Archive for July, 2011

Real Estate Investment Mistakes

Friday, July 29th, 2011

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Whether you are a beginner or an expert real estate investor, people make mistakes. In real estate investment, that can cost you big bucks in the long run. When you are looking at investment properties, here a few tips to help you avoid losing lots of money.

Buy a House that Appeals To You

The first big mistake people make is buying a property just because they can. Unfortunately, this often leaves you stuck with a property you can’t get rid of.  Instead of buying because you can, buy a property that appeals to you or draws you in. If you find it appealing, other people are going to be drawn to it to, and they’ll be willing to give you money for it.

Always Negotiate on the Price

There are people that never pay full prices for anything. This is because they are not afraid to ask for a discount or try to find a good deal. The same applies to real estate investment. When you go to make an offer, don’t be afraid to ask for less than their set price. Be sure to give them sound reasons if they ask. For example,

The price of renovating the place or fixing the place will be about X dollars.

The house has been vacant for X months/years.

Reasonable Reno

Once you have the property, partake in reasonable renovations only. A lot of investors get into a property believing they can do great fixes or changes until they see how much it is going to cost. Then, they slap some paint on and just try to get rid of it, or they do way more than is reasonably necessary and lose money at the sale. Find out what is acceptable in the neighborhood, and make the house up to code and neighborhood standards.

Contract or DIY

Once you’ve decided what needs to be done, decide which projects you can do in a reasonable amount of time. Then, contact a trusted contractor for the rest. It doesn’t save you time or money to try and handle projects that you do not have the experience in doing.

Selling Price

Even though you want to make lots of money of the sale of your investment property, you don’t make any money by holding on to it. Carefully consider your listing price. Most real estate agents recommend listing the house slightly under property value. This looks like you are trying to give the buyer more for their money.

Real Estate Investment is a great way to make money if you are wise with your money first. For more information on real estate investment opportunities, contact us at homevestors.com. If you are ready to take real estate investment to the next level, we also have information on real estate franchises.

Resell to qualified investors for a quick profit

Friday, July 29th, 2011

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Real estate investment is an interesting game. You are betting that a piece of property you invest in is going to make you money either through rent or through resale. If you are looking to make money on your investment fast, your best option would be to resell the property to a qualified investor.

Things to consider

The less amount of time you hold on to a property, the better. However, a short turn around on a piece of property means a lot of work and paperwork in a little amount of time, and anything can go wrong. Finances may not work out. Buyers or investors may back out at the last minute. Hired contractors may not finish the job. These factors are out of your control, but they have to be considered when you are looking at investing in resalable property

It’s all About the Money

In addition, the biggest defining piece of the investment puzzle is the acquiring of the property. In order to make a profit, you have to purchase the property for asking price minus the amount it will take to fix up the property. If you do not try to get the repair amount knocked off of the asking price, the chances are you will lose money when you go to sell the property to investors. If you aren’t going to fix it and are selling it as is to investors, you need to make sure that your commission or handling amount is also taken off of the price. This is so you can have a paycheck when the property sells.

Try to remember these when looking at property resale:

When you are looking at properties, determine if the amount of the home is going to be too much for you to be able to make a profit.

If the home doesn’t appeal to you, it’s not going to appeal to your investors.

Renovations or fixes should be done in the most time efficient and money efficient way possible, including DIY stuff and contractor stuff.

There is a lot of money to be made in real estate investment, but you have to be smart about  the properties you choose and how you handle it. For more information on real estate investment, contact us at Homevestors.com. We also have information on real estate franchises for those individuals that want to expand their real estate business.

HomeVestors Continues to Grow Across the US

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

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HomeVestors continues to add franchises across the US. Real estate investors continue to realize there are exciting opportunities to invest in real estate, and recognize HomeVestors as the best opportunity to learn to invest in real estate.

HomeVestors has already added more franchises in 2011 than they did in all of 2010!

Louisiana is the latest state with a new HomeVestors franchise. “Tomie O’Neil of Emerald Property Group will be buying ugly houses in and around New Orleans including  Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany Parishes, LA

Texas a Best State to Live In?

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

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Have you thought recently that the Dallas real estate market was doomed and never to rebound again? In the midst of hard economic times, it may seem like that. However, there is progress happening behind the scenes. The economy of Dallas is making a slow upward trend according to marketing reports and analysis.

The Numbers

Recently, Living Trade released its list of Best US States to live in. Oklahoma made the list at number ten, and surprisingly, Texas made the list at number one. The list looked at ten states that added a minimum of 25,000 jobs each quarter in the first half of 2011. Texas had a whopping 117,000 jobs added, which is huge compared to the total 517,000 added by all ten states.  What makes Texas’s number one rank so surprising how quickly it has recovered in our country’s current economic state. Between 2008 and 2010, Texas lost over 116,900 jobs by local firms. In the last six months alone, Texas has added those jobs plus seven hundred.  Other states that made the list were Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, California, and Florida.

Trends

By comparing the ten states, there are several factors that all ten share. All of the states were devastated by the real estate market and downturn in manufacturing that began in 2007. All of the states have rather large populations, and they did not lose that many jobs at the beginning of the recession. These states also have a lot of jobs in the financial industry, including the banking and mortgage areas.

Forecast

What does this mean? Hang in there all of you that have been scraping to make ends meet. There is the light of economic relief ahead in this tunnel of despair. If you are in real estate, the business sector is growing again. This means more properties will be needed in commercial and residential areas. It may take creative marketing, ingenuous ways of finding clients and meeting their demands. It may also mean helping to arrange seller financing for buyers that may have imperfect credit. It will not be the major money making real estate industry of days gone by, but it will put the food on the table, pay the light bill, and leave a little extra in your pocket for gas.

The numbers do not lie. Texas is a great place to live, and it’s great news that the states number of jobs is increasing as fast as it is. The hard part is waiting for the nation to catch up and hoping that the state can maintain its job growth progress.

For more information on the real estate business or the potential in real estate investment, look us up at Homevestors.com.

Caveats for Real Estate Investors

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

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As a real estate agent or real estate investor, you will be looking at numerous properties. Some of these will be older homes that look good with a fresh coat of paint. Great homes and commercial properties can be old or new, however, before you invest in any property or try to sell any property, get an inspection performed. This is to undercover any potential problems that may be hidden behind the plaster, drywall, and fresh paint.

Plumbing

It is no lie that building codes have changed for everything over the last fifty to one hundred years. Plumbing features have changed. In the old days, cast iron or galvanized pipes were used for plumbing. In modern times copper or PVC are the pipes of choice.  The problem with older cast iron pipes is rust. Older galvanized steel water lines are known to corrode get plugged up over the years. Just because you see copper pipes, doesn’t mean there isn’t some other kind behind the walls. The only way to know for sure is through a professional inspection.

Electric Wiring

Over the years the type of wiring used to conduct electricity has changed as well as the grounding practices and amperages available at outlets. Now days most homes are wired with a plastic-sheathed, insulated three-wire cable that is made to reduce the chances of electrical fires. In older homes, the wiring can be one or a combination of several wiring systems that may not be safe. These include Knob and Tube, Armored Cable, and Two-wire plastic-sheathed cable. In addition to the unsafe wiring, many homes do not have enough outlets for modern families and businesses.

Heating and Air Systems

Although older model heating and air systems are not necessarily dangers, they aren’t the most fuel efficient systems for heating and cooling homes. Many of them are hard to find replacement parts for as well. Knowing what kind of system there is before you need it can help you find parts places ahead of time or help you replace it before it falls apart.

Basement

Basements used to be used for other things like storage, and while some may have been prepped to keep out bugs, pests, and water, not all were. Proper inspection can help you figure out if the basement has been properly water sealed or damp proofed. If it hasn’t, chances are there may be unseen deterioration behind the walls that may cost megabucks to repair.

Roof

Over the years, wood naturally deteriorates. This is a huge problem with older homes. Even if the roof has been taken care of properly, there may be still be damage and deterioration that needs to be attended to under the shingles. In addition, the roof may be sagging. The chimney may be deteriorating, or any metal like the flashing may have rusted through. Inspectors will find and note these costly fixes for you.

Insulation

Insulation hasn’t always been monitored or as available as it is now. In older homes, owners would often fill cracks and crevices with paper or wood particles. With the advent of modern insulation, these were often covered over with new insulation to help reduce heating and cooling costs. Although the home may hold hot or cold air well, it may be a fire hazard. Having someone inspect the home, will help spot the potential fire danger and keep you from having to replace more than just insulation.

Being smart and informed about older homes can keep you from investing in or selling a home that needs a lot of work. For more information on real estate investment, contact us at Homevestors.com.

Where is Dallas’s Real Estate Market going?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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Recently, Texas A&M University released its 2011 Market Report. Texas A&M evaluates every aspect of the growing communities of Texas, including many of the factors that affect the real estate industry. The good news is according to the 2011 Market Report Dallas is in the top four cities forecasted for population growth in Texas. It is predicted between 2000 and 2020 Dallas will grow between forty and fifty percent. Before 2015, Dallas is predicted to gain almost 600,000 more residents. This is wonderful news for the housing industry. These 600,000 are going to need a place to live.

Things to keep in mind

Dallas is a large community, but the largest job sectors in the area are in

a. trade, utilities and transportation

b. government

Although there are high paying jobs in both of these categories, the annual salary of most people in is well below $100,000. If a third of the monthly budget is supposed to be dedicated to housing, most people in these job sectors will be looking for a home payment well under $2800 a month, including utilities, insurance, and taxes. Looking at these projections, homes that will sell fast will be ones that are valued under $100,000. These homes will be easier to find financing for and should have lower mortgage payments.

What does this mean?

If you are looking to sell a property or are a real estate agent, the market is great for mid to lower priced homes. Unfortunately with the proposed changes to the Qualified Residential Mortgage, it may also mean that finding financing for these homes may be a little tougher. Homeowner financing or smaller lending agencies may have a better market in the coming years. These may be more willing to take a chance on buyers than some of the larger, traditional lending agencies. This may promote the return of small town or community based lending and businesses. It may also contribute to small community and suburban growth.

Where are the people?

The majority of the people are living in apartment communities. In fact, the number of people in apartments has grown 17% from 2009 to 2010. That’s a lot of people moving into apartments.  Part of the growth may have been due to the collapse of the housing market and the downslide in the economy. With the predicted growth in population, there are a large number of people in apartments that are new to the area. This means there are potential homebuyers that have not been found yet. The areas with the least amount of apartment vacancies are Uptown/Oak Lawn, Plano/McKinney/Allen, and Denton/Lewisville. There is also a low amount of vacancies in Irving, Garland/Mesquite, and Southwest Fort Worth/Benbrook. These areas may be good contenders for home sales.

Real estate agents may need to be creative in how they find and recruit homebuyers, but the potential market is there. For more information on the real estate business and real estate franchises, contact us at Homevestors.com.

Real Estate Trends: Office Space and Retail Numbers

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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When trying to predict the economy and the housing market, one of the biggest predictors of the current trends is the Office Space availability and the Retail Space availability numbers. The numbers in the 2011 Marketing report of Texas A&M University may surprise you.

The Bad News

If you are a corporate real estate agent or business broker, the office space availability numbers are not looking good. Over the last couple of years, the availability of office space has increased dramatically. This could be for several reasons.

New office may have been built in the area. This is the best possible reason for an increase in office space. It means at one point business was very prosperous, and the office space was needed.

Offices may have decided to adopt greener practices. Many businesses are allowing workers to complete their work at home. By switching to this practice, businesses save on overhead and have more money to stay in business. However, they still need a central location to meet for consultations, board meetings, etc. Smaller office spaces with a nice conference room will be needed as businesses continue to switch to greener ideologies.

The last reason office space may be available is the downsizing or closing of businesses. Unfortunately, downturned economies cause businesses to close their doors, and often, it is hard to predict which ones will have to close. The good news is there is more office space available. The bad news is it may not be as profitable a market as it was before.

The Good News

According to the Texas A&M 2011 Marketing Report, the availability of retail space is very small. In 2009, the availability of retail space had skyrocketed to the highest it had been in almost a decade. The fact that retail space is now scarce is a sign that the retail market is starting to boom again in the Dallas area. This is great news and a sign that the Dallas economy is on an upward trend.

As the availability of retail space decreases and office space increases, businesses may have to become more creative in how they use and acquire space. One consideration may be the rezoning of office space to retail space. Office spaces with a few slight renovations are easily changed into boutiques and small speciality restaurants. This is great for smaller businesses that want to open or expand but are afraid they may not be as successful in a mall with all of the larger chain stores. By opening in an exclusive area, these businesses will be marketing for a higher, trendy clientele.

By looking at the numbers, the potential for growth in the real estate industry is apparent. Real estate agents may have to be a little more creative in what they advise sellers and market to buyers.  For more information on the real estate business, look us up at Homevestors.com.

Gettin’ Down in Downtown Dallas

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

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According to local real estate agents, downtown Dallas is a hot place to live and own a home. Like most large cities, the urban downtown area used to be filled with office buildings and very few reputable residences. In fact in 1996, the downtown area had fewer than 200 residents. In recent years, the number of residents in the downtown area had grown to over 30,000. These new residents are from all over the job spectrum and have fallen in love with the convenience and amenities being downtown offer.

Business

If you are looking for a job, the downtown Dallas area has been known as one of the largest business districts in the north Texas. Due to the vast number of businesses that are attracted to the area, downtown Dallas also has a large number of employment opportunities. The numbers grow everyday with each new business that moves into the area.

Other Amenities

Downtown Dallas is also hot because of the other amenities it offers to the local population. Since it is surrounded by a vast number of businesses, downtown Dallas is also blessed with features like fine dining, upscale shopping and exciting nightlife entertainment. For the discerning palate, restaurants like Old Warsaw, Aurora Maison de Cuisine, Dragonfly, and The French Room are conveniently close. For upscale shopping, residents venture over to long time downtown store Neiman Marcus or over to the Plaza of the Americas.  The nightlife in downtown is amazing. Pei Wei Asian Diner, Shinsei Restaurant, Hibiscus, Lola, and Luqa Restaurant and Petrus Lounge are a few of the offerings available. Downtown Dallas has so much to offer, and this doesn’t take into account the growing number of luxury condos that keep turning up in older office buildings and hotels.

Buy Here?

If you are looking to invest in real estate that has the potential to increase vastly over the next few years in property value, Downtown Dallas is one of your best choices. First, the property taxes are not the cheapest by any means, but they are quite a bit less than areas like Harris County or even counties in New York and New Jersey. Second, the numbers show the area is growing by leaps and bounds. Investing in a property today will bring in revenues quickly as more people look for residences in the downtown area. Third, there are plans in the works for reworking the riverside and adding a large, beautified park area. This is an attempt to bring residents as well as visitors to the riverside area. Fourth, the increased development and accessibility to the transit system encourages further downtown growth. As it grows, more people have access to the businesses, shopping, and dining in the area making them prosperous and your property’s worth increase.

Get into Downtown Dallas, and you’ll see your real estate investments grow. For more information on real estate investment and real estate franchises, look us up at Homevestors.com.

Comps

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

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In the real estate business, it is important to have information on the right properties in order to determine the value of a target property. If you don’t have the right information or choose the wrong houses, you might set the price in the wrong range. When you are researching comps, there are four ways of gathering information.  You can do research, do internet searches, hire service companies, or access multiple listing services.

Doing Research

When you are executing your own search for comparable properties, there are four main places to look. The first is the courthouse. In a lot of states, properties that are for sale are required to be listed at the county courthouse. While you are there, you can also look up the property’s history. This will better inform your buyers about the property. The second place you can look for is the the newspaper. Sellers list housing information in newspapers all of the time This a quick and easy source for you to look in. Third, try going to the tax appraiser’s office and asking for information regarding the appraisal of the properties you have selected. The fourth and best way to gather information about comparable homes is to master your neighborhood areas. That means a lot of research ahead of time attending open houses, talking to real estate agents, and viewing multiple floor plans.

Internet

Across the internet, there are great sites on the real estate values in certain neighborhoods. While all of them may not give you an exact match for what you are looking for, many of them can give you a price range for the neighborhood as a starting point. Some of the real estate sites include: Google, Yahoo, Domania, and Realtor. Try searching one or all of them until you gather enough information to make an honest approximation on the value of the property.

Service Companies

There are many service companies out there that provide property values and sales information to real estate agents for a fee. Depending on the company, this information may come in a CD, specialized software, an online database, or a mix of the three. The usefulness of these sites varies among states and territories. You can easily find there companies by searching on the internet.

Multiple Listing Services

These services were put together to give real estate agents across the nation access to information on available properties. By linking together properties and agents, more places are sold quickly and efficiently. Each property on the MLS lists its value, amenities, and assets which gives you more information to work with.

When your real estate business is selling or looking at investing in new properties, using MLS, service companies, internet, or hands-on research will help you have the most accurate information available. The accurate approximation of a property’s value will not only help your clients, but it will also help your business’s reputation. For more information on the real estate business, comps, or real estate investment, look us up at Homevestors.com.

 

Are Your Tenants Perfect?

Monday, July 25th, 2011

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As a real estate business professional, you constantly have to deal with people. No matter how hard you try, it is difficult to guarantee you get a perfect tenant that will always pay his bills on time. One way to help determine what kind of people you are renting to is through performing a professional background check.  The following places offer a check of potential tenants’ background, credit history, criminal history, rental history, and references.

www.tenantbackgroundcheck.com

www.instantbackgroundchecks.us

www.american-apartment-owners-association.org/tenant-screening

www.e-renter.com

Most of these places have a reasonable per search fee or monthly/yearly fee for unlimited searches.

Is it location?

Some people have claimed that an entire area has nothing but bad tenants in it, but it is hard to knock a person’s credit score when some states’ scores are less than 700. Each person is responsible for their own credit score and repayment of their debts. Indebtedness is also a community mentality that varies from place to place. In some areas, people feel they are owed something and do not have to take responsibility for anything, including their hospital bills, utility bills, and unfortunately their rent. In other places, not paying your debts is like not going to church. It’s just not done.

Sign of Times

A few property owners claim that they have lost money at every one of their real estate investment properties. This was due to tenant nonpayment, but not why you think. The tenants would do really well keeping up on their bills and then something would happen which would cause unexpected expenses. Then, the tenants would be late paying the rent to make up for it. The cycle would continue over a period of months until it came to the point where the tenants could not pay at all, even with an extension of time, and they would be forced to leave. Circumstantial events account for a lot of evictions and moving out in the dead of night.

Too Close to Tenants

Other property owners claim that the aforementioned property owners may have gotten too close to their tenants. By becoming involved in their lives or attached to the tenants personally, these property owners have allowed the tenants to take advantage of them and not pay the rent. Usually, it creates a tenant mindset that “the owner will understand.” To keep this from happening, hiring a good property management team to keep up with problems, maintenance concerns, and rental issues is a great idea. An unbiased third party can handle these issues without becoming attached or allowing nonpayment to continue.

Real estate investment is an amazing way to make money over the long term, but having the right property management team can make a huge difference. Remember, tenants aren’t always bad people. They are people that have to be handled correctly.

For more information on real estate investment or the real estate business, look us up at homesvestors.com. Remember, we also offer real estate franchise opportunities.