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.

Why Your House Flipping Flops

Why Your House Flipping Flops

House-flipping has become a trendy and exciting career for many hungry professionals looking to establish themselves in the housing/real estate market. But in an attempt to chase after a truly promising career, far too many people repeat the same mistakes.

To help remedy the recurring problems that come along with house-flipping, below are two all too common pitfalls that seem to perpetually plague real estate moguls longing to turn a passion into a paid project.

What is Flipping?

First, we need to establish what constitutes “house-flipping” in the first place. “Flipping” is a type of real estate strategy in which the buyer purchases a house for the sole purpose of renovating and selling the property. The way that profit is made in this business is by purchasing low and selling high.

For instance, investors who flip properties might buy a property in an especially “hot” market, renovate it, and then sell it at a price that makes sense with its newly added, state-of-the-art upgrades. This is also where the true work comes in, too. House-flipping doesn’t just require smart investment purchases, it also requires home renovation and remodeling skill.

Mistake #1: Poor Time-Management

Renovating and flipping can often be a time-consuming business. Not only do you need to find a property, but you have to have enough time built into your project to account for inspections. After that, of course, you need to play the waiting game that comes along with listing. It takes a lot of confidence in your skill to be patient through this whole process, especially if your goal is to make enough money to at least break even.

Mistake #2: Not Enough Skills

House-flipping isn’t easy, and the competition is certainly present. Many skilled plumbers and carpenters often flip houses as a side project. If you desire to excel in the industry, there’s a lot more to it than buying low, taking a sledgehammer to the bathroom, and listing it on the market. Like it or not, the real money in the house-flipping industry comes from what the professionals call sweat equity. If you’re comfortable (and skilled) with a hammer, hanging drywall, and laying a carpet, then you just may have what it takes to make it in the house-flipping industry.

In the end, patience and hard-work are equally as important as any other skill in the house-flipping industry. If house-flipping is a passion of yours, then going into the industry with research and guidance is imperative. It won’t be easy, but with the dedication needed to accomplish the task at hand, house-flipping and renovation can be a great career full of excitement and fulfillment.

The Art of Appreciation: Tips for Beginning in Real Estate Investment

The Art of Appreciation: Tips for Beginning in Real Estate Investment

Investing in real estate meanings putting the money you have today to work for tomorrow. Simply put, real estate is a business that requires a healthy dose of foreknowledge, confidence in your research, and skill in assessing the lucrative real estate markets of today and tomorrow. The revenue you make on your return must be enough to cover things like taxes and the cost of owning real estate investments like paying for utilities, maintenance, and insurance.

Basically, real estate is the real world equivalent to monopoly. But just because the concept is easy to grasp doesn’t mean that the industry is easy to excel in. Below are a few helpful tips for those who are novices in real estate investing.

Location

Deciphering the best cities and bustling towns to start investing in real estate is crucial. If you can develop the foreknowledge it takes to scope out lucrative areas, then you are already off to the best possible start. An old real estate investing adage is to look for the worst house on the best street. Why? Well, a good location provides strong potential for tourism, and “fixer-upper” property allows you to buy low, invest your money into renovating and upgrading, and then sell for a price that reflects your renovations.

The 1% Rule

If you plan on purchasing a property that you’ll rent out to one or more tenants, then you should utilize the 1% rule.

The 1% Rule states that an income producing property must produce 1% of the price it costs you every month. For example, if you buy a property for $150,000, then the monthly rental income should be 150,000 x 1% = $1,500. Simple enough, right? Well, the true skill in this area comes from searching out and capitalizing on properties that are conducive to the 1% rule.

Appreciation

Appreciation is when the land and market around you goes up due to an outside factor in the community. A major new shopping mall, city upgrades, and even the investments you put into your properties that make it more appealing to potential buyers all help produce appreciation. While extremely lucrative, this is one of the riskiest elements of real estate investing, and caution should be taken when playing the tricky game of real estate appreciation.

Real estate investing is a great industry to enter into, and simple as it may be in its description, the application of it is something that requires skill and precision. However, difficult as it can be, implementing these three steps will prove to be extremely useful for you in the long run.

Give and Get: Why Engaging in Your Community Matters

Give and Get: Why Engaging in Your Community Matters

 

All around the world, there are organizations whose sole purpose is to help others. Most of these, are nonprofit organizations. With so many causes that need the support of society, it isn’t hard to find one that you can help. Being a part of a community, of any size, includes giving to those who are less fortunate. There is great value for all parties when community involvement and engagement has a strong presence. Here are just a few ways that you can gain from giving.

 

Perspective

One of the most powerful takeaways from working with those in need is a new outlook in life. Especially for first time volunteers or donors, seeing the people who need the aid from nonprofits, can leave a lasting impression. These encounters often help us see that what we have is good. Life could be a lot worse and getting a glimpse into that life can drastically jolt one’s perspective. There is no greater gift then understanding the true meaning of being grateful for what you’ve got in your life.

 

Business Benefits

If any for-profit company doesn’t give back to their community, they are doing it wrong. Sure, the CEO can write a check every year, but the entire company does not benefit from the donation. Coming together and collaborating to help others is a fantastic way for teams to bond. Many organizations offer incentives to companies who send large groups to volunteer. In addition, it is a great way to build up a positive reputation within your community. Patrons are more likely to choose a business who partakes in philanthropic acts over ones who refrain.

 

Health & Wellness

If the first two reasons weren’t enough for you, this will surely spark your urge to get your charity on. Those who participate in volunteer opportunities gain countless health and wellness benefits. Mental and physical health, both improve from partaking in charitable acts. Choosing an event that includes physical activity (5k run, donation drive, children’s activities)  keeps one in shape while contributing to the community. Additionally, those who work closely with nonprofits often have less stress in their lives. Less stress means a clearer conscious and improved mental health.

 

The Best Real Estate Blogs to Keep Up With

The Best Real Estate Blogs to Keep Up With

Attempting to dominate the ever-evolving nature of real estate, single-handedly, is as illogical as it is unnecessary. With the passel of agents, forums, and news outlets who’ve flocked to the Internet to impart their wisdom, staying ahead of the real estate trend is a breeze. Among the most beneficial online real estate resources include:

Real Estate Marketing Machine

Spearheaded by Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Klinkhammer, Real Estate Marketing Machine underscores the importance of fusing agent expertise with marketing knowledge. The underlying purpose of their content is to delve into the intricacies of marketing, allowing agents to hone their skills and “grow their business in a digital age.”

GeekEstate Blog

Focused on tackling the vast complexities of technology, GeekEstate Blog illustrates how to make modern-day advancements a friend, not foe. No doubt a nod to their astute knowledge in machinery, the “geeks” who run this blog are well-versed in evolving technology trends.

Inman

This all-encompassing forum touches on relevant real estate events. Delivering “accurate, innovative, and timely information about the business,” Inman has universal appeal. From up-and-coming technology articles to proactive stances on foreboding topics, Inman covers all things real estate.

Redfin

Primarily inspired by real-life stories, Redfin is committed to providing subjects of topical interest. Using real estate professionals to validate their findings, Redfin unveils examples of real estate in its purest form.

McKissock

Designed to combat the stagnancy associated with outdated education, McKissock offers a raft of educational resources. From helpful tips to legitimate how-to’s, McKissock provides a viable outlet for agents who are looking to polish their real estate knowledge.

Housing Wire

Allowing readers to express their varying standpoints, Housing Wire takes real estate market trends and feeds them to the public. While “open commentary” is their shtick, Housing Wire volunteers their advice on pressing matters as well.

Real Estate Tomato

The blog that inspires blog, Real Estate Tomato is a platform that promotes the use of real estate blogs. Their articles broach blog ideas and strategies, fostering blog startups from infancy to execution. Well-versed in the blog realm themselves, Real Estate Tomato’s advice is nothing short of authentic.

Miller Samuel Inc.

Incorporating a unique facet to their forum, Miller Samuel Inc’s inclusion of podcasts give them an undeniable edge. Offering auditory learning and fresh perspectives, author Jonathan Miller provides a blog second to none.

Leadership Styles Around the World

Leadership Styles Around the World

Various cultures have different leadership styles. Richard D. Lewis, a British linguist, charted the differences in his book “When Cultures Collide.” Besides he teaches these acumens in seminars.

 

Spanning from ringi-sho consensus in Japan to structured individualism in the United States of America, the charts look as if intuitively correct, if not separately accurate across a given nation.

 

Lewis argues that even though the countries may be facing rapid economic and political transformations, there exist some patterns which won’t change anytime soon. They have deeply rooted beliefs and attitudes which make them resist sudden changes in values when pressured to do so.

 

British managers, for instance, are diplomatic, helpful, casual and willing to compromise, although they can be ruthless when provoked. Regrettably, their strict adherence and conformity to tradition can lead to an inability to understand differing values in others.

 

On the hand, American managers are aggressive, assertive, goal oriented, optimistic, ready to change, vigorous and confident. They value working together as a team and enhancing corporate spirit. Unfortunately, they value individualism and promoting personal career.

 

With an incredible grasp of the various issues affecting their company, French managers are more autocratic as well as paternalistic. However, they quickly dismiss opinions of seasoned technical staff and middle managers.

 

A decentralized and democratic system of management among the Swedish people is incredible. The rationale enhances motivation and productivity among employees. Even so, decisions get delayed sometimes.

 

Managers in Germany strife to form a seamless system. They have a well-structured chain of command based on every departmental unit. Instructions, as well as information, are passed from the top down to the bottom. The drawback is that they considerably rely on consensus.

 

In the Netherlands, success is measured by the achievement, merit, and competence. Even though managers are decisive and dynamic, a consensus is compulsory since various players must be consulted before making any decision.

 

Traditional Indian companies practice nepotism. For example, members of the family hold critical positions excluding other people who may have the required skills and talent. Besides, policies get dictated by trade organizations such as jewelers, fruit merchants among others. These groups work in close unison and support one another during stressful moments.

 

China managers value consensus. The state-controlled companies allow leadership groups to formulate policies, while capitalist-style corporations select leaders with the necessary competence and reputation.

Growing Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio

Growing Your Real Estate Investment Portfolio

Investing in real estate is a proven way to build wealth over a long period of time. In many markets around the country, real estate prices are increasing rapidly. As a result, it is a good time for real estate investors to purchase a property.

There are various strategies to invest in real estate. Some people prefer to purchase a property and rent it to tenants. This is a great way to generate cash flow and additional income each month. Other investors would rather purchase a property in need of various repairs. After investing time and money into a property, the investors can sell the property for a quick profit.

 

Financing

One of the biggest obstacles in purchasing a real estate property is getting the capital needed. There are few people who have the cash on hand to purchase a real estate property. Getting an investment loan is much more difficult than a typical housing loan. Banks have to take additional financial risks in order to lend money to investors. As a result, investment loans generally have a higher rate of interest than typical home loans.

As an investor, it is a good idea to shop around for various loan options. There are many people who choose the first loan option that is available. Getting a slightly lower interest rate can make a huge difference in the total amount of money made by the investor.

 

Finding Properties

In a competitive real estate market, it can be difficult to find a property to purchase. Working with an experienced real estate agent is the best way to find a great deal in the local area. Most real estate agents know about new properties on the market before other people do.

Before working with a real estate agent, ask them about their experience finding investment properties. Finding an investment property is a much different process than finding a typical home.

 

Tenants

It is vital for real estate investors to spend time screening tenants. Nothing is more difficult than dealing with bad tenants. Some real estate investors make the mistake of trying to rush the tenant screening process. Losing a month of rental income is worth finding the right tenant. Some people even give their tenants a small discount on rent if they pay at the right time each month.

 

Non Profit Spotlight: Fight Colorectal Cancer

Non Profit Spotlight: Fight Colorectal Cancer

Also known as colon or bowel cancer, colorectal cancer is the growth of cancer in the colon or rectum. It may be caused by old age, lifestyle and in rare cases, genetic factors (non-polyposis cancer that is hereditary). Other risk factors are diet (processed meat and alcohol), obesity, an absence of physical activity and smoking. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease are also a risk factor. The associated symptoms of colorectal cancer include weight loss, changed bowel movements and blood spots in the stool. Treatment is usually a combination of radio and chemotherapy and surgery. Surgery can cure cancer confined to the colon walls, if widespread, it cannot be cured, but is managed to improve the symptoms and the patients’ quality of life.

 

About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Founded in 2005, Fight Colorectal Cancer is an organization that aims at reducing deaths attributed to the disease. It also aims at finding a cure for colorectal cancer. The organization advocates for research into colorectal cancer and also offers training and provides grants to scientists working towards a cure for the disease. They do this through what they term as five ways to fight. They include:

 

  • Patient resources

 

    • It creates a resource center that is credible and contains resources that have been medically reviewed. This helps patients in making informed decisions concerning their health. The educational materials, found free online, give information on diagnosis, available treatment options and how to handle life with colorectal cancer. This keeps patients constantly informed.

 

 

  • Research

 

    • The organization follows studies that cover the basic biology, prevention of the disease, its treatment and how to survive it. They involve their researchers and help fund any project that may be groundbreaking in the field of colorectal cancer. The organization also has medical experts on its medical advisory board.

 

 

  • Advocacy

 

    • The organization, through forming coalitions with policy makers and other regulatory agencies have managed to build solid relations with leaders to ensure colorectal cancer and persons suffering from it are considered in policy decisions.

 

 

  • Awareness

 

    • Through awareness programmes like One million strong, kids awareness activities, online ambassadors; and events like sparks of strength luminary event, the organization has managed to create awareness around colorectal cancer.

 

 

  • Philanthropy

 

    • Fight colorectal cancer also encourages donations from members of the public. This can be through fundraising programmes, personal donations or donations to its research programmes.

 

How Your Landlord Calculates Rent

How Your Landlord Calculates Rent

There are many factors that go into the typical landlord’s determining of rent and apartment value. Not all are financial, but the beginning factors of deciding a fair price are evaluating the market, along with overhead costs.

 

Similar to purchasing a house, many landlords will look at comparable properties in the neighboring area. To be comparable, a neighboring apartment will have similar square footage, room counts, and amenities. Landlords can also evaluate apartment buildings in other neighborhoods that are comparable sizes, and then take into account a difference in neighborhoods. The surrounding neighborhood can increase or decrease the rent value for reasons such as park and school accessibility, transit, cleanliness, even the local nightlife.

 

Once this has been established, many landlords choose to compare the rent, or range of rent prices, to the Housing and Urban Developments annual fair market rental report. This report is used to illustrate how rent prices relate to the types of apartments available, along with the local markets. Supply and demand is also a very common factor when determining rent price, particularly in an area where rental property competition is either very high or very low. This does not necessarily mean that a high demand will drive the prices up too much, as it can be extremely unprofitable for a landlord to have frequent turnover.

 

Next, overhead costs will play a large part into how much an apartment can be rented for. A landlord will have many overhead costs, some which are quite expensive or even unpredictable. Mortgage of the overall building will be used to calculate rent, along with utilities that must be paid, property taxes, and insurance. All of these expenses must be covered by the combined rent of all units on the property, taking into account that vacancies will occur in between occupants.

 

Unforeseen expenses are more difficult to calculate, but are equally important to take into account when determining rent of a unit. The landlord must be able to provide their tenants with basic amenities, especially those of which were previously agreed upon such as a working refrigerator. Unforeseen events can also lead to expenses, such as fires or gas leaks, which the landlord are responsible for fixing using the obtained rent money.

 

Last, many landlords take into account their occupants themselves. In fact, many landlords who live in the same building as their tenants, or owners of smaller properties, are known to be reasonable in order to maintain a relationship with their tenants.

 

All in all, there are many different factors used to calculate the monthly price of any rental. Landlords may calculate the rent differently based on neighborhood, type of building, and even the landlord’s own proximity to the units. Ultimately, a good landlord will weigh all of the factors to determine a fair and affordable rate, which also covers necessary expenses with a safety net.

 

3 Influential Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century

3 Influential Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century

Throughout history, our culture and many industries have been shaped by those who pioneered new ideas. These entrepreneurs have changed the industries of technology, finance, and much more. Often a rags-to-riches story, these innovators have led the way in their field, making everyday life that much easier for most of the world. From the founders of online search engines to talk-show hosts, entrepreneurs of all fields have impacted our world in a way that will forever change it.

 

Oprah Winfrey

Though her success began in the late 90s, Ms. Winfrey has been a household name throughout the first two decades of the 21st century. Growing up in extreme poverty, Oprah faced many challenges due to her demographic. As she broke through at the local level of media, she was quickly notices by television and radio executive. Finally getting her own television show which ran for over 25 years, Oprah also became a leader in the media industry as a whole. Starting her own production company, Harpo Studios, she laid the foundation that was bound for success. Now as a owner of Weight Watchers, her own television network, a line of health foods, and a world-renowned book club, her legacy is solidified as an influencer for women around the world.

 

Jeff Bezos

Not a day goes by where millions of people around the world take care of their shopping needs on Amazon.com. It is crazy to think that founder of the online site, simply wanted to provide readers a place to order books without heading into the bookstore. Now, as the wealthiest man in the world, Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos is living the dream. What started out as a business  idea that he wrote during a cross country trip, turned into one of the most visited websites in all of the world. Now selling everything from groceries to appliances, Amazon is a site that will likely not diminish anytime soon.

 

Steve Jobs

It is hard to make a list of successful entrepreneurs without mentioning the founder of Apple. Though he sadly was taken from the world before seeing the true impact that his work has made, Jobs changed the technology game for likely the rest of our time on earth. His innovation of all Apple products has allowed people to do their jobs, live, and communicate in ways that were never imagined before. His forward-thinking is what allowed him to be so successful and his humble nature is what makes him someone who aspiring leaders should look up to.