Posts tagged ‘reia’

Property Rights or Entitlement? How Long Should Homeowners Be Allowed to Stay Without Making Payments?

I got a call this week from someone who found my number on the internet. He’s called me before to ask he can get started in real estate investing. On this call, he was asking if I knew any magic answers for homeowners who are behind on mortgages and dealing with the banks. You see, this man was out of work for almost 20 months, stopped paying his mortgage 12 months ago, and is still living in what he says describes as a $220,000 home. While he, thankfully, now has a job, his take home pay is half of what he formerly made. He said that Chase promised to restructure his loan and instructed him to stop paying his mortgage a year ago, while they processed the paperwork. I have no doubt they really told him this, as I have heard the same story from many other distressed homeowners. The thing is, without a job, this man won’t qualify for a loan modification.

When I shared my concern with him, he said that is exactly what he eventually found out. I shared with him that just last week, Chase approved a short sale for a seller I am working with, and I asked if he had considered selling his home. He replied that that was not an option, because without this home, he would be sleeping in the streets. I asked if he had considered taking in roommates. He scoffed at that, saying, he had done that before and it didn’t turn out so well. I suggested that maybe it is time to consider downsizing to a less expensive home, or even an apartment, since he does have a job now. For whatever reason, this person feels he should be able to stay in his home, without making payments, until he is able to secure a higher paying job. I can understand the anger this man feels, having been strung along with false promises by Chase Bank. What I can’t understand is the feeling of entitlement that the shareholders of Chase should carry the cost of the mortgage for this man indefinitely because he can no longer afford to pay his mortgage.

What do you think? Was I wrong to suggest this person might want to consider taking in roommates or downsizing to a less expensive home? Should the banks allow unemployed homeowners to say in their homes indefinitely, incurring more debt on homes that are already under water?

Patti Robertson HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Licensed Agent With CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

757-472-2547 (mobile)

757-HOM-VEST (office)


Here are some of my favorite iPhone apps I use when looking for Ugly Houses to purchase.  What are your favorite real estate apps?

1.     ZipRealty – Feeds For Sale, and Sold comps from MLS










2.     Blue Atlas – Feeds For Sale, Rent comps from MLS + had foreclosure activity


3. RulerPhone – Measure anything with your iPhone camera










4.  QuickVoice – E-mail/text voice  messages to avoid texting while driving!










5. Signature – Makes a graphical signature  to be used in e-mail – not yet for texts


6. SUPRA – eKey – Replace your Agent Key with an iPhone adaptor  to open Supra lock boxes and manage your Supra keys.


Patti Robertson HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Licensed Agent With CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

757-472-2547 (mobile)

757-HOM-VEST (office)

Real Estate Investor looking for Apprentice – November 27th, 2010

You see these signs everywhere – “Real Estate Investor Looking for Apprentice.” If you want a mentor to learn the real estate business, here are some questions you should ask:

  • Where did you learn to invest in real estate?
    • If they did not learn from a credible source, what can they teach you?
    • There are many “real estate gurus” that make money selling books and tapes. Though they may have bought houses in the past, the real estate market is going through monumental changes. Anyone not involved in the market daily is out of touch.
  • How many houses have you purchased? How many this year?
    • Many of the real estate seminars teach putting these signs up. The fact is, they may not have bought many more houses than you have.
  • Will I actually be buying houses, or just finding houses for you?
    • Most of these signs are looking for people to do legwork for them. If you actually find a house, you will make only pennies while they make the real money.
    • The reality is, people putting these signs up probably do not have a reliable source of leads for people trying to sell their house. So, they need people like you to “bird dog” for them. They don’t have the time to do the real work.

If you are looking for a real mentor, and a real system for buying and selling houses, you should talk to a Development Agent (DA) for HomeVestors®, the We Buy Ugly Houses® company. These DAs are experienced in actually buying and selling houses in your market. Learn more about how the DA is a true mentor at

Don’t Mess With Ugly! HomeVestors Attains Victory Over Trademark Infringers

HomeVestors Attains Victory Over Trademark Infringers

– Eastern District of Texas Court Enters Ruling in ‘We Buy Ugly Houses®’ Case –

– HomeVestors of America Remains Diligent in Protecting its Trademarks –

DALLAS, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — HomeVestors of America, Inc., known for its registered trademark We Buy Ugly Houses®, recently reached a settlement with individuals who were infringing the HomeVestors trademarks by using the marks as part of domain names and in text on competing websites.

As part of the Settlement Agreement, HomeVestors and the defendants filed an Agreed Permanent Injunction with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.  On August 20, 2010, United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider signed this Permanent Injunction and ordered the defendants to refrain from further using the HomeVestors trademarks.  Further details on this case can be found in the Eastern District of Texas, Civ. Action No. 4:10-cv-00282.

“We were happy to get an injunction from the District Court Judge.  This victory is a strong step toward successfully protecting our brand for years to come,” said HomeVestors Co-President David Hicks.

Since the time of the Permanent Injunction issued in the U.S. District Court, HomeVestors has successfully reached settlement with several other infringers who had bought domain names from the Defendants in the above-styled case or who use the HomeVestors trademarks on their competing websites.

“This ruling supports the enforceability of HomeVestors’ trademark portfolio, and serves as a warning to infringers,” explained HomeVestors litigation attorney Darin Klemchuk of Klemchuk Kubasta LLP.

HomeVestors is diligent in protecting its trademarks.  HomeVestors has owned and used the HOMEVESTORS®, WE BUY UGLY HOUSES®, the UG™ family of marks, and other proprietary trademarks continuously for many years.  Over the years, HomeVestors has spent significant amounts of time and resources in developing its brand and maintaining the goodwill it has built in its trademarks.

Use by unaffiliated third-parties of the HomeVestors trademarks constitutes trademark infringement under Section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1114(a).  Furthermore, use of the HomeVestors trademarks as part of domain names constitutes cyberpiracy under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(d)(1) for which statutory damages can be awarded in the amount of $100,000 per domain name. Such violations are serious and cause consumers to be confused as to the source of the services offered under those trademarks.  It allows competitors who employ such tactics to trade on and compromise the substantial goodwill that HomeVestors has built in its trademarks.  In addition to trademark infringement under federal law, such actions constitute unfair competition under Texas Law.

About HomeVestors of America

Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the #1 buyer of houses in the U.S.  The first franchise company of its kind, HomeVestors has been franchising since 1996.  HomeVestors has about 200 franchises in 33 states.  HomeVestors trains and supports franchisees that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties.  Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community.  In 2009, for the fourth consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction.  For more information, visit

Patti Robertson HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Licensed Agent With CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

757-472-2547 (mobile)

757-HOM-VEST (office)

10 Mistakes New Real Estate Wholesalers Make

As a HomeVestors franchisee and President of the Tidewater Real Estate Investor’s Group in Hampton Roads, VA, I witness lots of people try to break into the real estate investing arena.  These are the top 10 mistakes I see new investors make when trying to wholesale a house to a landlord or rehabber.  In future blogs, I’ll expand on each of these mistakes, so stay tuned!

1)   Paying too much for the house in the first place

2)   Using tax assessment, Zillow, or an old appraisal as the value

3)   Inflating the ARV when marketing to your investors

4)   Deflating the repair estimate when marketing to investors

5)   Not getting termite/moisture inspections

6)   Under estimating what it will cost in real estate agent commissions, buyer’s closing cost assistance, and repairs to get it sold

7)   Buying houses with White Elephants

8)   Not knowing who the real cash buyers are

9)   Putting houses under contract without options when they don’t have the financial ability to close

10)  Not putting a property they have under contract in MLS if they don’t get it sold the first two weeks.

Patti Robertson HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee & Development Agent

Licensed Agent With CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

757-472-2547 (mobile)

757-HOM-VEST (office)



Our Latest Ugly House Rehab Goes Under Contract @ Full Price in 9 Hours!


Who says the real estate market in Hampton Roads, VA is stagnant?  This Virginia Beach house was our latest HomeVestors Ugly House rehab project.  Fully remodeled, this house went under contract at full price in only 9 houres on March 24, 2010!

See our before and afters on 801 Ole Towne Court in Virginia Beach, VA…

As you can see, this house wasn’t really Ugly on the outside.  The previous homeowner had updated the siding, windows, and roof in 2001.

On the outside of the house, we painted the trim and front door and did some landscaping to make buyers want to see what was inside.


Inside, we moved some walls around in the main living area to accomodate a bigger kitchen.  Here’s the origional small, dated, dingy kitchen.

We moved the kitchen from the garage wall to the place that was the eat-in area in the origional floor plan.  Because this house is on a crawl, this involved jack hammering up the floor to move the plumbing.  We layed tile floor on a diagonal, installed new cabinets and a granite counter top, hung pendant lights over the sink,  replaced the sliding glass door with french doors leading to the patio, opened up the wall so the cook can see into the living area, and topped it all off with shiny stainless appliances.  The results were stunning!

The origional living wasn’t terrible.

We installed new engineered wood flooring throughout the living areas and bedrooms.   We replastered all the walls and ceilings, which made this old house look new again.  The entire house got  coat of paint in the shade “Beach Comber” along with some high gloss white trim. Staging the area with homey touches like a magazine and coffee cup really help buyers see themselves in the space.

This is the old eat-in area of the kitchen.  Notice that the pass through you see here to the bedroom hallway is gone in the new kitchen remodel above.  We also moved that left hand wall in a few feet to make the wall that runs through the center of the house one long line.  This clean line helped this little house feel bigger.  

Here’s the new eat-in area that is in the place where the old kitchen sat.  We added an opening in the wall that looks into the foyer area.

The worst part about the old bathroom was the narrow doorway entrance.  It certainly didn’t meet current code and would have been a turn off to larger potential buyers.

In the main bath we widened the door, installed double sinks, retiled and painted.  The previous owner did a nice tile job in the tub area that we were able to salvage. 

This master bedroom only had a half bath.  The room ended to the right of the sink you see.  Up against that wall was the bedroom closet.  To the right of closet was the old furnace that was accessed from a door in the hallway.

Making room for a full bath in the master was a must.  Because we installed new HVAC, we removed the furnace from the hall closet freeing up that space.  Then we took out the master closet, freeing up enough space to add a tiled shower.  This glass door was a last minute decision, but I think it really dresses up the room.

The origional master bedroom had just one small closet for two people to share.  This room needed a ceiling repair from an old roof leak that was never repaired.

Voila!  We bumped out the back of the house to create two huge walk-in closets in the master bedroom.  We were able to tie into the existing roofline, so from the outside, it looks like this closet was always there.

The two other bedrooms just needed minor sprucing up.

The bedrooms popped after the wood floor addition, crisp paint, and new mirrored closet doors to make the room feel bigger.

To see what houses we have for sale for your latest rehab project, visit our website at or call me at 757-472-2547. 
If you don’t have a HomeVestors franchisee in your market, find an investor friendly Realtor to help you through the REO process.  Becoming a real estate investor is as simple as taking the plung and buying your first house. 
Happy Real Esate Investing!
Patti Robertson
HomeVestors Franchisee & Licensed Agent
757-472-2547 (cell)
757-HOM-VEST (office)

To Be Licensed or Not To Be Licensed, That is the Question…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard investors say they have not become licensed agents because of the “conflict of interest.”  As an investor who is a licensed agent, I have never one time felt as if my license jeopardized a FSBO purchase, or that I was crossing any ethical lines.  Sellers who don’t want to “deal with Agents”, are avoiding the process, not the person.  Those of us who are licensed have to disclose that fact to our Buyers and Sellers.  I explain that as a licensed agent in the state of VA, I am held to a higher standard than a non-licensed investor.  This means that if I do anything illegal or unscrupulous, there is a regulatory board the seller can go to for restitution in addition to the regular court of law.  I think it is this “higher standard” that scares most investors from getting licensed.  The reality is that, licensed or not, most of the disclosures and laws agents must follow are required to be followed to anyone selling a home, regardless of whether or not they are licensed.  Below are some of the common mistakes I’ve seen non-licensed investors make. 

Using the Copy Written Forms– The forms created by the agent associations are copyrighted and only paid members are authorized to use them.  Personally, I only use the standard copy written contract when I’m purchasing through MLS and the listing broker requires it.  My own contract is easier for a seller to understand and is customized to provide me maximum protection.  If you don’t have your own contract, any local real estate attorney can provide you with one.

Not Providing the Required Disclosures – Each state has a list of items Sellers are required to disclose to a potential Buyer.  A few disclosures are federally mandated, such as the Lead Paint Disclosure for any property built prior to 1978 and ASCUZ Military Crash and Noise Zone Disclosure for any properties located within a city that contains a military air base.  These disclosures are required of any Seller, whether or not they are represented by a licensed agent, and they actually protect the Seller. 

The risk of not providing the required disclosures can be great.  For instance, failure to provide a potential Buyer with the Lead Paint Disclosure for a property built prior to 1978 prior to ratifying the contract can allow your buyer to cancel the transaction.  If you live in an area that contains a Military Air Installation, most people know that sellers are required to provide the noise and crash zone information about a property.  Most don’t know though, that if you accidently classify the noise zone of the property you are selling in a lower zone, and the property is in a noise zone higher than 65, the buyer has one year to seek recourse.  And case history shows the courts are likely to rule in favor of the buyer!

As you can see, licensed agent or not, all residential real estate sellers are bound to the Real Estate Code in your state and the federal government, and it actually protects you as a seller to follow the guidelines.  Be careful that you become educated about the legal requirements in your state as a real estate seller, regardless of whether or not you ever become a licensed agent.

Happy investing!

 Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee and Agent with CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

Virginia Beach, VA