Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

Here in our area we have some cool holiday traditions. There is a Boat Parade out in the Marina Del Rey harbor that is fun. But at night hard to get a lot of good photos.

In Venice on the canals there is a simular parade but on the smaller scale.

Here are some photos to share. ( Thanks to YoVenice.com )

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Recession this far...

Last week brought some market action when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke discussed the recession, commenting that our economic recovery still faces "formidable headwinds." As you can see in the chart below, the current recession we have been in has been the longest in nearly half a century.

Because negative economic comments or news causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, Bernanke's words helped Bonds and home loan rates to improve early last week...but these improvements were short lived.

Bond prices and home loan rates responded poorly to the Treasury auctions of last week, as the Treasury instruments being auctioned off are in direct competition with Mortgage Backed Securities...and the continual record amounts of supply hitting the market requires record amounts of buying to take place as well. And remember - the Federal Reserve is winding down their Mortgage Backed Security purchasing program, so as they stretch out and ration their remaining purchases through the first quarter of next year, the reduced amount of their buying just adds to the problem.

And as with any item, when there is lots of supply and diminishing demand - Economics 101 tells us that the price of that item will subsequently go down. So as Bond prices go down, home loan rates go up - and last week saw home loan rates increase by at least .125% across the board.
Also adding to selling pressure on Bonds in the latter part of last week were several bits of good economic news. First, the Retail Sales Report for November was better than expected, marking the third monthly increase over the past four months. It appears that lower prices and good deals are helping to spur some buying activity, though it remains to be seen how this will impact retailers' bottom lines. Consumer Sentiment was also reported quite a bit better than expected.

Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.

Coming this week... Wednesday will also bring a read on the housing market with the Housing Starts and Building Permits Report, as well as the Interest Rate Decision and Policy Statement from the Fed, following the end of their regularly scheduled Federal Open Market Committee meeting. A change in rates isn't expected - but any comments about inflation in the Policy Statement could rattle Bonds and home loan rates.

Fingers crossed.

Keith L.

Friday, November 27, 2009

There is a differance: Income Property -vs- Single Family House

While it is nice to have growth in value of your home... That does not build long term wealth for you and provide for your financial security if you have just one home for your family to live in. What happens if you need to sell it? You need separate income property. And a savings account at a bank. And a bit of investment money in something like an investment in a growing business or with a stock broker (lettering them pick the business). And maybe a whole life policy if you do not just want a social security check to retire on.

This article is on point... Not all Real Estate is your House!

Nov. 22, 2009

View of home as investment needs to change, expert says

Kajal and Vishal Dharod paid $559,000 in 2006 for a new four-bedroom house built in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Today, it's worth about $360,000.

"We don't know how we can come back from a loss like that," said Kajal Dharod, 29, a first-time homeowner with a $4,200-a-month mortgage. "Buying the house was a mistake."

American homeownership, once considered a path to wealth, is now leading to disillusionment.
"We always talk about homeownership as being the American dream, but during the last decade, people forgot it's shelter and started thinking of it as a fast way to make or lose money," said Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies in Cambridge, Mass. "The quicker we move back to seeing real estate as a place to live, a place to put down roots, the quicker the housing recovery will strengthen."
Home-price growth in the next decade probably will average about 3.5% a year, based on …

and it concludes with

"After every major bust, there is a rethinking of that asset class," Carson said. "I think people will change their views about real estate and begin to look at it as a long-term investment that provides shelter, rather than a way to make a quick buck."

Dah! Real Estate for a Quick Flip has always been a very risky thing. Long Term Investment in income producing real estate is for the person that is looking for long term security.

And it irks me that when most think of Real Estate they only think of a Single Family Home. Or maybe a condo or townhouse. Well... Wake those folks up to the ownership of rental property as an asset class. Maybe start with a small Triplex or a 5 unit building. Then trade up. Sure it takes work. And patience.

As long as the business leaders in US Corporations look to just make enough to get a stock bonus to pay off we as a country will continue to fail. As long as real estate buyers look to buying a single family home for a quick profit we will have a messed up financial situation.

I believe in Long Term Investment in income producing real estate. If you do as well then please call me and lets get you in a good property while this is a buyers market.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving thoughts - Buyers be Thankful!

Something to be Thankful for. Balance.

Balance is a good thing. Today in the Los Angeles Times - Page B2 -
"Fannie Mae to tighten mortgage lending rules" Minimum 620 credit score and no more than 45% income to debt.

Followed by this story "Interest rates drop, matching record low" where the review how rates are now matching a record low of 24 years at 5.06%. But very few are applying.

If the system was not cranked wide open by too loose money we would not have had the blowout. Now the scarcity of banks willing to lend and the prevalence of regulators to be arbitrary and capricious leaves the lenders scared to actually extend credit.

So all you borrowers be prepared. Expect bigger down payments to be required. Prepare for slow responses. Prepare for delays. Be aware that the lenders are chicken for good reason. Sure it may be staffing reductions. And the hoops seem unusually silly.

But the reality is... If you do persevere you can take away some really terrific loan rates once you get approved!

So be Thankful. If you have the ability to buy right now you are likely to get better prices and the best rates for the money borrowed. Now that is leverage that will pay off for buyers with vision for long term profits.

Let me know if you need an introduction to a loan broker. I have two good guys that I can introduce you to.


Monday, November 09, 2009

Time and Date. Back to 1983 Unemployment numbers

"TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY. YOU CAN GET MORE MONEY, BUT YOU CANNOT GET MORE TIME." Jim Rohn. And while this is certainly true, home buyers and folks receiving unemployment benefits both got the word that a bit more money and time is coming their way.

Just on Friday, President Obama signed into law a bill that extends unemployment benefits and the First Time Home Buyers tax credit, which is also being expanded to include benefits for homebuyers who aren't on the first time around buying a home. If purchasing a home is in the cards for you or anyone you know, you can get all the details of the homebuyer's tax credit in this week's Mortgage Market Guide View article below. But first, here are a few additional highlights from last week...including important job market news.

Last week's official Jobs Report showed that there were 190,000 jobs lost in October, higher than the 175,000 job losses that were widely expected. In addition the Unemployment Rate rose to 10.2%, quite a bit higher than the 9.9% expected, and the highest Unemployment level since 1983.

However if I think back to that time we had the growth of the personal computer and a few other technological changes to the world we lived in. Back then in 1983 a Cell phone was plugged into your car or as big as a lunch box. It was a rare business person who owned a personal computer of any type.

We may not be able to get back time but we are back to a time of High Unemployment. What will be the driving force of the work force of our next faze?

Movies are digital and FX is all in a computer. Technology is building remote controlled planes to drop remote controlled bombs. Pilots are so bored that they overshoot their destination by an Hour.

Banks and their regulators are being duplicitous and difficult to fathom. The Government is giving them money fast. Telling them that this money is so you can loan. Then the other department of the government is looking over their books with a fine tooth comb to make sure that they only make loans of the highest caliber that will surely not default.

So how do we Real Estate Agents sell anything if the loans are not going to be approved and funded?

What we need now is strong sources of Employment. Strong borrowers. And Strong Banks willing to make the loans. This we can all see as the three legs of the support for our marketplaces.

It is the Holiday shopping season next. Here is to hoping the numbers are good for us all.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Looks like it is getting healthier. Do you agree with the news?

Last week the Commerce Department reported the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd Quarter. As you can see from the chart, GDP rose by 3.5% for the first gain in a year and the strongest reading in two years.

While most media outlets were giddy about the news and started the hype that the recession is behind us, it's important to remember that there's more to the economic data than just the headlines.

The temporary "Cash for Clunkers" program has now expired, but was a big part of last quarter's GDP gain. If we remove it from the total, the reading would have been a more modest 1.9%. But there is even more to the rise in the latest GDP number that is just temporary...

Also bolstering the economy has been the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit - which is set to expire at the end of this month. Many home buyers have been taking advantage of this program - and wisely so.

New Home Sales were reported last week, showing a 7.5-month supply of inventory. While that number is slightly worse than last month's 7.3 reading, it's still a big improvement from where we were in January. Back in January, inventory levels reached a high of 12.4-month supply! The improvement in housing inventories has been due in large part to the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, which is set to expire on November 30.

There is a real possibility of an extension of this program through a proposed Bill, but it is not yet a certainty. The extension Bill still must be reconciled between the House and Senate, and then voted on for final approval. Under the current extension proposal, sales with signed purchase agreements by April 30th that close before June 30th, 2010 would qualify for the credit.

Another bit of news was the UCLA Anderson Forecast: "Recession likely ended this quarter"
In that report there is this line...
"Credit-impaired lower-income consumers can't spend the way they used to, and wealth-impaired affluent consumers won't,"

The Anderson Report further says that this Qtr marks the end of the recession.

Well now we all feel better knowing that this is the low point. Right? There are signs of activity. Some very good things. Maybe this is the low point and we are bout to begin the long slog back to normalcy.

Not the wild growth of the recent past but healthy productivity! We all will welcome that.

IMHO Keith

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shadow .... market of homes

I know I have suspected that there are more foreclosures to come.

Really good write up on this topic in the Wall Street Journal.

"So where’s that long-awaited deluge of bank-owned homes that is supposed to flood the U.S. housing market? This “shadow” inventory has..."

It has been keeping a few buyers on the sidelines looking for a deeper bottoming out to the real estate in the local market. Reality Check. Buy if you find the one that works for you long term. Especially if you plan on living in it.

Now in the Income Property side. Revenue dependability is what we have most here in the West Los Angeles area. That reduces risk.

If you want money to be available for a dependable retirement cash flow... We should talk. There are some good options in the marketplace.

Keith L.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Details... financing is the "Devel in the Details"

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS... Or so the famous saying goes. And when it comes to really understanding the various reports and events unfolding in the economy, it's important to take a look at the details - not just the headlines. Here's what we know...

On the inflation front, the Producer Price Index, which measures wholesale inflation, unexpectedly fell due to a drop in energy prices. While that seems like good news on the surface, keep in mind that next month's number could climb higher again, as oil and natural gas have both been on a tear higher lately.

In housing news, Housing Starts and Building Permits both came in a bit below expectations, but this may be a sign that builders are exercising some caution - particularly in the face of the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers that is presently set to expire on November 30th. Existing Home Sales came in better than expected - and a whopping 45% of those homes were sold to first time homebuyers - rushing to move in on that credit. Recent studies have shown that many who qualify for this tax credit aren't even aware of it...so please let me know if you or someone you know needs more information - the clock is ticking!

Additionally, the level of existing homes inventory shrunk to a 7.8 month supply, down from a recent high of 10.1 months in April.

In other news, 3rd quarter earnings season continues, where companies report their status as of the end of September. While many companies are beating expectations, it's important to realize that many of those companies achieved better earnings by cost cutting and layoffs, not from increased sales. This is a big disconnect between Wall Street and "Main Street". Stocks are rocketing higher based on these "positive" reports, but the cost cutting and job cutting measures can only go so far...you can't simultaneously grow the ranks of unemployment - and then grow your business, hoping for increased sales to those same people who are without jobs.

Last week's Jobless Claims numbers seem to confirm this as Initial Jobless Claims rose more than expected. In addition, the number of individuals continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since March, but this is likely the result of people's unemployment benefits expiring, without them having been able to find jobs.

Also worth noting is the news that ratings agency Moody's lead analyst, Steven Hess, said that the US needs to cut its deficit or it could lose its "AAA" rating in the next 3 to 4 years, which we have maintained since 1917! Think of all we've been through - two World Wars, the Depression, three Wall Street collapses and major terrorist attacks... yet our credit quality has maintained that AAA rating, allowing us to issue debt at the most favorable rates. Hess went on to say that if the US doesn't "get the deficit down in the next 3-4 years to a sustainable level, then the rating will be in jeopardy." And just like on a mortgage when the credit rating gets reduced, interest rates move higher. This will definitely be something to keep an eye on in the months ahead.

After all the week's action, Bonds and home loan rates ended the week slightly worse than where they began. How much longer will we have good Interest Rates is a good question.

If you have a Crystal Ball and see the next moves on the market... Hit comment and tell us where you think it is going.

Keith L.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Finding Common Ground" Forum

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for helping to make yesterday’s Housing Forum a success! We are excited that so many of you took time from your busy Wednesday to join us in the spirit of understanding and cooperation.

Please take a few moments to answer these questions for us so we can learn and improve future programs for the public. Your feedback is VERY important to us!

1. What were your overall impressions of the event?
2. What were your favorite parts? Why?
3. What things would you change or improve? Why?

Thank you again for your time.


Deborah Freeman, Legal Assistant
Santa Monica City Attorney's Office

Dear Deborah,

Thank you for the event at the Annenberg Community Beach House today. It was a nice venue and a nice idea to have a beginning of dialogue about actual compromise and meeting of those who are most polarized in this city. Some compromising may eventually come of it. There were opportunities for sharing that may lead to more understanding and useful compromises in the future.

I frequently work hard to find common ground with my tenants (customers really) by listening and trying to learn what they really need or are on about. And in return managing their expectations of what I can do for them. Housing providers are not the everything solution to all the ills of the world in which we live. And some in the community feel we are the worst thing and use a term like Landlord with all the old worst connotations that they can attach to it. As if all landlords are a Charles Dickens character.

And therefore the “Landlord” term may make finding common ground hard for those who do not trust that a Housing Provider is a professional businessperson who does have good intentions to live up to the business relationship with the tenant.

In overview… One or two questions that were posed to the panel may be the hot items that you deal with on a regular basis but are not ones that landlords ( I prefer Housing Providers) are able to help solve. In many cases the smoking issue is one that we cannot regulate. And the common complaint about noise is often beyond the pale of our control. The only item in the post seminar discussion panel questions section that seemed on point was the one related to maintenance. And of course as asked – relating to a new owner – it was about giving the owner a chance to effect repairs and communications going back and forth so that the tenants know what to expect and what the new housing provider will be working on first. The opinion of one fellow property manager in attendance was that 3 of the 4 questions posed were absolutely useless to the property owner side of the issue. After fully reviewing your web site I see that those are the items that were most important to the Consumer Affairs division but not necessarily related to "Finding Common Ground" between landlord and tenant.

I hope that in the long term these meetings can work on problems that we (Tenants and Owners/Management) have to deal with and will actually make a difference. The difficulty to be overcome was evidenced by one of your lead speakers. It was said by the City of Santa Monica elected official who spoke, that he did not believe there was room for compromise on this issue. It is not just the Housing Provider side that must be brought to the table with an understanding of what effective and beneficial thing can come of this.

Such Polarization and refusal to deal with issues is very tough for us. My expenses are up. Much of it is due to new city fees and city taxes. Yet there was not an appropriate place in yesterday’s meeting to review that. The Housing Providers are not able to be the solution to all of societal ills. Smoking or bad behaviors between neighbors are just the tip of the iceberg.

I look forward to future meetings like this where there are more insights to each other’s side in the future.


Keith Lambert

Monday, October 19, 2009

Heat is rising on the financing side

"THE HEAT IS ON." Glenn Frey. While cooler temperatures are beginning to descend on many parts of the country, Bonds and home loan rates are feeling the heat and pressure from several fronts. Here are some details...along with why it's important to act soon to take advantage of current home loan rates, as they may never be seen again.

Last week, the Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) was reported higher than expected, indicating that inflationary forces may already be underway. Remember, inflation erodes the value of the fixed return that a Bond provides - therefore, inflation is harmful to Bonds and home loan rates. Just the hint of inflation can cause home loan rates to worsen, which is what we saw last week.

And here's a very interesting and important note - when looking at these CPI numbers, it is important to understand the effect that the "Cash for Clunkers" program had on this index. The Cash for Clunkers program was very "creatively" accounted for as a reduction in the sales price of automobiles, which had to have a dramatic effect on lowering the CPI that was reported. Imagine how much higher CPI would have been had this "creativity" not been used. As even more inflationary fears creep into the economy, home loan rates will continue to rise.

Also adding pressure to Bonds and home loan rates is the Fed's plan to ration out their remaining purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities. The Fed has purchased around $950B year-to-date out of the $1.25T allotted for the program, which is now set to expire March 31, 2010. This means the Fed will be averaging about $14B a week in purchases, a lot less than $25B or so they had been doing up until recently. And anytime demand for an item slows down...including Mortgage Backed Securities...the price goes down. And in this case, it means that home loan rates will move higher.
The bottom line is that the heat is on...and home loan rates are starting to rise already. While home loan rates are still incredibly low, it is clear this won't last much longer - and we may not see rates at these levels again in our lifetimes.

Remember, as a general rule, weaker than expected economic data is good for rates, while positive data causes rates to rise.

If you have the ability to get qualified and a suitable down payment to purchase, you are at the right point in time. The right property to invest in is not that hard for a professional agent to find. Give me a call if you want to discuss your own investment plans.

Keith Lambert

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - We are listening

"LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID." And those aren't just the words from Paul McCartney's hit song of the same title...they're also words of advice for anyone who's considering buying a home or refinancing.

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that as the economy heals, the Fed will be very vigilant to protect against inflation. While inflation is not a problem at present...it will most certainly become a problem down the road. So why does this matter if you are considering purchasing or refinancing? Because inflation is the arch-enemy of Bonds and home loan rates, and just the knowledge of it coming has been causing both Bonds and home loan rates to worsen in recent days. Along with the fear of inflation, the Fed's purchasing program of Mortgage Backed Securities is already slowing down, with the end of their buying in sight - and the reduced demand for these Bonds is also driving home loan rates higher.

Bottom line: home loan rates are already on the rise, and we won't likely see these low historic levels again.

Interest rates are still very near historic lows - George Washington couldn't have gotten a better interest rate - and the opportunity these low rates present is huge for homebuyers. But the Qualification process is harder and Longer.

So get in line with all your paperwork and tax returns and save up a real deposit. No easy qualifiers or no money down loans exist today.

On the topic of inflation - Gold has been on a tear higher of late, reaching a record high of $1048 an ounce. Remember that Gold is seen as a "safe harbor" or hedge against a falling Dollar and inflation - as Gold is not likely to lose much value in periods of rising prices. Again, fears of future inflation are pervasive, particularly in light of the massive economic stimulus that has been injected into the US economy...and inflation will drive home loan rates higher. The latest spike in Gold is more likely attributable to the Dollar's recent decline, but both factors are somewhat at play.

There are deals out in the real estate market. I like Income Real Estate as a Safe Harbor investment. But it is not as liquid as gold or bonds. Investing in Residential Income properties is more long term and inflation resistant than most other investment vehicles. And as it matures and pays down the mortgage it can become a Cash Cow to retire on the cash flow. Not just a Sell it All proposition.

Hit the comment button and tell me the Safe Investments you like in today's market.



Monday, August 24, 2009

NOD's in the houseing market

Found an interesting post or two about Santa Monica at

He has a fun style. Interesting. Still is an alarmist but he does have a few good points. Many agents have taken listings at unjustifiable prices and have to chase the market downward. He used this to parley it into a article about higher end areas like Santa Monica finally getting hit by the housing bubble. Maybe so to some degree.

I have some friends and associates that are going out to the hard hit areas far afield to pick up the cheap stuff like houses in Los Vegas and in Florida. Writing a check for the full purchase price.

One item is that the Single Family Home market is flooded and getting a few more in the pipeline from NOD's (bank notice of defaults that soon will be foreclosed upon).

Santa Monica will not be that cheap where $50 to $80 thousand will buy you a house but it will be a bit dicey on the Westside when all the pent up NOD volume comes to the foreground. Keep your ears posted for some great deals.

The bigger question is how is this going to affect Residential income properties? Maybe the loss of investors for Multi Family Properties is due to the limited capital of those potential buyers going out to suck up the bottom from other far ranging markets.

Buy Low and Sell High. I prefer that strong monthly Income myself.

Let me know what you prefer to buy at this time.

Keith L.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Email from Fidelity... Wall Street thinks it is the answer

in an email I got today...

You can be diversified in one place.
Dear Keith Lambert,
Diversification doesn't mean keeping your money with multiple investment firms. It may be more costly and difficult to manage your portfolio that way. A diversified portfolio is composed of investments spread among different asset classes, aligned with your objectives and risk tolerance. And when you consolidate your ...

Blah Blah Blah

To start diversifying today, call 800-XXX-XXXX or visit Fidelity.com.
Thank you for your continued trust.
Cxxxxx Mxxxxxxxx
Executive Vice President
Personal and Workplace Investing Services
Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC

The Gall of the stock trading industry and the suckers who believe them to be telling you the whole truth in their marketing materials. One must have an outside person like a real smart CFP. (e. g. www.WealthPinnacle.com) Or be smart on your own. "Diversify" does not mean having different types of risky investments with one stock brokerage house!

Use someone who gets the bigger picture to help you Diversify. You do have assets. You need to think about all the different assets. From the coin in your pocket to the back of the storage closet with that antique nick knack. Then review your financial position and goals.

Think of long term financial things in this light...

- Some in cash. (Not all in the same bank.)
- Some in a growth fund. (see above)
- Your Single Family Home. (gotta have a First Trust Deed)
- Some in income producing Real Estate. (Call me please - It's what I do)
- Some in an Insurance Policy with an annuity. (leverage tool for retirement)

And if you own your own business you need to back that up with Key Man Insurance.

So of the above items... do you have all 5?

Where do you Diversify too?

Keith Lambert

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bonds and Loan Rates... polishing the crystal ball

"I'M FREE...FREE FALLIN'" Tom Petty.
And a free fall indeed was the case last Wednesday, as Bonds had their worst one-day performance since last October, losing an astounding 206bp. So what caused this free fall...and what helped Bonds and home loan rates rally back and improve later in the week? Here's what you need to know.

The main culprit for Wednesday's sell off was supply. The Treasury auctions and the increased number of refinance transactions closing have added hundreds of Billions of dollars of new Bond supply to the market. Economics 101 tells us that anytime supply vastly exceeds demand, prices will move lower, and that's exactly what we saw last week...and as Bond prices move lower, home loan rates move higher. And the trend isn't likely to end anytime soon, as the Treasury will have to continue to pump out major supply of Bonds, in order to pay for the massive government stimulus plans...and the Fed buying plan simply won't be enough to balance out supply and demand - it's like trying to sop up a flood with a sponge. Bottom line - rates are likely to rise, but are still near historic lows.

Yet the news wasn't all doom and gloom - as both the Dow and S&P 500 have seen three months of positive gains for the first time in over a year! And the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) said that the end of the recession is in sight, noting that, "While the overall tone remains soft, there are emerging signs that the economy is stabilizing." The Commerce Department's report that Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter fell at an annual rate of 5.7% was better than initial estimates, indicating the recession may be slowing down. Important reminder: An improvement in the economy will likely push rates higher over time, which is why it's important to take action during this opportunity of low rates.

In other news, Initial Jobless Claims were better than expectations, but a higher revision to the prior week's reading offset the slightly positive headline number. Durable Goods Orders in April also came in a bit better than expectations. On the housing front, while New Home Sales were just under estimates, Existing Home Sales came in higher than expectations. These reports didn't impact the markets a great deal last week, as the impact from all the extra supply was the real mover and shaker.

Bonds were able to regain some ground Thursday and Friday after their steep free fall on Wednesday, but even with the improvement, home loan rates ended the week .25% to .375% worse than where they began.

So when are we at the best time to buy again. Just before the loan rates get stiff? Not after they go up significantly! Where is that point for you?

Many buildings need Buyers. Some are becoming great deals. Are you a Buyer yet?

Keith L.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

local politic DWP and Mesure B

I was pleased to see that the Measure B item failed.

This story form City Watch makes a lot of since to me. I was very actively involved with MVCC and so i really appreciate this story about how the community councils emerged as the leading opponent of the solar power plan, Measure B.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

On paper... this apartment looks good

Have been out looking at the best GRM and the Strongest Rent Rolls for a few clients.

It is important to get out there and really look at it. If this one was not locked in by commercial usage it surely would be a deal. Or would it be at a higher multiple?

2009-04-21 Western Ave

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Price Reduction - 6 units in Venice

Price reduced and a very good investment opportunity.


See the Rent Roll and details on LII Web Site

If you get it Vacant and get all new Market Rents... What a good place to start.

Call me to review.

Keith Lambert - 310-391-0821

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Builder / Invester - Build a Custom Home in Mar Vista

Rebuild and Fix this house
If you know where Mar Vista is in Los Angeles then maybe you will know that this little house is at a deeply discounted price. And if you happen to want to build or fix up a property then this may work for you.

Seriously fire damaged. Listed for $600,000 and needs to be rebuilt. Are you an SFR Investor or Builder? Can you build fast and efficiently?

Possibly 100 to 150 thousand to re due as a 1 story house,
and maybe 250 to 300 thousand to re due as a 2 story house.

When complete a real deal for this neighborhood.

Find more information and see photos at www.3448Colonial.com

There has been a lot of interest. It has been on the market for 5 days now. I have been running fast to show it as much as I can. Getting the word out to all the local sources.

This one will not last. Not at this fire sale price.

Keith L.

Monday, April 20, 2009

There is a Season... Lenders and Bankers are you listening?

TO EVERYTHING (EARN, EARN, EARN)...THERE IS A SEASON (EARN, EARN, EARN)... That's how Pete Seeger and The Byrd's famous 1962 hit, "Turn, Turn, Turn" could be rewritten for the financial markets of late - earnings season kicked off last week, with several reports delivering music to the economy's ears. I have always been an Earnings person. Not a speculator. Whether a stock or a property. What is the cash flow? It must be positive after taxes.

Last week, the week began with the sweet sounds of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs reporting earnings that were much better than expected. More good news from the financial zone followed, with better than expected earnings from JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup. As you can see in the chart below, the financial sector has clearly been helped by the recent mark-to-market discussions and easing of the FASB ruling. In other sectors, big players Google and General Electric also reported earnings that were higher than anticipated.

And more good news last week, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sang out that there are signs that the sharp decline in the economy is slowing, indicating a potential "first step" towards a recovery from the worst recession in a generation. Specifically, he said, "I am fundamentally optimistic about our economy. Today's economic conditions are difficult, but the foundations of our economy are strong, and we face no problems that cannot be overcome with insight, patience, and persistence." While last week's Retail Sales Report came in lower than expected, indicating that consumers are still keeping a good grip on their wallets - Bernanke's words certainly inspire some economic confidence.

Confidence for the Banking Industry may now help loosen up the lending side a little. Now that new mechanisms’ are in place for apartment building buyers to have to qualify under the best news for us would be a relatively simple way to gauge how the lenders will view the investment property and how much new financing it will receive.

There are some buyers out there. There are some realistic sellers who recognize the market has changed. Now then, are the lending sources ready?

**If you are in the lending side, please hit Comment button below and let us know what you are able to finance. Apartments / Income Property 5 or more units.**

Thanks all for reading.

Get your lending set up soon. The time to find a good property is soon at hand.

IMHO Keith

Thursday, April 09, 2009

6 One Bedroom - 1 Bath
5 Bachelors - 1 Bath

11 Units in Los Angeles - ACTIVE

3623 Keystone Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
East of Overland Ave & North of Venice Blvd

Thomas Guide: 672-F1
Click here for a map

Purchase Price:

Annual scheduled gross income:

Year built: 1960

Zoning: LAR3

Lot Size: 7492

Building Square Feet: 5656

Parking: 11 Spaces


Great Bread & Butter Building. Easy to rent and manage. New Roof and New Copper Plumbing. Desirable well located rental area with upside potential.


1 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 990.88
2 Bachelor, 1 Bath $ 797.21
3 Bachelor, 1 Bath $ 784.88
4 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 811.22
5 Bachelor, 1 Bath $ 795.00
6 Bachelor, 1 Bath $ 775.00
7 Bachelor, 1 Bath $ 825.00
8 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 960.88
9 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 787.88
10 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 759.88
11 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath $ 885.88
Laundry $ 150.00

Total Expenses:

Scheduled Monthly Income:

Scheduled Annual Income:

To learn more and see additional Photos
see: http://www.lambertinc.com/forsale.php

The information presented here is based upon sources we deemed to be reliable, but for which we assume no responsibility.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Are they speaking of turning points?

The March 12th Congressional hearing on mark-to-market (Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) favorable vote to relax accounting rules), which will help to warm up the frosty credit markets, Stocks have risen 23% just on the speculation a change could be coming. And just one short day after the FASB mark-to-market ruling, there were stories of banks already saying they may not need to sell assets to raise capital, as they will no longer have to take massive paper losses by pricing their assets to the "fire-sale" comps that were created in some of the illiquid markets. Capital ratios are now more in line for many institutions, which will also help their ability to lend - in turn helping consumers and businesses alike. Yesterday's ruling is a dramatic step towards unwinding the negative spiral created by mark to market, and in fact, the ruling on mark-to-market accounting could well go down in history as a turning point in the US financial crisis.

While Stocks were buoyed by the Mark-to-Market announcement and optimism that the G20 meeting in London will lead to an agreement on ways to pull global economies out of the current recession, Bonds were unable to hold onto recent gains. As a result, Bonds and rates ended the week .125-.25 percent worse than where they began. Therefore interest rates for loans may start to creep upward.

Are we nearing the bottom? Do we all see that light ahead? It is the end of the tunnel?

Are you optimistic about Real Estate values in the future now?


Thursday, April 02, 2009

In support of financial optimism

Dear Real Estate Investors, (and fellow Agents/Brokers)

We have a duty to this great nation to help reinvigorate the trust of the populous and re-instill faith in the most basic of the feel good Financial Base we all look too. Real Estate. The emotional state of the local and national economy floats with the basic values in the marketplace Both here in town and on Wall Street.

So make a Sale. Make a Purchase. Start helping fellow investors see that it is a good time to buy and make a leap of faith and trust that things are heating up.

It is warming up here in Los Angeles. My clients just successfully got a 6 unit apartment building under contract. Escrow opened yesterday and the inspection is tomorrow. There were multiple offers!

That's what I'm talking about. If you are looking to buy a good investment property in the Los Angeles region Call me. There are strong rent rolls in our marketplace. Just what a risk avoiding investor likes to see.

Keith L. <"><

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Window of Opportunity?!?!


On Wednesday, the Fed announced that over the course of 2009, they will purchase an additional $750 Billion of Mortgage Backed Securities, as well as $300 Billion in long-term Treasuries, primarily to help shore up the housing market and keep home loan rates low. On the announcement, Bonds exploded higher, leaving Bond prices within whiskers of the best levels ever.

However, it's important to understand that while their actions may keep a lid on rates moving higher, they may not cause them to move lower. While we know there is little inflation at the present time, the chatter of future inflation could have a negative impact on Bonds and home loan rates, or at least stifle any improvements.

Although the media is already spinning it differently, this may not be a time to stay on the fence, hoping and waiting for lower rates and/or lower real estate prices. Home loan rates remain within inches of all-time historic lows, but may not necessarily move significantly lower based on this purchasing plan - waiting is a very risky move.
More good news last week, as Housing Starts for February came in better than expected and actually increased for the first time in eight months. In addition, Fed Chairman Bernanke stated the recession should end in 2009 and that he is confident of the long-term outlook for the US economy.

Also, an update on Mark-to-Market - the accounting rule which has had a devastating impact on the financial markets - which we have discussed many times, including in last week's issue. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed that it will propose to allow companies to use more "leeway" in applying the accounting rules they use to value their assets, and planned a final vote for April 2nd. If this rule change is approved, it could result in better first-quarter financial statements for companies that have been affected by this rule. Stocks have been moving higher lately in the hopes that Mark-to-Market will be fixed, and a resolution could help Stocks further improve.

So what are you going to do with your Cash? Leverage into cheap priced Real Estate or buy Stocks?

If it is Real Estate call me.


BTW If you need a referral to a Stock person send me a note.
Gary with Wealth Pinnacle is a very good guy to know.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

LA City politics. No on Mesure B

At election time I allow myself to make recommendations. I feel that the City/State/Federal regulations and taxes affect your and my real estate and are therefore fair game for this blog.

Often the best vote is NO on many things. It only should be Made Law or funded for the public good IF it is overwhelmingly agreed on as needed and worth it.

So that said, please see these two links. After reviewing them, you too will agree Measure B should get a NO vote.

The Cover Up Continues


Union Members: Solar Plan Not Cost Efficient

Saturday, February 21, 2009

OK so Real Estate has gone down some in the market.

I work in a different market place for investments than what is commonly referred to as "The Market" that usually means a stock market trading a piece of paper that represents an interest in some company or asset. When I deal with Investment Properties we are dealing with an asset that you get a real title too.

Compared to the over valued paper being peddled by wall street for the last few years, Income Real Estate is rather secure.

Yesterday in the LA Times Business section...

This story says Commercial Properties are down 15 %
and that Apartment Buildings are down 11.5 %
in the nationwide averages.

Not bad compared with all that stock market stuff.

Just read your last 401 K report and compare the amount you are down. Then think about how much you are diversified if it is all with a Fidelity account or E-Trade. No matter how much it is spread around in the stock market it is still the stock market. Some of your net worth needs to be in a performing real asset like an apartment building if you want a secure long range future.

With today's prices now in a bit of a "Market Dip" it may be possible for you to use your cash to pick up a sound investment for your future. If you are not retiring in the next 2-3 years Income Property should be in your portfolio.

Call me to review the options.

Keith Lambert

Monday, February 09, 2009

What makes a good starter investment property?

On Sunday I toured several properties with clients looking for a starter investment property. We looked at sites Downtown, Midtown, and Mid-Wilshire.

8 units or 6 units or 4 units all with good strong rent rolls that bring in a healthy revenue stream. 8 units with dilapidated conditions. 6 units in good condition in so so area. 4 units in a sweet area in clean condition.

All three have the potential to work. All three have pluses and minuses. The key is what will keep the revenue up best in a market where rents are sagging? Which one will a lender be more likely to give you better terms and easily fund. (Lending is very important today, more later) Which one will give the best appreciation down the road? And be easier to sell?

At some point one must move out of your starter property and roll into a bigger better apartment building. Hope is that the 1031 exchange will then produce real income for reaching your financial goals.

Keeping those goals in sight is important when weighing the questions above.

Keith L.

*hit Comments to weigh in on what is most important to you.
Revenue flow/lender marketability/manageability/appreciation/resale-ability

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New LII Listing on Clubhouse Ave - 6 Units

Venice area of Los Angeles. 6 Units and good incomes.
More on the http://www.lambertinc.com/forsale.php page.

Call if you want my help to make an offer.

Keith Lambert

We are looking for a crystal ball now and then

Economists Predict Recession's End
As posted by Austin Kilgore | 01.23.09

The country's recession is the longest and deepest in 60 years, but it will rebound in 2009, according to two economists at the Comerica Bank Economic Forecast Conference in Santa Clara, California.

Comerica Bank's chief economist Dana Johnson told approximately 600 Silicon Valley business leaders, “We should see at least a 6 percent increase in gross domestic product in the third quarter. I don't think it's at all a stretch to say that once the economy picks up steam, it will be really impressive.”

Another economist at the conference, Stanford University's John B. Shoven, agreed, but said he believes the rebound will happen in the fourth quarter of 2009.

He added as soon as investors realize the economy will strengthen in 2010, “the stock market could start to rally in the second quarter,” several months ahead of the recovery.

They both credited the economic stimulus actions taken by the U.S. Government from preventing disaster.

Johnson said, “We came within an eyelash of a catastrophic failure of our financial system.”

The economists said while President Barack Obama has surrounded himself with a strong team of economic advisors, the government won't be able to do much to prevent the unemployment rate increasing to 9 percent by mid-year.

However, Johnson said, “The federal fiscal stimulus headed our way beginning this spring...will do an enormous amount to get this economy going.”


And as my friends in the Brokerage and Lending field have heard me say "Once the lenders have finished crapping their shorts they need to get back to making loans again." But then today's LA Times has a story about one of the stalwarts of the local area multi-family lending business, First Federal Bank of CA, was stopped from making new loans.

This decision is in response to regulators demands. They have stopped making loans. What are those Regulators thinking??? This is a stronger institution. And almost all multi-family borrowers are paying the loans. Multi-family apartment buildings are Not purchased by speculative fly by night flippers who over leveraged and got upside down.

Sometimes I scratch my head. Most often when government regulations collide with the reality of what they actually accomplish.

If the government is spending 700 Billion to keep the banks lending... Why are they forcing our local bank to stop making loans?

Who sends the complaint letter to Obama?

All will work out. I hope the economists above have the reading right. So if you can get a loan. Now is not to far off from the bottom if 2010 is the start of the ride back up.

Keith L.

For Rent - 2 bedroom 1 bath at Santa Monica Beach

FYI for anyone looking for a cool beach side pad...

For rent for $ 2,900 per month. Good space. Right at the beach.

See the link for photos and map.

Keith <"><

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Markets and Lending this week.

The Financial situation This Week

Inflation chatter could come around again this week, as the Fed will be holding their regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, with their Policy Statement and decision regarding the Fed Funds Rate coming on Wednesday. Remember, the Fed made history last month when they slashed the Fed Funds Rate by .75% to the lowest target range in history of 0% to .25%. The chart below shows an interesting history of the Fed Funds Rate since 1955.

Other potential market movers include Friday's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report. GDP is the broadest measure of economic activity, and given the state of our economy, a negative report might not be too much of a surprise. In addition, Thursday's Durable Goods Report (i.e. items that are non-disposable, like cars, furniture, appliances, games, cameras, business equipment, etc) will give us a read on consumer and business consumption and buying behavior. We'll also get a look at the housing market this week with Monday's Existing Home Sales Report and Thursday's New Home Sales Report.
Remember: Inflation is the arch enemy of Bonds and home loan rates, and even the mention of it can have negative ramifications.

I recall the early 1980's and the high interest rates. That was very hard time to be buyer. And a miserable time to be a seller. So why is it hard to be a buyer or a Seller today? Because the lending sector has not gotten back on the horse yet. They have to pick themselves up and dust off and get back in the saddle. The funding of loans is still the crux of the financial turbulence we are struggling to overcome.

The Heat is On for Mortgages.

Homes are on sale, sellers are motivated, and interest rates are at historic lows...but may not stay that way, which means it makes sense to get moving on that home purchase or refinance you've been contemplating. But if you (as one of my clients) are among the smart individuals who are going ahead and taking advantage of the low home loan rates to be had right now, there are a few things to be aware of.

With interest rates at record lows, all lenders in the US have recently seen a sharp increase in loan applications - right at the time that many lenders have cut headcount to save money in a challenging economy. This means that timeframes needed for underwriting, approvals and closing have become longer than normal. Some companies have chosen to actually raise rates just to slow down the volume to a manageable level.
Sound crazy? No crazier than when you go to buy that hot new vehicle...only to find that there is no price negotiation. In fact, you wind up lucky to just pay the sticker price, as the demand usually allows the Dealer to add a markup to the price. And you don't get the car right away; you have to wait on a list for your turn to come up.

Right now, home loans are like that hot new car - but with the timer ticking on interest rates locks, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

First, longer lock in time frames than might normally have been considered are a necessity, to ensure that the file has time to be processed, underwritten, approved and closed in time to protect the rate lock in this extremely volatile climate. And that longer, safer lock-in period may be a bit more costly - but it's money well spent. Overall, the mind set here should not be one of greed. Don't try to squeeze every last drop out of rates. If you are within a quarter percent of the lowest rates offered in the history of this country, you did very well. And rates always shoot up higher at a much faster pace than when then dip lower. So if the savings or opportunity make sense - grab it.

Next, responding quickly to requests for information or documentation is important - the faster the file is submitted and approved, the better off we are to keep that great interest rate protected.

Finally, be aware that it may be a smart idea to pay points to gain the best interest rate - and sometimes is even necessary in today's market. Giant mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently imposed more "risk-based pricing adjustments", meaning that even credit scores and loan to values which in the past would have been considered very low risk, may now be subject to mandated fees by Fannie and Freddie. And based on the way lenders have changed their rate sheets over time, there is now very little "premium pricing", which used to allow options for fees like these, points or other closing costs to be covered in return for a slightly higher interest rate.

Right now is still an excellent time to act, before the great low rates of today get away from us. But let's be smart - get started right away on your Loan Approval process.

Keep in mind that the Pre-Approval for an Income Property needs the property info as well to be part of the package. Therefore it is a matching of the property financial porforma and the buyer financials AND of the lender package. The non-conforming type property is currently extremely hard pressed to find a lender at all.

Call me to review what is working as a good investment in the West Los Angeles areas.

Keith Lambert

Monday, January 19, 2009

New season is emerging!

The Seasons Change. The President Changes. (Tomorrow!) So this quote is on point:


In the Markets: Last week saw the start of earnings season for the fourth quarter of 2008, and this is likely to be one earnings season everyone hopes passes quickly.

The beleaguered banking sector was in the spotlight throughout the week, as Citigroup reported an $8.29 Billion loss, completing its worst year ever since its inception in 1812. Bank of America also lost $1.79 Billion in the fourth quarter, making 2008 the bank's first yearly loss in 17 years. And the news extended overseas as Deutsche Bank, which is Germany's largest bank, warned of a fourth-quarter loss of $6.3 Billion.

There were a few bright spots to note during the week, however, as JP Morgan Chase surprised the market with an earnings report that beat expectations...it's been awhile since a financial Stock actually surprised to the good side! In addition, Bank of America received a lifeline of $138 Billion from the government's $700 Billion rescue fund to help absorb their purchase of Merrill Lynch.

And in inflation - or lack thereof - headlines, the Consumer Price Index for 2008 was reported the lowest since 1954, indicating that inflation is definitely not a threat at this time.

Lending it the part that needs to be resurrected in time to keep the wheels of commerce and the real estate industry moving ahead. They have changed many of the systems in recent months to enable the resale of loans to happen in new more scrutinized fashion. But that also has other troubles for the not so standard property. If it does not fit the forms and the standard check boxes of the new resellers marketing program, it will not qualify for a loan and therefore further depress the real estate market with unsellable inventory clogging the marketplace.

As I learn more on the lending situation I will post the details. Remember, while Bonds and home loan rates are still at historic levels, there will be some volatile changes due to the many variables affecting the markets.

For now, lenders are requiring serious cash for your down payment on a home or income property. No lender wants to see a property go upside down on a further drop in value. But likewise for the Contrarian among us it may be a good time to pick up a cheap deal.

Glad to be of help.


Monday, January 12, 2009

New LII Listing on Keystone - 11 Units

Lambert Investments has a new listing at 3623 Keystone Ave.

A basic Palms neighborhood apartment building. Built in 1960. 11 units. 6 one bedrooms and 5 bachelors. With a very good gross annual income of $111,884.

Mellow apartment lined street.

Very clean area. Easy to rent. Strong west side demand.

This is why it is a good long term investment opportunity.

Call me if you want an agent to help you buy this property.

Keith L.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday Broker Caravan

Wow. On Tuesday Jan 6the the number of brokers open houses was abysmal. Very few.

There is inventory. But maybe there is just few new ones. The few that were open I had ether seen or were dogs that I could not recommend anyone buy.

I wonder if other agents felt the same or if they were all out of town getting some runs on the slopes?

IMHO Keith L.