There’s an age-old debate in the real estate market as to whether primary residences should be viewed as investments or simply as a place to live. While this debate is something that every homeowner should carefully consider, it is clear that there are reasons for buying a nice home, no matter the market conditions, other than simply to maximize one’s wealth. After all, everyone needs a roof over their head.
The same cannot be said, however, for professional real estate investors or anyone who is investing in a property that has the main purpose of income generation. These investors need to be much more careful about things like market timing. Real estate cycles can often last even longer than business cycles, meaning that an investor that buys into an overheated market could be waiting decades to realize any returns at all.
Unfortunately, there is currently ample evidence that real estate markets from coast to coast are overbought. While there still may be opportunities for solid long-term returns that can be located by savvy investors, the current trends in real estate prices indicate that there will be a reversion to historic averages in the near-term future. Buying into a market at a peak like the one we’re very likely seeing now can have disastrous consequences for the long-term performance of any real estate portfolio.
One of the key indicators that the real estate market is well above sustainable price levels is the number of hours that the average wage earner needs to work in order to buy the median home. In some cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, the average wage earner would need to work the majority of their waking hours in order to afford minimally decent housing. Contrast that with the norms of the 1960s when many American families only needed a single wage earner to work for 10 hours per week in order to afford the median home.
Another key factor that may bode poorly for the performance of real estate prices over the next five years is the almost certainty that interest rates will soon begin rising. The real estate market is exquisitely sensitive to interest rates, and worst-case-scenario interest hikes could put a big dent in the price gains that housing has seen nationwide since the financial crisis of 2008.
Riding the heels of an especially strong housing market, investors are turning more and more toward real estate as a viable and profitable business venture. One of the hottest segments of the real estate market is the multifamily housing sector. Despite being a longer process when it comes to generating income and profit than its single-family property investment counterparts, the multifamily market can be extremely profitable when executed properly.
Although it seems counter-intuitive, securing financing for a multifamily property can often be easier than getting the money for a single-family property. The reason for this is because there is a much smaller risk of not generating enough cash flow when there are multiple properties involved. What can often be confusing is calculating the value of a multifamily property because of the myriad of complexities involved. In order to calculate an accurate value, the following considerations must all be examined:
OPERATING EXPENSES: This list of expenses can be varied and long. Examples include snow removal, landscaping, pool maintenance, and pest control.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES: Also known as CapEx, these funds are used by the property management or investor to acquire new assets or upgrade existing facilities with the intention of improving or increasing the breadth of the operation. Examples of capital expenditures in multifamily properties include new air conditioning units, roofing replacements, playground additions, water heaters, and more. Property managers will want to set aside larger amounts for annual capital expenditures if the property is older since repairs and upgrades will be more likely. Newer properties will not require as much capital expenditure investment, which will make these more attractive to investors.
NET OPERATING INCOME: This definition is self-explanatory. Net operating income is simply the total income generated from the multifamily property after the total operating expenses have been subtracted.
CAP RATE: This calculation is a little more specific. It refers to the exact rate of return from the property after income is considered. These rates are distinct to a certain market and drawn by the kind of property class of the investment. To calculate multifamily value, the net operating income of the property is divided by the cap rate. This is why knowing the cap rate is imperative to understanding the overall value.
While many people get involved in real estate investing, they don’t all take the same path to success. There are several ways that you can get started and that which may not work for your colleagues may work much better for your circumstances. The most popular strategies for investing in real estate are fixing and flipping, wholesaling, creative real estate investing, and buy and hold.
Fix and Flip
This is the most commonly known of the popular types of real estate investing, particularly because it’s something that can be done relatively quickly. It involves buying a property at a low price, repairing and updating the home, and selling it for significantly more. This requires selling the property at a price that will help you recoup the original investment, the money you spent on renovations and repairs, and still provide a tidy profit.
This is the practice of making a profit by finding real estate deals for investors. In wholesaling, the individual gains a profit by selling the property for a higher price to the investor than paid in the contract with the original seller. While this is similar to flipping houses, there are no repairs that need to be made. In this way, it’s a faster and less costly method of investing in real estate.
Creative Real Estate Investing
This is a much riskier way of investing in real estate, but it can be lucrative with enough knowledge of the market. It involves buying properties without traditional bank loans and without having to provide big down payments. One common way this is done is in buying a depleted property with cash and selling it to another investor at a profit.
Buy and Hold
This involves buying a property, possibly renovating it, and holding onto it for an extended period of time. By renting out the property, you can turn the property into a stable source of income. However, this practice requires intimate knowledge of the market and an ability to predict trends, or you may end up with a property that won’t attract tenants. A vacant property will end up costing you money.
These are four unique and very different investment methods and there’s no rule that says you can’t adopt several of them. You may combine a couple methods to develop your own strategy. As is true with any type of investing practice, you will have to find the method that works best for you.
The Seattle real estate market is one of the hottest markets in the country. Over the past few months, home prices have started to accelerate even more quickly. The economy of Seattle is strong, and this is encouraging many people to move to the area. Not only that, but there is less traffic in Seattle than other major cities.
The biggest driver behind higher housing prices in Seattle is a lack of inventory. It is fairly common for a home to sell within a day or two of going on the market. There are many people who want to buy a home in the area. The problem is that there are few homes within an affordable price range.
The good news is that many building companies are working on new homes. However, it is going to be several years before the new homes will catch up with demand from buyers. Over time, this should be an issue that gets worked out with more homes being built.
As a buyer in the Seattle market, reacting quickly is essential. If you see a property that you are interested in, you need to submit an offer quickly in order to be considered.
Over the past year, home prices in Seattle have increased by more than eight percent. This is a massive increase in prices during one year. Many real estate experts believe that this trend is going to continue into 2018. With more demand from buyers than ever before, sellers have an incentive to continue increasing the list price on their home.
Real Estate Investors
Investing in real estate is a great financial decision over a long period of time. There are many real estate investors who are looking in Seattle for a property to purchase.
This is another factor that is increasing the overall cost to live in the area. Real estate investors typically react quickly when a home goes on the market. Seattle is a great market to find a rental property in because of all the population growth. Rent prices in Seattle have also been rapidly increasing in recent years.
Although Seattle is a great place to live, many people are having a hard time finding a home in the area. Some people are starting to look at cities around Seattle in order to find more affordable homes to purchase. The inventory shortage in Seattle will continue in the next year.
For many people, real estate investing is a great way to achieve financial independence. However, real estate investing is a difficult process. There are various people who struggle to get started with investing.
In addition, there are many ways to make mistakes with real estate investing. Too many mistakes can result in financial failure. Here are some of the most lethal real estate investing mistakes that you should avoid.
Borrowing Too Much Money
Perhaps the biggest mistake that new investors make is to borrow too much money in the beginning. When you first start investing, you are often really excited to buy your first property. Borrowing too much money does a couple of things to your finances.
Not only will borrowing too much money impact your monthly cash flow, but it also increases the risk that you have in business. Some people struggle to pay for all of the debt that they take on.
Lowering Your Rent
Some real estate investors believe that lowering their required rent is the best way to attract quality tenants. However, having rent prices that are too low is the wrong approach to take as an investor.
As a real estate owner, there are various expenses that you must deal with. Rent payments help the owner pay for repairs and other maintenance in the home. Make sure to conduct thorough research on the area before setting a price for your monthly rental requirements.
Maintenance is one of the most important aspects of owning a home. There are many people who want to avoid maintenance expenses whenever possible. However, this is the wrong approach to take for a variety of reasons. Maintenance expenses are much cheaper than repairing a major problem.
You should conduct thorough maintenance in your home whenever possible. This is the best way to avoid major issues later on.
Selling in a Panic
If the housing market starts to drop, one of the worst things that investors can do is sell in a panic. Trying to sell a home quickly is only going to reduce the total price that you can get. Instead, focus on ways to hold your home through an economic downturn. This is the best way to enjoy price appreciation when the market picks up again.
Overall, real estate investing is a great way to build wealth and change your financial future. Avoiding major mistakes is essential to achieving financial success.