If you're prospecting for a potentially good real estate deal or two, check out the multimillion-dollar foreclosure portfolios held by two quasi-federal agencies.
The two organizations are the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known in the real estate industry as Freddie Mac, and the Resolution Trust Corp.At the recent convention in Las Vegas of the National Association of Home Builders, representatives of the two agencies made no bones that they were "don't wanters" - property owners who don't want the real estate they own and are highly motivated sellers offering investors and developers low prices, creative financing and cut-rate interest loans.
"Our sales strategy really is to let the next guy make the money by creating value," said Thomas Watt, Freddie Mac senior vice president of multifamily housing.
Freddie Mac, which until 1990 made loans on multifamily housing, is stuck with apartment buildings with a book value of $160 million. They range from the good and the bad to the truly ugly.
RTC, created to liquidate assets of failed thrifts, is gearing up for a major land auction and plans to sell off several thousand parcels in Texas alone. Many of the parcels will be sold at "absolute" auction, meaning there is no minimum bid and RTC will take the highest offer no matter what it is.
"My joke is that it's the greatest opportunity since the Oklahoma land rush. But it's probably better than that," said Don Crocker, president of J.E. Roberts Co. Inc. in Alexandria, Va. His firm is an assets disposition specialist working for the RTC.
The worst shape the property is in, the more Freddie Mac and RTC will wheel and deal. But go into these deals with your eyes wide open because the portfolio includes some dog properties. Some are so awful that experts are advising investors to run in the opposite direction.
Here's what Freddie Mac has for sale in its real estate owned (REO) inventory - about 204 apartment buildings ranging from a few dozen units to several hundred units. The average property is valued at about $1 million.
Freddie Mac has three distinct property categories. The A list, about one-third of its REO inventory, includes properties that currently have good economic vitality. They are located in good neighborhoods and have good occupancy rates.
"This is good quality property and we'll trade very tough. We won't give it away," said Watt. Freddie Mac will offer below-market-rate loans. But it plans to sell at market value, require a 20 to 35 percent down payment and may require reserves for taxes, insurance and future capital replacements.