by Peter Corbett – Apr. 22, 2011
The Arizona Republic

A Scottsdale real-estate investment company has carved out a small niche in the troubled housing market by putting investors together with homebuyers who cannot get traditional financing.

For the past 18 months, Jason Loewen and John Janssen, partners in Investment Resources LLC, have been buying homes at the lower end of the market and renovating them for sale with investor-backed financing.

The individual investors provide capital to buy and fix the homes in return for a 10 percent return on their investment that is paid monthly, quarterly or annually, said Loewen, a former Merrill Lynch financial adviser.

During the run-up in home prices, he bought and sold almost 50 homes and did his own remodeling work.

Janssen, who grew up Scottsdale, has been in real-estate development and the mortgage business for 35 years.

The two partners in 2009 bought a house on Belleview Street in Scottsdale for $112,000, spent about $12,000 renovating it and sold it for $170,000.

But the market has gone down since then. They bought a home on nearby Garfield Street for $104,000 and spent $15,000 remodeling it. But there were no buyers after several months, so they leased it.

With a strong rental market, Investment Resources can rent its homes to pay the debt service if they don’t sell, Loewen said. That helps protect investors. The partners also keep a 15 to 20 percent stake in the property and collect all the payments and send them to the investors, Janssen said.

The buyers put 20 percent down, leaving the investors with a 60 to 65 percent stake in the home, Loewen said.

Investors have a first-position deed of trust and hazard insurance on the homes.

Steve Rudy, a physician in Laguna Beach, Calif., has been pleased with his investment properties through Investment Resources.

“They delivered on everything they said they would,” said Rudy, adding that he has invested a few hundred-thousand dollars in four houses.