Hard Money Real Estate Mortgage Loans for Investing in Foreclosures and Auction Properties

Real estate values have dropped drastically and some borrowers now owe more than their home is worth! They are walking away…and foreclosures are at an all-time high.

Many people obtained low-interest adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) a few years ago and now those ARM’s are re-setting to much higher interest rates, increasing homeowners’ monthly payments;sometimes to levels they can no longer afford to pay.

These are great opportunities to snap up homes on the cheap, but you will need fast money to buy these properties. This is where “hard money” loans come in. They require no income or credit verification. The loan is made based solely upon Loan-To-Value ratio of the property (LTV).

Hard money lenders generally will lend up to 75% LTV. That is 75% of the appraised value of a property. So if you are shopping for wholesale bargains to “flip” these lenders will allow you to purchase the property and obtain some extra cash to do necessary improvements to the property. In Michigan, hard money loans are made only up to 50% LTV due to the especially difficult economic climate in that state.

Hard money loans can be obtained quickly, usually in a week or two. This is important because many “bargain” properties are going to be obtained at auction. Auctions usually require the purchaser to make a non-refundable deposit of a percentage of the auction price when they win the bid. You will then have 30 to 45 days to pay for the property by obtaining a mortgage loan. Conventional mortgages can sometimes drag out past 30 or 45 days before closing, and this would cause a buyer to forfeit his deposit on the auctioned property! Not a good thing, obviously.

Unless you are a wealthy investor, hard money loans are the way to go for most buyers. Find a good mortgage broker to work with. Mortgage brokers act as a middleman between borrower/buyer and a multitude of different lenders they have established relationships with. They charge fees as “points” at closing of the loan. A point = 1% of the loan amount. Often these closing costs can be wrapped up into the new loan balance. Your only out-of-pocket cost will be to obtain a current property appraisal.

Most hard money loans are made by private investors, not banks, so using a good mortgage broker is really the only way to go. They will be your partner in your real estate investing for years down the road.

Computer, Video Games and Psychosis: Cause for Concern

“I hear voices at night, and sometimes I think someone’s outside my window,” the 19-year-old young man informed me. “I know no one’s really there, but it’s still scary.”

In my practice in the past six months, no less than 5 youths have reported psychotic symptoms that were attributed to, or exacerbated by, electronic screens. As per my protocol, I always get an “e-screen” history:

  • video games
  • computer/internet use
  • cell phone use (talking, texting, streaming, and internet).

Not surprisingly, all five of these patients, ranging from 15-22 years old, were “plugged in” for six or more hours each day. Three were female and two male. After discussing e-screen’s toxic influence on the brain, I recommended to each of these patients that they forego all electronic screens for at least four weeks.

Results? The three females all went cold turkey and gave up their games, laptops, and phones. All three saw their symptoms resolve completely within a month. Of the two males, one cut down screen use significantly and his hallucinations disappeared. His paranoia remained but was less severe and caused less dysfunction. The other male turned out to be severely addicted to electronic games and refused to give up video games and computers (a subject for another article entirely! Needless to say, unfortunately he continues to suffer from psychosis).

Importantly, the therapeutic effects were achieved without using medication!

Electronic screens, particularly interactive ones (as opposed to passive ones, like television), increase dopamine in the brain. This effect has been demonstrated by brain scan (Koepp, 1998). This neurotransmitter is a chemical signaler in the brain’s reward system, and its release is why games can be so addicting. Perhaps more disturbing, dopamine excess in certain parts of the brain can lead to psychotic symptoms-voices, delusions, paranoia, or confusion.

Psychosis is defined by abnormal thoughts. This can involve thought content, such as hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia, or thought process (highly disorganized thinking, or feeling thoughts are “blocked”). It is typically attributed to the severely mentally ill, like schizophrenics, but can also be seen in “normal” people under extreme stress. Children in particular are more likely to hallucinate when traumatized, sleep-deprived, or over-stimulated. E-screens cause or mimic all three of these!

Take home point: Children, teens, and young adults who have unexplained hallucinations or delusions should have ALL electronic screens removed for at least 3 weeks, as part of the diagnostic process. This includes cell phones, as cell phone texting and internet use can quickly rack up hours, and most teens cannot control their usage. While this may seem extreme, drastic times cause for drastic measures. Psychosis–and treatment thereof–is serious and has long-lasting effects.

As psychiatric disorders in young people continue to explode, and evidence mounts about the toxic effects of e-screens on the developing brain, parents and clinicians would be prudent to remove this offending environmental trigger from the child’s life, as part of the diagnostic process, and as one “arm” of the treatment plan.

When you start to feel conflicted about removing screens-they are so ingrained in our lives, after all-this is what I tell my patients and their parents:

“You will never regret removing video games and computer use, but you may sorely regret leaving them in place.”

Tips When Shopping For a Gaming Laptop Computer

For the serious gamer any old laptop will not do, you should have a gaming laptop computer. How do you buy the right laptop? What specifications should the laptop have? It is always best to know what you want and have a clear objective before you go shopping. On of the best ways of finding out what is available open the market is to research the products on the internet, read reviews and visit forum sites to discuss the models you are interested in.

Why do you need to buy a special laptop for your gaming? If you are puzzled about this aspect of gaming keep reading to learn why. These laptops are specially designed to support high definition gaming requirements that video games place on machines. The new game versions all require machines that can read high end graphics, pushing computers to the maximum limits. There are games that are so challenging they exceed the highest definition computer’s ability to play them.

You need to rule out any laptop offering integrated graphics. Even if the processor is very fast and the design very good, it will not give you the necessary frame rates that the game requires.

The graphics processing (GPU) unit is the heart of your laptop and will either make or break your gaming experience. Simply put, if the GPU is not up to speed your games will not play! When you choose your GPU make sure there is no resource sharing with the computer; laptops for gaming need a video card with its own memory board.

Buying a laptop specifically for your gaming is an investment in the most advanced technology available at present and also caters to some future developments as well. A regular laptop is not designed to play high end games and will crash.

You need to stuff the laptop chock full with RAM; this will determine the number of graphics your laptop will be able to handle at any given time. Obviously more is better! 1GB of RAM is good but 2 GB of RAM is even better; Windows Vista requires 3 GB of RAM. Less means placing limitations on your system’s ability to play certain games or else the game may play but the graphics will be hazy at best.

A high resolution minimum 17 inch LCD screen is required and the resolution should be at least 1280×1024 at least. What good is a laptop without the right screen? Some features you may want to concentrate on include: native resolution, aspect ratio, contrast, viewing angle, size and rise and fall times.

The hard drive is yet another important component in a laptop used for gaming. Hard drives come in a wide variety of speeds and capacities that range from 40 to over 100 GBs. Normally user preference dictates the RPMs and GBs you choose for your hard drive.

In the end it all comes down to power; always remember that more is better in the case of a gaming laptop computer.