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Buyer's Reports

Buyer's Reports

Buyer’s Reports

As real estate professionals, it’sour job to make the real estate buying and selling process as easy aspossible for everyone involved. That means providing quality informationthat can benefit you immediately. We care about this community andwhether you’re buying or selling. We want to share some importantinformation with you that will help you in your next move.

The following reports will not only SAVE you money, but can make you money in real estate!

Please let us know if we may be of any further assistance!

10 Important Tips to Successful Real Estate Investing

When it comes to investing, everybody has certain goals andaspirations. However, we have found that there are certain guidelinesevery aspiring real estate investor needs to know:

1. Compare Property Values and Rents
Financial statistics only go so far; the best measure of a property’smarket value is often the sale prices of nearby properties. The sameholds true for area rents. A low price can often be justified by areasonable rent; renters who can afford a high rent can afford to buyinstead, so reasonably priced rent is a need.

2. Be careful – Tax laws may change
Don’t base your tax investment on current tax laws. The tax code isconstantly changing, and a good investment is a good investmentregardless of the tax code. The right property with the right financingis what you should look for as an investor.

3. Specialize in something you Know
Start in a market segment you know. Whether you focus on fixer-uppers,foreclosures, starter homes, low-down payment properties, condominiums,or small apartment buildings, you’ll benefit from experience byspecializing in one aspect of investment real estate properties.

4. Know the Costs going in!
Know the financial statements inside out. What are operating expenses?What are loan payments? Vacancy costs? Taxes? What does the cash flowstatement look like? These are key issues that must be addressed beforemaking a solid investment.

5. Know where your tenants are coming from
If the last rent increase was recent, your tenants may be considering amove. If tenants have a short-term lease, they may be living theresimply to attract unsuspecting buyers. It is also important to collectthe tenants’ security deposits at closing.

6. Assess the tax situation
Taxes are an integral part of successful real estate investing, and Theyoften make the difference between a positive cash flow and a negativeone. Know the tax situation, and see how it can be manipulated to youradvantage. It may be a good idea to consult a tax advisor.

7. Investigate insurance coverage
If seller’s coverage is based on lower-than-current replacement value,your insurance cost may increase when you pay a higher purchase price.

8. Confirm Utility Costs
Ask the local utilities to verify recent utility expenses, especially if any of these costs are included in your tenant’s rent.

9. Consult Your Accountant
Taxation is a key element of successful real estate investing, so besure to find an accountant who is well-versed with the constantlyevolving tax code.

10. Inspect!
Make sure that you always perform a thorough inspection of the propertybefore buying it. Never, ever buy any property without at leastexamining the site. In some cases, hiring professional inspectors toexamine the structural mechanical system may be a sound investment.

5 Powerful Buying Strategies

1. Get “Pre-Approved” – Not “Pre-Qualified!”
Do you want to get the best property you can for the least amount ofmoney? Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating positionpossible. Price is only one element in the negotiations, and notnecessarily the most important one. Often other terms, such as thestrength of the buyer or the length of escrow, are critical to a seller.

In years past, I always recommended that buyers get “pre-qualified”by a lender. This means that you spend a few minutes on the phone with alender who asks you a few questions. Based on the answers, the lenderpronounces you “pre-qualified” and issues a certificate that you canshow to a seller. Sellers are aware that such certificates areWORTHLESS, and here’s why! None of the information has been verified!

Many times unknown problems can come to the surface! Some of theproblems I’ve seen include recorded judgments, alimony payments due,glitches on the credit report due to any number of reasons bothaccurately and inaccurately, down payments that have not been in theclients’ bank account long enough, etc.

So the way to make the strongest offer today is to get“pre-approved”. This happens AFTER all information has been checked andverified. You are actually APPROVED for the loan and the only loose endis the appraisal on the property. This process takes anywhere from a fewdays to a few weeks depending on your situation. It’s VERY POWERFUL anda weapon I recommend all my clients have in their negotiating arsenal.

2. Sell Your Property First, Then Buy the House
If you have a house to sell, sell it before selecting a house to buy!Contingency sales aren’t nearly as strong as one that comes in with aready, willing and able buyer. Consider this scenario: You’ve found theperfect house – now you have to go make an offer to the seller. You wantthe seller to reduce the price and wait until you sell your house. Theseller figures that this is a risky deal, since he might pass up a buyerwho DOESN’T have to sell a house while he’s waiting for you. So he saysOK, he’ll do the contingency but it has to be a full price offer! Youhave now paid more for the house than you could have because of thecontingency, and you have to sell your existing house in a hurry!Otherwise you lose the house! So to sell quickly you might take an offerthat’s lower than if you had more time. The bottom line is that buyingbefore selling might cost you THOUSANDS of dollars.

If you’re concerned that there is not a house on the market for you,then go on a window-shopping trip. You can identify possible houses andlocations without falling in love with a specific house. If you feelconfident after that then put your house on the market.

Another tactic is to make the sale “subject to seller findingsuitable housing”. Adding this phrase to the listing means that WHEN YOUDO FIND A BUYER, you will have some time to find the new place. If youdon’t find anything to your liking, you don’t have to sell your presenthome.

3. Play the Game of Nines
Before house hunting, make a list of things you want in the new place.Then make a list of the things you don’t want. You can use this list as aguide to rate each property that you see. The one with the biggestscore wins! This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspectivewhen you’re comparing dozens of homes.

When house hunting, keep in mind the difference between “STYLE ANDSUBSTANCE”. The SUBSTANCE are things that cannot be changed such as thelocation, view, size of lot, noise in the area, school district, andfloor plan. The STYLE represents easily changed surface finishes likecarpet, wallpaper, color, and window coverings. Buy the house with goodSUBSTANCE, because the STYLE can always be changed to match your tastes.I always recommend that you imagine each house as if it were vacant.

Consider each house on its underlying merits, not the seller’s decorating skills.

4. Don’t Be Pushed Into Any House
Your agent should show you everything available that meets yourrequirements. Don’t make a decision on a house until you feel thatyou’ve seen enough to pick the best one.

A decade ago, homes were selling quickly, usually a few days afterlisting. In that kind of market, agents advised their clients to make anoffer ON THE SPOT if they liked the house. That was good advice at thetime. Today there isn’t always this urgency, unless a home isdrastically underpriced, and you’ll know if it is.

Don’t forget to check into the SCHOOL DISTRICTS of the area you’reconsidering. Information is available on every school; such as classsizes, % of students that go on to college, SAT scores, etc. You can getthis information from this web site.

5. Stop Calling Ads!
Please note – ads are sometimes created to make the phone ring! Many ofthe homes have some drawback that’s not mentioned in the ad, such astraffic noise, power lines, or litigation in the community. What’s notmentioned in the ad is usually more important than what is.

For this reason, I want you to be very careful when reading ads.Remember that the person writing the ad is representing the seller andnot you! The most important thing you can do is have someone on yourside looking out for your best interests. Your own agent will critiquethe property with an eye towards how well it meets your needs and willpoint out any drawbacks you should know about. So whether you decide towork with me or not, pick an agent you feel comfortable with and enlistthe services of that agent as a buyer’s broker. Then you become a clientwith all the rights, benefits, and privileges created by this agencyrelationship, and you’re no longer just a shopper. Did you know thatmany homes are sold WITHOUT A SIGN ever going up or an AD EVER BEING PUTIN THE PAPER? These “great deals” go to those people who are committedto working with one agent. When an agent hears of a great buy, who doyou think he’s going to call? His client, who he has a legal obligationto work hard for you, or someone who just called on the phone and said“keep your eyes open”? So to get the best buy on a property, I alwaysrecommend that you hire your own agent and stick with him or her.

A Few Points About Interest Rates

Less is more!
If you’re new to investing or real estate and don’t know the first thingabout interest rates, here’s a good tip: the higher the interest rate,the more expensive it’s going to be. High interest rates mean you willhave to pay back more on the money you borrow. Another good rule ofthumb is that affordability increases if you use an adjustable ratemortgage (it’s easier to qualify this way). Of course, there will be awide range of prices that you can choose from, depending on what kind offinancing you choose..

Not even the Fed knows for sure
The Fed holds a considerable amount of power, but they can’t controleverything. Mortgage interest rates are affected by many unpredictablepolitical, economic and social events. So there is no guarantee whatdirection interest rates will go, despite the forecasts of the experts.Therefore, make your financial decision based on where things are todayincluding your budget, your needs and your future plans.

Locking in rates assures your lowest interest
If you do decide you want to lock in at a certain interest rate, youwill need to complete a loan application and send it to your lender assoon as possible. This must be done so that your commitment doesn’trunout before your loan is approved. Follow up and be se sure that thelender is receiving all of the necessary documentation. Get a propertyappraisal, which usually costs about $300, through your loan agent assoon as possible.

Don’t obsess and miss a good real estate deal
Although rising interest rates can create more problems for home buyers,waiting and hoping for low rates is not necessarily a smart move. Youmay end up paying a higher price. Also, refinancing is always an optionin the event that interest rates come down.
Visit again soon! I have more information that you will need!

Finding the Best Agent For You

Finding the right real estate professional requires doing a littleresearch and asking a few questions. You need to know everything aboutthe selling process. What is the marketing strategy? What kind ofadvertising will be done? Is the REALTOR® capable and willing tocommunicate effectively? Can the REALTOR® effectively present and sellthe less-noticeable assets of the property?

Real estate professionals also need to be knowledgeable about thecommunity. They need to have a feel for the history of the area and theapproximate price that people will be willing to pay. Also, real estateagents should know what the competition is and how much it will effectyour sale.

NEVER choose a REALTOR® on price alone. Remember that a REALTOR®cannot magically raise the selling price of the house. Consider thebuyer. The purchaser won’t willingly pay too much; it’s most likely thathe or she will do research on the market and try to find the bestproduct for the best price. The facts simply cannot be changed, nomatter which REALTOR® you select. In spite of these unchangeablefactors, the REALTOR® you select must still be diligent andknowledgable.

If your property does not elicit attention within several weeks, thecause can most likely be attributed to one of these three factors:location, condition, and price. The location obviously cannot bechanged. You should consider examining the conditioning of your propertyand reevaluating the marketing strategy. Ask your REALTOR® to offer anexplanation of the competition and your pricing strategy.

How to Make Money in Real Estate Investing

Lower Your Taxes
Tax incentives for real estate investors can often make the differencein your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used tooffset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a lossinto a profit.

For which items can investors get tax breaks? You could claimdeductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing andoperating the rental property. This includes mortgage interest payments,real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, property managementfees, travel, advertising, and utilities (assuming the tenant doesn’tpay them). These expenses can be subtracted from your adjusted grossincome when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, thesedeductions cannot exceed the amount of real estate income you receive.In addition to deductions for operating costs, you can also receivebreaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time, andthese “losses” can be deducted regardless of the actual market value ofthe property. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense — you are notactually spending any money — the tax code can get a bit tricky. Formore information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, askyour tax advisor about Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code.

Have a Positive Cash Flow
There are two kinds of positive cash flows: pre-tax and after-tax. Apre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater thanexpenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but theyare usually a strong and safe investment. An after-tax positive cashflow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various taxbreaks allow for a positive cash flow. This is more common, but it isgenerally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow.

Regardless of what kind of real estate you choose to invest in,timely collections from your tenants is absolutely necessary. A positivecash flow — whether it be pre-tax or after-tax — requires rentalincome. Be sure to find quality tenants; a thorough credit andemployment check is probably a good idea.

Use Leverage
One of the most important factors in determining a solid investment isthe amount of equity you are purchasing. Equity is the differencebetween the actual worth of the property and the balanced owed on themortgage.

Benefit from Growing Equity
While investing in real estate is relatively complex, it is often worththe extra work. When compared to other financial investments, like bondsor CD’s, the return on investment for real estate purchases can oftenbe greater.

The key to real estate investing is equity. Determine an amount ofequity that you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, it’s time tosell or refinance. Determining the proper amount of equity may requirethe assistance of a real estate professional.

Moving Tips

Easing the Transition to Your New Home
Use the right boxes, and pack them carefully. Professional movingcompanies use only sturdy, reinforced cartons. The boxes you can get atyour neighborhood supermarket or liquor store might be free, but theyare not nearly as strong or padded, and so can’t shield your valuablesas well from harm in transit.

Use sheets, blankets, pillows and towels to separate pictures andother fragile objects from each other and the sides of the carton. Packplates and glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked.

Be sure to point out to your mover the boxes in which you’ve packedfragile items, especially if those items are exceptionally valuable. Themover will advise you whether those valuables need to be repacked insturdier, more appropriate boxes.

The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. A goodrule of thumb is if you can’t lift the carton easily, it’s too heavy.Label your boxes, especially the one containing sheets and towels, soyou can find everything you need the first night in your new home.

For your family’s safety and comfort
Teach your children your new address. Let them practice writing it onpacked cartons. You can lighten your load and reduce any storage spaceyou need to rent by hosting a garage or yard sale.

Fill two “OPEN ME FIRST” cartons containing snacks, instant coffee ortea bags, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste and brushes, medicine andtoiletry items (make sure caps are tightly secured), flashlight,screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups and utensils, a panor two, paper towels, and any other items your family can’t do without.Ask your van foreman to load one of these boxes, so that it will beunloaded at your new home first. Why the second box? In case the moversare delayed getting to your house on the day of the move.

Keep your pets out of packing boxes and away from all the activity on moving day.

Let all your electrical gadgets return to room temperature before plugging them in.

Since you may need to call old neighbors or businesses from your new home, pack your phone book.

Work hand in hand with your mover
Give the mover’s foreman your reach numbers and email addresses so you can stay in contact.

Read the inventory form carefully, and ask the mover to explainanything you don’t understand. Make a note of your shipment’sregistration number, and keep your Bill of Lading handy.

If you’re moving long distance, be aware that your property mightshare a truck with that of several other households. For this reason,your mover might have to warehouse your furniture and belongings forseveral days. Therefore, ask your mover whether your goods will remainon the truck until delivered. If they have to be stored, ask whether youcan check the warehouse for security, organization and cleanliness.

7 Selling Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make!

Mistake #1 — Pricing Your Property Too High
Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or herproduct. Ironically, the best way to do this is NOT to list your productat an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause someprospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property.Also, it may lead other buyers to expect more than what you have tooffer. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually longtime to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.

Mistake #2 — Mistaking Re-finance Appraisals for the Market Value
Unfortunately, a re-finance appraisal may have been stated at anuntruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of yourproperty to be higher than it actually is in order to encouragere-financing. The market value of your home could actually be lower.Your best bet is to ask your REALTOR® for the most recent informationregarding property sales in your community. This will give you anup-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.

Mistake #3 — Forgetting to “Showcase Your Home”
In spite of how frequently this mistake is addressed and how simple itis to avoid, its prevalence is still widespread. When attempting to sellyour home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home lookas pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sureeverything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in needof repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and willeven turn away some buyers.

Mistake #4 — Trying to “Hard Sell” While Showing
Buying a house is always an emotional and difficult decision. As aresult, you should try to allow prospective buyers to comfortablyexamine your property. Don’t try haggling or forcefully selling.Instead, be friendly and hospitable. A good idea would be to point outany subtle amenities and be receptive to questions.

Mistake #5 — Trying to Sell to “Looky-Loos”
A prospective buyer who shows interest because of a “for sale” sign hesaw may not really be interested in your property. Often buyers who donot come through a REALTOR® are a good 6-9 months away from buying, andthey are more interested in seeing what is out there than in actuallymaking a purchase. They may still have to sell their house, or may notbe able to afford a house yet. They may still even be unsure as towhether or not they want to relocate.

Your REALTOR® should be able to distinguish realistic potentialbuyers from mere lookers. REALTOR®s should usually find out aprospective buyer’s savings, credit rating, and purchasing power ingeneral. If your REALTOR® fails to find out this pertinent information,you should do some investigating and questioning on your own. This willhelp you avoid wasting valuable time marketing towards the wrong people.If you have to do this work yourself, consider finding a new REALTOR®.

Mistake #6 — Not Knowing Your Rights & Responsibilities
It is extremely important that you are well-informed of the details inyour real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally bindingdocuments, and they can often be complex and confusing. Not being awareof the terms in your contract could cost you thousands for repairs andinspections. Know what you are responsible for before signing thecontract. Can the property be sold “as is”? How will deed restrictionsand local zoning laws will affect your transaction? Not knowing theanswers to these kind of questions could end up costing you aconsiderable amount of money.

Mistake #7 — Limiting the Marketing and Advertising of the Property
Your REALTOR® should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques. YourREALTOR® should also be committed to selling your property; he or sheshould be available for every phone call from a prospective buyer. Mostcalls are received, and open houses are scheduled, during businesshours, so make sure that your REALTOR® is working on selling your homeduring these hours. Chances are that you have a job, too, so you may notbe able to get in touch with many potential buyers.

Featured Properties


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