keep in mind is the option period, if one has been negotiated. For simplicity sake, let’s use a hypothetical contract signed by all parties and executed on December 31st with a ten day option period. This means that day one of the option period begins on January 1st and ends at midnight on January 10th. This option period is often used for inspections of a property, insurance quotes, and repair negotiations. Once this hurdle is jumped, appraisal and survey follow to complete the closing process.

When dealing with home owner’s association documents, surveys, and third party financing approvals, the same rule applies. If the addendums specify a certain number of days, one must be sure to comply with the deadlines or be in default – which is never a good thing.

Remember, the clock starts ticking on the date of final acceptance, also known as the execution date or the effective date. Professional REALTORS® should always be aware of time constraints within your contract, and need to remind you of the date as a buyer or seller. If not, be sure to ask your REALTOR® what the time frame is.

Six Types of Real Estate Homes

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When considering busying real estate, price is the most important factor. However, you must also have a clear idea about the type of house your family needs. Here are six of the most common types of homes that can be considered when making a purchase decision.

1. Single Detached House

As the name suggests, this is a house that stands apart and has its four walls not attached to any other house. In other terms, it would have open land around it. At the basic level, even a mansion, bungalow and cottage could be called a single detached if it doesn’t have any building touching it.

2. Row House

These are modern types of cluster-houses in an area with same architectural design. They are built side by side with a common wall. Usually, they are not as costly as single detached homes.

3. Classic Cottage

A classic cottage features higher eaves-front wall for fixing smaller windows into the upstairs knee wall. They have relatively shallower roofs, and the chimneys could be either at an end or in the middle. Usually, windows have double hung sash and the main entry is at the center. They were developed on Cape Cod homes after builders realized that smaller modifications could create more working space in the upper floor.

4. Duplex

A duplex is basically a two-fold condominium or apartment with different entrances for the living space. They are commonly found in two-story format with a common wall separating the two portions of the building. It is possible to extend the building into three or more units. Interestingly, this type of real estate is also known as a semi-detached house.

5. Mansion

If you don’t have any limitation with regard to budget, one of the best types of real estate could be a mansion. As a general standard, they have an average area of around 8,000 sq.ft. Mansions feature many bedrooms and a large ballroom. However, modern mansions don’t have any specific requirement to be called so. All they need to be is to be large in size.

6. Villa

A villa may be a traditional upper class country house during the period of the ancient Romans, but today you could find some stunning villas in the real estate market. In the modern sense, it is an elegant and classy upper class country house. Similar to mansions, they feature larger area and refer to the homes of the more privileged. They typically feature landscape gardens and even the countryside.

These are some of the leading real estate houses you could come across during your search. Now that you know the features of each one, it would become easier to make the right choice. As already mentioned, go ahead with the choice only after determining your budget. It would be ideal to get the help of a reliable agent who would be able to find better deals based on your requirements.