Friday, May 24, 2013

3 Things That Make the Best Real Estate Investment

In general you probably want to earn wealth on real estate based on risk you are taking, while minimizing the amount of time you need to spend attending to the property. In order to accomplish this, you need to make some smart choices upfront when buying investment property. Your goal should be to strive to get as close as possible on as many of these optimal scenarios as possible:

Pays a Fair Cash-on-Cash Return

When you buy property you are taking money out of your liquid financial assets – stocks, bonds, CDs – and investing it into a very illiquid asset – real estate. You were earning a rate of return on your financial assets, such as 4 percent or 6 percent, and you should strive to earn a fair cash-on-cash rate of return on your real estate. To do this, you need to pro forma your deals and buy cash flow-positive properties that earn you decent returns – not those prize properties that are negative, negative, negative. For more guidance on this, see Smart Investing – A Tale of Two Townhomes.

Isn’t Too Risky an Investment

All real estate is extremely high risk. Development of real estate, land, Tenant-In-Common (TIC) investments, private real estate funds, fixer uppers, etc., all have much higher risk profiles than just simply buying a nice established cash flow investment property. In many of those investments, you will never see a dime of your money again because there are just so many things that can go wrong! So if you want to own real estate, consider simply taking fee simple title in your own name – or an entity you wholly own – to the properties you purchase. In addition, you must do the proper due diligence, analyze, test, review reports, etc., to make a lower risk real estate decision.

Doesn’t Require a Lot of Time or Managing

Some properties just require way too much time and management to make them smart investments. Examples include vacation rentals, low quality properties in bad areas, college rentals, etc. Nice boring properties rented for as long as possible to decent credit profile tenants seem to take the least time to manage. In addition, treating your tenants fairly and with respect goes a long way towards keeping good relations with them; and reducing your hassles when there is an issue you need to address. And believe me — there will be issues!
It’s the nice, boring, wholly owned, in good shape, cash flow-positive properties that are the best investments. They are out there for your picking, but it’s not as simple as finding a property on the MLS and buying it.
You need to do some hard work, research, read up, and make smart, educated decisions to acquire the best real estate investments! Full Article

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How to Negotiate a Home Offer

Here are some simple steps to remember when negotiating an offer. Full Article 

1. Study your competition. Do your homework ahead of time so you have hard facts as to why your home is worth what you have it listed at. Negotiating an offer will not go back and forth so it is important to set a reasonable listing price. 

2. Understand the MarketUnderstanding whether you live in a buyers' or sellers' market comes down to knowing how fast homes in your area sell and whether the sellers were inundated with home offers or simply settled on the one they got. Before you sell your house, ask your agent for information on home sales in your area and talk to your former neighbors about their home sale experience if possible.

3.  Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. By thinking of the home sale as a transaction with several different pieces, many of which can be tweaked to help the buyer and seller come to an agreement that both can live with, the seller gains significantly more negotiating power. On top of compromising on repairs and upgrades, Melle says that the seller can also throw in or remove home warranties and negotiate their move-out date.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Create a Pro-Style Kitchen in Your Home

Homeowners who regularly cook and entertain need kitchen spaces that are functional, efficient and beautiful. Even if your culinary creations are more often inspired by Chef Boyardee than Chef Gordon Ramsey, the right layout, surfaces, sinks, storage and appliances can make your kitchen a star.
The terms “chef’s kitchen” and “gourmet kitchen” are tossed around a lot these days. Within the real estate world, they generally indicate high-quality finishes and professional-grade appliances. In a broader sense, they indicate the use of features — such as open storage and easy-clean surfaces — that chefs use in their professional kitchens. Incorporating some of these professional-style amenities will go a long way toward making your new or remodeled kitchen a place where culinary magic happens.
Full Article

Sink Sensations: Want to speed through prep and cooking without spreading germs throughout the kitchen? Touchless faucets have sensors that allow you to turn them on or off with a wave of your hand. A number of manufacturers offer these high-tech faucets; check out Kohler’s Sensate or Moen’s MotionSense to see a sampling of what’s available.

Let There Be Light: The best kitchens have layers of light: Task lighting is essential over prep areas and the cooktop, stylish pendants over the eating space put meals in the best light, while recessed ceiling lights provide overall lighting and ensure there are no dark spots.

Open Floor Plans: People who love to cook often love to entertain — or at least interact with the family while they’re cooking. Kitchens that physically flow into family or living spaces make that connectivity possible.

Pro-Grade Appliances: Professional-grade appliances often take up more space than their standard counterparts, but they can provide extras that — if you really love cooking — make them worthwhile. A pro-grade refrigerator, for instance, allows you to keep plenty of fresh produce and cold beverages on hand. Most models also give you the ability to set separate temperatures for their various compartments.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Housing Rebound Grows as Prices Climb Sharply

Home prices in metropolitan areas saw their biggest year-over-year gains in more than seven years in the first quarter, evidence that the housing recovery is spreading across the nation. The National Association of Realtors said that the national median closing price for an existing single-family house was $176,600 in the first quarter, up 11.3% from the first quarter of 2012. That was the largest year-over-year gain since the end of 2005. Of the 150 metro areas tracked by the NAR, sale prices rose in 133 and declined in 17. “The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. Prices were up 32.6% in the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area; 32.1% in Reno-Sparks, Nev.; 31.7% in the Silicon Valley area surrounding San Jose; 31.1% in Atlanta; and 30.1% in Phoenix. A companion study showed that despite the rise in prices, homes remain relatively affordable and low mortgage interest rates have given home buyers “ample buying power” in the current market, NAR said Full Article

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Zillow Review

We pride ourselves on giving the best customer service. Below are a few reviews we received on Zillow: