Getting Started in Real Estate Investing in Seven Basic Steps

Published on Mar 16, 2013

http://www.biggerpockets.com/ubg Do you want to invest in real estate, but don’t know how to get started? This video is going to walk you through the seven steps you need to understand in order to find success as you begin investing in real estate.

This video was created using information from the BiggerPockets Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing – which you can get for free at http://www.BiggerPockets.com/ubg.

What is ‘Investment Real Estate

Investment real estate is real estate that generates income or is otherwise intended for investment purposes rather than as a primary residence. It is common for investors to own multiple pieces of real estate, one of which serves as a primary residence, while the others are used to generate rental income and profits through price appreciation. The tax implications for investment real estate are often different than those for residential real estate.

BREAKING DOWN ‘Investment Real Estate’

Common examples of investment properties are apartment buildings and rental houses, in which the owners do not live in the residential units, but use them to generate ongoing rental income from tenants. Those who invest in real estate also expect to generate capital gains as property values increase over time.

Read more: Investment Real Estate Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/investmentrealestate.asp#ixzz4YlHGt6x5
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Save Money With HARP | Quicken Loans

Published on Oct 10, 2016

Do you want to refinance but have low or no equity? You could be eligible to refinance with the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) even if you’ve been denied in the past. HARP’s easy qualification requirements and streamlined refinance process have made it possible for nearly 3.5 million Americans to take advantage of today’s low rates since the program began in 2009.* To find out if you qualify for HARP, call us today at 800-QUICKEN or visit QuickenLoans.com/HARP-Program.

*As of April 2016, more than 3.4 million households had refinanced using HARP according the Federal Housing Finance Agency refinance report, April 2016.

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PMI Advantage | Quicken Loans Education

Published on Oct 10, 2014

Quicken Loans announces the PMI Advantage, a new and exclusive program that can save you thousands in mortgage insurance payments, compared to traditional PMI. It allows you to enjoy the home of your dreams without having to put 20% down. With PMI Advantage , you’ll accept a slightly higher mortgage rate and eliminate monthly mortgage insurance payments, which often add up to several hundred dollars a month. By choosing PMI Advantage, not only will you never have to make a monthly mortgage insurance payment, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of mortgage interest tax deductions. Private mortgage insurance is no longer tax deductible. To find out how much you can save with PMI Advantage, go to http://www.quickenloans.com/home-loan… or call 800-QUICKEN.

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What is Mortgage Escrow? | Quicken Loans Education

Published on Nov 25, 2014

Mortgage escrow is when a mortgage servicing company creates an account for a mortgage holder and then uses that account to pay property taxes and homeowner insurance. Usually, escrow is collected monthly and paid out when the various bills are due. It’s a valuable service that mortgage servicers provide clients and it insures a client will never be without insurance or fall behind on taxes. Watch the video to learn more or go to http://www.quickenloans.com/blog.

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The Difference Between Mortgage Rates and APR


Published on Feb 24, 2015
What’s the difference between a mortgage rate and an APR? It’s one of the most common questions we get at the Quicken Loans Zing Blog. Kevin Ruzylo, a senior training consultant, explains the finer points of mortgage rates and APRs. The mortgage rate is the percent that the mortgage lender charges you for borrowing their money. The APR, or annual percentage rate, is the percent you pay to borrow the money, annualized over the life of your loan and including all costs associated with the loan. Annualization means to convert something to an annual rate, even if it’s not originally something paid annually. For example, you pay $4,000 in closing costs and fees one time when you get a mortgage. That cost is then annualized into your APR by taking consideration how many payments you’ll make annually (12) and how many years you’ll make those payments (30, for example). Based on the number of payments, the closing cost are converted into a percentage that is added to your initial rate, which then gives you your APR. It’s a measure that a consumer can use to get a true idea of the cost of borrowing money. One thing to consider: Make sure you compare the same terms (such as 30-year to a 30-year, or 15-year to a 15-year) when comparing APRs. If you don’t, the numbers could vary widely and you wouldn’t be able to accurately understand the difference in overall costs. For more information go to http://www.quickenloans.com/blog/ or call 800-QUICKEN.

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Understanding Home Appraisal Adjustments | Quicken Loans Education


Published on Aug 26, 2016
Appraisal adjustments are one method home appraisers use to help determine the fair market value of your home. An appraisal adjustment is the process of identifying recently sold homes in your area and then estimating what those homes would have sold for if they had all the same characteristics as your home. To learn more about real estate mortgage appraisals, visit
https://www.quickenloans.com/appraisal-process

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7 Great Reasons to Own Your Own Home

You’ve probably seen lots of financial arguments about why you should own your own home rather than rent. This includes budgeting (no rent increases) and the tax savings you’ll most likely have. Now I’m going to give you some reasons you probably haven’t heard.

1. Freedom to pursue other goals in life once the major goal of home ownership is achieved

Strange as it sounds, many of my first-time buyers have told me that once they bought the house, other things in their life started to fall into place. It’s as if not owning took so much of their mental energy that other goals were not worked on until that big goal was reached. So buy a home and get on with your life!

2. A greater sense of belonging to the community

Once you own a home, you feel more attached to the city in which you live. You’re more interested in what happens in town, to the roads, schools, and shopping areas. Some people even become involved in local politics, which you seldom see a renter do.

3. A commitment to something, a sense of stability

Home ownership is an anchor, something that cannot be pulled out from under you. You’ll never get a notice that you have to move. You’re kids will never have to change schools. It gives you freedom to plan years ahead.

4. You can change things, a feeling of being in control

It’s your home. You can add to it, remodel it, change the landscaping, do whatever projects you want. You have a feeling of being in control of something in your life. At work we don’t always have control of what happens, but your home is your castle that you have dominion over. You can see what you’re building take shape before your eyes.

5. More control over the children than in an apartment complex

In a neighborhood, kids usually play in the yards or go to friend’s houses a few doors away. My clients have told me that in an apartment complex they never knew where the kids were. They could be in any of hundreds of apartments, doing who knows what. In a home you get to know the neighbors and watch out for each other’s kids.

6. Children do better in school and feel more secure

This one surprised me, but buyers have reported to me that their kids calmed down in school after they bought a house. I don’t know why, but it seems to work that way. I remember a single mom watching her son play in the yard, making steps in the slope and building things. She didn’t have to tell him to leave everything alone, like she did at the apartment complex. I guess kids feel the same need for control we adults do.

7. Time and money saved by not going to the Laundromat

A small point, but if you have kids, you know the value of this one. You gain a whole evening a week when you buy a house! The wash gets done in between other things, or while you’re at work. What would you do with the extra evening you’ll have? How about going out for dessert with your spouse with all those quarters?

We’ve been in a home of our own for so long; we take these benefits for granted. We forget what it’s like to be a renter! If you have anything you can add to the list, please let me know via email. I’d love to hear from you!

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Common Selling Mistakes

MISTAKE #1 — PLACING THE WRONG PRICE ON YOUR PROPERTY

Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her product. Ironically, the best way to do this is NOT to list your product at an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. Also, it may lead other buyers to expect more than what you have to offer. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time 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 an untruthfully high price. Often, lenders estimate the value of your property to be higher than it actually is in order to encourage re-financing. The market value of your home could actually be lower. Your best bet is to ask your realtor for the most recent information regarding property sales in your community. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.

MISTAKE #3 — FAILING TO “SHOWCASE”

In spite of how frequently this mistake is addressed and how simple it is to avoid, its prevalence is still widespread. When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable. A poorly kept home in need of repairs will surely lower the selling price of your property and will even turn away some buyers.

MISTAKE #4 – TRYING TO “HARD SELL” WHILE SHOWING

Buying a house is always an emotional and difficult decision. As a result, you should try to allow prospective buyers to comfortably examine your property. Don’t try haggling or forcefully selling. Instead, be friendly and hospitable. A good idea would be to point out any subtle amenities and be receptive to questions.

MISTAKE #5 – TRYING TO SELL TO LOOKERS

A prospective buyer who shows interest because of a “for sale” sign he saw may not really be interested in your property. Often buyers who do not come through a realtor are a good 6-9 months away from buying, and they are more interested in seeing what is out there than in actually making a purchase. They may still have to sell their house, or may not be able to afford a house yet. They may still even be unsure as to whether or not they want to relocate. Your realtor should be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere lookers. Realtors should usually find out a prospective buyer’s savings, credit rating, and purchasing power in general. If your realtor fails to find out this pertinent information, you should do some investigating and questioning on your own. This will help 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 — BEING IGNORANT OF YOUR RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES

It is extremely important that you are well-informed of the details in your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally binding documents, and they can often be complex and confusing. Not being aware of the terms in your contract could cost you thousands for repairs and inspections. Know what your are responsible for before signing the contract. Can the property be sold “as is”? How will deed restrictions and local zoning laws affect your transaction? Not knowing the answers to these kind of questions could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.

MISTAKE #7 – SIGNING A CONTRACT WITH NO ESCAPE

Hopefully you will have taken the time to choose the best realtor for you. But sometimes, as we all know, circumstances change. Perhaps you misjudged your realtor, or perhaps the realtor has other priorities on his or her mind. In any case, you should have the right to fire your agent. Also, you should have the right to select another agent of your choosing. Many real estate companies will simply replace an agent with another one, without consulting you. Be sure to have control over your situation before signing a real estate contract.

MISTAKE #8 – LIMITING THE MARKETING AND ADVERTISING OF THE PROPERTY

There are two obvious marketing tools that nearly every seller uses: open houses and classified ads. Unfortunately, these two tools are rather ineffective. Less than 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and less than 3% are sold because of classified ads. In fact, realtors often use open houses to attract future prospects, not to sell the house. Your realtor should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques. Your realtor should also be committed to selling your property; he or she should be available for every phone call from a prospective buyer. Most calls are received, and open houses are scheduled, during business hours, so make sure that your realtor is working on selling your home during these hours. Chances are that you have a job, too, so you may not be able to get in touch will many potential buyers.

MISTAKE #9 – CHOOSING THE WRONG REALTOR®

Selling your home could be the most important financial transaction in your lifetime. As a result, it is extremely important that you select the realtor that is best for you. Experienced real estate agents often cost as much as brand new agents. Chances are that the experienced agent will be able to bring you a higher price in less time and with fewer hassles. Take your time when selecting a real estate agent. Interview several agents; ask them key questions. If you want to make your selling experience the best it can be, it is crucial that you select the best agent for you.

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9 Deadly Mistakes Homesellers Make

Some of our clients have to sell before they buy, here are 9 great tips to selling your home.

MISTAKE #1. USING A REAL ESTATE AGENT INSTEAD OF A REALTOR

When you’re looking for help buying or selling property, it’s important to remember that the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are not synonymous. Realtors can provide an extra level of service and to be a Realtor you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The equivalent organization in Canada is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Both are non-profit trade organizations that promote real estate information, education and professional standards. The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.

The NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers. Realtor business practices are monitored at local board levels.

Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or board members. This local oversight keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve and therefore the consumer is more likely to find better service and accountability by using a Realtor.

MISTAKE #2. COMPLACENT MARKETING WHEN SELLING A HOME

When selling your home there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyer of your home will have simply walked through the front door. In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer. Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer in the shortest period of time.

Ask your Realtor to list for you all of the ways he/she intends to market your home and on what time-line. Also, be sure to ask about the home being advertised on the Internet.

MISTAKE #3. TAKING FOR GRANTED THE “CURB APPEAL” OF YOUR HOME

When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions. A buyer’s first impression can make or break whether they even want to go inside for a look. It is estimated that more than half of all houses are sold before the buyers even get out of their cars.

With that in mind, be sure to stand outside of your home and take a realistic “fresh look” and then ask yourself what can be done to make the “curb appeal” improve. Also ask your Realtor’s opinion as to how to improve the curb appeal. It could make a huge difference in your final sales price.

MISTAKE #4. FORGETTING ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES

Be upfront and disclose to your Realtor any problems with the property. The problems are going to be discovered anyway. A decade ago, health and safety issues were rarely a part of the typical real estate transaction. Today, however, it’s common for inspections relating to health, safety, and even environmental concerns to be a part of most sales contracts.

Moreover, in many states, the seller must disclosure to the buyer any knowledge of existing property problems. In many cases, these issues have been or can be factored into the home’s listing price.

MISTAKE #5. FORGETTING WHAT YOU WOULD WANT TO SEE IF YOU WERE THE BUYER OF YOUR HOME

Remember that although people can be different in personality, they tend to be the same when it comes to expectations at someone else’s expense. In other words, a prospective buyer would probably like to see a perfect home from top to bottom, inside and out, when it comes to your home. Try to do as many of the following items as possible to improve the likelihood of your home sale in an expedient way.

On the outside 1) Sweep front walkway. 2) Remove newspapers, bikes and toys. 3) Park extra cars away from the property. 4) Trim back the shrubs. 5) Apply fresh, clean paint throughout. 6) Clean windows and window coverings throughout.
7) Keep plumbing and all appliances in working order. 8) Maintain all sealant (window, tub, shower, sink, etc.) in good condition. 9) Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition. 10) Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers. 11) Keep pet areas clean.

On the inside 1) The kitchen and bathroom should shine. 2) Quick once-over with the vacuum; carpets should be clean. 3) Place fresh flowers in the main rooms. 4) Put dishes away, unless setting a formal display for decoration. 5) Make all beds and put all clothes away. 6) Open the drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel. 7) Straighten closets. 8) Put toys away. 9) Turn off television. 10) Play soft music on the radio/stereo. 11) Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free. 12) Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables. 13) Enhance the spaciousness of each room.

MISTAKE #6. THINKING YOU NEED TO BE IN THE HOME TO EXPLAIN THINGS TO A PROSPECTIVE BUYER

You will be better served if you allow your Realtor to do their job without you there. Most potential buyers usually feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to the real estate professional without the owners being present.

If people unaccompanied by an agent request to see your property, you should refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment.

MISTAKE #7. NOT KNOWING HOW TO PRICE YOUR HOME TO SELL

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price. It’s one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate agent can more than pay for itself. Listing the home too high can be as bad as too low. If the listing price is too high, you’ll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the price range where your home should be.

This is the flaw in thinking that you’ll always have the opportunity to accept a lower offer. Chances are the offers won’t even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price and aren’t even taking the time to look.

By the time the price is corrected, you’ve already lost exposure to a large group of potential buyers. The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling. It’s critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving – both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer. Again, an experienced, well-trained agent is always in touch with market trends – often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as-is, right now.

MISTAKE #8. NOT PLANNING YOUR MOVE EARLIER ENOUGH

Many sellers simply don’t plan their move early enough and then feel totally overwhelmed at the time of moving out of the house. If you are able to move at any time of the year, don’t wait until summer, the peak-moving season.

Consider also that the first and last few days of the month are extra busy. If you plan to sell your house, get it on the market as soon as possible. Keep a record of all expenses related to the move, some of which may be tax deductible.

Fill out the Personal Household Inventory for each room. This is important for establishing the amount of declared valuation for the shipment and as a permanent inventory for insurance purposes. List, as nearly as possible, the year of purchase and original cost of each item. Attach any invoices or records of purchase to the completed inventory.

Prepare a separate high-value inventory if the shipment will contain articles of “extraordinary” value. The following list includes items that might fall into this category:

* Antiques * Art Collections * Cameras * China Collections * Computer Equipment * Crystal * Figurines * Firearms * Jewelry * Manuscripts * Oriental Rugs * Silver * Stones Or Gems * Tapestries * TVs Or Stereos

Also, unless you have been given a binding moving estimate where a firm cost is established in advance, the exact cost of a move cannot be determined until after the shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed.

The weight on which charges are based is calculated by weighing the van before and after loading. The total cost of the move will include transportation charges, any charges for declared valuation, plus charges for any extra services performed at your request.

All of these charges are based on tariff rate schedules.

MISTAKE #9. USING A “CONVENIENT” REALTOR RATHER THAN USING AN EXPERIENCED REALTOR

When working with a real estate agent, it’s critical that you have full confidence in that agent’s experience and education. A skilled, knowledgeable agent should be able to explain to you exactly why your home needs to be priced at a certain level – compared to recent listings and sales of homes similar to yours.

Experienced agents also know exactly what the current pool of buyers are looking for in relation to particular styles and price ranges of properties. A skilled agent can recommend changes that will enhance the salability of your home, thus increasing the price – and/or decreasing the length of time before a sale.

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Exclusive buyer’s agents work only for consumers and often can save them money.

Cover of "Buying a Home (Essential Financ...

Cover of Buying a Home (Essential Finance)

Exclusive buyer‘s agents work only for consumers and often can save them money… [they] are not tied to any particular property or agency, so they will show buyers any home, even those for sale by owner. Los Angeles Times. “Collections” January 07,1996 http://articles.latimes.com/1996-01-07/realestate/re-22075_1_traditional-agents

Source: Buyers Agents, Buyer Brokers, Buying a Home

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