After experiencing another long year of rising rent and home prices while going through a declining inventory throughout the country, it is evidently challenging to find a suitable place to invest in expecting to reap reasonable returns shortly. Nevertheless, there are still some scattered sweet spots that can offer investors some much great returns. These cities provide a rare combination of job growth that is better than average.
They also offer some runway before housing is overpriced. Investors who are looking for high-growth markets should try to put their investment in the following cities that have a promising future of good returns in the coming years.
1. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is known as the land of Harry Potter World and Mickey Mouse. In 2017, the housing and home prices of Orlando recorded a hike of 9%. This price increase hit an average of about $247,550 in that year. Interestingly, a Local Market Monitor predicts that these prices are likely to rise with an estimate of 35% from 2018 to the start of 2021. Generally, Orlando city does well when the average American market improves. Optimistic investors should consider investing in Orlando.
2. Provo-Orem, Utah
Provo-Orem was the top newcomer city in the list produced by Forbes for the most promising cities regarding the future of housing prices. The city recorded an estimated average home price of $266,169, a 7.2% population growth in three years, and a 6.7% job growth in the last two years. The city was estimated to have attained a 10% home price growth over the previous year. Moreover, Forbes predicted that the towns home price growth at 31% in the next three years.
3. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
The Forbes listed Ogden-Clearfield at position five. The city recorded an average housing price of $246,251. Its population was found to have achieved a 5.1% population growth in the past three years. Additionally, Ogden-Clearfield attained 5.7% job growth in the last two years and a 1-year home price growth of 10%. Forbes also forecasted home price growth of 29% in the coming three years.
4. Springfield, Missouri
Springfield city has an average home cost of $154,557, a 3-year population growth of 2.3%, and 5.1% job growth in the last two years. Moreover, Forbes predicted that the home price of this city at 14% in the next three years.
Springfield, Ogden-Clearfield, Provo-Orem, Orlando prove to some of the best cities to invest in housing in 2018. Any of these cities serve as a great option for an investment opportunity for anyone who is looking for a strong return.
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.
While many people are rightly skeptical of going into debt, experienced real estate investors know that the judicious use of leverage
can dramatically boost their bottom line. Leverage is used by real estate investors to boost what is known as their internal rate of return. This is simply a reflection of the fact that the less capital one has invested, the higher their potential return on invested capital is.
How does leverage increase returns?
If a new real estate investor had $50,000 to put towards the purchase of a property, they would have a number of options on how to best invest that money, starting with whether or not they wanted to use mortgage financing or pay cash. Some people may opt for the latter option, deciding that the risk of taking on mortgage payments is beyond their tolerance levels.
However, for the astute investor, using mortgage financing can provide a much higher rate of return. In the case of buying a property for $50,000 in cash, if that property nets $5,000 per year of income, then the total rate of return on capital for the property will be 10 percent. However, if that same $50,000 is used on a down payment to buy a $200,000 property with the same 10 percent return on the purchase price, the return on capital for the second deal will be 40 percent! This is because the investor is earning $20,000 per year of income but has only invested $50,000 of their own capital.
It is important to understand that leverage works best, by far, when rents and property values are rising. Using leverage can still work in other markets, but investors need to have sufficient liquidity to cover downturns, such as high vacancy rates or declining overall property values. Generally speaking, investors should stay away from using leverage in markets with a negative macroeconomic outlook for the short to medium term. While these investments can still prove to be highly profitable over the long term, the short-term capital requirements can bankrupt smaller investors.
The best way to mitigate the risks of using leverage is to perform in-depth due diligence on the local macroeconomic trends. Study trends in property values, employment quality, and quantity and net migration trends. Try to avoid entering into leveraged real estate deals near market peaks.
House hunting can be a fun, yet frustrating experience. While it’s exciting to look for a home of your own, you also have to recognize that sellers are trying to put their homes in the best possible light. By recognizing common phrases, you’ll be better equipped to know which homes should be avoided altogether.
“Pride of Ownership Shows”
At first glance, this phrase implies that the owners have taken good care of the property. However, in most cases, it also means little, if anything, has been updated. You can look forward to decades-old tiling, antique appliances, and more than a few rooms that need a remodel.
“In One of the Hottest Neighborhoods”
If you see a descriptive phrase that uses words like “hot” or “up and coming,” be aware that you’re expectations may fall short of the reality. Often, sellers will use these terms to describe neighborhoods that are expected to take a good turn and attract developers. Typically, these neighborhoods will lack nearby amenities and may only show the promise of improvement.
Even if you are an investor, you might want to stay away from properties with this as a headline. It indicates a property in distress most of the time and suggests you will need to make several updates just to make the property welcoming. If you’re looking for a home, this may not be the best choice for you.
“Offered as Is”
This is another one that would be best avoided. Often, “as is” suggests the owner knows there’s a great deal wrong with the property and he’s hoping to pass his problems onto an ambitious buyer. By the time the needed repairs are complete, you may have spent more money than the home is actually worth.
Think condo, but smaller. If you’re on the market for a single-family home, you’re probably looking for something roomy and something with potential for expansion. You’ll find neither in homes that are marketed with this phrase. These are typically very small homes that won’t suit your needs.
This is a deceptive phrase indicating you’ll probably spending a few weeks just getting the yard presentable. The current owner probably hasn’t put much effort into maintaining the “curb appeal” of the home. Of course, if you love the rest of the home and want to spend the money, you can always hire professional landscapers to do the dirty work for you.
These are some common phrases used in real estate marketing. While you should be wary of them, not every one of them is the kiss of death. Be aware that you may be getting more than you expect, but also keep an open mind. You may end up getting that diamond in the ruff.
Once upon a time, showing your house off to buyers just meant cleaning it. But now, “staging” has become a part of the sales process. Staging means decorating your home to appeal to potential homebuyers—a process that can mean anything from repainting the walls, to buying new furniture or updating old appliances.
Staging is about more than making your home look good—it has to look like what potential homebuyers are interested in. And today, more than 30% of those homebuyers are millennials—people born between 1980 and 2000. So how do home sellers appeal to this new generation? Here are some ideas:
Make it Photogenic
If you want to appeal to millennials, make sure your home has a good online presence. Take clear, attractive photos and make sure all the details about your home are posted on the web. What they find online may very well determine whether millennial homebuyers even want to visit.
Keep it Clean and Simple
Obviously your home should not be dirty when you show it off. But more than that, eliminate clutter. Millennials like homes to look spare and simple, with lots of space for entertaining. Many millennials—and certainly those looking into buying a home—have full-time jobs coupled with busy social lives, so they will want a place that looks easy to maintain and keep clean. Hide knick-knacks, and anything that might make your house look dated: doilies, quilts, lots of fancy china, or heavy or frilly curtains.
Millennials are concerned about the environment; so don’t be surprised if you are asked about your home’s sustainability. Projects such as insulating your home or installing more efficient appliances can help draw in young homebuyers worried about their footprints.
Fashion a Home Office
Creating a home office doesn’t have to be a major project. If you have a guest room or catch-all space in your house, clean it out and stick a desk and chair inside. Many millennials work from home, at least part-time, and want a designated space to work from.
Even if you don’t have the budget to make major renovations, just painting walls can make a huge impact. Wallpaper, especially patterned wallpaper, can make a home seem old-fashioned and cramped. Full-wall mirrors from the 80s are arguably worse. Painting your walls is a good way to modernize. Use light, muted colors to make everything seem modern, spacious, and well-lit.
Think About Location
Are you in walkable distance from a grocery store, coffee shop, or library? If you answered yes, or if you can think of any other choice destinations in reasonable walking distance, make sure to advertise it! You can’t change your location, but it would be a mistake not to promote it.
What’s Wrong With Being a Fixer-Upper?
If your house is a fixer-upper, and fixing it yourself is out of your budget, be honest about it! Many millennials are looking for a move-in ready house, but others would be happy to get a deal and a challenge.