How to Get Started in Real Estate

How to Get Started in Real Estate

Investing in real estate is a great way to achieve your financial goals. It can provide multiple strategies to make money and even become your primary source of income. For those with limited experience in real estate investing, getting started can be daunting. Fortunately, there are strategies available that are tailored toward beginners. Taking the time to learn the basics while investing in a beginner-friendly niche is a great way to slowly build knowledge and confidence. As investors gain experience and profits, they can then transition into more advanced strategies. For those just getting started in real estate investing, these strategies provide a great starting point.

Real Estate Wholesaling

Wholesaling is a quick and lucrative way to start in real estate, where a property is secured under market value and assigned to an end buyer for a fee. The wholesaler does not own the property and makes money through the fee added to the contract. Wholesaling involves building a list of potential buyers by using lead generation tactics like emailing, social media, and sending out direct mailers. This list is then used to get information, such as contact details, funding type, and buying criteria, about the investors. This information helps the business determine what deals the investors are interested in and how to get in contact with them. Wholesaling is a great option for beginners in real estate investing because it requires low capital to start and does not involve actually buying properties. It also provides an opportunity to form a reliable network and gain an understanding of the local market.

Real Estate Prehabbing

Prehabbing is a form of real estate investing that involves minimal upgrades to a property, such as cleaning, painting, and landscaping, in order to make it more attractive to other investors. It is a low-cost way of improving property through sweat equity. Investors should look for properties with structural integrity that require minimal repairs while also keeping location in mind. Research the market and identify popular or up-and-coming neighborhoods to ensure the best return on investment. Prehabbing is a low-risk, low-effort investment option that can yield a quick return on investment. The goal of prehabbing is to sell the potential of a property, not the property itself.

REIT Investing

REITs are a great way for new investors to get into real estate investing without having to commit full-time to the sector. They allow for the purchase of shares in companies that own income-producing property, providing regular dividends and the potential for above-average returns. To get started, research publicly traded REITs and evaluate their records yourself, including the company’s anticipated growth, current dividends, and funds from operations (FFO). It is recommended to consult with a financial advisor before investing. REITs are an excellent investment option for beginners as they provide an opportunity to benefit from real estate without having to purchase properties. They are also known for providing solid returns with low risk, making them a good way to diversify existing portfolios.

Online Real Estate Platforms

Online real estate platforms allow borrowers and investors to connect, allowing developers to post deals and projects that need financing via debt or equity, while investors can benefit from real estate investing without having to manage ownership or labor. This creates a win-win arrangement for all involved. Financing real estate deals can be a great way to diversify and potentially profit from real estate investments, but it is important to always do your research and be aware of the risks. Investors can choose to invest in single projects or portfolios and receive monthly or quarterly distributions; however, platform membership fees may be required, and the funds may be illiquid with lockup periods.

Purchasing Rental Properties

Investing in rental properties is a great way to earn a fixed monthly income by becoming a landlord. With the right purchase and market, you can cover all expenses and potentially have some profit left over. Rental property owners can have an active or passive income stream depending on their preference; they can outsource tasks such as maintenance and repairs to a property manager or do everything themselves to maximize income. House hacking is a form of investing in rental properties where the owner occupies one of the units and rents out the others, allowing them to qualify for a residential loan while earning rental income.

Real Estate Syndication

Real estate syndication is a partnership between investors to identify and purchase properties, usually with the sponsor managing the search, contract, and property, while other investors contribute capital. The sponsor provides skills and time instead of money. Investors in a syndication deal provide the funds to purchase a property and cover any required repairs or renovations. They take on a passive role and receive a return on their investment through periodic payments. Once the property is renovated and sold, the syndication aspect of the deal is completed, and the sponsors are paid an agreed-upon amount for their involvement.

House Flipping

House flipping involves buying a home below market value, renovating it, and then reselling it for a profit. HGTV often provides an introduction to the concept for those interested in real estate investing. Investors who want to flip houses should be aware of the risks involved, such as spending too much on renovation costs or not being able to sell the house due to price or market conditions. New investors should consider finding an experienced partner to help guide them.

Real Estate Investment Groups (REIG)

REIGs are businesses that specialize in investing in real estate by pooling together investor money to purchase multi-unit housing and commercial properties, as well as buying, renovating, and reselling properties for profit. REIGs are an alternative to REITs, offering investors more flexibility and the ability to diversify their capital sources through different investment strategies. They are attractive to investors who seek the returns of real estate without the burden of property management.

How to Find a Property Manager for Your Investment Properties

How to Find a Property Manager for Your Investment Properties

When it comes to business, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. For investors, hiring a property management company can be incredibly beneficial, especially if they own multiple properties or do not have much time to dedicate to the properties. They take care of all aspects of managing the property; this saves investors time and stress while also assuring them that their investments are in the hands of capable and knowledgeable professionals. To ensure you select the ideal property manager, take the time to research your options. Here are some suggestions to help you find a reliable property management company:

Network and ask for referrals

If you’re looking for a property manager, it’s best to start with your local network. Ask for referrals from people you trust, such as those you know from networking meetings and investment clubs. You might also want to contact contractors and handypersons you’ve previously hired. Ultimately, it’s often better to work with someone you know or who comes recommended. You should also reach out to other investors and your local realtor to see if they have a property management company they are comfortable with. A wide selection of options will give you a better chance of finding someone who meets your needs.

Research Property Managers Online

To continue your search for a property management firm, you should conduct some research online. Utilize sites such as $implifyEm and AllPropertyManagement to find management companies that are active in your area. Simply input the size of your property and location to get a list of names. After compiling a list of potential candidates, look at each company’s website to read their mission statements and look online for customer reviews.

Visit Their Properties

On-site visits can be a great way to evaluate the abilities of a property management firm. Pay attention to the condition of the property and if there is any trash or debris. Make sure to observe any necessary repairs. It is also important to talk to tenants and ask questions about how their complaints are responded to and how quickly repairs or maintenance issues are resolved. Inquire about the noise level, any issues with other tenants, and if tenants plan to renew their leases and why.

Interview Several People

When searching for a property management firm, make sure that you interview multiple people in person to find the ideal fit for your property. Some of these include their education, experience in landlord/tenant law, and how they maintain properties. To find the best fit for your property, it is recommended that you interview multiple managers in person. This will allow you to gather various details about the company and its services. Having a large client base can also be a good indication that the firm has the capabilities to do a good job. Prior to the interviews, organize your questions into three main categories:

  1. Experience and Education: What is their knowledge of local and federal laws? 
  2. Fee Structure: What fees are associated with their services?
  3. Services: How are properties maintained, and how is rent collected and managed?
Check Licenses and Certifications

In order to show vacant properties, most states require that property managers/management companies possess a valid real estate broker’s license or property management license. It is important to check with the state’s Real Estate Commission to ensure that the candidate’s brokerage license is active. Additionally, it is beneficial to find out if the manager has received certification from a trade organization. If a manager is willing to invest time and money into attending continuing education courses, it speaks volumes about their dedication to the organization. These certifications are only available after the successful completion of rigorous training programs. Above all, you should trust your instincts when hiring a property management firm. Even if a property manager has taken a course on the subject, there is no guarantee that they are applying what they have learned.

Understand Management Agreement Terms

Before signing a contract with a property management firm, ensure you thoroughly understand its terms. It may be wise to have a lawyer review the contract to ensure your rights are protected. Be sure to confirm that the specifics of the agreement you sign reflect what was discussed during your interview with the property manager and that you are aware of all your responsibilities as the property owner. The role of the property manager can range from broad to more specific, so make sure you are aware of the exact terms. When entering into a property management agreement, it is wise to ensure compliance with fair housing laws, understand the terms of any hold harmless and cancellation clauses, and request an example of the monthly report you would receive. It is also important to ensure that both parties carry adequate insurance, including errors and omissions coverage, general liability, and property-casualty coverage, at a minimum.

Are Airbnb Properties Good Investments?

Are Airbnb Properties Good Investments?

Getting started with Airbnb requires a lot of faith. Most people are nervous about investing in short-term rental property, especially since it can be hard to determine if it’s a good investment. There are a lot of questions that people have when it comes to investing in these types of properties. An Airbnb investment is when you purchase a property intending to rent it short-term through Airbnb. Since over four million hosts globally, this type of passive income has become very popular. Most hosts who participate in Airbnb start as part-time workers and then grow to own multiple properties. There are many ways to make investing in this type of property work for everyone. Before you commit to becoming a host on Airbnb, it’s important to understand the various risks and benefits associated with this type of investment. Here are some of the pros and cons of investing in this type of property.

Pro: Passive income

One of the most attractive aspects of investing in a property on Airbnb is the possibility of passive income. This type of income is a revenue stream that doesn’t require you to actively participate in the operation. For instance, a traditional nine-to-five job doesn’t constitute passive income because the amount of money you earn is related to how much you work. Since you can earn money through bookings on Airbnb, this type of investment is considered passive income. In addition to not requiring you to actively participate in the operation, the amount of work you put in doesn’t directly reflect how much you earn. With passive income, you can boost your regular income or replace it with something completely different. For instance, many people who invest in Airbnb as a side project end up taking it on as their full-time job.

Con: High operating costs

The operating costs associated with running a property on Airbnb can be very expensive. You have to pay for various expenses such as electricity, internet, and regular cleanings. If you didn’t choose to rent out your property through Airbnb, these costs would be shouldered by a long-term tenant. Before you commit to becoming a host on Airbnb, it’s important to understand the various risks and benefits associated with this type of investment.

Pro: Some expenses are tax-deductible

Expenses that are related to running a property on Airbnb can be tax-deductible. These include marketing and advertising, as well as insurance and accounting fees. Many hosts don’t realize that these expenses can significantly impact their income. By reducing these expenses, you can maximize your earning potential and write off some of the costs. If you’re not aware of the exact laws in your state, it’s important to consult a tax professional.

Con: Higher down payment

The down payment required for a vacation rental property is significantly higher than for a primary residence. Usually, hosts need to put down 10%, though it can go up to 25% depending on the strength of their application. Before you commit to becoming a host on Airbnb, it’s important to understand the various risks and benefits associated with this type of investment. One of the biggest expenses that you’ll have to spend is on the quality of your furniture and decor.

Pro: Higher revenue during peak season

Through Airbnb, you can rent your property to short-term tenants and set your own rent rate. Unlike long-term tenants, you don’t have to lock yourself into a fixed rate. You can also adjust your pricing during the peak season to reflect the changes in the tourism industry. One of the main advantages of becoming a host on Airbnb is that you can earn a higher income than you would with a long-term tenant. However, this doesn’t mean that you can avoid the risk of instability. Since there’s no guarantee that your property will be rented, you have to accept the possibility of instability.

Con: Airbnb properties can be time consuming

Getting the proper resources to manage your property on Airbnb can be daunting, especially if you don’t have the necessary skills to make it easy for you. One of the most effective ways to reduce the time that you spend on your property is by using a management software like Lodgify. This online platform allows you to manage all of your tasks and activities from one place. One of the most effective ways to manage your property on Airbnb is using a channel manager. This tool connects all of your listings to the top travel agencies so that you can avoid double bookings.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of HOAs

The Advantages and Disadvantages of HOAs

If you’re planning on buying a home in a community with a homeowners association, make sure you understand the organization’s terms and conditions. An organization known as a homeowner’s association is composed of homeowners elected by their fellow residents. It’s responsible for setting rules and regulations for the community. These organizations are commonly found in townhouse communities, single-family homes, and condominium communities. Before you start looking for a home, it’s important to consider an association’s various advantages and disadvantages.

Pros Associated with Homeowner’s Associations:
Commons Areas are managed by the HOA

One of the main advantages of living in a community with an association is that it can manage the various common areas, such as the pool area, the playground, and the community centers. This allows you to enjoy these spaces without worrying about their upkeep. In some cases, the homeowners are responsible for the landscaping in front of their units, while in other cases, the association is responsible for maintaining the landscape in the surrounding areas.

The HOA May Maintain the Home’s Exterior

In addition to maintaining the common areas, the homeowners association can also care for the exterior of their homes. This can include performing various maintenance activities such as power washing and repairing the roof and fence. If you’re planning on buying a home in a community with an association, you might be able to save a lot of money by purchasing it through the association. However, it’s important to note that the organization can only do so much with regard to your property. For instance, if the association wants to make repairs to the walls of your home, you might be responsible for the cost.

The HOA Mediates Problems Between Neighbors

Homeowners associations can help resolve disputes between neighbors. They can act as mediators if one of their members sees that another person is violating a rule or regulation. Instead of talking to your neighbor about the issue, you can contact the association to resolve the matter.

Cons of a Homeowner’s Association
You Have to Pay Monthly HOA Fees

Since the association is responsible for maintaining the exterior and common areas of homes, it is required by law to charge homeowners association fees. These fees can vary depending on the type of amenities the community has. Unfortunately, due to the fees not being written in stone, they can go up and down, and the association might have to raise them to maintain the community.

Defaulting on HOA Fees Has Repercussions

Although it’s important to pay your fees, it’s also important to note that if you don’t pay them, you might end up facing foreclosure. Even if your state doesn’t allow the foreclosure of your home, the amount you owe will still accrue. It’s also important to note that the residents of the community must pay their fees. If the organization is not able to collect enough money, it might have to lay off its property manager and start over. This could have a negative effect on the community’s appearance and property values.

The HOA Imposes Rules and Regulations

Although it might seem like a minor inconvenience, paying the fees can be necessary to maintain the community. The association can set rules that affect the appearance of your home. For instance, they can decide what paint you can use on your front door and how you can decorate your windows. Violating these rules could result in a fine.

Finding Budget-Friendly Materials for Your Home Project

Finding Budget-Friendly Materials for Your Home Project

While it’s not necessary to break your budget when it comes to building projects, plenty of low-cost materials will look good on your walls and floors. Whether you’re planning on building a small house for your mother-in-law or organizing your library, you’re probably hoping to keep your costs low. Unfortunately, if you’re planning on using expensive materials such as marble, you might want to rethink your project. Fortunately, plenty of low-cost options can still look great without breaking the bank.

Concrete Sheets

A type of concrete sheet known as concrete board is a mixture of cement and fibers that are usually pressed into flat boards that are 3′ x 5′. While it’s commonly used as a wall covering and flooring underlay, it can also be a moisture-resistant alternative to drywall. You can expect to pay around $10 for each 3′ x 5′ board.

Reclaimed Wood

One of the most eco-friendly and economical materials that can be used for building projects is reclaimed wood. This type of wood can be used for various projects, such as decks, furniture, and fences. Most of the time, this type of wood has a weathered look that’s popular with beach-house and cottage-style lovers. However, you can give it a more contemporary look by painting it or staining it. Depending on the quality of the wood, you can expect to pay around $5 to up per square foot.

Used Brick

Although it costs less than new bricks, used bricks are still useful for various projects, such as fire pits, walls, and pathways. While it’s commonly used for its natural red color, it can also be painted to give it a more contemporary look. The cost of a thousand used bricks can vary.

Corrugated Metal

While it’s commonly used to amplify the rain on the roof, corrugated metal can also be used to cover interior walls and ceilings. This type of material can create a contemporary look by adding a splash of color to the sides of a kitchen counter or creating the walls of a backyard chicken coop. If you’re planning on using metal sheeting, make sure that it’s protected from the elements by having it protected with sealant. Although the prices vary depending on the size and type of metal, you can usually expect to spend around $1.50 to $5 for each square foot.

Stone Veneer

Although natural stone is a popular choice for building projects, it’s not always practical due to its weight and cost. One alternative is to use stone veneer, a thin sheet of stone usually installed over other surfaces, such as concrete, wood, and masonry. The price range for stone veneer panels is wide, as there are different sizes and forms of this building material. However, on average, it costs around $10 per square foot.

Shipping Containers

Since shipping containers are commonly used as tiny homes, they’ve become a popular choice. There are two standard sizes of these containers, which are 8′ x 20′ or 8′ x 40′. They can provide you with up to 320 square feet of living space. While the expenses associated with converting a basic steel box into an actual home can quickly add up, the shipping container itself can be a relatively inexpensive option.

Bamboo

A wide range of projects can be made using bamboo, such as creating a lightweight fence or creating a bar or shower. This material can also cover a wall or create a planter. If you’re planning on using it outdoors, make sure it’s sealed to prevent rot. This fast-growing material is typically less than $100 for a 6 x 16-foot roll of fencing.

Cork

Unlike other natural materials, natural cork has a distinctive and warm look that’s hard to replicate. You can easily buy tiles or sheets of this material and use them to create a variety of projects, such as covering the sides or front of a kitchen island. Not only does this material not require a break in your budget, but it can also be used to hide the top of a bland counter or table.