Archive for October, 2011

Rentals need Laminate Flooring

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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When you are working on real estate investment properties, flooring is one of the most important choices you have to make. Investment properties and rental homes under go a lot of abuse from children, pets, and feet going in and out. As a result, the flooring put in real estate investment properties needs to look high class but be made to last. That’s where laminate floors come in.

Why Laminate?

Laminate flooring is made of the same material used in laminate kitchen counter tops. Laminate flooring is actually a high quality picture of a surface, like wood or granite, adhered to a wood fiber surface and covered in several layers of clear coating or lamination. As a result, laminate flooring  very durable and can stand up to extreme temperature changes.  It can even withstand to scraping, scratching, hammering, and more. Wood floors can’t even stand up to that!

Easy Installation

Unlike hardwood floors, laminate floors are extremely easy to install.  The method of installation depends upon the brand of flooring. Some are easily glued onto the subflooring. Others are glued along the seam where the pieces join together. Most modern laminate flooring is a floating flooring. It requires no glue, screws, or nails. Instead, the pieces simply click into place.

The nice thing about laminate flooring  is it can be installed over any type of flooring or subflooring. Most of the laminate floors are installed on top of a foam padding. Foam padding varies in thicknesses. The thicker padding insulates as well as reduces the sound that carries throughout the house.

If the laminate flooring is damaged or loses its shine, it can be very lightly sanded to remove the initial protective barrier. Then, a stain if desired can be lightly applied to the flooring with a rag, working in the direction of the grain. Wait for the stain to dry. Then, apply a laminate sealer to the floor. Once it is dry, the sealer creates a smooth surface and a moisture barrier.

In real estate investment properties, renovations that last for years actually save you money in the long run. When it comes to floors, cabinets, or anything else, long lasting, durable choices are what buyers and other investors want.

For more ideas and topics related to real estate investment ,visit us at Homevestors.com. We have lots of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available.

Real Estate Negotiations

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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Whether you are the buyer or the seller, real estate negotiations can become a very complicated affair. Every real estate investor can spend hours coming up with the right offer or they can just throw one out there and see what happens. For some real estate investors, the second option works decently sometimes. The serious investor knows that this strategy will not work successfully all the time and uses a slightly different negotiation strategy.

The Game Plan

Start by doing your research on the property. Find out the history of the place, any liens or holds on the property, as well as anything else interesting you may need to know. The price and status of comparable properties will also help you to figure out how much the property is worth.

After you have done your research, determine what the value of the property in its current state is. Then, figure out what improvements or renovations should be made to the property in order for it to sell at the top of its market value. Some homes require very little improvement. Other homes require quite a bit of improvement. Knowing the extent of work a property will need will help you to adjust your asking price on the property.

Considerations

A full-price offer with strong terms will make your offer appear like the best option over other offers. If the property is in tip top condition and requires no improvements, this is a great way to go.

A bottom of the estimated value offer with strong terms may be considered by the seller and accepted or counter offered. The terms may attract the attention of the seller, however, in most cases, the price will need to be raised in order to get the property.

A middle of the road price with strong terms is a strong possibility that is likely to attract the seller. If you are willing to compromise to reach agreeable terms and price for both sides, you are more likely to succeed.

Lowball offers are dangerous. They can confuse the sellers and agents, especially if there is nothing to substantiate the extremely low offer. Most of the time offers like these are ignored or passed up. If you get any response, it is normally not a happy one, and most sellers are not willing you let you make a second offer or negotiate.

Making a game plan and thoroughly considering what you can afford to put into a real estate investment property can help you be a more successful real estate investor. For more topics to help you be a successful real estate investor or to find out more about real estate franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestors.com.

Legal Issues (part 1)

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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As a real estate investor and business owner, there is a lot of paperwork and people that you have to deal with. It is very easy in the chaos of balancing work and life for some of the i’s not to get dotted and the t’s not to get crossed. When this isn’t caught, it can create unnecessary legal troubles for your real estate business that can end up in court or costing you thousands in settlement. So, before you hurry off to make that next real estate deal, here are a few legal issues to check on.

Legal Forms

Make sure your legal forms are legal. In cost saving maneuvers, everyone at one point of time or another has used the basic fill in the blank forms available from almost every source. The only problem with these is they are not specialized to specific areas. There may be many legal notifications, disclaimers, etc. that should be included that are not included because they are not pertinent to every market. To keep on the safe side, have a real estate lawyer on your real estate business team. He can read over contracts and advise you as to which direction you should go in almost any situation. This is one real estate team member you cannot afford to be without.

Disclosures

Many real estate investors are tempted not to fully disclose about the property they are trying to get rid of. It’s viewed as tattle-telling on the house or land, and depending on the disclosure, it can run down the value of the property. While not nice on the pocketbook, it is also unethical and illegal not to fully disclose about the condition of the property for sale.

The bad news is there is a rather long list of things to be disclosed as determined by federal and state officials. The good news is there is a general purpose property disclosure form that can get any real estate investor headed in the right direction. A good rule of thumb to use is if you would want to know it, your buyer probably will too!

Legal problems can become a big hassle for everyone involved. The more steps you take to prevent them in your real estate business, the better. Next time, we will look at the problems with solicitation, discrimination, and liability. For more information on real estate investment or real estate franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestors.com.

Last Minute Fixes, Part 2

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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Whether you are selling your home or selling a real estate investment property, things happen. Knowing how to fix these surprising problems will help you stay calm at your next property showing and sell your home fast.

Stuck and Sticky Drawers

Almost every home has problems with sticking drawers. Of course, no one notices them until it’s too late. If too much paint has built up on the side of the drawer, heat the area with a heat gun and use a putty knife to lift off the soft paint. If your drawers are rubbing on the sides, sand them down with 60 grit sandpaper. Wooden drawer glides sometimes become misaligned causing wood on wood friction. Rubbing paraffin wax, old candles, or bar soap on the glides makes them run smoothly. Wax can lubricate any wood surface that rubs against another.

Removing Melted Candle Wax

There are two ways to get rid of wax drippings, the hot method and the cold method. Heat liquefies wax, and a hairdryer is perfect for heating without damaging surfaces.  Heating the wax and blot with paper towels. Keep heating a blotting until you can no longer see the wax. Sometimes the wax works its way into the pores of the surface. Try using a paper towel with alcohol on it to blot the surface with. It may help to remove the color from the wax. If you can’t see the color, you are less likely to notice the any residual wax.

An alternate to the heat method is the cold method.  The cold method uses ice or frozen foods to make the wax cold and brittle. Then, a spatula or other flat tool can be used to chip away the wax. Neither method is better than the other. If one isn’t working, try the other.

Repair Hollow Core Door Holes

Hollow core door holes are easy to fix. First, cut around the hole edge with a utility knife to create a bevel edge. Next, fill the hole with crumpled paper. Then, spray low expansion, aerosol foam insulation into the hole until the hole is completely and firmly filled. Once the insulation is dry, use a sharp knife to trim off the excess. Next, mix up a small amount of two-part auto body filler, also known as polyester resin. Use a putty knife to apply the filler on top of the filled hole. After 3 to 4 minutes, trim back the excess. Once it has dried, use 100 grit sand paper to sand smooth the patch. Next, apply a very light coat of spackle slightly larger than the patch. Once it has dried slightly sand it, and paint the area a color to match the rest of the door.

It sounds complicated, but the entire process is completed in under hour.

Before you let your uh-oh’s interfere with your property’s showing, try one or two of these quick fixes to turn your property into a “buy me now!”

If you don’t have time to fix your property, remember, we buy and sell as is properties. If you are a real estate investor looking for more opportunities to invest, we have those too! Visit us at Homevestors.com for more information.

Last minute Fixes before Showing a Real Estate Property-Part 1

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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It doesn’t matter if you are selling your home or are showing a real estate investment property. Something always happens the day you are supposed to show a property. With the cooler months in the fall and winter, there is a greater chance of accidents happening, due to more people being inside to stay warm. Instead of letting it ruin your day and your property showing, here are a few tips to help you fix it right and get that sale.

Small Nicks in Furniture

Repairing small nicks is actually easy. Grab a box of crayons and choose one that comes close to the surface color of the furniture piece. Using a lighter, soften the crayon tip, and rub the softened wax into the nick. When the wax cools, use fine steel wool to buff down the excess wax. If the first color doesn’t match completely, melt a second crayon on top. The steel wool can blend the two colors together.

Nail Holes in Finished Wood

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, you miss filling a nail hole in the wood. Instead of stressing, rub a color-matched wax pencil over the nail hole to fill it. Any excess can be rubbed off with your finger.

Gouges on the Table Edge

Start by taping the edge of the area with painters tape. Next, mix together a small amount of two-part auto body filler. Once it is mixed, push the filler into the cavity. Wait 3 or 4 minutes until the filler is rubbery. Next, carefully remove the painters tape. Then, using a utility knife, carefully shave away the excess filler. Once the filler has turned hard, the only way to trim it will be with a file. That is too late to try and trim the excess.

After the filler has been trimmed and firmly hardened, lightly sand the area smooth with an extra fine grade sand paper.  Finally, mix together a small amount of acrylic paint until you achieve the color that matches the furniture’s surface color. The good thing about acrylic paint is you can keep painting over the previous color until you get the perfect match.

Removing Scuff Marks

Take a utility knife and cut an x in a tennis ball. Insert a broom handle. Gently rub the tennis ball across the black marks, and the surface of the tennis ball will erase the black marks.

Don’t let unexpected catastrophes spoil your open house or property showing. Stay tunes for more quick fixes for last minute uh-oh’s!

If you don’t have time to fix up your home, remember we buy as is houses. If you are looking for more information on real estate investment opportunities, visit us at Homevestors.com.

 

Another Case for Proper Inspection

Friday, October 28th, 2011

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As a real estate investor, you may come across many deals that may seem too good to be true. Sometimes, these are really good real estate investments. At other times, these properties have hidden problems. To prevent getting stuck with a secret lemon, real estate investors have must a proper inspection performed.

Even though real estate investors are seasoned professionals when it comes to looking at properties, it takes a true professional inspection to uncover many of the problems that homes can have. This is especially true when it comes to homes that have been in severe storms, flooding, fires, and earthquakes. Although these are natural disasters everyone goes through, a normal person may not see the true effects of these disasters upon a property.

The fact is there are lots of places normal people, including cleaning companies, would not think to look for damage.

Behind the drywall is a major area for mold growth. Normally, this occurs in bathrooms where regular drywall instead of green board or hardy board was used. The paper feeds the hungry  growth. In the rest of the home, this can occur anyplace that there has been water exposure.

Another place often overlooked is the insulation. If a home has had problems with leaks or flooding, the insulation can hold water for long periods of time, sometimes even months. If it is not checked, the water can stagnate, leading to terrible smells as well as mold and mildew growth.

Framing timbres are another place that needs checking. These boards can absorb water and warp. They can also weaken after long exposure to severe wind or shaking. Over time, these timbers can crack and break causing major structural damage. If left unchecked or repaired, it may also lead to structural failure.

The problem with most of these  areas is some people wouldn’t check them, and they could just cover them up with new drywall or a fresh coat of paint. These makes the home look fine until someone starts getting sick from the high mold exposure or the roof falls in. The only thing that can prevent you from making these same real estate investment mistakes is getting a professional inspection. They look where no ordinary person would even think to look, and they can spot potential problems before they get out of hand.

Make the time to get the professional real estate inspection before  you lay down any money, Your pocketbook will be glad you did. For more information on real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestors.com.

 

Real Estate Investor Resources

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

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In the real estate business, you have to stay out in front of all of the trends, or you will find yourself decades behind in everything, including sales. The good news is technology is advancing itself to a point where any real estate investor can easily stay on top of most trends, leads, and other business concerns. If you are looking to make a successful go at it, trying these resources can help.

Online Listings

The great news for most real estate investors and agents is that the MLS property listing is now available online. This is wonderful for buyers and buying agents that want to quicken the pace of their search for the perfect home. For sellers, it also increases the likelihood the property will be bought at a substantially faster rate.

Blogs

Since the 90’s, blogging has grown by leaps and bounds. In fact, almost everyone has a blog or reads a blog. This is a free resource available through multiple sites for everyone. Blogs can be used to discuss your business, your properties, and anything else that comes up you feel is pertinent knowledge people ought to know.

Social Media

Social media is one of the hot words everyone is talking about. This is another free service that real estate investors can use. These sites are great for marketing not only your business and services but also the properties you have available for sale or to rent. There are even social media sites  popping up for specific industries…like Active Rain for the real estate industry. People trade tips, advice, and leads in one convenient location.

All in One Websites/Software

There are several places now where real estate investors can purchase software or a website with imbedded software that can basically run the real estate business for them. It can do everything from billing, tracking customer information, lead generation, mailing lists, marketing, and more. Some of them can even handle or generate your content and /’squeeze pages.  Although they can cost a chunk of money, the software/website and software can take care of many of the tasks that costs many hours of paperwork, tracking, and research in the office.

Real estate investing can be a tricky business. With the use of the right tools, a real estate investor can make quite a successful living. For more information on ideas on real estate investing, visit us at Homevestors.com. We also have fabulous real estate franchise opportunities.

 

Real Estate Errors

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

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With the real estate marker in its current condition, it is really easy to over analyze a property deal. Every real estate investor wants to make as much money as possible while limiting their risks. As a result, many real estate investors are making a few deadly real estate mistakes that are costing them deals in the hundreds of thousands. If you are trying to survive in the current real estate market, try to avoid these real estate blunders.

Inaccurate Facts

The biggest challenge real estate investors face is inaccurate facts. Every real estate investor should perform their own due diligence and hire their own appraisers and inspectors before they lay down a dime on a property. Without doing their own research, investors leave themselves open to unethical people that might change numbers on their own or pay someone to write down inaccurate facts or numbers to make themselves look better or worse. Although this sounds silly, there are unfortunately dishonest people in the world, and they make their money by being just that…dishonest. To avoid this HUGE hurdle:

Hire your own appraiser

Hire your own inspector

Due your own research/due diligence

This will pay off in the end.

Timing

The second large mistake real estate investors make is with timing. If you take too long to consider a deal, someone else may buy it. If you make an offer too soon, someone else may make a better one; thus, forcing your hand. Always do your research about an area, the people, the property, etc. before you make an offer. You may discover that you need to wait a little longer to get a better deal on a property, like after it has reached its 180 days on the market, or you may discover it has a lot of potential and is at a price you need to jump on quickly. The correct timing can make you or cost you thousands.

The Right Team

Having the right people on your real estate business team makes a huge difference. They can help guide you through some of the trickier areas, like analysis. They will also help you keep your facts straight…like those numbers you might consider fudging to make the deal look better than it actually is. The right talent and personality mix when it comes to contractors, subcontractors, and other real estate investment business team members can help your investment get bought, renovated, and sold quickly. A quick turnaround means less money lost down the drain.

As the market gets betters, real estate investors will get wiser. It will take a little time and experience to get there. For more topics and information concerning real estate investments or real estate franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestors.com.

 

Log Homes

Monday, October 24th, 2011

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In the early days settlers made their homes out of logs due to the lack of other building materials. The logs turned out to be a little bulky to put together, but the homes they created were sturdy, insulated naturally, and were very pretty. The last few decades, log homes have become popular again. The smell of the wood combined with its rustic appearance makes these homes very desirable by individuals from all walks of life. If you are looking to make a real estate investment or to buy a home, log homes are a great investment for the future.

Why a Log Home?

Unlike what most people believe, including real estate investors, log homes are great for heating and cooling. They hold heat well in the winter and keep the interior of the home cooler in the summer. Most logs homes have open floor plans that families these days want, and that openness makes it really easy to heat or cool an entire space with very little energy.

Log homes are actually safer in the case of fire. Unlike homes made with insulation, logs actually burn slowly. Without the insulation that burns rapidly and feeds the fire around it, logs have very low flammability. They take longer to burn and actually give dwellers more time to escape safely.

Unlike stick homes, log homes are relatively easy to maintain and repair. If the home is prepped properly before construction, there is very little problem with bugs or with rot and damage. With stick homes, any problems have to immediately be torn out, and entire walls have to be rebuilt. With log homes, only the damaged or rotting logs have to be replaced. This greatly reduces the amount of repair time needed. For bugs, a thick concrete slab that leaves the wood at least 8 inches from the ground helps to eliminate termite problems in addition to a termite shield which lies between the concrete slab and the sill plate. Proper spraying or treating of the area will greatly reduce any other problems just like it does with a normal home. Using cedar logs instead of pine logs naturally repels most other insects.

Cracks

Some real estate investors are severely concerned about cracks in the logs of the home. These cracks give the sensation that wood may be rotting or falling apart. The truth is all wood cracks and splits as it dries as well as with the constant expansion and shrinkage due to the changing cold and hot weather. It is completely natural and just a part of owning a wooden home. The good news is the only checks, also known as cracks, you need to be concerned with are the ones that can hold moisture or allow air to pass through to the outside. If the checks bother you or are ones to be concerned about, they can easily be sealed and filled with a professional grade wood preservative and log builder caulking or log jam chinking. The surfaces can be painted, and no one would ever know there was a check.

Before your real estate business passes on a golden opportunity like log homes, reconsider. The easy maintenance and low utility bills make owning this nugget an easy decision. For more ideas on buying a real estate investment property, visit us at Homevestors.com. We have lots of real estate investment opportunities as well as information on real estate franchises.

 

Ski Seasonal Homes on the Market

Friday, October 21st, 2011

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Fall is here, and winter is fast approaching. In fact, many of the mountain ranges have already had their first snows. Ski season is rapidly approaching, and much of the real estate in these areas is at fixing to be at a prime. Why? People want to be near the sport they love. It’s the same reason that beach goers buy vacation homes closer to the beach right before summer. A smart real estate investor will put this knowledge to good use.

Some homeowners in these seasonal towns may already be looking to sell their homes. Usually in the off peak seasons, many homeowners will consider getting out of the area and moving somewhere closer to civilization. Just like college towns, seasonal towns often are ghost towns in the off season. For some, this can be a boring life.

A smart real estate investor will look for properties that have been on the market for awhile. After you have found a couple that look promising, talk to the owners. Some homeowners may have had doubts about selling their place. Others, however, may still be serious about moving their property. In these instances, you may be able to get a great deal for the place.

If the house has been on the market for quite awhile, the motivated owner will be willing to come down a little on the price to make the sale.  This can be great news. If you are going to use the property as a rental property, you are going to be able to generate enough cash flow to get most of your money back quickly due to the higher property rental prices in the peak season. If you are looking to sell the property, you should be able to do enough minor upgrades or repairs that a slight increase in the price will still allow you to make a little money off the sale.

Some real estate investors hesitate owning a seasonal property, but the good news is, seasonal homes and vacation homes are becoming more popular as the economy slowly stirs from its recent slumber and people are getting tired of stay-cationing. Instead of waiting until property values have skyrocketed again, find a seasonal town that looks promising, and start investing. You will be glad that you did.

For more information on real estate investing, visit us at Homevestors.com. We have lots of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities.