Archive for November, 2011

Get Retiring with Real Estate Investment

Monday, November 28th, 2011

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Real estate investors have it made. If they are smart and put their money in the right places, they can retire with quite a nice nest egg in very little time. Trusts are one of the latest ways to create a retirement fund for yourself.

What’s a Trust?

A trust is a legal entity that has its interests taken care of by a trustee. Land and other things can be put in the trust. The trustee would then voice all concerns and make all decisions for the trust. The owner (aka beneficial owner) receives all of the benefits of the trust.

A trust turns real property or land into personal property. You still have the benefits of owning the land, but your name does not appear as the owner on public record. The trustee you picked will appear on public record, and in most states, the beneficial owner cannot be revealed by the trustee.

Trustee perks for you

Trustees cannot reveal the beneficial owner (aka you). As a bonus, trustees do what you tell them to do. Trustees also take care of the business you need done without you having to be present.

Get a Lawyer

Becoming a trust isn’t hard, but the paperwork must be filled out completely and efficiently. Your best option is to have an attorney prepare the paperwork for you. Although it costs $500 or more, these lawyers are up-to-date on all of the latest court rulings and procedures. The fee may seem large, but when you compare it to the satisfaction of knowing it is done right, it is worth every penny.

Taxes?

Unfortunately when you are setting up a trust as a retirement account, the trust does not prevent you from paying taxes. There will always be federal, state, and local taxes of some kind that will be due.

Benefits

If it doesn’t have tax benefits, why should  you set up a land trust, right? The perks are why you should set one up. You don’t have to run the business or make appearances. You don’t have to get calls at midnight about a hot water heater. You don’t have to worry about anything but what to do with the profits that roll in.

Land trusts are an excellent option for real estate investors that want to be in the business but don’t want to have to handle the business in person. For more ideas on real estate investment or real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

Transitions are Killers

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

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No one likes change. In fact, we are culture that naturally resists change. We are more comfortable doing things the way we have always done them than to try something new or different that may be more efficient. That’s part of the reason selling your house is so hard on your family. It means there is going to be another change in your family life.

The only thing worse than change is transitions, and that is the number one problem with selling your home. You have the transition to a clean, staged home that doesn’t feel like your house anymore. The transition to a public home instead of a private one. The transition of packing and moving to a new home. You have the long periods of waiting for the next step in the process.

Families, especially those with children, deal with a great number of changes and transitions. Selling your house traditionally only multiplies those changes and transitions by the truckload. As a result, you have to deal with cranky, temperamental little loved ones that don’t know why they aren’t happy…they just are.

Do yourself and your family a favor. Call a professional real estate business that specializes in buying and selling homes, like We Buy Ugly Houses. They reduce the number of transitions greatly, and they specialize in making the home selling and buying process as quick and painless for the homeowner as possible.

When you call and make an appointment, the real estate business will meet with you personally. If you would like to meet them somewhere besides your home for the first meeting, most reputable real estate professionals are perfectly fine with this. They will go over all of the steps in the home buying/selling process with you, and they will try their best to answer any of the questions and give you a copy of the contract while you are still there.

Then on a date that you agree upon, the real estate buyer will come out and let you show them your property. They will be pretty thorough in their walk through and they will ask you lots of questions.

Normally, a professional real estate buying business will research the neighborhood and your property before they come to your house. By doing this, they know pretty well what the current value of your house is, what the potential for home sales in the neighborhood, and what the most and least they can pay for your home is. When finished, they will sit and discuss with you their findings and make you an offer. The best part is they will leave the offer with you and give you a chance to go over it and think.

When you decide to accept the offer, the whole buying process can normally be concluded in about a week. On top of that, most real estate buying businesses will provide cash or a cash equivalent for your property upon closing. This is to decrease the amount of waiting and the number of transitions your family has to go through. No staging. No public display. Simply call, meet, close, and move. Visit us at WeBuyUglyHouses.com and let us move your family forward into your new home fast!

Real Estate Investors and Tenants

Monday, November 21st, 2011

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It is hard to separate business from personal relationships. When it comes to real estate investments, this is even more evident. If you are not personal at all, your tenants don’t want to be around you. If you are too personal, you are considered a pushover, and tenants try to take advantage of you.

Poor Relationships

Most tenants do not look forward to seeing their landlord. They feel like they are being spied on or picked on. It’s like having an unexpected parent show up on your college dorm room doorstep. It just awkward and weird. By not having a good relationship, tenants are going to drop like flies – running out in the middle of the night, and leaving you with no money and a mess to clean.

How to Fix It

There has to be some effort on the real estate investor’s part to set and maintain a good relationship with your tenants. You cannot call only went the rent is past due. No one will want to see you, and they will avoid your phone calls and hide in the house with the blinds pulled tight and the lights off.

Setting up a good owner-tenant relationship isn’t hard to do. There are lots of little things that can let a tenant know you appreciate them. Simply start by calling to wish them a happy birthday, holiday, or other occasion. Try sending them an occasional card to let them know you appreciate their business. Drop off a coupon, gift card, or newsletter about events happening around town. Host a get together with food for all of your properties. Host a series of classes for your tenants on real estate investment or financial planning. These things don’t take a lot of time, and they let the tenant know you see them as more than just a cash flow source.

By investing in your tenants, you are going to reap the benefits for many years to come. Each new tenant will hear from the others how wonderful you are or how well they are treated, and these new tenants will feel special because they got to be one of your tenants. As long as you keep building positive relationships with your tenants, the cycle will keep repeating itself.

If real estate investment is a field you want to explore further, try the exciting world of real estate franchises. Real estate franchises offer many benefits and advantages to enhance your current real estate business. For more information on real estate investments and real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

Ready to Retire

Monday, November 21st, 2011

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When you are in your later years, it’s nice not to have to worry about the details of life anymore. You’ve worked for decades, scrimped, saved, and you would like to have it easy. When you have aged, taking care of your large home can quickly become more than you can handle on your own. A large house also has a large amount of utilities that have to be paid for. When you are retired, a $200-300 electricity or gas payment is more than the average monthly budget can afford.

For most retiring couples, downsizing is a wise decision. It doesn’t mean that you can’t physically do the work to take care of your home or that you don’t love your home. It just means that you are looking ahead to many more years of happiness and trying to adjust your expenses and lifestyle to fit within your budget.

Downsizing

More than just retiring couples find themselves downsizing. Lots of families that have had their kids move out and on with their own lives find a big empty home more than they want to mess with. downsizing simply means moving into a more efficient space. Often, these new places have better utilities, new fixtures, and are more energy efficient. For the couple choosing to downsize, this is a really great move.

Before you can downsize, you have to do something with your old home. You can market it traditionally. This can turn into a tedious process of cleaning, repairing, and staging. Then you have to find a reputable real estate agent to work with and list the house. Then, it is months or years of showing your home and having the constant foot traffic of strangers in and out just to look. Maybe after 6-8 months, someone may make an offer on your place with ridiculous terms. Then it may take another couple of months to close and go through escrow.

The logical choice is to contact a reputable real estate business like We Buy Ugly Houses. We Buy Ugly Houses will gladly walk you through the home buying and selling process and answer any questions you have. Then, they will take a look at your property’s current condition and compare it to the current market value and potential market of the home. We Buy Ugly Houses will make you an ethical, fair offer for your home in its current condition. You don’t even have to fix it up!

If you are downsizing your home, consider contacting us at WeBuyUglyHouses.com. We buy as is houses.

 

Insurance for Landlords – Homeowners or Dwelling

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

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As a landlord or real estate investor, you want to protect your investment. With multiple properties, it can get pretty expensive to insure them all, especially if you don’t have the right policy. Often, many real estate investors end up paying too much for the wrong insurance.

There are two key types of insurance for properties, a homeowner’s policy and a dwelling policy. A homeowner’s policy provides dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and personal liability protection. A dwelling policy covers just the structure or dwelling normally.

The Right Type of Policy

To determine which insurance you need, decide if the property is where you reside for at least 6 months and one day a year and contains the majority of your possessions. A homeowners policy provides standard insurance for your personal property, the dwelling, and personal liability, but only if you live there the majority of the time.

Rental

Any rental investment property only needs coverage for the dwelling and liability. A dwelling policy fits this situation. This policy provides insurance for the building itself and some liability when available. If additional insurance is necessary, it can usually be added on.

Vacation Home

These properties can be covered by either a dwelling policy or homeowner’s policy. It really depends upon the area the property is in and the insurance carrier you use.

Vacant or Under Renovation

Dwelling insurance is for a vacant property or a property without a full time residence. It may cost a little more since there is no one there to keep an eye on the property.

Before you choose:

Go insurance agent shopping. Research to find an agent to help you understand all the options.

Make sure of the agents responsibilities. Ask about office hours, document processing, turning in papers to your lender, etc. In addition, get quotes on the different types of policies and all of the add-ons. This will help you to make your decision later.

Get recommendations from trusted friends, your CPA, your real estate lawyer, etc. Ask them to help you understand the differences between policies and get their opinions on your policies.

There are enough problems where real estate investment is concerned. Your insurance policy shouldn’t have to be one. Do your research and choose wisely. It just may save you a ton of money. For more topics about real estate investment, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We also have fabulous real estate franchise opportunities available.

Land, Then Money

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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Somebody asked the other day which would be the better choice, a house or money in the bank. Lots of people gave their opinions as why each option was the best. Money gave them the ability to pay bills, buy what they wanted, or travel. In essence, they thought money would give them some sort of freedom.

Just One?

Alone, the house or the cash each has benefits and negatives. They can be as wild as freedom or as simple as security. Why should a person have to settle for just the house or the cash though? With the money, you still have to have a place to live. With a house, you have to have the money to pay for its upkeep, utilities, taxes, etc.

Both

A smart person would think like a real estate investor. They wouldn’t settle for the cash or the house. However, they would carefully research to see which was the better option and plan how to move forward to obtain the biggest benefits.

As a real estate investor, starting with the house makes sense. In a house, the rooms or entire floors can be rented out to tenants. In large cities, this can create quite a cash flow that should cover any utilities, taxes, maintenance.

It should also generate extra income that could be put into the bank. Once that money had accumulated to a significant level, it could be used to purchase another property which could be used as a single family residence for you or turned into another rental property. Either way, you would have other property that could be rented to create an even larger amount of cash flow. Some real estate investors may complain about losing tenants or bad tenants, but even if you had no other source of income, you would still have money coming in to help pay your own expenses.

Banks Go Under

The last recession scared a lot of people. There were extremists that had flashbacks of Y2K and thought all of the banks were going to go under. In some cases, this did happen. Since most people don’t put their money in their mattresses, this showed all of us how much we would be without. Our checkbooks would be worthless. Our debit cards would be rejected. The only things that would really have value are those that we could hold in our hands or touch.

Property always has value to someone. Paper and plastic are, well, paper and plastic. One is good for scraping ice off windows and the other is good for writing. Real estate can be traded. It can be bartered for. It can be sold. It keeps us dry and warm in the bad weather. If you have to chose, think like a real estate investor. Get the house. The money will come if you are creative enough.

For information on real estate investing or the exciting world of real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

Can you own 40 homes?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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As a culture, we are taught that you own a home. You buy a home. If you want to move, you sell a home before you buy a new one. We are indoctrinated to believe in the number one. You have one house. There is no wonder that people are astounded when they hear of a person owning more than one or even 40 houses.

How?

There are lots of ways to get to own 40 houses. You can inherit them or even win them in a poker game, if you’re lucky. The most common way is through thoughtful real estate investment.

Investment?

You know those crazy landlords people pay money to every month? They didn’t become landlords overnight. They decided that in order to create cash flow for themselves, they would buy a property, fix it up, and rent it out. It worked so well, they repeated the process over and over again. With each new property, their cash flow increased.

Easy to Start

Some people want to start owning multiple properties, but they aren’t sure how to start. Any easy way is to move your family into a new home. Then, clean up and rent out your old home. This will give you money to help pay for the new home, and you don’t have to worry about funding your rental home. It’s already paid for!

If you don’t want to move out of your current home, there are inexpensive properties around for sale. Foreclosures, short sales, and as is homes can provide you with an inexpensive home for very little. The property may need a little work to get it ready for tenants, however, the costs of the repairs are generally less than the costs of a full price home. You will need to contact your local government to find out what your responsibilities are and if there are any special requirements your rental property must have before you can let tenants move in.

Concerns

It isn’t always easy owning a large number of properties. There are increased maintenance costs and taxes…even mortgages in some cases. The rent has to be collected, and the tenants kept happy. It can quickly become a full time job.

Yes, you can own 40 properties pretty easy with real estate investment. For more information on real estate investment opportunities or real estate franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

Diversify your Real Estate Business

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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Some people get into real estate thinking it will be an easy money making job. Lots of people get out of real estate due to that same line of thinking. They thought it was going to be easy, fast money, and they leave thinking they must have been lied to. In most cases, these fleeing individuals did what they were told to do by some “genius” real estate person. They focused on one area of the real estate business and though that would solve all of their problems. If they had diversified their real estate business, they would have been a lot more successful. Why should you diversify?

Competition

In some markets, there are lots of houses. There are also plenty of agents on the market to share the business. This greatly limits the amount of business you can have. The high competitions in these areas makes diversifying your real estate business make sense. When you have houses, wonderful! In the mean time, working with investments, rentals, and other real estate interests can create a cash flow that keeps your business going.

Burn-out

Most careers have a burnout or retirement time. Just like policemen and teachers, real estate professionals wear down over time. Sometimes, it is simply a case of being too focused on one area of the market that you drive yourself into burnout. At other times, it is simply too much driving and driving and driving that does it. By diversifying your real estate business, you don’t have to depend on one type of client to make money. It also keeps you from losing your mind from stress or the mundane.

Expectations

Some people have extremely high expectations for their real estate business. Others have very little expectation for their first few years. Diversification allows you to have cash flow and meet your expectations wherever they are.  It also helps you to keep your expectations at a realistic level. Instead of hundreds of thousands of dollars, your business may realistically make $1,000 off of a sale, $2,000 a month in rentals, and $1,000 on your investments.

Diversifying your real estate business makes sense. It levels your expectations, keeps money coming in, reduces your chances of burn out, and makes up for competition. Homevestors has a lot to offer real estate investors, including real estate investment properties and real estate franchise opportunities. For more information on our real estate investment and franchise opportunities, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

New Real Estate Investor Mistakes

Monday, November 14th, 2011

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Many people hesitate becoming a real estate investor or real estate franchise. There are all kinds of rumors and reasons that lead people to believe that the industry or the job is too hard. The truth is people just make common mistakes when they are starting out. To help you get a leg up on the competition, here are some common mistakes new real estate investors make.

Wrong Mindset
Some people begin real estate investment thinking it is just like stock investing. Fortunately, the housing market doesn’t fluxuate up and down fast enough that most of real estate investors become day traders. Normal real estate prices are more like CD’s than stocks. Over a long period of time, the property’s value may gradually appreciate, especially without any renovations or repairs.

As an investor, choose your properties carefully. Perform thorough research on the property before you make an offer. Look for properties that have the potential for the most cash flow as a rental property or that will make you the most profit upon resale.

Ignorant Investing

Some real estate investors think buying real estate makes them a smart investor. After years of buying and selling, you do obtain a great deal of knowledge, but you also make a lot of poor choices, especially in the beginning. Although spending thousands of dollars upon some guru’s tricks are not a wise investment, obtaining some education of the industry is a good idea. There are lots of rules and regulations, and knowing them will keep you away from questionable and potentially hazardous situations. There are some free or low cost courses available through reputable real estate associations and organizations. These courses will help you under the basics in the real estate and help you avoid some “guru” tricks that could leave you sued for fraud or worse!

No Cash or Savings

There are really good times in the real estate market, and there are really bad times in real estate where no one is buying! In order to handle both of these situations intelligently, you need to do two things: diversify your real estate business and have greater cash flow or savings. In the plentiful times, investing your money into better cash flow situations or saving as much of your money as possible. Then in the meager times, you will feel less stressed and be less likely to make poor or haphazard decisions.

Greed

The real estate industry has the potential to make investors a lot of money, especially if they find the right properties. Unfortunately, there are some real estate investors that get too greedy. They either start wanting exorbitant prices for properties that aren’t worth it, or they buy a property to sell to someone else but they want all of the potential profit without doing any work to fix the property.

These situations always leave someone unhappy. Don’t get greedy. Only sell properties for what they are really worth, not some inflated shenanigans, and don’t ask for money for work you didn’t do!

It’s a Business

No matter what you hear elsewhere, real estate investing does not make you a millionaire in a matter of days or weeks. It’s a job that requires carefully planning and logical decision making. It is a business. Invest your time, do your research, and you are likely to succeed over time. Allow yourself plenty of time to learn the industry and get started. For more information on real estate investing or franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

Real Estate Investing is Work

Monday, November 14th, 2011

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When you log onto the web, the number of ads for get rich quick schemes is amazing. There is always someone that found a way to beat the system, and for only $999.99, you can do it too! This is happening in every industry from dentistry to real estate. Everyone wants to make a quick buck. Unless you just happen to fall into a lucky situation (think lottery), this is not going to happen.

The Truth

The truth is there is a lot of money that can be made in the real estate industry for creative individuals. The good news is you don’t have to pay some late night person or internet genius a bunch of money. Once you know the basics of real estate, you can make good buying, selling, and investing decisions. A lot of this information is available for free or can be learned once you join a real estate organization, association, or franchise.

Success
Many real estate investors get started because they heard it was a quick way to earn money and they wouldn’t have to work hard. Unfortunately, to be successful at anything you are going to have to work hard at it. To be successful, you have to have a plan and a system in place to follow through with your plan. You have to work at it consistently to learn all of the ins and outs the business, develop a network, and build your business team. Then, you have to work to find the right properties, renovate them, and market them. Hopefully once the property sells, you have enough money to pay all of the bills and start all over again with a new property. This requires focus and discipline.
The Easy Way

Some investors try to take the easy way. They want to make a few quick dollars without having to work hard at it. This leads to some disappointing results. They will:

Blow a lot of money on a real estate trick that won’t work because they won’t work hard

enough to make it work.

Get involved in an illegal scam to make money fast and get caught.

Get out of the business altogether because they didn’t make any money.

Don’t let others fool you. Becoming a successful real estate investor is hard work. If you put in effort, develop a plan and systems to implement it, and get your team together, you have as good a chance of being successful as any other experienced real estate investor in the business.

For more tips to help you be a successful real estate investor, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We also have information on the exciting wonderful of real estate franchises.