Real Estate Tips For Beginners

Have you always wanted to invest in real estate but don’t know where to start? Here are some of the different areas of the industry that you can invest in:

Areas That You Can Invest In

Residential: these are properties such as townhouses, apartment buildings and vacation houses. Here a person or a family will pay you in order to live in your property. The length of time that an individual lives in your house depends on your rental or lease agreement.

Commercial: commercial real estate consists mainly of office buildings. When you construct office buildings you can rent them to companies and small business owners. Again the length of time that the business owners use your property depends on your agreement.

Industrial: this one consists of car washes, storage units and any other special type of real estate where customers use your facility on a temporary basis.

Retail: it consists of trip malls, shopping malls and any other retail storefronts. When you construct a mall, you can rent it to a person interested in running it or you can run it yourself.

Mixed-use: this is where you combine any of the above categories into one project. For example, you can construct a storied building with offices, malls and residential areas.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs): this is where you invest in real estate trusts. When the mortgages generate profits, you get a share of it.

Tips on How to Be Successful In The Industry

For you to be successful in the real estate business you need to do a number of things:

Involve an attorney: regardless of the area of the industry that you are interested in always involve an attorney. A good attorney will help you in finding the right construction company. The attorney will also help you in writing professional rental contracts.

Neighborhood: the area where you invest in greatly determines the amount of money that you will make from your investment. To be on the safe side always go for a neighborhood that is growing or has the potential of growing.

Run the numbers: many investors assume that when they construct a building they will have a tenant, which is usually wrong. Before you invest in a building you should run the numbers and find out if you will be able to pay the mortgage if the property sits empty. If you find that you can’t be able to repay the mortgage in the event that the property doesn’t have a tenant for a month or two, chances are that you are stretching yourself too thin.

Why Is Maidenhead A Property Hotspot

Property continues to be one of the most sought after vehicles for investment in the United Kingdom. Even though, the property market has slowed down during the last few years, Maidenhead has remained as one of the property hot spots of the country.

Contrary to the belief that the Maidenhead area generally follows the nationwide housing trend, it actually aligns more closely with the London property market. As such, Maidenhead enjoyed significant increases in property prices comfortably beating the national averages in the 90s and early 21st Century even though it could not escape the recent housing troubles.

When the market came to a stand still, the sales of residential property in the Maidenhead area almost hit rock bottom while buyers and sellers assessed their situation.

With the signs of a housing sector recovery, the Maidenhead area has, indeed, been taking the lead in the Thames Valley area; with the average time of a property remaining on the market estimated to be under 6 weeks.

While the Maidenhead residential real estate prices climb back up to their 2006 heights, I firmly think Maidenhead is going to enjoy the continued property boom again.

Here are some of the reasons why the property investors are so interested in the Maidenhead area:

  • First and foremost, the Cross Rail project has to be mentioned. This is the new underground line connecting the Maidenhead area to East London. This will not only bring a lot of London commuters to the area but a lot of businesses are also expected to move their offices to Maidenhead as well.
  • There is also a wide variety of good quality properties for sale in the Maidenhead area.
  • It has some very famous and exclusive Berkshire neighbours such as Windsor, Ascot and Sunningdale; attracting the rich people to the area.
  • It is important to stress that Maidenhead has very good motorway connections to London, Birmingham and Oxford.
  • Maidenhead has easy access to the major airports (under 1 hour of travel): Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Birmingham.
  • Maidenhead also has a superb selection of sporting venues nearby, from the world-famous Wentworth and Sunningdale Golf Courses to the Dorney Lake, where the Olympic rowing competitions were held.
  • Maidenhead is very close to a number of natural attractions as well as a number of very beautiful English villages, such as Marlow, Henley, Cookham, Hambleden and Bray.
  • A number of famous celebrities live in and around Maidenhead, such as Ulrika (kakakaka) Johnson and Rolf Harris; who increase the attraction of Maidenhead.

As a summary, the residential property market in Maidenhead is already on the up again.

What Is Virtual Real Estate?

A real estate is a property, consisting of a house and land being bought and sold. Virtual real estate is different. It’s not about a property being sold online or a virtual home. A virtual real estate exist on the internet.

Virtual real estate is a term used for online properties. This includes domain names, websites, and online services. If you already have a website with a registered domain name, then you already own one. Similar to a physical real estate, there are different types of websites and domains. Domain names and websites are a popular real estate but do you know that it can also be a free blog account or an email address? I’ve seen people earning a lot of money from selling AOL accounts, Squidoo accounts, etc.

The concept of virtual real estate is to buy and sell websites, domain names and online services over the internet. Just like a real state business, there are many ways to buy and sell a website. You can buy domain names cheap then sell them at a higher price.

Anyone can buy a virtual property because all you need to do is to register for a domain name. This is a lot easier than buying a physical real estate. Getting started with this kind of business is easy and you don’t need to be tied up with large investments. You don’t need to deal with tedious paper works and banks and title companies. It is easy to maintain and there are many ways to earn money from it.

In fact, you can start buying a domain name for as low as $8. Use your domain name on a free blogging provider so you don’t have to pay anything for a hosting solution. Then once your site earns a few revenues, use those to upgrade your website bit by bit.

Monetizing your website is the core of your website. One way to monetize your website is to buy and sell domain names. For instance, if you have a single-word domain name, you can sell it at a higher price because these kinds of domain names are hard to come by unless you invent a new word.

Another way is to buy and sell website. This process is like buying and selling homes and apartments. You buy low, sell high; thus make a profit.

In order to sell high, you need to make it sell-able. The value of a real estate depends on what kind of traffic it gets. If the traffic is good, expect a good price. The higher the traffic is, the higher the price.

When buying and selling websites, traffic is the key in selling high. Once you have traffic, you can monetize your website in different ways like selling affiliate programs, advertising, soliciting, sell subscriptions, or ask for donations. However, don’t expect that one strategy will work with the other, it all comes down to testing and experimenting. Virtual real estate is a good investment and can even lead to a passive income. Learn as you go, plan, and know all the actions before you start.

Ten Tips for Moving in the Winter

Moving in winter poses special challenges, whether you’re moving between two high rise condos in the same city or crossing the country. Although the weather is far less conducive to the hard work of moving, it can be cheaper to hire a moving company at this time of year. Whether you’re using a professional outfit or relying on the kindness of friends, following are a few pointers for making the first day in your new home as smooth as possible.

Be Ready

Be sure the new house is ready for the move before you head over with all your belongings. Check that lights and plumbing are working and if the weather’s nippy, consider having the heat on for a few days so it’s warm for the move-in. It is a good idea to check in with Capital Construction to make sure your new house has no leaks in the windows or roof which will cool you house down every quickly in the winter.

Clear the Snow

Slipping on snow and ice can turn a simple move into a disaster. Before you even start, make sure all walkways at both old and new homes are clear; ice or sand if necessary. Keep shovels, salt and sand on-hand.

Parking Considerations

Whether you’re using a moving company or getting help from a gang of friends, be sure there’s adequate parking for the moving truck at both locations. Parking at urban condos can be particularly, and this could mean a bit of negotiating with new neighbors or the landlord if space is tight.

Protect Your Floors

Winter’s snow, ice and salt are notorious for dirtying up or even scratching some kinds of flooring. Protect floors and carpets with big pieces of cardboard or plastic sheeting for the big day. You can use duct tape if the floors can withstand it, and small tacks work well on carpeted areas.

Have a Plan B

With the constant threat of winter storms, there’s always a chance that your move will have to be rescheduled. If you’re using a moving company, call and see what their storm policy is, as some may want to reschedule the move, meaning you can’t move out and new tenants or owners can’t move in. Check with your landlord or real estate agent to see if it would be alright to stay a few more days. If you can’t, you may have to arrange a few days of temporary housing.

Keep an Eye on Mother Nature

If you’re moving a distance, keep an eye on the weather along your travel route, checking with local authorities by phone or on-line if the forecast is ominous. Scout out overnight accommodations in case you need to make an unexpected stop.

Prep Your Car

Be sure your car is serviced and winterized, with brakes and tires checked and fluids topped. If you have chains, be sure you know how to use them, doing a trial run on installation in the garage before you go. Carry salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck, pop a snow shovel and blanket in the car and be sure you have a gas can and roadside assistance membership.

Keep a List

Your winter move emergency contact list should include roadside assistance, highway control and a number for road conditions. Be sure someone who’s not on the moving trip knows the route your taking and schedule a call-in with them to be sure all is fine.

Extra Clothes

Not only do you want to stay warm and dry during the move, you’ll want to be sure your helpers are comfortable. Bring along a bag of gloves, hats, sweaters and socks in case of changing weather or wet clothing.

Feed the Gang

Keep your moving pals warm and well fed by keeping hot drinks and easy cold weather eats like chili and instant soup mixes on hand along with morning donuts and lunchtime sandwiches. Try to have a warm space in the house for enjoying a tea break, and be sure to have mugs and spoons along with paper cups and plates.

Market Update: Current Real Estate Trends

There was some mixed news over the last month. The news was mostly positive but, or course, there are some who think that our next crash is eminent. I tend to lean on the positive side of things, especially after reading that consumer confidence continues to rise. This index is based on a survey, which are not always accurate, but the idea of consumer confidence is the best piece of data to judge the economy, in my opinion. When there is high consumer confidence, consumers borrow and spend money, which creates a strong economy and more confidence. It really is a domino effect. According to the University of Michigan and Thompson Reuters, who conducted a confidence survey, consumer confidence is at its highest post-recession level. According to the survey, consumers have an optimistic outlook on the overall economy and their personal income levels.

It is also worth mentioning that based on a survey sponsored by Zillow, consumer confidence is not the only index on the rise. In fact, the latest Housing Confidence Index is on the rise as well and indicates consumers have an overall positive feeling about the housing market.

According to Fannie Mae, the economy will continue its recovery at least through 2015. Foreclosures are way down. Fannie Mae’s list of defaults is at its lowest level in six years, and residential foreclosures, according to CoreLogic, are down across the nation by almost 33% year over year. Finally, unemployment hit the lowest level since 2008. All this tells me one thing… Our economy is thriving. We are definitely on the up-and-up.

Of course, the Fed is aware of how well the economy is doing and continues its bond buying cuts. Over the last two years, our government has been purchasing debt in order to keep liquidity high and rates low. Basically they were just printing money each and every month. The strategy worked well and interest rates have been at all time lows. With the economy improving and the risk of inflation increasing, the Fed wants to pull out of the bond buying business. The Federal Reserve has agreed to further reduce the amount of bonds being purchased, and even hinted that the end is near. If things remain on the current path, we might see the program end as early as this month. I feel it will continue to be gradual, but there is little question that rates will be on the rise.

Real Estate Stories You Should Not Believe

No matter if you hire a Realtor to buy or sell a house; you will hear many crazy stories. People like to share their good and bad experiences. You will hear many tales when asking acquaintances for referrals. Unfortunately, some of these stories are pure fiction. People often make up events to look smart. Others don’t want you to think they are dumb. That is why it is important to talk to agents from different agencies, that can guide you through the process and can even help when you have concerns. Licensed professionals working in this industry know exactly what is true. Are you curious about common myths? Keep reading.

The Main Purpose of Appraisals Is to Ensure that Buyers Don’t Overpay

Although appraisals provide excellent information for both buyers and sellers, the true mission of these assessments is more a measure to protect lenders. Until you pay off your mortgage, your home loan provider owns part of the property. Lenders do not want to own overpriced properties. For that reason, appraisals are done before mortgages are granted.

Realtors Are Always Late for Appointments

Professionals should not be tardy whether they are doctors, plumbers, accountants, or real estate agents. The majority of specialists try their best to keep appointments. However, that is not always possible for busy Realtors. Delays can occur for various reasons. For instance, a client spends more time than normal viewing a house. The agent has no choice but to show up late at the next meeting.

Successful agents have several clients at any given time. When delays occur, they usually call their next client. The meeting can be kept or rescheduled.

Agents Don’t Work Much

It seems that Realtors talk a lot and that’s about it. People do not see what happens behind the scenes. In order to share information, agents have to gather knowledge. They have to make inquiries and check out potential residential, commercial, and other types of properties for sale in person. Developing business relationships that can be helpful to clients is also on the agenda.

Real estate agents have unusual work schedules. They typically work evenings and weekends. Therefore, do not be surprised to find your agent picking up kids at school in the afternoon or shopping at the grocery store during the day. They manage their personal responsibilities whenever time permits.

Agents Overprice Homes to Make More Money

Agents typically complete a market analysis before suggesting a listing price to sellers. They do not gain much by suggesting an unrealistic price. Potential buyers will not come if the home is overvalued. When the contract is over, displeased sellers will find another agent. The first one now lost any chance for a commission.

Anyone Can Sell Homes

While it may not be the most challenging job in the world, Brokers work hard to be successful. They have to complete rigorous training and pass a difficult test to get certification. Continuing education is required to stay current on trends and developments in their designated territories. Slacking off is not an option, because clients write reviews.

Can I Buy Real Estate With No Money Down?

Can I still buy real estate with no money down? Look at the current market. There have been so many changes to how properties are financed that it would appear the no money down real estate is dead.

Yet that is not totally accurate. I think we must remember that you can buy real estate with no money down but it is very hard to buy real estate with no money. You still have other costs such as an appraisal, title insurance, property insurance and a few others.

You can still purchase property with no money down. But you have to learn how to do so in this current market. Let me share with you a few ways that have worked for me in years past.

1) I purchased a 2 flat with no money down. The seller was looking to unload a vacant building that had just been vacated by its tenants. I approached her and said I would purchase her property if I could do so with no money down. I gave her the full asking price, she paid the down payment and I got a new first loan. I did have to pay my own closing costs but I saved the money down.

Principle I learned; ask the seller for help

2) Purchased a 6 flat and got financing from a neighborhood bank. Told them I wanted a loan from them to cover the entire purchase price.. Seller accepted a price that was about 90% of the appraised value of the building so I would close with automatic equity. Bank agreed to give me 100% financing if I would pledge equity I had in other property in lieu of putting down cash. I got property with 100% financing and at the closing got $5000 in credits.

Principle I learned: always ask seller for a break on the price and use equity in other investments to keep your cash

3) Purchased a LLC that own real estate. Instead of refinancing all the properties in the LLC I purchased the LLC from the owners. It was no money down to me and I paid what I owed them from the cash flow of their own investments. I will be able to sell off properties individually with proceeds going to the LLC.

How Are Property Inspections Done?

The importance of property inspections is now greatly considered by both a landlord and a tenant. It is to their advantage that the unit is checked before and after occupying it to know the present physical condition of it and to determine what needs to be done.

The landlord or property manager would primarily want a record of the condition of the property for reference later on while the tenant would essentially appreciate the assurance of taking on a unit that is in good condition.

It is important to establish exactly what the state of the property is and identify problem areas if there are any. An inspection is a highly technical undertaking. At times, trouble spots are not easily detected by the naked eye. Also, there are matters that need expert skill and knowledge to be handled.

Professional property inspectors have the training and experience to spot red flags and intentionally seek out potential problems. When it comes to property inspections, landlords are aware that an official report provides the credibility required. It will hold up in any legal proceeding and will provide solid support for pertinent issues that may arise in the future.

There are many aspects involved in property inspections. Most homes comprise different elements and each one bears looking into so that you could be certain that everything is in working order or in suitable condition. The scope of an inspection normally covers the importance ones such as doors and windows, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, walls, floors, electrical systems and pests. In many cases, dealings are dissolved when crucial findings involve the presence of termites, the need for a plumbing overhaul, and the discovery of a faulty wiring system.

These are serious issues that no tenant would want to take on. Landlords would be well-advised to resolve them first before they offer to lease their property out. Meanwhile, cracks, holes, and other minor problems can be dealt with prior to tenant occupancy. At times, some tenants would still be willing to move in with the understanding that they wouldn’t be blamed and billed for those problems upon their exit. This can be their assurance.

And so, property inspections are really very important. Property inspections are not only recommended before and after occupancy. It serves both the landlord and the tenant well to get a unit inspected regularly. It gives the owner peace of mind as to the treatment of his property as well as a heads-up in case something needs to be repaired.

The Benefits and Risks of Real Estate Auctions

As many people have discovered, the traditional realtor firm isn’t the only way to sell a property. Real estate auctions are increasingly popular among people who buy and sell properties. As an alternative to the traditional marketplace, “[t]he benefits of selling via auction are particularly obvious during the bidder qualification period.” (Source: “Brokers See Benefit of Auction Process”, National Real Estate Investor) If you haven’t considered the auction route, you should keep the following benefits and risks associated with the auction process in mind. You may find that it suits your property-selling goals.

Benefits of Real Estate Auctions

One of the major reasons sellers seek the auction format is because it often allows them to dictate terms and conditions as well as a deadline. Selling for cash also allows sellers to move forward with their plans without delay once the sale is made. Since roughly 90% of auction sales close, there is every possibility that the deal transaction will close without a hitch–particularly with pre-approved buyers in attendance at the auction.

When it comes to complicated properties, many auction houses actually recommend the use of brokers. This provides sellers with the best of both worlds–the auction format coupled with the selling expertise of the realtors. Often sellers obtain great prices for properties they sell at auction–more than they expected. This is usually because buyers come prepared with a cap and may bid until they reach that cap.

Risks of Real Estate Auctions

While selling properties at auction often results in a great deal, it doesn’t always. There isn’t any guarantee that the price will be bid up by other interested parties. Also, sometimes bidders do not have the opportunity to have home inspections. Buying a home without an inspection is risky for the buyer, so the more inspection information you can present the better. Property sellers “have dozens of decisions and choices on both advisor sale terms and many auction formats.” (Source: “Commercial Real Estate Auctions in Soft Markets”, Heritage Global Partners) It’s important to weigh these considerations carefully. What is the minimum acceptable bid or can the property simply be let go to the highest bidder? These questions must be mulled over in advance.

Sellers who sell at auction have to rely on marketing. While a great auction firm often has regular clientele, some may not do all they can to market your auction. You may want to promote your upcoming sale online or at other venues in order to attract potential buyers to your sale.

Work with a Reputable Auction Firm

When you attend auctions hosted by reliable and respected auction houses, you’ll feel more comfortable about the process and may even find that some risks are mitigated. Many sellers find the auction route liberating. They can plan accordingly because they know what day they are selling their house. Working with a trusted auction firm with experience in real estate is essential for sellers who may be new to the action process.

These are a few of the pros and cons associated with selling a property at auction. Before you make your decision, talk to an auction house that can answer your specific questions and address all your needs.

Real Estate Can Make You Rich

People dream about being rich all the time. There are a few ways to do that. You can inherit wealth from your family (like the Walton’s or the Hilton’s), you can build a successful business that brings you wealth through ownership (such as Bill Gates or Steve Jobs) or through investing (Warren Buffet or Donald Trump).

Then there is real estate. I believe that this is the best vehicle for the average person. When you want to build a nest egg that can be worth millions of dollars you can use this as the vehicle. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Appreciation – Contrary to what has happened in our economy these last years appreciation is still one of the top reasons to own real estate. Property has a habit of increasing in value over time and you can see your investment go up in price.

2) Tax Advantages – You can use investments to lower your tax liability and create write offs for yourself. You can increase your income simply but deducting allowable rent expenses.

3) Rental Income – I like this benefit of owning property. Each month you can receive income from your investment properties that help to improve your cash flow. You can get to a point where you can live off of your rents. Some landlords do and kiss their jobs goodbye.

4) Multiple uses of equity – When you own property you can use the equity to purchase other properties or to make purchases on things you want. I remember going to buy my dream car and having the gentleman look at my income and the car I wanted. Based on my job at that moment I could not afford the car with my current payments. But when I told the salesman I also owned property and got rental income each month I walked out with my car.

5) Leverage – As you look to expand your real estate portfolio you can use one building to purchase another. I was buying a six unit building and was short on cash. I spoke with a lender and they ultimately used that equity to close on the building I wanted. Real Estate is one of the vehicles to use leverage on because people are not expected to pay cash for a property.

6) Profits from fix and flip – You can buy, fix and flip homes. If you are profitable and can save a portion of your profits, you may end up rich.

Go for it. RE Investing is a great life.