Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mario Tellez and Maria De La Vega

Mario Tellez and Maria De La Vega, Home Speculators
The average person should not speculate in real estate. This couple received some bad advice, but they got caught up in the bubble insanity, thinking it was an easy ticket to riches. That's Mario and Maria at the auction of one of "their" homes (red box). Why would they bother attending the auction? Strange. I would like to know who their Realtard was.

Couple's finances crumble as real estate investments sour
Tellez is a school janitor and De La Vega is a cook at a retirement home. Together they earn about $5,000 a month. Yet, on paper, they look like big-time real estate investors. They own four houses in Livermore, not counting the one that was foreclosed upon at the auction. Adjustable mortgages on the properties are due to go much higher next year, and Tellez said he doesn't see how they will be able to keep up.

...a friend convinced them that they could put that money to work by investing in more properties.

At first, the investments worked out well. They bought two properties for about $450,000 each and rented them out. Those properties went up in value, too. "The Realtor said, 'You've got a lot of equity now, why not continue to do this?' " Tellez recalled. So they did, taking out more equity and buying two more investment properties until they had five total - one for each offspring, plus the family home.

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