Real Estate Investing – John Dixon & Associates

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Real Estate Investing

The perfect auction for real estate investors

Longtime business leader A.B. Rose to sell properties at auction

ROCKY MOUNT, North Carolina (Jan. 27, 2016) — After a lifetime of living and doing business in North Carolina, A.B. Rose and wife Carol are planning to move to Arizona. And that means his lakeside home, an office building, commercial land and other Nash County properties need to be sold.

So Rose has retained John Dixon & Associates to market 18 of his properties in a live auction set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Rocky Mount. “I used an auction to sell business assets, so I was familiar with the process. This will clear the way to move to where we can downsize and be closer to family,” said Rose, whose A.B. Rose Construction Company closed in 2009. 

The five-bedroom home at 905 Old Mill Road sits on almost eight acres overlooking a 10-acre city-owned lake for which the owner of the home will have exclusive use. “The lake was a rock quarry to which we retained the exclusive rights, which will pass on to the buyer. It’s maintained by the City of Rocky Mount,” said Rose.

Another highlight in the auction will include the two-story office building at 430 S Wesleyan Boulevard in Rocky Mount. “This building has room for 10 offices, as well as a reception area, work room, file room, three restrooms and a full bath. It would be a great location for an insurance agency or almost any type of professional office,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company.

Also selling will be a 114-acre farm with a home for rental income, and a commercial property with an equipment shed, shop and shelter buildings. Other properties include several commercial land tracts, five of which are along S Wesleyan Boulevard.

Bidders will also be able to participate online while viewing a live simulcast.

Individuals seeking additional information may visit www.johndixon.com or call 404-625-6410.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta with offices in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest auctioneers of real estate properties, including land, homes, developments, condominiums, farms and other properties owned by individuals, investors, banks and other institutions.

Market Shift: Becoming a Seller’s Market

The real estate market seems to be shifting to more of a seller’s market, and that means it’s a good time for investors and others to market their property through one of our Multi-Seller Auctions. Carl Carter and I talked about these changes, and about what sellers can expect when they consider selling in a John Dixon Auction.

Upcoming auctions in Tallahassee, Atlanta

Our year is off to a great start, and we’re already bearing down on our first two auctions. One noteworthy thing about these two sales is that they feature real estate from a number of different sellers. We’ll be putting more emphasis on multi-seller auctions during 2015, because the people who have been buying real estate investments for the past five or six years are now reaching a point where they’re ready to sell some of those properties. 

While we’ve conducted a lot of auctions for banks and other financial institutions — and will continue to do so — we’ve seen a great deal of real estate move from the hands of banks (who acquired it as a result of foreclosures during the financial crisis) to investors who have been building up their portfolios. By pooling the properties for these investors and individuals, we can enable institutions, investors and individuals of all sizes to sell their properties in a John Dixon Auction!   

Historic College Park home featured in upcoming real estate auctions in Georgia and Florida

ATLANTA, Ga. (January 6, 2015) — The Palmour House – a Victorian mansion built in 1892 for the founder of what is now Emory Dental School – will be offered at auction Wednesday, Jan. 28, headlining a group of approximately 70 property offerings. John Dixon & Associates will manage the event.

The restored home is now being used primarily as office space. It was originally commissioned by Dr. William Crenshaw, founder of Atlanta Dental College, now part of Emory.

Other Georgia properties set to sell the same day include a shopping center in Rome, a convenience store in Gwinnett County, and a Macon warehouse, as well as homes, apartment buildings, and residential and commercial land. The auction will begin at 11 a.m. at the John Dixon & Associates headquarters at 200 Cobb Parkway North, Suite 120, Marietta, Ga.

The Atlanta auction is the second of two auctions of properties. The first event will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the Holiday Inn at 2725 Graves Road in Tallahassee. The Tallahassee auction will feature a 75-acre industrial property in Hosford, formerly used as a wood chip mill. “This is a great site for someone interested in using it for the lumber or construction industry, because it’s right on the railroad tracks and has building-related businesses on either side,” said Dixon. Other Florida properties include residential and commercial land in Tallahassee, Panama City, Midway and other cities.

Dixon said both events will feature properties offered primarily by lenders.  “By combining properties from a number of banks, investors and others, we’re able to offer a really good selection that will be of interest to real estate investors as well as individuals. This will be the first big opportunity to buy bank-owned real estate in 2015, and by all indications there will be fewer properties coming to auction this year because bank inventories are dwindling,” he said.

Individuals seeking additional information may visit www.johndixon.com or call 800-479-1763.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Atlanta with offices in Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina, is one of the nation’s largest auctioneers of real estate properties, including land, homes, developments, condominiums, farms and other properties owned by individuals, investors, banks and other institutions.

What’s ahead for real estate auctions in 2015?

As we move further into the holiday season, we at John Dixon & Associates are busy wrapping up this year’s transactions and lining up auctions for 2015. We’ve had a great year, helping banks and individuals get their properties sold and enabling buyers to build up their real estate investment portfolios.  But what’s ahead? After a recent sale, Carl Carter and I found a quiet corner and turned on the recorder to talk about what we expect.

Investing by headlines can lead to bad decisions

I’ll confess that I get frustrated at times with the way media cover financial news. I wouldn’t mind if it were just a matter of sensationalism, but it’s not always that simple. At times, media show such a lack of perspective that stories convey the exact opposite of what is really the case.

Take this headline from a recent Wall Street Journal:

Home-Price Growth Slows Sharply, Case-Shiller saysIndex Says Year-Over-Year Growth rate is Lowest Since February 2013

Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? And I’ll say at the outset that the facts in the story are basically correct. But let’s look more closely. Just what does it mean to “slow sharply,” anyway? It sounds almost like home prices are crashing and burning. But right there in the second sentence, it tells us that the S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 major cities shows home prices rising 9.3%. That doesn’t exactly sound like a “batten-down-the-hatches” storm to me.

If our homes appreciated by 9.3% every year, we’d all be in high cotton. So why the hysteria? Because economists had been expecting prices to rise by 9.9%, which would still be down from 10.8% the previous year.

In truth, even a growth rate of 9.3% is probably unsustainable. After all the pain we’ve been through in recent years, the last thing we need is an overheated market. Rather, what we need is a good, healthy market for real estate owners – whether homeowners or investors – to prosper. And I’m seeing a lot of signs that we have just such a healthy market. Despite some bumps coinciding with international turmoil and the default of Argentina on its debt, the stock markets have continued their long term bull market.

It’s also good to note that people are paying their bills. The S&P/Experian Second Mortgage Default Index shows that the default rate on second mortgages is holding steady at a low 0.57 percent, having remained well under 1 percent for more than two years. When you consider that 4.35 percent were defaulting on their mortgages five years ago, I’d say we’re in pretty good shape by comparison.

This, of course, is important because when we’re investing in rental properties, we naturally want to make sure people can pay the rent – or qualify for mortgages on properties we’re selling.

This translates into a good environment for us, because the current environment is positive for both sellers and buyers. And in a John Dixon & Associates auction, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting a fair price. The competitive nature of the auction takes care of that!

How an auction can help you manage your real estate portfolio

For several years, when people thought about the sale of institution-owned real estate, they automatically thought in terms of banks selling foreclosed properties. 

There were a lot of good reasons for that. The credit collapse was still fresh on everybody’s mind, and the banks – through foreclosure – had huge inventories of homes, condominiums, stores, shopping centers, subdivision lots and other residential and commercial property that had to be sold.

We at John Dixon and Associates have sold a great deal of that real estate at auction, with such good results that the banks turned to us time and again. We expect to sell a great deal more in 2014.

All this time, other classes of real estate portfolio managers have been watching with interest.

On the surface, their challenge is similar to that of the banks, with a huge difference: They generally don’t have to sell. They’re in the business of owning real estate. But as with any other type investment, there’s a time to reduce some holdings and raise money to redeploy into other areas.

Some properties may have been acquired years ago and no longer fit their current direction. Some are underperforming. But selling large numbers of properties one-on-one can be laborious, slow and expensive, so they just manage them, bide their time and make the most of it.

Today, the real estate market is excellent, and inventories of properties for sale are at or near normal levels. This creates the ideal market for investors of all sizes and types to make more use of auctions for trimming their own portfolios.

Here are some ways a John Dixon and Associates auction can help institutions:

  • Portfolio balancing
  • Selling of underperforming, excess or non-core assets
  • Selling properties with excessively high holding cost
  • Improving the institution’s cash position
  • Complete the sale within a strategic time frame (e.g., end of quarter)

I invite anyone with portfolio management problems to give me a call at 770-425-1141. Our team of real estate experts can review your portfolio and give you a candid assessment of what a John Dixon and Associates may be able to do for you.

Accumulate assets now for the better times ahead

If the sun seems a little brighter lately, there may be a reason for it. For the first time in well over five years, the Dow is finally back above the 14,000 level, where it was in October 2007, just before our economy hit the biggest air pocket since the Great Depression. During the crash, assets of all types seemed to go into a free fall — stocks, homes and commercial properties. People watched as their retirement accounts fell to a fraction of their former value.

But just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen the Dow climb back above 14,000. I don’t want to overstate the impact of that, because the Dow isn’t the best indicator of where the economy is. But it has a major psychological importance, because it’s still the indicator the press mentions most. And getting above a barrier like 14,000 can give folks a lift. After well over five years — at least by that measure — we’re finally clear of the horrendous downturn.

And we’re seeing positive signs in the real estate market, too. In January, home prices — as measured by the Case-Shiller Index — showed the biggest year-over-year gain since before the crash. The National Association of Realtors reports that sales of vacation homes were up 10.1% in 2012, and the median price of a vacation home rose by 24%. When people get scared, luxuries like vacation homes get hit first. So when beach homes and condos start to recover, it means people are feeling pretty good about things.

As I’ve noted recently, we’ve been seeing signs of the upturn in our auctions. Our series of five auctions in late March demonstrated the strengthening economy in a dramatic way, as we had capacity crowds and vigorous bidding all over Georgia. Ultimately, the total reached $17.5 million, as hundreds of bidders purchased homes, commercial properties and land to position themselves for a stronger economy.

The economy is notoriously difficult to predict, so it’s hard to tell what’s ahead. But all the momentum seems to be positive right now, and there are a lot of opportunities ahead. Our buyers know that those who prepare now by accumulating assets will be miles head in the months and years to come.

Commercial property offers incredible opportunity

When it comes to money managers, you can’t find anybody who commands more respect than Howard Marks, chairman of the Oaktree Management Group, which manages $77 billion. How well respected is he? Let’s put it this way: Warren Buffett says that when he gets a memo from Marks, it’s the first thing he reads.

So I was interested in the recent Barron’s cover story saying that “Marks and his Oaktree cohorts are enamored of commercial real estate.” In fact, they’ve made a $5 billion commitment to the commercial real estate sector. Among other things, they’re finishing projects and buying distressed properties, especially in small-to-medium size markets.

In other words, they’re doing a lot of the same things as the people who show up at a John Dixon auction to bid on restaurants, office buildings, shopping centers, warehouses and other properties.

And we have a lot of commercial properties to sell in the next few weeks. On April 10, we’ll sell a 21,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Rome, a couple of strip shopping centers in Stockbridge, two commercial office buildings in Newnan, and a 10,353-square-foot commercial office building in Newnan.

The next day — April 11, in Pensacola — we’ll be selling about 30 properties, including a restaurant that formerly was the home of the well-known Wintzell’s Oyster House. That sale will also feature commercial tracts in Panama City Beach, a car wash in Santa Rosa, and other commercial properties.

The following week, we’ll have two more sales that feature some excellent commercial properties. On April 16, in Braselton, we’ll sell an office warehouse in Winder and some nice commercial lots in Bogart. On April 18, we’ll have two former day care centers and a number of other commercial properties.

Current real estate prices plus strengthening economy spell opportunity

When it comes to investing in real estate, the folks in Chicago get it. And those who turned out for our two-day FDIC Chicago auction got some great deals on homes, condominiums, office condominiums and other real estate that should produce excellent returns in the next few years. 

Over two days, we had about 240 attendees, including 122 who came to bid in person. Another 36 participated online.  We sold 79 out of the 81 properties offered. Most of those — 74, in fact — were residences and commercial properties. As I’d noted when we first announced the auction, this sale consisted heavily of improved residential and commercial properties.

Across the board, the properties sold for prices that afforded the bidders with some excellent values. While many real estate prices have been firming up for several months, they’re still at levels that enable investors to earn excellent returns, and we had a number of properties that were ideally suited to the needs of smaller investors, who figured prominently in the auctions.

Let’s face it: When it comes to any investment, half the battle is buying at the right price. For a smaller investor, that means finding a property within your means. But whether you’re investing $50,000 or $5 million, it also means investing at a level where the rental income provides a suitable rate of return, or at which you’ll be able to make a profit down the road. 

Our auctions of bank-owned properties during 2012 have presented just those types of opportunities. Bidders have been acquiring properties at prices that won’t last forever. At the same time, crowds at our auctions have been growing, resulting in solid results for the financial institutions and others for whom we’re helping reduce inventories.  

We’ve had great year, and it’s given me a lot of satisfaction to help our sellers reduce their holdings while providing avenues for investors to build portfolios that will make them a lot of money. I have every confidence that 2013 will bring more of the same.

Chicago FDIC auction will have many investment opportunities

CHICAGO, Ill. (Nov. 14, 2012) — Bank-owned homes, duplexes, multi-unit residences and commercial properties in the Chicago area will be among approximately 100 properties set to be auctioned by the FDIC on Dec. 8-9.

“This will be an excellent time for individuals seeking homes for themselves or their family members, or for real estate investors who are seeking to add to their portfolios of investment properties,” said John Dixon, president of John Dixon & Associates, which will conduct the auctions.

“Most of these properties are unoccupied and present excellent opportunities for creating an income stream, or in some cases for renovation and resale,” said Dixon.

One of the highest profile properties is a single family residence on Bosworth Avenue, in the Lake View Oscar subdivision. “This is a very upscale home that is only nine years old, located in a high-demand area. We also have some attractive commercial properties, including a property with a car wash and two restaurants, a couple of bank branches, and some office condominiums,” said Dixon.

The first event, at which the FDIC will auction approximately 60 properties, will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The second event, at which approximately 40 properties will be auctioned, will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Both will be conducted at the Marriott Chicago Midway, 6520 South Cicero Ave.

Chinese and Spanish translators will be available both days.

Dixon said investors who had shied away from real estate since the credit crisis are now returning. “By virtually any yardstick, real estate is gaining strength, with home sales, construction and prices beginning to establish a clear uptrend. That means, of course, that those who delay too long will probably find themselves paying more,” he said.

John Dixon & Associates, based in Marietta, Ga., is a leading auctioneer of bank-owned properties throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information may contact the firm at 770-425-1141 or visit www.johndixon.com.