The Collected Works of Author and Blogger Larry Roberts

Archive for October, 2008

Valuation of Lots and Raw Land The valuation of land used for residential housing is mysterious and often misunderstood. [1] The valuation of lots and raw land requires a detailed knowledge of construction and marketing costs as well as a good estimate of the sales price of the final product: a residential housing unit. In short, the value of a lot is the total revenue (sales price of the home) minus the costs of production and the necessary profit. Land value is a residual calculation. Irvine, California, has been almost entirely developed by a single land owner, The Irvine Company, as a large, master-planned community. The development has been wildly successful. The median income of buyers on The Ranch is 30%…[READ MORE]

Investment Value The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the Rent of primary residence (rent) and Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence (rental equivalence). They make this distinction because a house has both a consumptive purpose and an investment purpose. The consumptive value is measured by rent or rental equivalence. There is legitimate financial reason to pay more than the rental equivalence price. The normal rate of house appreciation–not the unsustainable kind witnessed during the Great Housing Bubble–can provide a return on investment. The source of this added value is the leverage of mortgage financing and the hedge against inflation obtained through a fixed-rate mortgage. The investment premium, which is about 10%, is less than most people think. The rental…[READ MORE]

What they are saying about The Great Housing Bubble "The author, Larry Roberts, is best known for his daily posts as IrvineRenter on the Irvine Housing Blog. Long before Lehman crashed, Fannie Mae was taken over, and even before home prices were dropping nationally, he was one of the few voices presenting real information on the housing bubble. The author's background is in new housing development in Southern California. It was a good start to understanding how things worked. Supplemented by knowledge from countless posters at the housing blog, he has been able to show why home prices couldn't stay elevated. Price to income ratios, price to rent ratios, and other factors detailed in the book showed how far out…[READ MORE]

What they are saying about The Great Housing Bubble "…the author has a background in real estate that's far removed from the sales process, he's able to step back and provide the sort of unemotional, macro-economic overview that seems quite atypical for a guide to investing in real estate. …Filled with 64 exhibits, 146 footnotes and a nine-page bibliography of source material, "The Great Housing Bubble" is probably not a casual read during a day at the pool or the beach. But for real estate professionals wanting to educate themselves or their clients on how to successfully build wealth through the buying and selling of real property, this author has a lot to teach." Patrick S. Duffy – Principal with…[READ MORE]

What they are saying about The Great Housing Bubble "The author does an excellent job in showing how various commercial and investment banks sought to create a speculative market for home loans by the process of securitization. The main tool was collateralized debt obligations (CDO'S).The idea is purely speculative since real estate is a nonliquid durable asset. The bundling and selling of trillions of dollars worth of the subprime backed bonds that were not only highly risky, but of uncertain value, created the bubble that deflated just as every other banker financed, speculative bubble has deflated in world history. The author does a good job in demonstrating that low interest rates were not the cause of the problem. The main…[READ MORE]

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