The Importance Of Keeping Up With The Latest Property Developments

Property development projects are ever coming up and if you are a serious business person looking for a good commercial space to set up your business, you need to be up to date with the latest projects within your areas of interest. The same goes for homeowners looking for modern apartments and rental homes to match their lifestyle preferences. The fact is that if you are not updated on the projects taking place in your locality or areas of interest, you might pass out on great opportunities to make a transformation for your business of family. Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy by keeping up with property projects.

Floor plans

One of the best things that you will love knowing about a property that is coming up is the floor plans available. This way, you can select a spot that you love most depending on how suitable you find the floor plan to be. Most developers will also give you a chance to have the floor plan designed to meet your individual preferences either for commercial or residential needs. This means that by the end of the project, you will have a spot that is made just for you and serve all your needs. Today property developments are sophisticated technologies and you can expect to have impeccable aesthetic layouts that befit your standards.

Facilities

When you are updated about the projects, you get to know beforehand what facilities will be within the property, hence you can make a decision as to whether it is the right property for your business or residence. Most people love properties that are self-contained, meaning that they offer the possibilities of getting everything they need without having to leave the property at all. Modern properties come with business centers, restaurants, art galleries, party places, gyms, spas and playgrounds among others depending on whether they are commercial or residential properties. When you learn about facilities included, you can determine how suitable the property is to the expectations you have and convenience that you expect.

Location

Of course, knowing the location of the property beforehand can go a long way in helping you weigh suitability in relation to what kind of space you are looking for. People have varying preferences on location and your type of business could be better suited in given locations and not others and so is your home. At least when you are up to date with the latest projects, you have enough time to look at the present location implications as well as the future implications of the same, especially if you intend to be on the property over a long period of time. You therefore have a clear mind when reserving your space as the project begins to take shape so you can start with your business as soon as the development is complete. The property location can mean a lot to your business or your home and making serous considerations is therefore of importance.

Things You Must Consider When Choosing A Commercial Or Residential Property

Modern property developments are elegant and quite sophisticated that they can help create that professional image around your business or take your lifestyle to a whole new level thanks to technology. The properties now come with everything that is bound to make every day living and working easier for all which is why you can now find plug and play offices that are ready for occupation and running for businesses and homes that are fully furnished so you can just continue with life comfortably. However, the property options can be numerous and making factoring in a few property aspects is important when making a decision.

The Tenure

Land scarcity has led to many properties getting offered on leasehold although you can still find some freehold properties available to you. Leaseholds are cheaper compared to freeholds but you need to put all your need into perspective before should a tenure that works best for you. Consider your mortgage options when thinking of the tenure so that you can make the best decision also based on your financial limits and abilities.

The Location

The location of the property is particularly important if you are looking for freehold agreements. It is a factor that should be considered both for commercial and residential properties. Not only will the location determine the cost of the property, but it can largely determine the suitability for your business and the kind of home you have in mind. The secret is to choose a location that matches your personal preferences and offers you all convenience whether they are work related or home related. Also important to consider is the possibility of other developments around the property in the future and how that is going to affect you or your business of how comfortable you are still going to be when such developments take place.

The Size

If you are choosing a property housing several businesses of residential units, then you should consider how comfortable you are with the size of the property. If you love some peace and quiet around your home, then you are better off choosing a property with fewer units. The same goes for your business because it can determine the number of businesses that is likely to be established on the same property. Apart from the size of the building, look at the interior spaces of the unit you choose and how suitable the sizes are for the needs you have. Be sure that the size is worth the cost of buying or renting.

Additional Costs

Remodeling, renovating and maintaining the property you are interested in can lead to additional costs you initially might not have thought of. Remember that as the property owner, you are responsible for upkeep and workability of your property and you therefore should ensure that you acquire the property in the best possible condition or when you are fully aware of the additional costs it will attract and you are comfortable with it.

Find the Best Ways to Settle Your Property Deal

More often than not individuals think that it’s genuinely difficult to manage properties. It can be household or business property; however at whatever point you are going to offer or purchase one, you may think that its troublesome for different reasons. In such conditions individuals like to have some expert help that can recommend them the right way of managing real estate. Looking for the best property settlement administration for your property offering procedure can be less demanding these days with the assistance of the web. It allows you to figure out the opportune spot where you can acquire the best administration.

On the other hand, there are some sure focuses that one must remember while searching for the expert land settlement operators. When you begin your pursuit, you can locate a not insignificant rundown of organizations that give such administrations, however it is evident that not every one of them are similarly experienced and adequate for your occupation.

While looking for the right agents, you must remember some points.

• The notoriety of the firm: The property settlement organization must have a decent notoriety in the business as an administration supplier. You ought to check the quality and dependability of the organization from their current or past customers. This could help you to see how great they can be for your property managing

• The experience of the group: Since managing properties is an intense undertaking, the group you employ must have fitting knowledge in this certain field. They must be mindful of the most recent reports with respect to property settlement and offer you the best service.

• The capacity of comprehension that you require: This is profoundly needed for any administration supplier who offers benefits that are absolutely customer situated. They must comprehend what precisely you need and how to offer you the right help.

• The capacity to offer customized administrations: The supplier of such administrations ought to have the capacity to offer customized administrations for different customers. Diverse customers would accompany a few sorts of issues while managing properties. The organization must be ready to offer them benefits that are singularly intended for them and satisfy their need

• Professional state of mind: The group you enlist must handle the whole situation with tact. They must keep the correct record of the considerable number of dealings and keep you updated about each and every point of interest of the same. They must keep steady correspondence with you as a customer and know your necessities.

• A wide cluster of administrations: As a supplier of property settlement administrations, they must offer a wide exhibit of help to their customers. It must be a one stop answer for all the necessity that is identified with any sort of property arrangements.

• Trustworthy and effective: Lastly; the group must be dependable and productive towards their occupation. Since, managing properties is a high-risk work, they must be faithful to their customers and perform their undertakings with proficiency

How Property Management Firms Are Making Affordable Housing Desirable

According to the Economic Times, “affordable housing” refers to housing options within the budget of those whose income is below the median household income of a particular area. While some may assume that affordable housing automatically means giving up certain amenities that are common in society today, property management companies all over the country are working to ensure that this is not the case. Indeed, in 2016, low income doesn’t have to mean low quality. From the very basic needs of safety and shelter to the most deluxe offerings like on-site laundry facilities and fully equipped community areas, property management companies are providing rentals that get the most out of every dollar. Whether you are looking for a cozy apartment or a large, master-planned community with organized activities, you don’t have to sacrifice access for affordability.

The need for affordable housing spans every demographic and age group, and property management companies take note. For instance, some rentals provide amenities geared toward older residents, such as retirement facilities with mobility-accessible features, while others are more geared toward families, offering two bedroom units with balconies and lots of storage space. Because families typically include children of school age, some communities will be established in areas with access to great schools and within proximity to local restaurants and entertainment. Many rental communities also include extras like off-street parking and built-in alarm systems, as well as access to on-site recreational activities.

Regardless of your specific needs, a property management company can assist you with locating properties available in your price range and working through the application process. Not all managers are created equal, so to ensure you’re getting the best representation and amenities available, look for certifications or designations from organizations like the Institute of Real Estate Management or the National Association of Realtors. Ideally, you want to work with a company that has a long history in the industry, with many years of expertise and a clear passion for providing tenants with wonderful homes. The company should also have a cooperative relationship with HUD, the government’s Housing and Urban Development agency, whose mission is to create strong, sustainable communities and quality affordable homes for all.

In addition to providing leasing services to tenants and management services to property owners, many property management companies also act as development consultants or work to obtain federal funding for affordable housing projects in their communities. This commitment to providing a platform for individuals and families to gain access to a place to live and work benefits everyone involved, from saving taxpayers money by reducing demand for government services, to improving education for students who would otherwise be moving around when their parents are unable to afford a stable home.

Reasons for Hiring a Property Manager

The dreaded phone call comes in that your tenant has a clogged toilet at 8pm at night. What now? So you scurry over to your rental property to determine if you can fix it. You check it out, maybe even try to plunge it. Nothing happens, still a slow drain and a gurgling noise. At this point you have wasted over an hour of your time, time that you should be spending elsewhere.

You shrug your shoulders and tell your tenant you will call a plumber as they will need to snake the drain. Giving your tenant the benefit of the doubt that there are likely roots in the main line which is causing the gurgling. You finally get a hold of a plumber that will be there sometime tomorrow between the hours of 1 and 4 pm… and you need to be there to authorize work. Ugh! Now what?

So you take the afternoon off of work and wait for the 30 minute courtesy call that they are on their way. You get the call! You head over to the rental property and meet the plumber, the tenant says that the slow drain and the gurgling is still happening. The plumber looks for the clean-out, but can’t find it and you aren’t sure where it is. So the plumber goes to the roof with his snake. 30 minutes later he comes down with a child’s small toy that had been flushed down the toilet. OK, not great, but at least it’s fixed for a couple of hundred dollars and not tree roots. The plumber goes back inside to test the toilet and comes back out with bad news… still won’t flush!

So now the plumber says, do you want me to pull the toilet? That’s another charge. You shrug your shoulders and say yes, because what else are you going to do. The plumber takes his snake inside and pulls the toilet. He starts his snake and out comes a headless child’s doll covered in toilet paper from about 1 foot down the pipe.

Now the plumber comes back out and says, here is what I found. Since the toilet is off do you want me to camera the drain in the case there are more items down there. Of course you say yes, cause if he puts the toilet back then has to come back to do it that is another charge.

Plumber comes back out and says the camera showed nothing else is in the drain. You sigh and he fills out his paperwork along with charges of around $300-400. He puts in his report the issues and the apparent abuse caused by the tenant. You ask him to put as much detail in the report as possible so that you can charge back to the tenant, and he obliges and says good luck with that.

At this point you are into this little project for over 4 hours of your time, half a day off work spent standing outside of your rental, and a few hundred dollars because your tenant’s child decided they didn’t want their toys anymore.

And people say Property Management is to expensive.

Granted you still probably would have paid the plumber, but at a discounted rate. The soft costs are your time, energy, paid time off, and the stress of the situation.

Property Management Made Simple

A fast, simple and effective way for landlords to manage their property portfolio with minimum hassle.

Being a landlord or a property manager can be an arduous task. There is usually an endless list of jobs that need to be taken care of, whether you’re managing a single property or a vast portfolio. There are several landlord property care apps offered by property management groups to help property owners in managing their property and keep everything running smoothly, taking the stress out of daily tasks.

WHY DO I NEED AN APP FOR THIS?

Downloading the app provides a simple and efficient way for you to manage your properties. It’s intelligently designed, easy to use features have been developed by the experts in app development to cater for your specific requirements. With its key features you can digitally take control of all tasks with a swipe of your finger.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Managing Tenants
  • Monthly rental payments
  • Utility management
  • Rent review
  • Property inspection reports
  • Annual safety tests
  • Lease management
  • Print yearly/ monthly taxable finances.

MANAGING TENANTS AND RENT

When it comes to managing rent owed and tenants the app couldn’t make it simpler if it tried! You go to the sub section you need, click the icon and straight away you can add new tenants, storing their personal information i.e. phone number and address, as well as their moving date and contract end. As for rent you merely need to select the property in your portfolio, specify the date, rental fee and Estate agents commission and you’re sorted. This saves a lot of time and productivity in the long run, meaning you’re not chasing any overdue payments or tenant details.

TAX MADE SIMPLE

Everyone knows that trying to keep on top of yearly tax returns can be a nightmare, but this is just another reason why this app is extremely beneficial. It allows you to do your own book-keeping on the move, by logging all of your income and expenses, when and where you necessary, to keep on top of your accounts. In the long run this will be more beneficial for your accountant or even for yourself if you organise your own accounting. Moving forward, this means you can review monthly and yearly reports with the tap of one finger, as well as track your taxes making your End of Year returns report easy to access, and print off for your benefits.

The same format is used when logging Expenses, again these are all kept in one place, and you can easily input property expenses through their individual property details and log important expenses such as Interest only mortgage, Capital Mortgage, Repairs, Insurance, Cleaning, agents involved etc.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

An additional benefit is that you will have a dedicated support team which promises to assist you with any technical and non-technical help that you may require. This gives you reassurance and trust that your portfolio details are in the right hands, and that all information is deemed confidential, to which you will only have access to, and none of which will be shared to other Property Managers.

In conclusion the Landlord Property Care app is truly a sensational digitally advanced way to manage all your business related requirements from your phone, and is considered to be the way forward in Property Management advancement.

A Real Estate Primer

There are a great many books and web sites devoted to real estate investing out there, but most of them concentrate on one specific area of investing. It’s often hard to find a general description of real estate investing, one that lists the various real estate investing strategies and how to get started. That’s what this article will set out to do.

Before beginning, you must understand that real estate investing is not a get rich quick scheme. Real estate investing can, and will, make you wealthy, but it certainly won’t happen overnight and it will require work. As you perfect your technique and gain experience, the amount of work needed to gain a lot of money will reduce, but it will take effort and persistence to make it there.

If you’re completely new to real estate investing then the only sort of investing strategy you’re likely aware of is rental properties.
Landlording has been around since there have been houses and people to rent them to, and it will continue to be a wealth builder. In fact, most of the ‘no money down’ real estate strategies you hear about still include rentals as part of their plan. Still, there are other ways to make money from real estate investing out there.

The next most ‘traditional’ method is to buy a fixer-upper, fix it up, and then sell it for a profit. This is commonly referred to as ‘rehabbing’ and is a very good way to make a lot of money in a relatively short period of time. Most rehabbers won’t even look at a property unless they can make at least $20,000 of profit, and this is usually within 3-4 months time. Rehabbers tend to be experienced investors with available money, or have partners who help provide any extra cash required.

But if you’re just starting out you likely won’t have access to large amounts of money. One way to get involved in this area of real estate investing without needing any money at all is to ‘flip’ houses to these rehabbers. What this entails is you going out and finding these fixer-uppers, noting all the work required to fix the place up. You then place a low offer in to the owner, taking into account the fix up price and some built in profit. Once you have the house under contract you then flip it to a rehabber for a small fee. This can result in several thousand dollars for you, without you having to spend a dime. ‘Flipping’ properties can be a great way to start your real estate investing career.

Another ‘no money down’ technique that’s popular on the late night infomercials is called ‘lease optioning’. This is basically a rent to own strategy that allows you to control a property without ever taking ownership of it. It’s a slightly more complicated strategy that warrents its own article, but it does allow you to make money in several different ways, each without ever having to spend any of your own money. If you’re not put off by longer term investments then lease options are definitely worth more research.

There are other strategies that involve foreclosures and getting the home owner to sign the deed over to you, but for now I’d suggest learning more about flipping and lease options as entry-level real estate investing strategies.

How do you find properties that would make good real estate investments? Again, an entire article can be devoted to that, but there are basically two ways: you go looking for them, or you get them to come to you. The first way involves reading the newspaper classifieds and scanning the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is where having a great real estate agent is a must – they can get you more details on homes than you can view on the mls website, and can often let you know of great deals before they even become available to the general public.

Having home owners contact you means setting up an advertising campaign. This can involve placing ads in the newspaper, placing bandit signs at strategic locations around town, starting a direct mail campaign, etc. There are many ways to let people know that there’s a new real estate investor in town, and it would be in your best interest to try each of them to see which ones work best for you.

Whether you decide to go looking for deals, have them come to you, or both, they key is to be persistent. Real estate investing is a numbers game – most of the time you won’t be able to make the deal work, but every time you do it translates into thousands of dollars for you. The more owners you talk to, the more deals you’ll be able to do, the more money you’ll make.

I hope this article gives you a bit of an idea of what the world of real estate investing is like. There’s a lot to learn out there, and all of it is very interesting. Find the area that interests you the most, then get out there and start talking to home owners. Don’t be discouraged if you’re getting turned down a lot – just remember that when it does pay off, it will pay off big!

Real Estate – Reasons and Priorities for Purchasing Property

Real Estate can be a great investment with unusual appreciation. We have had several years years of exceptional annual appreciation. We are still having great appreciation, perhaps as much as 20% annually in some areas. But, it is not as extensive nor as much as it was. Real Estate as an investment can be fairly good to best in the world — but it is an investment that is best viewed over the long term; There can be long periods when it does not go up in value much, if at all. Taken over a period of decades or even centuries, nothing on earth beats it. Another problem with real estate is that it is not liquid, that is, it is not easy to convert to cash — like stocks, bonds, and savings accounts are. Real estate is particularly non-liquid during a downturn in our markets. You will not likely hear this anywhere else, especially from other Realtors, but real estate is not a great investment, it is usually a good investment but not always, and not all the time — when looked at short term. Too many people buy real estate as an investment and forget that there are other reasons to buy. I suggest that you will be much happier if you purchase real estate for use and for lifestyle rather than as an investment, when it comes to your place of residence or your second home. Perhaps it should be almost entirely about lifestyle. After all, a primary residence or a second home should be a place to enjoy a lifestyle that allows you to relax and wind down from the rest of life. If you live a very public life, one where people are always seeking you out, where you are always in the light of public scrutiny and often in the press for instance; if your normal life is one where you must always been on your best behavior and always crafting each word and action for it’s best value – then perhaps a private place, away from others, a place where you don’t know your neighbors, is just right for you. There are some communities that are unique. There is one just for you! Perhaps the lifestyle you want is right in the middle of everything. Take a look at various properties for sale. Each of these properties has it’s own personality of location and lifestyle. Ask your Realtor for lifestyle particulars about any of them. Most importantly, visit them on your own and find out from the other residents by meeting them and asking. Weekends are a great time to walk the area and speak to those working outside! One of the things I try to convey to people who are at stages in life where lifestyle is really the only reason to purchase a home — is to think about only “lifestyle”. Are you really trying to buy an investment that will appreciate over a period of time so that you can sell it for a profit in the future? Or are you trying to settle into a lifestyle that will allow you to enjoy your home and surroundings and other aspects of your life? Perhaps your other investments are in place, you are seeking a retired life and you wish to enjoy the lifestyle of a million dollar home, but don’t want to take that money out of liquid investments, that you might need to access. In such a case, you might want to purchase a home on leased land. The owner of the land will get the appreciation but you can save, in some cases a million dollars or more, by getting a home on leased land. In some cases that might be a mobile home or manufactured home on rented or leased land. In our area of southern Delaware, most of the people living in land-lease communities do NOT look at the home here as an investment! They have investments. Perhaps your perfect lifestyle home will not appreciate in value much or at all… at least not in the short term. BUT as long as you keep your home in top shape and are in a desirable community, you are most likely not losing anything at all. If you are considering a community that involves leased land, or “ground rent” as some folks call it, then consider what else you may be getting out of the deal. Here and in other areas, some land-lease parks or communities allow you to live life like one of the wealthy without paying for it and without time and cost of maintenance. You may get benefits such as swimming pools, private beaches, marinas, tennis courts, grass cutting, trash removal, daily or hourly security drive-bys, etc. The communities that I know of that are in “fee simple”, that is where you own your own land, do not provide all of these benefits, (though I do know of many that provide some). Consider what it is you want out of home or out of a vacation home. If low maintenance is a priority for you at this point, the manufactured home community may be the best choice, perhaps. Also, you need to consider how much you are willing to spend on a vacation home. This will hold a major bearing on what you will eventually purchase. There are many options for people who are in your situation. You just need to balance your wants and needs in priority order. Next, consider your finances. There are many desirable factors in owning each different type of residential real estate.

A Powerful Suggested Technique for YOUR Home & Property Search

A Powerful Suggested Technique for YOUR Home & Property Search
by Jody Hudson
You can be a pro at buying a home: Whether you are buying your first home or you are an experienced home buyer who owns more than one home, there are some things that can help you get faster results and get more professional and pleasant help from your Realtor.
A home or property purchase is one of the most important and exciting events to experience. Owning a home can help you build equity while reducing your income tax.
Land of any size requires minimal maintenance and is one of the best long term investments, even compared to gold or diamonds. However, along with the low maintenance, there is seldom any income to offset the cost. There are exceptions, mobile home parks, parking lots, and land rental under a shopping center are wonderful investments with relatively low maintenance if any.
Those who own land and property, as opposed to those who rent or lease, are historically considered to have a measure of stability, success and personal merit in addition to the obvious personal financial worth. This is so true that our Founding Fathers, who were dedicated students of all recorded human history, decreed that to be eligible to vote in our country a person must be a freeholder — that is one who owned property mortgage free. They knew that the most responsible citizens would be the most responsible voters. Few of us would meet that criteria today.  A person who held his property debt free, that is with a free and clear title, a Freeholder, was considered to have made good decisions, had good self control and managed his affairs well. Therefore, that person was considered to have obtained a level of maturity and responsibility — that proved an ability to manage personal affairs and money as well as a priority to think of the future.  The person who owned property with no debt, thus had obtained a sufficient ability to be allowed to vote on the management of our government and the public trust.
We are a nation of home and property owners more than any other nation on earth. However, most of us have a mortgage these days.  If you, like most of us, need a mortgage on your new property, we hope you will find value in this article and that it will help you understand the advantage of planning your mortgage as a prerequisite to your purchase of a home. Having completed the mortgage acquisition step, a Realtor can help you organize your home search, as you begin browsing through the housing market.
Determining what features you want in your ideal or dream house and what payments you can afford are the important first steps. We ask that you consider the entire cost of home ownership, that is a total of the principle and interest payment, taxes, insurance and maintenance.  Most folks are aware of the first four P.I.T.I. or Principle, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. There is another cost of home ownership that is not often figured in. It is property maintenance.
Maintenance is usually about 5% of the value of the improvements per year, if the average is taken over a long period of time, such as forty years. Many people think that 5% is too high a figure and prefer to use 2-3% instead. Whichever you use, make sure you figure in the cost of maintenance or you will end up not easily able to afford the upkeep on your property. This is very important to realize whether you are buying a new home or an older one. And, the older home will usually have a lot of deferred maintenance — that is things that should have been done and haven’t been!
If, for example, you purchase a home and lot where the vacant lot would sell for $50,000, and the home could be replaced for $250,000 and the landscaping value is $20,000 — a rule of thumb is that you should figure $12,000 per year in maintenance of the home and another thousand in the maintenance of the grounds. We see properties all the time where the improvements have what is known as deferred maintenance. That work that should have been done and hasn’t been, soon will need to be done. Deferred maintenance, maintenance not done that should have been done, is subtracted from the value of a home by those in the market, even if it is subconsciously done.
Home maintenance includes painting, caulking, re-carpeting, floor sanding refinishing, re-roofing every 15 to 50 years, depending on the composition of the roof and even replacing of windows, trim and siding. Outside there are sidewalks, the driveway, out buildings, decks, mulching, shrubbery maintenance, fertilizing, reseeding and replanting and of course the regular cutting and similar lawn care expenses. The reason we bring all this up about maintenance is that we hope you figure in the cost of it in addition to your home cost. If maintenance is not figured in you will end up with a mortgage plus maintenance cost or have to borrow more money to do the work that is needed, and that makes it more difficult to afford your new home.
It is important to figure in all the appropriate costs, expenses and other pertinent things, and to get a mortgage that you are able and willing to afford. It is important to your Realtor too. Some Realtors, in order to conserve their time and have more available for serious buyers, require that a person or couple be pre-qualified for the price range in which they seek to purchase a property first, before they begin to show properties. This is a good idea for the buyer as well as the Realtor and some sellers even ask us to NOT bring any prospective purchasers, unless they are financially prequalified — in writing!
Mortgage brokers will gladly pull your credit report and get you a letter of pre-qualification or even a loan commitment letter for the amount you need to purchase a home. If you have a written loan commitment in hand when you first contact a Realtor, you will get considerably more and better attention.
One of the most difficult situations for a Realtor is that some percentage of the prospective purchasers that come to see properties for sale are not able to purchase those properties. Roughly 95% of a Realtor’s time is preparation, paper work, promotion, marketing, web site modification and maintenance as well as maintaining contact with our most qualified buyers and sellers. When we spend two or three hours with a prospective purchaser, and it’s usually far more, we are taking away from all the other things we are responsible to do for our other buyers and for our sellers. That time has to be made up.
For properties under $200,000 perhaps half of the folks that come to see us for a home are not able to buy the one they want to see. For properties under $100,000 about 75% of the folks who ask us to see properties are not able to purchase those properties. And, for those folks who come into our offices or call us regarding properties under $100,000 the percentage who can’t purchase what they want is greater and greater as the price goes down.
Interestingly enough, a fairly high percentage of those who seek a property over a million dollars are qualified to purchase those properties without the help of our mortgage broker. Either they have their own banker, or they are able to obtain the funds on their own from other investments, or perhaps they even have a liquid assets account such as a money market account.
If you wish to be a shining light, and of greatest interest to your chosen Realtor, you are well advised to seek a mortgage broker or mortgage banker first and get a response in writing to bring with you.  Your mortgage banker will probably ask for copies of prior years’ tax returns. If you have copies of your credit reports, tax returns, lists of assets and all liabilities, and your bank statements are organized, you’re ready to start exploring the housing market and shopping for a mortgage.

How I Became a Real Estate Investor

Recently I closed on the sale of two homes. They were located about a mile apart and had comparable market values. However, beyond these two similarities, the two deals were very different from each other. Let me discuss in more detail the similarities and differences of the two deals.

My business partner and I purchased both properties from families who were in preforeclosure. The leads for each property came from letters that I had mailed to families who had recently received Notices of Default. The one family responded to me within 24 hours of receiving my first letter. I met with them within two hours of receiving their phone call and signed a contract with them on the spot to purchase their home. The other family responded to me after receiving the fourth letter from me. After a couple of broken appointments and two meetings we signed a contract to buy their home. With each home we did a “kitchen table” type closing within a couple of days of signing the contract. Both homes were purchased “subject to” the existing financing remaining in place. The earnest money given for each home was one dollar.

First Deal

We began marketing the first house by advertising it in the newspaper at market value and putting signs in the neighborhood and nearby intersections. We had a verbal agreement with the seller that they would clear all of their belonging out of the house within two weeks. The house was very messy and dirty. When the sellers failed to make any progress clearing the house we went ahead with the marketing and reduced the asking price. Within two weeks we had only received a few phone calls from mostly non-interested prospects.

At this point we reduced the asking price further and changed our signs to notify the public that owner financing was available. At that point we started to get a larger number of phone calls from truly interested prospects. Our owner financed terms and the lower than market value asking price separated us from the hundreds of realtor represented homes that needed bank financing.

With the second home, purchased a month later than the first, we immediately marketed it with owner financing. When we purchased the home we stipulated in the contract that the seller had to vacate the property in two weeks or be charged a fee for failure to do so. The seller was agreeable and cooperative and moved quickly to remove their belongings from the house. The seller of the first house was still dragging their feet and the house was still a mess.

Shortly after changing the marketing of the first house, we received an offer from a highly interested buyer. This house was truly ideal for this family and we wanted to help them get into it. They offered to buy it with bank financing and we agreed to sell it to them. There was still enough time before the foreclosure auction to close the sale with bank financing.

I cautioned the buyer that he should seek a loan other than an FHA loan since we had not held title to the property long enough for FHA to approve a new loan. In case you didn’t know, FHA recently changed a rule that now requires a property to be on title at least 90 days before they will approve a new loan. So guess what the buyer did?

Right. His mortgage broker and his real estate agent steered him toward an FHA loan program. Luckily, the buyer qualified for a good FNMA program as well. So I stipulated in the contract that the buyer had to gain approval for the FHA program within 5 days or else drop the FHA program and proceed with the FNMA program. Both the broker and the agent needed education on this point, which I provided in writing, and four days later the broker notified me that the buyer would not be approved by FHA and that they were proceeding with the FNMA program.

The next obstacle we faced was the home inspection. The inspection resulted in asking for several hundred dollars worth of repairs that we agreed to do. The repairs took two weeks to complete. While repairs were ongoing we ordered a property appraisal. The appraisers in our area are backlogged eight weeks but we knew an appraiser who would perform an appraisal within a week for 150% of his normal fee. Of course we didn’t have the luxury of being able to wait eight weeks so we bought the expensive appraisal.

The next obstacle was to order a preliminary title search, which showed a clear title luckily. The previous owner did not have an as-built survey so we had to order an expensive set of survey documents from the county.

Now that the obstacles to closing were nearly erased and we were close to a hard closing date, we still had a problem with the previous seller. They had only moved a few things out of the house and the house was still well cluttered. They were getting around to moving out eventually but not fast enough to be out of the house before closing the sale. Their lack of cooperation and their inability to follow through with their verbal promises made it clear why they had neglected their home and let it go into foreclosure.

Since the utilities were turned off and the seller was no longer living in the home I had the legal right to declare their belongings as abandoned property and I notified them that I would move the items out for them. My partner and I spent a day boxing and bagging up the seller’s personal items, and grudgingly they picked the boxes and bags up the day before closing. Whew!

Second Deal

Now, on the other hand, events with the second property proceeded much more smoothly. We bought the home, found a buyer for it within eight days, and closed on the sale eight days later.

We decided to sell the second home on a land contract or wrap mortgage with the existing financing remaining in place. We also decided to stipulate that the home had to be refinanced within two years or it would be foreclosed back to us. We did this to protect the previous seller’s interest in the underlying financing. They didn’t want it hanging out there for a long period of time.

Our “owner finance” signage attracted several buyers quickly. We required a large enough down payment to “cure” the loan, that is, to pay off the existing arrearage and attorney fees. We found an eager buyer who had sufficient cash on hand and a good income, but without enough time in the area to have a high credit rating. He understood the concept of the wrap mortgage and the underlying financing and we negotiated a contract with him at Starbucks. He negotiated a lower sale price by offering a larger down payment. Basically we were able to immediately receive all of the “back end” profit that would have been paid to us in two year’s time when he refinanced. We received this up front in exchange for a lower sales price. It was a fair exchange for both parties.

He agreed to buy the home “as is” and to do some repairs himself. No home inspection was needed; no appraisal was needed; no repairs had to be made; no real estate agent needed to be paid; and no survey had to be ordered. The buyer paid all of the closing costs which were far less than he would have paid if he had used a real estate agent and a mortgage broker.We used a closing agent who is very familiar with transactions of this type, which she calls “unacknowledged wrap sales.” Our closing agent has become a friend and has spoken at our local Real Estate Investment Club.

In summary, each of the two deals netted about the same profit, but it is obvious which deal one would prefer to do if given a choice. If I were Robert Kiyosaki I might call one deal my rich dad’s deal and the other my poor dad’s deal. We learned enough to make deals of the first type go more smoothly in the future but I’ll take deals of the second type every day of the week.