Archive for January, 2012

Important Commercial Real Estate People

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

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In commercial real estate, there are a large number of important people that effect how properties are moved and used. Some of these are investors, professionals, and behind the scenes people. Each group has their own responsibilities and jobs in moving commercial real estate.

Investors

The first group of commercial real estate investors specializes in to medium-sized commercial buildings.

The second group of investors looks specifically for large buildings.  Large buildings require more money upfront, but like apartment complexes, they can normally be split into separate units that can be rented only a monthly basis.

The third group of investors is devoted solely to developing new properties. These real estate investors are looking at locations where new buildings or properties can be built. Sometimes this requires older properties to be torn down, but this is not the circumstance most of the time.
Professionals
The next group of people that play a large role in commercial real estate is professionals. Although they are not the real estate investors, these individuals’ jobs can certainly make or break a deal. Professionals in commercial real estate transactions include appraisers, bankers, commercial realtors, contractors, and property managers. It’s great to get to know the key professionals in your area. These people can introduce you to other investors. In addition, being their acquaintance gives you credibility when contacting investors.

Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes people are the forgotten in real estate, but they play the most important roles.  These include architects, city officials, code enforcement reps, county officials, engineers, planning specialists, and zoning specialists. Without any one of them, your real estate project will grind to a screeching halt. Get to know them by name, and make sure they are on your Christmas list. That will help prevent any of them from holding onto a grudge for unknown reasons.
Your role as a real estate investor can vary as you buy and sell commercial real estate investments. Knowing the other critical people in commercial real estate can help you head off a lot of future problems. If you are thinking about real estate investment that is commercial or residential, contact us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.  We are the nation’s number home buying franchise, and we have over 15 years experience buying and selling real estate. If you are looking for the perfect real estate investment or real estate franchise opportunity, contact us to see what we have for you!

Risk & Profits

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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Every business has risks in it. The good news is there are some steps that you can take in your real estate business to minimize your risk and maximize your profits.

Get Trained. – Creativity and open minds are great, but you don’t have to reinvent the real estate investment process. A good mentor or trainer will make sure you have all of the knowledge and tools you need to set goals, get started, and stay on course. The more training you have, the more costly mistakes you can avoid making.

Strategize first using the current market conditions before investing. – Not every available property is a good investment. Your hometown may not be a good investment. Look at the hot neighborhoods close to you, and start looking there for available properties there. If your town has a bunch of foreclosures that are cheap, try investing in those. By making a plan and sticking to it, you help eliminate poor real estate investment purchases.

Pay attention to Timing. – Just like the stock market fluctuates, so does the real estate market. There are different factors that affect how it rises and falls. The largest factor is the time of the year. By looking at the time of the year and the current market numbers,  you can make smarter decisions. Investments may sound perfect for your niche, but they may not be good when looking at the timing of the market.

Think like a buyer. – As a real estate investor, you are not just looking for your own purposes. You are looking for the potential that your buyers or renters are going to be interested in. Instead of thinking like an investor, think like a buyer. If you aren’t really attracted to a property or its potential, don’t buy it. Chances are you will have a hard time selling it.

Due Diligence is a Must! – This is the most crucial step a real estate investor must complete, and yet it is the most overlooked. Missing this one step can cost your real estate business thousands. Take the time to research the history and investigate your future real estate investment. Check it out from top to bottom physically and literally.

These things may seem small, but in the long run the tiny things often add up to big real estate dollars. Before you make your next real estate business purchase, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise. We have fabulous real estate investment as well as real estate franchise opportunities available. Come see what we have for you!

Due Diligence, What To Look for

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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Real estate makes money for you in several ways. The profit from selling is the most known was of making money as well as the cash flow from the monthly rents. In addition, you make money from the economy causing your property in increase in value or by the difference in your property’s purchase price and the final price after you do some improvements.

As you are considering properties for investment, make sure you are doing your due diligence and investigating the property.

People

While you are looking into it, make sure that you are investing in a property that your family or friends would love and that would be a great real estate investment for others. If it isn’t, drop it.

Money

The most important question is can the property make you money? If it can’t, drop it. If it can, keep it on your potential list of properties.

The Checklist
Going through a thorough checklist can help you determine if the property you are looking at is worth the investment. A checklist keeps the process emotion free and strictly based on facts.

Property Physical Investigation – Thoroughly look over the entire home.

a. Structural examination or inspection will help you figure out if there are costly repairs that need to be performed. If the property is a rental property, examine the condition of each individual apartment.

b. Major building components need to be examined for their current condition and any potential repairs needed.

c. Closely examine the condition of the interior and exterior. Make note of major problems.

d. Potential and actual safety and code violations as well as hazards need to be noted. These are money sucking tasks that must be completed before your real estate investment can proceed.

e. Once you have finished the physical examination, you need a thorough estimate for fixing the problems.

Property Characteristics

a. Are there any liens on the property, including tax, contractor or other?

b. Are there court cases against the owner or the property?

c. Is it a rental property? What kind of rent does it bring in?

 

d. How long are the rental leases?

 

Property Financial Examination

a. Rental property income for the previous year predicts what your income may be for the next year.

b. Repair cost estimates let you know how much you will have to spend to make the property up to code and usable.

c. Utility costs for the year let you know what your expenses are going to look like on a monthly and yearly basis.

Final Decision
The thing about due diligence is it can help you make a better judgment on potential properties, but experience is the true teacher. Your own personal trials and errors will help you to know what to look for as red flags and as green go lights. If you want a great mentor to help you through things like due diligence, why not become one of our real estate franchises?

We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise, and we have over 15 years experience buying and selling real estate properties. We work with properties of all kinds,  and we have lots of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available for you. Call or visit us today at Homevestorsfranchise.com for more information.

Negotiating Deals

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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In real estate investment, there are the fast buyers. These are the equivalent of the type-A personality stock traders. Then, there is the more sane type of investors. These real estate investors buy properties after they have been on the market awhile or aged.

Why Aged Real Estate?

There is no need to hurry to do anything. You can have a life and still run your real estate business. You can look at properties when you get around to it. You don’t have to beat out all the other investors to get the latest hot property. You can pick your properties and pick your terms. If you make an offer that doesn’t get accepted, you may get a second chance in the other deal falls through.

Back on Market Homes

The Back on the market report is one of the best sources for aged homes. Homes back on the market are properties that have been under contract with other buyers and did not closed. The plus side is that you know the home is a popular one with potential. Other buyers and investors end up being your business allies. Waiting for houses to fall through or to age does have some drawbacks. Not every house you want will fall through. Some of them will actually get bought by other people.

The longer a house is on the market, the cheaper you can get it for. Sometimes, you can even get them for as much as 60 percent off of the asking price. When you make your offers, be sure they are sound. Then, make sure to include quick closings and cash payment in your offers. The terms are what will appeal to buyers.

Long Time Listed On the Market Homes

The other group of aged homes is homes that have been listed for a long time but has not been under contract before. Often, these homes are either overpriced or have some problem that can be fixed. The longer these homes have been listed, the smaller the amount they will accept for the property. In fact, the sellers are often just happy to finally have an offer. Give them firm terms, and they’ll be even happier. An end in site will be a blessed relief.

Aged homes offer real estate investors a stress free way of building their portfolio without spending a lot of money. For a large list of real estate investments and real estate franchise opportunities, call or visit us at Homvestorsfranchise.com.

Pre-purchase Property Inspections

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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When you offer on a real estate investment property of any kind, your contract will typically include a clause that says  your offer is valid if the property passes inspection. Although you may have construction experience, getting a report from a state certified real estate inspector gives you the chance to really know what is going on in a property before you buy it. If you want to look around the property before you make an offer, you can do an inspection of your own. However, you want to make sure you clear it with the current owner before you start crawling on top of their roof.

Materials You’ll Need

You want to wear old clothes or coveralls and make sure your body is pretty well covered. There is no telling what you may find in the hidden recesses of the home. You will also need a strong light to see well with in dark areas like under the home or in the attic.  You’ll also want a good ladder and binoculars so you can scan or get to the hard to reach places. An ice pick or similar instrument will help you to reach back into crevices and to lift the edges of things without creating any damage.  A digital or mini-tape recorder will help you to take notes without having to try and write everything down. Inspection checklists will help you walk through the property without overlooking any areas.

Normal Checklist

Roof condition or damage, including missing materials.

Signs of termites and termite damage.

Signs of dry rot or rotting wood.

Look for water and moisture intrusion, as well as signs of water damage.

Look for signs of mold, mildew, and mold contamination.

Check for sticking doors and cracks in the drywall or floor.

Check out the condition of the foundation (i.e. Is it sinking or cracking?)

Look for electrical, fire, plumbing and safety hazards.

Check for signs of collapsed water or sewer lines.

Also look out for stripped mechanical systems or missing electrical wiring.

Since it is their home, you may want to do the inspection with the homeowner. This lets the homeowner to see what you see. In addition, it keeps any questioning doubts about your credibility from the homeowner’s mind. As you walk through, ask questions and be sure to take thorough notes. These will help you make a better estimate of repair costs, and they can later be compared to the inspection report.

For more topics or ideas related to real estate investing, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a variety of real estate investment as well as real estate franchise opportunities available. Call or visit to see what we have available for you!

 

 

Suspicious Environmental Condition Inspection

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

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A normal inspection looks at the structural integrity of the property. However, there are several other areas that need to be inspected before a home is safe to move into. In this instance, there needs to be an environmental specialist inspecting and running tests. If the property hasn’t been a business before, you still need to have it checked for other potential environmental hazards.

Why?

Depending on where the home is and when it is built, there are a large number of environmental factors that can be in your real estate investment property. If you aren’t sure what these might be, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have lots of resources and information to help you learn more about potential dangers. The HUD Handbook, 4910.01 R01, Minimum Property Standards For Housing is a great resource for beginning real estate investors to use. You want to make sure you check for these before you purchase the property. If the property is used as a rental property, you, the landlord, will be held liable for any damages or injuries as a result of exposure.

Potential Dangers

Lead Paint – usually found in homes built before 1978

Asbestos – usually found in homes built before the 1980’s

Heavy Metals

Radon.

Preliminary/Phase One Environmental Audit

You can do a preliminary check yourself to determine if your property needs to have an extended environmental examination. The good news is much of this can be found out in your due diligence.

Find out who has owned the property for the past fifty years.

Ask known owners, past and present, about previous practices or uses that would put people at danger of exposure.

Check with past city cross-reference street directories for confirmation of previous property use.

Examine topographic maps, historical aerial photographs, and geological reports of the property.

Research local, state and federal government files for records of environmental problems affecting the property and adjacent properties.

Determines the existence and condition of above ground or underground storage tanks.

Inspect the property for obvious signs of problems, including odors, stains, stressed vegetation, or dumping or burial evidence.

Not every real estate investment property will have environmental hazards. However, knowing and looking out for them can help you keep from buying a lemon property or being stuck with huge renovation bills you don’t want. For more information on real estate investing, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number home buying franchise, and we lots of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available. Come see what we have available for you!

If You Are Not Donald Trump, Sell Your Ugly House to HomeVestors

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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Ugly Houses mar a lot of areas. If you are Donald Trump, you have the pull to go to the city council and outlaw the houses in “horrendous condition.”  An article in Business Insider tells how he has been fighting since 2007 against the Ugly houses.

So, if you don’t have the resources Donald Trump has, but have a house in your neighborhood that is unsightly and in horrendous condition, your next best bet is to call HomeVestors®, the We Buy Ugly Houses® company. We have bought over 50,000 of those icky houses. That’s why HomeVestors is known as America’s #1 Home Buyer.

 

To Rent or Sale

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

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Many newbie real estate investors often find themselves with a property on their hands, but they are unsure what to do with it. They want to make money, but other than that, they are stuck in a holding pattern.

Let’s take this example: One fixer-upper was bought for $70 thousand. The loan was for $80,000, with the excess to be used for repairs. The property is an older home that needs a lot of work. The comps for this house were $125,000 and rent is around $1300 for similar properties.

What should a real estate investor do?

Step One

Figure out what are your options. Knowing what you may and may not do will help you to properly examine your options from all angles. Most real estate investors will tell you your options are to sell, lease option, seller finance, or rent the property. These are the most logical ways of handling the investment property. Each has its own benefits. Selling gives you your money quickly. The other three give you your money over time. Renting it keeps the property in your hands and also keeps you responsible for all repairs. In the other options, the buyer/tenant is responsible for the repairs.

Step Two

Make a decision. It doesn’t matter which option you take at this point. You can always change your mind later, but making a plan and forging ahead will keep you from losing out on buyers or renters because you made no decisions.

Step Three

Analyze the situation. Every real estate investment property has potential for rent or sales. What should help you make your decision is whether or not you have the capital to repair and maintain the property over time. If you don’t have the funds, it is better to change your mind and sell the property.

Step Four

Proceed ahead full steam! Whatever your decision is, go for it. Sell, lease, or rent as you see fit. Each one is going to make you money of some kind. Instead of stressing over how much you’ll make with this property, focus on what to do with and where to find that next property. 

 

Don’t let being new stop you from making a move. Go ahead and make mistakes. It may be the best way to learn. For more ideas on real estate investment and real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

 

Title Company, the Key Ingredient

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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In the real estate industry, almost every deal relies upon on crucial element, the title company. It doesn’t matter what kind of property deal you are working. If you have a title company on your real estate business team, you are more likely to achieve real estate success.

What is it?

The title company is the element that will make or break you real estate deal. They are supposed to be the neutral party that examines the title. They look for title problems, record documents, insure the property title, and act as the escrow agent.

It’s Role

The title company’s job is to take care of all of the parties in the real estate transaction. They coordinate the lenders, buyers, sellers, and agents to get the transfer of ownership done in the proper, timely manner. They explain all the documents and disburse the money to all the correct parties, including any third parties, the mortgage company, etc.

Importance?

Title companies handle all deals and closings from the simple to the complex. They assist in title matters, solving everything from contractual questions to issues involving trusts, probate, short sales, foreclosures, etc. Their closing officers provide needed advice and legal consultation, and they help ensure every transfer happens correctly.

Valuable Team Member

Due to the number of real estate transactions that you participate in, having the right title company on your real estate business team will make a huge difference. They will take care of all of the business transaction needs you will have, including seller financing arrangements, lease-to-own, etc. The Title Company will keep you up-to-date of the new laws. In addition, they will steer you in the right direction to close your deals properly. At the end of the deal, they also make sure that you receive the amount of money you are supposed to have.

What to Look For

Knowledge –You want a company that has lots of experience or has been around awhile. Your business will come into a variety of deals. The more they can get you through effortlessly, the better.

Friendliness – Open, friendly companies are more likely to work with you and others without any problems. Their friendliness means the other parties will be pleased at their interactions with them.

Integrity & honesty – Title companies are trusted with lots of important things. If they have a track record of underhandedness or misdealing, no one will work with you.

If you looking to build the best real estate investment team or to be as successful as possible, you need the premier title company. For more information on real estate investing, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have lots of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available.

Using Property Wanted Ads

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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Real estate investors use a wide range of marketing and advertising over the years. Some of them work well, like business card networking and bandit signs. Others work every once in a while. One of the type of ads that many real estate investors have success with are property wanted ads.

What is it?

A property wanted ad is an ad placed in a newspaper or other online or real world publication that says, “property wanted.” The ad is short, usually less than four lines. Each one is limited to 26 characters each.

Benefits

Property wanted ads are great. Normally, they bring in offers of properties that are not currently advertised to buy. Most of the time, the owners are people that don’t have the time, patience, or money to renovate and sell their properties. In addition, these are usually open minded individuals that do not want extra stress or hassles, and they want to be done quickly.

Listing Your Property Wanted Ad

The placement of your property wanted ad is the key to its success. Just like your other ads, the more it is seen, the better chances you have of getting a response. If there are various wanted sections in your paper, your ad should be placed in each category. These include rental property wanted, income property wanted, property wanted, real estate wanted, and real estate investment property wanted. The more sections it is listed under, the better.

Running Your Ad

As you run your ads, you will figure out the best time and placement that works for your real estate business. In some areas, the Sunday paper is read more than any other paper during the week. For your investment dollars, it may be better to run the ad only on Sundays instead of every day of the week. As you run your ads, you will also figure out the best wording, size, and section for your ad.

Test Runs

Some real estate investors will run an ad once and say, “Well, that didn’t work.” Before you can narrow something down to working or not, you need to give it a few chances at success. Try running your ad three or four times. Then, tweak it as needed and run it again.

If you are trying to expand your real estate investment business, property wanted ads may be the ticket to investment property success.