Are You Committed to Your Real Estate Investment?

There are many questions that should be asked before embarking upon a career of real estate investment. The first and foremost question however should be whether or not you are truly committed to making real estate work for you. This is not a business for the faint of heart. In order to truly turn a profit you must be at times ruthless when dealing with buyers and sellers but ethical to a fault when it comes to the work that must often be done in order to get a property in sellable condition.

The reason a serious commitment is needed in order to make real estate work for you is simple. There will be ups and downs along the way. The stock market experiences rises and falls on a regular basis. Just as you cannot dump all of your stock over one bad day the same holds true even more so in the realm of real estate investing. Property values in general rise gradually over time. This means that even if the values in a community falter chances are that they will eventually recover.

Those who bank on the slow and steady growth in the value are referred to as buy and hold investors. These investors are truly committed to their investment. Some of them elect to hold the property as a vacation property while others opt to earn an income on the property by renting it out to other families or vacationers, whatever their choice may be.

This is a great way for many people to enjoy the luxury of a vacation property without absorbing all of the expenses involved in owning a vacation property as the rentals will help compensate some of the costs when the owners (investors) are not in residence. This is a fairly common practice in high demand tourist areas in which people often enjoy vacationing. These types of investors are what some people refer to as serious real estate investors though all real estate investors need to take their purchases seriously.

Those who own rental properties must also be committed to making their investments work for them. Rental properties are not a ‘hands off’ type of investment, as they will need to be maintained in order to remain in demand by tenants. You must also make constant efforts to keep these properties managed and filled along with remaining certain that you are collecting your rent each month and that the properties aren’t falling into a state of disrepair or abuse by tenants.

Many investors retain the services of property management agencies in order to handle the minutia of month-to-month details and collections. This is a great idea whether you have one lone rental property or a vast portfolio of rental properties. Even better however, is the fact that if you keep your rental properties in reasonable repair throughout the years they can become liquid assets in time. In other words, they may actually pay for themselves a few times over if you invest for the long-term rather than focusing on the moment.

No matter what type of real estate investment you intend to have it is important that you are prepared to make the commitment to profit or profitability that is necessary in order for your venture to be deemed a success.

Tips For Buying An Overseas Vacation Home

A majority of us have dreamt of owning an overseas home at home point in time. Owning a home overseas represents a different way of life, in a sun drenched tropical location that is teaming with activities and plenty of things to see. For many of us, owning real estate overseas is a dream that we all look forward to at some point in our lives.

If you have been considering buying a home in a foreign land, there are some things you should be aware of. Anytime you decide to buy a home in a far away land, there are traps and pitfalls that you need to be aware of. If you are aware of these pitfalls, you’ll go a long way in securing your home – safely and securely.

If you want to buy overseas real estate for the value, you should always keep in mind that real estate fluctuates – some months the value may go up, while other times it may go down. Not all countries have the same real estate economy, which makes it in your best interest to look into the economy before you buy a home. This way, if you are buying for the value, you’ll know whether or not your purchase will be profitable.

Legal systems are also something you should be aware of as well. Different countries do things differently, which is why you will need to look into the different legal systems before you decide on a property. The last thing you want is to purchase a home and find yourself totally unaware of how the proceedings go in the area you have chosen.

If you are buying your home to make some extra money, such as using it for a vacation or holiday home, you should always pay attention to the accessibility factor. If you plan to visit the home yourself for vacations, you’ll want to make sure that your property is easy to reach. If your property is hard to reach by automobile or plan, it will decrease in value and popularity over time. On the other hand, if your property is easy to access, it will be great for you and anyone else you decide to rent the property out to.

If you want the process to go as smooth as possible, you can always enlist the services of a real estate agent. Even though you may be buying an overseas home, a real estate agent will know the area and he can answer any questions you may have. Chances are that you aren’t familiar with most overseas areas, which makes a qualified real estate agent a very worthy investment. Your agent can also make recommendations based on what you are looking for – and show you the homes that you wouldn’t be able to locate without his services.

Choosing ADA Compliant Commercial Door Hardware

Business property and entrepreneurs have a ton to consider with regards to setting up a store. Arranging a building, office, store or stockroom configuration is normally surrendered over to temporary workers while the proprietor focuses on squeezing matters like stock, and so forth.

In any case, fail to get associated with the plan procedure may coincidentally prompt barring benefactors with incapacities. It might even outcome in a claim. Picking ADA agreeable business entryway equipment ought to be the duty of both the contractual worker and the business or property proprietor. The United States Department of Justice administrates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) The Act progressed toward becoming law in 1990, and its point is to shield Americans with incapacities from separation, and to give them parallel chance to employments, shopping and everything else relating to day by day living.

The ADA has experienced various updates and alterations as circumstances are different and innovation has advanced. The latest corrections to the ADA were marked into law by previous President George Bush in September of 2008.

The ADA, to a limited extent, requires business property proprietors to plan their structures, workplaces, store space, and so forth in a way that makes them completely open to individuals with inabilities. While “handicaps” has a wide definition, it talks specifically of Americans with restricted versatility (i.e. wheelchair bound or disabled) when connected to business building outline.

The parameters for business building plan for Americans with incapacities are set out in the ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Segment 4.13 applies particularly to business entryway equipment. This administration production is accessible for nothing to intrigued nationals, promotion gatherings, contractual workers and entrepreneurs/chiefs.

Entryway departure and simplicity of opening are of specific significance while tending to issues of access to business structures/organizations for individuals with handicaps. The present ADA sets specific guidelines for entryway departure, for instance, to guarantee that those in wheelchairs can enter and leave an open working without undue trouble.

With regards to business entryway equipment, the ADA states in Section 4.13.9 that: “Handles, pulls, hooks, locks, and other working gadgets on open entryways should have a shape that is anything but difficult to get a handle on with one hand and does not require tight getting a handle on, tight squeezing, or winding of the wrist to work.” This implies entryways on open structures must be equipped with ADA consistent business entryway equipment. Lever-style entryway handles are one case of ADA-consistent entryway passage equipment.

Other business entryway equipment segments, for example, entryway closers, should likewise be in consistence with ADA controls. Entryway closers close entryways naturally after they have been opened. Entryway closers must be set in such a way, to the point that permits sufficient time and departure for a man with handicaps to completely enter the entryway before the entryway swings close once more.

Other business entryway equipment parts that must be thought about when furnishing open structures incorporate crash bars/freeze bars, programmed/control entryway openers, locks and limits. Each business/business property proprietor and temporary worker ought to get comfortable with the Americans with Disabilities Act, especially the “Gauges for Accessible Design” segment.

Financing with an Interest Only Mortgage

Interest only mortgages are a relatively new phenomenon in the re-financing industry as well as the home buying industry. While the appeal of an interest only mortgage is typically a greater monthly cash flow, this increased cash flow can come with a hefty price tag. In exchange for more cash flow each month, the homeowner may be sacrificing the ability to obtain a fixed rate mortgage as well as the ability to build equity. This article will further examine these features to provide the reader with more information on the subject of interest only mortgages.

Greater Monthly Cash Flow

The one main advantage for many homeowners in an interest only mortgage is the ability to increase monthly cash flow. Homeowners who re-finance by utilizing an interest only mortgage will likely have more money available each month because they will only be paying interest on their mortgage initially. The reduction of the principal payment can make it easier for the homeowner to either afford a larger house or have the ability to live more extravagantly on their budget. However, there is often a significant price to pay for these types of re-financing options.

While interest only loans may not be ideal, they can be beneficial in the situation where the homeowner is having a great deal fulfilling his monthly obligations. In this case, the homeowner may be willing to sacrifice an overall financial loss for the ability to continue to pay monthly bills in a timely fashion.

Unknown Risks of an ARM

Interest only re-finance loans are typically offered with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) this means the interest rate is not fixed and may fluctuate with the rise and fall of the prime index. This risk can be quite costly for the homeowner if the interest rate rises significantly. There is usually a cap placed on the amount, in terms of percentage, the interest rate can rise in a certain period but this can still be a very costly mistake for the homeowners.

An ARM re-finance option with an interest only component may be worthwhile in some situations. For example if the homeowner has a hybrid mortgage which features a fixed interest rate during the interest only portion and an ARM during the principal and interest portion of the loan they might benefit from this situation if they do not plan to stay in the home for longer than the interest only period. This period may vary depending on the lender and the circumstances. Homeowners who plan to sell the house before the interest only period ends and the ARM period begins enjoy the benefits of lower monthly payments and the security of fixed interest rates before they ever have to worry about repaying the principal or dealing with the varying interest rates.

No Equity in the Home

Another disadvantage to the interest only re-finance loans is they do not allow the homeowner to build equity in the home during the initial period where only the interest on the loan is repaid. This can be a problem for homeowners who are looking to profit through the sale of their home. These homeowners may find the participation in an interest only re-finance has had a damaging effect on the profit they are able to generate from the resale of their home.

Things to Avoid When Flipping Real Estate

Flipping property is rising in popularity as a form of real estate investing. The truth of the matter is that this is one of the more entertaining methods for many investors that are simply ‘itching’ to get their hands a little dirty. The sweat equity involved in these transactions, while attractive, can also be daunting when skills are inadequate and out and out dangerous in some situations.

If you are one of the many around the world who consider the appeal of flipping property with huge dollar signs in your eyes, you should take care to avoid the following things in order to minimize your risks while maximizing your potential for success.

1) Do not fail to have a qualified inspection of the property before any money changes hands. If you do not have any idea of the types of work that needs to be done then you cannot possibly make an educated estimate of the costs involved in rehabbing the property.
2) Do not underestimate the budget for repairs on the flip. This is one of the most common mistakes that even seasoned professionals make and it can mean the difference between a profit and a loss on the property if you aren’t careful and do not stick to the planned budget.
3) Do not overestimate your abilities. This is another common mistake. The fact that you’ve seen something done on television doesn’t mean that it is something you can do on your own. It costs more money and time to have someone come in and repair your mistakes than to have had a professional do the work from the beginning. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to do some of the work or that doing so would be cost effective. The trick lies in determining where your skills and abilities can really take you rather than where you hope they will take you. Plumbing, electrical, and structural work are generally best left to the professionals unless you have specific experience or training in these fields.
4) Do not fail to hold yourself accountable to your timetable and your budget. Real estate investing puts you in the bosses seat and while that is often simple when it comes to driving others, we often have a bit of difficulty when it comes to holding ourselves accountable for time and money along the way. Unfortunately, failing to do so can be a very costly blunder.
5) Do not forget to keep up with receipts, bills, etc. and reconcile the facts and figures daily. It is far too simple to allow a couple of trips to the local home improvement center escape careful scrutiny. Add a couple of these trips per day and you could easily find thousands of dollars missing from your budget with no paper trail to explain the transactions. You could also find that some tools will not work or be needed for the project. Those items cannot typically be returned without the original receipts.
6) Avoid having too many chiefs on the project. If this is your ball game then you need to run with it rather than having 10 people giving contradictory orders. Schedule meetings regularly to discuss progress and any adjustments or changes that may need to be made.
7) Avoid poor planning. This is one step that is the difference for many would be house flippers between success and failure. Plan out every step of the project in an order that makes sense. You do not want to paint the ceilings or walls after you’ve installed new floors. Nor do you want to rip out walls in order to replace plumbing after you’ve painted them. Plan things out in the proper order and allow a day or two between subsequent projects in case extra time is needed. The last thing you want to do is pay a group of contractors to stand around waiting for the paint to dry so they can begin the next step in the process.

Benefits of Flipping Real Estate

The obvious benefit and sought after benefit of flipping real estate is the profit. This is one incredibly tangible benefit, particularly when the profits are large and quick to come your way. Of course there are risks. Most ventures that offer high profit also come with a high degree of risk. Money, however, is not the only benefit that can be associated with flipping real estate though it is certainly the one on most investors’ minds when they get into this line of work.

Let’s talk profit first. Profit is the one reason that most people get into this business. The days are long and the work is hard. This is definitely not the type of work one would ordinarily undertake for the simple love of getting one’s hands dirty. This is real work that leaves you bone weary at the end of the day. However, when all the work is done and you get around to making the sell, you will find that the profit involved in a successful flip is well worth the effort you’ve put into the process.

The good news is that the savvy investor can still manage to make money even when the situation may not work out quite as planned. This is yet another benefit to flipping real estate. If the flip doesn’t work out, there is always the option of leasing to own the property or renting the property out. The profits in these situations are considerable less than a straight out flip but it can prevent financial ruin that is often the risk of a flip gone wrong. The fact that there are options and that you aren’t necessarily left ruined at the end of a bad flip is definitely a benefit. There aren’t many types of investments that allow you the option to save yourself the way real estate does.

One of the intangible benefits of flipping houses is that you are in essence working for yourself. In other words you do not have to punch a time clock or worry about overtime (at least not on your part). This can be a bad thing too if you lack the discipline required to get the job done. However, most of us will view this is a huge check in the pros column when deciding whether or not to take the plunge into the wonderful and frightening world of real estate investing.

Even though this is a business that requires a lot of work in order to turn an attractive profit there is some satisfaction at the end of the day involved in knowing that you are working for yourself and not to make someone else wealthy or in order to punch a time clock. That feeling of satisfaction is one that you should hang onto when the brand new toilet you’ve just installed becomes a geyser. Of course there are mistakes along the way, what other job keeps you on your toes quite like this one?

Real estate investing, house flipping in particular, can be one of the most frustrating types of investments a soul can pursue. At the same time it can also be one of the most rewarding mentally, spiritually, and financially. This is something you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not this is the right path for you.

Reasons To Stage Your Home For Sale

If you’ve been thinking of selling your investment house or your home, you should make sure that you take full advantage of home staging trends. There are several advantages to home staging trends, which we will take a look at below.

One of the best things about staged homes is that they sell in less time. This is great news for sellers, as these types of homes will sell really fast. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about your home staying on the market for a long period of time. Research has shown that staged homes sell nearly 40% faster than other homes on the market.

Staged homes also sell for more money. Homes that have sat on the market for a long period of time will normally get lower offers due to the fact that home buyers will begin to think there is something wrong with the home. Staged homes on the other hand, don’t sit on the market for long at all. Once they are listed, they pretty much draw attention to themselves – resulting in a fast sale.

A staged exterior will also draw viewers. When home buyers first arrive at a home that is up for sale, they instantly make up their mind whether they should get out and look around, or drive off. If the yard is staged with flowers and the yard is manicured and properly taken care of, chances are that buyers will want to see more. If you entice your buyers by showing them how nice the home is outside, they will surely want to know what the home is like on the inside as well.

Once a buyer has stepped inside of the home, he will know within a matter of seconds whether or not he likes the home. To get the buyer’s attention, you’ll need to stage your home to the buyer’s liking. You don’t want the buyer to feel rushed or get the wrong impression, which is why you should always set the stage and entice the buyer to take his time and get a good look at the home.

Staging the living rooms and kitchens will also help to sell the home. Buyers love living rooms, which is why you should always make sure that the living room is the center piece of your home, and decorate it accordingly. Kitchens on the other hand, is where you should really go all out, decorating with fruit and such. You should always make sure that everything is in place as well. Buyers love to see homes that are ready to move into – and not ready to be worked on.

Staged homes will also attract more real estate agents and get more advertising as well. If a real estate agent loves your home, he will want to show it off. If you stage your home, chances are that real estate agents will eat it up. When they do, they will advertise your home more than others, just to get you some deserved attention. This way, you can benefit from a lot of exposure at absolutely no extra cost.

There’s no other way to look at it, other than staged homes sell. They attract more buyers, more real estate agents, and they give people the feeling of home. When you go out of your way to make the buyer feel that your home is his dream home, he will know it. Homes that aren’t staged may sell, although staged homes sell much faster and for more money. If you’ve been looking to sell your home, you should look into staging it and get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Buying Real Estate Foreclosures

When looking for a home for you and your family you will come across all kinds of deals, bargains, and so-called values along the way. If price is a very tangible object for you and your real estate investment then you might seriously want to consider the value of foreclosures. If you are hoping to invest in real estate in order to turn a profit then you may also wish to consider these properties that are often sold well below the ordinary value of the property because they are in varying degrees of disrepair.

Foreclosures are properties that have been taken back by the lenders because the previous owners were unable to continue making payments on the property. Being that these homes were often owned by those in financial distress and may have been empty for some time before being sold, chances are that the foreclosure homes being sold at any given time are in some degree of disrepair. The shabbiness of many of these properties is one of the factors that keeps the prices down. Another is the fact that the lenders are essentially attempting to recoup their investment in the property. For this reason they are often willing to take less than the value of the property if that is what is owed on the property.

Why are these properties often in a state of disrepair? Truthfully, there are many reasons but the primary culprit in this situation is money. Obviously the owners of the home were struggling to make the payments or the home would not be in the state of foreclosure. If the notes on the property were difficult to begin with it makes perfect sense that other issues such as leaking roofs, shabby carpeting, or plumbing maintenance would take a distant second in priority to making the house payment.

At the same time, there are those who are bitter about loosing their homes. As sad as the situation may be some add insult to injury by damaging these properties intentionally. These homeowners feel they have nothing left to loose and if they cannot have their property hole then the lenders should not as well. While this is by no means the way to go there are very many who choose this path over other options.

The fact is that their loss in these situations is actually your gain. The damage they do to the property is often not terribly expensive to repair though it can be quite bothersome. Your willingness to do the work in order to create a beautiful home for you and your family or as an investment can often translate to big savings at the closing table or when negotiating the price of the property. Foreclosures can allow families to buy larger homes in better neighborhoods than they would ordinarily be able to afford. They can also provide a fabulous kick-start to a property investment portfolio.

Despite common claims and Internet advertisements, you do not need to buy a list in order to find foreclosed real estate in your area. You simply need to procure the services of a competent realtor and let him or her know that your intentions are to purchase a foreclosed property or some other property that is selling well below market value. You might be amazed at the wealth of information and assistance your realtor can provide not only in finding excellent foreclosures but also when it comes to procuring financing for some of the more creatively damaged foreclosures you may run across at insane bargain prices.

Real Estate Investing for the First Timer

You have probably read all the information on the market as it relates to real estate investing and are well aware that many of the world’s millionaires made their fortunes in the real estate market. As a result I’m sure that you feel ready to throw your hat into the ring and begin your own real estate portfolio. There is certainly nothing wrong with this as an investment strategy though there are many wrong ways in which an investor can go about the process.

Flipping properties is my field of experience and a good deal of what will be discussed here will relate to flipping properties though some of the information can be crossed over into rental properties and other types of real estate investment. Even personal property can be a real estate investment. Real estate is one of the few forms of investment in today’s society in which you can actually see the changes as they are occurring.

It is truly amazing to watch a property that was once neglected and in a state of disrepair suddenly spark back to life right before your very eyes. There is a lot of work involved in this process though and this is often overlooked. Much like labor in light of birth. The pains are quickly forgotten when looking into the face of the outcome.

Keep these things in mind for your first time and you should be well on your way to future success. You should also realize that the first few investments are learning experiences more than anything else. If you do not achieve the success you were hoping for (or success to a lesser degree than hoped) you should not give up on the dream all together simply learn from the mistakes you will make along the way as well as the mistakes that others have made.

Real estate investing is not an exact science. There is no formula in this business that guarantees success. Even seasoned professionals will find the occasional bump in the road even on a property for which they had high expectations. Stuff happens along the way that cost money, delay the project, or set the project back. These things are stumbling blocks no doubt but should not be allowed to derail the entire project. When these things happens go back to your original plan, reassess the situation and create a new plan with the necessary adjustments in mind. The key is in sticking to a plan the entire time and never throwing the plan out the window and flying by the seat of your pants.

Your plan will be your lifeline throughout the project. You need to have a plan and a budget in writing. One great rule of thumb is that you set aside double the amount of money you plan for in your budget. This gives you a bit of a safety net for the inevitable things that will go wrong. Things will go wrong on almost every flip you encounter. Even the seasoned professionals that have television shows about their flipping efforts encounter problems in almost every single flip, rehab, or renovation.

For your first few investment purchases it is recommended that you purchase properties that need little more than minor cosmetic repair rather than complete rehabs or renovations. This allows you to get your feet wet without the incredible risk of going off the deep end mentally, emotionally, and financially. These properties represent lower profits but also lower risk. They also allow you to gain valuable experience and raise a little capital in which to invest in properties requiring more extensive work in the future.

Keep your eye on the carrot at the end of the project. Far too many would be property investors give up just before they reach the point of true profitability. The goal is the profit at the end of the project.

Determine The Listing Price

When it comes to buying a home, most potential buyers will use the listing price to as the number one factor to determine the homes that they look at. Even though you and a realtor may determine the asking price, the buyer will determine the selling price. If the price is too high, most buyers won’t give it a second thought – which is why you want to determine the listing price carefully.

If you set the correct price, you’ll notice a much faster sale. Setting the right listing price will also attract more potential buyers to your property as well. You’ll also notice an increase in response from realtors, and receive more calls about the property. The listing price is very important – and it can ultimately determine whether or not you sale your property.

A home can be overpriced due to several reasons. Overpricing is something you want to avoid, as buyers tend to steer clear of homes that have been overpriced. Normally, this happens when a buyer asks a lot more than the home is worth or valued at. Some buyers ask a lot more than the value of the home due to location. Although the location is very important, most potential buyers won’t give the home a second look if they think the price is too high – and more importantly out of their price range.

When you put your home up for sale, most activity will happen within the first couple of weeks. If you put the right price on your home, you’ll notice immediate interest. There are always buyers looking for homes in their price range, waiting for new homes to be listed or homes to be reduced in price. Buyers who are waiting to purchase may miss seeing your home completely if the price is too high.

To determine the listing price of your home, you should always have it appraised before you put it on the market. This way, you’ll know the full value of your home. You can sell it for market value or go a little under, although you should never attempt to go way over the value. In doing so, you’ll miss out on a lot of potential buyers. The home market is very competitive these days, which is why you want your home to draw as much interest as possible.

Keep in mind that realtors really have no control at all over the real estate market, only the plan behind marketing. Realtors don’t determine the asking price – the seller does. You can ask a realtor for advice, although you are the decider of your listing price. If you do things right and take each thing step by step, you’ll set the listing price in the right area and have no problems selling your property.