Tag Archives: WeHomeowners.com

1202 2012 Conference speech – FARJHO as a solution to the scaling problem for property investors

I spoke last week as a panel speaker on the scaling issues for investors at a conference for institutional investors to treat single family residences as a new asset class for institutional investment. The conference is dubbed “Single Family Aggregation : REO to Rental Forum – A Forum for Private Equity, REITs, Institutional Investors and Bank Rent-to-Own Programs” organized by IMN on November 29 to 30 at Scottsdale, AZ, http://www.imn.org/Conference/Single-Family-Aggregation-Strategies/Short_Agenda.html. The following link is a copy of my presentation slides “Introduction to FARJHO and SwapRent”,
https://www.box.com/s/wmyjnwhzm8yagrf9gjkx.

Until today, institutional investors such as corporate pension funds, insurance companies, university endowments and non-profit foundations have not been able to treat the single family homes as a separate investment asset class. What is the main reason?

Single family homes, unlike a multi-family residence apartment building, are usually spread out in many different sub division development projects in the suburbs. The management of the entire operations that include the maintaining each individual property with its own landscaping and the dealing with the tenants are usually much more demanding and difficult to handle. As a result, the annual yield derived from the rental income for institutional investors would be reduced for the increased cost to manage these diverse groups of properties spread out in a larger number of geographical locations.

In addition, the turn-over of the renters for single family homes would be much higher since over the past decades, with the easier credit and low interest rates, eager mortgage brokers have found tenants of single family homes as easy preys to sell a mortgage to. “Why rent when you could own at a cheaper cost?” Owners of single family homes hoping to rent would have suffered from much lower annual rental income yield due to the high renter turn-over and higher operational cost for the property maintenance. That by the way also seems to be one of the major reasons why our country has had the sub-prime mortgage induced economic problems at the moment.

The new FARJHO invention which basically turns renters to become co-owners with the property investors at the same time, seems to have solved these problems by killing the two birds in one single stone for property investors. Since the renter would have a vested interest as a co-owner with the other joint property investors in the FARJHO LLC that owns and holds the title of the home property – vacancy will most likely be near zero and the cost to hire a third party property manager is totally eliminated. The renter who is also a co-owner of the property could become the best property manger, care taker, house sitter, business partner for the rest of the joint property investors than a pure renter without an equity interest in the property would ever be. To understand this better, simply ask yourself when was the last time you ever washed a rental car? This seems simply to be another way that the invisible hand of Capitalism is at work again.

As result, both retail investors and institutional investment funds would no longer have to worry much about either potential vacancy or incurring the expense of hiring a third party property manager any more since renters would have a skin in the game with the other investors, and hence, much secured higher yields derived from rental income for all the property investors.

What we plan to do is to use our technology platform at http://FARJHO.com to act as a service provider to institutional funds, accredited investors and/or retail investors from the crowd, i.e. crowdfunding, to find like-minded aspiring and existing homeowners who are interested in the all cash based FARJHO transactions to co-own homes across the country without involving anything related to the conventional home loans or mortgages. The timing will be subject to the successful publication by SEC of the Crowdfunding Rules under the JOBS Act which has been scheduled at the beginning of January of 2013.

In parallel, a currently work-in-progress project of a homeowner’s social networking portal http://WeHomeowners.com or http://WeHomeowners.org will also be set up under our 501(c)(3) non-profit PeoplesAlly Foundation (http://PeoplesAlly.org) for existing homeowners who may consider switching to FARJHO home ownership structure some time in the future. This may even allow the Section-8 tenants to own a small piece of the home equity of a single family home anywhere of their own choice via a Section 8’ed FARJHO that I had blogged about before, instead of having to rent only in a multi-family apartment located at a run-down neighborhood.

1001 2012 Obama’s HARP, Romney’s housing plan, Bernanke’s QEs or the new equity sharing FARJHO under JOBS Act? – with lyrics from Loca People

It is presidential election season again, so we have started to hear more about the candidates’ economic plans. Nothing attracts more attention from the public than the housing issues. Within the past weeks, we have Romney having revealed his housing plans, Obama having pushed again for his HARP, but  none of them has anything economically new to offer other than using it as another chance to repeat the partisan ideological preaching and the fight over whether government led programs vs. the presumed free market ways to let our country’s housing finance problem heal itself may work better than their political rival’s plan. It seems that they only care more about a simple old fashion plan that appears to work better than the other’s plan rather than supporting an innovative plan that will indeed work but that may incur political risks to introduce.

Disappointed, without getting a satisfactory answer in both of their plans, so I went to the Federal Reserve again. There I found out that Chairman Bernanke and his cohorts were still pumping out nothing but even more and more QEs. All day, all night … All day, all night … All day, all night … Nothing but more QEs to push for more loans, more leveraging and more easier credit, hoping not only to bring us back but to further turbo-charge us to where we had started this whole financial mess from to begin with over a decade ago … I can almost hear Bernanke dancing and chanting at the Fed, Viva la Hipoteca! Viva le Prestamo, Viva los QEs! What the Beep!

So I called up my friend Johnny. I said to him, “Johnny, La gente esta muy loca!”

Well, jokes aside, what we really like to do is to ask those politicians with a real workable housing plan please stand up. For the right, it is easy to just say let the free market heal itself. Free market solutions without the government leadership or competition without rules would indeed simply lead to either a crony capitalism or a ruthless predatory free-for-all anarchy. For the left, once they have replaced the crony capitalism and they’ll easily end up with even worse power hungry crony socialists.

What we need is perhaps not yet another round of old ideological political debate now, but rather some educated rational thinking and technically competent debates of what the new and economically innovative ways may be to own homes without piling up more debts as well as what the new technologically efficient and productivity enhancing ways are to deliver these new economic benefits to the consumers without being misguided and fleeced by unscrupulous financial middlemen yet again. These real stuffs to fix our faulty housing finance system may seem to be what the politicians need to focus on in order to bring the real tangible benefits to our country.

This is the 6th year since I have been researching, publishing and blogging on the various economic benefits of using property equity sharing or cash flow sharing concepts and methods to offer many new alternatives to our current faulty exclusively mortgaged home ownership centric housing finance system. Many of these new findings and creations are available to my personal academic research web site, http://swaprent.com.

More detailed info on the SwapRent original creation process in 2006 is available at https://www.box.com/s/437c60e4d8931365b9e4 and on SwapRent application in the 2009 JHFI (Journal of Housing Finance International) by IUHF (International Union of Housing Finance) paper at https://www.box.com/s/feae725ede7042c53412. For the much simpler FARJHO solution, here again is the link to the FARJHO white paper, https://www.box.com/s/cc0de069ab5c3fd3007e.

Thanks to the democratic power of the Internet, SwapRent and FARJHO have conceptually and academically been gaining momentum and endorsement day by day with a world-wide audience. We are currently preparing to solidify these new innovative ideas and beta launch these new consumer services at the transaction oriented http://farjho.com and a broader social networking portal for home owners, http://wehomeowners.com as our free market based solutions to our country’s housing finance problems. The purpose is perhaps much more mission driven than financial. Since these new services could also be offered on a not-for-profit basis, i.e. through PeoplesAlly Foundation (http://peoplesally.org), we do need many supporters from the crowd to come on board to help us make these new consumer services a reality.

As explained in earlier blog posts, due to the recent breakthrough by a few visionary law makers with their innovative regulatory provisions of crowdfunding and the relaxed marketing rules of private placement funds contained in the JOBS Act, we may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel in bringing these new inventions to life as new free market based consumer services soon.

Viva la Innovation, Viva la JOBS Act, Viva la FARJHO!

(Quoted lyric above from “Loca People” by Sak Noel)

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