Investing in Real Estate Without a Property Purchase

The most obvious way to capitalize on the current booming housing market is to invest in traditional real estate opportunities. However, there is a myriad of other ways to grow your wealth through real estate by going through less risky back channels. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

 

EXPLORE NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION: Limited inventory of existing homes has led to an even bigger boom in the new home construction sector. Real estate experts expect this trend to continue for decades to come, making this industry sector a safe bet for your investment dollars.

 

PUT MONEY INTO REAL ESTATE FUNDS: As the stock market continues to see unprecedented growth, many financial experts are recommending investing in both real estate focused exchange-traded funds (ETF), as well as real estate specific mutual funds. By diversifying your accounts across a wide range of real estate markets, you will mitigate risk and have the opportunity to jump into emerging global housing markets.

 

LOOK ONLINE FOR OPPORTUNITIES: In today’s high tech market, digital is king. The real estate industry has not been left out of this trend and it seems like new online real estate companies are popping up every day. To capitalize on this emerging market, it would be wise to look into investing your real estate dollars into commercial and residential markets while receiving cash flow dividends in return.

 

INVEST IN A REAL ESTATE SPECIFIC COMPANY: Savvy investors often look to bypass the traditional real estate investments, instead choosing to place their funds into companies focused on real estate. Some examples of this type of company would be classic residential real estate companies, resorts, and timeshares.

 

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS: These REIT’s are a popular way to put your money into this strong housing market without having to hold any physical property. This strategy is also an ideal way for novices to the field of real estate to get their feet wet and learn about the market without taking on the risk of buying property or having to learn how to be a property manager. Because REIT’s are required by law to provide a minimum of 90 percent of their taxable income to shareholder dividends, investors are guaranteed cash flow.

 

Invest in Real Estate on a Budget

Mark Twain famously advised, “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” For most of modern history, this has been sage advice. Now, more than ever, following this advice can often lead to big investment returns.

 

The stock market has seen a nine-year run up. Many experts expect a correction. Cryptocurrency has been hot, but it’s speculative and risky. Bitcoin and its brethren are no place to park money you are counting on for the future. What if you want more safety but a decent, predictable return?

 

Real estate investing provides the perfect solution. It provides real returns without the risk of a chunk of your cash disappearing overnight. However, many potential investors fail to realize that you can get started in real estate with as little as a few hundred dollars.

 

As noted in an article on Penny Hoarder, real estate starter portfolios, such as the Fundrise Starter Portfolio, have investment minimums of just $500, at a time. Investors buy shares of a diverse real estate portfolio that encompasses rental properties, land investments, commercial real estate, and other large projects. Investors have access to a dashboard that shows the properties they are invested in and their performance. The Fundrise Starter Portfolio pays a quarterly dividend and enjoyed an 11.44 percent gain in 2017.

 

For small investors who want direct ownership, raw land offers big opportunities. The price is generally cheap, and so is the ongoing costs of ownership, as explained by Fortune Builders writer JD Esajian. Property taxes can be as little as $100 per year. You are free to develop the land or sell it at a profit. Many raw land deals can be funded with just a few thousand dollars or less. Buyers should always beware if the land comes with any covenants or restrictions and consider only buying land unencumbered by a homeowners’ association. For example, a neighborhood association could restrict certain types of development or require development by a certain date. They can also prevent you from selling your land or force you to sell it.

 

Those enjoy being hands-on do well with fix-and-flip investment properties. Many lenders provide loans based on the after repaired value, which, if you find the right property, can mean $0 down and even cash in your pocket to fund the improvements. If being this hands on doesn’t interest you, you can get in on the lending side. Many private lenders are seeking investors with investment minimums of just a few thousand.

 

Surfing Vs. Snowboarding

 

Snowboarding and surfboarding are two sister sports that many believe are very similar to one another. While that may be true, the two sports also contain a few key differences that would make it somewhat difficult for someone to transfer between the two sports. Below we will examine the key similarities and difference between these two boardsports that have grown so much in the previous years.

 

Similarities

Balance

Both snowboarding and surfing require a boarder to balance themselves on their boards. In order to participate in either sport, a boarder must master balancing. Balance is essential when not only standing still, but when moving as well.

 

Waiting

Snowboarders and surfers need to wait before riding. Surfers often need to wait among masses of other surfers before hitting a wave, while snowboarders often need to wait to board a chair lift or hit a slope. Both require waits to ensure that someone does not get hit while a boarder is riding. Riders in both sports are very careful not to cut someone off and disturb their line.

 

Differences

Paddling versus Chair Lifts

To ride the waves, a surf boarder needs to paddle out to the wave and time their movements with the wave. On the other hand, a snowboarder has to take a chair lift to the top of a slope in order to ride the mountain. Though both involve some sort of preparation in order to hit a line, the preparation required for both are different.

 

Standing

Both sports require balance in order to stand on the board, but surfing requires a different kind of balance. The water, underneath a surfboard is already moving, which can make it difficult to stand up straight. Standing on a snowboard is somewhat difficult to the slipperiness of the ice and slopes, but the ground does not move as you try to maintain your balance on the board.

 

Though the snowboarding and surfing share their similarities, they have major differences that make it somewhat complicated to transition from one to the next. Both sports are great and teach essential skills in balance and general riding. Therefore, getting better in one of the sports may make it easier to transition to the other.

 

Best International Destinations for Snow Sport Enthusiasts

If you’re a serious winter sports enthusiast, you know that great destinations are worth some travel time. Traveling to great winter sports locations can be incredibly rewarding, offering world-class facilities and the ability to see places you might not have otherwise. If you’re starting to plan your next big trip, read on for some suggestions on where you might want to consider booking tickets to.

 

Hokkaido, Japan

 

Japan isn’t often thought of as a haven for snowboarders and skiers, but those in the know consider it a top destination. Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost island, is located in the path of consistent weather conditions that provide it with a constant supply of fresh snow. Better yet, the snow is known for being incredibly dry – perfect for winter sports. The island is home to a few great resorts too, so getting comfortable after a day of activities is easy.

 

Wanaka, New Zealand

 

Visiting New Zealand for a winter sports vacation is an experience like no other. The resorts are open snowfields, meaning that there are no trees to block the sightline. It feels like skiing or snowboarding in an endless sea of snow! This incredible sight is only furthered by the other natural wonders in New Zealand. Volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls are all only a short drive from where most of the resorts are located. Better yet, lines are often short since the resorts are generally not too crowded.

 

Whistler Blackcomb, Canada

 

Whistler Blackcomb is an absolutely beautiful place to ski and snowboard. This location is a great place for everyone, as it offers groomed runs for beginners and more adventurous tree runs, cliffs, and open bowls for experienced athletes. It’s an absolutely enormous area, so visitors can ski and snowboard somewhere new every day. Whistler Blackcomb is also home to the largest vertical drop for any resort in the world.

 

Verbier, Switzerland

 

Verbier is a freeriding paradise. Accordingly, it attracts many extreme riders, but its luxury also attracts families and more casual athletes from around the globe. It’s known around the world for its unrivaled terrain, making it pricier than some other locations. However, this also makes for a lively, international clientele, as well as thrilling spectator events. Consider planning your trip around one of these events to really get the most value for money.

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Off-Season Training for Skiers and Snowboarders

Skiing and snowboarding are sports that are open for typically one season a year (depending on your location) but it requires year-round work to maintain physical shape. Athletes all over the world have to train during summer months to stay in shape and maintain their skill-set for the winter season. Here’s how they do it!

Gym Time
This one may seem obvious but the exercises done inside of the gym is where things get interesting. Winter athletes need to engage specific muscles to maintain their shape for their sport of choice and utilize unique training methods such as ab wheels, rowing, high-intensity cardio training, and agility work. Look to your favorite pro’s and see if they put out the specific workouts they do to stay in shape.

Water Sports
The cool thing about skiing and snowboarding is that they can both essentially be done in the summer- just using a different medium (aka water). There are obviously differences in water and snow, however, wakeboarding or water-skiing is the closest you’re going to get to replicating the experience and engaging the muscles in a similar fashion.

Skating
Skating is both easy to pick up and fun! It also helps maintain balance and mental stamina (you don’t want to fall while snowboarding or skating). While your feet will be positioned differently on a skateboard than a snowboard it is still a fun way to get some good practice in and can still improve your snowboarding game.

Biking
Biking is hands down one of the best ways you can keep your legs in shape for snowboarding and skiing. You should be biking as much as you absolutely can be- take it to work, to the coffee shop, to the gym, for a casual ride, just make sure you do it! If you can take it up and down some hills or a mountain that’s even better.

There are many things winter athletes (and you) can do to stay in shape during the summer. Activities as simple as getting in the gym or taking it up a notch and learning other extreme sports like mountain biking or surfing will contribute to a better winter season ensuring that when you get back in the snow, you will be ready to pick up right where you left off!

Helpful Tips for People New to Property Renovation

If you’re a first-time homeowner new to property renovation, the idea of fixing up your outdated home is probably extremely intimidating. The professionals on all of those home improvement shows make the demolition and renovation process look so quick, easy, and painless, but you’re smart enough to know it isn’t that simple. For those who are unsure of how to start their first property renovation, this article will give you a few tips on how you can make your home remodel simpler, cheaper, and less stressful.

 

Get to Know Your Builder

If you’ve never renovated a home before, it’s best to sit down with a builder or an architect to better flesh out how you want your home to look. Additionally, are you planning on flipping this home in the near future, or do you want to settle down in this house and raise a family? Your builder will bring his or her experience to your project, and help you find ways to renovate your home so that it suits your needs.

 

Your builder will also help you plan ahead and keep your family and pets safe during your first home rebuild. For example, if you’re re-doing your home’s plumbing and need to shut the water off for an afternoon, your builder will notify you well in advance so that you can make the appropriate arrangements.

 

Stick to Your Budget

 

Creating and maintaining a budget is the most effective way to ensure that your home renovation will actually add value to your life, instead of leaving you in financial ruin with a partially remodeled property.

 

One rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your home renovation will always be more expensive than you anticipate. Experts suggest that you should save at least 20% more than your projected budget to cover unanticipated emergencies or hidden costs.

 

Think About Comfort

 

One thing first-time renovators often overlook is the idea of comfort during their rebuild. A good question to always ask yourself is, “How can I make my home more comfortable?”

 

Comfort doesn’t always have to be about adding high-end appliances or fixtures in your home. Instead, comfort can be as simple as making sure you have enough electrical outlets in your living room, or that you’ve got the right lighting in your kitchen for meal-time socializing. As you progress in your first property renovation, always be thinking about adding comfort to your new space.

 

How Social Media has Changed The Real Estate Industry

We all remember scanning the newspaper when we were kids and seeing local real estate agents advertising alongside family-owned restaurants and used car dealerships. At the top of these old ads, you probably remember seeing a head-shot of a smiling real estate agent, inviting you to look at the homes they were listing. Below this picture, there’d be small thumb-sized photos of ranches, bungalows, and mansions with pricing information and listing details printed out in minuscule font under each picture.

 

You probably didn’t think about it then – because who knew any better at the time – but what an impersonal and ineffective way to sell homes! Would you feel comfortable finding a good home for yourself if all you had was that small picture and those limited details to go on?

 

It’s no surprise, then, that social media platforms and home buying websites have transformed the real estate industry over the past few years.

 

Real estate agents who are interested in building a customer base with millennial home buyers have begun utilizing YouTube and Instagram to appeal to young families and upwardly mobile professionals.

 

For example, innovative real estate agents have begun posting entire photo albums of glamorous hi-res photos of the various homes they have available on their personally branded Instagram account. These real estate agents use things like hashtags to target Instagram users who want to move to a particular neighborhood.

 

Another huge benefit of using a social media network like Instagram to advertise homes is that people from all over the world are using Instagram. It’s never been easier to sell to buyers outside of a real estate agent’s particular area.

 

YouTube has also become a hotspot for real estate agents looking to add another visual dimension to their listings. The agents who are most effectively using YouTube are doing virtual house tours where they walk through a home with a video camera and a tripod. A video works well because it shows off the size of rooms and bathrooms much more effectively than traditional photographs do.

 

Another intriguing way that sellers are showing off homes to buyers is that they are using hand-held drones to take aerial footage of how a property looks from above. These aerial videos are so much more captivating than the thumbnail photos real estate agents used to rely on to make a purchase.

Two Ways That LinkedIn is a Vital Tool for Business Owners

In an effort to separate themselves from the pack, businesses owners and entrepreneurs alike have turned to social media platforms to give their products and services an edge. Some companies create short viral video campaigns for YouTube, live stream their latest product launch on Facebook, or produce compelling photographs for their audience on Instagram.

 

One social media platform that’s sometimes overlooked by people in the business world is LinkedIn. While some entrepreneurs believe that LinkedIn is just a network for resume posting, the platform actually offers a wide range of tools for business people looking to grow their company.

 

To learn more about the ways that LinkedIn is a vital tool for entrepreneurs and businesses, read on below!

 

LinkedIn is Great for Professional Networking

 

While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram focus on the social aspect of networking, it can be difficult to make serious inroads on these networks if you’re interested in growing your network on a more professional basis.

 

LinkedIn, on the other hand, makes growing your professional social network easy by allowing users to search for like-minded professionals in their particular area of expertise. LinkedIn allows users to build relationships with people on both a local level, as well as on national and international levels, too, making the social network unique in its ability to help entrepreneurs quickly find other business savants who are revolutionizing the business landscape in their cities.

 

LinkedIn has message boards and groups that further allow people to identify who they might want to connect with to grow their business venture. This feature can be an extremely invaluable tool for entrepreneurs who want to expand their product or service into new areas.

 

Using LinkedIn as a Tool for Product Launches

 

One innovative way that business owners are using LinkedIn as a vital tool to grow their companies is by creating product-specific LinkedIn pages. That’s right — not only is LinkedIn an excellent option for those posting up your resume, but the platform is also great if you want to showcase the benefits of a product you’ve recently launched.

 

On LinkedIn, entrepreneurs can create a page for their product or service that is similar to the resume-style profile pages the platform offers. These product pages are a great way to quickly highlight what makes your new product great.

 

LinkedIn is such an effective tool from a marketing standpoint that a new study indicates that 81% of business-to-business companies are using LinkedIn to advertise their product launches.

 

Is Airbnb Affecting the Housing Market?

Is Airbnb Affecting the Housing Market?

With more and more people flocking to popular towns and cities, combined with the increase of all things digital, Airbnb is a company that couldn’t have arrived at a better time in the digital age. In fact, there really wasn’t another time where Airbnb could have thrived in the way it does now. And while it has helped countless people make their vacations more affordable, as well as benefit those renting out their own properties, is it possible that this app has also brought some trouble to the real estate market along the way?

Property Owners are Catching On

Property owners are concentrated on buying properties in cities that draw large crowds of tourists. You may be wondering where Airbnb ties into this statement, but this is where it gets interesting. Current property owners and people looking to purchase property to rent out have grown keen to the fact that Airbnb can be a helpful indicator of places that are seeing a booming influx of visitors, which in turn signals to property owners that their city may very well be a hot commodity for all things hipsterdom and tourism

So, what has happened as a result is that many property owners are beginning to raise the prices of their rental properties in an attempt to capitalize on a bustling metropolitan area. Also, current property owners in cities where this is occurring are also optimistic as it provides them with a chance to sell for a much higher price than they bought.

Growing Competition

Airbnb rental properties can be money-making machines. If you operate an Airbnb in a sought-after travel destination, you are likely to acquire a continual, large-sum of revenue each year. With this in mind, property owners have opted for renting their spaces out short-term for the whole year as opposed to on a long-term basis (short-term means more money). Now, since long-term rentals are becoming increasingly less available, this has pushed property owners into a heightened sense of competition, which in turn causes prices to go up due to demand.

Airbnb is a great tool for people looking for places to stay while vacationing and for people looking to make some extra profit. But if the invisible hand of Airbnb continues to increase the prices of the housing market, we may be headed for a destination that no one wants. The conversation on how to create and maintain sustainable housing costs while allowing people to continue their ventures on Airbnb is a dialogue that is certainly worth having, both for the tourists, locals, and property owners.