Considering Real Estate Careers? Become a Tax Sale Overage Specialist and Work From Home

When most consider careers in real estate, they initially turn to the idea of pursuing a license to become a realtor. The commissions seem okay, but it takes a lot of leg work to close a single property. There are the exhaustive travel times, obnoxiously picky clients, and months at a time can go by without a single sale. All of the sudden, the cons start to outweigh the pros, and again we are left wondering about the ideal real estate career.

Well, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, if you’re looking in the right place. Real estate tax sale overages offer many opportunities that being an agent (or other similar real estate careers) could never compete with. The primary advantage of working the tax sale overage angle is that the earning potential skyrockets, while the frustrations of being a real estate agent disappears.

Tax sale investing is a game for large investors, home building contractors, and “people in the know.” This may be true, but there is a way to get involved without the need to compete with these Goliaths. The way to go about achieving that is by smart and letting the big money duke it out, and then by taking what is left. This is precisely how an Tax Sale Overage Specialist makes their income.

Almost all tax sale auctions produce “bidding overages”. In other words, bidders end up paying more than what is actually owed on the tax note. This overage is kept by the state after they satisfy the property tax bill on file. The money, as written in state law, is rightfully owed to the original owner of the property. However, in almost all cases the homeowner never returns for these unclaimed funds. The primary reason is that most do not realize that it is there to begin with. The state is not under obligation to seek out these individuals. Not to mention, the state will eventually get to keep this money if it is not claimed within a certain time frame.

As a Tax Sale Overage Specialist, you simply help the owners claim their money. In doing so, you’re compensated with an average of 30% to 50% of the overall claim. These commission rates are industry standards, and the claims commonly run in the five to six figure ranges. The job itself requires a home office, an internet connection, and a phone. No need to drive or deal with unrealistic client expectations. Find, connect, and get paid.

NJ Multifamily Highly Sought After, But Not Readily Available

Multifamily has been the darling of the Northern New Jersey investment community during the past two turbulent years. Today, high occupancies, slowing rental rate declines and fewer landlord incentives, the stability of returns, and readily available financing continue to make multifamily a prime target – but with few properties on the market, trades are slow to date in 2010.

THE FUNDAMENTALS
Multifamily rental occupancies in Northern New Jersey appear to be stabilizing in the mid-90 percent range, approximately 2 percentage points lower than the long-term average. In essence, New Jersey rental fundamentals have moved in sync with the nation – and outperformed the national average. Current statistics signal continued strength.

While employment pressures and housing purchases have led to a more volatile swing at Class A properties compared to Class B/C communities, both have seen occupancies return to parity. For landlords, this is a positive sign that downward rental adjustments are no longer necessary. Equilibrium of demand is returning, and the expiration of home ownership incentives should further improve multi-family occupancies.

Rents at Class A communities have fallen by 10 to 15 percent since their peak in 2007, but still remain in line with inflation, when referencing back to rent levels in the early 2000s. A rapid two- to three-year run up in rents starting in 2003 occurred as the labor market swelled and the new construction pipeline switched to for-sale housing. Significant condominium conversions, especially along the waterfront markets, further impacted the supply-demand imbalance.

The housing boom came to a halt and the economy slowed, forcing landlords to provide two, and even three, months of free rent to stabilize their properties. When their hopes that the market would improve in the 12 months following the signing of a new lease did not materialize, landlords dropped their asking rents by a percentage equivalent to the free rent.

These adjusted rents have needed little further correction, and free rent is being used more sparingly. This is a tell-tale sign that the rental market is firming and that concessions likely will give way to rent growth in the coming year. Economists and government forecasting agencies backstop this projection, stating that employment will be neutral in 2010 following by positive trends in 2011. As the economy recovers, multi-family housing will benefit from its shorter lease durations allowing the ability to raise rents more quickly than other property types.

THE INVESTMENT OUTLOOK
In Northern New Jersey, there has yet to be a sale of an apartment building in excess of $10 million in 2010. This is off from a total of five deals in 2009, and an average of 16 deals per year from 2004 to 2007. With this asset type still considered “the only game in town,” investors and advisors charged with placing money must bid aggressively to win the few properties put up for sale.

This lack of offerings and an influx of new investment dollars from private investors to institutional money managers have created a rapid price appreciation for core assets – the primary target of this type of institutional investor. Value-add investors are pursuing Class B/C properties, seeking higher rates of returns and an opportunity for upgrading and repositioning.