Monday, April 16, 2012

95% of REOs Need Rehab, Analysts Say

Investors are buying up foreclosures in bulk, viewing the potential returns from REOs-to-rentals as better than most other investments.

But experts caution investors to be careful that they don’t take on more than they can handle, and make sure they devote some attention — and budget — into the rehabilitation of many of the properties they buy.

Nearly 95 percent of distressed homes are in bad shape and unsuitable for renting out, Morgan Stanley analysts estimate.

"The importance of getting construction — or specifically, re-construction or rehabilitation — right cannot be overstated," according to a recent report sent to Morgan Stanley clients. "The quality and cost of rehabilitation can continue to benefit or haunt the asset far past the initial completion of work. For example, shoddy plumbing or other infrastructure work can result in significantly higher maintenance costs over time, and can also affect eventual exit pricing."

Morgan Stanley provided estimates to investors in the report, citing estimates of renovation work to cost about 25 percent of the purchase price.

Source: “Rehabilitation Vital to REO-to-Rental Success,” HousingWire (April 13, 2012)

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