How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

It seems like everyone and her brother is a real estate agent these days. It’s relatively easy to become licensed for the work, but it’s a lot tougher to get the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to help your clients thrive.

 

Which is why it’s so important to find the right real estate agent for your situation. Here are a few important points to consider.

 

Licensing

At the bare minimum, a real estate agent has to be licensed to sell in the state in which you’re buying/selling. (If they’re not, the person claiming to be an agent won’t even be able to help you, so why bother paying their commission?) After that, there are a few more licenses to look out for. Once this crucial threshold is met, consider looking for a professional who is a Realtor, rather than just an agent. Realtors with a capital “R” are members of the National Association of Realtors, a group that requires strict adherence to a code of ethics - and that’s something you want on your side.

 

Locale

Real estate markets vary from city to city - and sometimes even neighborhood to neighborhood. Make sure your Realtor knows what’s going on in the areas in which you are looking to buy/sell.

 

Experience

There are a million tiny little things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction, and really the only way to know what signs to look for is from experience. Make sure your Realtor has had experience both buying and selling and specifically in the type of property you are looking for. There are differences, for example having to do with available financing and rental potential for first-time buyers vs. experienced buyers, as well as for condos vs. single-family homes.

 

Fit

Is your Realtor available when you need her or him to be? Markets move fast, so an agent who’s there for you one day and ghosts you the next is a bad sign. Also, just having a genuine, authentic rapport with the person guiding you in the real estate process will go a long way towards having a genuine, authentic experience.

 

While shopping for a Realtor is an important first step in shopping for a property, it can be the most important part of the journey. And all of these factors aside, the right fit always comes down to feeling comfortable with and available to the real estate agent that will be taking you on this exciting journey.

What You Should Know About Real Estate Finance

What You Should Know About Real Estate Finance

Real estate finance generally involves how an investor chooses to secure funds for an impending investment. The investment may vary from purchasing a home, a piece of land, or renovations.

Unlike other financings, real estate comes with underwriting and may sometimes be overwhelming for new investors. However, one should know a few things before making a significant decision on investing that can be of great help.

 

How to get Real Estate Financing

For investors, the first and foremost step is identifying the property, negotiating the prices, and any other requirement one may have. This step will help in determining which option in real estate financing will complement one’s strategy. The methods of financing real estate investment are often many, but knowing which one suits your investment best is the trick.

With a little bit of due diligence on the part of the investor, there should be no fear or anxiety about finding financing. Some of these financing methods are:

  • Hard Money Lenders
  • Private Money Lending Institution
  • Self Directed IRA Accounts
  • Seller Financing
  • Peer-To-Peer Lending
  • Cash Financing

Alternatively, when deciding the best form to finance a real estate project, one should also consider available mortgage loans provided by the government, traditional private lending institutions, or leveraging personal equity.

 

Loan Finance for Real Estate Investing

  • 203K Loan: Loans supported by the Federal Housing Administration and supports the purchase of older properties for rehabilitation purposes.
  • Home Equity Loan: investors who have built equity for their property can access loans, allowing them to use this equity as collateral for the loan.
  • FHA Loan: for investors without a perfect credit score or have no access to large capital to satisfy down payments can opt for a mortgage- supported by the Federal Housing Administration.
  • Traditional Mortgage Loan: this is a conventional home loan financed by banks.
  • Conforming Loan: This is a mortgage loan that complies with the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s rules and limits.
  • Portfolio Loan: these are loans serviced by the first lenders that first issue the funds as an alternative to selling the loan to the secondary loan market.
  • VA Loan: these are mortgage loans meant for veterans through a program by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information about Real estate financing and the above loan financing options, visit https:www.fortunebuilders.com/real-estate-financing.

What Makes a “Good” Location in Real Estate

What Makes a “Good” Location in Real Estate

Everyone agrees that a good location can make or break an investment property. While that is true, a locality place means different things to different people. The crucial considerations are accessibility, personal needs, amenities, and appearance. When shopping for some land, here is what you should consider.

 

1.Population growth

Places with a high population growth tend to attract a higher price and value because of their great potential. People prefer living in areas where they can find lucrative job opportunities, enjoy good weather, favorable local politics, and natural attractions. When doing market analysis, these are some of the factors that come to play, so a location that lacks these aspects may not be an excellent place to invest.

 

2.Lot Position

You need to consider the exact position of the land or house. If the home you want to purchase is close to a highway, you might get it for a low price, but you may face challenges when selling it. However, a commercial building that is close to a busy place is an excellent investment. A home with a great lake view is likely to be more valuable and might sell for a high price later.

 

3.Neighborhood

The neighbors you wish to live around are hugely a matter of personal liking. However, most great neighborhoods share some standard features like amenities, accessibility, and appearance. The environment might also determine the minimum size of land to build a house because some estates have restrictions. If you value accessibility, settle for a place that is along main transit routes and has two or more points of entry.

 

4.Centrality

Whether you prefer living in a city or town, the centrality will influence how much you pay for the home. Lands are a limited commodity that is rare in cities like San Francisco that are fully developed and don’t have extra space for expansion. Houses in such places will be pricier and even hard to find.

 

5.Development

Although the current amenities have a significant role to play in determining the value of land, futures ones have a lot to say too. Plans for new hospitals, schools, public transport, and other civic infrastructure can influence the value of the property significantly. Commercial development may also improve the price.

Selling an Investment Property

Selling an Investment Property

Making the final decision to sell your investment property isn’t easy. You must make certain you are selling at the right time. This will help put you in a position to maximize your profits at the closing table.

 

Should You Sell Your Investment Property?

There are many schools of thought when it comes to choosing the right time to sell an investment property. Some real estate experts believe that holding onto investment property for a long period is a sound strategy. However, this approach may not be ideal for your situation.

 

Here are some situations that may indicate it’s time for you to sell:

 

  • You’re ready to retire – Selling your investment property can free up money for your retirement. Please keep in mind that selling an investment property after retiring could have a huge impact on your pension.

 

  • You’re interested in investing in another market – You may want to consider selling if you find a property in another neighborhood.

 

  • A major change in your life – A big change in your life may force you to think about owning an investment property. The following reasons force many people to sell their investment property: the birth of a new family member, being laid off from the job, death in the family, and sudden illness.

 

  • The neighborhood is changing – If the market value of the homes in the area has increased, it may be time for you to cash in. However, you may want to think about selling if the market value of the homes in the area has gone down.

 

How to Sell Your Investment Property the Right Way

 

So, you’ve decided to sell it. Dozens of real estate selling systems have emerged over the years. However, we must point out that many of them are complicated.

 

Here are some simple steps that can help you sell your investment property with ease:

 

  • Hire an experienced Realtor – It will cost you 6% of the selling price, but a Realtor’s services should not be undervalued. They play an integral role in the selling process. For example, they know how to market your investment property, and find a qualified buyer within a reasonable amount of time.

 

  • Listen to your Realtor – You need to take heed to their advice. If you don’t, you may not get to the closing table.

 

  • Make upgrades to the property – There’s an old saying in life, “It’s the little things that count.” This adage holds its weight in real estate investing. Making upgrades to your property will make it more appealing to prospective buyers. This will improve your chances of getting a buyer.

 

  • Sell at the right price – Pricing your property properly will have a positive impact on the selling process. If your property is listed slightly below its market value, there will be more demand for your house.

 

  • Exercise patience – It may take several months for someone to step up to the plate, and buy your property. However, exercising patience will help you make it through the selling process.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to say no – Knowing the true market value of your home will help you avoid low-ball offers. The right buyer will eventually come along.

 

Selling is an investment property is a big decision. If you’re ready to cash in, there’s no reason for you to reinvent the wheel. The tips listed above can help you sell your property like an experienced real estate professional.

The Benefits of Investing in New Construction

The Benefits of Investing in New Construction

The real estate business is one of the most profitable investments that an individual can choose to undertake. The two options available when investing in real estate is either a resale or new construction. A resale describes a house built sometime back and had a tenant, or the owner was living in it. On the other hand, new construction represents a house where the current buyer is the first occupant.

 

A resale is purchased directly from the owner, while the new construction is from the individual who developed it. Compared to a resale purchase, investing in a new construction comes with several benefits, as listed below.

 

Discounts

 

Investing in new construction, especially during the early phases attracts great discounts than waiting for complete construction. The real estate builders and owners easily offer these discounts as it helps them in financing the unfinished construction and gives them leverage during the development.

 

Low Deposits

 

One of the main advantages of investing in the new construction is the low deposits that the builder needs to seal an agreement. A deposit of up to 10% of the purchase price is enough to secure the developer’s new property. The advantage of settling for the new construction is that the deposits are negotiable, allowing the buyers or investors to minimize as much as possible the amounts they spend on the property beforehand.

 

Low Maintenance and Repair

 

New constructions come with amenities that are new with no damages to them. This factor eliminates any immediate repairs and maintenance costs that the buyer would have incurred if it was a resale. This investment’s greatest benefit is that the buyer gets a warranty from the builder to cover all systems’ costs, including plumbing, for up to 2 years.

 

Property Appreciation

 

For buyers who are looking for properties to resell, the new constructions provide the advantage of faster appreciation than the resale. The general growth around the new property and closeness to essential amenities increases the value of the property.

 

Advanced Technologies

 

The construction world is quickly changing, and the user preferences and tastes lean towards new technologies that the resale cannot provide. New constructions are designed and built with the latest technologies in heat insulation, air conditioning systems, environmentally friendly materials, and low maintenance technologies. This factor means that you get much better deals, better value, and satisfaction with the new constructions.

Living Large in Tiny Houses

Living Large in Tiny Houses

Those who lived through the 1980s may well remember it as the decade of excess where bigger was better, and whoever died with the most toys won the game of life. The concept of living large may have continued for years were it not for the housing market collapse in the Great Recession of 2007.

 

Tiny Houses Make Their Debut

For all its disadvantages, the Great Recession also introduced the country to a wildly new way of thinking about housing. Suddenly, small (typically under 600 square feet) creatively-built, often whimsical homes called “Tiny Houses” began to get a toe-hold in the housing market.

 

Twelve-plus years later, tiny houses remain an attractive option. From an economic standpoint, they cost significantly less than a traditional home, and often buyers can outright avoid even carrying a mortgage. Additionally, many homes are available in kit form, an appealing choice for the growing DIY demographic.

 

Statistically, tiny homeowners carry less credit card debt. After all, with less room for storage, they simply aren’t going to buy as much. This creates the added benefit of being able to save more or invest in other more adventurous pursuits. Tiny houses also tend toward lower energy costs, a seductive sales point for the environmentally-conscious among us eager to lower their carbon footprint.

 

Important Considerations

If not already a minimalist, deciding to live in a tiny house requires the paring down of possessions. Tough decisions must be made about what is needed, and what can be done without. It also requires making a pivot toward the concept of more open, functional, multi-use living space.

 

Partners and family members must also consider how their tiny house might impact their relationships. Even the closest of couples need their space once in a while, which can be a challenge in tight living quarters. Having a game plan about how to handle disputes or the need for alone time is an important consideration.

 

There are also residential zoning regulations to consider. Many towns have established minimum square footage requirements for homes, or restrict where they may be located. And if they are built on wheels, they may not be considered as permanent housing at all. Then again, having a tiny house on wheels offers its advantages, opening the door to travel and the freedom to live large in a whole new way. 

 

How to Qualify for a Loan as a First-Time Home Buyer

How to Qualify for a Loan as a First-Time Home Buyer

As a first-time homebuyer, it might be hard to raise the down payment needed by the seller. This should not kill your dream to own a house because you can obtain a mortgage loan to help you raise enough money. However, you might encounter challenges to prove that you are eligible for a home loan. You should take the following steps to enhance success in your application.

Early Inspection of Your Credit Scores

You should assess your credit score record immediately you decide to apply for a mortgage loan. Visit the relevant sites to and check for any issues that might disqualify you. If your credit record has problematic issues, use the months before the application to correct them.

Clear all the balances you owe other financial institutions to give your credit record a better rating. The actions might take months to change your credit score. Therefore, it is advisable to undertake them several months before your loan application. You should concentrate on mortgage loans without visiting other financial institutions until the current application is successful.

Compare Your Income and Expenditure

To know your deficit for the right income ratio, divide your monthly deficit expenditure with your total monthly earnings. That will assist lenders to decide whether you are eligible for a home mortgage or not. The financial institutions will either decide to lend you a small amount of money with a low monthly housing cost or keep all your monthly debts low compared to your monthly salary.

Weigh Your Options

If you have visited several financial institutions and all of them tell you that you don’t meet the loan application threshold, you should seek other alternatives to get financed. The only disadvantage is that you will have limited alternatives, and the loan you might get will have a higher interest rate. Try to improve your credit record before applying for a loan for a better chance of qualifying.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may not have enough funds to purchase it. However, you can apply for a mortgage loan to finance your project. If you want the application to be successful, take the steps above before starting the application process. The steps will enable you to have a good credit record before the application.

Great Destinations for International Real Estate Investing

Great Destinations for International Real Estate Investing

When it comes to real estate investments, there is one thing that is certain: the time is now for savvy investors to hedge their bets on the real estate market, not just in their home country, but all over the world as well. There are excellent opportunities for beachfront property in many different surprising worldwide locations. Consider the following options:

Algarve, Portugal

The best thing about Algarve, Portugal would have to be that there are no foreign ownership restrictions. When coupled with the stunning cliffs and beautiful beaches, a person definitely has a paradise that even 70’s Yacht Rock artist Bertie Higgins could get behind. The property options are also very diverse, with $8 million buying an oceanfront home and $215,000 getting a home if a person wants to sacrifice that beach view.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

This property in Belize is very underrated. Of course, there aren’t too many properties that could absolutely be considered beachfront. However, it has a tropical landscape, mild weather, and numerous recreational opportunities. The prices won’t break the bank either, with a two-bedroom condo only costing around $250,000 and a one-bedroom option going for $150,000.

Cayo, Belize

Lush jungles. Mountainous terrain. These are just two ways to describe Cayo, Belize. There are plenty of housing options for retirees that start at just $130,000. Moreover, there are plenty of condos available in the area for $100,000 or less. American retirees will love the area simply because for the most part, it has all of the comforts of home.

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada was founded in 1524 by Spanish conquistador Francisco Fernandez de Cordoba, Granada is a historic old colonial city in coastal Nicaragua. When someone couples the warm weather and picturesque lake with a rich history, they are sure to find an extremely desirable place. Historic homes dot the landscape, and most of them have been turned into condos. Prices are fairly reasonable. For example, buyers will find condo conversions available for around $170,000, and a completely renovated colonial home can be had for between $100,000 to $400,000.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

There is no question that a lot of prime real estate can be found in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta is a great option, but it truly is better to buy than to rent. Simply put, renting property in Puerto Vallarta is very expensive. However, buyers will find price options for this Pacific Ocean retreat that are well within their budget as long as they are willing to rent them out themselves for the time they are not there.

Honorable Mentions

Panama City, Panama; Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic; Abruzzo, Italy; Medellin, Colombia; and Istanbul, Turkey are all good options for property investors as well for a variety of different reasons. All someone has to do is their research and they are sure to find some excellent overseas property investment options!

3 Easy Renovations to Increase Property Value

3 Easy Renovations to Increase Property Value

Selling your house may not be easy as you may think. Between getting it ready for showing and finding the best realtor to sell it for you, it’s a hectic and overwhelming process. There’s nothing as bad as placing your home on the market, only for it to remain unsold months later.

To increase the resale value of your home, it would help to be proactive about repair and maintenance. Planning a remodel job may also go a long way in adding value to your home when it’s time to sell it. Here are 3 home renovation projects you should do if you’re looking to sell your house.

A Bathroom Upgrade 

Renovating your bathroom is one of the easiest ways of increasing the value of your home. Such a project will make it possible to install completely new plumbing fittings and fixtures.

You could also take advantage of this opportunity to put in shower heads that consume less water each minute, and toilets that utilize less water during each flush. This way, your new bathroom will lead to less water wastage, leading to cheaper water costs. This is bound to have a heavy impact on the house’s resale value.

Finished Basement Space 

Having a completed basement will help ensure that your home is properly insulated. This means that there will be less leakage of heat into and out of your home, implying that you’ll spend less money cooling and heating up your house. It will also provide extra space that could serve as a wine cellar, gaming room, or even a family TV room. A finished basement is more than likely to jump out to a homebuyer that’s looking for maximum space.

Upgrade the Kitchen

The kitchen is arguably the most important room in every house. By providing the space to cook good and nutritious food, a functional kitchen plays a key role in making sure you and your household lead a healthy lifestyle. Renovating your kitchen would, therefore, be a great way of adding value to your home before putting it on sale.

Remember to upgrade the flooring, countertops and cabinetry to something new and elegant. If you can, put in a new kitchen island- this will make the kitchen even more functional.

Calling in a professional remodeling service will make sure you have someone you can entrust your home to. Although some home renovation projects may be quite expensive, it’s possible to get almost all your money back when you put your house on the market. These projects have great return rates, and will make sure you sell your home without having to compromise on prices.

Why Location Means Everything in Real Estate

Why Location Means Everything in Real Estate

When acquiring property, there are a lot of factors to consider, including the location. The location of a particular real estate determines your investment’s worth and influences your choice of real estate over the other one. If you are contemplating real estate investment, you would want to find out the significance of a location in real estate.

Accessibility of Services

If you choose to live within a central area, chances are you will access services without struggling. Living within the city implies that you have access to quality products and services. On the other hand, a person investing in the rural or under-developed region may experience challenges accessing most basic services because such areas experience slow development progress.

The Locality 

A great neighborhood implies that you will have several benefits, such as access to social amenities. Before investing in real estate, ensure that its location can be easily accessed with several entry routes, which implies that you can access the place by road and public means.

Also, a serene neighborhood is appealing to live in, primarily because of its landscape and trees. A desirable place should have a significant population, implying that it is bound to experience growth and have amenities such as schools, hospitals, and shopping centers. While on the same, a location with minimal crime rates could be ideal for prospective homeowners.

When searching for a real estate investment, it would be best to factor in the location’s vicinity. For example, if you acquire a real estate along the highway or near a fire station, it might be less costly but difficult reselling it. However, if you invest within an area with an excellent view, such as a water body, the investment has significant value even when you want to resell it.

The Value of Location

The transaction cost before acquiring real estate depends on the location’s worth. An estate in a diminishing area has little demand, making it less costly. This investment may not be viable if you intend to acquire it for commercial purposes.

Development Opportunities

It would be fascinating to live in a place that keeps evolving. Plans concerning infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and public transportation aid the value of a real estate. Ideas for commercial development significantly influence an investor’s choice for a particular region.