Archive for January, 2013

HomeVestors Knows The Obstacles That Beginning Investors Face

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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When starting a career in the real estate investment field be sure to remain positive and analyze every last detail when pursing that first deal.

Dallas, Texas HomeVestors is the nation’s number one home buying franchise and has helped real estate investors purchase 50,000 properties over the years. The company knows that starting a real estate investing career from scratch requires some gumption. Beginning investors are often young, perhaps fresh out of high school or college with little or no experience in the complex workings of the business world, are under funded and backed by feeble credit. Successful investors admit that the beginning phase was the most confusing and the most trying of their careers. How they eventually made it differs from person to person but in general, they followed a combination of guidelines which beginning investors should emulate.

The real estate business is dynamic because market conditions never stay the same for any reasonable length of time. Markets go up and come down, changing the rules of the game as it goes along. Beginning investors must pay particular heed to market conditions at both national and local level. Local market trends largely dictate what kinds of ventures are likely to be successful. For example, the current market climate is experiencing a boom in the buying of foreclosed and bank owned properties but tomorrow is another story as inventories are expected to be at lower volumes. Population, employment, and growth dynamics have to be taken into consideration when a beginning investor does their homework. Ignoring these can result in losses when ensuing an investment decision that is not well thought out.

Consider the physical shape a particular property is in and the costs associated with repairs when determining whether to pursue the venture. Be sure to perform title checks, surveys, zoning and land-use regulations. Acquire familiarity with the law in such areas that govern housing, like contracts, insurance, finance, accounting, and tax law. Once a beginning investor determines that an investment is feasible by carefully accessing the above considerations, they must be sure the numbers add up to a potential profit. Profit is only dependent on the difference between revenue from sales, rents, tax breaks, equity, or appreciation, and operational expenses. A beginning investor needs to have solid math and accounting skills, watching the numbers like a hawk, always considering the cost of every last item.

Beginning investors can learn a lot from others who have succeeded in the business. Seasoned investors have a great deal to contribute and beginning investors should seek out their expertise.

About HomeVestors of America Inc.

Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the largest buyer of houses in the U.S., with 50,000 houses bought since 1996. HomeVestors trains and supports its independently owned and operated franchisees that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties. Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2012, for the seventh consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.

HomeVestors Knows How To Purchase Deeds At A Tax Sale

Friday, January 11th, 2013

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When homeowners do not pay their taxes for an extended period of time, the deed to their property is auctioned off at a tax sale. Take part in the auction and possibly get a great deal.

Dallas, Texas HomeVestors is the nation’s number one home buying franchise and has helped real estate investors purchase 50,000 properties over the years. The company knows that most of us have seen ads on TV about tax foreclosure sales or tax sales, promising incredibly low purchase prices for properties that have some substantial value. They usually feature some fortunate buyers, testifying about how lucky they were to buy properties with market values as high as $150,000 or $300,000 for just a few thousand dollars or even a few hundred dollars. Those commercials may sound impossible to believe but there is indeed some truth to them. Municipal governments periodically hold these sales and auction off properties that can be bought for pennies on the dollar and for investors who buy from distressed owner shave a tremendous opportunity to get some of the best deals out there.

When property owners become delinquent on their property taxes, the municipality occasionally sues to recover the back taxes. If the owners do not pay, their property becomes subject to be auctioned at a tax sale that ordinary citizens can take part in. Governments will hold tax sales regardless of whether the properties being auctioned have other lien holders. What gets auctioned is not a property’s title itself, but a tax certificate also known as a tax deed, which relinquishes a government’s right to collect on delinquent taxes, to the highest bidder. Since a government’s only interest is to collect on their back taxes, the starting bid will usually only be the amount of back taxes owed including interests charges, penalties, legal and administrative fees.

After having purchased a tax deed, an investor does not automatically have the title of the property transferred to them. A delinquent owner still retains the title and they are given a window period during which they must meet their tax obligations or surrender their right to title. This is known as the right to redemption. Redemption periods can be 6 months on the low end or 4 years on the high end in states like Wyoming and South Dakota. Should a delinquent property owner whose property has been auctioned at a tax sale decide to exercise their right to redemption, they would have to pay an investor who holds the tax deed, whatever amount the tax deed was purchased for, including interest charges. Interest charges vary from state to state, with states like Alabama offering a 12% annual rate and Texas, 25%. In some states like Texas and Georgia, the rate doubles if the redemption period runs into a second year.

All of this may sound really easy but in reality, there is more than meets the eye. Before taking part in a tax sale, an investor should do their homework; research a property’s location, and its investment value. They need to set their maximum bid based on how valuable they think a property will be, and avoid getting caught up in the excitement of an auction sale. Not all properties at a tax sale will sell for pennies on the dollar but with some luck and diligent research, it is possible to find deals.

About HomeVestors of America Inc.

Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the largest buyer of houses in the U.S., with 50,000 houses bought since 1996. HomeVestors trains and supports its independently owned and operated franchisees that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties. Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2012, for the seventh consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.

HomeVestors Knows That The Market Is Quite Uncertain While The Fiscal Cliff Looms

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

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Investors need to act with caution when taking on investments due to the impending influence of the fiscal cliff.

Dallas, Texas HomeVestors is the nation’s number one home buying franchise and has helped real estate investors purchase 50,000 properties over the years. The company knows that there couldn’t be more uncertainty in the housing market as there are these days. The headlines send nothing but mixed messages, making it difficult to have a clear picture for what lies in store in the coming months ahead. This is typical for markets that have reached a point of inflection. The slightest disturbance could easily set the public into a panic mode and send the market heading backs south. There is no shortage of potential disturbances. The threat of a fiscal cliff looms overhead, the danger of another round of foreclosures may just be around the corner, and weakening consumer confidence abounds. Investors with short-term plans should be aware that the volatile market has the potential to take them on a roller coaster ride.

The rate of foreclosures has slowed down considerably and sales as a consequence have picked up. There has even been a surge in the number of building permits issued. Those gains though, have always hung in the balance as millions of homes still remain under water. The federal government has done its best to weather these threats by pouring money into the housing market by way of incentives and offer borrowers some breathing space. With spending cuts poised to kick in soon, the balance could easily get tipped in a way that would negate the current momentum the market possesses.

The looming fiscal cliff as we have seen above, exacerbates the air of uncertainty in the housing market. The entire range of consequences of the fiscal cliff that has a high likelihood of coming to pass, are not quite known. However the overall impact on the housing market will surely be a negative one. Expiration of the mortgage interest deduction, the Mortgage forgiveness Debt Relief Act, and mortgage insurance deductions among other provisions that have kept the markets afloat, can mean nothing but bad news for the markets.

If the housing market slows down again as a result of any combination of the above-mentioned perils, it will be déjà vu for investors. The climate of uncertainty in the housing market however, makes it difficult to predict what is actually going to happen. For investors who aren’t prepared for what is next, they may wish to make conservatives moves. The markets seem poised to swing in either direction. Until then, investors can only hope things don’t turn out for the worst.

About HomeVestors of America Inc.

Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the largest buyer of houses in the U.S., with 50,000 houses bought since 1996. HomeVestors trains and supports its independently owned and operated franchisees that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties. Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2012, for the seventh consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.

Investors – Are You Using Facebook As A Marketing Tool?

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

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Social media has been playing an increasingly greater role in the daily lives of the average Internet user. From simply being a tool for personal interactions, social media has encroached into the world of business as businesses have found clever ways to using them as marketing platforms. Facebook, arguably the most successful of the social media sites as evident from its 800 million strong user base worldwide, has a great deal of features that real estate investors of every stripe can make use of to help their careers surge ahead. Be they wholesale buyers, retail investors, or rental property investors, every investor can take advantage of Facebook marketing to promote their brand, find clients, and drive sales.

Facebook like most social networking sites wasn’t designed for business marketing but the huge user base makes it such a promising advertising platform for investors who have some clever ideas about reaching out to those potential clients. A great way for an investor to start out would be to reach out to everyone they know in the real world; past clients, business associates, partners, and professionals with whom they have done business with, requesting to friend them on Facebook. Investors can also ask their contacts to include them in their own private networks. The link to their Facebook page should also be included on business cards, flyers, or other advertising platforms both on and offline, to encourage future clients to join their growing Facebook network.

Besides one’s own network of friends, another way to wield influence on Facebook is by creating groups. Groups can be powerful tools for investors who are trying to capture the attention and openly share ideas with a particular crowd of like-minded individuals who share common goals and can greatly benefit from each other. Participating in an online group is a means by which an offline forum or meeting can be kept alive. For example, a participating investor at a seminar can decide to start a Facebook group and invite other participants to join for the purpose of staying in touch.

With a big enough group of Facebook contacts be they friends of fellow group members, an investor can take Facebook marketing to new heights. There are numerous tools on Facebook, which can be exploited for marketing purposes. The Facebook share button is an almost must have on blogs, news sites, business sites, entertainment sites, and personal sites, easily comes to mind. It can be easily incorporated on an investor’s personal site for sharing their products with their entire Facebook network. Status updates, sharing pictures of new properties in an investor’s inventory and sharing their RSS feed, which Facebook now allows, are all excellent ways of targeting large audiences.

Facebook marketing is in its infancy but is taking off at an incredible momentum as investors are fully coming to grasp with the tremendous abilities the social networking site offers them for sharing products and ideas. It is another tool worth including in any real estate investor’s toolbox, as they strive towards more comprehensive advertising campaigns.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.

Investors –Use Bandit Signs With Caution

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

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We’ve all seen them as we commute or walk around town, along highways, attached to lamp posts along busy intersections, nailed to trees in parks, or hanging on fences enclosing abandoned lots. By now you should have guessed what I’m taking about; those very low-tech signs carrying messages like “we buy houses, any condition”, or “fast cash for your house”, often accompanied by a phone number. These are called bandit signs, tools that have proven extremely useful to wholesale and rehab investors looking to replenish their inventories with discounted properties, although, understand the legalities that accompany these advertisements.

The advantage of using bandit signs is that they cost next to nothing to put up. All it takes is a sizable piece of plywood, cardboard or perhaps corrugated iron sheet, a paintbrush, a little paint or some ink, and some knowledge of the town. There are no permits to be applied for, and in some cities, almost no regulations. An investor who uses bandit signs should just make sure they stay away from private properties, unless they get their owners’ consents.

The key to successfully marketing through bandit signs is to play into the psychology of a target audience. These would mostly be sellers who are facing serious hardship and in many cases, feel disenfranchised with the corporate world that they might envision as being the cause of their troubles. An investor targeting this niche has to send a message which sets them apart as different from the corporate types they are used to dealing with. A “look I’m different, I’m not one of them, just here to help” sort of message should be used. It should be written in a language that ordinary people could relate to. The message should be hand written and not professionally printed. No logos should be used. A well positioned bandit sign with a conspicuous and carefully crafted message works like magic. Before long, it is not unusual for an investor to have some leads, with calls from distressed sellers eagerly seeking help.

A word of caution, some cities or counties may not allow the posting of bandit signs. Investors must check with the local government to see if there are any ordinances prohibiting the posting and what the penalties are before setting out to fill the town with their advertisements. If there are none, bandit signs should be used alongside other more conventional methods like targeted mailings, to reach even more distressed sellers.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.

Investors –Ready To Start A Rental Empire?

Monday, January 7th, 2013

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Rental investing is generally a great real estate investment choice. Regular rent payments make it a good source of cash flow in the short term and gains in equity can make it attractive as a long-term investment. There are generous tax breaks on depreciation, losses, repairs, travel and much more. However, there are also great risks associated with this sort of real estate investing career. The large amount of funding they generally require is a disadvantage since an investor has to take on a great deal of debt to secure funding. The main source of worries though, comes from the tenants. Rent delinquency, vandalism, and lawsuits are just a few of the anxieties rental investors frequently have to deal with. When getting into rental investment, an investor can use the following tips to make it a profitable experience.

Investing in drafting a good leasing contract is a good place to start. A good leasing contract wouldn’t be one of those generic leasing contracts that can be downloaded online, but one that has been well thought out, taking into consideration local state and municipal laws, preferable with some professional legal input. Terms on a lease should be very clear, leaving no room for interpretation. All-important items provided in a leasing application by a prospective tenant must be verified and not assumed to be true. That would include credit scores, income, personal identification information, and information about previous residential arrangements. There should be strict criteria set in place for approving prospective applicants. Criminal background, eviction records, and credit records should all be given heavy considerations.

Filling apartments can be achieved through well-crafted advertising campaigns. Incentives to already existing tenants like cash payments or rent holidays for referring friends can be made use of. Targeting a special niche market will sometimes get apartments filled up faster but investors should be careful not to come off as being discriminatory, as this can result in a lawsuit.

Tenant-land lord relationships should be maintained at a professional level. Fraternizing with tenants is not a good idea. Rules can be better enforced when there is a personal gulf between management and tenants. There should be clearly spelled out sanctions against violations of rules, which should be incorporated in the leasing contract. Good record keeping should be made a priority. Good records are some of the best weapons against future unwarranted claims or for defending a rental investor’s interest in the court of law. Inspections should be performed regularly. A written notice should always be issued to tenants before getting access to their apartments. Good rapport with tenants also requires that an investor properly take care of their needs, responding in a timely fashion to maintenance requests, and conducting regular maintenance operations as well. Long-term tenants are an investor’s best assets. They should be rewarded with little tokens of appreciation.

Such tips if closely applied, can make rental investing a much safer investment venture with minimized risks. For the most efficient management, rental investors should consider hiring a management company especially if they are out of town owners and have other activities that keep them occupied.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.

Investors – What Hurts And What Helps A Credit Score

Monday, January 7th, 2013

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It is almost impossible to start or even to sustain a real estate business, without the ability to leverage financial resources. A very tiny percentage of the population has the kind of funds it takes to fully secure the purchase of the average real estate property and without the ability to borrow; most real estate investors wouldn’t be in business. Even wealthier individuals wouldn’t be keen on parting with their hard earned money to invest in risky ventures. The implication is, an investor’s credit score is one of the most powerful weapons in their arsenal of investment resources, sometimes even more important than how much liquid or non liquid assets they posses. Here are a few things investors must know about their credit score, about how it could be improved or ruined.

There are a huge number of variables about one’s financial dealings that contribute to their credit score. These variables are not weighed equally so it is important to be able to distinguish between those that have a major impact from those whose impact is only minimal. Among the big guns are late payments. Late payments for certain types of bills are reported to at least one of the major credit bureaus, and the later the payment, the greater the impact they would have on a credit score. Late payments that are reported are bills for borrowed money like mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. Others like utility bills are very rarely reported. The outstanding balance on a credit account also contributes a great deal to a credit score. The higher an outstanding balance, the lower one’s credit scores. Excessive inquiries on one’s credit report also negatively affects credit score though by a much smaller degree.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions about how an investor can improve on their credit score. The very first step most financial planners recommend is ordering a copy of their credit report. A free copy can be requested from each of the three major credit bureaus, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian. This should be done periodically, every 4 to 5 months. It is important to request copies from each of these bureaus because they compute credit scores independently of each other and each is susceptible to its own errors. It is an investor’s responsibility to check to make sure that all the data reported on their credit score is accurate, and to call the credit agency in questions to straighten out any errors they find.

Excessive inquiries on one’s credit report should be avoided. Though these only minimally affect a credit score, a large number of them may negatively impact it. Maintaining a low balance on credit accounts is important. Having the same credit account for an extended period of time boosts ones credit score much more than having several credit accounts for short spells of time. Investors should always strive to maintain the same lender whenever possible. Finally, making payments on time should be top priority. Once late payments exceed certain thresholds, they become quite damaging to a credit score.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.

Investors – Buy Directly From Builders

Friday, January 4th, 2013

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Some investors specialize in catering to high-end renters or buyers and only have interest in properties that are brand new. They buy directly from developers who are in the process of putting up new structures. Obviously, this type of investment involves huge sums of money and hence, the risks are greater. Buying from builders directly, involves a different set of norms that investors should be aware of.

When buying from builders, investors are much better off hiring their own agent. Builders normally have buyers’ agents available for a buyer who wants to use their services but the wise investor knows better than hiring one of these agents to represent them. Since new home sales are a particularly high volume business, such agents aren’t paid as well as typical agent, and hence, selling huge volumes is of priority. Investors are better off hiring their own agent with no burden of dual agency. Even in situations where an investor would be required to pay a portion of their own agent’s commission, it is usually worth the extra cost.

Developers usually work with lenders who have their best interest at heart and they normally try to get their buyers to do business with their lenders. Sometimes, a developer could even be the owner of his or her own lending company. Investors buying from builders should choose their own lender, preferably a lender they have an ongoing business relationship with.

An investor who plans on directly buying from builders certainly needs good legal representation. Before signing a contract for a brand new property in development, there are certain liabilities and commitments that an investor might be required to sign off on. They should be able to negotiate favorable terms regarding their rights to cancellation and any other contingencies. A good real estate attorney would be of assistance in guiding them through understanding all these and making useful suggestions on their behalf.

It is absolutely recommended to hire a certified inspector for a thorough inspection. Even new buildings can have defects. It is entirely possible for construction workers to make errors and the earlier those are detected and sorted out, the better.

A precautionary move that investors tend to ignore when directly buying from builders is checking a builder’s reputation. Not all developers are ethical in the way they conduct business. An investor may check public records for any lawsuits involving a builder, talk to neighbors and find out from them if they have any issues with this builder.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.

Investors – Emulate Agent Jared Jones Who Sold 931 Properties In 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

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There are just a handful of names that have come to personalize the very concept of real estate success itself – Jared Jones is another name to add to the wall of fame. Backed by an astounding 931 property sales this year and ranked number 4 on Wall Street Journal’s “The Thousand”, an annual list of the most influential realtors, the name Jared Jones has earned a spot in the enviable pantheon of real estate big guns. Individuals like Jared Jones, a Nevada based real estate agent, have often had many investors scratching their heads in amazement, asking themselves the question; “how did he do it?” We are going to make our best attempt to answer that in the following paragraphs.

Jared Jones’ success partly has to do with his ability to recognize and capitalize on a dominant trend that characterized the 2012 market. Investors played an increasing role on the buying side of the business, soaking up millions of foreclosed and bank owned properties that represented a third of all sales. By focusing his attention on this sector of the market, Jared Jones was able to keep himself quite busy. He also paid special attention to a core of investor buyers who were interested in buying multiple distressed properties at a time.

Jared Jones was able to exploit the concept of leveraging time with an incredible degree of success. He has a huge staff of between 20 to 30 individuals who assist with various roles like taking photographs, submitting reports, and providing feedback on properties. With his giant sized staff, he was able to boost productivity to unimaginable levels. 931 successful closings spread among his entire staff translates into 15 to 20 closing per staff member, which represents 2 to 3 times the number of closings the average real estate agent manages to pull off each year.

In spite of his huge staff, Jones still puts himself in the thick of the action. According to him, he is the first person his staff comes in contact with in the morning and the last person they see before they leave for home. His makes himself available to his clients directly on his cell phone. This allows him to create a brand centered on his personality.

You may not truly appreciate how remarkable the 931 figures are until you come to terms with the fact that there are only 365 days in a year. That means Jared Jones must have presided over roughly 2.55 closings on average, every day of the year including weekends and holidays. It sounds impossible when one considers the amount of time-consuming work by way of negotiating offers that precedes every closing. A feat like that is truly implausible, but entirely possible if an investor applies Mr. Jones’ tactics of leveraging time, defining a brand around their personality, and takes advantage of the prevailing market climate.

Asking questions with these tips in mind will help save real estate investors thousands. For more ideas related to real estate investing, call or visit us a Homevestorsfranchise.com. We are the nation’s number one home buying franchise with over 15 years of experience. Our company has a vast assortment of real estate investment and real estate franchise opportunities available to help you grow your real estate business. Come see us for more information.