Bruce Norris of The Bruce Norris Group

By Christina Suter on Apr 30, 2016 at 10:32 AM in Real Estate Issues
Bruce Norris of The Bruce Norris Group

I've been a follower of Bruce and his wisdom for years now and I was honored to have a chance to interview him Thursday on my radio show. Bruce is an active investor, hard money lender, and real estate educator with over 30 years experience. Bruce has been involved in more than 2,000 real estate transactions as a buyer, seller, builder, and money partner. Bruce has dedicated himself to understanding the economic field in southern California and it shows in his work.

The Norris Group buys and sells houses, they teach people how to buy and sell through their education training system, and they have a lending business in southern California. I have taken the Norris group boot camp and I've sent my husband to take it too, that arm of the company is extremely beneficial to investors. The boot camps are when someone comes in for three days and shows investors the ropes.

Right now, Bruce says, 2016 is kind of a boring year, for an investor they will probably see the sale of a property for the same amount it was purchased for. The good thing about that is that you won't lose money on an investment this year, especially in the California area. Even with an upcoming election later this year, no candidate has mentioned real estate or policy changes, so real estate is really on the back burner right now.

Bruce says that one thing he is trying to figure out is what the picture of real estate looks like with an interest rate that starts with a '2'. He said after 6 hours of reading two big reports on oil he sent an email to a friend explaining why he thinks there will be an interest rate that starts with a '2' and someone in the mortgage business had just emailed his friend also and said that by 2018, 80% of homeowners will be in a 30-year mortgage that is under 2.5%. That doesn't always translate into a great real estate market but the thing that drives that there is low GDP growth. He says, we're in a world right now trying to prevent deflation.

With almost full employment (below 5%), it's scary to think that the best we can do is a 1% GDP growth. All around the world there are a lot of countries with negative interest rates. The hottest selling item in Japan right now is a home safe, because if you put your money in the bank there, you have less of it this time next month.

I asked Bruce is there a possibility that we would move forward in a relatively flat market for an unusually long time? He said yes, it's a very good possibility because when you have a low interest rate the natural reaction is to think that real estate is doing so good. But it's being driven there by everything that's not going well so that's a problem. So you have 4.8% unemployment and normally your wages would be soaring at that, but that isn't true right now. What's uncomfortable for Bruce he says, is what happens after you have 80% of the loans at 2% or less and someday we get a 6% interest or mortgage rate? What happens to volume sales, or the willingness to move or refinance? There will be a lot of stagnation in the market, which could be wonderful, until it's not.

I asked Bruce if he's spent any time comparing what we're going through in comparison to Japan. He said he has and that it's a necessary comparison because Japan has gone through over 20 years of basically no growth trying to fight deflation, so they have a 1.4% mortgage rate and I will be looking at what good that rate did for them. The other thing that's really uncomfortable is you have promises made to people in defined benefit plans and those plans say we're going to get a 7.5%-8% yield on all this money that we have, and if we don't get it we still owe it, so whomever is in charge of paying still has to write the check, and that's a big debt to cities, states, and counties. The day will come when they just won't get paid, or it will be paid with borrowed money and the only way to borrow that amount of money is to have an interest rate so low that the interest payments are manageable.

Right now, Bruce says what's important is to be independently capable of making your own decisions. Take the time to be responsible for the decisions you make. Investors, if you're going to be in the buying and selling business, learn well to delegate. The only thing that pays really well is finding the next deal, so delegate everything other than that ability. One other skill I'd develop as an investor would be the skill to speak in front of an audience. It sets you apart as an expert, and it makes you learn constantly because you always want to have something to say.

Be a leader in your field, not only are you contributing, but you keep your knowledge up and you become a goo, genuine marketer.

You can find out more about Bruce and all services offered at or by phone 951.780.5856