Category Archives: Real Estate

About to Start My New Job

I just got to Nevada a couple of days ago. One of my friends had told me about this job managing a kitchen in a casino and he put in a good word for me in the interview. I am pretty sure that he was able to convince the manager to hire me, as the two of them are golfing buddies . At any rate it is a good paying job and I was eager to make a change. The first thing I have to do is look around for apartments in Henderson NV, obviously it would be best if I could find one relatively close to the casino.

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.

The Details For Your Real Estate

No two real estate agreements are the same, the result of the infinite amount of twists and turns any purchase agreement can take. The intricacies of your own property will be unique to you but there are some common themes that can be applied to a purchase agreement to ensure that both buyer and seller are protected.

For home buyers, there are a slew of clauses that can be included in any contract to provide some extra aspects of the contract that could very well come in handy down the road. They could be clauses to save you money or clauses to allow you to get out of the contract without penalty and your realtor will offer up these clauses as applicable in your case if they indeed are.

It is entirely acceptable to make your offer contingent on some other action. In many cases, financial contingencies dictate that a real estate transaction is agreed to only if the buyer can secure financing for the deal. In some cases, this can turn a seller off if another offer is on the table that has no financial contingencies. If you are at all worried about either getting financed for enough money or about a home being offered on before you can push financing approval through, a financial contingency clause is one option for you.

Inspection contingencies can be common in some areas of the country and dictate that the buyer gets a chance to bring in an inspection professional or other consultation to tour the home and point out any weaknesses or issues that may need to be addressed. If issues are found, those can then become part of the negotiation of price or other terms of the contract.

Earnest money clauses can offer to a seller a bump up in earnest money if and when an offer is accepted. To communicate that interest in a real estate property is sincere, a buyer will often put down money in escrow as a good faith effort. By including a clause in the contract for earnest money to go up upon acceptance, that gives the seller a way to make a good faith effort in accepting the offer while still seeing a benefit in added earnest money, communicating an even more serious desire to buy the property.

Of course, the seller has every right to dispute anything in the contract, but that is all part of the negotiation of a deal. It is entirely possible that a particular part of the contract could become a sticking point and discussions will have to be made at that time, but that is what your realtor is for and there is usually some value in including clauses you deem important, even if they could be disputed later.

The best advice is to sit down with your realtor and make clear the clauses or conditions that are important to you. As with all twists and turns in a real estate deal, it is important that as a buyer you feel comfortable with all aspects of the purchase. The contract is perhaps the most important step, so be sure to investigate all of your options with your realtor.

Confidence tumbles

Consumers are less confident about the economy in October than last month, citing that, among other things, business conditions are bad, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey conducted by The Conference Board by Nielsen, a provider of information and analytics around what consumers buy and watch.

The index decreased to 98.6, down from September’s post-recession high of 103.5. The Present Situation Index decreased from last month’s 127.9 to 120.6, and the Expectations index decreased from 87.2 last month to 83.9.

In 1985, the index was set to 100, representing the index’s benchmark. This value is adjusted monthly based on results of a household survey of consumers’ opinions on current conditions and future economic expectations. Opinions on current conditions make up 40% of the index, while expectations of future conditions make up 60%.

“Consumer confidence retreated in October, after back-to-back monthly gains,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board director of economic indicators. “Consumers’ assessment of current business and employment conditions softened, while optimism regarding the short-term outlook retreated somewhat.”

“However, consumers’ expectations regarding their income prospects in the coming months were relatively unchanged,” Franco said. “Overall, sentiment is that the economy will continue to expand in the near-term, but at a moderate pace.”

Consumers who say business conditions are good decreased from 27.7% to 26.2%, and those saying conditions are bad increased from 15.8% to 17.7%.

They are also less optimistic about the labor market, with 24.3% saying jobs are plentiful, compared to 27.6% last month. Those who said jobs are hard to get, however, declined slightly from 22.3% to 22.1%.

Looking ahead, consumers were not very optimistic about the market in the short-term. Those saying they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months decreased from 17% to 16%, and those saying conditions would worsen increased from 10.8% to 12.2%.

Those saying more jobs will come in the months ahead decreased from 15.7% to 13.1%. On the other hand, those saying there will be fewer jobs in the months ahead also decreased from 18.1% to 17%. Those saying they expect an increase in income held steady at 17.5%, but those saying they expect a decrease in income declined from 10.4% to 9.8%.

“The drop in the expectations index may be a sign that the presidential election, which is now only two weeks away, is finally starting to worry some households, but it is clearly only a minor concern,” Capital Economics Economist Andrew Hunter said.

This decrease falls in line with other measures of consumer confidence.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment decreased to 87.9 at the beginning of October, its lowest level since last September and the second lowest level in the past two years, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan.

Consumers are taking a more cautious approach to their view of the economy, according to the latest Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

Motivated Is Your Seller

When purchase prices for homes escalate into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes a $10,000 difference in an offer price can seem like a small variation, but $10,000 is $10,000. As you go through the process of making mortgage payments, you will no doubt wish you could shave a few months off of your payment term, which is exactly what shaving $10,000 or more will net you.

One of the prime ways of doing so is to locate a seller that is truly motivated to sell a property, sometimes at a minor expense in return for a speedy, smooth transaction. Making low offers is something all realtors have probably done in the past, though it can sometimes seem like a slap in the face to send a below-list offer.

The prospect of saving $10,000 or more should take that embarrassment out of the equation and motivate you to explore all avenues for saving money. There are a few ways to spot motivated sellers that might be more apt to accept an offer below list price than they otherwise would.

Everyone Sells For A Reason
One of the best ways to investigate the motives of your seller is to simply ask. That might seem like a common sense approach, but people often go through entire real estate transactions without asking even the most simple questions about who they are purchasing a very expensive item from.

Your realtor or the seller’s realtor may have that kind of information at hand and while they might have reason to guard it, more often than not they will make polite conversation about what a seller’s plans are. At open houses especially, realtors may make the effort to chat with you, sometimes answering such questions, in hopes of getting you interested in the property. Let that eagerness work for you and get the information you need that might help you.

There are quite a few situations that might result in a motivated seller, but perhaps the most common are relocations, divorces and financial troubles. As you can imagine, if a seller is involved in any of these three situations, it is probable that speed is an issue and sometimes that speed is worth a bit of a discount on the list price of the real estate property.

Relocations especially can split a seller’s attention between two locations, greatly motivating the seller to quickly get rid of an old property to focus on a new one. That split focus can be your gain with a big of a discounted offer that nonetheless represents a quick chance to be done with the real estate.

Each Property Has Its Own Traits
More than just investigating a seller, you can investigate a particular property as well to perhaps indicate a seller that is tired of a particular piece of real estate. For example, properties that are not kept up as well, rental properties especially, could indicate that a seller is tired of dealing with a property and is more motivated to sell quickly, even if at a small discount.

If you want to go the extra mile and go through county tax records, it is entirely possible to find properties where sellers have home addresses far away from the property in question. In those cases, sellers that live far away are usually selling property that they can no longer maintain from a distance and have grown tired caring for. These are perhaps the best candidate to accept an offer below list price as they are tired of the hassle of maintaining a long-distance piece of real estate.

No matter your tactic, there are sellers out there that want desperately to sell you a piece of real estate. Do your homework and investigate just why a seller is doing so and why a particular property is on the market. Those two bits of information could produce the difference between a list-price offer for a piece of real estate and an accepted offer below list price.

Property Connection In The City

Buying a new home is an exciting prospect that consists of purchasing not just a place to live but in some cases a whole new way of life. A fresh lawn, a new place to call home, all of it comes with a home purchase. However, the purchase entails more than just building materials and pavement.

Like it or not, buying a piece of property ties a home owner into the city, both in a social and financial link. As the financial state of the city around your property changes, so to does the potential equity level of your property. If a builder surrounds your high value property with low value developments, that can have an irrevocable effect on your significant investment.

Using that knowledge can help you as you go through the process of picking a home and picking an area to live in. As you look at homes, inquire to either your real estate agent or other expert what the surrounding environment is like. Has the commercial fate of the surrounding area improved lately? Have homes decreased in value over time? These are extremely valuable questions to ask.

Current Trends
Understanding the current state of the neighborhood around your potential home is a crucial part of the real estate process. While many people spend time investigating things like the quality of the school district or cleanliness of the neighborhood, not everyone investigates the financial state of the surrounding area and the general flow of population in and out of the region.

Are the businesses in the area of a potential home faring well? Have commercial developments seen a lot of turnover? While it may seem like an unrelated development, if businesses start migrating away from a potential area, the prospect of an eye sore abandoned strip mall increases. An abandoned strip mall may seem like a small portion of an entire local economy, but it is a symptom of economic decay that potential buyers are constantly reminded of as they drive to showings.

Just as this enters into your own determination, so too will it enter into the determinations of potential buyers as they research homes in your area. As buyers are deterred from your area, prices will have to be lowered to attract new residents and that decrease will affect the value of your property.

Future Development
While the current economic state of your area certainly plays a role, the future value of your property is even more important as it will dictate the sale price of your property when it comes time to sell. In addition, future development can be very difficult to forecast, leading to a lot of uncertainty over how a home will fare.

There are a few things you can take into account when you try to forecast the economic future of your investment. Population statistics are available for the United States that can tell you the amount of people that have come to and left a particular area. If people are leaving, an area is likely to see an economic downturn and that can affect your property value. Your realtor can also be a good resource in this regard as time spent buying and selling properties can build up a high level of expertise in pinpointing when areas are beginning to hit a downturn.

So, as you go through the process of choosing a new home for you and your family, keep in mind that when you pick a home, you pick its immediate neighborhood too. With the considerable amount of money you are likely to pour into a mortgage, you need to protect your investment as best you can. To do that, understanding what might be the financial future and financial present of the surrounding area can give you valuable information as you choose your new home.