Recently, the problem of housing has come to dominate the conversation in many countries around the world. The UK, with its tradition of council housing, has faced shocks to its system. Housing is more and more out of the reach of many working people there. The US is facing a housing crisis, too. Migration of millennials to cities has created increased demand for housing there. This has driven rents up and out of the reach of working-class people. It almost seems that no matter where you are, rents are soaring up and reasonably priced homes are far and few between.
A companion problem is that working-class wages have stagnated since the Great Recession. Working-class people often lack cars and can’t find a workable way to make a move to the suburbs. All of this has created a seemingly intractable housing crisis in cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. All of this has been immensely frustrating, both for the people who live in these cities and for politicians. However, there’s also a great opportunity in this crisis, if only people will take the time to think it through.
Currently, four out of ten low income people are either homeless or spending over 50% of their income on rent, which is unsustainable in the long-term. The US is short by at least several million low income housing units. This is a tremendous opportunity for investors, if they are able to play it right. Social housing in the United States often gets a bad name. However, there are real advantages to landlords when it comes to dealing with social housing programs.
For example, section 8 arrives on time every month. Renting to lower income tenants can mean missed, partial or late payments. Dealing with government agencies means much more reliable cash flow, even if there can be a lag initially. Social impact investment firms have also made affordable housing one of their pet causes. Groups like Turner Impact Capital and Building Opportunity have made it a point to focus on affordable housing. This investment takes many forms, from crowdsourcing online to REITs.
Avalon Communities, a company known for providing corporate apartments, has also shifted their focus to renovating older buildings for more middle-income and lower-income clientele. As these big investments by big players demonstrate, there’s a very healthy future in providing low income housing.
When built-ins and fixtures in a home start looking worn and old, it’s time to update.
Homeowners don’t usually think about making changes that can increase the value of their homes until it is time to sell. Then they may be short on cash or the time to make improvements that can add value. The key is to make gradual changes along the way that will keep a home looking fresh and contemporary. Consider the following ways homeowners can increase the value of their homes.
Keep the outside looking fresh
Nothing grabs attention more than a home with curb appeal. Since the outside of the home is the first impression a buyer will make, the outside should be neat and inviting. Keep shrubs and other vegetation under control with regular trimming. Pressure wash concrete surfaces and siding to keep them looking new. Remove dead flowers and plants. When perennials start to get grassy, it may be time to dig them up, clear out the weeds, and start fresh. Make sure wood trim is painted, and clean the cobwebs from around doors, windows, and light fixtures. Curb appeal is usually a matter of regular maintenance and costs very little.
Consider a kitchen upgrade
An upgrade can make the kitchen a place where the entire family enjoys gathering, but an out-dated kitchen can be depressing and a deal-breaker for a buyer. Swap out tired looking white or black appliances for edgy stainless steel. When today’s homebuyers walk into a kitchen, they expect to see stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Something as simple as s trendy new backsplash can add pop to an otherwise boring kitchen.
Turn a bathroom into a spa
Not only do homebuyers expect kitchens to wow them–clean bathrooms with that spa vibe are also on many homebuyers’ wish lists. If you can’t put in a new shower, consider adding a rain shower head. Clean the tub and shower until it is sparkling. Replace old sink fixtures and faucets with updated versions. Consider adding a new mirror and get rid of the 1990s vanity strip lights. Replace the wallpaper with a fresh coat of paint in a spa-inspired color.
These are just a few simple, and mostly low-cost changes that a homeowner can make to increase a home’s value. Even when a homeowner is not thinking of selling, updates can make a home feel like a brand new living space.
is one of the most critical aspects of real estate investing. It is a situation where the winner of a bid pays more than the worth of the property. It is an unfortunate occurrence since no one wants their efforts to go into waste. Performing objective due diligence is the best way to dodge the curse or any other unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, it helps to overcome bias in decision making.
Although the winner’s curse is unfortunate to an investor, it is a benefit to real estate fund managers. This is because they can differentiate early enough whether a valuation is optimistic or conservative. The curse has also caught experienced investors. They tend to overlook certain property fundamentals or rely on unviable strategies.
Atlantic Richfield engineers noticed that sometimes aggressive bids might prove to be too optimistic. They discovered that in the oil and gas auctions, essential information might be hidden beneath the surface.
Although valuations may vary in different industries, in real estate, prices might not reflect the underlying value. This is maybe due to the risk in investment property of setting the wrong prices, false assumptions or business plans that are not feasible. Furthermore, in private equity real estate, there is the rush to close the deal instead of waiting for the right opportunity or time.
For most investors, sticking to conservative strategies seems the most rational thing to do. However, behavioral economics indicate that markets are not always rational. In most cases, sellers hold unrealistic prices while buyers concentrate on factors that do not add intrinsic value.
There are limitless deals in the real estate industry. However, it is advisable to carefully check the inefficiencies that prevent investment opportunities to achieve the expected value. In fact, nowadays there is growing data science that can help to evaluate properties before committing an investment.
Due diligence is the best way to control the risks involved in real estate investment. However, it may not provide the nature of the risks. There are two major lessons when investing in real estate. First, joint ventures do not always guarantee favorable returns. Although getting into partnerships might reduce structural risks, they also limit control of investment and ultimately lessen the proceeds. Second, making off-market deals does not always guarantee a better return on investment. Therefore as an investor, find a suitable data-driven procedure that will help evade the winner’s curse.
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.
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.
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.
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.