my journey from negative net worth to financial freedom

Toolbox

 

Here’s a list of useful tools and resources that are helping me on my journey:

Real Estate

HomeSteps – These are Freddie Mac REO properties or properties owned by Freddie Mac (foreclosures).

HomePath  – These are Fannie Mae REO properties or properties owned by Fannie Mae (foreclosures).

HudHomeStore – These are HUD REO properties or properties owned by HUD (Foreclosures).

Craiglist– In the Real Estate section. Often, there are properties listed here which are NOT on the MLS.

BiggerPockets Marketplace  – Often, there are properties here which are NOT on the MLS. You’ll have to register as a BiggerPockets member.

Wayne County Tax Auction – you can register without putting down any money. Registering gives you access to view any of the properties up for auction.

Eppraisal – will show both Zillow’s Zestimate in addition to their own estimate. It’s a cool way of comparing and contrasting valuations

Bank of America  and Chase – both have sites where you can get an estimate of a property’s value. They are not able to provide an estimate on all properties – I assume since it’s based on their own data. But if you put in an address they’ll typically give a range for a home’s value based on comparable sales.

Excel   – this  explains the process I follow to estimate value for the properties I’ve been analyzing.

Taxes  – each locality in Michigan has a site where property taxes can be viewed. Some cities make you pay for this information if you don’t certify as the homeowner (ex: Detroit), others don’t.

Delinquent Taxes – counties (in Michigan) hold responsibility for collecting any back or delinquent taxes. They are also the entities which hold auctions to sell properties which are delinquent on taxes. You can find out whether a property you’re interested in is delinquent on taxes by going to the county assessor’s website.

Loveland Technologies  – In Michigan – there’s this cool tech/data company which pools real estate data for properties located in Michigan (and other states, apparently). Wondering who the owner of a particular piece of real estate is – particularly in Detroit- and what the taxes are? This site makes it easy to input an address and get this information easy and for free.

Ownership – In Michigan, recording of ownership is held at the county level. In the past, I’ve been able to pull deed information on properties I’m interested in from the county recorder’s website. I’ve specifically pulled deeds in Wayne County.  By going to to the Wayne County Recorder’s website, registering, and putting a couple of dollars into a login account you can search for deed information, liens (mortgages), etc. for specific property addresses. If you don’t pay, it’s more difficult to find this information. This site is beneficial especially if you’re buying properties from a county tax auction.

DealCheck – is a great and user-friendly app for analyzing potential real estate investments. Easily enter property details such as address, sq. footage, estimated value. After adding information and details on how you’ll purchase the property (cash/financing), estimated expenses and rental income, the app provides a quick analysis summary. It also creates a professional looking report in PDF which can then be given to lenders or other investors/partners. I started with a 1 month trial membership and quickly grabbed a 3.99/month subscription after my trial ended.

Personal Finance

Mint – is another great, user-friendly, and free app. Mint links up with your bank, investment, and credit card accounts to give you real-time information on your spending habits, net worth, bills due, and more. I’m using it to track my net worth and spending.