Investing

Flipping Houses

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When a person is interested in becoming a real estate investor, they often ask themselves one important question: why do they want to become an investor? Yet, that isn’t the only question they may ask themselves. One question they may ask is why they, as an investor, should get involved with flipping houses.

Why Do People Get Into Flipping Houses

Flipping houses is a lot of work and is a major investment. It’s not a task a person should dive into lightly but many people from around the world will make the purchase with the sole idea of flipping the home. Why would they do this? One simple reason: profits. However, for many other people, it’s more than just profits. What are some of the other reasons people tend to get involved with the flipping houses real estate investment business?

Reasons Why People Flip Houses – It’s More Than Just Profits

For some people, it’s the sheer enjoyment of working with their hands. When you buy a piece of property that needs some light touchups or repairs, you can dive in and get your hands filthy without the worry of losing a lot of money and time. If you purchase a home that needs a lot of work done to it, you’re going to need to hire someone who knows what they are doing. If you desire to do the labor yourself, you can find that you’ll save lots of money on the labor; all of which help you in profits when you’re flipping your home.

Some people go into the business with the idea that a family will achieve their dreams. When you flip a house, you put in the sweat and tears that make the new owner’s dreams come true. You make an ugly ducking (the original home look) into a beautiful swan (the new home look) where the family can make a life and live out all their dreams. In some ways, this is very romantic and it’s the beautiful part of flipping houses.

Other people will turn to flipping houses as a way to deal with the pain they feel. These people are often called masochists. If they have no idea what flipping houses entails the first time out, they will the second and third times.

Then you have people who fall under the category of profit driven folks. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with just wanting to make a profit. How many people wouldn’t want to get into a business venture just for the sheer joy of making a profit? The work is long and hard but the payout is what drives people to get out of their bed and back for another day of grueling work.

Whatever your goal, it ultimately doesn’t matter. All that counts is you showing up and doing the work that will turn this ugly ducking into a beautiful swan so that you can flip it. In reality, it’s these things that make the difference between people who flip houses for a long time or do it one or two times. On the other hand, you still have some folks who flip houses for the sheer joy of what it would look like when all is done.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3071835
Real Estate

Home Renovations to Improve Home Value

It can be difficult to know which home renovations will add value without being considered over improvement. It is important to consider your local real estate market and the general appeal of you home before investing a large amount of money into making changes. Whether you are planning to sell you home or keep it, your renovations should fit into a well-defined budget.

1. Maximize Available SpaceA spacious home is what every home buyer desires. More often than not, home buyers want the best value for their money. You can maximize your home’s available space by changing the layout of your furniture. Make sure that your home like those at http://www.mimsbuilders.com/mims-crescenta/ is free from clutter and position your belongings in a manner that encourages more light to enter. Painting your ceilings and walls with light and neutral colour creates a more spacious feel to it.2. Improve your Home’s curb appeal

Adding value to your home can also be accomplished by an attractive street view. You need not hire a professional landscape artist to get this job done. There are practical ways to get the job done. One of which is by keeping your front yard clean and tidy. Remove weeds, leaves, branches and twigs from your lawn and make sure it’s freshly mowed. Shrubs ought to be trimmed neatly. Get your garbage collected early in the morning to avoid having it piled throughout the day. You may also want to repaint the exterior walls and fence of your home to give it a crisp look.

3. Complete your BasementBasements provide additional living space for home buyers, especially for large families. Therefore, home sellers must ensure that they make their basements presentable and ready when selling their homes. Some believe that the basement is intended to be damp and dark. This is not true. A basement gives storing options to your buyers. In effect, it also serves as a selling point and adds value to your home particularly when it’s well maintained.

More ways to increase your homes value.

Remodel The Kitchen

Appliances, including the dishwasher, sink, cook-top, wall oven, and built-in microwave can add value to some house. You should not cease there. The flooring with this change and hard-wood can boost the value of your own home. It could also boost the worth of your property to put in seating, countertops, as well as a homework space.

When your kitchen is remodeled by you, take into account the cost versus what you anticipate to get in return. You will need to spend more money than you expected to remodel. But if done right, a great leading kitchen remodel should web owners at least 68.9 percent back on their expense when they do resell their property, according to Remodeling Magazine.

Tackle A Bathroom

Did you know first-time homeowners would usually opt for a two-bathroom house, if it costs less to get a one-bathroom house and install a second bathroom? How much will adding a bathroom add to the value of a Birmingham home? On average, Birmingham homeowners can expect to recoup 65.2 percent of the investment after a renovation.

What’s going to actually raise the resell value of a bath? If you change fixtures, like adding a bath with tile or a 2-guy shower, you may raise the worthiness of a lavatory. In the event you are going to update a toilet, don’t forget little touches. Install lighting fixtures, a mirror that is modern, and a fresh dressing table. It might be great to splurge and purchase tile for the floor or buy an energy efficient toilet. Keep in mind including bathrooms, without intent, may diminish the value of your house. It’s not sufficient without having one of those as a master bathroom to have toilets.

 

Real Estate

Co-op Conversion to Condo’s

coop-conversionMore and more properties are making the move from being cooperative to condos. For most people involved with co-op housing it is to not only become more liquid, but to also cash out for significantly higher prices.

I am not going to get into the all of the legal aspects of what a coop is and what it is not for two reason. First, I am not a real estate attorney and secondly it is boring. What people need to understand is that when you buy into a cooperative housing project you are not a homeowner, you are shareholder in a corporation that owns the building.

Personally I am not a big fan of co-ops. There is to much red tape and they are overly political. I am a big fan of a coop to condo conversion. For the shareholders this can become a massively profitable situation to be involved in.

There are a few problems with co-ops. First, if you want to be involved with one, you need to be able to pay cash to get involved or find a lender that specializes in this type of loan. Even if you do find a lender the co-op its self may not allow it. Secondly, there is not a big demand for co-op housing. Those two issue create a marketability issue. Marketability is critical to not only increase the value of your holdings but also to be able to eventually sell.

By converting to a condo, a whole new world opens up. There is more opportunity for people to get involved because there are more lending options. You actually end up being an owner vs. a stock holder. There will be more demands for the property. And finally, should you ever need to do so, their are opportunities to refinance or get a home equity line of credit.

The coop conversion process is not easy. You truly need a company that specializes in this process. Doing a quick internet search I found Hutton Group, you can see visit their site at www.huttonfirm.com. They have converted thousands of units over the years. They have an entire team dedicated to this process which includes corporate, tax and title attorneys, residential and commercial lenders, settlement agents, conversion managers and local marketing specialists.

If you currently live in a co-op and you, yourself and other shareholders are not happy, then I would highly recommend getting in touch with Hutton Group. If nothing else, you should check out their site and educate yourself about the pros and cons, FAQ’s, timelines and costs associated with converting to a condo.

Home Maintenance

Choosing A Heating and Air Company

hvac-12This is a little late getting posted but never the less many of you reading this post may find this information helpful. It was late spring when I realized my air conditioning unit was on the fritz. It was just kinda sort working. It was keeping the house cooler than what it would have been but it was still really hot. Anyway, I learned a good lesson. Work with an HVAC company that is an authorized dealer for the heating and air units you have installed in your home.

The lesson I learned is that when a HVAC company is a licensed dealer they have some pull with that company. Not only that but they truly understand the product from the inside out. The only reason I found this out was through a little trial and error, in other words, luck.

I had one company come out and take a look at the unit. They told me this and that were wrong with it and that it was going to cost me $1500 to get fixed. I though that was a little steep so I decided to call a company that worked specifically with Amana heating and conditioning units.

The company I called was Long’s Heating and Air. They are an Medford HVAC contractor that were recommended to me by a friend of mine. To keep this post from going on and on they saved me a ton of money.

Not only did the other company have it all wrong. They did not know enough about my AC unit to know that it was just over it’s warranty. Because Long’s is an authorized dealer they knew that it would probably still be under warranty. A few phone calls is all it took. They fixed the unit at a fraction of the cost and billed it directly to Amana. I highly recommend calling a heating and air company that specializes in what ever type of unit you have. Maybe you’ll get lucky and and it will still be under warranty.

Services

Marketing Real Estate With EDDM

Affordable way to market your property locally with the Every Door Direct Mail system by USPS

direct mail with eddm, real estate direct mailTimes are really hard lately for property management and effective selling marketing strategies, but realtors are now focused on a new approach to reach potential customers based on a new printed marketing product.

This new way to promote Real Estate properties is called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) postcard printing marketing technique, first let’s get something clear, Every Door Direct Mail is not the same as Direct Mail.

Direct Mail: Consist on getting flyers printed and getting a list of targeted houses or businesses, print those addresses on labels and then stick them into the postcards, pay postage and send them through your local USPS office.

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): With the EDDM, you may get your postcards printed with the EDDM indicia already on it, just take your flyers to your local USPS and they will do the delivery for you by targeting homes or businesses within a designated zip code area you pick. No Mailing List Needed!

Yes, you heard it right, there is no mailing list needed. The most common problems related to the Direct Mail process has always been getting a real, actual, updated list of targeted prospects that will actually receive and read your postcard.

Based on a recent research it was found that on lists of addresses sold over the internet over 80% of the targeted names and addresses were incorrect, every day, people move from one place to another more frequently and that situation is main cause for outdated Direct Mailing lists, making your postcard printing and mailing project a total waste.

So if we have a return of a 1%, we print and send 5,000 postcards to random addresses with the Direct Mail technique, and 80% of these flyers are wasted… then we will figuring a receivable amount of more than less a 1,000 real people. Out of those 1,000 people, actually 1% (100) will grab your flyer and read it. Then maybe 1 person out of this 100 will actually take action to call or buy.

This is why the Every Door Direct Mail system is so popular these days, USPS has the most up to date database for mailing lists making your investment a more profitable one.

You may find more information about Every Door Direct Mail postcards and pre-designed templates at http://www.55printing.com

Home Loans

Home Prices Rising Steadily but Jumbo Mortgages are Soaring

jumbo home loans los angelesHome values have gone up across the country. However, the luxury housing market in California has greater potential than most other areas mainly because of the many high-end homes and popular neighborhoods and the potential for investment possibilities in addition to making it a full time luxury residence.

In the Los Angeles metropolitan area and other counties with high housing costs, the conforming loan limit is $625,500; in a few areas like Alaska and Hawaii, the limits go above that.

Based upon data in a publication by Inside Mortgage Finance, nearly one-quarter of loans in 2014 have been jumbo loans.

The pattern has persisted in 2015, with originations jumbo loans by 9.8 percent in Q1 of 2015 as opposed to Q1 of 2014.

In January 2014, conforming loan limits for high-cost areas such as the Los Angeles metropolitan area were lowered from $729,750 to $625,500.

The reduction helped expand the resurgence in jumbo loan lending that began about four years ago, since all conventional loans for $625,500 and above are now jumbo loans. The maximum amount lenders will offer varies, with many capping their loans at $3 million or $4 million.

“Now that the real estate market is recovering, with a lot more lenders offering jumbo loans and also the option to obtain a jumbo loan with less than a 20 percent down payment,” said Bill Cook, a Senior Loan Officer in Southern California.

Several Choices Are Available

For borrowers who come in with a down payment of 10 or 15 percent on a $1.5-$2 million dollar home, lenders usually demand the borrower’s liquid cash reserves to be in the range of 6 to 24 months depending on the loan amount.  12 to 24 months of reserves is usually reserved for those seeking a super jumbo loan over $1 million.

For example, if a borrower wants to obtain a $1.5 million loan with just a 10 percent down payment and has a 720 credit score there a few options but not many, however, if that same borrower had a 760 credit score they who can get a 15 percent down payment up to $2 million.

Credit scores make a huge difference in payments and how much you can borrow.  A borrower with a 685 credit score and putting down just 10 percent on a $750,000 loan would have been quoted a mortgage rate of 4.625 percent and zero points. If that same borrower had a 720 credit score, the rate would have been .50 percent less at 4.125 percent and still zero points. That works out to a $193 in monthly payment savings simply due to of the difference in the credit scores.

30-year fixed rates and adjustable rates are available for jumbo loans. Various borrowers choose an ARM with a 5 to 7-year fixed period as it makes the most sense for their situation, particularly due to a 1 percent difference in the interest rate often times means substantial savings on a loan of $1 million or more.”

“In the Southern California area, the majority of lenders have to originate a great deal of jumbo loans, so make sure you work with a lender who has experience and an assortment of products for that market so that your purchase or refinance transaction will go through smoothly.

Consulting with an experienced loan officer at HTTP://WWW.iJUMBOLOAN.COM is the best way to find out whether you can qualify for a mortgage over conforming loan limits.

Home Maintenance

How To Find Home Foundation Problems

foundationrepairhoustonIf not repaired early, foundation problems can lead to high costs. Many times doing a couple of small repair can prevent expensive repairs and much heartache in the future. Identifying the warning signs early and repair them will ultimately prevent from the bigger problems to occur. Foundation problems tend to have a domino effect, which one small problem will lead into bigger ones. The sooner you repair foundation problems, the more your save on avoidable repairs.

Four (4) Simple Warning Signs

Over time properties begin to settle, and can become uneven, therefore it is a normal attribute. Nevertheless knowing on how to identify them, and rectifying set problems can help maintain your home in good conditions. Those signs are as followed:

1. Cracks in on walls

2. Cracks on tiles, especially over concrete floor.

3. Jam doors

4. Window problems

Outdoor signs

Verifying that the foundation is aligned properly, by looking from one end to the other. Everything should be straight and leveled, from top to bottom, and from Left to Right. Use a level to see if the walls are leaning. Inspect your block foundations and concrete for any signs of bulginess or curvy motions, as those could tell us that the foundation had shifted and the soil could be expanding and contracting, thus pressuring the walls.

Weak Concrete

Inspect if the concrete is chipping away or shows signs of flaking; you may use a screwdriver to simple poke at the concrete. A good concrete will need to be strong enough that you will not cause any damage to it.
When you begin to poke at it, and some of the pieces begin to break off, they it’s signs of the concrete deteriorating, due to the mixture of multiple elements, such as dirty sand, or too much water.

foundationrepaircostParts Of The Structure

There are certain items that will support the foundation, such as piers, posts, or concrete support. All these items can be in craw space or in your basement firmly places under the supported beams. To know Foundation systems have other members besides the perimeter foundation wall. In your basement or crawl space, look for posts and concrete supports, or piers. The concrete piers should hold the posts firmly atop of it.

To inspect for any puddles or water damages, you should probe, using wood posts at the rots with a screwdriver. If you begin to notice any water damage, it can be indication of damaged drainage on the foundation’s perimeter.

Having a Professional Inspect it

It is always a good idea to hire a structural engineer, which can inspect your property in a thorough and details manner. Abry Brothers Foundation Repair has over 175 years of experienced in many foundation issues, and has a vast amount of knowledge in dealing in any type of soil, or environment. Their thorough assessment on your property will lead to thousands of dollars in savings, and many heartaches that can come from not acting quick when the warning signs have been identified.

Real Estate

Invest in Columbus GA Real Estate

real estate in columbus gaOne of the biggest complaints I hear from a lot of people that want to own rental property or that want to buy, fix and flip property, is that where they live the real estate prices are just completely out of control. I know that this is frustrating. I happen to live in one of those areas. If I were to buy a house to into a rental with 30% down I would still be losing several hundred dollars per month. It just does not make sense.

The problem is that people tend to get tunnel vision when it comes to real estate. All they can see is the area where they live. If where they live is too expensive or the market is to competitive, they either give up or put off buying rental property until they have enough capital to where it makes sense.

There is a much easier way to get into the real estate market. All you have to do is put on your detective hat and start doing some discovery on your own. What I mean by this is that there are a ton of places all across the US that is ripe with opportunity. Not only are they ripe with opportunity but there is some real money to be made.

Let’s take a look at real estate Columbus GA. The Columbus Georgia real estate market is one of those markets where someone that wants to get into rental property could make a fortune. I was just on a real estate companies website taking a look at property there. I was shocked and excited about the real estate market in Columbus.

Here is an example of one of the properties I found. It was listed for $15,000. It needed repairs and updating but the home was being rented for $650 a month. Let’s just assume you paid full price for the home and then dropped another $10,000 into repairs. So you are into for a total of $25,000. If you were to get the $650 a month, which quite frankly, the home is updated and repaired so you should be able to get more. That is like getting an ROI of 30% per month every month. Of course that does not take into consideration taxes, insurance, utilities and property management fees. But still, I don’t know where else you could get that kind of ROI anywhere.

Now, I don’t know the Columbus area at all. For all I know the example of the home given above could be in one of the worst parts of the city. Quite frankly I don’t care. In about 3 years I would have back virtually every penny I invested. From there on out it is just making me money and more money. Even if the home never appreciated in value and I sold it 30 years later for what I bought it for, I would still have made a small fortune from this one single house.

The point here is that if you really want to get into the real estate game and your market is out of reach, you really need to start looking at other cities and states. There are a ton of opportunities all around this nation. You do not have to be local to invest in real estate.

Real Estate

Experience Matters When It Comes To Real Estate

choosing a real estate agentOne of the things you need to understand about working with a real estate agent is that experience matters. There are more real estate agents out there then you can shake a stick at. Some have been real estate agents for 10 plus years but may have only sold a handful of houses. There are other agents that have only been a real estate agent for a couple of years but are real go getters and have sold tons of houses.

One of those agents that has sold a ton of houses and really knows what they are doing is Ron Hershco. This is the type of agent you want selling your home. He has a ton of expereince. He has a huge referral network. He is well connected in the community. He is part of several organizations. He is constantly promoting himself and his properties. He is constantly hustling.

Here is a little story to show you the difference. I had a piece of property I wanted to sell. I called up one of the local offices and got the new guy who was on the floor that day answering calls. We set an appointment for us to meet.

He was a nice enough guy. He seemed like a hustler. He seemed like he would do a good job. But I was wrong.

This guy didn’t even know what algorates are.

Anyway, he seemed to just spin his wheels for about 45 days. He could not get any traction on our house and he couldn’t get any offers. There were always offers that were supposed to come in but they never materialized.

I could tell he was struggling. So I gave him two alternatives. The first was that we were going to cancel our contract. The second was that he bring in a seasoned real estate agent from his office to co-broker my house. He chose the second.

Low and behold we had offers coming in shortly after a little bit of adjustments and a totally different game plan. Within two and a half weeks we had an reasonable offer and we went into escrow.

Now, I am not saying that you should not use a new guy. What I am saying is that if you are not overly confident in their abilities you should do what I did. Get them to co-list or co-broker your deal. That way you are helping someone improve their career and gain the experience they desperately need.

Good luck with finding your next real estate agent. There are a lot of them to choose from. Just be smart about it and if it is someone lacking experience heed my advice in this blog post.

International

The Hidden Buying Costs Of A Pattaya Condo Besides Its Featured Price

pattaya condoWhen you decide to buy property in any location, price is a huge determining factor. You should always be careful about hidden costs that can drive up the final price. When researching the condo property, do not just look at the price quoted without finding out what it covers. If you decide to buy your dream Pattaya condo, find out the hidden costs so that you can make an informed purchase decision and get proper arrangements for financing. The costs will depend on the type of property that you are buying.

Understand the tax issues

When buying property in any country, the first thing that you should do is to understand the tax issues. This is especially important if you are buying a home in a foreign country, as you are likely to be dealing with tax issues that are not similar to those in your country. There are different types of taxes that need to be paid when buying property in Pattaya and you need to include the costs as part of the purchase price. The costs include Registration Tax, Stamp Duty fee, Specific Business Tax and Income Tax.

Including the legal costs

When buying Pattaya condos for sale, you need to get legal advice. Getting the right legal services will help to ensure that you avoid problems that can crop up when investing in property. Hiring the services of an experienced legal expert will help you when dealing with all the essential paperwork. A lawyer will be able to inform you about hidden costs when buying your Pattaya condo. Make sure that you hire a lawyer from a reputable legal firm that helps foreigners who are buying property in the country.

Hiring a good translator

If you are a foreigner buying a condo in Pattaya, it is very important to get a translator so that you can understand all the legal details. Avoid using the first translation service that you come across as this can mean that you miss out on important issues on the contract. You should never sign a contract if you do not understand all the details and this is where a good translator will come in.
Many people have made costly mistakes when buying property because they failed to understand what the contract entailed.

The maintenance fees

When you buy property in Thailand, you have to find out about additional monthly or yearly charges. The maintenance charges almost always apply when buying Pattaya condos. This fee is used for the building upkeep and it pays for the facility, management company and the security guards. The maintenance fees often apply depending on the location where you purchase the property and they may not be restricted to condos. The fees also often apply to gated estates or villages.

All in all, it is very important to understand all the additional costs when buying property. Many new property owners are caught by surprise because they fail to understand all the costs upfront. Research is very essential when you decide to buy a condo in Pattaya as you can save yourself many headaches by doing your homework!