Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real Estate

November 20, 2019

5 Essential Books To Read Before Starting In Real EstateIt is important for everyone to put money in a position to make money in order to make financial dreams come true. One of the common targets that people circle is real estate investing.

Before jumping into the world of real estate investing, it is important for everyone to be prepared. This starts by reading a few fantastic books that can help people learn more about the environment associated with investing in real estate.

The Book On Investing In Real Estate

One of the first books that people need to circle is called The Book On Investing In Real Estate. This is a fantastic book that explains to everyone how they can get involved in real estate investing with limited capital. It doesn’t take much to get started. The strategies discussed in this manner are similar to those involved with investing large amounts of money.

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor

A book titled The Millionaire Real Estate Investor is another great read. This book was put together using interviews with more than 100 millionaire investors in the world of real estate. Those who would like to be successful in this arena need to make sure they learn from the successes of those who came before them.

How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investment

This book, titled How A Second Home Can Be Your Best Investmentis a great read for anyone who is looking to get started in this investing world. This book is written by some of the world’s leading experts in the world of real estate. Using plain language, everyone has the potential to learn about the basics involved in investing in real estate.

One Rental At A Time

This read, titled One Rental at a Time, is an easy and straightforward read. The book compares the world of investing in real estate with an ancient Chinese proverb. This proverb can serve as a powerful guiding principle that can help people get started in the sector of real estate investing.

The Entrepreneur Mind

It is important for those who are looking to get started in this investment state to read everything they can. At the same time, this is also about building a business, which The Entrepreneur Mind addresses. The business world is useful for every aspiring real estate to understand.

Reading high-quality books about real estate investing is a great way to improve your knowledge. Combine that knowledge with a trusted team of real estate industry professionals like a trusted real estate agent and mortgage financing expert and you’ll have a winning combination!

Four Common Headaches Of A Homeowners Association

November 19, 2019

Four Common Headaches Of A Home Owners AssociationWhen you are looking to purchase a home, you might hear a lot about something called a homeowners association, often shortened to HOA. While there are benefits of having an HOA in a living community, these benefits also have their drawbacks.

There are a few common headaches that people often experience when they move into a community that has an HOA. Anticipating these problems ahead of time can help everyone prepare for what they might encounter.

The Maintenance In The Common Area

Whether you are living in a condo or in a neighborhood, the HOA is supposed to maintain the community common areas. This includes pool maintenance, lawns, landscaping, gyms, and more.

In some areas, your HOA might even be responsible for cleaning up after a storm goes through the area. Sometimes, this simply doesn’t happen. This can cause the neighborhood to look like a mess. If the neighborhood isn’t properly maintained, your property values may suffer. 

Problems With Parking

Without a doubt, parking issues are among the most common problems that you might encounter with your HOA. When someone is driving through town, traffic and parking issues are handled by the police.

In the neighborhood, the HOA is typically responsible. The bylaws of the homeowners association might even give them the right to fine people. Make sure you read the agreement with the HOA carefully. You need to know the laws as well as your rights.

Antenna Issues

It is important for you to remember that your HOA cannot control who you have handle your cable and internet connections. In addition, they cannot force you to remove a satellite dish from your house even if they don’t like the look of it.

On the other hand, if you use an antenna, there are still some HOA rules that can control its location. Make sure you read the rules if you elect to go with an antenna.

Understanding Homeowners Association Problems

Some of the other issues that you might encounter with your local homeowners’ association involve pets, holiday decorations, and other random fines. You should read up on the bylaws ahead of time so you know what lies ahead. While not every HOA creates problems, others can be a real headache.

As always, your local real estate agent can answer specific HOA-related questions on any community in the area. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

Three Important Benefits Of An Open Floor Plan

November 18, 2019

Three Important Benefits Of An Open Floor PlanIf you are looking for a new home, or if you are looking to renovate your existing home, you might have heard about something called an open floor plan. In today’s era of housing, this layout has become more popular.

In an open floor plan, there is a single, large space that can act as multiple rooms all in one. Often, hallways, walls, and doors are left out. This makes the entire space feel more inviting. There are numerous advantages to this plan that everyone should keep in mind.

Added Natural Light

One of the biggest benefits of this plan is that there is added natural light. Without the interior walls, light has an easier time passing through space. This connects the indoor world to the outdoor area.

In order to maximize this benefit, it is a good idea to add a few extra windows in the kitchen or living area. This will bring a little bit of brightness to the indoors, making it glow. Also, because fewer light fixtures are needed, this may reduce your utility costs.

Makes Space Feel Bigger

Next, if the home has an open floor concept, the whole area is going to feel larger. Typically, when this plan is put in place, there are vaulted ceilings.

Without the added walls, there is room to open the space upwards. This is going to make the entire area feel larger than it actually is.

With the added, spacious feel, family and friends will be able to relax and enjoy each other’s company that much more!

An Easy Space To Entertain

If someone has a traditional floor plan, the spaces often feel a little bit cramped. This can make it hard to entertain a large group of people.

With an open concept, this is a worry of the past. Now, you can be in the kitchen and still interact with people who are in the living or dining area. This concept is great for people who like to throw parties.

Advantages Of An Open Floor Plan

These are a few of the most important benefits of an open floor plan. It is easy to see why these plans have become more popular in recent years. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

How To Navigate The Changing Remodeling Market

November 14, 2019

How To Navigate The Changing Remodeling MarketRemodeling is a common project that homeowners take on. If you are looking to remodel your home, it is important to keep in mind that this involves more than just improving your living area. If you remodel your home, you might also be expecting to generate a return on your investment. 

In prior years, a home remodel meant an increase in the value of your home. Furthermore, some people actually make money by buying homes, fixing them up, and selling them. This is commonly called “flipping.” Unfortunately, like other sectors of the economy, this market ebbs and flows. Recently, it looks like the drive to remodel homes has taken a downturn.

Why Homeowners Steer Away From Remodeling

There are financial and real estate professionals who analyze this market just as other professionals look at other areas of the economy. According to the professionals, there are a number of reasons why people might be steering away from a home remodel.

First, there has actually been a decline in home sales. This goes along with a decline in homebuilding activity. 

These factors cause homeowners to hesitate when they remodel their homes. If you are looking to sell your home, this is a prime time to remodel. You might think this remodel is necessary for your home to succeed on the market. If you aren’t looking to sell your home, there is less reason to remodel. When home sales drop, the remodeling market drops as well.

Home Price Appreciation Plays A Role

Another important factor involved in the home remodeling market is the pace of home appreciation. In prior years, the growth of home prices was outpacing the rate of income appreciation. In recent years, this trend has flipped.

When home prices aren’t rising faster than wages, there is less pressure to remodel. Instead of investing this money in a remodel, homeowners are looking to invest this money in other areas that might generate a bigger return. This has led to a reduction in the remodeling market.

Considering A Home Remodel

If you are looking to remodel your home, think about these factors ahead of time. You should expect a return on your remodeling investment. Take a look at the market before the remodel begins.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

How To Practice Electrical Safety Around Your Home

November 13, 2019

How To Practice Electrical Safety Around Your HomeElectricity plays an important role in your home. It helps keep you warm, allows you to cook meals, and brightens up the interior of your house. At the same time, electricity is a common hazard.

Electrocution accidents can lead to burns, serious injuries, and even death. You should feel safe in your own home. Therefore, it is a smart idea for you to remember a few important tips when it comes to electrical safety at home.

Watch Out For Damaged Power Cords

One of the most common causes of electrocution accidents at home is from damaged power cords. Over time, the wires that run through the home might start to degrade. This is a danger that is often overlooked. If the protective coating on any of your wires has been stripped away, cover the cord or replace it. If you need help doing this, call a professional for help.

Overloading The Electrical Outlets

Another common source of electrical accidents comes from outlets that have been overloaded. Your outlets have been designed to deliver a certain amount of power. If you plug too many devices into the same outlet, the circuit will become overloaded. This can lead to a fire or an explosion. If you need to plug in more devices, use a power strip. These are designed to add additional outlets in a safe manner.

An Extension Cord Is A Tripping Hazard

Extension cords are great for providing electrical power to something that is far away. On the other hand, they also should not be left out constantly. These cords are long and represent a tripping hazard. In addition to a fall injury, this can also lead to serious damage to the outlet and the cord itself. This can increase the chances of something bad happening with the home’s wiring. If you are using extension cords all the time, it is a smart idea to call an electrician who can add additional outlets to the home.

Avoiding Injuries With Electrical Safety

Other common electrical safety tips include keeping powered devices away from water and supervising children at all times. Electrical injuries are serious and should be avoided at all cost. Practicing proper electrical safety is vital to preventing injuries.

If you are looking for a new home or if you are interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional.

4 Critical Tips To Consider When Hiring A Home Contractor

November 12, 2019

4 Critical Tips To Consider When Hiring A Home ContractorThere are many reasons why you might be interested in hiring a home contractor. These professionals are an important part of helping someone attain their dream home. While everyone cares about the price of the contractor, this is not the only factor that you should consider.

After all, the home is where people spend a lot of their time. By thinking about price alone, you might be sacrificing quality. It is important for you to take the proper steps when it comes to hiring a home contractor. There are a few factors that you should keep in mind.

Start The Process With A Detailed Plan

This is the step that absolutely must be completed before you even approach a contractor. If you need help with this, think about reaching out to a designer or an architect who can help you. Walk your contractor through your plan step by step. This will help the contractor give you a more accurate price estimate and will allow the contractor to ask important questions. 

Give The Project Specifications Upfront

There are certain finishes or fixtures that you might want in your home. Make sure to provide your contractor with this list ahead of time. These specifications can drastically influence the price estimate. Save your time, as well as the contractors, by providing the specifications as early as possible. That way, the contractor can figure out how much each of these specifications is going to cost.

Ask About Insurance

It is also important for you to make sure your contractor has insurance. Sometimes, accidents happen. This is a reality of the industry. The contractor probably has a large crew that he or she needs to work with to help your project come together. This is not easy. When mishaps happen, your contractor needs to be set up to deal with these issues professionally.

Ask For Client References

Lastly, it is important for you to take a look at some of your home contractor’s work. Take a look at some of the prior projects and make sure you are satisfied with what you see. This will help you get a solid idea of what your project might look like when all is said and done. 

If you are interested in purchasing a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.

How To Find Hot Markets For Real Estate Investment

November 7, 2019

How To Find Hot Markets For Real Estate InvestmentReal estate investors who want to build up a strong investment portfolio always keep an eye out for hot markets, which gives them a chance to pick up properties that add to their portfolio value.

A word of caution about hot markets is that if you learn about them after they are already hot, you may have missed much of the run-up that made them hot. 

Clever real estate investors try to anticipate markets that will heat up before they do, so they can buy properties in advance of increasing values. Selling properties in a hot market is how they capture profits. 

The Hot Markets

Realtor.com® identified seven markets in the United States that are currently hot markets for flipping houses. The average gross profit for house flippers is $62,700. This figure does not include the cost of making the repairs. The gross profit equals about 20% to 33% of the home’s sales price after making the repairs.

An evaluation looking for hot markets for flipping homes considered the percentage of home sales that were investment properties.

The current hot markets, in the order of activity, are:

  1. St. Louis, MO – 18.8% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $189,900.
  2. Birmingham, AL – 17.3% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $190,000.
  3. Miami, FL – 17% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $299,900.
  4. Tampa, FL – 16.2% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $230,000.
  5. Memphis, TN – 16.1% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $206,300.
  6. Las Vegas, NV – 15.7% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $301,800.
  7. Phoenix, AZ – 15.1% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $275,800.

Hot Pockets In Cooler Markets

Another way to find opportunities is to know your local market very well and look for areas that are up and coming. Look for a fixer-upper in a decent area. Also, search in areas that are adjacent to high-priced areas. 

Look for soft barriers that can be passed easily, such as a block that is improving, which is next to another block that has already improved. Hard barriers, such as a wide street, a freeway, or a river make it more challenging for an improving neighborhood trend to pass across them.

Summary

Finding a hot market or a hot pocket comes from investigating potential growth areas and watching them. Get a feel for the trends. One strategy is to buy early when the prices are still low, rent the property for a while, and then sell later, once the market heats up.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional.

The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home Issues

November 6, 2019

The 5 Most Common Dangerous Home IssuesYou are supposed to feel safe in your own home; however, accidents can happen and there are plenty of hidden dangers that might land someone in the hospital. It is important for you to understand the common household dangers. Knowledge is power and you can take steps to prevent these issues from arising. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This is one of the most common household dangers that everyone should know. Homes always have a smoke detector; however, carbon monoxide detectors are often overlooked. This is an odorless gas that can actually kill someone if the levels get too high. Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working. This gas commonly arises from the tailpipe of a running car.

Lead Poisoning

Lead can be absorbed through the skin or the mouth. Lead poisoning can lead to serious neurological issues. Newer homes are built without lead paint; however, if you purchase an older home, there might still be lead paint on the walls. Check the paint thoroughly and swap it out if lead is present.

Mold

Mold is a common hazard that grows in homes. Mold can release spores into the air that can irritate people who suffer from asthma and allergies. Make sure that you keep your home clean to avoid mold growth. Mold likes warm, humid climates.

Falls

Injuries due to falls are among the most common accidents that happen in homes. If someone falls in their home, they are at risk of breaking bones or suffering a head injury. Make sure that you keep your outdoor steps clean and stabilize your staircases. This will reduce the risk of falls.

Drowning

Unfortunately, drowning can happen even if someone is safe in their own home. Even if a house doesn’t have a pool, people can still drown in the bathtub. In order to reduce the risk of a drowning event, make sure your pool has a fence around it (if you have one). Also, try to supervise bathing children. This will reduce the risk of a drowning event.

Reducing Household Dangers

Knowing about these dangers ahead of time reduces the chances of them happening. Try to inspect your home thoroughly to make sure that these common hazards are avoided.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.

When’s The Best Time To Buy A House?

October 31, 2019

When's The Best Time To Buy A HouseIf you happen to want to move to a hot market for home sellers, here is some advice. Go looking for a home to buy when it is freezing outside or the weather is otherwise severe. Buying a home is both about finding one you like and beating out others if the market has buying competition. 

Days On Market

To find out the competition for a particular market, check the median number of days that a home is listed on the market before it sells. This is called the “days on market.”

In a hot seller’s market, the median number of listing days may be very low. The national average days on market (DOM) is 62 days in America.

The top ten cities where homes sell the fastest with the lowest DOM as reported by Realtor.com® are:

  1. San Francisco, CA – DOM 28
  2. Spokane, WA – DOM 31
  3. Boston, MA – DOM 32
  4. Colorado Springs, CO – DOM 32
  5. Lafayette, IN – DOM 34
  6. Columbus, OH – DOM 34
  7. Sacramento, CA – DOM 34
  8. Santa Cruz, CA – DOM 34
  9. Midland, TX – DOM 36
  10. Odessa, TX – DOM 36

Time Of Year

Most homebuyers look for a home during spring and summer. That is when the buying competition is normally stronger. June is the worst month to buy a home if you want to get a discount.

If you can wait until fall or winter, you may see more price reductions. The best time to make a low offer may be during the short window of time between Christmas and New Year’s when virtually no one is looking to buy a home.

Use bad weather for an advantage. Go looking for a home in the dead of winter, when the roads are barely passable, and you may be the only buyer interested. Another advantage that comes from viewing a home during severe weather is that you get to see how much trouble the weather will be if you own it. 

Tax Time

One very successful real estate investor buys homes right before tax time because that is when sellers are worried about paying taxes and might be more flexible on the price.

Estate Sales

It is possible to get a nice deal on a house when a family is liquidating assets.

Divorce

A seller may be motivated by having to sell a house as part of a divorce settlement.

Summary

The main factors, if you want to get a discounted price for buying a home, are not to be in a rush to buy one and take your time finding a home that is for sale by a motivated seller. Always ask, “Why are you selling your home?” when negotiating with a seller.

If you are interested in buying a new home or in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.

What Is Passive Real Estate Investing?

October 30, 2019

What Is Passive Real Estate InvestingWhen you are looking to purchase a home, you might be looking for a place for you and your family to live. It might surprise you to learn that not everyone who is looking for a house is necessarily in search of a place to live.

Real estate is also a great way for someone to grow wealth. Furthermore, real estate is actually one of the most common ways that people become millionaires.

Some of the active ways that people invest in real estate include flipping houses and renting out property. This can be time-consuming and isn’t right for everyone.

If you are looking for a way to make money in real estate without flipping houses or looking for tenants, passive real estate investing might be the answer.

An Overview Of Passive Real Estate Investing

While passive is the opposite of active in this scenario, passive real estate investing does not mean that you won’t have to do anything. There is still work to be done.

When you invest in a passive manner, this means that you aren’t playing an active role in the growth of the asset, which is property in this example.

One example of passive investing is the stock market. You need to make sure that you do your homework before you start throwing money at the real estate market.

There is a serious time commitment that comes with passive real estate investing. You will also need to monitor the property values to make sure your investment is generating a solid return.

Ways To Get Involved In Passive Real Estate Investing

There are a few common ways that you can start investing in real estate, in a passive manner.

First, one of the most common ways is through the stock market. There are businesses that make their money by investing in the real estate market for you. You can buy shares of these companies who then invest your money in real estate.

Alternatively, you can also set up a partnership with an active investor. You might own the properties and then pay the active investor to rent them out to someone else.

Finally, there is also real estate crowdfunding that has come on the scene. Those looking to invest smaller amounts of money might be interested in this method which pools smaller investments together to invest in much larger real estate projects.

It’s important to talk with your trusted local real estate and mortgage professionals to get the best information for your personal situation.