5 Reasons Why Single Family Homes Are Better Investment

Appeal to broader set of renters

During the recent downturn in real estate, unfortunately a lot of home owners have lost their homes. They still prefer to live in single family homes as opposed to an apartment. What this means for a real estate investor is that he now has a larger rental pool for his (single family home) property. In addition, people who are moving across the country for job opportunities are sometimes renting out their original homes and looking to rent a single family home for themselves. There are several such factors that make single family homes’ rental pool larger and easier to deal with.

Getting a mortgage is easier

When you are applying for a mortgage on a single family home, it is a much more predictable and easier process as compared to that for a condominium. The laws for getting mortgage on condominiums are much more stricter in today’s economy. This makes the buying process of a single family home seamless and hence a better investment choice.

Stable Property Value

Another factor that makes single family homes a better investment choice is that with everything else being the same, single family homes tend to hold their values better than townhomes or condominiums. This is important to keep in mind since in addition to a steady income, an investor needs to also keep in mind the appreciation potential of the property.

Predictable cost structure

Since a single family home is an entity in itself, it doesn’t get affected by other factors that could vary the cost of owning a condominium or townhome. A condominium or townhome has shared walls and common areas and sometimes the maintenance cost could increase when repairs etc. are required. With a single family home, you are more in control of the cost of owning a property and that makes it a better choice.

Easier when you decide to sell

When you are in the market to sell a single family home that you have been renting out for investment, it is an easier task since your pool of buyers are both investors as well as people who are looking to purchase homes for themselves. Of course you still incur the cost of selling the home but it is a much easier process to deal with.

Helpful Ideas To Consider When You Are Buying Real Estate

You may think purchasing real estate is really confusing and difficult; however, with just a little know-how, you may find it enjoyable and rewarding. Fear not, the tips listed below can help you avoid this.

Do a quantitative analysis of your area’s housing market. Give City-data.com a visit or any other sites like it so you can learn about the average housing prices, number of foreclosures and other relevant market conditions within a 15 mile radius. You can also use this opportunity to check out the location’s job opportunities, crime rates, etc. In some cases, location and presentation are everything, despite worrisome local data.

Always hire an inspector to look at any property that you want to purchase. If you purchase without an expert’s evaluation of the house, you could be facing the cost for major repairs. Not only will you have to pay a lot to fix everything, you may even have to live somewhere else while your new home is getting fixed.

A house that is close to a busy road should be avoided if possible. You might be saving money, but you will soon find out why the price was so low. While having a busy roadside home may not be a bother to you, there will be little resale value in the property when it comes time to move on.

You need to expect extra fees or costs if you are buying a home. Typically, closing costs include your down payment, real estate taxes for the year and points you have to pay on your mortgage when purchasing the house. The closing costs can often include extra charges like improvement bonds, school taxes, and other local charges.

Be sure that any appraiser you are planning on hiring has had several years of experience in real estate. Hire an appraiser independent of any real estate office. Conflict of interest may exist in that situation. Make sure that any appraiser you deal with has a state license.

You need a business partner you can trust, when purchasing an expensive parcel of commercial property. This will help you qualify for the commercial mortgage loan easier as you proceed in buying the property. You may be able to qualify for a loan that you cannot qualify for alone by having a partner. A partner may be able to help with a down payment as well as lowering your debt-to-income ratio.

Request a checklist from your Realtor. Realtors usually have a list that you can go over to ensure that you take care of all necessary things when you are looking for a home and trying to finalize the mortgage. You can use the various checklists to make sure you’re ready for every contingent as it comes up.

So, as you can see real estate buying is not as complicated as it appears. It is involved in terms of research and asking questions, but it is worth it in the end. If you implement the previous tips, you should be better informed when purchasing real estate.

Tips For How To Successfully Sell Your Home

Your net worth is most likely made up of the real estate you own. As you prepare to sell your residential or commercial properties, it will be in your best interest to look for ways to improve your selling skills. If you want a sale that has more profit and less stress, make sure you arm yourself with knowledge, such as that found in this article.

Make a Facebook or Twitter page for your properties or real estate agency. On these types of sites, you can post information about new listings, interest rates and many other types of real estate information.

Once you decide to sell your property, add some energy efficient updates to increase the interest of buyers. Get LED bulbs, solar-powered outdoor lights or an energy monitor to convince buyers that they will save money on their energy bills after moving in.

You must have patience when you deal with your Realtor. For example, your real estate agent’s take on the situation might differ from your own. You may want to really get the ball rolling, only to find that your agent has a different opinion. Though you can disagree, it is often advisable to listen to their suggestions.

Unless the house is currently uninhabitable, you shouldn’t think about making comprehensive renovations. There are a lot of investors who waste time and money on remodels that will not bring them a return on their investment. By enhancing the current interiors, you will spend less and profit more.

When selling a home, try to empty out the home as much as you possibly can, even if you are still living in the home. Potential buyers like to envision themselves living in a home in which they’re interested. The more open and uncluttered your rooms are, the easier it will be for them to do this, and the easier it will be for you to pack when it’s time to move.

When marketing or looking for real estate, it is important to use many different channels. Plan to use every viable outlet to market your property successfully, including realty websites, newspaper listings, and the services of a good real estate agent. You will want to exercise every option available in order to achieve the fastest sale for the largest profit.

Just by making some small updates in your kitchen you can make people want to buy your home. Even upgrading just one appliance can make it the focus point of the room. If you have space, add a popular butcher block island and overhead storage. If you cannot afford to change your cabinetry, apply a fresh coat of paint on it.

Unless you are a professional in the field, most people only occasionally venture into the the real estate arena. Not surprisingly, it is easy to get overwhelmed when you do venture there. Without the proper approach, trying to sell your property can be quite risky. The information in this article will, hopefully, help you minimize your risk and get the most out of your sale.

Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent For Your Needs

Buying real estate has been regarded as a wise investment throughout history. As the saying goes, land is always valuable – they aren’t making any more of it. Buying property is more than just a matter of exchanging money for land, though. The wise buyer takes the time to educate himself beforehand to ensure that he gets the most out of his investment.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, don’t underestimate how long a sale actually takes to go through. Just because an offer has been made doesn’t mean that the ball is rolling yet. The seller may hesitate on accepting the offer. The buyer may have trouble selling his current home. Either party may have trouble with financing. The buyer may request that repairs are made and the seller may disagree. However long you may think the process is going to take, add another two or three months to be safe.

Understand the setup of the utilities in rental properties. If you are considering a multiple unit rental property, it is important to pay attention to the way that the utilities and heating system have been set-up. Take note of the number of gas, water and electric meters either inside or outside of the home to determine how many services are connected to the property. If there is only one connection, be aware that you will most likely need to include utility costs in the rent payments. You might also want to make a call to the local zoning commission, so that you know if there would need to be any major changes to the utility services. There could be significant costs involved in splitting or combining services and you will want to know this in advance.

When purchasing real estate to use for rental properties be sure to do a careful assessment of the neighborhood. Look at the cars parked in the street. Old cars can tell you a lot about the neighborhood in which the property is located. Trash on the sidewalk or worn down houses can tell you that the neighborhood is less than great and at what level you can expect to rent the property.

First time investors need to be aware of some challenges associated with properties that are listed as ‘for sale by owner’. Many times, investors have purchased these properties (or want to purchase additional properties in the area) and they are simply testing the market to see how much they are actually offered. Dealing with ‘for sale by owner, property may be complicated, and the process of settling on a contract can get fairly lengthy. Therefore, you might want to consider these properties down the road, after you are a more experienced investor.

Investing in real estate in this market can still make you money. With prices well below the cost to replace the building it has shifted to a buy & hold strategy rather than the fast flipping of previous years. But there are some fantastic bargains available now from their peak prices of 2006.

When working with an agent to buy a home, it is a better use of your time to sit down with the agent first and discuss what you’re looking for. Otherwise, how can they find a home that suits you, if they do not know what it is?

Locksmith Oakland

Make sure the locks on a home that you want to purchase are changeable. This is because you should have a Locksmith change your locks as soon as the home is yours. You never know if the previous owners made copies of the keys and therefore has access to your home. If the home has an alarm system, make sure to change the code.

Think about what improvements you will want to make to your new home right after you take ownership of it when determining your budget. You want to be sure that you do not use up all of your savings toward the purchase of you home if you plan on painting, changing the locks, or some other basic improvements.

Tips like these can help prospective real estate buyers, whether they are buying their first piece of property or their twelfth. Real estate is a wide field and it changes rapidly, so there is always something new for the would-be buyer to learn. Taking a bit of handy advice to heart could end up saving the buyer a lot of money.

You’re Moving Checklist- 5 Essential Tips to Consider!

Moving out from your old house to a new one could be a thrilling experience. However, there are several things that need to be done before moving out. Packing things from your old house entails detailed hard work so that when you do the unpacking at your new house, you do not miss out on anything. There are ways to make the process simple so that you can continue to experience the thrill of moving out of your house. Here are some tips that will make moving easy.

First of all, prepare a checklist of all the objects you will be packing before shifting to your new house. Keep a record by preparing a list. Have a numbered list which makes it easy to remember the items. Place the numbers on each of the packed boxes with items inside them and then match them according to the list. Not only numbers, it is recommended that you mention the names of the items inside the box so that you do not have to run around trying to figure out the contents inside the boxes. You will require plenty of boxes to put different items in them. Scarcity of boxes will compel you to pack incompatible things inside one box. Wardrobe boxes are perfect for the purpose because of the space they provide.

You can assign a color to each of the rooms in your new home. You can apply colored stickers on the box containing relevant items. Once you reach your new home, place sticker on the doors of each room matching the color. In this way, the movers will know where to put which box.

Keeping things together minimizes the chance of misplacing anything. Keep things in proper order so that they do not get misplaced or lost while packing. For instance place the bulbs with the lamps and do not stack them separately. Use tapes to take small items with the big ones so that they reach the destination properly. Cables and electronic goods are better carried in resalable bags.

While shifting home you will be carrying several precious items in your luggage. It is important to protect those precious items. Antiques, silverwares and jewelries should be carried safely. If no space is left inside your car, then place these items with your kitchen pantry and carry them. Know about the insurance provided by the mover so that you can claim the loss in case of any damage.

Pack well in advance so that you do not forget to pack things in a hurry. Start using fewer items in your home before leaving the house so that you have minimum things to pack while leaving. Consolidate the cleaning supplies nicely. Clean everything beforehand and vacuum each room before leaving.

There are several moving companies providing professional moving services throughout the year. Before hiring a company it is advisable to make a comparative analysis of moving estimates given by different moving companies. You must always go through the moving quotes gathered from different moving companies and then take the service of the best among them all.

Things to Look for When Renting an Apartment

When people consider moving into new apartment, they not only look for a place for shelter but also a place where they can create happy memories. No wonder then that it is for the apartment to be convenient and comfortable. This does not only mean that it should be a spacious structure with good furnishing but also needs to be in a convenient location as well. People often get flustered and confused with the many things they see and can’t decide on what they actually want while renting an apartment. Here are a few tips on things to look out for while renting an apartment.

Neighborhood of the Apartment

Check out the neighborhood before taking an apartment on rent. Check for safety, hygiene, neighbors and their behavior, noise levels in the neighborhood, privacy, light and view from the house, etc. Also check if there are any departmental stores, medicine stores, etc., close to the apartment. Speak to a few neighbors and find out more about the area. Check about your apartment and your landlord with those you speak to. It is of no use if the apartment is good but the neighborhood is not.

Rent

An apartment can be taken for rent for a particular period of time. Make sure you read the rental agreement properly and discuss the terms and conditions of the rental agreement with the landlord before taking the apartment. You don’t want to be in a situation where you discussed one thing and ended up paying a much higher price. Also ensure that the contract period for the rental is something you can commit to and in line with your requirements.

Damages

Another important thing to check before moving into an apartment is the damages such as water leakages, broken tiles, faulty fixtures, etc. Make sure you see if there are any kind of damages to the building and your apartment and if there are any; make sure you inform the landlord beforehand. If this is not done, there are chances that you may have to pay for the damages later. If the landlord is informed beforehand, the damages can also be repaired before you move in.

Maintenance

Ensure that the apartment is well maintained. Look how well the apartment complex is maintained, how is the security systems of the apartment are, whether any kind of help is available in the apartment in case of an emergency, etc. Finding out about these things before renting an apartment will save you the exercise of running around at the last moment in case there really is an emergency.

Utilities

Check out the utilities available in the apartment complex before taking it on rent. The utilities could be a range of things from gas, water, electricity, cable tv, trash removal, and internet connection and so on. Not all apartments provide all of these things. Some of them may give you some of the utilities. Also determine what utilities are included in the rent and what will have to be paid for.

Apartment Sharing

Many people, in order to reduce costs, share their apartments. Some complexes allow apartment sharing while some others do not permit it due to security reasons. If you intend on sharing an apartment, make sure you find out if your apartment allows it. Also, make sure you mention the number of people — along with their names — with whom you will be sharing the apartment in the contract with the landlord.

These are some of the things to remember when renting an apartment . If you keep these basic points in mind, then looking for an apartment and selecting one to stay will become much easier.

Adding Pictures to your Home Inspection Report

Clients love having pictures in their home inspection reports because it makes it easy for them to see the issues that were found, even days after the inspection. The picture gives them a visual of exactly what the home inspector saw, and is referencing in the written part of the report. This makes it easier for the client to understand the report and can ultimately cut down on the number of calls home inspectors will receive from clients looking for clarification on something in the report. Here are a few ways that home inspectors can go about adding pictures to their reports.

Adding Pictures on a Smartphone or Tablet

With more and more inspectors starting to use a smartphone or tablet in the field for their inspections, it is important that they can to add pictures to reports that they create on these devices. Having the ability to use one device to create the report and take pictures can be a huge time-saver. Now that these types of devices have quality cameras, home inspectors are able to complete their inspection report in the field with pictures on one device. To add a picture on a smartphone or tablet, the home inspector will need to be in their home inspection app. Here they should have the option to press a button and have their camera automatically pop up. They can then take their picture and it will be added right to the line item that they are currently inspecting. They can then move onto the next item and add as many pictures as needed, when needed.

Adding Pictures on a Desktop, Laptop, or Netbook

Adding pictures on a desktop or laptop is also a very popular option with home inspectors. This allows them to use a high quality digital camera in the field to take their inspection photos. Although, the cameras in smartphones and tablets are getting better and better, they will most likely always pale in comparison to a high quality digital camera. Separate, digit cameras also will also have higher quality features/options such as flash and zoom. To add pictures to their reports on a desktop, laptop, or netbook, the inspector will first need to load the photos from their camera to their computer. Once the pictures are on their computer, they are ready to be added into the inspection report. How the pictures are inserted will depend on the home inspection software the inspector is using, but the process should be pretty seamless.

Adding Pictures on a Pocket PC

A pocket pc is a great option for home inspectors because it is small and portable, and allows them to take their home inspection software in the field with them. Inspectors using a pocket pc have the ability to add their pictures in the field and then print from the handheld in the field. To add pictures to a pocket pc, a home inspector can simply take out the SD card in their camera and insert it into the handheld. Then they will go into their home inspection software and add an image to the report. Here they should be able to choose which pictures they want to add from the SD card, and to which lines they want to add them to. Once the pictures are added, depending on the software, the inspector will have the option to make any markings on the pictures that are needed.

Home inspectors have several options to choose from in regards to what hardware they are using to complete their inspection reports and this will be a big factor in determining how they will add pictures. Whether they are using a digital camera and then adding pictures to a pocket pc or laptop or they are using their smartphone to take pictures and complete their report, home inspectors are able to easily add pictures to their reports.

Winning Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Investing

Having a successful real estate investing business means you must reach a lot of people with your marketing. Devising winning online and offline marketing strategies should therefore be a big task for you to keep those leads coming.

This article explores a few simple marketing strategies that will get you closing more deals and putting more money in your pocket.

First, you must realize you should never employ just one marketing strategy alone. The best marketing is the one that includes all the strategies you employ both online and offline.

Online marketing strategies
Any form of online marketing dictates that you must first have an effective real estate investor website. This acts as you landing point and plays several key roles crucial to real estate investing:

a) It tells your story for you
b) It captures leads for you
c) It pre-screens and pre-negotiates deals for you
d) It builds buyers lists for you
e) It converts leads into closed deals through integrated marketing tools such as autoresponders

You can get a fully equipped real estate investor website ready for business within one hour.

With your website online, you can now employ marketing strategies that will keep those leads flowing in:

1) Search engine optimization
You are likely to attract more business when you rank highly in search results in the major search engines.

Most people start their search on the internet. It follows that if you have a top ranking, then you will attract more business.

Search engine optimization places your website and business high in search results. The ultimate goal is the number one or top position.

Search engine optimization can continue bring you leads for years to come with a one time effort. This should form your first marketing strategy.

2) Press releases
Target prospects will contact you when you release topics of interest to the press.

Your phone will keep ringing as long as you can keep them coming. You are also likely to get the attention of local media, who can interview you as an expert in your field. You can get a lot of business from this kind of exposure.

You should also post articles of interest on your blog that are also syndicated to other outlets. The real estate investor website you get must be equipped for this.

3) Pay per click
This is not my most recommended method, but it can bring you leads quickly. To get a good return on your investment, you need to know what you are doing and optimize your ads well.

Offline marketing strategies
Your website address must always be included in your offline marketing.

1) Direct mail
This is by far the most powerful offline marketing strategy. The more targeted your leads are, the more response you get.

The key targets in my business are people who own real estate and are in legal trouble. This includes people going through divorce, bankruptcy, liens, people who have inherited properties, burned landlords and so on.

Post cards and letters work well in direct mail and can bring you the bulk of your leads.

2) Bandit signs
If your city allows them, bandit signs can generate a lot of leads.

3) Radio and television, newspapers, brochures, flyers, and billboards
These can also bring you a lot of leads and can make part of your marketing strategies.

Benefits of Property Self-Management

Hello there and thank you for reading this article. In it, I will be speaking about the benefits of property self-management. When it comes to having a rental property of your own, there are two things you can do: you can try and manage it by yourself, or you can go and hire a professional property manager.

But let’s take a few steps back and think of what it takes to successfully run (manage) any rental property. A property is a financial success (and most property owners want their property to be financially successful) when all of its rental units are occupied by tenants who:

• Take care of your property as if it was their own
• Make regular and timely rent payments

So what should a property owner (or a property manager) do to have all those goodies? The answer is: “He should be able to distinguish a good tenant from a bad one.” So, if you think that is something you can do on your own, then you should definitely consider self-managing your own property. Are there any benefits? There definitely are and I list them below:

• You don’t need to pay the property management bill every month. This is a big one especially if you only have just a few rental units and your rental property is still owned by the bank.
• You get to deal with maintenance contractors by yourself. What happens is that most property management companies employ their own in-house maintenance team and they obviously charge more for their work. In other words you get to save on your property’s maintenance.
• Many times a professional property manager will not care as much about your property as you would. They are simply paid to do their job. But when it comes to you, you may have spent all of your savings and borrowed from your bank, so it is important that your rental property is treated with care and full dedication. So, by self-managing your property, you have all that in direct control.
• Most property management firms charge you for every filled vacancy. If you run it by yourself, you get to deal with every prospect tenant in person, so there is no need to pay anyone to fill a vacancy.
• If your property management company is located a bit away from the actual property and they require tenants to show up at their office to pay the rent,, this creates an extra inconvenience and if there are other rental properties in the same area you risk to have your tenants leaving you.
• Since you spend lots of time self-running your property, you know first-hand of the maintenance work that needs to be done. This way you don’t run the risk of having inexpensive issues turning into costly-problems.

As you can see, there are quite a few pros of running your own rental property by yourself. But before you get your hands dirty, make sure you assess your own personality first. To be a landlord involves lots of people work and if working with people is not your thing, then you might consider outsourcing this role to someone else!

Tips to Make your Apartment Look Spacious

Living in a small house can be difficult, especially if you have a large family. It becomes increasingly difficult if you are living in a rental apartment. Also, with the kind of lifestyle we have today, “space” is a crucial thing. Adjusting furniture and accessories without making the house look cluttered can become a challenge. However, this need not be the case. Done the right way, a small space can be made to look large! Smart organization of furniture and things used to decorate the apartment can make it look considerably spacious. Some tips you can use to make your rental apartment look big are:

Flexible Furniture

Having furniture that can be moved around the house can help you create space in the house. This kind of movable furniture is handy especially when you move into an unfurnished rental apartment. You can arrange the furniture as you like. It also looks different and stylish each time you change the placement of the furniture. You can have furniture that can serve multiple purposes. For instance, a sofa set can be pulled out to make a bed or a trendy side table that can also be used as a coffee table. This way you will use lesser furniture in the house making it look more spacious. Also, low seating furniture can create a feeling of more space.

Paints

Always use bright and light colors in your house. They create an illusion of open and airy spaces. Dark and deep colors can make the house look small and glum since they absorb light. If ceiling has moldings or decorative borders, paint them white or any other natural tone. This way the ceiling can look much higher. Another trick is to use stripes! To make your room longer or larger just paint your room in vertical or horizontal stripes. Use of pastel shades can also brighten it up. While painting your house, don’t forget your floor. The colour of the floor can also enhance the sense of space. Try and have a single color on the floor in the entire house. Paint the floor border that meets the walls with the same shade.

Lighting

The lighting that is used in the apartment can make a house look big or small. Usually, in a rented apartment, light fixtures are already present. However, if your landlord permits you, you can change these fixtures to other bright lights that can help you make the house look spacious. Where and how these lights are placed in the apartment also makes a difference. Lights that are hung and mounted on the walls will help to make the house bigger than table lights or lights kept on the floor as they take up more space. Use techniques like backlights and sliding panels to borrow light from one end of the brightly lit room to the darker side of another room. Use light reflecting wallpapers. Optimize natural light by keeping the windows unblocked.

Upholstery

The color and material of the upholstery used in the house also makes a lot of difference to how big or small a house can look. Like the color of the walls, the upholstery like curtains, cushion covers, bedspreads, etc., should also be bright. Go for lighter and thinner material as it will allow light to pass through the room. Use sheer curtains instead of deep and dark colored curtains. Select airy and light fabrics and bed spreads of neutral shades.

Storage

When you are looking for apartments on rent, you generally do not think of storage space. Most rented apartments do not have sufficient storage facilities. This can cause too much clutter later making your apartment look messy and small. How you store things in your house can make a lot of difference in space. Hence try to have closed storage spaces wherever possible in the apartment. This will reduce the clutter and make it look spacious. Also try and use smart furniture that can also be used for storing. For example, a bed with drawers can be used to store things; a cupboard can be built into the wall, a TV table with cabinets can also be used to stack things up. This will save the extra space that would have otherwise been taken by a stand-alone cupboard and make the room look spacious.

Mirrors

Mirrors can give the feeling of a big room. Big and tall mirrors give a room-enlarging effect. Place these mirrors cleverly. You can have lovely custom cut mirrors, beautiful carved mirrors as per your choice. When the space and light is reflected in these mirrors you get a feeling of depth. These mirrors can be placed on side tables, cabinets or in the hallway. You can have glass top center tables and window panels as well.

Everyone likes to live in spacious houses and apartments. If for any reason, you do not live in a big enough space, then you can always work towards making it spacious. Following these tips can help you make your rental apartment look big and spacious.