What's on the market in Journey's End?

What's on the market in Journey's End?
Click on the photo above and see the homes for sale in Journey's End


Bad Credit? Had a short sale or foreclosure? I can help you buy a house!

lease optionThis week I had a meeting to discuss the details of the launch of a new type of lease-option program for my clients.  This is very exciting news for the thousands of people looking to do a lease option in Palm Beach, Martin, St Lucie or Dade Counties the ability to lease option a very wide range of homes.
Our program is unique as it allows people who would not qualify for traditional home financing due to a short sale, foreclosure, or credit issues to select the home they would like to buy at some point, have our investor purchase it, and have a long-term lease with the option to purchase WITHOUT having to make the typical large, non-refundable option payment.
Since the market crash I have had dozens and dozens of people asking me to help them find a seller that would do a ‘lease-option’ or hoping to find someone to owner finance. This has always been (until now) a very difficult goal to accomplish as the minute number of sellers that would consider a lease option for their home are looking for a significant non-refundable deposit to be included. 
These clients, and thousands more like them, are not able to buy at the present time for any number of reasons, but need the security of a long-term housing solution and typically are very specific about the school district they need to be in. They don’t want to pursue a standard rental and the uncertainty that comes along with it…the owner can decide to not renew the lease, sell the house, or even let it go into foreclosure forcing the tenant to move every year and uprooting their family over and over.
What makes my new program so unique is that, once approved, the buyer/tenant gets the ability to go and shop for the homes they want to eventually buy (within their approved budget) and once a home is identified, our investor with my assistance, purchases the home as a cash sale for the buyer/tenant.
After the normal inspections, the sale can close quickly as there is no financing involved. Sellers who may have been unable or reluctant to do a lease option themselves get the benefit of a quick, cash sale.  The buyer has the flexibility to move in with much less than the typical lease option would require too.  A security deposit, and first and last month’s rent is typical.  Much less than would be typical for an owner financed purchase.
Right now in Palm Beach county there are under a dozen homes that have offered non traditional financing, or lease option programs (and they require a big, non-refundable deposit).  But now I have a way to satisfy sellers looking for a hassle free sale, and to help buyers that are looking for a lease option program.
The basic criteria we look for with the buyer is steady income, no serious criminal history,  and a minimum household income of $50,000. With regards to homes that qualify we allow homes priced up to $500k and homes that are in good school districts.
If you think that this program may work for you, give me a call right away at 561.602.1258 to set up your initial meetingRegardless of credit issues, a prior short sale, bankruptcy, or even a foreclosure this could be a new way to get your family’s next home. I am very excited to have this great option to give families the housing stability they need in the school districts they want with the prospect of buying their home in the near future!
Call me today to see if you can pick out your new lease-option home!
Steve Jackson


No Money Down?

buy now pay later

What are the maximum concessions (Seller-paid costs) a buyer can receive from the seller, realtors, and other parties in a real estate transaction?

This is a great question we deal with all the time. There are so many buyers who need help with their cash for closing. Each program has different guidelines, so I will review the guidelines for the three more popular programs:

  1. Conventional: When a buyer is financing a primary residence or second home the conventional guidelines base the allowable concession on the buyer’s down payment. Buyers who put less than 10% down can receive up to 3% of the sales price in the concessions. With 10% - 24.99% down the concession can go up to 6% and with 25% down or more, can up to 9% of the sales price.
  1. FHA: This is a little bit more liberal. They allow 6% in contributions with FHA’s minimum down payment of 3.5%.
  1. VA Loans: They are even more liberal because they will let interested parties pay for all of the Veterans closing costs plus another 4% for other costs related to the transaction. VA allows 100% financing, so they can move in with literally no cash out of their pocket. 



Steve Jackson




NAR Buyer/Seller traffic report analysis



Back in early to mid 2011 the market value of homes here bottomed out. Then several big hedge funds started scooping up everything under $300k…with ‘all cash’ offers. Home prices/values had been on quite a tear since…until recently.

What happens from here is difficult to predict. With the elections having just tilted back towards the Republicans we should quickly see if this translates into a more robust economy/jobs/business environment.

The current market may look like a ‘standoff’ between sellers and buyers.

But is not about standoffs, it’s about negative feedback loops and positive feedback loops:

Positive feedback loop: buy because prices are increasing, don’t put your house on sale because next year you can get 15 percent more. All of a sudden you have low inventory and rising prices, further feeding the loop.

Negative feedback loop: prices are stalling, let’s wait to see where they are in a year. Let’s sell that house now before prices fall further.

Let’s not forget, there is a lot of investor housing bought in the last 36 months that may quickly make it back on the market once the price gains stall out.

I’ll keep an eye on this…you keep an eye on this blog.

Thanks for reading…Steve Jackson…561.602.1258


A dirty little real estate secret


The “Dirty Little Secret” Agents Don’t Want You to Know

…that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars (and waste a lot of your time)!

Did you know…..most agents list homes at a price where the property WILL NOT SELL?! In fact almost 70% of homes listed today are initially listed overpriced, meaning that they require one or more price reductions before they sell. For some reason, most agents don’t want to admit that little-known secret…that agents typically price homes where they will not sell!

You may be saying, “OK…so they priced it too high initially…no big deal…we can always come down.” But here is the shocking truth…..

Overpriced listings end up selling for less because they sit on the market too long and can become stigmatized. After weeks and weeks on the market the “WWWTH Syndrome” kicks in with buyers….”What’s Wrong With That House.”

Here are the actual statistics! Of these overpriced listings that actually end of up selling (not including the ones that don’t sell at all), they average selling for only 87% of their original asking price and take over 120 days on average to sell! Homes that are priced right from the beginning, sell for over 97% of list price with an average of only 45 days on the market to sell!*

The TRUTH is that the “Price-It-High, Come-Down-Later Strategy” actually costs you precious equity…2%, 3%, 5%, or even more!!! When your home is initially listed too high, you lose the opportunity to get the premium value for your house…because of this simple, statistical fact: the longer a house spends on the market, they lower the offers it generates. This happens for two primary reasons:

1. The “WWWTH Syndrome” (see above) causes buyers to offer less for your property…if they’re willing to make an offer at all.

2. After price reductions, buyers and agents perceive an increased motivation from the sellers so they make lower offers thinking you are now desperate to get an offer. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not…their perception costs you.

"...Beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. They will tell you what YOU WANT to hear…because they are AFRAID if they tell you the truth up front…they might not get the listing. DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH?" Real estate trainers even have a name for this tactic…it is called “Buying a Listing”!

I will always tell you the truth. And the THE TRUTH IS…I don’t want your listing. I want to help you get WHAT YOU WANT…which is to get your property SOLD, within your timeframe, for the BEST PRICE AND TERMS. If that is what you want…LET’S TALK.

Call me today at: 561.602.1258

Thanks again for reading…Steve & Jackie Jackson


Golf-front, pool home in Winston Trails

Our most recent property placed on the market. Located in Winston Trails, Lake Worth Florida



ReMax 360 Video Channel



Build your multi-generation compound

Are you tired of the rules and restrictions of a homeowners association?

Do you have a boat, motor home, work trucks, etc. that you’d like to store at your home?

Would you like to have a big workshop next to your house?

Do your elderly parents need your help and watchful eye now?

Are the just-graduated kids moving back home?

We may have a great solution for you…we just signed an agreement to market a 1.4 acre piece of property a short distance from Winston Trails, Journeys End, Smith Farm, Lake Charleston and Lakeview Estates.

It is a heavily wooded, private parcel ready to be cleared and transformed.5866_De_Soto It is surrounded by other large parcels providing extra privacy.

We even can recommend a great, local, custom builder/engineer to help you with your plans and construction.

You can buy this property from us today for only $130,000! (Cash Only)

Call me today before we release this opportunity to the general public.

Steve Jackson: 561.602.1258


The propaganda confliction continues…


First…the ACTUAL facts related to the current state of housing…


  • JPMorgan to lay off a total of 17,000 mortgage bankers by the end of 2014

  • Prices were up 11.7% in the first nine months of 2013, but fell 0.3% in the fourth quarter. And, the latest housing news has been bad.January existing-home sales fell to an 18-month low. And home construction in January recorded the biggest month-over-month drop in seven years.
  • “Our early data shows national quarterly price gains are falling at a rapid pace and suggest overall prices could dip into negative territory soon if current conditions continue,”


NEXT: Here is a sample of recent ‘upbeat’ housing related headlines:

  • March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. As March comes in this year, the housing sector continues to roar ahead with good news, while other sectors are struggling.
  • NAR says the housing market will continue to experience a growth in home sales, provided the job market continues to improve.

As a seller or buyer, it’s difficult to know what to believe. Are prices rising? Is inventory low? Should you sell now or wait? Should you buy now or wait?

Here, in Palm Beach County, it looks like the market peaked in August, 2013 after a bottom in early 2011. An additional signal is the inventory levels have risen about 25% from the beginning of September 2013. Where is our local market headed this year? I think I know what the indicators are and where they are pointing.

My business has been built upon giving highly personalized advice based upon my client specific needs and goals. No one answer is right for all sellers or all buyers. And you can’t rely on the media to give you all of the ‘unbiased’ data and analysis required for you to make an educated decision.

If you are thinking about making a move, selling or buying, we should see what is the best thing for you to do, now. My direct line is 561.602.1258

Thanks for reading….Steve Jackson


Janet Yellen, The Nation’s New Chief Slumlord

Below is a blog post from Charles Hugh Smith’s blog: OfTwoMinds.com

I couldn’t comment or paraphrase anything in his post that would be an improvement or would add any clarity…so the verbatim post is below. You should add his blog to your daily reading list.


Janet Yellen's role as the nation's slumlord is masked by her apparent distance from the Fed's money spigot and the resulting institutional ownership of the nation's rental housing stock.

Please welcome the nation's new chief slumlord, Janet Yellen. The previous top slumlord, Ben Bernanke, has retired from the position of Chief Slumlord (i.e. chair of the Federal Reserve) to the accolades of those who benefited from his extraordinary transfer of wealth from the many to the few.
Why is the chairperson of the Fed the nation's top slumlord? Allow me to explain.We only need to understand two facts to understand the Fed's role as Slumlord.
1. Rental housing has long been a decentralized, locally owned industry. Over 90% of rental properties under 50 units have historically been owned by individuals or couples: the nation's landlords have historically been Mom and Pop, middle-class folks who saved capital and used those savings to buy a single-family home or small apartment building (duplex, triplex, four-plex) as an investment that they own and manage.
Very few amass a huge portfolio of properties, as few have the income or assets (i.e. the collateral) to leverage the purchase of dozens of rental properties.
Buildings up to four units qualify for conventional mortgages; small rental properties are not considered commercial properties like strip malls or large apartment complexes.
This diverse, local ownership provided a wide spectrum of residential rentals. The wider the variety of rentals and owners, the greater the diversity of prices, locales and requirements. This is the essence of free enterprise: sellers (landlords) and buyers (renters) agree to price and conditions in a dynamic, open and adaptive marketplace.
2. No Mom and Pop real estate investor can compete with financial institutions who can borrow unlimited sums of money from the Federal Reserve at near-zero rates of interest.

Let's start by asking what happens to the price of real estate when mortgages fall from 8% interest to 4%: prices basically double, because buyers can "afford" to pay more at low rates of interest.
When conventional mortgage rates are 8%, a rental that costs $200,000 requires a 30% down payment in cash (because the buyers are not owner-occupants) or $60,000. The simple interest on a $140,000 mortgage is about $11,200 annually. (Let's use simple annual interest for simplicity's sake.)
At 4%, the price can double to $400,000, with a 30% down of $120,000 and a mortgage of $280,000, and the mortgage accrues the same $11,200 in annual interest.
Declining interest rates push real estate prices higher.

At first glance, this doubling in price doesn't seem to affect the cost of ownership. But that is deceptive; consider how many households can scrape up $120,000 in cash compared to the number who can scrape up $60,000. The higher the price, the bigger the down payment required. The higher the down payment, the fewer the number of households who can accumulate that much cash.
To households that live paycheck-to-paycheck, both sums are out of reach. But a significant number of middle class households could accumulate $60,000: such a sum could come from a family house that was sold and divided amongst the offspring, for example, or a Solo 401K that allows the retirement fund to own real estate, or from saving $5,000 a year for 12 years.
The Federal Reserve's Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) was designed to push real estate prices higher. The Fed's public justification was "the wealth effect": the idea was that as the family home increased in value, homeowners would begin to borrow and spend more money due to their increased home equity.
The second Fed goal was to increase home sales by lowering mortgage rates, theoretically enabling more marginal buyers to buy a home. But since prices rise as mortgage rates drop, this goal is mooted unless marginal buyers are also given a free ride on down payments and qualifying income, i.e. offered near-zero down payments and no-document mortgage qualification processes.
But zero interest rates and unlimited liquidity don't just push real estate prices higher--they give institutions with access to the Fed's nearly-free money an unbeatable advantage over Mom and Pop real estate investors.

Imagine being able to borrow $400,000 at 1% with zero collateral. You can now buy the rental property for cash, and pay only $4,000 in simple annual interest. And you didn't have to put up a dollar of actual collateral to buy the property.
Consider the huge advantages you now have over the competing Mom and Pop bidders. Sellers typically prefer cash offers, so your cash offer (of Fed money) is more attractive than Mom and Pop's loan-based bid.
If the price jumps to $500,000, Mom and Pop are blown out of the water: they don't have the additional $30,000 cash required as collateral.
Thanks to the Fed, you don't need any collateral. You can borrow $500,000 as easily as $400,000, and the increase in annual interest is trivial: a mere $1,000.
Now consider the operating costs: you have a $7,000 annual advantage because you have access to the Fed's nearly-free money. Mom and Pop have to pay $11,200 in simple annual interest, while you pay only $4,000. A property that is break-even to Mom and Pop reaps you a $7,000 annual profit, just because you can borrow money from the Fed for next to nothing.
Now multiply the $400,000 and the $7,000 by 1,000. Now you can buy $400,000,000 of rental properties and skim $7,000,000 in annual profits, just from the advantage of having access to the Fed's quantitative easing (QE) nearly-free money.
Any advantages you can accrue from economies of scale from owning tens of thousands of rental properties are also yours to keep, courtesy of the Fed.
Now you understand why Janet Yellen is the nation's new top slumlord. Her policies of unlimited liquidity, QE and zero interest rates directly enable financial Elites to beat out Mom and Pop rental housing investors and buy tens of thousands of rental properties at will.
Access to free money and near-zero interest rates gives institutional buyers a built-in advantage over Mom and Pop rental property owners: no collateral and free profits from super-low rates available to those closest to the Fed's QE money spigot.
Institutional ownership turns the rental housing stock into a Fed-enabled financial monoculture. Individual Mom and Pop owners may not require a credit check, or they might not raise the rents very often; the odds that you will be treated as a human being are higher because the scale of the operation is small and local.
To Fed-enabled Institutional landlords, you are an income stream to be skimmed.You will be processed and managed remotely, and variations are not allowed, as they mess up the profit machine.
Fed-enabled Institutional landlords may or may not hire competent, responsive managerial firms to manage their thousands of properties: from the point of view of Fed-enabled Institutional landlords, the lower the costs, the larger the profits. One way to lower costs is to not respond to tenant complaints or requests for service. Another is to hire the lowest-cost (and likely understaffed) management firm.
Janet Yellen's role as the nation's slumlord is masked by her apparent distance from the Fed's money spigot and the resulting institutional ownership of the nation's rental housing stock. But guess what, Chairperson Yellen: we're not fooled. Your phony facade of "progressivism" doesn't mask your real role as the nation's top slumlord.

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