Archive for February, 2012

Investment Curb Appeal and Resale Value, Part 2

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

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Cleaning, freshening, and a little repairing get most real estate investment properties. ready to put back on the market. Cleaning everywhere and making the exterior look newer helps to move your investment quickly. However, it is the interior that really sells a home and gets it ready to put back on the market.

Freshening the Interior of the Property

After the interior has been cleaned and wiped down, the interior should be repaired. The first place to start is the texture on the walls and ceiling. Premixed joint compound can be applied to either surface to create an interesting texture that gives rooms character. Next, the walls and ceiling should be painted a nice neutral color scheme. This scheme works well with most furnishings and individual tastes. Remember, like the exterior, quality paint and painting makes a huge difference in how well a house sells.

 

Then, the rest of the interior should be attended to. The floors should be repaired or replaced. Most hardwood floors can be sanded, stained, and resealed with a little work. Other flooring options like carpet, vinyl, or linoleum will have to be replaced. Next, all of the interior doors as well as the cabinets and drawers should be repaired or replaced, including the hardware. If the room needs a new look, change the hardware first. This is an inexpensive way to give the room a new look. Then, check the lighting, electrical, and plumbing. Your motto should be repair or replace. Clean and fix what you can and replace what you can’t. Last but not least, have the HVAC systems checked out by professionals to make sure they are in code and working properly.

 

Remember

The hardest thing for every real estate investor to remember is to stick with their budget and don’t get carried away. Although it would be nice to bring every home up to million dollar appraisal value, not every neighborhood can afford that kind of change. Stick to upgrading within the standards of the neighborhood. Your goal is to clean and freshen and put on the market as quickly as possible.

 

Final Inspections

Before paying anyone, do a walk-through of the property with the project manager. You and he should have a punch list of all of the items that should be done. As you walk through, mark them off. If there are any areas of concern, take a note of them. Once the work has been properly taken care of, final payments should be made to each and every contractor and subcontractor. Make sure you get the release of lien form signed by each contractor. This states they have been paid in full and states they will not or cannot put a lien on your property for nonpayment.

 

Real estate investment curb appeal and resale value go up quickly with a little cleaning and freshening throughout the interior and exterior.  For more information on real estate investing, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of buying and selling experience. We have numerous real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available. Come grow your real estate investment business with us!

Investment Curb Appeal and Resale Value, Part 1

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

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Many beginning real estate investors need a little guidance when it comes to their first few real estate investment properties. Buying, rehabbing, and putting them on the market sounds easy, but it does require a bit of elbow grease and planning. For most properties, getting them ready to sell requires simply cleaning and freshening the interior and exterior.

 

Cleaning, Scrubbing, and Sterilizing

Getting your real estate investment ready means you have to start from square one. The interior and exterior of the home must be thoroughly cleaned.The side of the house, roof, gutters, sidewalks, and parking areas, must all be washed on the outside. This area is easy to clean. A water hose and scrub brush works for the majority of the house and sidewalk. For faster cleaning, you may also try a pressure washer.  the cleansing of the exterior should reveal any problem areas that need work and remove any dirt, grime, soot, oils, and other pollutants from all exterior surfaces.

 

The interior will need to be cleaned next. The walls, floors, baseboards, cabinets, doors, fixtures, and all handles will need to be washed and wiped down. This should remove interior dust, smoke, dirt, grease, grime, etc.  This should also help you to spot any extra places that need texture repair, repainting, etc.

 

Freshening the Property’s Exterior and Grounds

After cleaning, the next step  for any real estate investor should be freshening and completing the exterior of the home. This is due to the fact that people see the exterior and will be intrigued about the interior while the work is still going on.

 

Start with the perfect color scheme for the property considering its neighborhood, current trends, and the historical era. A three color scheme work really well. The building should be one color. The fascia and exterior doors should be a second color, and the drip edge around the roof and window shutters should be a third color. The most important thing about painting is not skimping on quality. A good, quality paint job can make any house look like a million bucks. A poor quality one can make it look less than 30K.

 

Once the house is painted, check and repair the roof and gutters. Then, move on to the yard. It should be well groomed and maintained. If possible, add a few bushes or yard plants to make the yard stand out amongst the rest of the neighborhood, and make sure the trees and grass stay properly trimmed. Make sure the walkways and parking area through the yard are patched or repaired as needed. While you are cleaning and fixing, make sure the windows, doors, and light fixtures have been wiped down, fixed, or replaced. Remember, a good paint job, a nice yard, and staged porch area makes any home quickly sell-able.

 

Real estate investment requires great clean exteriors. Next time, we’ll look at working on the interiors and checking of the rehab/repair list. For more information on real estate investing, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a large variety of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities to help you grow your business. Come see what opportunities we have for your real estate business.

 

Starting to Rehab?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

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One of the most profitable ways to make money in real estate is with property rehabilitation. Your goal during rehabbing is to increase the property’s appeal and resale value. Most real estate investors achieve this by cleaning, scrubbing, and sterilizing the entire property in and out, freshening the property’s exterior and grounds, and freshening the interior of the property.

 

Be Smart

Many real estate investors get started on their first project, and they bite off more than they can chew. The only way to avoid this is to know what you don’t know about property repairs and renovations. Start by asking yourself what knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to do a professional quality job do you have. Knowing your limitations and working with them will save you heart- and wallet- ache.

 

Next, don’t be afraid to hire work out, especially if you do not have experience with or know how to do a project or repair. It may seem like more money upfront, but it will save you money and time in the long run.

 

Be honest with yourself. If you are in over your head, call for help! There is no failure in real estate rehab. There is only wasted time and energy spent on trying to fix something beyond your skill level.

 

Tips to Keep Rehabs on Track

Many real estate investors find themselves having trouble keeping their rehabs on time and well within their established budget. before you begin your real estate investment rehab, make sure you have the following ready and in place.

 

Target or final value allows you to establish a healthy budget and helps you keep in mind the bottom line when having to adjust your budget for unanticipated repairs.

Total rehab estimate includes the amount of man hours and pay for the workers as well as the cost of the materials for the rehab project.

Budget is the money set aside to use for the rehab project. The budget should be stuck to as closely as possible.

Target date is the date that the project should be completed. Everyone on the project should know and help to keep the project on time.

Project Supervisor is the person in charge of being on-site and keeping everyone on task and on schedule. They coordinate all of the subcontractors and contractors, as well as the delivery of materials and appraisals or inspections.

Schedule is the responsibility of the project supervisor and you. It should be setup ahead of time and stuck to until the job is done.

Labor are the contractors and subcontractors responsible for completing the project for you.

 

Quality checks are setup ahead of time. These are points in the project schedule where work should be completed and checked to make sure it is in accordance with local building codes. These are also good points for payment on the project.

 

With the right data upfront and the proper people in place, real estate investment rehabs should stay well organized, within budget, and on schedule. For more information and ideas on real estate investments, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise. We have a fabulous array of real estate investments as well as real estate franchise opportunities available for you to grow your real estate business. Come see what opportunities we have for you!

 

Real Estate Business Assistant

Monday, February 20th, 2012

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A real estate business assistant can have a lasting impact on your real estate investing business. Personal assistants and virtual assistants are the same thing. It is a person that helps to make your life easier. Your assistant can work from anywhere around the world.

Training
Any assistant you work with will have to be brought up to speed on how you manage your business and office. If you are leery of getting an assistant, start them off with a few small tasks. As their knowledge and successes grow, you can add to and change their job tasks.

Benefits
An assistant is a good first and primary real estate business team member. If you are new to managing employees, projects, or partners, beginning to manage an assistant will help you to figure out how to make the working situation manageable.

An assistant makes your business seem more professional and will raise your community stature. People love you, but always having their phone calls answered or returned promptly increases the chances that they will be coming back to you for business.

Your real estate assistant can take on as many or as few responsibilities as you choose. They are your assistant, and they are employed to help you succeed.

An  assistant takes care of the more trivial tasks, like typing, phone calls, email, etc. This cuts your stress level greatly and leaves  you open for other more serious tasks.

An assistant will help with unexpected events. With real estate, the unexpected can happen at any hour. An assistant helps you take care of these tasks quickly, so you can get back to your life. This can greatly improve your home life.

If money is a concern, virtual assistances do everything that regular assistants do, but they don’t have to have an office space voice.  This greatly reduces your overhead costs, and it keeps strangers out of your home office.

With all of the pressures, paperwork, and tasks that go into running a real estate business, the cost of having a real estate business assistant is worth every penny. They establish credibility, assist you, take on trivial tasks, help with unexpected events, and can reduce you costs. All of these benefits can help your business to grow by leaps and bounds and put you in a more pleasant state of mind.

For more ideas and topics related to real estate business and real estate investments visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We also have fabulous information on how to become one of our real estate franchises. Come see what Homevestors can do for you!

Finding a Contractor

Friday, February 17th, 2012

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One of the most important people on your real estate business team is your contractor. He makes repair estimates, keeps the repairs and renovations going, and basically helps keep your investments profitable. 

Since he is the most important person you work with, it is vitally important that you choose only the most qualified and reputable individual you can find. Finding the right one can be quite a tedious process. There are lots of individuals out there that can do work, but how do you know which one is the best qualified for the job.

Licensed and Bonded

Many states require contractors to be licensed and bonded. In fact, many place s also require subcontractors to have the same license and bonding. This is to protect you and the people you work with from being left in the middle of an incomplete job. Since it is a legal requirement, make sure to get copies of the license of the contractor for your files, and renew your copy of the license every time the contractor updates his license.

General Liability Insurance

Although you should have your own insurance on every property you own, make sure your contractor has general liability insurance. This insurance protects and replaces your property in case the contractor and/or his employees accidentally damages it.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

This covers the contractor and his helpers or employees should they get hurt on the job. If the contractor works for you, you must provide his insurance. If he is an entity that provides you a service, he must provide he own. Either way, not having worker’s comp insurance can be disastrous for you and him. Someone will have to pay for his mediacal bills, and it will probably end up being you.

Finances

Having a contractor that is financially sound makes it easier in many ways for you. Lending institutions will want to work with him. He’ll be able to get supplies without problems from vendors. It is a better working relationship all the way around.

NARI or NAHB membership

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Association of Home Builders are two of the associations that reputable contractors belong to. They provide training and information to keep contractors up to date with the latest industry standards. In addition, members are thoroughly reference and background checked. This helps to protect you from unserious or disreputable contractors.

Building Permits

The law varies from state to state and city to city as to which permits are needed for repairs, construction, and renovations it is vitally important that the contractor you hire knows which permits must be pulled and is actively pulling them. If he is not, this may be an indicator that he has had problems in the past with permit violations.

Contractors are a real estate investor’s best friend. Getting the right one though can make a huge difference between shoddy work and a true masterpiece. For more information on real estate investment, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

 

You Need a Contractor

Friday, February 17th, 2012

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Everyone always asks what it takes to be successful in the real estate business. The key to any successful business is your real estate team or network of individuals that you work with. This can be in-house people that work directly for you and no one else, or they can be contracted service providers that you trust. No matter what you read anywhere else, a successful real estate business has to have a group of individuals that know their niche of the business well in order to make it.

Outside of the real estate lawyer, the most important person on your team is your general contractor. Many people claim you can make more money if you don’t use one or come up with a number of other silly sayings you should ignore. Unless you have contractor’s experience or are willing to take the classes or apprenticeship under someone to learn the trade, you need a good, trustworthy contractor on your team. The question is, how can you find and use a great contractor.

Background

The BBB is a great place to start, but they should not be your only source of information. Look online and run your own background and credit searches on the people that apply. If they are going to work for you, you need to know what kind of baggage they might be carrying and how it may affect your business. In addition, check the references they supply. Ask them about any work he has done and if they were satisfied. That will be a great indicator of the work you can expect from the contractor.

Quality

Although we all love discount stores to save a penny or two, discount contractors make you wonder about the quality of the materials and workmanship they will do. It may cost a little more for good materials and no cutting corners, but the end result will be well worth the effort. Remember, you pay for the quality you receive!

Experience Doesn’t Always Mean Quality

Even though we would like to think that experience teaches us something, some people do not learn no matter how many times they repeat a mistake. Check references always! It’s the only way to determine how the job will turn out.

Funny Feeling

Sometimes you just get a feeling about a person you cannot explain. It can be anything, including the  deposit, special pricing, pushy salesman, etc. The point is if you get a weird or odd feeling about a company, you should not work with them. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache in the end.

For more topics related to contractors, real estate businesses, or real estate franchises, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com.

 

Rehabbing

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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Whether you have 20 years of experience in real estate or are starting out as a real estate investor, rehabbing properties can bring your real estate business great potential money makers.

Hire a Mentor

In order to be successful in rehabbing, you need a mentor with plenty of rehabbing experience. Start by meeting with potential mentors. Ask about their positive and negative experiences in real estate rehabbing. Also inquire about the benefits and disadvantages of rehabbing. Your goal is to find at least one successful, full time real estate investor that has done a large number of rehabs. Your mentor should be constructive, honest, and help you to grow and make wise decisions.

Rehab Formula

Before you purchase the property, find out what needs to be repaired and updated. This can be done by simply asking the real estate agent for an idea what needs to be done, touring the property for yourself and making your own judgments, or having an inspector come in and perform a thorough inspection.

This will give you the basics that must be done to bring the property up to code. Then, start narrowing down what updates can be done to make the property a little more appealing. This should give you a range of costs that can be subtracted from the maximum property value. That gives you an idea of the maximum you can offer and still make a profit on the sale of the property.

The Agent is Important

Through the process of acquiring, rehabbing, and selling the property, the listing agent can be used and involved. In fact, making them an active part of your business team is a good idea. If the agent knows that you want their opinion and will use them to help sell the property later, they will be more likely and receptive to work with you from the beginning. After all, they’ll be getting money on both sides of the rehab.  Since they are devoted to the commission at the end, they are usually willing to help with the rehab process in the middle and make sure that any costly mistakes are caught before they turn into unsellable nightmares.

Other Tips:

The right contractors and subcontractors make a world of difference in how well your rehab turns out.

Set a budget and timeline, and stick with them. Every day over costs you money.

If you aren’t onsite, you don’t know what’s going on or how to fix it.

Rehabbing is a great potential money making part of real estate investment. For other ideas and information on real estate investment, visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a large assortment of real estate investments as well as real estate franchise opportunities available. Come see what opportunities we have to help grow your real estate investment business.

Real Estate License, Will it Help?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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Due to the nature of their work, real estate investors often wonder if it would be in their best interest to acquire their real estate license. Most investors will tell you it isn’t necessary to get it to be successful. However, it can only help you.

 

Education

Knowing more about the ins and outs of real estate help make your investment choices wiser and easier. By working to obtain your real estate license, you get to understand how every participant in the buying-selling process is crucial. You’ll learn how each player (buyer, seller, real estate agent) thinks, and you’ll begin to use this knowledge to your advantage in your own transactions.

 

Network

One of the hardest things for beginners to do is build their network of professionals. By attending a real estate licensing course,  you’ll meet lots of people to add to your network on professional contacts. While all of them may not be interested in your angle, they’ll certainly be able to help you look for properties or help you get rid of one or two.

 

Associations and Memberships

As crazy as it sounds, your real estate business has more validity when you belong to local associations and organizations. By getting your real estate license, you can join the local Board of Realtors and other real estate agent associations. These will keep you up to date on all of the recent legislation changes as well as the impending forecast of the real estate market. Knowing what lies ahead can help you adjust your real estate portfolio to stay afloat or soar to the top.

 

Your Name

By getting your real estate license, you can also market and advertise yourself as a real estate agent. Your license opens up more options for you professionally. This helps to get your name known. Some real estate investors have trouble breaking into their local investment market. By getting your name known, more clients will start coming to you. That saves you a lot of advertising dollars and legwork.

 

These are all great benefits that make the your real estate license well worth the time and money investment. However, you do not have to have your license to invest. For more information on real estate investing, call or visit us at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s best home buying franchise, and we offer investors fabulous real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities. Come see what investment opportunities we have for you.

Make Vacation Homes Work for You!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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A great number of real estate investors want to expand their investment listings. However, they baulk at the idea of investing in properties they cannot drive across town to fix in the dead of night. That is fine if you want to keep your investment portfolio small and in one niche location. There are a large number of properties available across the country and the globe that can make fabulous rental properties.

 

Benefits

Although you may not like it, one of the big perks of owning property not close to you is you do not have to manage it or take care of it. While handling your own renovations and maintenance saves you pennies right off, this takes up all of your time and actually costs you more in the long run. With properties located far away, you have to hire a property management team as well as a maintenance crew. These hired hands will oversee everything related to the taking care of your investment properties. All you have to do is collect the extra cash flow.

 

The second perk of owning an investment property far away is it also can be a vacation property for you. Whenever you need to getaway, all you have to do is call your property management company and schedule those dates. Then, you don’t have to worry about paying for a place to stay, you just have to get there.

 

Location

When you start looking at far off properties, pick the area you want to invest in first. Tourist towns and locations on the water or next to the slopes are more highly valued. By pinpointing your ideal locations, you also narrow down your search area for potential homes.

 

Rental Types

You don’t have to stick one kind of rental property. Although, if you want to use the property as an occasional vacation home, short term rentals will be the better choice for you. Every investment area may have potential long term and commercial properties available. All three types of rentals will increase your monthly cash flow and the size of your investment portfolio without adding a whole lot of stress.

 

The Numbers and Risk

Before you buy a property, make sure you look at the rental potential in the area. This combined with the tourism numbers and forecasted growth numbers can help you to determine if this is a good idea. Since you are hiring help to maintain your property, you will need to keep the cost of these services in mind. They will add to the monthly costs you incur every month.

 

Buying a far off property for vacation and rental is a fabulous less stress real estate investment strategy. For other investment strategies, call or visit us today at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a large assortment of real estate franchise opportunities available as well as real estate investment properties. Let us help you grow your real estate business.

Make Vacation Homes Work for You!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

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A great number of real estate investors want to expand their investment listings. However, they baulk at the idea of investing in properties they cannot drive across town to fix in the dead of night. That is fine if you want to keep your investment portfolio small and in one niche location. There are a large number of properties available across the country and the globe that can make fabulous rental properties.

 

Benefits

Although you may not like it, one of the big perks of owning property not close to you is you do not have to manage it or take care of it. While handling your own renovations and maintenance saves you pennies right off, this takes up all of your time and actually costs you more in the long run. With properties located far away, you have to hire a property management team as well as a maintenance crew. These hired hands will oversee everything related to the taking care of your investment properties. All you have to do is collect the extra cash flow.

 

The second perk of owning an investment property far away is it also can be a vacation property for you. Whenever you need to getaway, all you have to do is call your property management company and schedule those dates. Then, you don’t have to worry about paying for a place to stay, you just have to get there.

 

Location

When you start looking at far off properties, pick the area you want to invest in first. Tourist towns and locations on the water or next to the slopes are more highly valued. By pinpointing your ideal locations, you also narrow down your search area for potential homes.

 

Rental Types

You don’t have to stick one kind of rental property. Although, if you want to use the property as an occasional vacation home, short term rentals will be the better choice for you. Every investment area may have potential long term and commercial properties available. All three types of rentals will increase your monthly cash flow and the size of your investment portfolio without adding a whole lot of stress.

 

The Numbers and Risk

Before you buy a property, make sure you look at the rental potential in the area. This combined with the tourism numbers and forecasted growth numbers can help you to determine if this is a good idea. Since you are hiring help to maintain your property, you will need to keep the cost of these services in mind. They will add to the monthly costs you incur every month.

 

Buying a far off property for vacation and rental is a fabulous less stress real estate investment strategy. For other investment strategies, call or visit us today at Homevestorsfranchise.com. We have a large assortment of real estate franchise opportunities available as well as real estate investment properties. Let us help you grow your real estate business.