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Archive of Steve Cook

Steve Cook is the editor of Real Estate Economy Watch and writes for a several leading outlets in addition to BiggerPockets, including Equifax and Total Mortgage. He also provides communications consulting services to leading real estate companies. Previously he was vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors.

Steve has written 117 articles for The BiggerPockets Blog.


Real Estate News & Commentary

Do You Know Which Home Improvements Will Pay Off?

by Steve Cook February 7, 2014
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When you’re planning improvement to your property do you know which ones will pay off when you rent it or sell and which won’t?  Sure, bathrooms and kitchens are the core of the house and they have to be in good shape.  However, those projects can be very expensive and by the time you done, […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

The Rap Against Real Estate Investors and Minorities

by Steve Cook January 31, 2014
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Do real estate investors really destroy minority neighborhoods? By taking converting millions of lower and middle tier homes into rentals, is it true investors are locking minorities out of homeownership? These and similar contentions are not new, but they linger in the minds of policy makers, journalists and community leaders even as the Foreclosure Era […]

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Real Estate Market

Home Prices: Déjà Vu All Over Again?

by Steve Cook January 24, 2014
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“It’s déjà vu all over again” said Yankee Manager Yogi Berra when sluggers Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris repeatedly hit back-to-back home runs in the early 1960s. Will it be “déjà vu all over again” this year for housing prices,  complete with multiple bids and depleted inventories?  After home prices hit their biggest home run […]

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BiggerPockets News

Its 2014: Rents and Acquisitions on the Rise

by Steve Cook January 17, 2014
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The New Year is bringing nothing new to the REO-to-Rental business.  Entry costs are higher than ever but the pay-off in long term rental cash flow makes it all worthwhile. It’s getting tougher and tougher to find a deal on a distress sale, even in some of the remaining judicial state markets.  The Foreclosure Era […]

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Taxes

Old Cars, Baseball Cards, and Real Estate?

by Steve Cook January 10, 2014
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Why does tax law treat real estate investing the same as investing in old cars, baseball cards, antique dolls, coins and Hummel plates? People have been investing in land since time immemorial, long before stock markets existed.  Until lately, real estate has been a low profile, low risk way to accumulate wealth.  The housing crash […]

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Real Estate Investing

The Ten Greatest Real Estate Investor Stories of 2013

by Steve Cook January 3, 2014
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My first job out of college was covering state politics for the biggest radio-TV station in Wyoming. Yes, I had a mustache, fluffy hair and wore a bright orange Polyester blazer with the station’s logo sewn boldly on the breast pocket just like Ron Burgundy, who wouldn’t be created until 40 years later, after I […]

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Real Estate Investing

Sifting Fact from Opinion on Institutional Investors

by Steve Cook December 27, 2013
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Just before Christmas, RealtyTrac issued a white paper on the buy-to-rent business that features a discussion of how the business got to where it is today, but delivers with a narrow, perhaps biased view of where it’s going tomorrow. The report’s central points are not news to most readers of this blog: rising prices and […]

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Opinion

Federal Reserve Economists Zero in on Investors

by Steve Cook December 20, 2013
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In today’s economy, there are few people whose opinions can drive national economic policy and change the way entire industries are perceived.  The highly trained 331 economists who work for Federal Reserve are among them.  Their expertise and impartiality give their views on critical issues extraordinary credibility in the halls of Congress, the Administration, the […]

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Real Estate

Harvard Thinks The Rent Is Too High… Do You Agree?

by Steve Cook December 13, 2013
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At its simplest, the new blockbuster study on rentals from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard , America’s Rental Housing; Evolving Markets and Needs, reads like an exercise in real estate economics.  America has too many renters and not enough rental units, driving up rental rates until more than half of all renters, […]

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Flipping Houses & Rehabbing

Are You Ready for the Super Flippers?

by Steve Cook December 6, 2013
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Think you can play with the big boys and girls? I mean the REALLY big players who are flipping foreclosures for millions at a pop. Sounds like a reality show? Perhaps it will be but some day but right now super flipping might be the hottest thing going in residential real estate investing.  It’s certainly […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Five Reality Checks for Single Family Rentals

by Steve Cook November 29, 2013
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Ten days recovering from surgery puts a different perspective on things that you care about and might take for granted ─ like your health and the prospects for single family rentals.  Over the past five years, the REO-to-rental, single family investment, buy-and-hold, whatever-you-want-to-call-it business came out of nowhere and blew the real estate industry away.  […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Yesterday’s Foreclosure Hotbeds are Today’s Turnaround Towns

by Steve Cook November 15, 2013
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Markets that once topped RealtyTrac’s lists for leading the nation in foreclosure starts now are topping Realtor.com’s quarterly ranking of towns that have lowered their inventories and raised median home values enough to qualify as top turnaround towns. Detroit, Santa Barbara, Calif. and Reno, Nev. led the the nation in recovery in the third quarter […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Blackstone Beats Back the Bears

by Steve Cook November 8, 2013
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Stakes are rising in the saga of the $479 million sale of the nation’s first securities backed by more than 3200 rental homes.  Though neither pricing details nor hard numbers on the response from investors have leaked, it’s clear that Blackstone is making serious headway in its struggle to turn leases into cash and pave […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Blackstone and the “Raters” Duke it Out

by Steve Cook November 1, 2013
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The saga of Americas’ first security backed by rents generated single family rental homes took another fascinating turn this week as Blackstone, the private equity giant seeking to open up a new asset class, smacked head on into the ratings agencies that put a kibosh on the idea a year ago only to learn at […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

“Pay Day” for Hedge Funds

by Steve Cook October 25, 2013
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Next week the plan comes full circle.  Conceived at the peak of the foreclosure deluge several years ago by a handful of investment bankers as a way to make new fortunes out of crisis that was paralyzing the national real estate economy, the plan was audacious, very expensive and potentially immensely profitable for those who […]

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