Is the Winter the Best Season to Make an Investment?

Is the Winter the Best Season to Make an Investment?

Real estate agents have long known that the winter months provide a slight softening in the prices of homes. This is due to a number of factors. One is the simple fact that people, especially those in the more northern regions of the country, do not want to deal with the many hassles of moving when they have potentially sub-zero and blizzard-like conditions to contend with. Another factor is that people who have kids of school age typically will avoid removing their kids from a given school halfway through the year.

But even higher-end properties and condominiums tend to see slight reductions in prices over the winter months. More importantly, real estate prices almost never rise throughout the winter even in years with significant appreciation. The universality of this trend across the entire gamut of real estate offerings means that for those who can deal with the impositions of buying a new home between November and March, doing so may have some nice rewards.

recent article went through some of the hard evidence that there is a secular decline in home prices throughout the winter months. The most compelling of these pieces of evidence is an index known as the Case-Schiller Price Index, which tracks general real estate prices throughout the country, independent of the underlying composition of the property types that are selling.This index provides a way to adjust for the seasonal composition of home types, which can vary quite a bit. It shows that, even adjusted for the types of properties that are sold, there is a clear secular decline in home prices throughout the winter months. And this can often amount to a three to five percent savings for homebuyers that are willing to close transactions in this period.

Of particular interest is the fact that the Case-Schiller Price Index almost never increases throughout the winter months. And this is true even in years that have experienced tremendous appreciation in home prices, like 2012. This means that in years where sharp appreciation in home prices is likely, buying between November and March could save buyers more than 10 percent on their purchase price.

This is a good strategy to keep in mind, especially for those who may need to buy using a mortgage. 10 percent differences in the purchase price can make a huge difference in the overall returns on investment.

Waterfront Property: What to Avoid When Investing

Waterfront Property: What to Avoid When Investing

Buying a luxurious waterfront property will reap the long-term rewards of enjoyment on the property. With that said, people must understand a few key facts to know what they must avoid when buying beautiful waterfront properties. Waterfront properties can turn into a hassle if not bought under the right conditions. From the ongoing battle with rust and mold to being in a potential flood zone, waterfront properties can present a number of challenges. Potential home buyers must do their due diligence to make a solid real estate investment.

#1: Failure to Examine the Bulkheads

The bulkheads require a specialist to inspect the bulkheads because this protects the property from the water. Bulkheads could be logs, large stones or a concrete slab. Ensuring its integrity from the start is a great way to protect a real estate investment.

#2: Not Preparing the Financing

Before an individual goes out to buy a waterfront property, they should first understand how the financing must be there. Waterfront property classifies under a specialty loan, and they will normally cost more than a regular property. Because of this, home buyers shouldn’t wait until the last minute to try to put the financing together because it will cost more.

#3: Not Checking That It Can Withstand Harsh Weather

Waterfront property will normally put up with more abuse than a regular home because it sits on a waterfront. Because of this, the property could face more wear and tear from mother nature. Check to see that the property uses stainless steel, and they have storm shutters for the home.

#4: Not Securing the Right Property Insurance

When an individual owns waterfront property, they must secure the right type of property insurance to protect themselves. Living near the water opens the home to the potential for flooding, so an individual should have the right kind of flood insurance to protect them. Not to mention, they should look carefully at the terms of the flood insurance. Insurance often comes down to someone’s level of risk tolerance, but when someone owns waterfront property, flood insurance is a must.

These are a few things that people should avoid when it comes to buying a waterfront property. These mistakes can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars. Many times, when someone goes to buy a property like this, they feel excited to own it, but they have to keep their wits about them and examine it carefully.

4 West Coast Cities That Are Worth Your Real Estate Investment

4 West Coast Cities That Are Worth Your Real Estate Investment

With its sprawling natural wilderness set next to cities booming with high-tech business ventures, West Coast cities are increasingly viewed as a real estate entrepreneur’s dream come true when it comes to outstanding investment opportunities. Here are just four great cities with amazing potential for investors looking for properties that will provide healthy profits and rising value in the years to come.

1. Portland, Oregon
Smaller and more approachable than its sibling cities Seattle and San Francisco, Portland still has a booming real estate market thanks to its quality of life and its setting as the headquarters for industry titans like Nike and Intel. Portland is especially popular for young people, who have moved to the city in droves for its vicinity to natural wonders such as Mt. Hood and the Oregon coast and its numerous bookstores, coffee shops, and fine dining restaurants.

2. San Francisco, California
With its proximity to Silicon Valley and Stanford University, San Francisco is a powerhouse location for the tech world, with tech billionaires driving a market for great real estate opportunities and wonderful standards of living. With its beautiful views and charming hillside apartment buildings, San Francisco should be at the top of any real estate investor’s list for high-value opportunities.

3. Seattle, Washington
The birthplace of Microsoft and Starbucks, Seattle truly has it all for savvy real estate investors: A large professional class eager to move to the city for its stunning natural wonders and high culture, and a real estate market that is set to continue its astounding arc in value as companies like Amazon move to the city for its tech-friendly culture and high standard of living.

4. Napa, California
When most people think of Napa Valley, they think of sprawling vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants. The high quality of life in Napa, the largest city in the region, is driving a booming real estate market that provides incredible deals for entrepreneurs aiming to rent out properties. The added bonus of owning property one of the most beautiful regions in America is also a big plus for investors!

For these reasons, the West Coast is home to some of the hottest real estate markets in the world. For the right investor, the region presents unbelievable opportunities for growth and personal satisfaction in the foreseeable future. Combining high quality of life and an entrepreneurial spirit that fostered business geniuses like Bill Gates, Howard Schultz, and Steve Jobs, the West Coast truly has it all. For real estate entrepreneurs, that is business done right!

Making Real Estate Investments in a Competitive Market

Making Real Estate Investments in a Competitive Market

Building a profitable real estate portfolio is a proven way to attain financial freedom. However, finding profitable investments on a continuous basis is a challenge, especially in red-hot housing markets. When demand is greater than supply, housing prices rise causing many investors to struggle with finding those lucrative discounted properties. Here are some tips that will help investors find profitable deals in competitive markets.

Search for Less Competitive Markets 

Although the housing market is hot in many locations, there are still regions in the U.S. where competition is minimal and prices are low. However, to find these markets, investors will need to step outside their comfort zone and look for areas where they do not normally invest. The Midwest, the Deep South, and some Southwestern locations are still affordable. Additionally, these regions are at the least amount of risk to see deep losses in value if the housing market does tank. Because properties in these regions are affordable and are typically not subject to the regular up and down cycles of appreciation and depreciation, investors can find profitable properties that can help them shore up their portfolios.

Look for “Quick Flips” 

Finding a property that produces huge profits in a competitive market is a rarity. Therefore, many successful investors turn to “quick flips.” Essentially, they scale down the size of their projects and look for smaller investments that produce smaller returns. Foreclosures, short sales, and distressed properties will always sell at discounted prices in any market, so it should not be any trouble finding properties at reasonable prices that investors can flip in a short time frame.

Narrow Searches to “Off Market Properties” 

The bottom line in today’s real estate market is many sellers want to market their properties privately. Instead of all the headaches of dealing with an aggressive marketing strategy, some sellers just want to go through the process quietly. This is good news for real estate investors who are struggling to find quality deals with “on market” properties. To find quality off-market deals, investors should contact agents in their chosen regions and ask for information about properties for sale that are not listed on the MLS. A few other tried and true methods to find profitable deals is through networking, word of mouth or to just keep looking around.

Keeping these tips in mind when you are looking to make your next investment in this competitive market, will make your next investment a breeze.

How Flipping Houses Is Profitable For Investors

How Flipping Houses Is Profitable For Investors

Television reality shows, like Flip This House, give a skewed impression of the reality of flipping a house. Unfortunately, many new investors jump right in, believing they will make those big paydays. They often end up disappointed and taking huge losses. While every house won’t sell for as much as reality television implies, there is still money to be made, if you act wisely.
How Much of a Profit Can You Really Expect?
It’s difficult to give an accurate estimate because the only way to measure this is by looking at all home sales. The sales in a given region within a specified time frame provide the general home sale price for properties in that area. For instance, ATTOM reports that housing sales averaged $65,520 in the second quarter of this year, but that number doesn’t differentiate between fix and flip investments and other residential sales.
When going directly to investors for information, it’s estimated that they make an average of $30,000 on each fix and flip. This is acknowledging that some investments may bring in less, while others may bring in more. It depends on the overall value of the home, the resources invested in its renovation, and the health of the market in that area.
How Can You Maximize Your Potential Profits?
While you may not be able to do much about the health of the market, you can act to affect the home’s value by renovating wisely. The real trick is to spend as little as possible on repairing the property and getting it back on the market quickly. As a general rule, the more time you spend fixing up a property, the bigger the chance that something major will eat up your resources.
One thing to keep in mind is not to update features that won’t boost the home’s resale value. When a buyer is interested in the property, their lender will send an appraiser out to inspect the property. If the appraiser doesn’t agree with your estimate of the home’s value, you’ll likely lose money on those upgrades. It’s a good idea to consult a realtor, or a private appraiser, for insight into the upgrades you want to make.
Overall, you will want to keep upgrades simple and cost-effective. Bear in mind that major upgrades may not appeal to homebuyers, who will likely remodel to add their own style, anyway. Look for properties that can be made sale-ready with just some simple and relatively cheap improvements to maximize your return on investment.