Tag Archive for Real Estate

How to Start Investing in Real Estate

real estate

Do you wish to invest in real estate but lack the knowledge needed to begin the process? Billionaire Andrew Carnegie is famously quoted as saying that 90 percent of millionaires got their fortunes from investing in real estate. It?s no secret that investing in real estate is a viable way to generate wealth. If you are interested in profiting from real estate investing, the following tips will help you get started.

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Research Your Local Market

The main objective is to locate properties that are priced below the value of the market and are in need of repairs. In the real estate industry, they refer to these properties as ?handyman specials.?

Determine Funding Options

If you are looking to invest, you are unable to get approved for a conventional loan. If you are not going to purchase the property with your own cash, you will have to find what is referred to as a ?hard money lender.? Hard money lenders typically charge higher interest rates and have shorter pay-back terms. Use a mortgage estimator to figure out what your potential monthly payments will be.

In regards to the down payment, ten percent is usually the lowest down payment that you will pay as an investor. There are times when you will find a seller that will allow you to purchase a property with no money down.

Enter Into a Purchase Agreement

Once you figure out your funding solution, you are ready to enter into a purchase agreement for the subject property. Once you and the seller agree upon terms and a sales price, you can execute the sales contract with your signatures. The next phase in the process is the appraisal and title search.

Appraisal and Title Work

The appraisal determines if the property is indeed worth the price it is being sold for?or the after-repair value (ARV). An appraiser is paid to visit the property and conduct a thorough evaluation. The appraisal report is based primarily on the condition of the property, and the comparison of similar properties recently sold in the area.?

A title search is performed by a real estate attorney or a title company (depending on the state). The title search assures that the property is free of encumbrances and solely owned by the seller.


Once the property is appraised and the title work is completed, the attorney or title company will schedule the closing. At the closing, you will sign the closing documentation and receive the keys to your new home. After taking possession of the property, dedicate your nights and weekends to rehabbing the home.


Now that you have a more profound understanding of the real estate investment process, you can proceed with confidence. You now possess the information needed to begin your life as a real estate investor. Once you successfully complete your first deal, you can repeat the process. By multiplying your efforts, you will be able to quickly begin generating wealth as a real estate investor.

Should You Treat Your House Like an Investment?

Should You Treat Your House Like an Investment?

Should You Treat Your House Like an Investment?For most people, the purchase of a home is the single biggest financial transaction they will ever complete. Depending on where you live and what your budget looks like, you could spend anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars on up to a million dollars or more to purchase a house.

With that kind of money in play, it is obvious that you should treat your house like an investment. The answer to the question posed in the title of this article is an easy one ? yes, of course you should treat your house like an investment.

With that answer in mind, let?s take a quick look at some of the things you can do to protect your investment to the greatest degree possible.

Care for Your Home

One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is to protect the value of your home through regular maintenance and upkeep. From simple things like landscaping to complex repairs inside and outside of the home, you need to be sure to keep your property in good condition as the years go by. When the time does come to sell your house, the efforts you put in to maintain its condition will be repaid in a big way.

Make Timely Payments

There are a number of reasons why it is important to keep up with your mortgage payments every month. For one thing, you need to remain current on your payments in order to stay in your home. It won?t take long for foreclosure activities to begin if you fall too far behind. Also, every payment you make will reduce the principal amount owed on the mortgage by a certain amount. That is basically money which you are depositing into the equity of your home. Depending on market conditions, you may make a significant profit on the sale of your home once you decide to move out. By paying down your principal month after month, you will essentially be investing in your own future.

Watch the Market

One of the things you need to do with an investment is sell at just the right time to maximize your return. Of course, you can?t just sell off your house without having another place to live. But, monitor the market and strike when the time is right if you are thinking about moving anyway. Timing your move with the right market conditions can help you get the most from this important investment.

Use It to Your Advantage

If you have positive equity in your home, you can use that equity to your advantage. It can be used to secure things like lines of credit or even business loans. Your home should be seen as an asset. So, you may be able to use it in order to better your financial situation as a whole. If you aren?t sure how you can use your home to leverage your overall financial situation, speak with a banker or other financial professional for advice.


Do you treat your house like an investment? What else is important to do to take care of your home and it’s value?


Photo courtesy of: Pexels

Why a Reverse Mortgage is a Bad Idea

Why a Reverse Mortgage is a Bad Idea

Why a Reverse Mortgage is a Bad IdeaHome ownership is the golden standard for the traditional American dream. Thus, lenders have come up with lots of different programs to help make that dream a reality. There are programs that can help first time home buyers achieve this goal with little to no down payment. Plus, for older people they’ve come up with?an option for them to take out a reverse mortgage on the house they already own.

A reverse mortgage is where you cash in on the equity of your home. So instead of paying your mortgage every month, the bank pays you. But, you still have to pay for taxes, home upkeep and maintenance.

Though it sounds like a great idea to have the bank pay you every month, especially when you’re retired and may have a lower income, a reverse mortgage is usually a bad idea. Here’s why.

High Fees

Since you aren?t paying on your loan, there are higher fees associated with getting this type of loan. You will be charged an origination fee on a reverse mortgage, which you may or may not have to pay for a traditional mortgage. The closing costs on the loan are usually higher.?Plus, home owner’s insurance premiums may increase?if you need to make the difference between your equity and how much you take out as a reverse mortgage.

You may also get charged for a consultation on?the loan, even if you chose not to take out the reverse mortgage in the end. With a restricted income during retirement, it is usually hard enough to pay the bills, let alone having to pay?for these fees. A low income is why some people consider a reverse mortgage?in the first place. But, these fees will quickly eat away at the income you hope to receive from the loan.

You’re Still in Debt

Just because you aren?t paying on a?mortgage every month doesn?t mean that you don?t have any debt. When you take out a reverse mortgage, you are still taking on debt. You still have to apply for this loan, and you still have to pay back the bank one way or another.

If you pass away, your heirs will have to pay back the reverse mortgage. The loan will usually be paid back by selling the house, though it may not always bring enough to pay off the loan entirely. Although it wouldn?t be your problem, it can be tough for your family.

Could Out Live the Loan

As stated, a reverse mortgage pays you instead of you paying them every month. But, one thing to consider is how long you will live after taking out the mortgage. With people living longer than in the past, it’s possible that you might out-live your home equity and reverse mortgage.

If that happens, you’d have no money coming in. Plus, you’d end up making payments again to pay back the loan. Owing more than your house is worth is never a good thing, no matter if you were making payments or not.? You have to make up the difference on the loan.

You Can’t Move

If you take out a reverse mortgage on your primary residence and then have to be moved into a long-term care facility, you have to pay back the loan. In most cases, if you don?t live in the property for a year, you automatically have to start paying back the mortgage. When this happens, you’ll be responsible for paying for your new care facility or residence, plus an inflated mortgage cost. Since you are charged compounding interest on a reverse mortgage, the costs add up quickly.

Maintenance is Required

Even though you don?t have a house payment, you are still responsible for?home improvements?and?maintenance. If you don?t or aren?t able to keep the home up, you can default on this loan. When this happens, you’d owe the entire amount of the loan back to the bank immediately. Plus, it can destroy your credit. This lessens the chances that you’d be able to qualify for a different type of loan, like a personal loan, to help pay back your defaulted mortgage.

Though taking out a reverse mortgage may sound like good plan, it really isn?t. If you can?t afford your current home, try to downsize and find one that?fits your retirement budget. Taking the equity in your home to get a reverse mortgage should be your last option.


Have you ever considered taking out a reverse mortgage? Do you know someone who has?


Photo courtesy of: Compenion

3 Pro-Tips for Real Estate Marketing in the Modern Age

3 Pro-Tips for Real Estate Marketing in the Modern Age

3 Pro-Tips for Real Estate Marketing in the Modern AgeWith technology quickly moving us forward into the future, all industries are experiencing mass corners being cut and processes sped up. Real estate is not excluded from these advancements, especially when it comes to marketing potential they provide. New marketing possibilities include boosting traffic to your open houses, your agency, vacant properties and help you build a brand around yourself as a real estate agent.

Content is King

For the most part, potential buyers will have seen the property listing through your website and have already seen at least a few pictures, some of the features and a list of bullet points to give them an idea of what the property is all about. This is pretty much the minimum amount of effort required by you as the real estate agent. If you really want to wow your potential buyers and sellers, you have to put some work into content marketing.

The reigning marketing tactic of the 21st century so far is the development of content for your blog, website and/or social media accounts. It?s a successful concept that actually adds value to a product or service beyond its intrinsic functions. Have you heard of something positive happening to the neighborhood you?re selling a home in? Has someone famous previously lived in a property you want to advertise?

Content can give you and your overall brand a personality that provides value to the community and can make you the person to go to when someone needs to buy or sell a home.

Modernize Your Approach

As a society that is increasingly addicted to our smartphones and other devices, it should come as no shock that you should have a digital presence that sprawls past just having a website. You need to be on social media – that means Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, all of them. You need to use modern devices ? services like Chime, a real estate CRM with IDX (internet data exchange), will help you manage your clients in one consolidated application.

As a businessperson in the modern age, you have to meet people in the digital marketplace. Imagine for a second all of the people who drove past one of your properties and thought it looked great, however, you were out of printed leaflets and they didn?t have a pen to write your information down. It may have been just the property they were looking for, but by the time they got home they forgot where they saw the house and your name.

If you were to have placed a QR Code on the sign itself, the driver could have stopped snapped a picture of the code and been directed immediately to your website, social media or the property listing. But, you didn?t ? and it cost you a sale – don?t let outdated tech cost you money.

Personalized Communications

Experienced real estate agents have large quantities of data about potential clients, buyer and sellers. However, this data is quite often underutilized and never reaches full potential. As stated earlier, a real estate CRM with IDX tech is the perfect methodology for not only managing contacts and their data, but reaching out to them in a personalized fashion. You can make place phone calls pulled straight from your directory or create personalized email templates to provide a unique, yet manageable, message to similar clients. For example, all of your potential buyers can be sent a personalized email about a neighborhood they are interested in.

Making the investment to implement today?s technology will not only make your brand or agency appear modern, but it will make sales a much more seamless process.


Photo courtesy of: WDnetStudio

3 Home Preventative Measures That’ll Save You Money in the Long Run

3 Home Preventative Measures That'll Save You Money in the Long Run

3 Home Preventative Measures That'll Save You Money in the Long RunThe harsh weather season always seems to be lurking just around the corner. Even if you don?t live in an area with inclement weather, taking inventory of your home and inspecting it for problem areas is an important aspect of being a homeowner. For some people, home inspection may be an annual ritual, but not everybody was born with the inner contractor that some people have inside.

If you could put the ?pro? in ?procrastination,? you might want to pay attention to these simple measures that don?t take much effort, yet could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Put Your Sprinkler to Bed

As it gets closer to the colder seasons, you?ll want to remove garden hoses from the outside spigots. If you leave the hoses attached, it could cause water to back up into the plumbing and get stuck there. This isn?t an issue if you live in a region that never reaches freezing temperatures. However, if you do, the water that gets stuck there could freeze and crack the pipes or faucet, causing hefty damage to your plumbing.

Simply storing the hoses neatly in your garage and turning off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that are directed to any outside faucets will protect you against any potential hazards to your home.

Check if Your Appliances Have Been Recalled

According to the Consumer Reports magazine, between 2006 and 2008, more than 150,000 residential fires occurred, which resulted in the 3,670 injuries, 150 deaths and $547 million in property damage. Nearly half of these fires were caused by faulty appliances; most of which had been recalled for defects that can create fire hazards in the home, however, the homeowner wasn?t aware.

Write down the model and serial number of each appliance you own and check them at www.recalls.gov to see if any of them have been recalled. If they have, the website will show you what action needs to be taken, if any at all from your end. This knowledge comes at absolutely no cost to you except your time and possibly the safety of your home.

You can check the homeowner?s insurance calculator for quick insights on how much it will cost to protect your home from fire damage.

Cracks Are Whack

Take a quick little trip around your home?s interior and exterior (check the siding, around window and door frames- everywhere) and check for cracks or splits in the walls. If you notice your house has quite a few of them, get down to your local hardware store and grab a couple tubes of matching color caulk. Take that same little trip around your house and seal up all the little nooks and crannies that are forming and stop them from getting worse. Sealing up these cracks will prevent moisture getting inside of your walls creating the environment for mold to grow and thrive which, needless to say, can cause all sorts of problems.

None of these helpful preventative measures will take you longer than an hour or two (unless of course there are lines at your local hardware store) yet can save you thousands of dollars and the headache of having to locate someone who can do the job for you.


Do you take any preventative measures to protect your home?


Photo courtesy of: Unsplash