Archive for August, 2011

Contracts – Real Estate Nightmares or Heroes

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

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Whether you are the real estate buyer or seller, people always say, “Get it in writing. They have to stick with it if you get it in writing.” In many cases, this is true, from school decisions to memberships. With real state investment, contracts are a little shakier issue.  A lot depends upon the actual agreement that was signed and the personalities of the parties involved.

Definitions

Real estate contracts are legitimate legal documents between two parties involving the purchase of or lease/rental of a property. That part is the black and white. Where it starts to get tricky is in the case of enforcing the contract if one party or another intends to break the contract or back out of it.

Contingencies are the conditions that must be met before a contract is legally binding or enforceable. Many times, homeowners or buyers will include situations like passed inspection reports or financial commitment that keep the contract from being enforceable. If for some reason, the contingencies have not been met, the contract can be cancelled.

Backing Out

Morally, things happen all the time. For one reason or another, a party may have to get out of their contract. Instead of getting too worked up, it helps to see this from both points of view. If you are the seller that needs to back out of the contract, the buyer may have started making plans and arrangements to move in to your home. By canceling, the buyer may not have to find an apartment or other place to live. The buyer may also have problems getting a loan lock extension. By changing your mind, you create a lot of problems for the buyer.

As a buyer that backs out, you create an equal amount of problems for the seller. By entering into contractual agreements with you, the seller removed his home from the market and has lost other potential buyers. He may have already entered into contractual agreements of his own for a new place to live, and will now have two households to maintain or not be able to get his own loan for the new house. Although he may not have to find a new place to stay, it will be just as hard for him to finance new marketing and find new buyers for the property.

Depending on which side of the contract you are on, there are always problems that turn contracts into nightmare situations. Be understanding whether you are the one backing out or not. There may need to be some financial compensation or reconciliation done to smooth things over, but that is best discussed with an attorney.

For more information on any real estate investment concern, visit us at Homevestors.com. Remember, we not only handle real estate investment. We also handle real estate franchise opportunities.

 

Real Estate Square Footage

Monday, August 29th, 2011

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When you are looking at investing in a real estate property, you and the property owner may have a disagreement in the amount of square footage in a home. Often, a homeowner may originally list a property with approximate square footage. The numbers that come back after an appraisal or inspection may be quite different. These numbers may or may not be in your favor.

Definition

The square footage of a home is defined as the actual livable space of a property. Unfinished areas of the home, including attics, basements, garages, garden sheds, etc. are usually not included in this number. Plus, any additions to the home that did not have the proper building contracts filed may not be eligible as part of the square footage calculation. For the actual “square footage” of a property, there must be an official appraisal performed.

The Good News

When you are looking at real estate investment properties, the difference between the potential square footage and the listed square footage can be used in your favor. At the very least, the potential square footage should be considered in your estimation of the potential value of the property.

Investment Potential

Garages – Depending upon the size of the garage, the area can be turned into a separate apartment to rent. Access to heat and a/c, as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities can be deciding factors to determine if the space is convertible into apartment space.

Attics – Some houses have huge attics that just need a little finishing with insulation, flooring, and drywall in order to turn unused footage into official “square footage”. Depending upon the size and the utilities available, attics can be turned into usable apartment space.

Basements – Some basements are little harder to turn into usable square footage than others. Once water issues leaking/seeping issues are fixed, basements are easy to finish and turn into usable square footage that doubles the homes size or into rentable basement apartments.

Garden Sheds – Depending on how the shed was initially built, garden sheds may be a little harder to turn into livable space, but many garden sheds have turned into mother-in-law homes or guest houses. If the shed has a decent foundation, access to utilities like water, electricity, and a/c or heat, it can very well be a livable, usable space, and possibly a rental property.

As a real estate investor, you are looking for a good deal on a property. Ethically, if the appraisal comes back far lower than the potential square footage of the property, make a good bid based on the potential of the home, but not so good that you won’t be able to finish areas to access the potential of the property.

For information on real estate investment concerns or real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestors.com.

 

Disclosure – The Dirty News

Monday, August 29th, 2011

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Many real estate investors find themselves in particularly touchy situations. They are either on the receiving end of bad disclosure news, or they are on the disclosing end. When people are looking for the highest return on their real estate investment, they leave out or blur some of the facts that pertain to the property for sale.

Definition

Disclosure is the part of the real estate contract agreement where all of the factors that may affect the value of a property, seen or unseen, are listed and made available to the buyer. Usually, a home inspection prior to the signing of the contract will help to make sure all of the potential problems a property may have are taken care of or are considered before the contract is signed.

Ethics

Disclosure should never be a problem. For some people, ethics are the true issue. Although a property owner wants the greatest sum for their property, they know revealing key details or history about the property may create problems closing on the home or may cause potential buyers not to offer as much for the property.

Disclosing Areas

Areas where this may become a problem are floods, fires, lead paint, asbestos, and termites. If you know about any problems that may affect the value of the home, it is your responsibility and ethic duty to reveal them to the potential buyer. Those items will have to be taken care of in order for the property to have its true value. Otherwise, the buyer would try to sell the property and have to settle for less if these issues were discovered.

Pocketbooks

As an investor, any problems you find after closing will be your responsibility to fix. This is unless you can prove that the previous owner knowingly misinformed and mislead you about the state of the property you were buying. Often, that takes more money in legal fees and retainers than the actual amount to fix the property.

Remember

If you are unsure about disclosing information about a property or do not think the proper information was disclosed to you, get legal counsel.

To keep from signing bad contracts, always get your own inspection report. Do not rely on the other party’s appraisal or inspection reports.

Ethically, it is always the right thing to do the right thing. In this case, tell or in legal terms, disclose.

For more information on real estate investment issues, visit us at Homevestors.com. We have information on real estate investment opportunities as well as real estate franchise opportunities.

 

No Down Payment Real Estate Investment

Monday, August 29th, 2011

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Often, people question the validity of those too good to be true real estate gurus. Is it possible to purchase a real estate investment property for no money down? Honestly, there are lots of crazy, unusual ways of doing many things.  Wise investor must look at is the sources of the gurus information, and what it is the guru is offering for that small price.

Guru Investment

The majority of gurus and their investment schemes are investing their money and time in things other than real estate. It is possible that at one time they tried their idea and it worked. However, they are currently making their money by selling their idea and expertise to you through ebooks, books, tapes, seminars, etc. They keep investing their money into selling their idea to you.
Whenever you buy their book or seminar, they make their money back.

Investment Financing

It is possible to find funds for investment properties. However, it requires a lot of research and leg work.

Do your due diligence. This is your research on the community and the history of the available properties in your area. The more
information you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to make connections with the right financers.

Find comparable properties. This is crucial to putting together any potential investor information. Knowing how much the other properties in the area are going for to rent or sale will make a big difference in the potential cash flow or investment return.

Ask other investors. Money may be hard to come by when you find a good real estate investment property. By finding other financial backers, you have greater access to resources to purchase the property. Put together a portfolio with all
of the facts on the history of the property, the needed work to be done, and the potential cash flow or investment return based on comps. The greater amount of sound information you have, the more likely the investor will take you seriously.

Before you do any investing into a late night guru, ask yourself, “Why are they on late at night?” If their program really had the potential it does, they would be on every major talk show and real news program in America,
especially during hours when everyone can see them. For more information on real estate investment and real estate
investment opportunities
, come see us at Homevestors.com. We have lots of information on real estate concerns as well as real estate franchise opportunities.

Real Estate Investors: Ride the Wave

Friday, August 26th, 2011

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Real Estate Investors don’t have it easy. Everyone thinks that they just have to fork over a little money and BAM! They are millionaires. Unfortunately, real estate investing takes a lot more than that. It takes experience, knowledge, and a lot of guts.

Know your area!

What works in one area or state isn’t necessarily going to work in another. It doesn’t matter what the internet gurus tell you. Instead, look around at what is occupied and what has currently sold recently. That should give you a pretty good indication of which real estate is more profitable to invest in. Then, find the clientele in your area that aren’t being sold to, and market to them. That’ll help bring in clients and increase chances of success.

Get Creative

A rollercoaster market means you have to get creative in order to grab people’s attention. Using video and social media is great way to get started. Sometimes, you have to be even more inventive. Why not attach a sock to the open house flyers that say “This one will knock your socks off!”

When Opportunity Knocks

Carpe diem, or seize the day. Every once in a great while, a really good deal on a property you don’t normally handle pops up. Instead of hemming or hawing, check your facts and numbers. Then, if it looks good, GRAB IT!

But Be Cautious

Sometimes when opportunity seems like it’s knocking, it’s really a prankster with a pie for your face. So, be sure to check through the peephole (or data) to make sure it really is a sound investment for you and your real estate business. If it’s not, say no. It’s better to pass than to be stuck with a great opportunity that doesn’t make you any money.

Cash Flow

Remember with real estate investment, it’s all about cash flow. Your investment properties should be bringing in month every month by the truckload. If they are sucking everything out of your savings, you need to try and get rid of them before everything you have is gone. Some investments just turn sour.

Real estate is one exciting day after another, if you know how to work the system correctly. For more information on real estate investment or real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestors.com. We are expanding our “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise, and we would love for your company to be a part of it.

Rental Property Investment Made Easy

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

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The biggest problem with undertaking real estate investment is handling the numbers. It requires discerning if the purchase and use of a real estate property is a sound investment. It also requires determining if the property generates enough cash flow to be worth keeping. This process normally requires massive amounts of time and paperwork. The good news is the advent of computers and technology has made this analysis easier than ever, especially with real estate investment property management software.

In Real Estate Investment Analysis:

The real estate formulas are difficult to memorize.  However, they are easy to figure with the real estate investment software. Since they are built in to the program, analyzing your investment data is simpler and less pain staking.

The data has to be complete and correct. This way a buyer or property owner can make a wise investment decision. Real estate software maintains the records and makes rental property analysis easy.

Spreadsheets can be complicated and hard to understand. Real estate software makes spreadsheets cash flow presentations that integrate the correct analysis data and formulas and eliminate frustration.

Have to talk to investors or clients soon? With real estate software, presentations and reports are easy to read, simple to understand, and look well pieced together. They can be generated as often as you need for partnering investors or other individuals.

Analysis of the investment information should be easy. Brokers and real estate investors need to evaluate multifamily property cash flows, rates of return, and profits easily and quickly. With real estate software, forms are setup where simple data input is all that’s required. The rest of the information and analysis is already setup.

Any good software must:

1) must be easy to use and consumer friendly

2) come with all crucial computations and quality reports to make the investment worth it

3) come with an excellent customer support system that is more than a recorded voice on the other end of the line

4) include additional calculations, including those  for tax shelter, mortgage amortization, time value of money, analysis reports, marketing reports, and multiple currency symbols

As technology continues to grow, real estate investors and real estate businesses will have to make number crunching less of a priority and actually moving real estate a number one priority. For more information and ideas you can use in your real estate investment business, visit us at Homevestors.com. We are expanding our “We Buy Ugly Houses” franchise, and we would love for you to become a part of it!

The Beauty of a HomeVestors Franchise

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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Being a HomeVestors franchise owner has many advantages.  Real estate investors who own a HomeVestors franchise benefit from the training, the lead generation, the trusted, national brand recognition and the list goes on and on.  Many HomeVestors franchise owners have spoken to the fact that they enjoy the flexibility of schedule that comes from owning their own business, and that they are happy to have an outlet for their passion for real estate.

Arie Rosen independently owns and operates Home Direct, LLC, a HomeVestors® franchise located in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area shares what he considers the beauty of owning a HomeVestors franchise. He gets to focus on what he does best.  His expertise and passion are in real estate.  Buy and selling real estate.  Arie wanted to focus on what he was good at, and he found that opportunity when he bought his HomeVestors franchise.  Arie was not great at marketing nor he did not want to put in the immense amount of time it would take him to find his own leads; he wanted to do what he does best and leave the rest to HomeVestors.  After researching and learning about HomeVestors, he knew he could trust their national brand name, credibility, and excellent lead generation.  Arie is a happy and successful business owner and real estate investor because he gets to play to his strengths and put his time and effort into what he does best.

If you have a passion for real estate and want to focus on what you do best, contact 1-800-44-BUYER or visit www.homevestors.com

Bored No More

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

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Tired of the hum-drum, same-thing-everyday job?  Make the leap to an exciting career that allows you the opportunity to own your own business, the flexibility of making your own schedule, and the chance to have variety in your everyday business life.  Call HomeVestors to explore becoming a real estate investor and franchisee owner.

Moe Matthews, who independently owns and operates Fresh Start Property Solutions, LLC, a HomeVestors® franchise located in Richmond, VA, made the call to HomeVestors one year ago.  Moe was familiar with the real estate investing business and had experience purchasing, rehabbing, and reselling homes.  After encountering HomeVestors in the real estate investing business, Moe began to research the company and quickly learned that HomeVestors was a national company that people could and did trust.  He became a franchise owner and has never looked back.  When asked what his favorite part of being a real estate investor and HomeVestors franchisee owner is, Moe stated that he experiences a lot of excitement every day.  Every deal is different, every seller is different, every story is different, and he enjoys learning new things and trying new things every day.  This is one job that he will never get bored with.

If you are looking for an opportunity that allows you to break free from the monotonous, boring routine that you face every workday, call 1800-44-BUYER or visit www.homevestors.com

Real Estate Investment for the Experience Challenged

Friday, August 19th, 2011

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The benefit of working with the real estate industry is there are so many avenues to get involved and make a little money. There are builders, trade specialists, sellers, buyers, contractors, and agents. The list keeps going on and on, especially when you start considering particular types of real estate and real estate investment.

Pick a Niche

If you are getting into the real estate industry to make a little money, the first step is to find your niche. Your niche is your special area of the market that you are going to work with or in. For some people, apartments or multi-family housing is their specialty. For other people, rural farm houses is more their style. If you know where your interests are, you will have an easier time finding real estate opportunities to work with.

Know your Niche

Once you have picked an area of interest, the next step is to not only find real estate opportunities that match, but to also find out all of the real estate trends and  laws that affect your area of interest. Like any other business, figure out who are your potential customers, where are they, and how can you reach them the best.

Keep It Just Business

This is the hardest part. Even though it is your business and your investment money, the best way to get ahead is to keep a level head. Make a list of criteria you are looking for in the properties you want to invest in, and stick to your list. This will keep you on target for your niche market and keep you from investing in properties you aren’t equipped to handle or ones you cannot get out of. In addition, when making a sale or lease, make a list of requirements you have for buying or leasing your property. Then stick to your list and leave your emotions at home. It is easier keep a level head and walk away from a bid or potential tenant when you know what you are looking for.

Property Must-Haves

After you have found your niche and made a list of what you are looking for, make sure that the properties you pick are ones that have more than one way to generate cash flow. Some properties are great for quick sales, where as others are better for lease-to-own or renting. By picking properties that can fit more than one of these situations, you open up your business to greater possibilities for making money. This also helps to reduce the chances of you getting stuck with a property that sits vacant and unusable.

Financing your Business

Always remember, that the less financing you have to do in business, the better. Although loans are great for starting out, they also increase the amount of money you have to pay back by before your business will start to make any profits. If you do not have the cash investment capital by yourself, look for interested individuals that may be interested in making a few dollars. This will help to reduce your interest amount you would pay out on a loan, and it will create a better reputation for you in the business community as you succeed in your real estate ventures.

For more tips and information on real estate investment, contact us at Homevestors.com. We also have fabulous information and opportunities for real estate franchises.

Renovations the Pay Investment Bucks

Friday, August 19th, 2011

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As a real estate investor, you buy property to bring you money, not so you can throw money away. Unfortunately, not all properties are  cheap and need no work. In today’s low real estate market, you can purchase a home that needs a little repair for next to nothing, but you should be careful when going in to do the renovations.

Maintenance and Repairs

The best place you can start putting your investment dollars is into the basic maintenance and repairs of the property. If  it’s an older home, fixing any problems with the roof, basement, electricity, plumbing, or other known problems will save you lots of grief in the long run and potential extra money for catastrophic damages.

Space Pays

While big houses are nice, modest homes with large, open rooms are better for families and more practical. Any renovations that expand or combine existing rooms by taking out unnecessary walls are best for your investment dollars. It takes a little to take out a wall, but you’ll make up for it at closing.

Green Pays Too

You can almost hear the extra money pouring in when you choose to make green renovation choices. Buyers and tenants will pay more for a home that is environmentally friendly and will cut down on their global impact. Change out windows, faucets, toilets, and appliances for Energy Star rated ones. In addition, change out the heating/cooling system and the water heater for outdoor/tankless models and you’ll save the buyers or tenants even more in utility costs. Some states, companies, and federal agencies also offer incentives for switching to Energy Star options. It may be well worth your time to switch.

Switch your Tech

If you were living on the property, investing in built-in speakers, projectors, etc. would be a sound long term investment. If you are looking to receive more return on your money, it is a better idea to wire for wireless options or networking. Have Ethernet and other networking cables installed in every room, and you may double your investments worth, especially for “techies”.

Match the Area

One of the biggest mistakes new real estate investors make is over renovating a property or not renovating it enough. When you are planning, take the time to look at other properties in the area and ask questions. This will give you a better idea of the neighborhoods expectations as well as what luxuries would not bring you big returns upon resale. Remember, you want your real estate investment to stand out, but you also don’t want to make it unsellable either.

For more real estate investment tips, visit us at Homevestors.com. We also have information on the fabulous real estate investment opportunities available in real estate franchises.