Have you always wanted to invest in real estate but don’t know where to start? Here are some of the different areas of the industry that you can invest in:

Areas That You Can Invest In

Residential: these are properties such as townhouses, apartment buildings and vacation houses. Here a person or a family will pay you in order to live in your property. The length of time that an individual lives in your house depends on your rental or lease agreement.

Commercial: commercial real estate consists mainly of office buildings. When you construct office buildings you can rent them to companies and small business owners. Again the length of time that the business owners use your property depends on your agreement.

Industrial: this one consists of car washes, storage units and any other special type of real estate where customers use your facility on a temporary basis.

Retail: it consists of trip malls, shopping malls and any other retail storefronts. When you construct a mall, you can rent it to a person interested in running it or you can run it yourself.

Mixed-use: this is where you combine any of the above categories into one project. For example, you can construct a storied building with offices, malls and residential areas.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs): this is where you invest in real estate trusts. When the mortgages generate profits, you get a share of it.

Tips on How to Be Successful In The Industry

For you to be successful in the real estate business you need to do a number of things:

Involve an attorney: regardless of the area of the industry that you are interested in always involve an attorney. A good attorney will help you in finding the right construction company. The attorney will also help you in writing professional rental contracts.

Neighborhood: the area where you invest in greatly determines the amount of money that you will make from your investment. To be on the safe side always go for a neighborhood that is growing or has the potential of growing.

Run the numbers: many investors assume that when they construct a building they will have a tenant, which is usually wrong. Before you invest in a building you should run the numbers and find out if you will be able to pay the mortgage if the property sits empty. If you find that you can’t be able to repay the mortgage in the event that the property doesn’t have a tenant for a month or two, chances are that you are stretching yourself too thin.

 

All buildings, whether residential or commercial,require adequate ventilation in order to protect the health of occupants in regular circumstances as well as in emergency situations such as fires or other contaminations of the air.

There are several types of ventilation systems, with the two main ones currently in use being natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation. Each of these is distinctly different in its way of working as well as the advantages and disadvantages it brings to the structure it is integrated into or installed in.

The presence of either of these systems is critical for a number of reasons, including the removal of stale air and toxic gases, the replenishing of fresh and clean air in an environment, the removal of moisture, and the elimination of odours, bacteria and excess heat.

Natural ventilation basically refers to any system that does not require the use of mechanical devices to displace air in the structure, instead using organic airflow and openings to draw stale air and pollutants through and out of the building.

In this lies the first of five major benefits that this type of system offers – potentially reduced installation costs compared to its mechanical counterpart. This only applies in certain circumstances however – if an effective system is designed as part of the structure before construction, then the costs are absorbed into the build.

It should be noted that mechanical systems can still offer better value for money where having the maximum surface area available is important for getting the largest commercial return, for example in car parks, some retail environments and other similar venues.

The second advantage to natural ventilation is also budget-related; mechanical installations can be very costly to operate, not only due to the need for fans, but also because of air conditioning units which can increase energy consumption costs by up to 30{19a246d0b70514ffe2f3c335adf718e293a6dd6ccf9978604b56da0a4fc1d5c7} per building according to reports.

On the other hand, more organic ways of optimising air circulation in structures can mean that this cost is practically eliminated, making it a financially-sound long term solution for companies that are looking to economise in all the areas that they can.

It is should also be noted that this type of ventilation is also a great deal greener than mechanical ventilation systems, as it uses significantly less energy to operate efficiently. For this reason, the third advantage of natural ventilation is the fact that it is the far more environmentally-friendly solution out of the two main choices, and is therefore also possibly a real solution for the future.

A fourth benefit that comes with using a more organic and already-integrated ventilation solution in a building is that fact that its rival – the mechanically driven system – requires regular maintenance to make sure that it is doing its job properly and that it meets the relevant healthy and safety requirements.

This is not so true for natural ventilation systems, which do not have as many essential parts that need regular upkeep and replacement on a frequent basis. Although all systems should be regularly inspected to ensure that they are working optimally, costly and lengthy maintenance work is virtually eliminated with this option.

The fifth and final advantage of natural ventilation is that it has been shown to be a popular choice of system with building occupants compared to the mechanical variety. The reason for this is thought to be due to the level of thermal comfort that each choice provides, with many finding that mechanically operated solutions often make a room too cold or too warm.

Conversely, the other option is often able to effectively maintain an ideal temperature, despite the fact that there are no controls apart from simply opening or closing a window.

All types of ventilation systems have their good points and bad points, and the natural solution is no exception. That said, it is an option that brings considerable cost savings, not to mention improvements in occupant comfort and less of a negative impact on the environment, making it a potentially ideal solution for a greener future and a thriving global economy.

 

Every homeowner must do routine maintenance to their home that more or less just maintains its current condition. However, some homeowners decide they want to improve their home’s value and marketability. The amount of value certain improvements cost may not add as much value as the cost to do it.

Homeowner’s are very biased when it comes to their own home, they see the things they have done to it and think dollar for dollar the home’s value should go up with each improvement, this is not often the case. A potential buyer or real estate appraiser may be unimpressed with certain improvements, what you must keep in mind is that what you view as a valuable upgrade may not be the same as what the real estate market sees as a valuable upgrade.

Below I am going to outline Five Renovations That Don’t Increase Home Appraisal Value.

1. Swimming Pools

There aren’t many areas of the world where backyard pools are common place. Before adding a pool think about your neighbourhood, do the majority of properties have pools? Would a potential buyer expect there to be a pool? If pools are not common place in your area and/or have a very short season you likely will not be adding much value to your home, definitely not as much as the cost to put one in. In fact, Many potential home buyers view swimming pools as dangerous, expensive to maintain and insurance claims waiting to happen. Potential buyers with small children could really be turned off by there being a swimming pool. In-ground pools come at a very steep price, my opinion is if buyers in your area would not expect a pool then this money is better spent elsewhere as you are not likely recoup the cost in a sale or appraisal.

2. Elaborate Landscaping

Home buyers and appraisers definitely appreciate good landscaping, but there is a line where elaborate landscaping no longer adds its equivalent in value to what it costs. Keep in mind that the next person buying your home may not want to take on the upkeep work of elaborate landscaping and may not want to have to hire a professional landscaper to take care of it. An appraiser will also only assess so much value to landscaping in their report as not a lot of emphasis is put on landscaping by the market, how often have you heard of someone buying a home because it had great landscaping? sure it is a plus but you are better off to just meet the standard in your area than to get too carried away.

3. Overbuilding for the Neighborhood

It is better to have the other homes in your neighbourhood “pull-up” your home’s value than to have them drag it down. Your neighbourhood plays a large factor in your home’s value, you do not want a large, elaborate, two storey home surrounded by older bungalows. The people that will be looking for that type of home will go to a neighbourhood where it will be surrounded by similar properties. Likewise, it will be very difficult for an appraiser to find similar comparables in your area and this could lead to a lower value being assessed.

4. High-End Upgrades

Most people are on a strict budget when it comes to home improvements, so what they will do is they will pick a room and do a complete remodel adding higher end flooring and fully modernize the room. This is good and I understand the strategy, next time you have some extra funds, pick another room and the same and after 5 years or so your home will be fully updated. But does that full remodel of that first or even second room really add as much value to your home as it costs? My opinion is now, if you full remodel one room and then plan on selling or getting an appraisal the appraiser is going to see the other 80 or 90{19a246d0b70514ffe2f3c335adf718e293a6dd6ccf9978604b56da0a4fc1d5c7} of the home is still dated and would be considered a project. An alternative strategy might be to take all of those funds that you were planning on sinking into an elaborate bathroom and spread them over the whole home, the cost of a full bathroom remodel could redo the flooring and paint throughout the entire home and this would be look upon much more favorably by a potential buyer or appraiser in their assessment of value than you just having one high quality room.

5. Invisible Improvements

New plumbing, electrical or HVAC might be necessary, but don’t expect to be adding dollar for dollar value for their cost. Home buyers and appraisers simply expect these systems to be up to date and in good working order. These items would be considered more home maintenance than home improvements.

The Bottom Line

When spending money on your home assess why you are doing it, if it is purely for your own comfort and enjoyment with no real intent in adding value then go ahead and add that pool. But if you are consciously trying to add value to your home then where to spend your renovation budget requires much more thought. Consider speaking with a realtor or appraiser and ask them where they feel your funds are best spent to improve value.

 

Want to learn how to deal with a low home appraisal? In a competitive real estate market, a home being sold may enter into a multiple offer situation which could potentially raise the purchase price above the comparable sales in the area. In a situation like this, it is possible that the home appraisal for the buyer’s mortgage lender will come in lower than the purchase price. In a real estate market that favors buyers (home prices are soft or declining), sellers can also face a home appraisal that is lower than what they paid for the home if they bought the house at the peak of the market. Be aware that a low home appraisal can happen in any type of real estate market.

Why Do Low Appraisals Happen?

Here are a few reasons why a home appraisals may come in low:

  • Inflated home price because of multiple offers.
  • Declining real estate market due to a large inventory of homes and not enough buyers.
  • The seller has overpriced the home.
  • The real estate appraiser lacks experience and doesn’t understand the influences on value.
  • The real estate appraiser incorrectly selected his comparable sales for his report which may have resulted in a lower home value than what should have been assessed.

Solutions for Low Appraisals

If a low home appraisal is threatening to sink your sale, purchase or refinance, stay calm, here are a couple solutions:

    • The buyer can pay you the difference between the purchase price you agreed upon and the appraised price in cash, you can sell the property for the appraised value and get the difference from the agreed upon higher price in a lump sum cash payment if the buyer is able to do so.

 

    • If you are the seller of the home you do have the option of lowering the selling price. If you don’t you will run the risk of every buyer running into the same problem and not being able to get a mortgage because of a low appraisal.

 

    • The seller can offer to carry a second mortgage for the difference.

 

    • If the buyer feels they absolutely have to have your home and you are not willing to lower the selling price and the buyer cannot come up with a lump sum to pay you (as mentioned in option 1) you could accept having them make payments to you over a period of time instead of the lump sum.

 

    • Get a second opinion, have the buyer ask the mortgage lender for a list of their approved appraisers and select another company on this list and hope for a higher value, you could end up wasting another $300 on an appraisal but appraisers are not perfect and a mistake could have happened.

 

  • Cancel the transaction.

Have your realtor put in your purchase and sale agreement a loan contingency that if the home appraises for a lower value that you will get your money back (if you’re the buyer). If you are a seller being affected by a low appraisal propose on of the above options to your buyer if you would like to try and salvage the transaction.

 

This tends to be a pretty controversial subject, and for good reason. When I was getting started in the business, I was young and broke and had no credit to speak of. I was not qualified to borrow money, yet I figured out how to buy properties, and I bought a lot of them. It was not long before I became a full time real estate investor, and on paper, I was a millionaire long before my 30th birthday. I accomplished this with a lot of hard work, education and tolerance to take the risk.

With all this said, just because you don’t need money to buy houses, does not mean you should have no money. I am a big, big believer in this. You see, although I was a millionaire at a young age, I basically lost it all when the market shifted. I was too aggressive with my growth, and did not establish an appropriate amount of reserves. After starting over, I structured things differently and am in a good position to not only survive a down turn, but to thrive in it. In this article, I will briefly walk through 4 ways to buy rentals with nothing out of pocket, but want you to understand that this does not mean you should own rentals with no reserves.

Owner Finance: This could mean many things, but for the purposes of this article I am going to assume that the seller of the home is extremely motivated and is willing to basically sell the house just to get away from the mortgage payments. This is commonly referred to as a subject-to transaction because you, as the buyer, will take title subject-to any other liens that are in place. What this means is you get ownership of the house, but the seller is still on the hook for the loan. You as the buyer will agree to either pay off the loan or make payments on the loan on their behalf. If you don’t, the lender can foreclose and wipe you off of title.

The seller is taking a tremendous amount of risk with this type of transaction, so it is difficult to negotiate and they need to be extremely motivated. It works well for you because you don’t need down payments or to qualify for a loan. It works for them because they have someone else making the payments on their loan, which relieves them of the payment pressure, and potentially can improve their credit. As you become more experienced, this is a strategy you will want to look into. This allows you to purchase an unlimited number of cash flowing properties without ever needing to qualify or sign for a loan.

Lease Options: This is the strategy that really worked for me when I was just getting started. I like it a lot because it is easy to explain to the seller and it is not difficult to get them comfortable with it. They still need to be motivated to want to do this, but nothing like the subject-to transactions.

The way this works is you negotiate with a seller of a home to lease the property for a set period of time. I would typically negotiate 10 years on these, but it can be anything you are comfortable with. The rent amount will be set. From there you agree on a price to buy the property for sometime during the lease term. The price is typically locked in close to today’s value. You then sublease the property, hopefully for more than your rent payment, and wait for the value to increase. If the value does not increase, which has happened to me, you can either re-negotiate the deal or let the property go. You have no obligation to buy, so you are not taking the risk of market fluctuation. If and when the value does increase you have several options: You can sell your option, exercise your option and resell the house for your profit, or just exercise the option and keep the property in your portfolio.

Bridge Loans: The idea here is to find a property that needs a lot of work that will make a good rental. You need to negotiate a price were you can buy it, fix it, and roll in all closing costs, and still be at or below 70{19a246d0b70514ffe2f3c335adf718e293a6dd6ccf9978604b56da0a4fc1d5c7} of the after repaired value (ARV). This does not work well unless the property needs to be repaired. This is very different than the first two strategies discussed, and is commonly used with bank owned foreclosures. Although, anytime you can negotiate a great deal will work.

After you purchase the home, you want to get it repaired and get a tenant in place as quickly as possible. You then refinance the loan into your permanent rental property loan. There are some additional details for this to work that are beyond the scope of this article.

Partners: At the time the market was collapsing around me, there were tremendous buying opportunities everywhere. Using the Bridge loan strategy, I was able to pick up a handful of deals that I still have today. I did not qualify for loans, so I brought in a partner to sign on the debt for me, and I shared the deal with him 50/50. Neither one of us put money down, and the properties all cash flow, net of vacancies and maintenance, a minimum of $300 a month. There has also been a tremendous amount of appreciation over the years. The houses have more than doubled in value!

 

In today’s world, we are often over – loaded with statistics, data, etc. Some of these might be relevant and significant, while at other times, they may be over – reaching, misleading, or unnecessary! We often hear or read discussions regarding mortgage interest rates, so – called – housing starts, number of mortgage applications, and the number of houses on the market, etc. Often, discussions focus on seeming to need to label the real estate market, either as a buyers or seller market! While there may be times these are valuable indicators and information, like most data, the skill is in how well one can interpret these, understand them, know what the numbers really mean, and how to use them. Let’s review 4 examples of how statistics are related to real estate, etc.

1. Average or median price: The first thing to understand is the difference between an average and a median price. Average means one adds up all houses sold in the specific target region, and dividing by the number of sales. Median, on the other hand, is listing all the sales prices, and the one in the 50 percentile, is the median price. Simply stated assume 10 houses sold are reviewed, and 2 are sold at $500,000; 2 at $600,000; 1 at $750,000; 2 at $900,000; 2 at $1 million; and one at $1.5 million. In this sampling, the average price is $757,000 and the median price is $750,000. However, why is this information important, since if the sampling is not large enough, wouldn’t it depend on which specific houses sold, whether there was more strength at the higher or lower end of the market, etc. When pricing is discussed, it’s important to put it into perspective, and see the number of units compared in both periods of time.

2. Housing starts: This refers to number of new builds in an area, but doesn’t it make sense, to also consider how much empty or available land/ property, might be available to build on. Always put all statistics into some sort of perspective!

3. Mortgage applications: Are these predominantly for new mortgages or refinances? Are they conventional mortgages? Might it also be important to look at the term of the mortgages? Shouldn’t we also look at the criteria being used, and how many/ what percentage, are approved?

4. Houses on market: It is generally considered a buyer’s market when there are significantly more houses on market, than buyers, and a seller’s market, when circumstances are reversed? Look at the inventory of houses being offered, and the locales. How long do they seem to be staying on the market?

Like in most things statistics – related, it is important to know and evaluate what things mean, rather than making false assumptions, and/ or speculating. Beware of statistics, because they might turn out to either be your friend, or enemy!

 

When people usually think of real estate value they think of two forces; supply and demand. Yes, this is correct; however supply and demand only fall under the one of the four main categories that drive/depress real estate value. Supply and demand fall under the economic category of influences in real estate value. The other three include; social impact, government subjection and environmental forces.

When looking at social impact, there are a few things one would want to consider determining the effect it will have on real estate value. Most of all the value would fluctuate accordingly with population characteristics. This tie into the potential for demand in the economic section of value; the more demand, the more value a property can derive. Population however should be looked at in more depth by breaking down the sample by age and gender, rate of household formation and partition, as well as analysis of the social values such as education, law and order, and lifestyle preferences. Careful consideration of these factors will help establish trends in what would be reflected in real estate values.

Next is the government subjection, accounting for a large aspect of real estate value. This includes political and legal activities on several levels of government. These government influences have the power to overwhelm natural market forces such that you would find in the economic category. Government has their hand in providing facilities and services that affect values as well as a one of the main contributors to patterns of land use (zoning, by-laws, etc). The following are some things to look out for when assessing the government subjection of a market; fire and police services, garbage collection, transportation arrangement, utilities, zoning, building codes, health codes, and fiscal policies. Also the legislation that is set forth by the governmental factor must be accounted for, this would include; rent control laws, rights to farm, rights for managing forest, rights to agricultural land, restriction on ownership, new development laws, control of hazardous and toxic materials, and laws affecting investment power, loan terms, and mortgage lending institutions. All in all this is quite the category and its understanding will provide for a great idea of where values are currently and where they are headed.

In addition to the social impact, as well as government subjection, the environmental forces also play a part in real estate values. These can be natural or man-made and are analyzed by observing several aspects. Climatic conditions (snowfall, rainfall, temperature, humidity) would be an obvious one that would affect the values of building somewhere as well as maintenance and carrying costs, as well as the quality and type of build. Topography, soil and consideration of any toxic contaminants would also be of great importance as well as natural barriers, such as rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.

Just to get out of the 4 factors of real estate value; it is important to mention that there are some overlying factors that would be part of 2 or more of the categories. Once such factor is location, this is the link of a property in time/distance to any given origin or destination of a resident/user of the property. Location could fall under for environmental and economic, if not all categories. Due to the area and property type, properties access to public transport, schools, hospitals, stores, employment, suppliers, recreational and cultural facilities, parks, and places of worship would of importance.

This would also lead us back to the economic factor of influence on real estate value. The fundamental aspects to look for here include: employment, price levels, wage levels, industrial and commercial expansion, mortgage credit availability and cost, stock of vacant property, stock of improved property, occupancy rates, construction costs and rental/price trajectories of existing properties.

And there you have it, the 4 major pillars of real estate value; social, governmental, environmental, and economic. Taking a deep look at each of these sections one would assemble the entire spectrum of current real estate values and more importantly future real estate values.

 

Real estate management is not that easy, especially when you have so many things to think about. With the right real estate software, however, you will be able to make the management process easy and smooth so you can run your businesses without putting in too much effort. The best thing about the solutions is that you can customize them to match your exact property needs. Software programs designed for estate industry are scalable so you are able to grow with them as your business continues to grow. There is so much you can do with real estate software and they include the following.

1. Manage contacts

Using the best software program, you can manage details of contacts in defined groups making it easier for you to access them any given day. A good program will also make it possible for you to maintain detailed information of customers and clients and even automate good wishes on their anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations.

2. Manage employees

When you have software for real estate, you can easily have a number of users working within one account. This you can do by creating multiple employee logins and hierarchies according to your organization structure. It makes allocation and execution of work easier by everyone from admin to managers. Using the system you can also manage daily reporting of your employees and at the same time monitor their performance. They on the other hand will be able to schedule property inspection, meetings and task reminders making task execution more efficient.

3. Integrate real estate portals and websites

From your CRM account, you can control your website so you have an easy time keeping it up to date. The estate management solution makes it possible for you to create and integrate web portals where you list your properties directly. You can publish projects from property software to website and build a reputable brand using professionally designed real estate websites. This kind of coordination promotes consistency in your real estate business and this will favor your management processes and improve your brand image.

4. Maintain reports and analytics

As a serious estate business, you ought to keep up with what matters most to the business. Using the best software for the real estate industry, you can easily fetch yearly, monthly and daily reports of enquiries and properties. Using the program you can pair matching reports for properties and open enquires and even categorize the enquiries by source. You can also keep abreast of all pending activities so you do not leave anything of importance out.

5. Manage rent and payments

Using your software, you will be able to archive all payment information on your properties, automate lease endings and payment collection reminders as well as schedule convenient payments. The program also makes it easy to get complete payment reports and will ease out the process of generating and sending receipts to all your clients across the platforms.

 

This is an activity that is purposely done to misrepresent information on real estate documents. It also involves the money transfers. It is also called mortgage fraud. The reason that it is referred to as this is that the fraud generally takes place with the mortgage application. Real estate fraud, in the United States, can have heavy penalties like imprisonment and large fines.

Such a crime can be committed in many different ways. It appears to happen more often when property prices are on the rise. Because of the simplicity of the fraud, some types are seen more than other frauds. Some are not as common because they are more complicated. One of the common forms of such fraud, according to the IRS is preparing two settlement statement sets that are different from each other. In one of the statements, the accurate property-selling price is written, which the buyer receives. The other one will depict a higher selling price that is exaggerated. When the mortgage lender approves the loan for the exaggerated price, the seller is given the amount that is stated in their copy of the settlement statement. The one who committed the fraudulent settlement statements will keep the money that is left over. If there are other conspirators, the money will be divided among them. It could be the entire excess money or a percentage of it.

Using qualification that are fraudulent is another type of real estate fraud. These fraudulent qualifications are used when applying for a mortgage or home loan to help them get the mortgage. In this form of real estate fraud, the real estate agent will usually assist the buyer. The fraudulent qualifications can include fabricating credit reports or history of employment. These two involve the obvious misrepresentation of data but not all real estate fraud is easy to see as these two examples. If buyers who do not intend to commit real estate fraud because they do not know the laws can accidentally commit mortgage fraud.

If a buyer has a down payment by using money that was given as a gift it is legal. If this gift is re-paid to the who gave the gift, this is considered a case of real estate fraud. The gift used to make a down payment cannot be repaid for it to be legal. Another type of property fraud is when the buyer accidentally fails to disclose any financial liabilities on their mortgage application. It becomes fraud when it is not taken care of before the loan is approved. Property flipping can become real estate fraud if you make false representations about the value and condition of the property when you sell it for a much higher price than you paid for the property.

 

One question that every homeowner is faced with when buying a new home is whether or not they should get home warranty coverage. Well, there are plenty of things that factor into making that decision, but most people would agree that having coverage is well worth the cost.

For those of you new to warranties, basically it’s a type of “insurance” the provides coverage for major systems and appliances in your home. For example, lets just say you have a built-in dishwasher that is causing you problems. You can either pay to get it fixed, or depending on the condition of it, you may end up getting a new one. But having warranty coverage enables you to get it fixed or replaced at a fraction of the cost.

Also, most providers have a network of companies they are affiliated with who provides consumers with the replacement parts or repairs. So it eliminates the hassle of trying to find a reputable repair company. It may not seem like a big deal, but every day people spend countless of hours trying to find a company that has good reviews and have a decent price. And having warranty coverage provides you with top notch contractors and at a low price.

As for the cost of coverage, well that usually falls within the range of about $30 to $100 a month depending on the type of coverage you need. Now, for some new home buyers, adding another bill to the list of bills they already have may seem unnecessary, but when you think about how much it cost to repair certain things around your home, you quickly realize that having warranty coverage is the best option.

This is an important aspect to keep in mind, because the last thing you would want to do is have to pay a huge bill to get something repaired and have to dip into your savings to do so.

And lastly, while having coverage is important, as I stated earlier, some people may not need it. Those of you with mostly modern appliances on your home, most of the appliances may be covered under the manufacturer warranty already. But if you have an older home with outdated appliances, you definitely want to at least contact some warranty companies to see how much it would cost you for coverage.