Sunday, October 26, 2008
The LA Times has a nice story about Leo Nordine, a 45-year old Hermosa Beach real estate broker who specializes in foreclosure sales and must be about the only realtor in the world who doesn't own a cell phone. Really!
He drives an eight-year old car too! Amazing.
It's as if frugal is cool now. Our two six year old cars and a shared cell phone (it's a Pay As You Go and rarely gets turned on) look downright wimpy by comparison.
Can we really make the transformation back to a society of modest savers?
It looks like we're about to find out...
Sorry, this was supposed to be about Mr. Nordine, but I can't help but stop and gawk at this wave of thriftiness that is sweeping the country.
Anyway, back to the Foreclosure King...
As might be expected, business is booming these days and he has some important advice for renters who are now chomping at the bit, anxious to become homeowners.
Nordine, a 45-year-old native son and surfer didn't just catch the current foreclosure tidal wave, he has sold 3,500 bank-owned homes during the last two decades. He credits his uncanny ability to time the real estate market's cycles and position himself to reap its rewards as the key to his extraordinary success. And he does it all from the comfort of his home overlooking the Strand in Hermosa Beach.Take heart aspiring homeowners (like us) 2010 isn't much more than a year away...
Nordine has made his own fortune not only by selling homes but also by investing shrewdly. In the 1980s, he bought about 20 properties, most of them single-family homes in Torrance. He sold them off in 1990 and '91 when he anticipated a bust was coming. He dived back into the market in the mid-1990s -- this time apartments in Santa Monica -- and sold off most of them in 2005.
Today, he and his second wife own a 22-unit complex and a 12-unit complex in Santa Monica; a single-family home and a four-plex in El Segundo; nine bungalows and a four-plex in Torrance; a five-plex in Redondo Beach; and the house-office in Hermosa Beach.
But being a dad and husband is what it's all about for Nordine. His is the first face his son Nate sees every morning when he wakes and the last one he sees at bedtime.
So what advice does Nordine offer those concerned about the real estate market?
Don't sell unless you absolutely have to. Don't buy until 2010, when prices should be at 2000 levels. And apply every spare nickel to paying off your debt, including mortgages.