share with us? we'd love to hear it! send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. ♪ >> i'm bob massi. for 32 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas. i help people with all sorts of real-estate problems, from trying to save their homes to closing major deals. eight years ago, 6,000 people a month moved here, looking for employment and affordable homes. little did anyone know that we would become ground zero for the american real-estate crisis. now, it's a different story. the american dream is back. we're gonna meet real people who faced the same problems as millions across america, and we'll dive deep into a city on the rebound because las vegas was a microcosm of america, and now vegas is back. [ woman vocalizing ]
thanks for joining us. i'm bob massi, your property man. about 8% of all u.s. households own time-shares, and the industry generated more than $70 billion last year alone, and it continues to grow. now, a time-share is a piece of property for which you own a specific amount of time, usually one week per year, and you use it as your vacation home. if you're thinking about buying one, well, i'm gonna give you some of the dos and don'ts and take you inside the latest project, from time-share giant westgate resorts, right behind me, the old las vegas hilton. but first, david siegel, well, he's the founder of westgate, and his story is amazing. in 1980, david siegel owned a small tourist attraction called the mystery funhouse in orlando, florida, and an orange grove. well, one day a man approached him and offered to buy part of the grove. >> i said, "what are you gonna do with it?" he says, "i'm gonna time-share it." i said, "what's that?" he explained the concept to me. i fell in love with the concept.
i didn't sell him the property. i decided i'm gonna do it myself. >> so, did you know what time-share was at that time? >> no. no. so, i built 16 villas in the back of the orange grove. >> those 16 villas would grow into westgate, the largest privately owned time-share company in the world. two decades later, his time-share empire was still expanding. and in 2004, david and his wife, jackie, decided to take on another project, building themselves the largest home in america. most people would say, "why?" >> why build this home, or...? >> why build this -- i don't think they'd call it a home. >> it's really the palace, right? >> why build this palace? >> we wanted a large home. we were planning on, like, maybe a 15,000-square-foot home. but by the time on paper that i got what i wanted, like, a huge ballroom, and we started having more kids, we needed extra bedrooms. it just became the largest home in america.
we weren't trying to build the largest home in america. it just happened. >> it just happened. >> yeah. >> the 90,000-square-foot house was set to contain 13 bedrooms, 30 bathrooms, a bowling alley, two movie theaters, of course, and a 20-car garage. >> we went on our honeymoon in france, and when we went to versailles, he says, "i want to build versailles in america." when we were on the airplane coming back from france, he designed the house on the back of a napkin. >> of course he did. >> he wanted, like, a 10,000-square-foot spa, and i wanted bowling alleys for the kids. and he wanted a movie theater. >> the estate was about 60% completed. and the economy crashed, almost taking westgate with it. >> in 2008, when lehman brothers went under, and the banks all froze, it was a terrible time for my company. it was a terrible time for the country. i had to do whatever was necessary to see that the company survived.
we cut our expenses. we cut our sales. >> but cutting expenses and worrying about revenues was really not enough. they also had to put the versailles house on hold, and eventually they listed the half-built mansion for sale. guess what? $100 million. the whole thing was being captured by a documentary filmmaker, who was profiling jackie for a movie called "the queen of versailles." did you enjoy doing that? >> i hated it. [ both laugh ] >> that wasn't a maybe, right? >> i did not like it. >> he hates it because it makes him look like he's mean, upset about business, like we have a bad marriage and all that, where really he was just mad because the camera people were always around. we had no privacy. he's a businessman, and business goes up and down. he's very smart, and obviously he's bounced back so much more than he was even a few years ago. >> indeed, david and westgate did bounce back, and the company became profitable again, and versailles was never sold.
what's the present status of the house? >> the house is free and clear, completely paid off. construction is going on at a very fast pace. we still have two more years to finish it. it's coming out beautiful. because it's taken so long, we've been able to add features that we weren't thinking about. >> in our great room, one thing i would like to do in the design of the floor is to mirror our beautiful, intricate, colorful dome that's in the ceiling. we might have to use semiprecious stones, like onyx, things like that. >> it's all beautiful marble, exterior. the inside, we're putting in gorgeous ceilings. it's gonna be like walking into a french palace when it's finished. we're not rushing it. >> we're going to live there for the rest of our lives, and it's not only gonna be a palace, but it's gonna be our home. >> how much longer till it's finished? >> it should be finished in about two years, i think. [ both laugh ]
>> the date's never the date, believe me, when it comes to construction. when we come back, i'll take you inside westgate's latest gamble right here in vegas and tell you what to watch out for if you're thinking about buying a time-share. [ woman vocalizing ] so, from the two trucks over here... i want you to pick a new truck for your mom or dad, knowing that they could possibly pass it down to you one day. cool. but before you decide, you should know that chevy silverado's are the most dependable, longest lasting full-size pickups on the road. which means that ford f-150s are not. (laughs) which truck would you pick? the chevy. the chevy. the chevy. there you go. boom. that was obvious. plus it looks cooler. no doubt about it. now they know what to get me. (laughs)
but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ everything is working, just like it should ♪ ♪ >> welcome back. i'm bob massi, the property man. when the economy crashed in '08, it took westgate resorts' crown jewel down with it. and david siegel? well, he was forced to sell the las vegas ph towers to pay off the mortgage. but he soon set his sights on another historic vegas property. in 1969, elvis presley took las vegas by storm and made the international hotel his home away from home. in fact, he was there before the international was even built, signing a long-term contract while the massive building was still under construction. the international was the first mega-casino to be constructed in las vegas, and elvis played sold-out shows to screaming fans
night after night. in the crowd for those first performances -- guess who? david siegel. >> first time i saw elvis perform, we sat in his booth right in the front of the stage, as close as you and i are. >> yeah. >> he sweated so much that during the show, i kept thinking, "oh, god, he's gonna get sweat on me." but he would pull out a scarf, and he would wipe it off, and the women -- well, they stampeded the stage. i'll tell you. it was like a mad frenzy. >> i remember the first time i saw him, which was in the '70s. i couldn't believe the lines. they wrapped this huge facility outside and around to get in to see him. >> 837 consecutive sold-out performances. >> unheard of. >> it'll never be matched again. >> "the king of rock" played the international for eight years straight, until his death in 1977. >> never had an empty seat. i saw elvis perform maybe 15 times. i saw him when he was thin, when he was fat, thin, fat.
and always gave a great performance. >> fast-forward a few decades, and the international becomes the las vegas hilton before the recession unfortunately forced it into foreclosure. with westgate also losing its las vegas property, david siegel, well, he knew exactly what he needed to do. >> my husband bought this hotel. years ago, he came here, and he couldn't afford to rent a room for one night. and now, with all his success, he comes back, and he bought the hotel. he just bought it. >> there were a half a dozen other companies that were also looking at it at the same time. i was the only one that was gonna keep it open. all the others -- some of them were gonna knock it down, which would have been a tragedy. >> yeah. >> others were gonna close it for two or three years, reposition it, then reopen it. i would not have bought it and have on my conscience lain off 2,200 people and affected their
lives. so, even though it's costing more to do the renovations, that's the way i'm doing it. >> and now elvis is back in the building. westgate has teamed up with graceland to unveil the first permanent elvis exhibit outside of graceland. there are hundreds of never-before-seen artifacts, and the elvis experience, which re-creates his performances with live bands in the very same showroom where it all began 59 years ago. guess what? there's even a wedding chapel. >> we made a deal to basically make this graceland west -- a 30,000-square-foot museum where people could come see pieces of history from elvis that they've never seen before. graceland has warehouses full of items that have never been on display. so, we're gonna be an extension
of graceland. people will be able to see elvis performances with 40-piece orchestras and backup singers and just like if they were here back in the '70s. >> and the towering building itself -- well, it's slowly being converted from the hotel to a giant time-share complex. >> there's 300 beautiful suites included in 3,000 rooms. it's very unusual that 10% of your rooms are suites. we have three sky villas on the roof that are 15,000 square feet each. we took a couple hundred hotel rooms and suites. we're converting them into 80 time-share units. ultimately, over the next 30 years, we will have converted every room in the hotel into a luxury time-share villa. >> what do you think attracts people to time-share? >> during the recession, a lot of people had beachfront homes and condominiums in the
mountains, and they would use them a few weeks a year. and then they would pay the maintenance and taxes for the whole year. time-share -- it's like an airline ticket. you don't buy the whole plane. you buy a seat. you can go anywhere in the world at any time and stay as long as you want or the least amount of time you want. and when you leave, you let someone else worry about it. >> mr. siegel, what do you envision in the future for this hotel? >> we're not gonna have the wealthy people staying here, although they're more than welcome. we're not gonna have the kids staying here. we're gonna have the middle america, the people that shop at wal-mart, people that have basically been ignored. they want to feel like v.i.p.s. >> and, clearly, there are a lot of people who want to feel like v.i.p.s, particularly in las vegas, and westgate's sales have never been stronger. up next, i'm gonna introduce you to a couple who's struggling to save their home, and i'm gonna try to give them some tips to
♪ >> welcome back. i'm bob massi, the property man. from coast to coast, the real-estate crash devastated millions of people, and even though things have turned around, well, let me tell you. many are still dealing with the fallout. let me tell you about dennis and karen. they worked their whole life. they lost their jobs a few years ago. they're in their mid-60s. and, basically, they can't afford the payment from before. they need the lender to understand their circumstance and to give them the opportunity to keep the house of their dreams that they lived in for 18 years. >> it's home. this is what it is. we read our books. we watch our videos. we go through the things that
normal people do on a daily basis. >> for years, karen and dennis lived happily in their home and never fell behind on their mortgage payments until the first problem popped up. >> we unexpectedly got a message from the insurance company that they would no longer insure the house because they didn't like the roof. in order to keep the house, you have to have insurance. so, we had to take out a loan against the house. >> then their luck turned worse. i lost my job in 2009. they eliminated my job position. >> and not long after that, dennis lost his job, as well. >> things got really bad there for a while after dennis lost his job. we let go of all the pool service we had. we had to let go of the landscaping. >> we cut out the tv. we cut out cellphones, absolutely everything down to the bone. >> we got rid of everything that we could to make the payment. we're selling everything we can. we've sold the motorcycle, sold the treadmill.
we're just waiting for the people to pick it up. >> making their mortgage payment was the top priority. they tried repeatedly to reach someone at the bank who could work with them. >> their staff have a certain script that they read, but you can't really get into actually sit down and speak with anyone. >> we have a record of having been here for 18 years, all of this time. we're not going to all the sudden abandon our property and run off somewhere. we're, i would think, a very good risk. >> this is our home. and it's small. it's only 1,500 square feet -- a household of things that we've collected over our lifetime. it would be almost impossible at this point and time to just pick up and move. when you're trying to contact these people to get a loan modification and get refinancing, you feel unstable. you feel just like you're out there and nobody cares about you. >> your individuality and integrity is not being taken
into consideration by the institutions, and all of a sudden it's being yanked out from underneath you. >> we have always stood up and done the right thing, and we always pay our debts eventually. >> it was time to check in with karen and dennis and help them save their home of 18 years. >> how are you? >> good to see you. >> when did you actually move into this home? >> 1995. >> at some point a few years ago, i think you told me there was an issue with your roof. tell us about that. >> the insurance company sent us a notice and said, "we can no longer insure your home because your roof is too old." >> even though we had had no problems with it before, maintained it. >> and then we tried to get the refinance. >> so, you get approved for your loan. life at least at that point was good. >> yeah. it was right after that when i lost my job. >> right. >> when did you go default on your payments? >> it was right at that same time. it was within one month. >> 2012. >> yeah, one month to that point. >> up to that point, i'm assuming you were maintaining the property. tell us.
what has this forced you to do financially? i see what looks to be a wrapped treadmill over here... >> yes. >> ...a motorcycle. >> well, the motorcycle we had to sell in order to... >> and the treadmill, and we have some other things, like some things in the house that are worth some money. >> how were you treated when you tried to contact the lenders yourself? >> like a number. all they wanted to hear is, "well, when are you getting back to work, and how much money can you pay us, because if you can't, we're gonna find somebody who can pay us." when we had this landscaped, the whole thing looked like a beautiful beach area, and all of that grass that you see that's growing in over there -- none of that was there. it was all sand, all white sand, and the pool. >> a pristine pool. obviously, regardless of the condition, you love your home. >> yeah. >> when people come to me with these kinds of issues, the first question i ask them, regardless of age, i say, "do you love your
home?" "yes, i do." here's the tough part. those who have the gold make the golden rules. and the gold is with the lender. >> yeah. >> and what you have found out is that there is no loyalty. you are nothing more than a spreadsheet of numbers. >> yes, correct. >> in some tower somewhere, you're a spreadsheet. at this point in time, the short sale is not an alternative. bankruptcy is not an alternative. foreclosure is not an alternative. so, we got to go with the loan mod. >> got to go there. >> so, understand that if your loan mod is approved, 9 times out of 10, whatever your arrears are -- penalties, interest, things like that -- they will take that, and they'll put it to the back of the loan. >> right. >> but it sounds like you're close, and you deserve it because you've lived here 18 years, you're good citizens, you're great americans. i'm going to explain exactly what karen and dennis need to do to save their home, when we get back. and we're gonna follow their story and check back with them
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comcast is building america's largest gig-speed network to give small businesses more. call 1-800- 501-6000 today. >> welcome back. i'm bob massi, the property man. and now it's time for the massi memo. earlier, we met karen and dennis, fighting to save their home of 18 years. now, they have a few options, but the only thing i see really that's gonna work for them is a loan modification. they need to get the bank to understand their situation and
that it's in their best interests to keep them in the home and do something with their mortgage so they could afford the payment. so, i'm gonna help them with that, and in a few weeks, we're gonna update you as to how it worked out. we also looked at westgate time-shares and their beautiful, new property in las vegas. you know, there are different types of time-shares, and before you buy one, you have to decide which one's right for you. so, let's look at them. the right to use -- buyers can lease the property for a specific time each year. if you have points, buyers can consider staying at various locations. you redeem your points after they've been accumulated. also, what we call floating -- the buyer reserves their own time during a specific time of the year. and a fixed week, which is pretty common -- the buyer is buying the right to use the same unit, the same time every year. but there's always things to think about when you're buying anything. first of all, if you purchase it... this is a contract, just like when you buy a home. understand it. make sure you understand the terms of the contract. it's a long-term commitment.
make sure you understand what costs are involved, maintenance fees, things of that nature. also, ask if there is an owners club or some type of an association, almost like a homeowners association, because what it does, it lends credibility and protects you as a time-share owner. by the way, don't get hustled by a slick salesperson -- i mean no disrespect -- because when you're buying this, make sure they explain to you exactly what you're buying and explain to you all the costs. make sure there's no hidden agenda. and, finally, make sure you understand what cancellation terms are of the contract. most states have a cooling-off period because when we buy a time-share, we're excited. usually, there's a cooling-off period. if you're a creature of habit, well, time-shares will probably work for you. they're meant for people who like to travel, take vacations, and plan out. so, if you take a vacation every year, i think it makes sense for you. you should look into it. that's it for today, but we have much more on our website... foxnews.com/propertyman. and be sure to send me your
questions or property stories at email@example.com. i'm bob massi. i'll see you next week. [ woman vocalizing ] >> i'm bob massi. for 34 years, i've been practicing law and living in las vegas, the center of the recent real-estate crisis. lives were destroyed from coast to coast as the economy tanked. now, well, it's a different story. the american dream is back. and nowhere is that more clear than the sunshine state of florida. so we headed from the strip to the beach to show you how to live the american dream. i'm gonna meet real people who are facing serious problems, take you behind the gates of properties you have to see to believe, and give you the tips that everyone needs to navigate the new landscape, because information is power. and the property man has got you covered. [ woman vocalizing ]
>> thanks for joining us. i'm bob massi. hurricanes can cause enormous damage to both property and lives. katrina caused more than $105 billion in damage and killed more than 1,800 people. hurricane sandy caused $60 billion in damage. and andrew -- $45 billion. you want to do what you can always to protect your property and, most important, your family. >> take this thing out of here. >> bud dietrich is an architect who helps people design homes to keep them safe. and steve perry, one of the best home builders in the business, works with him to put the designs to work. >> if we do a major remodel on a house or do a lot of structural work on a house, typically, we will go in and do hurricane reinforcing while we're doing the other improvements in the house. >> the insurance institute for business and home safety tests structures made both with common materials and stronger reinforced materials. >> we're able to put single and two-story homes into a very
realistic hurricane-type scenario with gusty winds and realistic rain. >> you get those large, hurricane-force winds. i mean, they can be 150, 180 miles an hour. >> it can get in there and actually rip that whole structure right apart just like a wind might affect a sail on a sailboat during a real intense gust. >> and what we see in the video is a home built to code, the way it would be in the middle of the country, standing next to a home built to ibh's fortified building standards, which are a little more rigorous. as the wind speeds increase to the mid-90 mile an hour, the gusts are starting to tear at that home, to pull it apart from the outside. the roof starts to lift off. and then, it goes away entirely. only a few seconds later, because the house is now being pressurized by the winds, the entire house comes apart and becomes a pile of debris. the house is a system. it will either stand or fail as a system. and one part of that building envelope fails, the house is going to come apart. if we get the roofs right in
this country, we think we can eliminate about half of all insured property losses in a given year. so we start with the roof as the first line of defense of any house. >> we want to tie the structure from the roof down to the foundation, kind of like a tree with a big, really good root structure so that, any sort of wind that gets underneath here and starts pulling things up, it has to basically pull the thing up by its roots before it can do any damage. so what we do is we put these connectors at each of one these trusses. we've got these connectors that each of these studs to the plates here, again at the bottom plate here. and again, that gets all tied to back down in the foundation. >> a building code is the minimum building standard that will allow you to move into your home. it's really kind of scary because in no other important area of our life would we accept a minimum standard. >> the building code is gonna say, "well, you don't have to have a connector at each one of these trusses or at each one of these studs." but really, it makes it that much stronger, so it's code plus. >> nothing is going to be hurricane-proof. but it certainly can be hurricane-resistant. just using ring shank nails,
which double the strength of connections you're already gonna make, cost about $70 to $100 for the average house. strapping the roof to the walls, which is essential for keeping the house together -- about $400 to $600 for the average home. >> for basically 1% of the construction budget, you can actually make your house a whole lot stronger. >> you can't just address the roof for true disaster resilience. you need to look at the entire building envelope. that's what we call the roof, the walls, the way the walls are tied to the foundation, the windows, the doors, the garage door. >> you also want to prevent things from becoming missiles. >> if debris or projectiles during a heavy windstorm break those windows or blow in the garage door or open the door, now, the house can be pressurized and come apart. >> some people buy special storm shutters. we've seen all the pictures of people boarding up windows with plywood. >> we don't need to do that anymore. in fact, the codes are mandating that all new windows and doors be called impact resistant. >> this glass is specially designed to be able to take impacts from any kinds of debris that might get blown into it
during the hurricane. and in big storms, anything can become a missile. >> the potential wind here is phenomenal. so the windows must be designed to withstand a tremendous impact. >> let's talk about some of the hurricane hazards -- storm-surge flooding, flooding from heavy rains, even tropical storms and smaller storms. they can be devastating to the property and your family. >> sometimes, lower parts of the house are designed to actually blow out. so if the tidal surge comes in, you get a wave. it could actually blow part of the panels out of the lower section of the house. and they're designed to do that. but your living space is upstairs. and it would be preserved. >> we have a terrible history in this country of watching mother nature destroy homes and businesses and communities and tear the fabric of those communities apart. and then, we want to put the same pieces back together in the same places in the same ways over and over again. that's ridiculous. it's not resilient. what we should be doing is building forward, building better, taking that opportunity
to learn from the storm, to honor the people whose homes were damaged or who were injured or even died to do things better. >> there's much more information on how to fortify your house on our website, foxnews.com/propertyman, and also at disastersafety.org. up next -- jeff vinik, the owner of the tampa bay lightning, is a man with a vision. he's not content just overhauling his team's arena. he's spending $2 billion to completely transform the city around it. [ woman vocalizing ]
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♪ >> welcome back. i'm bob massi. you know, there are people who are known for having bold visions. and there are people, well, they put their money where their mouth is. but jeff vinik, well, he takes both sides of those things to a completely different level. jeff vinik is the owner of the tampa bay lightning hockey team. he has already spent $62 million
to upgrade amalie arena, where the lightning play. but he has set his sights way beyond the arena walls to reshaping the entire region. >> my wife said it best. we'd been down here a few years living. and she said, "where do people gather in tampa?" there's really no one central gathering spot where people who live, people who work, people who visit, people who go to the arena, people who want outdoors activities, people who want to be on the water. that doesn't exist here. >> vinik's bold multibillion dollar plan, well, he's gonna develop more than 40 acres of land around the arena along tampa's waterfront, nearly 3 million square feet. >> it's remarkably thoughtful vision that really starts with a unification of the waterfront. tampa historically turned its back on the water. >> we've been able to accumulate 40 acres, downtown lots surrounded by water on three sides. >> vinik is reinventing downtown tampa. he's basically adding everything -- new residential
buildings, retail stores, corporate offices, recreational areas plus the university of south florida medical school. >> it brings everything that tampa has always aspired and wanted to be to reality and fruition. imagine a grand entertainment district where everyone wants to live and work and, you know, a uniquely walkable district with a trolley that runs through it. >> for decades, the area around the arena, well, was somewhat industrial and very blighted. >> this was the banana docks, the phosphate docks. so for many, many years, this was really a run-down district. >> now, vinik, well, he wants people not to just visit. he wants them to live here. he wants them to work here. he wants them to play here. >> if you live here, you will have a supermarket to go to. you will have a cleaners to go to, a bar that you want to go to, restaurants, et cetera. if you work here, you will have entertainment options. you'll have places to go to lunch. >> when it's finished, well, they say it's gonna generate $900 million of annual economic
output and thousands of jobs. they project 3,700 direct jobs, each earning an average of $78,000 a year. >> what you see today is nothing short of a blighted district with a lot of failed intersections and cars going too fast. what you will see is gonna be a unique commitment to public infrastructure. ♪ >> the city has begun this massive task. they're revamping the infrastructure to accommodate this project. well, it's gonna take up to a decade to complete. >> underground utilities, all-new water sewer so that every parcel will really be plug-and-play. you won't have to tear up another street to do development should it occur in the future. >> vinik quietly started buying up the real estate around the arena just as the economy tanked back in '08 and '09. >> it was the 2008, 2010
recession. piece of property across the street from the arena came for sale. we were able to quietly purchase it. and then, a contiguous piece became available. and we were really able to get 70%, 80% of the property with really out anybody noticing it. this is something that doesn't exist in most places. we have a blank canvas on which to build. there is a well-documented move back down to the urban core, where people want to be living closer to other people nearby. >> neighborhoods. >> neighborhoods. they want interaction between two people. they want to sit down in a coffee shop and discuss world events with somebody. >> community, let me tell you, that's what vinik is all about. and this guy puts his money exactly where his mouth is. >> the lightning community is in our dna, and we try to be as involved as we can. >> along with his wife, penny, well, they launched the lightning community heroes program to distribute $10 million to deserving heroes and nonprofits throughout the tampa bay community with $50,000 being given out at each home
game. >> we're announcing a venture between the nhl, the nhl players' association, the tampa bay lightning foundation... >> vinik recently announced a new $6 million five-year program to expand youth hockey, which will reach more than 100,000 kids in the community. >> the sticks with instructions, with more playing ice hockey, with street hockey leagues. >> plus, lightning players will work with at-risk youth, instructing them in hockey and in life. >> there's many people, men and women alike, who have been blessed to have the success that you've had. and understanding with the tampa -- there's some people that would say, "you know what? i had success. i'm gonna live my life. i'm gonna enjoy, travel the world." and yet you decided this is something you want to do. >> my plan was to come to florida to relax, to travel, to enjoy hockey games. and before you know it, we've got a multibillion dollar real-estate development going on. you become part of a community and just feel the excitement of it. and we had the opportunity to
really move the needle here. this is about elevating this whole region because i think tampa and this whole tampa bay area is one of the best-kept secrets there is. >> still to come -- i received a letter from a veteran who returned from afghanistan only to have trouble finding work. he's fighting to get the bank to reduce his interest rate so he can keep his home. is there any way to do that? well, i'll pay him a visit next. [ woman vocalizing ] we have a question about your brokerage fees. fees? what did you have in mind? i don't know. $4.95 per trade? uhhh and i was wondering if your brokerage offers some sort of guarantee? guarantee? where we can get our fees and commissions back if we're not happy. so can you offer me what schwab is offering?
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trying to refinance his home. and unfortunately, the lenders just aren't allowing it to happen. good to meet you. let's sit down and see if we can help you out with this situation. >> okay. >> he returned from afghanistan in late 2012 and had trouble finding work as so many veterans had. so he opted to go back to school to better himself. and since 2013, well, he's been asking his mortgage company to refinance. and guess what -- no luck. >> okay. >> and then, we can talk about what your alternatives are. >> sure. >> so he contacted all of the various va home-loan-guaranteed banks. but none will even talk about refinancing his loans. why? because he's not employed. >> without a regular job and a regular income, they wouldn't even consider it. so there was no point. >> you're generating revenue from your gi bill and from -- i believe you said you have disability. >> that's correct. >> what did they tell you about the revenue you are getting? >> they don't consider anything from the va as valid income because it can change so rapidly. >> you pay your bills every month. you're current on your payments.
>> absolutely. >> and, of course, you heard about this in the past several years about people have to, you know, basically go delinquent on their payments to get any help... >> right. exactly. >> which you're not going to do. >> no, i'm not. >> this man has an outstanding credit rating, never been late on any bills, never defaulted on a loan, has no debt other than his mortgage and a heloc and equity line. together, it adds up to about $180,000. and guess what, guys. the house is worth $300,000. so he has decent equity in his home. >> i just wish they would look at the whole picture. they're looking at numbers. and they're looking at spreadsheets. they're not really looking at the person. >> even if you would default tomorrow... >> right. >> ...if they foreclosed on it, even with the mortgages, they're gonna get all their money out. >> these homes in this area are very valuable. and i know there wouldn't be any risk for a lender. but, again, they don't look at the whole big picture. >> the first mortgage is at... he's using savings, as so many americans have done, but it's not enough. >> i don't want to wait until it's gone before i make some, you know, serious decisions about my future. >> many americans, veterans
and otherwise, to save their home went through retirement savings, you know, liquidated other assets to keep their home only ultimately to lose it. >> right. >> at least in your situation, if you sell it, you walk away with some money. >> that's correct. >> unfortunately, david, your situation's very narrow as to what you can do. >> right. sure. >> he can do nothing, pay the bills using his savings and hope, of course, that the value of the property goes up. even though you're spending money to keep it, you're probably gonna recoup it on the back end. he could find a cosigner. that's not an easy thing to do because you're literally going and asking someone, "will you take the same risk that i want?" have you thought about talking to somebody close to you that would maybe cosign for refinance or guarantee your loan? >> not really. if i got to that point, i wouldn't ask anybody for money. i would probably just sell the property. >> don't sell your property until you have a job... >> [ laughs ] right. >> because even if you pick up
let's say $100,000 from the sale and you want to go buy something wherever you want to buy, you still have to have a stream of income. you also have the right to ask somebody to be a guarantor. a guarantor is a little different, where they only come to you as a guarantor after somebody's defaulted and can't pay it. in this situation, you've got equity. >> right. >> so even if somebody went and guarantored your property, they're gonna get all their money back. or, of course, lastly, sell the home, take the equity, guess what -- go rent a place until he gets a job. and then, he can go qualify, hopefully, for a new loan. by the way, continue to be proactive with lenders. there's new programs that come up literally every month. here's the frustrating part of this dialogue. on "the property man," we've covered so many topics. some homeowners, they've lived in their homes for years and never made a payment, and the house is underwater. here, we have a great american. we have a veteran. he's never been late on his payment, going through his savings, and he can't get any help at all. just doesn't seem right.
up next, in the "massi memo," i'm gonna review the options for people like david who are looking to refinance. plus, i'm gonna give you more tips on fortifying your home. so stick around. [ woman vocalizing ] are finding themselves morin a chevroletple for the first time. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand, the last four years overall. switch into a new chevy now. current qualified competitive owners and lessees can get this 2018 chevy equinox for around $199 a month. chevrolet. find new roads.
how much money do you think you'll need in retirement? then we found out how many years that money would last them. how long do you think we'll keep -- oooooohhh! you stopped! you're gonna leave me back here at year 9? how did this happen? it turned out, a lot of people fell short, of even the average length of retirement. we have to think about not when we expect to live to, but when we could live to. let's plan for income that lasts all our years in retirement. prudential. bring your challenges.
fortified by going to disasterrecovery.org. their program has different levels of protection, each designed to keep your home in one piece. protect your windows and doors with special impact-resistant glass or shutters because hurricane-force winds can turn everyday objects into missiles. remove anything that could go flying before the storm hits. that means prune trees. remove dead branches as well as patio furniture and other loose items. be sure your roof is designed for uplift. what that means -- it's attached in such a way that wind can't send it flying if it gets underneath. now, these are simple fixes, but they have to be done before the storm comes in. it's about prevention. also, we spoke with david, a proud veteran who pays his bills on time, but he's eating up all of his savings and can't refinance due to his employment situation. it's important to understand what the lender looks for when
evaluating you, particularly for the first time. but not to be smart, can you make the payment on the loan you're asking for? you got to get some expert advice, guys, before beginning to refinance -- analyze your credit, the extent of your income, are there any red flags? -- before you file for an application. why? so you don't get let down later on. up front is more important than the back end. that way, you know where you stand. even though you are the same person currently paying on the same house paying on time with higher interest rate, guess what -- you are a stranger to the lender. in other words, you bring everything to the table. they treat you like they never knew you before. that's the nature of the lending industry and a consequence of the last seven to eight years in america. they also will look to your savings and your retirement and your stocks and your bonds and your bank statement. but no matter what, they ultimately look to the stream of income available. how much are you generating every month?
if you're employed, they're gonna look for verification of employment. it's the natural thing to do. and sometimes, you can request a letter from your employer if there's certain issues they need to know about. only submit -- listen -- verified tax returns. don't fudge anything. as a matter of fact, what lenders are doing now -- they actually go look to the transcript that the irs has to make sure that what was submitted to back up your tax return is legitimate. if you're self-employed, get those profit-loss statements. make that bookkeeper and cpa earn their money. all relevant documents -- monthly back statements, tax returns -- must be accurate. look, we're all suffering from the sins of the past. unfortunately, you got to be ready to give more information than you expect. it's never enough for the lenders. that's it for today. be sure to send me your questions or property stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.
and check out our website at foxnews.com/propertyman. i'm bob massi. i'll see you next week. ♪ on monday. have a great weekend. good night from new york. from the fox studios in new york city, this is maria bartiromo wall street. maria: welcome to the program that analyzes the week that was. thanks for joining us. coming up in just a moment, asset management's joel green blat, our exclusive guest this week. first let's get with jeri. she's standing by with the headlines impacting everything from wall street to main street. >> thanks. the red returned to wall street this week. the first hit came on wednesday when the new federal reserve chairman testified before the house for the first time and hints that the fed may nee