The increase in property sales presents a big opportunity for home equity loan providers. New Port, California based Impac Funding Corporation is one of the most popular loan providers that Turkish community prefers to work with in order to buy their homes.
The company employs 21 Turkish or Turkish-originated people, which contributes to its success as a home equity loan provider. Ercan Ozbek, who has been working for Impac Funding Corporation since 1993, has played an important role in transforming the company into a center for attraction for the Turkish community. Ozbek, the head of collateral department with 42 employees, says that since 1993, the company employed 50 Turkish people.
Emphasizing that the staff has helped the company become well establish among the Turkish community, Ozbek says that his work extends beyond providing professional services. He views himself as a representative of Turkey in the US. Ozpek has also helped many Armenian people to buy their homes, which, according to Ozbek is thanks to the fact that there are many Turkish people working at Impac.
STARTED HIS CAREER AT 7-ELEVEN
Ercan Ozbek came to California in 1991 as a student and his professional life started when he took a night shift position at a 7-Eleven store. He continued his studies at Los Angeles College during the day. “Although the hectic schedule was hard pressing at that time, now I realize that it was a serious experience, preparing me for the real life challenges and bringing me to the point where I am today.”
He started working for Impac Funding Corp in 1993 as a data entry and posting employee. This start was the foundation of his carrier. Özbek says, “Shortly after my first assignment, I understood the point I could reach if I worked in a self-dedicated manner.”
While he was working at Impac, Ozbek graduated from University of California, Irvine Business School, with a Business Administration degree in 1994. The company grew as his career did. There were 30 employees working in the home equity department in 1993; today there are more than 700 of them. Main functions of Ozbek’s department, which has 42 employees, include money transfer operations and evaluation, protecting, and keeping of original documents. Substantial amount of money pass through Ozbek’s supervision. Approximately $2.2 billion was transferred within the month of August.
REAL ESTATE MARKET IS ATTRACTIVE
Based on his 10+ years of experience in the real estate industry, Ozbek recommends Turkish investors “not to hesitate to invest in real estate.” Drawing our attention to the fact that real estate investments were more profitable than stock market and other instruments, Ozbek says: “In recent years we witnessed a real-estate boom especially in States of California, Nevada and Arizona. There is a big profit potential in both residential, commercial property development or purchasing a land and building on it in order to sell or rent. Since it is very common for credit institutions to work with international investors it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there is a huge opportunity in this business.”
INCREASE IN HOME PRICES
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), average real estate prices in US have gone up by 9.1 percent in August 2004 compared to the first 6 months of 2003. Las Vegas experienced the highest increase rate with 52 percent; Orange County of California followed it with 39.7 percent. According to NAR, 10 most profitable areas according to the home price increase rates are are as follows.
City State Change June.’04 June.’03
Las Vegas NV 52.4% $269,900.00 $177,099.74
Anaheim-Santa Ana, CA 38.7% $655,300.00 $472,458.54
Riverside-San Bernardino CA 38.5% $294,500.00 $212,635.38
San Diego CA 37.5% $559,700.00 $407,054.55
Los Angeles-Long Beach CA 30.4% $438,400.00 $336,196.32
Sarasota FL 29.9% $264,800.00 $203,849.11
Sacramento CA 27% $308,600.00 $242,992.13
Ocala FL 27% $112,300.00 $88,425.20
West Palm Beach FL 25.9% $294,000.00 $233,518.67
Miami-Hialeah FL 25.9% $271,900.00 $215,965.05
(Issue 14th, September 2004)