Monthly Archives: August 2016

Perfect house for perfect live

images-50When the time finally comes to make a move to a new home, families can often times be on one hand extremely excited about the prospect of shopping for a home and on the other hand be unsure as to how to start the process. There are a few important steps that should be taken in any home-buying process to ensure a smooth real estate transaction.

Know What You Want
If you’re upgrading from your current home, odds are you have a good reason. Perhaps your family has grown too large for your old home or perhaps a bump in income has given you the ability to upgrade any of the features of your home. You know why you want to move, now write those reasons down on paper.

When you come to a real estate agent or decide to go out on your own, knowing the kind of square footage you might be looking for, the number of bedrooms, the general area, the school district and other requirements will quickly narrow down your search to homes that are the most relevant to you. By having a good handle on the type of home you’re looking to buy, you cut out a lot of the guess work and wasted time that can take place in the early going.

Pick the Right Real Estate Agent
The best real estate agent is not always the one with his face on the bus bench. Publicity gets the name of particular realtors and realty companies out into the public, but publicity does not always translate into the time and care it takes to make sure you get the home buying process you’re looking for. Interview multiple realtors, asking plenty of questions each time.

You will probably be spending a large amount of time with whoever you choose, so make a wise choice. You are entrusting perhaps your biggest single possession into your realtor’s hands, so feeling comfortable with your choice will go a long way towards feeling comfortable with the process as a whole.

Take Control of the Showing Process
Shopping for homes is usually the most time-consuming portion of the home-buying process and can often leave people frustrated if they feel that they are wasting their time on improper homes. Knowing what you want comes in to play big time in this step and can trim a lot of the fat from what is out there on the home market by narrowing down the entire set on a few key pieces of information. If you see a home online or just driving by, don’t hesitate to ask you realtor to set up a showing. That’s what they’re there for so make use of them.

Don’t ever be afraid to simply drive up to a home where you have a scheduled showing and never take a step inside. This is going to be your prospective home, so factors such as the appearance of nearby homes, the area of town and accessibility to things that are important to you are all entirely legitimate reasons to not want a particular home. Communicate that to your realtor and she/he will be able to get a better idea of the type of area you are looking for. Keeping that communication going leads to better showing and less time wasted on homes that just aren’t right for you.

Rental Property

Deciding to get involved with investing in a rental property is an important decision and finding the right property for your efforts can make the difference between a profitable, successful career in rental properties and a discouraging experience that leaves you unwilling to continue on. No matter if you are looking at a rental property purchase for the first time or the 50th time, there are some key things to consider when searching out a good deal.

More Than Just The Rent
Money plays into your investment in a variety of ways, making an impact beyond simply what kind of rent payments you will be receiving. Knowing what kind of cash flow will be available through rent payments is important, but so is knowing what kind of cash you are going to put up for needed improvements or routine maintenance to the building. Whoever is selling the rental property is doing so for a reason, so make sure that high maintenance costs isn’t one of them.

The value of surrounding real estate, rental or not, can influence the kind of activity you receive at your rental property. In areas of expensive homes, rental properties will often pull in higher rental amounts even if the property isn’t up to those standards. Consumers that have their heart set on a particular area may turn to renting in the face of expensive home prices that would yield unaffordable mortgage payments.

Other rental properties in the area of course also play in to your cash flow situation and purchasing a rental property operating with rent payments below what the area is worth are great targets. Sometimes rental property owners get set in their ways with rent and avoid raising rent to scare off customers. Knowing that you can later raise a rent after purchasing a rental property is a great way to get an early jump on profitability.

Who Are You Buying From?
Understanding why someone is selling a rental property will go a long way towards understanding whether or not it is a good investment. Property owners that live far from their rental properties often get fed up with managing a property so far away and sell out of convenience. These types of sellers offer great opportunities as they are often more willing to deal in order to be rid of the obligation that they have grown tired of.

Additionally, the history of the property often reflects the history of the property owner. If you are dealing with a stable seller with a history of good rental ownership, it is probably that the property has been kept up to date with adequate repairs and improvements when necessary. Ask for all improvement records available on the property to look for a history of care taken with the property. Those that have been taken care of well will be less likely to cause headaches later.

What Does The Code Say?
Older buildings are more likely to have issues with building and fire codes. Do research not only into the age of a particular property but also into the history of updates done in regards to building and fire codes. Has anyone ever been out to inspect the property to ensure that is up to code with various local statutes? As soon as you sign on the dotted line, those obligations become yours so investigating just what issues may arise will save you from uncovering code surprises down the road.

Rental properties can be fulfilling, profitable investment opportunities, but selecting the right rental property for you is perhaps the most important step of the process. Protect yourself by asking some key questions about the property and its owner and you will avoid the pitfalls that beset many real estate investors out there.

Cheap home will be yours

When items are discounted at the grocery store, there’s always a reason. Maybe the bread is a little bit stale or the item has been discontinued. Before buying any discount produce, you should probably understand why it is being discounted. The same is true for homes and while there are many cheap homes on the market, learning why that real estate is selling for such a low price will go a long way towards telling you just how worth your effort that property may be.

There are some common reasons why property sells for a low amount or may be listed for a low price initially. Some of these reasons may indicate a home you do not want to get involved with but some may indicate a good deal. When you see a cheap piece of real estate on the market, evaluate it to see which of these situations it falls in to.

A Less-Than-Stellar Area
The location of a home affects its value profoundly and while that can mean great things for a home owner in a posh location, it can also mean suppressed real estate prices in an area that is anything but. Many people think that no matter what, real estate will increase in value. That is not necessarily true and the future fortune of a neighborhood will directly translate into whether your real estate investment or home price swings up or not.

The Fixer-Upper
We have all seen homes that simply need work. For whatever reason, the current owner has simply grown tired of updating a home and that state of disrepair translates into a steep discount in the home’s sale price. If you do not have the stomach to go through the arduous process of repairing a home, these cheap pieces of real estate are certainly not for you. If you are not scared off by the prospect of some labor, these can be great targets.

The Speed Sell
Sometimes a seller needs to sell a property fast, whether to get out of town for relocation or to quickly liquidate some assets. These types of homes present the best opportunities for prospective buyers as these pieces of real estate suggest the least amount of problems. Of course, these homes get snatched up quickly, the very goal the seller has in mind, so finding them can be a bit of a difficult prospect. The best tactic is to monitor an area of town or maintain searches on a set of criteria on a regular basis to turn up all of the new homes that get put on the market every day. The real estate market is a competitive arena, so make sure you are doing all you can to get an edge over the rest of the prospective home buyers out there.

The Mystery
The rest of the cheap homes generally fall in the mystery category and these pieces of real estate are the ones that you need to be most cautious about when investigating for a possible purchase. Homes are always cheap for a reason and there is certainly a reason buried somewhere in the floorboards. Is it near an airport? Does a railroad run through the backyard? Not all mystery homes hold mysteries that are this obvious but the seller is obligated to disclose anything that affects the value of the home, so just make sure you and your realtor ask the right questions.

Doing your homework on why a piece of real estate is selling for the price it is will go a long way towards determining the worth of a potential investment or home purchase. Cheap homes can look attractive at first glance and then lose luster with further inspection. Ask the right questions and do the right research so that you too can make that determination accurately to avoid potential headaches later.

Millennials are about to take over

This educational advantage bodes well for future homeownership rates among this generation. A study from Fannie Mae showed that the long-term benefit of a college degree outweighs the short-term burden of student loan debt when it comes to the likelihood of eventual homeownership.

The study showed that those who earned a degree without taking on student debt are the most likely to become homeowners, followed by those who graduated with debt, those who never went to college and lastly, those who took on student debt but never graduated.

So Millennials’ status as not only the largest demographic but also the most educatedgeneration ever could soon lead to abnormally high homeownership rates. That could come with a downside, however.

“The risk will be that prices will adjust to all of the demand and reduce affordability, making it more difficult,” First American Financial Corp. Chief Economist Mark Fleming told HousingWire.

“That’s why the issue of lack of inventory, whether in the form of less existing home sales than expected or a lack of right-priced new homes, is so important to the future success of the market to serve the possible tsunami of demand,” Fleming said.

Freddie Mac also thinks an influx in Millennial buyers is likely, and there is evidence this could already be starting. Existing home sales increased in September, driven mainly by a dramatic increase in first-time homebuyers, which reached the highest share of homebuyers in four years, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

How to Get Moving Insurance

download-62Packing up all of your worldly possessions can be a daunting task. Hours of packing, taping, moving and storing can leave you drained and dreading the trip across the country or across the city to your new home. After all of the expended energy, seeing damage to your goods along the way could have the real ability to push you over the edge. As a way to protect yourself, moving insurance can be a great way to take some of the sting out of potential troubles along the way.

Some estimates have stated that 20 percent of all consumers have some kind of issue during a move resulting in damage to their possessions. While large-scale moving companies are federally required by law to offer at least some insurance, it is done by the pound and anyone with an iPod knows that your possessions are often worth more than their weight indicates.

Often, homeowners insurance may offer some kind of moving protection, so before any move, it would certainly behoove you to look through your policy to see if that is the case. Research her is necessary as policies vary in what they cover. Some may offer fire protection but not transportation damage issues while others will. Investigate your plan to get a solid idea of what is covered before ever moving on to looking into purchasing additional coverage.

Of course, anytime insurance is involved, taking down an exact inventory of what you’re packing and what it’s worth will give you the basis for any future claim and the ability to accurately shop for the level of insurance that fits your belongings. If you have some free coverage as a part of your homeowners insurance, you only need to purchase extra coverage to bridge the level of your free coverage and the level of your belongings. Obviously that number cannot be known until you sit down and calculate what your belongings are worth and what portion of that amount you want insured.

That coverage is often available directly through your full-service moving company and is again based on the weight of your belongings. That can of base coverage can come in handy if you do not have the time to fully go through your belongings, but doing so will give you an idea whether the amount a moving company will pay in the event of a catastrophe will sufficiently cover the value of your belongings.

For more exact coverage, some insurance companies will offer moving insurance and if you have an insurance agent that you use for other services, inquiring into moving insurance with them would be a good idea. As with other types of insurance, pooling all of your policies with one company can sometimes give you discounts based on volume.

If your insurance company does not offer moving insurance, there are a number that do and it is a matter of research and homework to determine who will give you the best coverage at the lowest cost for the amount you need. Online resources can also play a role here and doing some searches on moving insurance can give you some quick price levels for particular amounts of coverage.

Of course, as with any type of insurance, the more quotes you get, the better off you will be. Policy details and deductible amounts will vary from company to company and the more quotes you solicit, the better your results will be. Keep in mind that with all of your possessions in one truck, a disaster could be just that, disastrous.

Even if you have faith in your moving company to get your goods to where they need to be, take a lesson from those that have seen trouble and at least investigate the prospect of insuring your goods. There are plenty of resources out there and all will help you feel better about watching that moving truck roll out of the driveway.