Find Real Estate Investment Tips That Work for You

Tips For Investing In Your First Multi-Family Property

Posted by on January 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Investing In Your First Multi-Family Property

A multi-family home, whether a simple duplex or a small apartment complex, gives you more bang for your real estate dollar since you can have multiple tenants supporting one property. This can minimize the chances of dealing with vacancies and no incoming rent to cover the mortgage payment, which then means more profit. The following advice can help you make a wise decision when choosing to invest in your first multi-family property. Tip #1: Know the Historical Rental Rate Although it is possible for a new landlord to come in and reverse a poor rental trend, it takes time and effort. It’s best to opt for a home that historically has had steady tenants, both in longevity of the leases in the percentage of units rented. Avoid properties that have sat for long periods of time with more than one open unit. This is uncommon in most rental markets. Tip #2: Learn What Is Popular Chances are a certain type of multi-family housing is more popular in the area you are looking to buy. For example, condominium style homes are often popular near areas that draw a lot of young, childless professionals because they don’t want to deal with any form of upkeep. Duplexes or multiplexes with small yards and outdoor communal areas are usually more attractive to families with children, who want areas for their kids to play outside both alone and with the other neighborhood kids. Tip #3: Budget for Profit It’s best to select homes where you can make the mortgage, maintenance and tax payments on just half the properties’ income. This way, you are at least breaking even as long as half of the property is being rented at any given time. Each additional unit rented will then be profit. The only real exception to this rule is if you are living in one unit, such as you live in one half of the duplex and rent out the other half. Tip #4: Plan for Ongoing Maintenance Often, single family homes can be managed without the need for an outside crew. The renter tends to handle basics, like yard work, and more major issues, such as plumbing repairs, are dealt with as they occur. With multi-family units, there needs to be someone in charge of landscape and communal area maintenance. In some cases you can offer reduced rent to one tenant in exchange for these chores. This is often a viable solution for smaller homes, such as duplexes. Larger properties, such as small apartment complexes, benefit more from having a dedicated maintenance person or the aid of a property management company to maintain both the exterior and interior of the units. Make sure you know the cost of this service and figure it into your final property costs before deciding whether the property fits into your budget. For more information, visit local real estate companies, such as...

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Buying A Home? 4 Reasons You Need A Real Estate Agent

Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Buying A Home? 4 Reasons You Need A Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in buying a home, you might currently be deciding if you should use a real estate agent or not. While the Internet has provided a lot of resources to help you find a home on your own, there are certain things you can’t do unless you have a real estate agent’s experience. Here are some reasons to consider using a real estate agent, such as Plaza Realty, when shopping for a new home. The Agent Communicates With the Seller One big benefit to going through a real estate agent is that whenever you are interested in a home and want to learn more about it, set up an appointment to see it, or to give an offer, your agent can do it for you. The agent either communicates with the seller of the home, or the realtor working with the seller. Some real estate agents work with both buyers and sellers, becoming an excellent buffer between the two parties. This can help keep you from getting overwhelmed with contacting everyone to set up appointments and give offers. They Know About Listings First If you have ever contacted someone that lists their home publicly, you know how frustrating it is when they already have a half dozen offers and aren’t taking anymore. This is because when homes are listed, people try to snatch them up quickly, especially if it is being sold for a decent price or located in an area with an excellent real estate market. When you work with a real estate agent, they will know about listings first when they go through their own realtor’s office. If your agent finds a home that would be a good fit for you, they will let you know about it first so you have a good chance at giving the first offer. Agents Keep Up With Market Conditions Another benefit to using an experienced real estate agent when buying a home is that they know all about market conditions, and keep up with the changes. This is useful to you because they can tell you what houses are going for a decent price, what the average cost per square foot in any given area is, and look at the ratios of the days a house has been on the market. This definitely comes in handy when you are looking for the right home to buy. The Agent Researches Homes For You While you can still browse homes for sale on your own, it is really helpful to have an agent constantly looking around at available homes that fit your criteria. You might not have the time and energy to continue doing this until you have found the perfect home. While you are at work and spending time with your family, the agent is working for you so you can find an excellent...

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Dealing With A Low Home Appraisal

Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dealing With A Low Home Appraisal

Your home loan approval depends upon many issues, such as your credit worthiness, interest rates and the amount for which your new home may be appraised. If the seller has accepted your offer, you have reason to be thrilled, but unfortunately in today’s home buying atmosphere, your loan is far from a given. Credit hurdles and interest rates notwithstanding, if your potential new home appraises for below the agreed upon purchase price, you may be in for a huge disappointment. Banks simply won’t lend for more than the appraised price, since the home is the potential collateral for the mortgage. If you are dealing with an unexpectedly low appraisal, read on for more information about why this is happening more and more and what to do about it. Why so many low appraisals? Since the housing financing fiasco in 2008, not only has the bank industry undergone a complete overhaul, but the appraisal industry has as well. One of the major contributing factors to the housing bubble burst was the unhealthy relationship between lenders and appraisers, leading to over-inflated home prices and thus over-inflated loans. During this time period, lenders and appraisals conspired to inflate home values and the corresponding loans, causing regrettable damage to the industry at large and home owners in particular. New regulations now require that there be a firewall between lenders and appraisers and that appraisers be kept in the dark about the amount of the pending home loan to prevent bias. This firewall is presented in the form of appraisal management companies, who act as the middleman. Unfortunately, appraisal management companies charge fees for their service, and the professional appraisers are seeing their fees plummet as a result. Inexperienced appraisers willing to work for less and sometimes traveling from a distance to work have led to a tendency for properties to be undervalued. Experience and local knowledge are valuable traits in a home appraiser. How you can fight back. 1. You have the option to hire an independent appraiser yourself to complement the bank-hired appraiser. The bank should be made aware of significant differences in the appraised values of a given home. 2. If you challenge the data of an appraiser, be prepared to produce your own counter-data. 3. File a formal protest for the low appraisal with the lending institution. 4. Ask the bank to conduct a new appraisal with a different appraiser or appraisal management company. 5. Ask that the appraisal include “for sale by owner” homes, which may not be included in the Multiple Listing Service database that appraisers use for “comps” (comparable home sales in the same neighborhood). 6. Alert the appraiser to improvements that could raise the appraised value that could be overlooked, such as particular types of flooring or windows with higher insulation values. 7. If none of these tips work, you can try appealing to the seller to lower the purchase price or offer a larger down payment to bring down the financed amount. Throughout the home-buying process, your experienced, local real estate agent should be the go-to person for help and information about all aspects of completing a successful purchase of your dream home. For more information, contact Haring Realty or a similar...

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More Than Just Posh Digs: 3 Reasons To Invest In A Luxury Apartment

Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More Than Just Posh Digs: 3 Reasons To Invest In A Luxury Apartment

Many Americans put a significant amount of thought into where they will live. Statistics show that 37% of US households are occupied by renters, and apartments seem to be popular among the rental population. While you might think that the price of a luxury apartment is too high, it’s important to consider the benefits these apartments can provide. Here are three unexpected reasons why it might pay to invest in a luxury apartment in the future. 1. When you rent a luxury apartment, you get to live in a secure building. Luxury apartments are known for their amenities. While a swimming pool or fitness facility can be exciting, access to a doorman is one of the most underrated amenities offered by luxury apartment buildings today. Statistics show that homes which do not have a security system are 300% more likely to be targeted by burglars. A doorman acts as a security system by controlling who has access to the building in which he or she works. Renting an apartment in a building with a doorman can reduce the likelihood that you will experience a break-in. 2. Renting a luxury apartment helps ensure you will have good neighbors. According to the FBI, there were 367.9 violent crimes for every 100,000 people living in the United States in the year 2013. If you are worried about being victimized, opting to rent a luxury apartment can put your mind at ease. In order to sign a lease agreement in a building that offers luxury units, tenants are usually required to undergo an extensive background check. Criminal history, financial history, and personal references are scrutinized before approval is given. This thorough background check helps ensure that the tenants living in your building will be good neighbors. 3. Living in a luxury apartment allows you to take advantage of city life. Luxury apartments tend to be located in metropolitan areas. If you are looking for easy access to dining, entertainment, and transportation options in your city, then investing in a luxury apartment could put you right in the middle of these amenities. Many luxury communities are in the heart of major city centers, giving you a wide variety of employment and entertainment options at your doorstep. Making the choice to spend a little more for a luxury apartment can be beneficial. You will enjoy a safe living environment, good neighbors, and easy access to city amenities when living in a luxury...

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Tech Experts! Make Sure Your Next Place Is Ready For You

Posted by on December 18, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tech Experts! Make Sure Your Next Place Is Ready For You

A home should answer the needs of its people, and as technology creates new hobbies while enhancing productivity, the home needs to support technology in more ways. It’ll take more than a few extra electrical outlets to keep a versatile computer user, technician or engineer at their peak performance, so take a look at a few accommodations your next home’s agents should have ready or plan to upgrade in the future. Ethernet Cables Don’t Need To Hit The Carpet Any experience computer user is familiar with the sight of cables strewn across the floor. Some people may be better at cable management than others, but the unsightly presence of multicolored cables can be both a visual distraction and a tripping hazard. If wireless Internet isn’t enough for some Internet activities, the wiring should go much further than the wall to a nearby computer. To keep cables from dragging across the floor, ask your real estate agent if there are any homes with built-in network cables. The standard network cable for residential use is Ethernet, but if your home network and Internet speeds are somehow too fast for Ethernet, fiber optic cable can be an option. No Ethernet at your nearly perfect home? An electrician could pull network cables through the walls in the same way that they would install electricity. Although Ethernet cables are often the domain of network technicians, there may be some electrical wiring that is too dangerous for professionals without certified electrical training.  Cooling And Cleanliness For Computer Systems Some computer users need to put their computers anywhere with an available electrical outlet. Unfortunately, many carpeted areas can be havens for dust, and areas where the shoes could deposit dirt can be just as bad. You’ll need a clean study with decent mounting points to keep your systems clean and cool. First, the wall outlets need to be located a bit higher. The height of your desks or working surface would be good enough, just as long as the computer can be connected a few feet higher than the floor without running too much cable. Second, the area must not face the computer’s vents and openings towards any windows or building ventilation. Dust and debris that may enter the home could be blasted into the computer quickly. The room will need some ventilation, as computers are heat-generating devices because of high-performance components such as the processor. A room without ventilation or air conditioning can quickly heat up because of the computer’s temperature and air movement. Make sure that the computer can be be placed far away enough from the wall without stretching too many cables so that cool, circulated air can enter the system and hot air can exit the system.  Contact a real estate agent to discuss clean rooms, modifications and available amenities that are safe and efficient for your...

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3 Tips For Affording A Roommate-Free College Apartment

Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Affording A Roommate-Free College Apartment

Experiencing life in a dorm is a vital part of the college experience, but as the years go by, you may start to desire quieter, more private, off-campus living quarters. And if you don’t want to live with a roommate, finding an apartment rental that you can actually afford may seem more difficult than the Advanced Statistics course you took last semester. But it’s certainly not impossible. Here are a few tips and tricks for saving money on your very own off-campus humble abode: Embrace Your Studious Side Instead of searching for a full 1-bedroom apartment, consider a studio unit, where your living area, bedroom, and kitchen are confined to a single room. Not only are rent prices generally lower for studios, but they are also cheaper to heat and cool, less expensive to furnish and decorate, and a breeze to keep clean. Sure, you won’t have as much room to spread out, but think of all the instant noodle money you’ll save! Consider the Long Term Landlords may be willing to shave a few bucks off your rent if they believe you are an ideal renter. With (most likely) minimal income and little in the way of a renting history, though, how do you make yourself attractive to a landlord? For one, offer to sign a multi-year lease instead of the standard 1-year deal. Knowing that he won’t have to go through the hassle of finding a new tenant a year from now, he may be willing to cut a deal. Another benefit of signing a multi-year lease is that rental prices are increasing each year across the country. Sign a multi-year deal, and you won’t have to worry about your rent skyrocketing after year one.  Don’t Get Bitten by the Vampire Living in a studio, your utility costs will naturally be low. But there are some additional energy-related measures you can take to save even more cash:  Set your furnace or A/C at a level where it won’t kick on while you are away; your modest-sized dwellings will heat up or cool down very quickly when you return, anyway. Whenever possible, utilize natural light. Open curtains to let the sun brighten your room instead of using light switches, which slowly hike up your electric bill. Most importantly, don’t get bitten by vampire energy, the energy that is used by devices that are simply plugged into your walls, which Americans waste more than $3 billion on each year. Before leaving, unplug your electronic devices individually, or connect them to a single power strip and switch it on and off as needed. Your already minimal energy bill will shrink even more.   Embrace these three simple tricks for affording your very own collegiate apartment, and you may even have a few bucks left over to do laundry and restock your Ramen...

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Pack Your Items For A Safe Move Like The Pros

Posted by on December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pack Your Items For A Safe Move Like The Pros

Whether you’re moving across town or to another state, you need to pack your items for a safe journey. That crystal vase is as much at risk of breaking in a cross-country moving truck as the back of your car, if not wrapped properly. The key in packing like the professionals is taking your time and using the right materials. Here is how to make sure all of your personal items get to your new home in one piece. Get the Right Materials Together Before You Start If you don’t have what you need when you start packing, you’ll try to make do with whatever is handy. This result is items not being packed as safely as they should for the trip. Buy all of the packing items you’ll need before you start. You can always return unused materials after you’re done. Start with having the following supplies available: the original boxes for items, if you still have them various sizes of packing boxes rolls of bubble wrap including small and large sizes cardboard sheets foam packing sheets packing paper rolls scissors, packing tape and markers General Tips for Packing Start with the smallest box that will hold an item or group of items. Always keep space between items in a box and separate them with padding. Pack similar items together to minimize the risk of breakage. For example, don’t pack books with your glassware. When in doubt, use more packing material than less. Don’t use newspaper to wrap items as it can leave ink smudges on items. If you’re unsure how to wrap an item, contact the packing services of a moving company. They can offer advice. Or have them pack awkward items for you. Packing Difficult Items for a Move Fine china – Place bubble wrap around each plate and secure with packing tape. Place crumpled wrapping paper in the bottom of a box for padding. Place the plates in the box on their edges with crumpled packing paper in between. Fill the space around the plates with more crumpled wrapping paper. Cups and glassware – Fill each item with crumpled paper then wrap with more packing paper. Place a layer of crumpled paper in the bottom of a box. Place the cups and glasses opening down in the box until you have a full layer. Place cardboard sheets on top of this layer with more crumpled paper and continue layering until the box is full. Photo and picture frames – Place a layer of crumpled paper on the bottom of a box. Wrap each frame with packing paper. Place the frames on their edges in the box with a foam sheet in between each frame. Fill the space around the frames in the box with crumpled packing paper. Irregular-shaped items – For items such as tea pots and figurines, first place bubble wrap around the item and seal with packing tape. Use folded cardboard sheets and tape around the items to create a box for added protection. When placing in a box, leave plenty of space between items and fill the space with crumpled paper to prevent shifting. For more information, visit http://www.bekins.com or a similar...

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Moving And Have An RV? Use It For Storage And To Move Your Things

Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving And Have An RV? Use It For Storage And To Move Your Things

If you love to camp, you likely have an RV so you do not have to sleep in a tent on the hard, cold ground. When the weather starts to get cold and you are not camping, your RV may be sitting in your driveway taking up space. If you are going to move to a new home, put your sitting RV to use to help you move your things, as well as to store things you will not be using right now.    Use as a Moving Truck If you have a large RV, you can save a lot of money by moving your things using it instead of using a moving truck. Even if your RV is small, you can still move some things on your own. A moving truck is a large vehicle, which means it will cost you a lot of gas money, especially if you are traveling far. You will also have to buy insurance for the truck, and pay some rental fees. If your new home is far away, you can use your RV to stay in instead of renting a hotel room. Simply stop at a RV park, and have fun camping out with your family for the night. This again saves you a lot of money, as the fees at the RV camp will be much less expensive than what you would pay for a hotel. If you get to your new home late at night or you are simply too tired to start moving in, stay in your RV and sleep until morning, or you are rested enough to start moving your things in. Use Your RV While You Are Unpacking As you unpack your things from boxes, you will have a lot of empty boxes sitting around your new home, which will get in the way. Simply put them in your RV until you are finished. If you brought items with you that you realized you didn’t want, and you will not be using your RV for quite a while, put these things in your RV, when you put your RV in storage. Put in Storage Before you put your RV in storage, give it a good wash and then put a few coats of wax on it. This will help prevent dirt from building up on it. You should also check the roof seal to make sure it is in good condition. If not, replace it to protect your RV from any water damage. You also need to make sure your RV stays well ventilated. This will prevent moisture from building up inside of it, which can lead to mold growth, as well as a musty smell when you start using it when the weather warms up. The best and easiest way to keep it ventilated is to leave the roof vent open. Contact an RV company, where you can purchase vent covers that will not let water in but allow you to keep the vents open. The RV company that you purchased your RV from can give you more storage tips to ensure your RV is in good working order when you take it out of...

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How To Convince Your Landlord To Let You Sublet Your Apartment

Posted by on December 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Convince Your Landlord To Let You Sublet Your Apartment

If you read carefully through your lease agreement, you may find a section that talks about subletting your rental unit. If this section states that subletting is not allowed, you may want to come up with a plan to try to convince your landlord to let you do this. Subletting involves renting out the space to someone else for the remainder of the lease, but this is not something all landlords approve of. Here are two tips that could help you get your landlord to approve this for you. Be up front with your landlord If you have six months left on your lease and have to move out for some type of emergency situation, you should be up front with your landlord and explain your situation to him or her. Being honest with your landlord is the best option you have in a situation like this. Many landlords would understand why you are asking to sublet if you have a good reason, such as: You lost your job You were offered a much better job A close family member is very ill and you want to move in with him or her to provide care When you explain this to your landlord, you should also have someone lined up that wants to rent your apartment for the remainder of the lease. You can tell the landlord that you found a person willing to rent the space for the rest of the lease period, and this might be enough to convince your landlord to allow it. Offer to pay the rest of the money upfront The other strategy you could use is offering to pay your landlord the rest of the money you owe for the remaining time period of the lease. If you have six months left and the rent is $600 per month, you would have to be able to come up with $3,600 to pay. If your landlord agrees, you would have to make sure you choose a tenant that will pay you each month. If you don’t, you could end up losing the money you paid the landlord. In some cases, property management firms may allow subletting, but you should always check your lease to find out. If you are interested in learning more about subletting your unit, or if you want to find a unit that you could sublet from the current tenant, contact a property management firm, like Taylor...

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3 Tips For Renting Your First Off-Campus Apartment

Posted by on December 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Renting Your First Off-Campus Apartment

Are you ready to get out of the dorm and move into an off-campus apartment? Is this your first time renting an apartment, either by yourself or with roommates? While moving off-campus may be an exciting rite of passage, you want to make sure you get the best apartment for your budget and your situation. You should also carefully inspect the lease to make sure it meets your needs and expectations. With a little bit of research, you’ll likely find the perfect apartment for your upcoming year of college. Here are a few tips to help you out before you sign the lease: Take an inventory of all repairs and get an agreement in writing. Off-campus college housing isn’t always kept in the best condition because the tenants usually turn over from year to year. Also, many landlords may assume that an apartment will get damaged anyway from parties so they may not put a lot of effort into repairs and renovations. However, you can ask the landlord to make repairs and improvements so the apartment meets your expectations. When you tour the apartment, be sure to look for obvious issues, like cracks in the drywall or flooring issues. Also, check the appliances to make sure they work and turn the thermostat to both the heat and cool settings to see if they work. Make a list of any major issues and then ask the landlord to repair them. If he or she agrees, make sure you get their commitment in writing before you sign the lease. Study nest or party crib? Perhaps the most important issue is determining whether the apartment building fits your lifestyle. Are you a homebody who enjoys quiet evenings? Or are you a party animal who wants to entertain frequently? There’s nothing wrong with either, but you could have a big problem on your hands if the building isn’t consistent with your preferences. Ask the landlord about the types of students the building attracts. Are they graduate students who spend a lot of time studying? Or is the building known for its parties? A local realtor can also be a good resource for this information. Review the lease before you sign. It may sound obvious that you should read the lease carefully, but it’s very easy to miss an important point and then get stuck in a difficult situation. One of the biggest points to understand if you’re living with roommates is who exactly is responsible for payments. Are you responsible for collecting from your roommates and then paying the landlord? Or is each roommate responsible for their own share? This is important to know in case a roommate decides to move out. If you’re responsible, you may be on the hook to either find a new roommate or cover the former roommate’s payment. A local realtor can help you navigate the off-campus apartments near a university. Contact a realtor or a property management company like Uptown Rental Properties for more...

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