Top 5 Tips to Simply (& Successfully) Get Started as a Landlord


Looking to rent out your house? Well, let me tell you the story of two friends of mine who were trying to do the same. One made his life miserable. The other did very well. Luck had nothing to do with their success (or lack thereof). Follow these tips to improve your landlording experience.

View the full article: Top 5 Tips to Simply (& Successfully) Get Started as a Landlord on The BiggerPockets Blog | Real Estate Investing & Personal Finance Advice. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Owning Your Own Office Is Easier Than You Think

Happy young man on phone, indoors - inside. Close up of businessman talking on mobile phone - smartphone. Comunicative friendly hispanic man

Nothing hurts a real estate investor quite like writing a rent check, especially for their own offices. But there are subtle aspects of a deal that can help you buy your own space without disrupting your monthly budget. Here’s how I managed to purchase a building for right around what I was paying to lease.

View the full article: Owning Your Own Office Is Easier Than You Think on The BiggerPockets Blog | Real Estate Investing & Personal Finance Advice. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Personal Finance Classes Should Absolutely Be Required for Students

Close up photo of young happy students with books and notes outdoors. Smart young guy and girl in University campus. Learning and education for young people.

Americans’ personal finances are in shambles. Almost half of us live paycheck to paycheck, few people could afford a $400 emergency expense, and 2 in 5 student borrowers are unable to make payments on their loans. Add to it that many of us are drowning in credit card debt. This is a crisis. Here’s what needs to happen.

View the full article: Personal Finance Classes Should Absolutely Be Required for Students on The BiggerPockets Blog | Real Estate Investing & Personal Finance Advice. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Manhattan pending home sales surge as prices drop to 2015 level, StreetEasy report says

Pending home sales in Manhattan spiked 27% in April from a year ago, reaching the highest level of signed contracts since the spring of 2015, as prices in America’s priciest urban neighborhood dropped, according to StreetEasy. “Early signs tell us that some sellers are finally pricing their homes more realistically and finding buyers when they do so,” said StreetEasy Senior Economist Grant Long.

Commercial Real Estate Prices Still Trending Up in 2019 Q1

Amid sustained economic expansion and the lowest unemployment rate since 1953, commercial property prices are still broadly trending upwards although at a modest pace compared to past years, according to NAR’s 2019 Q1 Commercial Real Estate Trends and Outlook Report.

Sales Activity

In the small market (less than $2.5 million deals), commercial property prices rose modestly by one percent from a year ago (seven percent in 2018 Q1). REALTORS® typically transact in the small market, with the average sales at $1.2 million in 2019 Q1.[1]  In the large market ($2.5 million and above deals), Real Capital Analytics reported that commercial sales price rose six percent nationally (nine percent in 2018 Q1). The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) Index and the Green Street Advisors Price Index also show a modest annual increase of two percent in 2019 Q2.

In both the large and small markets, the cap rates were slightly above six percent. Multi-family was the top-performing asset class in both the small and large market, with the lowest cap rates (which means high prices). Industrial properties were the second-best performing asset class in the large market, mainly for flex properties (essentially a combination of warehouse, office, showroom buildings). In the small market, hotels (likely Class B/C) were the next best performing asset.

According to REALTORS® who participate in the small market survey, cap rates in the small market continue to tend downward.  One reason may be that demand is moving towards suburban areas where commercial properties are less expensive. According to Real Capital Analytics, commercial prices in non-metro areas rose at a faster pace in 2019 Q1 than prices in the six major metro areas of New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco: in March 2019, commercial prices were broadly up by six percent in non-major markets compared to 4.5 percent in the six major metro areas.

Leasing Activity

REALTORS® and commercial affiliate members reported a slight increase in vacancy rates in 2019 Q1 across all property types compared to the prior quarter. With vacancy rates slightly trending up, REALTORS® reported a slight decrease in leasing volume (-0.10%) and a modest increase in leasing rates (2.3%) in 2019 Q1 from the prior quarter.

Among property classes, vacancy rates were lowest in the multi-family market, at seven percent, followed by the industrial market, at eight percent. Retail and hotel properties had on average double-digit vacancy rates.

In 2019 Q1, the average tenant improvement allowances (per square foot) in the small market were $2 for multi-family units, $5 for industrial property, $17 for office, and $21 for retail.


Multi-family and industrial will continue to be strong commercial asset classes. The multi-family market is expected to remain bright in metros with low vacancy rates and affordable rents. E-commerce will continue to sustain demand for industrial properties, particularly flex properties. Retail brick and mortar will continue to do well in growing metros and in retail niches that require face-to-face customer service. The office market will be sustained by the growth in technology-driven jobs. The Opportunity Zone tax break on capital gains is expected to bolster commercial and residential real estate sales in 2019-2020.

[1] The small market makes up a smaller fraction of deal volume but accounts for a larger share of buildings: according to Energy Information Administration 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, buildings 10,000 square feet or less in size account were 72 percent of all commercial buildings;


How I Bought a Multi-Million Dollar Apartment Complex at the Age of 26


Large real estate deals can seem unattainable and intimidating if you’re just beginning to invest. But what if someone showed you how they put together their deal and gave you actionable steps to replicate? Learn how one 26-year-old investor landed an apartment complex (and use his lessons to create your own success!).

View the full article: How I Bought a Multi-Million Dollar Apartment Complex at the Age of 26 on The BiggerPockets Blog | Real Estate Investing & Personal Finance Advice. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

May 23: AE, LO, Ops jobs; construction, subservicer, reverse products; technology options report

As millions around the globe revel in World Turtle Day, others are more interested about what went on the hallway chatter at the MBA’s Secondary Conference as we see the low rates of 2019. How a few of the big banks (Wells, Chase, Flagstar, to name a few) saw their residential mortgage profit rebound dramatically in the first quarter. Capital markets folks wondering “did we learn anything ten years ago” as they watch the increase in interest of non-QM and “non-prime” products by MLOs. (The Mortgage Elements website lists the top Non-QM wholesale and correspondent lenders for each state and the country: Just click on the Non QM symbol, choose a state, and click go.) M&A and name changes are expected to continue (the latest example comes from North Carolina where Prime Mortgage Lending Inc. will become GoPrime Mortgage Inc. on June 1). Watching “Free Solo” on the 6×6 inch screen in front of one’s nose in steerage on the flight to NY just doesn’t do it justice.

Employment & transitions

The Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association is in search of an individual to fill the Position of Executive Director. The desired candidate would have experience in the mortgage industry with excellent clerical and organizational skills, be willing to travel as needed for mortgage related events and in working with legislative concerns on behalf of the association, oversee political action fundraising, and assist with Association budgeting. To submit a note of interest, or for a complete job description, contact Ed Hensley. Speaking of the OMBA, it just wrapped up another successful convention in which Ed, above, SVP of the Mortgage Lending Division for Wesbanco Bank, was elected as 2019-2020 President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association. Congrats!

And congrats to Angela Sykes and Liz Collins, two Regional Center Managers with Sierra Pacific Mortgage whose careers are on the rise. Both were recently promoted to manage divisions of Sierra Pacific’s retail business. Angela is now in charge of the Southern California Division while Liz is Vice President, Division Manager for the Eastern region. Wholesale & Correspondent Account Executives considering a mid-year career move should consider a move up to Sierra Pacific Mortgage. Established for over 30 years, Sierra Pacific is one of the largest privately held independent mortgage companies in the nation. Well established with a solid reputation, SPM’s Wholesale division offers a comprehensive product inventory, competitive rates, partner perks and broker access to the NAMB All In loan origination system. Account Executives are now being recruited for the following cities and states: Seattle, Boise, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Confidential inquiries should be sent to TPO Sales.

Are you looking to work for a national lender backed by a well-capitalized publicly traded parent company? NewRez, formally New Penn Financial, is seeking multiple operations positions to support growth: wholesale credit analysts, wholesale processors, closing managers, closers, wholesale loan setup & disclosure analysts, wholesale operation managers, team leads, and client relations representatives. Positions are available in Concord, CA and Milwaukee, WI, and Plymouth Meeting, PA. “We have numerous opportunities to join the growing NewRez team,” says Vince Daino, VP of Recruiting and Business Development. “We are realizing significant expansion in all of our business channels which will result in career growth potential for our employees.” Signing bonuses available for the right candidates in certain roles. Contact Vince Daino, VP of Recruiting to “Rise with NewRez!”

In California Michele Murphy has joined KeyPoint Credit Union as Director of Sales tasked with expanding the credit union’s mortgage lending presence, building the team of mortgage specialists, and fostering new real estate lending partnerships.

And in playing vendor personnel catch up, OpenClose announced that Tom Buenz has joined the company in the position of VP, enterprise sales, to help satisfy an increasing demand for OpenClose’s LOS, digital mortgage point-of-sale (POS) solution and ancillary software products.

Lender products and services

It just keeps getting better. Part 3 of the new four-part series, “A Crack in The Foundation?”, from Maxwell was just released. Part 3 starts at the turn of the century and tackles the first decades of the 2000s, including the thorny topic of the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent recession. Rather than re-tread the well-worn path through the timeline of the subprime mortgage crisis and economic fallout, Part 3 looks at the larger question of “why”. Why did this happen? What signs did we have that this disaster was coming, and why did we overlook them? Why did we bet everything on the American Dream of homeownership, and how do we keep from making the same mistakes this time around? No form or download required, it’s 100% free and a must-read for all mortgage professionals. Read Part 3 here(If you missed Part 1 on Monday, start)

JMAC Lending is pleased to announce expanded product changes to the company’s flagship Newport product – a true jumbo product that offers Non-QM alternatives. There are four simple ways to qualify: Full Doc – based on two-years of income; Streamlined Full Doc – based on DU findings for Income, Assets and Reserve; 12- and 24-months Bank Statements; and, One-Year Tax Returns. Enhancements included NOO/Investment properties now allowed for Streamline underwriting, including 2-4-unit properties. NOO, up to 85% LTV, loan amounts to $3M, including 40-year terms and Interest Only. To learn more, please contact our sales team today:, 844.888.JMAC or visit

1st Reverse Mortgage USA announces the rollout of Surelock, a powerful new software offered by Baseline Reverse that prices specific borrower scenarios instantly, and gives loan officers the tools to have dynamic conversations with reverse mortgage borrowers.  Most importantly, Surelock eliminates the need to be a reverse mortgage expert to originate the product.  Reach out to Steve Scheiern (877-217-0166) to see how easy it can be to add reverse mortgages to your arsenal.

The mortgage industry is in flux. Fluctuating interest rates. Shrinking inventories. Changing borrower needs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some consistency– especially from your automated underwriting system? Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor® delivers reliable eligibility findings that foster responsible lending and give you confidence that you’re originating quality loans. Its innovative capabilities were developed in collaboration with lenders, providing automation and insights that help reduce costs and increase efficiency. What does it all mean for you? Greater opportunity for business growth and an edge on the competition– The Freddie EdgeSM. Learn more about ACE and AIM, available exclusively through Loan Product Advisor®.

Do you use Cenlar as your subservicer? Richey May & Co., a public accounting firm and leader in the mortgage industry, will be conducting its annual subservicer oversight review over Cenlar later this month to assist companies with their monitoring and oversight responsibilities. Richey May’s program and subsequent 120+ page report provides value beyond the basic compliance requirements, including face-to-face interviews with all key department heads to observe their processes and challenges, a comprehensive review of business continuity and IT assessments to ensure client and consumer information remains secure, and a summary of the subservicer’s notable accomplishments and strategic initiatives for the future. The optional loan level testing provides succinct and valuable insight into how your personal portfolio is being serviced, potentially uncovering unobserved information and assisting in the client-subservicer relationship. To learn more or to participate in the upcoming review of Cenlar, or our 2019 reviews of Dovenmuehle or LoanCare, please contact Kevin Lohry.

Looking to offer or expand your loans for fix and flip or flip and hold? Verus has your borrower’s project covered. Choose a partner with experience in this unique market. The country is saturated with older houses in need of modern upgrades, and Verus Mortgage Capital is here to help you serve your fix-and-flip and fix-and-hold borrowers. With our expanded renovation loan program, we now offer ground-up construction financing as well as the flexibility to make loan exceptions where warranted for creditworthy borrowers. Whether you’re supporting a short-term fix-and-flip project or a longer-term rental loan and looking for up to a 30-year term, Verus offers flexible delivery terms, simplified processes, and the ability to buy loans in bulk or one at a time. We serve lenders big and small. Get in touch with the market leader in the investor loan solutions sector today. Email Mark Dellovo to learn more.

Tech & vendor news

It’s good to have options, especially when it comes to financial services technology. In the new issue of STRATMOR Group’s Insights Report, Principal Andrew Weiss reports on technology options for lenders. “There are so many possible technology combinations for each step to creating a mortgage, lenders can now reasonably consider creating their own ‘best-in-breed’ platform rather than relying solely on their Loan Origination System (LOS) for this end-to-end experience,” says Weiss. “It’s not an easy choice for lenders, but a well-designed and executed planning process will help lead to the best possible outcome.” Read “Creating a Best-in-Breed Technology Suite” in the May issue of STRATMOR’s Insights Report.

MGIC and Blue Sage Digital Lending Platform™ announced an integration of technology providing loan originators the ability to select MI products and order MGIC rate quotes or delegated MI without leaving the platform, improving the speed and accuracy of ordering MGIC MI.

Blue Ridge Bank, N.A. Mortgage Division has partnered with ReverseVision to launch a HECM and reverse lending division that will expand the number of financial planning options offered to the depository lender’s senior customers. “RVX’s HECM and senior lending platform will empower Blue Ridge Bank to execute on a Generational Lending strategy that serves their many decades-long customers at every stage in life,” said ReverseVision Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wendy Peel. “With RVX, Blue Ridge Bank is well supported to extend an exceptional customer experience to borrowers of senior lending products.”

Calyx Software’s Path® loan origination software (LOS) is now integrated with SimpleCECL™ from LoanScorecard® combining the proprietary credit and prepayment forecasting model and related analytics from Andrew Davidson & Co., Inc. (AD&Co) with LoanScorecard technology to provide loan-level analyses for Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) and a calculation of the appropriate loan loss reserves to hold, based on the model’s projected lifetime losses for that loan. With this integration, financial institutions can seamlessly generate loan-level CECL analysis to ensure accuracy and compliance for all loans originated, including those with a policy exception, as well as an exact calculation for loan loss reserves under the new regulation without ever leaving the LOS.

Ellie Mae announced the launch of its Ellie Mae Pro Consulting Partner Program. Designed to accelerate the adoption of Ellie Mae’s Encompass® digital mortgage solution, the Consulting Partner Program provides a broad range of high-quality consulting options for Ellie Mae customers and helps the company accelerate its delivery of the true digital mortgage. By joining the Ellie Mae Pro Partner Consulting Program, consulting partners will have access to additional tools, resources and support, such as encompass test and development environments, regular product updates and best practices coaching and discounted individual training and achievement programs.

Capital markets

Global relations continue to be the focus of rates. For example, last week markets watched negotiations between the US and China, especially given the recent unsteadiness in consumer and business spending. But there was other news as well. Retail sales fell 2 percent in April driven by poor auto sales, however, even at the core level sale were flat. Industrial production fell 0.5 percent in April. But general business sentiment improved in May as seen in both the Empire and Philly Fed surveys. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was at a four-month high in April, but given the recent increases in tariffs owners are becoming more concerned with sales and their ability to pass on higher prices to consumers. And housing appears to be improving as starts increased 5.7 percent in April and mortgage rates have pulled back from higher levels earlier in the year.

Rate-wise we had a little “rally in the ally” yesterday with the 10-year dropping -3 bps to 2.39%. Reports that the Trump administration was looking to expand the blacklist of banned companies to include the Chinese surveillance sector weighed on equities at the start of the session, and the FOMC minutes had little to say and little impact on markets. The Minutes from the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting showing policymakers are comfortable with the current fed funds rate range while “a number of participants” saw a moderation in risk and uncertainties surrounding their outlooks for the year. The odds of a September rate hike are now back below 50 percent. Of perhaps more interest was the presentation on the balance sheet where two scenarios were explored – having a portfolio that more closely represents the treasury universe or having one that should be 3-years or shorter in case the Fed would need to implement a twist exercise as part of future monetary policy.

President Trump held an impromptu press conference in the Rose Garden, spending his time not on trade but saying he cannot support an infrastructure bill while being investigated by the Democrats. Finally, British Prime Minster Theresa May resisted calls for her imminent resignation, her fourth Brexit plan facing little chance of coming to vote, but House of Commons leader Leadsom did resign from government.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending May 18 (-1k to 211k) began today for economic news. Later this morning will be the releases of the preliminary May Markit Manufacturing and Services PMIs, April new home sales, and the KC Fed Manufacturing Index for May. Additionally, the Dallas and Atlanta Feds are hosting a conference on technology where Fed Presidents Kaplan, Barkin, Bostic, Daly, and Harker will be appearing. We begin the morning with Agency MBS prices better by .125 and the 10-year yielding 2.36%.

A wise man once said… nothing.

Visit for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Are You Ready for CECL?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.


(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are hundreds of mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to Copyright 2019 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)

BiggerPockets Podcast 331: 10 Deals on a $20K Waitress Salary With Ashley Hamilton

Ten doors free and clear on a blue collar salary—our guest shares how she did just that! Ashley Hamilton tells the incredible story of how she achieved success through real estate investing with little guidance. She also shares strategies for challenging markets, using BiggerPockets to develop a system, and more!

View the full article: BiggerPockets Podcast 331: 10 Deals on a $20K Waitress Salary With Ashley Hamilton on The BiggerPockets Blog | Real Estate Investing & Personal Finance Advice. This content is Copyright © 2017 BiggerPockets, Inc. All Rights Reserved.