Evander Holyfield’s 109 Room Mansion Up For Auction

Evander Holyfield and another boxer.

The sale of Holyfield’s 12 bed/24 bath/45,000 square-foot mansion in Fayetteville, Georgia is making headlines right now, highlighting the waning fortunes of the former 4-time World Heavyweight Champion. Every news article on this story focuses on the scale and opulence of the 105 acre property. The mansion, built in 1994 when Holyfield was at the height of his fame, boasts America’s largest private pool, a two lane bowling alley, a 135 seat theater, a baseball field, tennis court, handball court, stables, indoor swimming pool, a boxing gym, three kitchens, dining room that seats 100, and… well, you get the picture. Holyfield once told a reporter that the 109 room behemoth costs around $1 million a year just to maintain. The current owners, JPMorgan Chase & Company, took over the property in 2012 after Holyfield went into foreclosure. They have put up the $7.5 million home up for auction yesterday (November 14, 2013) – bidding is set to start at $2.5 million. Evander Holyfield’s mansion is listed on Trulia as “Villa Vittoriosa”. Listing price is $7.89 million.

Regular readers of the Team Aguilar blog may remember a story I did last June where I looked at why so many pro-athletes who have earned millions throughout their careers often end up broke. Among the many riches-to-rags stories in that article, I cite the case of boxer Evander Holyfield. A titan in the ring, Holyfield made a name for himself in the boxing world, winning everything from Olympic Bronze in 1984, to the WBA, IBF and WBC championship belts on multiple occasions in both the cruiser-weight and heavyweight divisions. To this day he remains the only 4 time World Heavyweight Champion in the history of the sport. I even had the Evander Holyfield Sega Genesis game as a kid!

Evander Holyfield’s lifetime earnings, as of 2009, were estimated to be $250 million. Keep in mind Holyfield kept fighting until 2012, at which point he finally announced his retirement. Despite a quarter of a billion Dollar career earnings, Holyfield, like so many of his peers, is broke. In Holyfield’s case the problem was apparently his extended family – he has 12 children with 6 different women. According to Wikipedia, Holyfield pays an average of $3,000 a month per child in child-support. He also is reported to owe huge amounts of unpaid back taxes.

While Holyfield refutes all claims he is broke, he has been forced to auction off his jewelry, furniture and boxing memorabilia to pay off debt.

Mansion staircase. America's largest private pool.
Mansion exterior. holyfield_mansion4

Evander Holyfield’s 109 Room Mansion Up For Auction

My Landlord is in Foreclosure

Question we received a few days ago. Posted from an email received,

My Landlord is in Foreclosure. I’m in Riverside, renting from a landlord that has not paid the mortgage nor the homeowners association fees and facing foreclosure, already in the first stages. My landlord told me this only after I learned of it from the homeowners association requesting I pay my share of rent to them not my landlord, who says she had not let me know for my own sake-because I could get the cash for key deal (I’m sure she mainly wanted rent paid to her as long as possible )

On phoning my housing worker in Indio I was told housing will not help or give advice on such things. HOWEVER, just yesterday, I found – On the Riverside Housing site-that as of two weeks ago a new law for those on housing, renting a home that is going into foreclosure gives – 90 days to move out after the foreclosure is completed. I’ve been looking for a new rental but not yet found one I want, and will need that time. The PROBLEM is although in DEC. my landlord told me within two months if they were going to land back on their feet. Last week, she said I would need to find a new place as the condo is going back to the bank. I have no idea when the foreclosure will take place or if it is in process right now. I need to know but do not know a date to use as a start point in counting off those 90 days. I do not know what the bank will do. How they will treat me. My landlord has not been forthcoming with info on any of this & I’m worried about not being told things I need to know. I don’t care about the cash for key deal half as much as I do about finding a new rental home.

I’ve been on edge since December. Do you have any answers or some advice or know where I can get some answers in full –please fill me in as soon as possible via e-mail or you can phone me. xxx-xxx-xxxx. I would really like to know what my options are when my landlord is in foreclosure.

Much thanks to you ahead of time and after,



Thank you for the email. The situation you’re dealing with is very familiar and happening to thousands of people in California. This is also a situation that has no clear cut answers but I will give you the most common answers to the various questions that tenants have when the property they are living in is lost to a foreclosure.

A few days after the Trustee Sale (Foreclosure) occurs you will have someone knocking on your door inquiring about your status; who you are, names of occupants, etc. This person represents the lender that now owns the property you are occupying. If you are not home they will post a notice on your door asking you to contact them. This notice may be harsh and sound like an eviction notice but it is not, it is an initial attempt to impress upon you the seriousness of the situation and to make you aware that the property is now owned by a bank/lender and the purpose is to gather initial information. The new owner needs to know who you are and what your intentions are. For the most part they will want the property to be vacant as quickly as possible, exception is Fannie Mae who does have an option to some tenants to rent the property. Almost all other lenders are not willing to rent the property and they will assign the property to an eviction attorney to begin the eviction process.

Depending on how fast the eviction attorney begins the case you may get a 90 day notice to vacate in a week and maybe 2-3 weeks. New changes to tenant laws requires the new owner to give the tenant a 90 days’ notice to vacate and the legal proceeding to evict can’t begin until that time period has expired.

Cash for keys is an offer from the new owner, bank/lender, to induce you to move out and waive the 90 day period, the sooner you move out the more money the bank/lender is willing to offer you to help with your relocation costs. Typically if you will move out in say the first 30 days the bank/lender may be willing to pay you a fee of $3-4,000. If you move out within 60 days this amount is reduced substantially and if you move out in the last 90 days you probably will not be offered much money. Every bank is different. The purpose of offering you a relocation amount is to offset the cost to the bank/lender of having ownership along with the liability and expense of paying legal fees to have you evicted. Most bank/lenders will want to have the property vacant as quickly as possible so they can put on market and sell the property in a short a time as possible.

The reality is also that some tenants feel cheated but keep in mind that you may be in a situation where you haven’t paid rent in several months and if you take the full 90 days to move out then hopefully you will have saved a lot of money in rent that you did not pay. This should go a long way towards helping you with the cost of relocating.

One of your questions is about finding out the date of foreclosure; if you were to go to the local county recorder’s office and do a search for the address of the property you will be able to find the Notice of Default and the Notice of Sale. The Notice of Sale is the last document recorded which will give you a date when the property is scheduled to be sold in a Trustee Sale.

It sounds like you are a section 8 tenant so the best recommendation I can offer is for you to contact your case worker and let them know that you will be needing to move. Solicit their help in finding a replacement home and start looking. If you get lucky you may be able to find a replacement rental that will coincide with you being able to move quickly when the offer comes for Cash for Keys and that will allow you to deal with the inevitable task of moving while getting the most cash from the new owner of your rental.

Hope this helps if you still have questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email

Thank you,

Why I Hate Real Estate Dual Agency

The practice of Dual Agency brings so many conflicts to the table; I wanted to share some of them. Over the last 5 years we have sold hundreds of REO’s (foreclosures) and now with the market improving we are seeing fewer and fewer REO’s come up for sale, which is fantastic because it means we are dealing with regular sellers and the market is starting to improve. Take a look at this email I received about a new foreclosure listing we have. We have received similar e-mails inquiring about dual agency at least once a week for the last 5 years.

Read More

Fannie Mae REO Associate Caught Soliciting Kickbacks

Fannie Mae logoAn Irvine based Fannie Mae REO associate was indicted on federal bribery charges late last month. Armando Granillo, 44, used to work out of the government mortgage giant’s office in Irvine, California as an REO specialist. Apparently Mr. Granillo also specialized in offering brokers listings access to Fannie Mae’s extensive portfolio of foreclosed homes for a 20% kickback off sales commissions.

Granillo approached a broker in Tucson Arizona with such an offer – unfortunately for him the Tucson realtor reported Granillo to the authorities. An elaborate sting operation was set up where Granillo flew down to Phoenix to meet the broker and receive an $11,200 payment. The entire transaction was caught on tape and Granillo was promptly arrested by federal authorities.

Audio obtained by authorities from the sting operation Granillo states that kickbacks are “a part of the business.” Granillo is currently out on bail. He faces 20 years in prison if found guilty on 3 charges of wire fraud.

BriberyAs a REO specialist for Fannie Mae, Granillo’s job was to review and approve (or deny) listing offers from real estate brokers who wanted a piece of the Fannie Mae foreclosure action. Instead of doing his job, Granillo used his position of power to solicit bribes from these brokers.

The big question that needs to be asked here is if this is an isolated case, or if it points to something rotten at the core of Fannie Mae. It’s no secret that the keys to the 24 Billion of foreclosed properties owned by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are in the hands of mid-level office workers like Granillo. How many of them are expected to remain totally honest gatekeepers of billions of dollars of assets and not give in to temptation?

San Diego Real Estate Market Update for February 22, 2013

The latest report from real estate tracker DataQuick paints a sunny picture for San Diego Real Estate in 2013. January’s figures show mortgage default rates in San Diego County at their lowest levels since mid-2005, and foreclosures at a six year low.

Impact of the Homeowner Bill of Rights
California Homeowner Bill of RightsA big reason for these declines is the of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, a comprehensive update to California’s mortgage regulations championed by Attorney General Kamala Harris and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill includes provisions to stop dual tracking (a controversial procedure where banks went ahead with foreclosure against struggling homeowners in the middle of a short sale or loan modification procedure), stop robo-signing foreclosure documents and to streamlining loan modification applications to make it easier for borrowers.

Despite strenuous objections from industry groups like the California Mortgage Association, California Bankers Association and California Mortgage Bankers Association, the Homeowner Bill of Rights became law on January 1st and had an immediate effect on lowering foreclosures and mortgage defaults, although the jury is still out on long-term ramifications.

Short Sales Popular as Ever
Short sales, where the lender approves the sale of a property for lower-than-market-price and forgives the remainder of the debt, made up 25.9% of all homes sold in Southern California. San Diego short sales remain as popular as ever, as it gives borrowers the opportunity the chance to get back into solvency with minimum impact to their credit ratings, and lenders the chance of avoiding a messy, lengthy and expensive foreclosure.

National Mortgage SettlementA large part of the rise in popularity of short sales in recent months is due to the $25 billion joint state-federal settlement reached with the nation’s largest mortgage companies in February 2012. The settlement is meant to help homeowners struggling in the aftermath of the housing-collapse, and the majority of that help is coming in the form of short sales. Now is as good a time as any to get approved for a short sale, seeing as the nation’s largest mortgage servicers are obliged to help.

Tight Inventory, Seller’s Market
San Diego real estate’s lack of inventory has led to a steady increase in prices towards the end of December. The lack of inventory and rising prices have created the perfect conditions for a seller’s market in January, and many homeowners decided to sell their properties to take advantage of this sudden-price hike.

This increase in sales is reflected in January’s figures, which show a six year high in the number of homes sold for that month. Experts are already questioning whether this sudden price hike is sustainable, and if it could encourage short-term property speculators.

Cash is King!
34.9 percent of all homes sold in January were paid for in cash. Buyers are paying with cash in record numbers in San Diego and other real estate markets in Southern California. Jumbo loans, i.e. mortgages above $417,000, accounted for 21.6 percent of January’s home lending, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) made up 5.8 percent while government-insured FHA loans, popular with first-time buyers, accounted for 23.5 percent of home financing options for the month of January.

Think market conditions are ripe for investing? Check out our San Diego real estate listings and contact Carlos or Alex today.

This almost made me puke! The filthiest bathroom in San Diego…

Here’s a short video of what is probably the most disgusting bathroom in San Diego County. Once again, this is AFTER the cleanup crew were done with their initial clean-out! (For bonus-points, check out the green pool.)

Long time readers of the Team Aguilar blog will know this isn’t my first encounter with filthy bathrooms.

This almost made me puke! The filthiest bathroom in San Diego…

Who would like to take a bubble bath?

While away we received a new foreclosure assignment. Today was the first day I had the privilege of seeing this new little gem! We deal with a LOT of ugly property so it’s common to see things that make me wish I was wearing a full body rubber suit while I walk through some of these houses. This new property was lived in fairly recently. Up to about 5 months ago a neighbor told us it was occupied and this is what the bath looked like. Now you tell me, I know we all can’t live in a brand new home but even if you live in an older home wouldn’t you keep things fairly clean? I don’t understand how people can live in such filth! Slobs!

Read More

How Short Sales and Foreclosures Affect Your Credit Rating

If you’re in a financial pit and weighing your options, you might want to start thinking about a short sale or foreclosure, and consider how each will impact your credit score. Ideally you would want the option that will do the least amount of damage to your credit rating.

Depending on State laws, a debtor may stay in his or her foreclosed home anywhere from four months to a year without paying anything – while this may be desirable to some, it does not necessarily make foreclosures more preferable to a short sale.

In a short sale, the home is offered up for sale and listed in a multiple listing service. Interested buyers may make appointments to see the house and most will bargain for a really low price. If you hire agents, these agents can hold open houses for prospective buyers.

Read More

Short Sale and Foreclosure: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes, no matter how careful we are with our money and expenses, certain things happen in life that are beyond our control. Dramatic financial fall backs caused by a disaster, a serious illness, an unexpected death, or even divorce, can force one to stop paying his/her home’s mortgage. When this happens, the property is foreclosed. Foreclosure is emotionally stressful for a lot of people because it forces them out of their home, embarrasses them, destroys their credit scores for a long period of time, and costs them even more money.

So what’s the difference between a short sale and foreclosure?

Read More

Mortgage Scams Target Latinos

The California Attorney General’s office has announced the arrest of two insurance agents on 57 counts of grand theft, elder abuse, burglary, conspiracy and securities fraud. Officials connected to the case state that two men, Edwin Salazar of Downey and Michael Zuniga of Fullerton ran a two year $1.3 million Ponzi scheme targeting Hispanic investors, many of whom were senior citizens.

Investigators from the Department of Justice and the California Department of Insurance say that the pair operated throughout Los Angeles County under the banner of Omega Investment Group. The pair found most of their potential victims through their insurance business.

The scam, which officials say lasted between January 2007 and December 2008, consisted of Salazar and Downey selling one-year promissory notes to gullible investors as a “risk-free” real estate investment. The pair guaranteed a 15 percent annual return to investors, saying their company, Omega Investment Group, had a profitable business buying and selling homes in foreclosure. They even went as far as helping some investors refinance their homes to raise the money needed to take part in the scheme.

Read More