Financial Considerations Of Home Ownership

While we often, refer to, home ownership, as a core component, of the American Dream, it’s important, for us, to take a realistic look, at the obligations, and necessities, involved, if this is, to truly be a dream, instead of a potential nightmare! Before embarking on this house – hunting, process, carefully, introspectively, objectively, examine and consider, your personal reasons, persona, what makes you happy/ satisfied, and whether, it’s a good course, for you. After, you’ve determined, what’s best, for you, and know, what you want, it’s essential to clearly consider, and examine, what you might be able to afford. This means, proceeding, in a responsible, well – planned, and considered manner, focused, on preparing for the many contingencies, of home ownership. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, review, and discuss, a few steps, which should, both reduce unnecessary stress and hassle, and maximize the potential enjoyment!

1. Reasons for buying that house: Why do you want to buy, any specific house? Does it meet your present needs, and into the future? Or, are you looking, at a shorter – term, and want to live, there, for a shorter – span, and, then, relocate, when needed and necessary? Are you the type of person, who enjoys moving, or would you rather, remain in your present quarters? What are your needs, goals, and priorities, in terms of location, neighborhood, schools, costs, transportation, conveniences, etc? Why, this house?

2. Down – payment: Do you have the necessary funds, to have the down – payment, while avoiding, placing too much stress, on yourself, because of using these funds? Smart homeowners prepare, and make their journey, far less stressful!

3. Needed reserves: The best way, to proceed, is to put together, several reserve funds, in order to ease your way, forward! Once, you’ve purchased your house, most people face monthly fixed expenses, which includes mortgage payments (including principal, taxes, and escrow items, such as insurance, etc), utilities (electric, heat, telephone, television, internet, etc). Realize, owning a house, requires preparation, for affording the costs of regular repairs, including appliances, heating, water, etc. Create a reserve fund, for this specific area. Also, realize, houses require attention, and certain items, have useful lives, and will need replacing, such as roofs (rated from 20 – 40 years), appliances (including washer, dryer, refrigerator, oven/ stove, dishwasher, etc), painting or power – washing, etc. At some point, many realize, their house needs certain upgrades, renovations, etc. The better prepared, the easier this process!

How to Value a Freehold Property

There are no yardsticks to measure the value of a freehold property. This is because evaluating a freehold is not an accurate science. However, you can follow certain guidelines on what you need to take into consideration when valuing a freehold, which is produced by the advisory services that give free advice to leaseholders. You must also take these three factors into consideration:

1. The current value of the property

2. The annual ground rent

3. The number of years currently left on the lease

Also, evaluate the expected percentage increase in property value that results from extending the leases of different lengths, along with forecasted long term interest rates and inflation rates.

Take help from an expert valuer rather than trying to work out a figure all by yourself, to present before the freeholder. An expert valuer will be able to give you the best advice, which will enable you to make a practical offer.

You will find expert valuers online. They will help you with the entire process of negotiation and buying the freehold.

For the benefit of the freehold, most surveyors add a little extra to a property’s value. This is done after comparing it with similar property with the same number of years on the lease but no freehold.

First, approach your freeholder informally, before you serve him with a first notice. This document should include your preliminary offer for the freehold, which starts off the legal process of buying it.

A word of caution. Never produce an initial notice without obtaining an expert valuation. If you make the wrong evaluation in the initial notice you won’t be able to take back the offer. After the initial notice, wait for the freeholder to reply to it with a counter notice by a date that you have given. The freeholder must be sanctioned at least two months from the date the initial notice is served.

If the freeholder is not sending his counter notice within this period, the leaseholders can take matters into their hands. They can apply for a vesting order at a court. It is now up to the court to move the freehold to the leaseholders. So freeholder’s should respond on time to the initial notice for their own benefit.

Buying a share of freehold will make little profit if you already have had a decent length lease. You would still have to give the same authorized costs as someone with a short hire, but would lead to a drop in the value of the property.

Three Ways to Increase Property Values

Real estate investors live and die by their ability to add value. With no added value, there are no profits. This is true with any business, but what makes real estate such a great business and a great investment, is the number of ways you can add value and cash in on big profits. Here are three ways you can add value to your properties.

Upgrades and Repairs: OK, this is the obvious one and is the reason fix and flippers can make money. Some repairs add a lot more value than it costs to do. The more creative you are with the improvements, the more value you can add. For example, I have a client that adds square footage to every house he buys. He really likes the inner city properties because they are the hardest to add square footage. You either need to finish an unfinished basement, or add a second story. There is not typically enough land on the lot to add an addition by increasing the foot print of the property. This client does a lot of basement finishes and “pop tops,” but where he has made the most money is the basement that is only 5 or 6 feet deep. He will go in and dig out the basement to a full 8 or 9 foot height and then finish it. Something most investors would not think of, so he is able to get the deal most other investors pass on. I have also seen some investors find houses that don’t really fit into a neighborhood and they make them fit. This could be limited bedrooms or bathrooms or funky floor plans. All of that can be changed. Obviously many cosmetic fixes like kitchens and bathrooms add a lot of value too. There is a lot more to it than this, but the idea is to buy a property at its true ‘as is’ value, (don’t over pay), and then add value with the repairs and upgrades.

Owner Finance: I love this one because it is so easy to add value with very little to no work. You will need to wait to cash in on your profits, but it is a way to increase a sell price significantly. You can also use this strategy to defer tax gains over a few years, instead of taking a big hit all in one year. When you have a property for sale there are a limited number of buyers for the house, although right now that pool of buyers seems pretty big. If you can increase the pool of buyers, the demand for that one house increases, which forces the price to go up. Someone that cannot qualify for an ordinary loan, limiting the supply of houses to choose from for that buyer, will likely buy your property. That also increases the price. You are adding value by giving them the chance to own a home that they normally would not be able to own. For this value, you should be compensated with a higher price and a decent interest rate on the profits, while you wait for the buyer to refinance and pay you off in full.

Shared Units: This is one area of real estate that I have not dabbled in, but it is extremely inviting. The idea here is to sell your property to multiple buyers. You are seeing this a lot in resort towns. It is always a vacation or second home. Have you ever been to a time share presentation? They are pretty enticing aren’t they? About 13 years ago my ex wife and I were in Florida and got sucked into a time share sales pitch. We decided to go because they offered us free tickets to Disney. We sat there for about an hour and a half and then the hard sale came. They were very good at selling the “idea” of the time share and had my ex wife sold. She asked me to move forward with the deal, but I could not bring myself to do it. I told her that I was not comfortable with an emotional purchase and that we needed time to think it through. “Can I please have our Disney tickets?” was my response. As we rode back to the hotel that afternoon, I started thinking about the math. Each unit can be sold to 52 different people because your purchase only gets you 1 week a year. Add that to the annual maintenance fees and the numbers are staggering. I know people who have flipped time shares successfully, because you can get them for free or near free on Craigslist, but it is not an investment I was interested in. With that said, I have considered doing a half or quarter share on a house in a ski town in Colorado. In this scenario, you are sharing a house with 1 to 3 other people so there is a ton more flexibility. You can use or rent out your weeks and you can be guaranteed valuable high demand weeks every year. It is a way to get a second home without the full expense. From the seller’s point of view, it is a way to get more for the house. ½ a share of a house is going to cost the buyer more than ½ of the fair market value. I have seen business plans from investors that would buy a house and quarter share it out. The idea was that after they improved the property and sold ¾ of the house to 3 different buyers, they would own the last ¼ free and clear. Obviously this strategy will work best in areas where people want second homes. The downside is if there are any improvements or major issues. I can see there being disagreements, so this is something you would want, as a buyer, to work out with all the other owners in writing before you buy.

My First Open House Experience

I finally decided to write my first post. Why not? But what could I possible write about that is interesting and educational as well. I can write about the market, mortgage rules, down payments, etc

Or read the newspaper and write a well digested post.

So, here we go, I remember that day as if it was an hour ago! It has scarred me forever and ever. Every time a client asks me to run an open house, I sweat and swallow super hard. Even after having lots of successful “open houses”, this one still manages to make me run to the bathroom and grab the famous Pepto-Bismol.

So, long ago, when I became a licensed real estate agent, at the beginning of my time as a Realtor. The new challenges I was facing, a bit anxious but super excited at the same time. Knowing what I am made out of, a very hard working, honest, reliable, ethical individual couldn’t wait to run my very first open house!

Since I had no listing of my own and couldn’t just run an open house on my own house and tell anyone entering through the entrance: “thank you for coming, but this house is really not for sale! It is just for me to practice my new skills”

So I asked a few fellow agents in my office and at last, after 2 months of trying, one of our broker asked me to help him out!

I was so excited that I had a hard time falling asleep! I did a CMA, I looked up all the past, present sales in the area; looked up all the schools from public, private, catholic, French, etc in the neighborhood. I had so much info on the area that I felt like a walking Google!

I asked myself so many questions that people could come up with and I had the answer to every single one of them memorized!

The day of, I put on my super tailored suit, make sure nothing was stuck between my teeth, etc. I just wanted to run it as professionally as possible.

Anyhow, after opening the lock box to the unit, I realized that my suit had no pockets! And I didn’t take my purse with me, so the only secure place I could come up with storing the property’s key for 2 hours was my bra. No big deal, who would find out, after all, I showered and my bra was super clean and my suit just came out of the dry cleaners. I could use a bit of water and soap after and put it back in the lock box. Problem solved!

Open house was over at 4 pm, not too many people showed up but I had everything under control. I was extremely happy with the outcome. It was GREAT, except for the key stored in my bra and started to be a little uncomfortable.

So, I lock the property’s door, made sure it was actually locked, put back the key in the lock box, shuffle the combination, get in my car with a huge smile!

Contact the listing agent and thanked him for the opportunity and that everything was left in its perfect condition.

The next day, I had a fund raising event to attend. 5KM walk for a children’s hospital. So, on that Sunday, I am walking and thinking of yesterday’s open house. I am going to call those few individuals that came in. Asked them for feedbacks and take it from there. At exact same moment, my phone ran and it was the listing agent asking me where the key to the property is?!

He asked me to look in my pockets or purse, just in case, by mistake I forgot to put it back in the box. I told him that was not possible. And I had to tell him where I stored the house key for 2 hours the day before (super embarrassing!) and the silent after that.

I drove to the property just to see it for myself, and yes, sure enough, no key… I couldn’t believe my eyes! Being new to the business, new to this brokerage, my very first open house experience that I wanted it so badly and wanted to be “perfect” just got destroyed. No key, no house key a scheduled open house and we couldn’t get in.

The property had no showings after my open house. Key just gone, nowhere to be found, did not fall out of the box when I was putting it back. A total mind blowing experience.

It was obvious that it was stolen, by whom? No one knows. They’ve changed the lock right away and took all necessary security action, but… I felt terrible for the owners! There is nothing worse than feeling unsecured in your own home! Just the thought of knowing that some stranger might have the key to your property made me sick! I put myself in their shoes and I couldn’t fall asleep just thinking of it.

I can’t describe how I felt on that day and still do. Every single time I have to open a lock box and close it again, I get this weird feeling (even today). It just feels like time stops for a split second and it slows down.

The Power of Momentum

3 Steps That Will Guarantee Your Success

I am a big football fan. I watch every Bronco game, and the one thing that really stands out to me week after week is that momentum can often times win or lose a game. When a team can get the momentum on their side and stay motivated and consistent, they should always win the game. They only lose if the momentum shifts. Real estate is no different.

Once you get the momentum, you need to stay motivated. When you start to experience success, the last thing you should do is take it easy, which is probably what you will want to do. It is a good idea to reward yourself for your success, but do that and come back focused.

Sometimes it is hard to get the momentum in your favor because you are not sure what activities will get it going. Momentum always starts with a single success and builds from there; and it should be able to build as your confidence goes up. You should feed off your accomplishments. Here are three sure fire steps to get momentum in your real estate business.

Set your goal

This needs to be a short term goal that is challenging but realistic. Short term is thirty days or sixty days at most. An example would be to have a house under contract in the next thirty days.

Believe you have already accomplished your goal

I cannot overstate the power of this. You will accomplish the goals you believe you can, or better yet, believe you already have accomplished. The concept is simple, but the implementation is challenging. If you have never done a deal how can you believe that you will have one in the next thirty days? There are several strategies for this, but something that I have used with a lot of success, are affirmations.

Affirmations are statements that are repeated to yourself over and over until you believe it to be true. This works best when the statement is specific, personal, in the present tense, and positive. It is even more affective if the statement includes the goal as if you have accomplished it with the steps you took to get there. Here is an example of a statement that could be used to get a deal in the next thirty days:

“I got this house under contract that will net me $30,000 within a thirty day period by calling at least ten potential sellers every day from lists including, FSBOs, FRBOs and foreclosures.”

Once you have structured a quality statement print it out and put it in your car and one on the bathroom mirror. Say it out loud at least fifty times a day.

There are entire books and home study courses teaching this stuff, and all of it works. I recommend studying the law of attraction and picking up one or two strategies that works for you.

Massive action

Do ten times as much as you think you need to. If you think you need to knock on twenty doors a week or make ten calls a day, do that, but also send out mail, put up signs, call all potential referral sources and go to networking meetings. Focus all of your energy on accomplishing this one small goal.

To me, massive action means not watching any TV, not hanging out with friends, and not going out to eat. To me, massive action is working long and hard hours on productive activities. To me, massive action is doing what others are not willing to do. I know this is harsh, but it is temporary and could be necessary to get the momentum going. I like to compare this to flying a plane. The plane takes ninety percent of its energy to get off the ground but once it is in the air it stays consistent and gets results.

Once you accomplish your goal, set another one and do this process again. The momentum will build and once you have it you just need to maintain. While you maintain the momentum you need to stay consistent with your activities. I want to be clear that maintaining is not the same as massive action and you will not be working as hard, but if you feel the momentum start to slip, I suggest starting the process over again. It is really amazing how easy success comes when you get momentum that you can build on.

Tips In Making Building Creative Concepts

A lot of business owners wish to have a wonderful office. Of course, having such office can help them experience a better and comfortable work area. Not to mention, good offices can attract potential clients. However, in order to attain this, it is important for business owners to have good building creative concepts. But, there are numerous factors you need to consider to get the best results. Below are some of the things you need to consider.

Identify potential needs and problems

First and foremost, when making building creative concepts, it is imperative for individuals to identify potential need and problems. Knowing needs allow individuals to determine what things must be included in the designs. Not to mention, individuals can also create a better perspective on how buildings must be constructed. Apart from that, identifying problems before starting the project can help you reduce your expenses. Plus, reducing problems can also increase safety in your work area.

Create the right design

After identifying potential needs and problems, it is now time to create your design. Of course, when designing, you need to be cautious. This is essential to ensure that you will all have the features you need which can match your budget. In addition, it is also important to determine your space. This is another important factor when designing to ensure that you are creating a design that will allow you to make you building space more comfortable and appealing. Knowing these aspects will help you create the right designs you are looking for.

Establish safety schemes

When making building creative concepts, individuals need to make sure that they can establish safety schemes. Of course, accidents may occur unexpectedly. It gets even worse if these accidents will harm your employees. So, make sure that you create safety schemes on your designs. With these schemes, you can reduce risks and prevent overhead expenses which can help improve your finances and profits.

Hire professionals

Lastly, in case that you do not have any ideas or skills in making building creative concepts, it is also best to hire professionals. Luckily, there are numerous professionals who can help you create wonderful building concepts. These experts can even step into another level by providing you with other services that can complement your needs. Plus, they can also help you ensure that their designs can complement your needs properly.

Make a Fortune With Real Estate

Property consisting of land and the buildings, as well as with its natural resources such as minerals or water, crops, immovable assets of this nature and buildings or housing in general. The business of Real Estate is the profession of buying, selling, buildings or housing and renting land. Before going ahead, some important factors about estate should be kept in mind to do your job well.

Types of Real Estate

• Residential:

Containing either a single family or joint family, that is available for non-business purposes. There may be different types of housing tenure also, and the size of an apartment or house can be described in meters or square feet. But the area of “living space,” excluding the garage and other non-living spaces may differ in some countries.

• Real Estate Investment

This Investment is the thing that generates income or is otherwise intended for investment purposes. Investors own multiple pieces of real estate, which serves as a primary residence.

• Commercial:

It is a property that is used the design for business solely. For instance, commercial estate includes restaurants, offices, parks, malls, gas stations and convenience stores

• Industrial:

The property that is used for industrial work. But it covers a vast range of business types and comes in all shapes and sizes.

Industrial Real Estate includes single or double-storey buildings. Small industries have flexible interior space. Large industries include medium to large warehouses and factories that are designed to store goods or manufacture.

To become.

Fortunate Real estate agents, need to be familiar with their locality, reasons to increase or decrease property prices. For instance, if a new airport or road is to be built this can increase the price of nearby houses. Equally, improvement of an area can enhance prices. The agent must be aware of recent sale prices or rental for comparable properties of the area.

To become estate agents or professionals, dealing with all residential, agricultural and commercial property. They should adhere to a code of conduct, which includes regulations about looking after their clients’ money.

Evaluating the Market to Decide on a Price to Offer

The easiest way to obtain such data is from a licensed real estate agent. They can provide you with details about recent condo sells and the prices they sold for. This includes the location so you can compare prices for various neighborhoods. Such information is public record so you can get it on your own too if you aren’t using a realtor. It does take time to compile though.

Get it in Motion
You don’t want to drag your feet when it comes to getting one of the condos for sale in though. Most of them don’t stay on the market long at all. If you wait, the prices are going to continue going up. You also risk the locations where you would like to live not offering much. Prime locations such as the downtown area sell very fast!

Evaluating the market to find out what the price range is will help you to make an offer. You want to get the best deal you can. Avoid emotionally making an offer because you can’t stand the thought of not getting the property. If you can’t afford it, you will be stressed very month about the payment. Don’t put yourself in a position where they could possibly foreclose on you.

Offer Versus Asking Price
You may assume the demand for condos for sale in means the sellers can set the asking price and they always get it. This is why you need to do your homework before you place an offer. If a location is priced thousands more than what others in the area have recently sold for, you need to question why. Does it offer more value or is the seller after more money?

You can’t blame the sellers of condos for sale in for trying to get the most money they can for their property. If someone is willing to pay it, they are going to ask for it! However, most of them are also willing to accept a reasonable offer that comes to them. If you put that offer out there, they may accept it!

What if they Don’t?
One of the fears is the seller won’t accept your offer. You don’t have to worry too much about that when you try to buy one of the condos for sale in. Just put the reasonable offer out there as a starting point and see what happens. If they don’t accept it, are they willing to negotiate at all?

If the answer is no, you have to decide if you are willing to pay the price they are asking. If not, you need to look at one of the other properties available and repeat the process. If they give you a counteroffer, it will be somewhere between what you offered and what they asked for. You can accept it or you can give another counter offer.

This process can continue until you agree on a price or until one of you is no longer willing to budge. This process takes a bit of time, but it can save you a great deal of money on one of those condos for sale in high in demand. It certainly doesn’t hurt to give it a try!

The Perfect Disaster

Why trying to be perfect is a great way to fail – and how to avoid it.

The best is the enemy of success! What I mean by this is so many of us are so focused on the best that we take very little action towards our success. We are focused on the best place to eat, the best time to work out, the best way to lose weight, or the best way to make some extra money. We are focused so much on the best that we think too much about what we should or could be doing.

Focusing on a process toward success will prevent failure and accelerate your results. Take Travis in our office for example. He loves the gym and wants to get bigger and stronger. He can focus on the perfect diet, the best supplements, the best workouts, and the best technique. Or, he can eat healthy and get under the bar. The reps give him experience and strength. The results provide the momentum, and he finds himself spending more time in the gym and focusing more on diet and supplements. Now he has trouble fitting into his shirts. It all started with reps.

Dating is another good example. Typically, we need to kiss a few frogs to find our prince or princess. It does not come easy, but as we work through it, we start to learn what a good match looks like. We should start to get more confidence and our decisions become faster and better. Eventually, we hope, we find someone we are compatible with and live happily ever after.

Business or investing is no different. Obviously, we want to strive for quality, but quality will come with some thought-out quantity. Takes sales for example. If we just pick up the phone and start making calls, we will get better and better on the phone and will start closing more deals. The practice on the phone will produce better results than spending time finding the best phone script or the best people to call. With investing, we start taking steps to our goals. Maybe that is interviewing agents or sending out mail to motivated sellers. As we see results, we can adjust and improve. The fact that we are taking action, organically gets us closer to perfection.

So how do we avoid the perfection trap?

Goals are so incredibly powerful. A goal should be a tremendous help, but it can also hurt you. For new investors I love the idea of setting action-oriented goals. What I mean by this is to not focus on results, at least to start, and only focus on the small actions that should lead to results. As you hit your goals, you gain confidence and momentum. Let me give you an example. If you want to make $30,000 a month, you might start with how many deals you need to do to hit that goal. If you are a fix and flipper, it might be one deal. Then focus on how many offers you need to make to get one deal. Because we are in a tough market, we know that it might be 60 or more. Obviously, this is a bit of a guess until you can track it, but let’s start with 60 for this example. A great goal to help get you started would be to make 60 offers this month based on your buying criteria. The criteria being deals that should net $30,000. Focus on the fact that the goal is the number of offers, not the number of deals or the amount of money you want to make. That way, even if you don’t get a deal, you can, and should, celebrate the fact that you accomplished your goal. If you consistently hit action-oriented goals, you will see tremendous results.

I recently read a story about a college art professor that split his class in half at the beginning of the year to do a study on actions and results. One group was the quality group and one was the quantity group. The quantity group would be graded on the number of photographs turned in by the student. The quality group, as you can probably guess, was graded on only one photo for its quality. Guess which group turned in the best photos? The quantity group had more high-quality photos turned in because they were out practicing their skills trying to hit a quantity goal. Because they were not trying to take the one perfect photo, they ended up taking more action and better photos.

Disney in another great example. In the 80s the company had 3 CEOs and was not profitable. Then CEO, Michael Eisner, changed the way the company thought about the movie business. Instead of producing perfect movies, they went for quantity. In the late 80s and through the 90s they more than doubled the number of movies they were producing. They spent less time, money and energy on any one movie. The result? Blockbuster smash hits like; Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Lion King.

Slightly Surreal: Strange Trends in Real Estate

For most people, the word “house” conjures certain images found in childhood drawings. If you have a building with mostly right angles, a single front door, a few chest-high windows, and a chimney, you’ve probably got a prototypical home. However, real estate is a changing field, and people are seeking unique housing options that don’t quite fit inside the box.

Tiny Houses

By all definitions, tiny houses possess most of the features of their more spacious counterparts, just in a much more condensed way. A favorite in both rural and urban areas, tiny houses are as much a choice in dwelling as a statement of one’s principles. While there is no presently agreed-upon size restriction before a domicile is no longer “tiny,” 500 square meters is an accepted point in some circles. Got a few too many boxes of t-shirts weighing you down? Tired of walking such great lengths to get to the light-switch before bed? Trying to keep your real estate tax down to a minimum? A tiny house might be for you.

Passive Houses

Not entirely in another world from tiny houses, passive houses are for those trying to reduce their environmental impact. Less a set of aesthetic rules and more an internal set of standards to maximize energy efficiency, this enterprising style is making considerable in-roads in the real estate market. Originating in Germany in the late 1980s, the style has slowly found a niche amongst people with a penchant for all things “green.”

Staples of these energy-efficient dwellings are superinsulation, airtightness, advanced window technology, solar techniques, and many others. Passive houses incorporate the entire system of real estate, so even the landscaping is efficient. For example, trees that shade parts of the dwelling appropriately and wind-reducing hedges can be a part of the design.

Treehouses

Perhaps living in trees will never constitute a substantial amount of the real estate world, but there is no question that they are gaining popularity. From increasing prevalence as an airbnb destination to a full-time paradise for more intrepid souls, life in a treehouse offers a lot of simple perks, as well as some drawbacks. Clearly for the more adventurous, many treehouses are entirely off the grid, and many of them are not quite up to code. Even a cursory internet search will reveal numerous forums on the subject of whether or not certain dwellings are legally allowed to be inhabited. Treehouse owners have to contend with being mindful of protected trees, wildlife protection acts, and other tight restrictions. If all of the criteria are met, however, the resulting home is something of a nature-lover’s paradise.

These alternative designs and ideas scratch the surface of present trends in housing. While they aren’t likely to replace conventional homes any time soon, they might be an indication of where things are headed.