The market crash has a lot of amateur investors all giddy with the prospect of making a killing by either buying rentals or buying REOs on the cheap and flipping them for a quick profit. The potential for making a plan like that work is developing, but can they pull it off. If they are flush with cash or have cash backing the chances are good they can. But if they are small time investors thinking they will finance these projects they are in for a surprise. With the crash of the credit markets, finance money for investment properties is drying up faster than beached whale. Most lenders are already requiring very large down payments for investment purchases. In addition, there is more bad news from the mortgage insurance end. Starting next week the largest insurer will stop issuing insurance for loans in declining markets. In many cases, no insurance means no loan.
Here’s the news report from Realty Times.
Call it the backlash after the boom: Major lenders and mortgage insurers are turning off the money spigot for investors who want to buy rental houses or condos with minimal downpayments.
The most dramatic cutback takes effect next week, when giant mortgage insurer United Guaranty -- a subsidiary of AIG International, the world's biggest underwriter -- says it will stop covering loans to investors in any of the thousands of Zip codes from coast to coast that it defines as "declining" real estate markets.
The ban includes all non-owner-occupied rental houses or condos -- including "mom and pop" two-to-four unit properties where the owners occupy one and rent out the rest.
United also is cutting off coverage of all condominiums and cooperatives - whether owner-occupied or rental -- plus all second home purchases. It's even refusing to look at loans to investors or owner-occupants that have limited documentation in any market, whether declining or not.
Other major mortgage insurers are expected to follow some, if not all, of United's tough new restrictions in the coming weeks.
Bottom line: Easy money days for investors, especially anybody looking to pick up condo units are over. Don't hold your breath waiting for the return of nothing-down, no-doc financing for speculators looking to flip condo contracts for quick profits.
How much of an affect this will have on the SoCal real estate market is anyone’s guess but it’s obviously not going to help it. At this stage in the collapse removing another pillar from the foundation of buyers is a dangerous move. After all the investors are the ones that are supposedly going to stop the fall by purchasing all the homes once the rent/buy ratio turns positive. If those investors are removed who is going to hold the net?