tv Bob Massi Is the Property Man FOX News October 11, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT
around the world with one for every 1 million people on earth. have great week. we'll see you next "fox news sunday." 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 anybody 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 going to meet real people who face 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.
when you're selling your property, doing some very simple things could give you an amazing bang for your buck. one of those things is called staging. it is remodeling or redecorating your home to make it attractive to any potential buyer. so important. the results can be dramatic. we tagged along with professional home stager as she transformed two properties that are about to hit the market. >> what we do as stagers is we bring furniture in so people can see how they could live in the space. we make people have an emotional connection. so they see the way they could live life. >> for property number one, she went beyond traditional staging and worked with the homeowner on repainting, restaining cabinets, and even replacing carpets. >> the style of the home is very traditional and what we're trying to do is make it
transitional because transitional is going to bring the traditional style as well as contemporary pieces. contemporary pieces are what buyers look for today. it's more livable. more realistic. more comfortable. in this room what we're doing is changing the paint color because what this paint color does is darken the room. we're going to do bar stools. we're going to be accessories. bowls. pasta with pasta sauce. they can actually connect. this room is going to be a sofa, a chair. we put down a large area rug. a huge transformation when you see the after. we don't ever want to clutter a space. we just want to accent it. this room here is going to be we're installing real tvs. we're bringing in large pool table, furniture, a sofa,
comfortable chairs. this is the formal dining room. what we're doing in here again is painting to brighten up the room. we're bringing in a large formal dining table, i set the table and bring in floral arrangements and things that are going to have the emotional connection that we can entertain here. this is where we'll have our friends and family and enjoy. we're now heading into the master bedroom. we're going to warm up the space by bringing in a large king sized bed with night stands and a lamp. >> the last time i was here, there was nothing here. >> we added furniture and accessories to all of the main areas of the home. we brought in all of the master bedroom furniture. a few weeks ago this room was vacant. now that the furniture is in, you can imagine yourself sitting by the fire reading a book. >> what's the difference between
a stager and a decorator? >> interior design we focus on decorating for a person. i would decorate for you and your taste. only 10% of buyers can visualize what a home is going to look like with their furniture. home staging is more about appealing to 90% of the population. the cheapest and most effective thing you can possibly do is paint. it's the best thing to totally transform a home. >> property number two presented some unique challenges. it's another beautiful home with a massive open kitchen that opens out into unbelievable outside area. >> we have a gorgeous outdoor living space. you have the pool with the grotto and the water slide. >> this is the master bedroom. what we're going to do is a large king sized bed with end tables and lamps. you want the potential buyers to see this room and just fall in
love with it. >> jennifer, the last house was beautiful. i must tell you, this is magnificent. last time we were here a lot of these things weren't here like this beautiful sitting area with just first-class furniture. what did you do in here? >> again, this room was completely vacant. like that that will connect them to the space. in the living room, we've added a large sectional so they can see themselves and their family having somewhere where they can hang out. >> this magnificent pool area was nothing like this. >> no. this is more of a remodel. they've actually emptied the pool. they're staining, refinishing, and sealing all of the rock area. >> what input does the homeowner have as it relates to the proposals that you make? like, you say, "i think this
dining room should be oak." and somebody says, "oh, i hate oak." >> right. >> so, how do you react to that to make them understand that that's really appropriate? >> well, what i try to do is just convince them. we are looking at your home as a product now. we want to appeal to the 90% of buyers out there. you want the majority of people to like the home when they enter it. >> people have to understand that this is a million-dollar home, but you could do this with really any reasonably priced home. >> yes, any home. >> yeah, and that's an important message out there. great job. this is beautiful. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. there's no way to talk about properties without dealing with the topics of credit. lending and debt -- well, those things can seriously trip you up and haunt you for years. i'll tell you how to protect yourself and come out the other end successfully. plus, behind the scenes at one of the strip's hottest condos. [ woman vocalizing ] diabetes, steady is exciting.
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>> nearly every person in america at some point in their lives will need to understand the complicated issues of credit, lending, and debt. but to really understand it all, you first have to go back about ten years before the credit bubble burst. housing prices were booming, and mortgages were being given away like candy. >> we're talking no income, no assets, stated income, stated assets that never were intended to be used on wage earners but then allowed people to get into homes they probably should not have bought. >> there's surely some fault on some homeowners in america that got into the american dream but really shouldn't have been able to get into that american dream. >> in many institutions, you would have a chief lending officer. chief lending officer is chasing production for production's sake, making loans, as many as they can, and not caring about the credit risk. >> soon, millions of people were having trouble paying back the money they had borrowed, and foreclosures skyrocketed. the two most common ways of saving a home from foreclosure
are persuading the banks to modify the loan or doing a short sale, which means selling the property for less than what is owed on the mortgage. >> you had to be in such a sweet spot to get a loan modification. you couldn't make too much money. you couldn't make too little because the banks wanted to see you could afford the payment long term. so, if you weren't in this little, tiny piece of pie that they cut out, you were going through months and months, if not years, of supplying paperwork to the banks, giving them your pay stubs, your bank statements, hardship letters, over and over again on a monthly basis and really getting nowhere. >> it's much better for us to keep a borrower/owner in their home than to take that home back. >> but many responsible people, those doing everything they could to stay afloat but still struggling were often told that the only way they could get help was to actually stop making payments. >> most of the times they said, "well, you know, you can make your payments on time, but wink,
wink, nudge, nudge, you're probably not going to get approved because you're not our problem. you're making the payments. why are we gonna look at you when we have a stack of hundreds on our desk?" >> that are in default. >> that are in default. so, now they have the hit on the credit. they're not getting a modification. and now what do i do? >> now, even though things are getting better, there's still a lot of unpaid debt out there. and when you borrow money that you can't repay, it doesn't just go away. eventually, debt is often sold to debt collectors, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. and to collect on it, they can get very aggressive. when times got tough for jeffrey smith, he turned to payday loans to cover his expenses. >> a knock comes to our door. i open up the door, and it's one of the people from the payday loan companies. a manager is knocking on the door, asking us for money. "i'm sorry. we're going through bankruptcy." >> "no, no. you owe us a debt. you have to pay up." "no, you have to get off my property." "no, no, you have to pay up now." and he wouldn't leave. >> but what if you don't even owe the money? joe hernandez and his wife, well, they were always very
careful to pay their bills on time and keep their credit good. but that didn't seem to matter. >> we started receiving phone calls just out of the blue, and they would call and they would ask for somebody with the last name of hernandez, like mine. and it usually was john or joel or jeff or julie or judy. i continually told them that they had the wrong number and to quit calling us. i thought that would end it, but of course it didn't. >> did they call all times of the day? >> we'd get calls early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends. it didn't matter. sometimes we'd know when the phone rang that it was some collection agency trying to collect. sometimes they would call and then about not even a half-hour or an hour later, they would call again. and we could tell by looking at the phone, what phone number it was, and it was the same number. >> how many times do you think they actually called you? >> on a daily basis? >> yes. >> could be anywhere from 3 to 14. we just got tired of the phone calls. it seemed like we were being harassed on a regular basis. it interrupted our life, and we just thought, you know, we just
want them to stop. >> eventually, they couldn't take it anymore, and they called attorney kevin hernandez -- no relation. >> it's a cost benefit that they go through, these collection companies go through. they say, "we'll violate the law this many times," and maybe one or two of these people, like the hernandezes, will seek an attorney. the rest won't, and they can recover off of those people who are scared and who want to pay the debt just to make the calls stop. >> we were told that they were in violation of federal law and that there was some recourse that could be taken to stop the harassing phone calls. >> when you first get a call from what is perceived to be a debt collector, do you think, "well, gee, is there a bill i didn't pay, and i forgot about it?" did that ever come across your mind? >> you know, you kind of think about it, but we know that we're very current on our bills, and we check our credit scores, and there was no credit problems. so, as soon as i realized it, i thought, "well, why am i being harassed for something that i don't owe?" >> there is intimidation and fear and coercion by these -- 'cause these people are really pros.
they're very disciplined people. they're not afraid of rejection. >> one thing i want to make clear is that debt collection in general is a legitimate business. >> sure. >> and so, i don't want to disparage the business in general. but if you look at some of the players in the game, especially here in las vegas, you see that the collection tactics they use, like calling at odd hours of the day, calling multiple times per day, telling people that they're gonna go to prison for a debt, telling people that they've opened a case against them and making up a case number -- these are things that i see all the time, and they're things that are obviously clear violations of the federal law that we use to file these cases. >> if people realize that didn't owe, they probably say, "well, yeah, you owe $100. we'll settle for $50." i'm sure that's a common tactic. >> it is. it is. i've seen as low as $16 in some cases, where they claim that they owe $16, and they have no verification, no basis for it. and they'll tack on fees on top of that to make, you know -- "so, oh, you're gonna pay for this debt? well, now you have to pay for our attorneys' fees or our costs." >> and if you're wondering what
happened to joe hernandez and his wife, whose phone just wouldn't stop ringing? well, they filed suit in federal court. >> it's interesting. as soon as the federal litigation was filed, the calls immediately stopped. >> so many people have lost so much in the last several years because of the real-estate crisis and just enormous amount of debt. and they've been harassed by debt collectors. i'm gonna give you a checklist of what your legal rights are if you're being harassed by a debt collector. and also, you want to see some beautiful condo living on the las vegas strip, the center of las vegas? we'll be right back. this is the property man. [ woman vocalizing ] through usaa, i know a fair price. i was like, wow, if i could save this much,
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if you're thinking about joining them, go to foxnews.com/propertyman, and i'll tell you what to look for and what to watch out for. but first, let's check out a unique complex right here in the las vegas area. you could find luxury condos in just about any city in america nowadays. so, what makes these special? well, it's the old cliché about real estate -- location, location, location. the veer towers were built in 2010 as part of the city center development, right smack in the middle of las vegas strip. city center has been called a city within a city -- 67 acres of shops and restaurants, hotels, and apartments surrounded by that famous las vegas strip. the veers' unique buildings stand out due to their bright yellow color. and, by the way, they were built tilting outwards at 5-degree angles. let's go get a tour.
we're at the veer towers on las vegas boulevard. this is the famous strip. so spectacular place overlooking the strip. tell us about this particular setup. >> this residence is one of our two-bedroom condominiums. we're on the 15th floor, a little over 1,300 square feet. >> we have a kitchen area, dining area, living room, sort of all self-contained. >> correct. clients can purchase them and do whatever they want as far as the decor. what is standard, though, if you look at the kitchens, for example -- the bosch appliances, the countertops. all that stuff's standard, whether you go to a studio or, for that matter, one of our three-bedrooms. our success is really based on where we are. you move these buildings two blocks in either direction, our numbers would be different, completely different. >> vegas has always been known for destination, place to come and hang out, but never for, like midtown manhattan, where people are coming and buying facilities like this, buying a condo to live here or invest in it. so, that's a big change for vegas.
>> i think so. and it's starting to change more in what we're seeing. in other words, when we first started, you would see a lot of the investor market coming. over the last year, it's changing -- a lot of the end-users now. as nice as the hotels are, it's still a hotel room. this is their place. they sleep on their own pillow. >> ♪ ain't it good to come home? ♪ >> here we have obviously a bedroom. >> yeah, you're going into the master bedroom. the thing to point out here is the bathrooms, because these are the standard finishes that we have throughout the building. >> let's talk about the price range. >> okay. >> this is 1,300 and... >> little over 1,300 square feet. >> so, how much is this, if somebody's gonna buy it? >> as you see it here, fully furnished, you're looking at $1,025,000. >> okay. >> turnkey -- everything you see. >> and you go from a studio? >> oh, no, we have condominiums that are $250,000... >> okay. >> ...on up to more than $2 million. >> we'll check out the $2 million apartment in a minute, but first, most owners will tell you that the best part of a condo are the amenities. owners are able to take advantage of these facilities,
like pools and gyms and game rooms and media centers. well, at the veer, there is no exception. so, we just came from this spectacular-looking condo with a view that's unbelievable. so, you think when you're looking at it, how can anything get better than that? >> i'm gonna show you. >> and then you bring me up to this amazing -- 37th floor at the veer. >> we're on the 37th floor. if anybody had any doubt as to where we're located, this is the heart of it. we're in the heart of the strip. >> and you got the fitness center over there. >> we have a fitness center, right, and the media room. >> we only have sunshine about 360 days a year. >> yeah. >> life is good. >> it's not terrible. >> life is good. >> it's not terrible. we're on the 21st floor, and this is a 2-bedroom with a media room. it's a little over 2,200 square feet. >> so, ed, you mentioned the media room, or aka the man cellar. >> let me take you to the man cave. >> yeah. >> come on in. >> here we go. this is living right here. >> this is it, yeah. no, this is a great spot, obviously, to come here and unwind. >> you've been in the real-estate business for a long time. >> yeah. >> in general, when somebody is
buying a condominium, what kind of questions do you think they should be asking you, the person that's representing the veer or any other condominium complex for purposes of answering that question? what direction do you give them? >> i think it's really important that when people buy condominiums, they realize that it's not just buying their little residence. you really are part of a bigger picture, which in this case, for example, veer towers. the association, for example, and the financial standings of the association is something that you want to look into in any condominium purchase, regardless of where you are. let me show you the master bedroom. >> yeah, yeah. i would never have expected to see this kind of closet in a facility like this. >> this residence here is perfectly suited for that individual who does make las vegas their primary home. i tell the clients, "how cool is it that you get to own a piece of what's arguably the most famous boulevard in the world? >> no question about that. ed, thank you so much for your time today. >> thank you, bob. thank you for coming. >> oh, no, fantastic facility, beautiful -- the amenities, the
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open up the letter. don't be afraid of it. make sure it's a debt that you owe, or you don't owe. if you don't owe the debt, you have rights. you write them a letter, and you say, "hey, this is not my debt. prove it to me that it is." if you check your credit report, it's on your credit report. you say, "hey, that's not my debt. remove it." so, you have rights. don't be afraid of that. debt collectors, for example, they can't garnish or threaten to garnish your wages or put a judgment against you and take your kids away. they do these type of things. they're not supposed to call you late at night. those type of people can be very abusive, and there are specific laws on the books that say you can't do that. so, don't fear it. the biggest problem i have, so many times. we get e-mails. people are afraid. anxiety creates confusion and frustration, which leads to more fear and problems. if you get a registered letter or certified letter, please go get it. it's very important to do that. that's all we have time for today, but there's much more on foxnews.com/propertyman. be sure to send me your
questions and any property stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. i'm bob massi, the property man. i'll see you next week. [ woman vocalizing ] this week on the journal editorial report, russian warships launched cruise missiles into syria. gary castpera and the battle for the house speaker takes another unexpected turn as the divided gop struggles to find a leader to unite behind and hillary clinton moves left, breaking with president obama on its specif live from america's news headquarters, an ominous development in the middle east. iran announcing it has test fired a new