Tag Archives: Housing

0522 2013 FARJHO is the answer to Rep Loretta Sanchez’s question to Fed Chairman Bernanke today.

In Bernanke’s testimony today, Representative Loretta Sanchez asked about how middle class families who had lost their homes in the downturn have been unable to regain home ownership in the current housing price run-up made happen by the new hedge fund land lords.

Immediately following that, Senator Mike Lee asked Bernanke about the potential danger in repeating the previous credit bubble by the current loose monetary policy and easy credit again pop up the housing sector.

I am glad to see that the politicians will finally start realizing the problems with the Fed’s monetary policy and the Administration’s housing policies. I think they both may want to read my recent previous blog posts below to find the answers to their questions and assume a leader role to take the necessary actions with FARJHO to correct these serious middle class home ownership problems in a timely manner. It would be nice if only they could start watching the short introductory video about FARJHO to begin with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV0hUjAGUZg

Anybody who knows them, please feel free to forward this post to them. Thanks.

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0403 2013 Let ex-middle class propertyless Americans co-prosper with the property investors through FARJHO

I watched David Stockman’s recently comments on TV about the phony money economy and the great recovery of the 1% created by the Fed’s money printing. I can’t agree with his thoughts more.

As I also said in many of my blog posts before, if the Bernanke-led Fed loves blowing bubbles so much, why did they (including Ben himself) even bother to rush to pop the previous bubbles back in 2004 to 2007 to create the financial crisis to begin with? It could have been managed in a soft landing without those bold moves to raise interest rates back then. Innovations in economic methods and tools could have made a major difference if only they were willing to learn a few new things.

Equity sharing concept has been around for quite some time. All that was needed is a better mousetrap in new business methods to implement that old simple concept. If they had applied themselves to conduct more innovative research and thinking they could have come to some solutions similar to the FARJHO structure invention themselves. Since that is not the case, it has made the FARJHO method much more difficult to be adopted since it was not invented there.

Now that they have created the havoc in 2008 that has made many parts of the Western world’s economy upside down ever since. The prescription they have given to our dilapidated Main Street economy was nothing more than to go back to blow yet more bubbles all over again on Wall Street, and with the might of a nuclear arsenal to re-inflate a phony economy in a way that would make Greenspan’s previous loose monetary policy looks like blowing a small bubble gum.

The net result of this whipsawing interest rates induced flip-flop instability of ours and the global economy they have created from popping and re-inflating the bubbles is the quantum shift of our nation’s property wealth from the 99% to the 1%. Ex-middle class Americans lost their homes when the Fed blindly popped the bubbles without any rescue plan for the aftermath. Now with the extreme low interest rates to re-inflate the economy that only the well-connected institutions and the wealthy individuals left from the aftermath could benefit from, properties were snapped up by these elite property investors left, right and center. Whatever happened to the government’s lofty goal when they setup the GSEs to help American citizens to realize their American dreams of a home ownership?

We plan to launch the FARJHO services under our non-profit organization PeoplesAlly Foundation as well so that low income working families could also enjoy the new benefits of FARJHO. Hopefully we could do our share to help restore the ex-middle class Americans back to be property owners again. Please help support our membership drive crowdfunding campaign at http://igg.me/at/PeoplesAlly/x/2666771 .

There would also be many opportunities for institutional investors to work with us in this mission. They could either partner with us to set up many co-branded series of FARJHO Funds in different geographical area as seed funds to show case to free market investors the enhanced economic benefits or they could simply set up their own funds to co-invest in the FARJHO programs that we help the low-income homeowners with. The Fund does not have to be non-profit itself. The Fund will simply selectively invest in the non-profit Foundation’s FARJHO projects on a pure free market basis.

It is indeed an opportunity to do well while doing good for these participating free market investors. In this way, it also helps us keep our efforts on a pure free market basis as well, which is central to our belief that capitalistic methods could be more efficiently and effectively used to achieve social goals.

0819 2010 How and when to apply the new FARJHO (Flexible And Reversible Joint Home Ownership) structure?

The following information is on how to apply the new economic concept of the separation of shelter value (use value) and the investment value (economic value) of a conventional ownership of a real estate property. For more details please visit our commercial site at http://www.InvestorsAlly.com or our non-profit operations at http://www.PeoplesAlly.org to assist low income working families with increased housing affordability and enhanced neighborhood stability.

Example 1 – From aspiring home owner’s perspective:

A home seeking person who currently rents identifies a property in a geographical area of his/her choice. He/She has the 10% of the property in cash from his/her own savings and would like to seek to jointly own the property with other investors as the ideal home owning structure.

The reasons could be because that he/she may not have enough monthly income to qualify for a conventional mortgage, prefers to use the discretionary monthly income for other household expenses, does not think the property value may increase in the near term, for his/her particular religious belief that rejects the lending/borrowing concepts or simply any other personal preferences.

He/She commits to pay a pre-agreed rent to the FARJHO LLC that holds the title of the property for a specific period of time. The remaining 90% property ownership could be shared among up to nine other individual, corporate institutional or even governmental entities.

Example 2 – From joint property investor’s perspective:

A group of investors have identified and bought a particular single family house at bargain price through a syndicated LLC structure either through a short sale process or from a bank’s REO portfolio.

The syndicator of the FARJHO LLC tries to find a long term renter of this single family house in order to generate stable long term rental income. Many renters do not commit to the long term and do not usually care about the houses that they rent.

The syndicator/property manager makes an offer to a qualified renter who has the ability to pay for a small percentage of the property value and invites him/her to join the LLC as a minority stake holder/member himself/herself. Once the renter becomes the minority homeowner, he/she may intend to stay for the long term and would treasure the property and take good care of it as thought it were his/her own. In fact it is indeed his/her own, albeit partially. Although he/she does not have the economic income capability normally required to own the property entirely he/she gets to enjoy the high quality home in the neighborhood of his/her choice.

Through buy/sell agreements between LLC members, the homeowners could increase his/her equity ownership through buying existing member’s interests. Alternatively, he/she could use SwapRent contracts to do so when they become available at REIDeX in the near future. In the worst case scenario, he/she could also become a LLC member in another property in the same neighborhood whenever he/she has the increased economic ability to do so and would like to have more investment exposures.

Comparing with conventional commercial property investments, FARJHO offers property investors less worries about vacancy and expenses. The investor’s SGI (Scheduled Gross Income) equals to his/her GOI (Gross Operating Income) and also to his/her NOI (Net Operating Income) since both annual vacancy loss and expenses are most likely zero in a FARJHO structure.

Example 3 – Current application opportunities in the US:

A homeowner currently has a deeply underwater house. He/She contemplates a strategic default on his/her own house but does not like the idea of becoming an apartment renter. A buy-and-bail strategy sounds more appealing to him/her. He/She could use an all equity based FARJHO (SM) structure to become the minority owner/renter of an alternative property in his/her neighborhood before he/she begins discussions with his/her current mortgage lending bank to give up his/her existing homes in either a short sale or a flat out walkaway foreclosure.

The strategic defaulters usually could not secure another mortgage to buy another comparable home before or after he/she walks away from his/her existing home. To qualify for a new mortgage on a second home, he/she has to either have 30% net equity in his/her existing home or a very large fully documented monthly income to qualify for the mortgage payments of two homes. This is often not the case with most upside down homeowners.

An all equity based FARJHO co-ownership structure makes it convenient for a smoother transition to a long term comparable or even nicer and often more spacious home through a partial equity ownership without having to lose the homeowner status by becoming a conventional apartment or house renter. It may turn a somewhat embarrassing, face-losing event into a move-up in prestige as a partial owner of a much bigger and nicer house!

Example 4 – How to use borrowing (through Borrow-Pool-Buy, BPB method) to achieve leveraged higher investment returns under FARJHO:

In a FARJHO transaction, each individual member co-owner can decide whether to borrow for their portion or not. Cash rich investors do not have to borrow. No group decision or action to borrow together is necessary. If some of the co-owner members want to borrow individually for themselves, then the borrowing leverage (LTV) is up to each of the members individually and their individual lenders using the percentage ownership in the legal entity or the corporation as the collateral.

So let’s say a home which is worth $100,000 is being bought by a FARJHO LLC. Three members, A (20%), B (40%) and C (40%) pooled the capital to form the LLC to begin with so that the LLC had the money to buy the home. LLC did not and will not borrow any money or use the property as collateral to borrow any more money. Since neither the FARJHO LLC nor the home property itself owes any money, therefore there is no possibility of a foreclosure of the home property, ever!

Member A was supposed to be the home occupier (AHO), so he pays the LLC a market based rent every month for 3 years say in a 3-year lease as an example. It could be any lease maturity and will be determined by all the members in the LLC.

In terms of borrowing, Member A did not borrow to come up with the $20,000 since he would not want to pay a loan payment in addition to the rent payment very month. Member B does not like to be burdened by the debt service so he did not borrow to come up with the $40,000 cash either. Member C likes to punt and strongly believes in using leverage to achieve high returns. On the other hand, he does not have enough money for the required $40,000. Say he only has $10,000 in savings so he borrowed $30,000 from a lender using his 40% share or member interests in the LLC as the collateral for the lender. The leverage that Member C uses is 75% LTV of his partial member interest in the LLC and his down payment equals to 25% of the value of that partial member interest.

So in the example above, cash was used to purchase the property entirely and no borrowing using the property as the collateral was involved. Borrowing activity, if any, will be conducted only at the member level at each member’s discretion only. That is exactly the spirit of the new FARJHO concept and method to own homes, irrespective which country the homes or the home owners are located.

Example 5 – Section 8’ed FARJHO – AHOs who are Section 8 rent payment assistance recipients

A current Section 8 rental assistance payment recipient inherited $50,000 from his parents. She does not want to put it in the stock market or any mutual funds which she is not familiar with and she thinks those Wall Street stuff are too risky. She wanted to use it to buy a home but the amount is not big enough to buy in an all-cash deal. She can not use it as a down payment to borrow any mortgage because no lenders would be interested in talking to her due to her low income status. The lenders do not believe that she could generate enough monthly income to service a mortgage payment.

She heard about the new Section 8’ed FARJHO program from the local housing authority from her city. She found out that she could team up with a few free market based Joint Property Investors (JPIs) to form a FARJHO LLC to buy a home together and get the new home qualified as a Section 8 property. She could then simply apply the rent payment assistance from the existing Section 8 program as the rent payments to the FARJHO LLC. In this way she would not only just be a renter but also become a partial home owner under this FARJHO arrangement.

Since she is not restricted to renting from a multi-family apartment complex in the run-down districts only, she decides to buy a REO single family house from the Fannie Mae Homepath program in a decent neighborhood as her dream home. The cost of the house is $300,000 in a city in Southern California. In this FARJHO structure she would own 1/6 of the equity ownership of the FARJHO LLC.

The remaining balance of the house price was paid by five other free market based investors. Investor A and B who put in $30,000 each are individuals using their retirement money in their respective IRA accounts. Investor C who put in $100,000 is a local public employee pension fund. Investor D is a foreign individual and he put in $40,000. The remaining $50,000 was put in from an individual property speculator who prefers to use leverage to enhance the potential investment returns. He put down $10,000 cash and borrowed $40,000 so that he could deduct the interest expense for this investment.

The Section 8 recipient gets $1500 monthly rental assistance from HUD every month. She contributes an additional $200 so her total monthly rent paid to the FARJHO LLC is $1,700. This equates to an annual rental yield of 6.8% to all members of the investor group in the FARJHO LLC which the Section 8 recipient/renter herself is also a member of. That is her annual investment income for each year she stays in as a 1/6 interest member. In addition, she will also enjoy the financial value of 1/6 of the potential appreciation of the home property.

The free market based investors are interested in teaming up with the Section 8 recipient over other regular higher income AHOs because they might think, rightfully or wrongfully, the credit risk is much lower since the bulk of the income rent payments would come from the assistance of Uncle Sam!

08/18/2011 FARJHO – securitization of home equity vs. securitization of mortgages, SwapRent – real estate derivatives vs. mortgage derivatives

This is a short blog post to clarify the difference between the securitization of home equities (home equity securitization) and the securitization of mortgages (mortgage securitization) as well as the most commonly misunderstood term of real estate derivatives by the some people vs. what they really meant, mortgage derivatives.

The key to understand the difference is to know that the underlying assets are quite different. One is equity in nature, the other is simply a debt. While there are often blatant abuses of debt by both the borrowers and the lenders through loose credit policy and practice, it is not possible to abuse the equity in the same way.

As I mentioned before in many earlier blog posts, securitizations and financial derivatives are extensions to either equity or debt like how glass-and-steel buildings could be built upon a foundation. If the foundation is a solid rock then the chances of the building to collapse is not much a concern as it would be if the building was built on slippery quick sands. So the problem is not the building but rather the foundation where the buildings are located.

Similarly the problems are not as much with either the securitization concept or the financial derivatives rather as with whether they were built on plain equity, conservative low leveraged debt or the risky over-stretched debt conducted on a loose credit practice.

FARJHO LLC member interests are ownership in the equity form just like corporate shares listed in the stock exchanges are in the form of equity. The purpose of FARJHO is to “corporatize home equities” or to “securitize home equities” for the various economic and social benefits discussed in details in earlier posts. It has nothing to do with any debt, loans, mortgages or financial derivatives. It is definitely not in any shape or form, a securitization of mortgages again.

It is as simple as a common stock of companies but the ownership represents a fractional interest in a homeowner’s home property instead, that is made possible by this new FARJHO concept.

SwapRent, on the other hand, is a new consumer version of equity based real estate derivatives or alternatively called, property derivatives. It is not a mortgage or a mortgage derivative. It is the various forms of mortgage derivatives, credit derivatives, CDOs, Credit Default Swaps etc. that have played a major role in the financial crises within the past few years, not these new “real estate derivatives”.

Therefore, although there seems to be plenty of hostility by certain people about financial innovations, mortgage securitizations, mortgage derivatives, the responsible, intelligent and educated consumers should have no problem in understanding that FARJHO and SwapRent are not related to any of those that have caused controversies in the past. Furthermore they should be regarded more as social innovations in housing and new home ownership concepts than purely another financial innovations for facilitating investors to make money more easily. Even though they do that as well, and they do it much more efficiently.

08/13/2011 Weekly round-up of FARJHO discussions from various Linkedin Groups

On Section 8’ed FARJHO to let Section 8 recipients have a partial ownership of the property that they rent:
Ralph this sounds like a great idea, and many belong to some kind of neighborhood beautification program as well.

Reply:
Yes, let free market capitalism to create the motivation for the renters to beautify the properties and neighborhoods on their own, at their own cost, by simply turning them into partial owners of the properties. Let them share a little bit potential financial value appreciation helps but injecting pride and self prestige of being one of the owners would really be the main driving force.

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On PeoplesAlly’s role to educate the working class families to let them join their fair share of the benefits of capitalism:
Interesting conflict. The point of the PeoplesAlly is to support the working class. I am not sure the description above or on the blog comes close to being understandable by anyone without a serious financial background.

Reply:
Right on target, a mission no one else has tried or been willing to do before. That is why Wall Street has been holding intellectual hostage of Main Street, getting the better part of capitalism. I hope you can see why we have created our foundation slogan as – The Intellectual Ally behind the People and the Capitalist for the Working Class!

PeoplesAlly’s main tools are education of and counseling to both aspiring home owners and joint property investors for putting together fair and equitable FARJHO structures based on free market principles to own homes and hence increasing housing affordability and social stability.

So far we have had long line of applications from aspiring home owners and not enough joint property investors. It appears that we need to beef up our efforts on the more intelligent investors, rather than the working class home owners at this stage. Thanks.

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On technical details and examples of the new Borrow-Pool-Buy (BPB) of FARJHO vs. the old Pool-Borrow-Buy (PBB) practiced by other property equity sharing schemes:

Reply 2:
That is still different from the proposed new FARJHO method to co-own homes. In a FARJHO transaction, each individual member co-owner can decide whether to borrow for their portion or not. Cash rich investors do not have to borrow. No group decisions or actions to borrow together. If some of the co-owner members want to borrow individually for themselves, then the borrowing leverage (LTV) is up to each of the members individually and their individual lenders.

So let’s say a home which is worth $100,000 is being bought by a FARJHO LLC. Three members, A (20%), B (40%) and C (40%) pooled the capital to form the LLC to begin with so that the LLC had the money to buy the home. LLC did not and will not borrow any money or use the property as collateral to borrow any money. Since neither the FARJHO LLC nor the home property owes money, therefore there is no possibility of a foreclosure of the home property, ever.

Member A was supposed to be the home occupier (AHO), so he pays the LLC a market based rent every month for 3 years say in a 3-year lease as an example.

In terms of borrowing, Member A did not borrow to come up with the $20,000 since he would not want to pay a loan payment in addition to the rent payment very month. Member B does not like to be burdened by the debt service so he did not borrow to come up with the $40,000 cash either. Member C likes to punt and strongly believes in using leverage to achieve high returns. On the other hand, he does not have enough money for the required $40,000. Say he only has $10,000 in savings so he borrowed $30,000 from a lender using his 40% share or member interests in the LLC as the collateral for the lender. The leverage that Member C uses is 75% LTV of his member interest in the LLC and his down payment is 25%.

So in the example above, cash was used to purchase the property and no borrowing using the property as the collateral. Borrowing activity, if any, will be conducted only at the member level at each member’s discretion only. That is exactly the spirit of the newly created FARJHO concept and method to own homes, irrespective which country the homes or the home owners are located.

Reply 1:
Oh no. What you described is still the old conventional way. The newly created concept is for people to pool money and use a legal entity to buy one property only as a home using cash. One of the co-investors will rent it from the legal entity. After that there is no more borrowing using the property as collateral. Therefore, no banks or any lender will ever get to foreclose this property.

The borrowing, if any, will only be done by each individual member of the legal entity before they come to the table to form the legal entity to buy the property using the pooled cash. The liability is for each individual only. They can each use their fractional interests in the legal entity as the collateral. Nobody use the entire legal entity or the property per se as the collateral.

All co-investors and lenders, if any, are done based on a pure free market basis. No society, self-help and any other charity groups or concepts will be involved in this unique new free market solution to home ownership.

In the US we have decided to use the convenient LLC structure as the legal entity since real estate investors are already familiar and comfortable with it.

06/18/2011 Weekly round-up of TARELV, SwapRent and FARJHO discussions from various Linkedin Groups

Here below is a weekly round-up of some more useful discussions from questions on TARELV, SwapRent and FARJHO.

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On the separation of shelter value vs. investment value capability provided by FARJHO and SwapRent:

Yes, it is all about  providing consumers with more new choices under the free enterprise capitalism principles and helping the less wealthy people without having to turn the country into a socialist welfare state so that we could still be economically competitive on the world stage. Sometimes people do have to think outside the box to look for those innovative ideas to make it happen.

Both FARJHO and SwapRent give consumers the ability to separate the Shelter Value (Use or Usufruct Value) away from the Investment Value (Financial or Economic Value). Having the ability to make investment decisions is a double edged sword and it does cut both ways in terms of winning and losing.

Having these new choices made available to them, home owners could finally decide for the first time on whether they may or may not want to participate in the investment games while enjoying a 100% of Shelter Value at all time through FARJHO or SwapRent so that neighborhood stability and social harmony could be ensured.

They could leave those real estate punting games to people who are more suited or more interested in pursuing under a free market. When the punters lose their shirts the home owners’ on-going occupancy stability would not be affected under either FARJHO or SwapRent arrangements.

Thanks again and I look forward to more inputs and comments.

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On Assignats used in France back in 1790 during the French Revolution:

Thanks for this additional info. Somehow they never taught us about these monetary histories back in my Micro and Macro Econ courses at business schools, let alone the Econ 101 that I took during university days. Or perhaps they did but I simply goofed back then since I was an engineering major.

But the engineering background may just come in handy now to create a new generation of land-based money by applying my research in recent years on property derivatives to back up these new land-based currency concepts.

The land connections of both the French Assignats and the German Rentenmarks seemed to be very simplistic legal claims on the properties. It wasn’t practical to really convert the currency to the title ownership of those underlying properties. Back then they had no real quantitative finance knowledge and/or methodologies to make that kind of currencies realistic.

With the new methodologies and marketplaces of both SwapRent and FARJHO, these land-based currency ideas could finally indeed have a chance to become realistic with a lasting value.

For a simple introduction about SwapRent and FARJHO, please visit http://www.PeoplesAlly.org. Thanks.

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