|This section will help you find answers to a great number of questions
Tips to Follow When Buying New Construction Real Estate
New home communities offer beautiful homes, open-floor plans, new appliances, and much more. Plus, new homes often offer easy purchasing through an on-site sales agent. The problem is that they can also tally up to significant losses. To buy your new construction home the smart way, follow these tips:
1) Use a Realtor Who Has New Home Sales Experience
New homebuilders will sometimes put pressure on you to use an on-site agent plus a pre-approved lender, insurer and title company. It’s a mistake not to get your own realtor. A realtor can protect your interests and can ensure that all costs and interest rates are within industry standards. Realtors with new home experience know the homebuilder community and this can ensure that homebuilders are very cooperative – after all, they don’t want to tarnish their reputation.
2) Don’t Sign ANYTHING Until You’ve Negotiated Every Detail
Always assume that nothing is agreed upon until it is in writing. Once it’s in writing, don’t assume that it can be changed or negotiated. Don’t fall for the “write up the contract so that no one else can get your house” ploy. Instead, make sure that the contract you sign has everything you negotiated in writing before you sign.
3) GET A HOME INSPECTION!!!
Many people assume that home inspections are for older homes that may have asbestos, structural problems, and other liabilities. This is not true! While many new constructions come with full warranties, those warranties usually only last 12 months and many problems surface only after that first year. An independent, professional inspector can help you avoid very costly repairs a few years down the line.
4) Don’t Use Their Lender
Many builders who build entire communities are now publicly traded corporations. These companies make a lot of money by financing – not just building and selling – homes. As a result, many builders will offer you enormous incentives or pressure you to use their lenders. The problem is that the builder’s lender will usually have higher interest rates and higher closing costs than a traditional lender. In most cases, you can have the stipulations removed so that you can choose your own lender and enjoy some incentives. After all, the builder will not make any money if you refuse to buy a home. If a builder insists that you use their lender, walk away and find another builder. It makes no sense to pay many thousands of dollars
5) Research the Builder
Most builders are responsible and take care to protect their built neighborhoods. Still, make sure that you research your builder. Specifically, make sure that your builder has a reputation for good quality homes. Make sure that the company limits investor purchases – these can result in rental properties that depreciate neighborhood value. Also, determine whether the builder will build equal or greater value homes in the surrounding area. If they do not, the new homes will instantly devalue.
6) Choose An Appraiser
Lenders require you have an appraisal anyway, so you may as well research a good appraiser yourself. Ask for a copy of the appraiser’s findings as well – it can contain information that will give you better insight into what you are buying.
7) Research City Plans
New neighborhoods are often built on the outskirts of town, where land is available at a lower cost. Be sure to ask your realtor or do your own research into what the city has in mind for the area. Research roads, zoning, public transportation, parks, and schools – all will determine the future value of your new home.
New homes are very appealing to buyers. If they’re appealing to you, be sure to hire professionals and do your research so that your new home remains a positive experience for years to come!
What to Examine Before Buying Real Estate Foreclosure Properties
Are you interested in buying real estate foreclosure properties with the hopes of turning them into investment properties and making money with them? If you are, you need to be familiar with real estate foreclosure properties. Not only do you need to know what they are, but you also need to know the best ways to go about finding and buying them.
When it comes to finding real estate foreclosure properties, there a number of different approaches that you can take. For instance, you can use the internet. There are a number of online real estate foreclosure listing services that you can use to browse through or search for foreclosures. You can also find real estate foreclosure properties by keeping an eye on your local newspapers or by examining the public records at local county clerk offices.
Now that you exactly how you can go about finding real estate foreclosure properties, your focus should then switch to buying the properties. Before buying any real estate foreclosure properties, you are advised to examine the properties in question, as much as possible. There are some instances where you may be required to make a purchase decision without actually seeing the property in question, but, with an address, you should at least be able to get a look at the property in question. Look for any signs that may indicate that repairs or updates may need to be made. Any additional money that you will have to invest in a real estate foreclosure property is important, as it should impact how much you are willing to pay for the property.
In addition to the real estate foreclosure property in question, you are also advised to examine its surroundings. For instance, is the real estate foreclosure property located in a good neighborhood? Are there many fun, but safe activities and attractions nearby? If there is, you have a better chance of turning a profit. Real estate investment properties are those that are later sold for a profit or rented out. You need to not only make sure that the real estate foreclosure you are interested in is marketable, but you also need to make sure that the area in which the foreclosure property is as well.
Of course, you will also want to look for real estate foreclosure properties that are being sold at great prices. Many real estate foreclosure properties are sold at prices which are less than the fair market value. This is what makes real estate foreclosure proprieties highly sought after, particularly with real estate investors. As stated above, when examining the cost of a real estate foreclosure or the bidding price if it is being auctioned off, you need to take any possible updates or repairs into consideration. This is important because you will want to invest in good real estate foreclosure properties, but you also want to try and limit your investments, if you can do so. The less you invest, the easier it is for you to make a profit.
The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind, when looking to find and buy real estate foreclosure properties. For additional information, you may want to think about taking a real estate investing course, particularly one that places a large focus on real estate foreclosure properties
The Recipe for Real Estate Success... Finding Motivated Sellers
In real estate there is a saying that you don't make your money when you sell, you make your money when you buy. The name of the game is finding amazing deals and then keeping them for the long term or turning around and flipping for a handsome profit. Of course, if great deals were that easy to find, everybody would be doing it. The forces of supply and demand would inflate the price of properties to the point that there would be no deals left! Naysayers claim that this is true of today's housing market, but in reality, there are endless deals to be found almost anywhere at almost anytime. Finding these deals takes experience and talent, but this article serves as a head start for novice investors, or a refresher course for old pros.
Distressed Owners Make for Distressed Properties (And Vice Versa)
What is a great deal? Quite simply, it's when you buy a property for well below its actual value and/or with favorable terms. The only way this can happen is for the seller to be ignorant of the market, completely uninterested in profit motives, or extremely motivated to sell. Your chances of making a career out of finding homes owned by people who don't know any better or who don't care are slim, so it's best to concentrate on identifying motivated or "distressed" sellers. After all, only someone who absolutely needs to sell is going to price his or her home well below market value and/or accept unusual financing arrangements. These are the ingredients of a great deal!
So what makes a person a motivated seller? Divorce, death of a relative, job transfer, and serious financial distress are the items that top the list. While you might feel guilty for "taking advantage" of people in such a situation, you shouldn't. After all, they need to sell - you are helping them! You and the seller are finding a mutually agreeable price point and terms. You are getting a great deal and they are unloading a headache. It's a win-win situation.
How to Find Distressed Sellers
The first place to look is the newspaper. Don't bother searching through the fancy ads with pictures placed by real estate agents; go right to the classifieds instead. Look for listings with "for sale by owner" in the text, or that appear as though they are being sold without an agent. Technically, real estate agents must state that they are agents in all advertising materials, but the less scrupulous ones frequently disobey this rule. Also look for key phrases such as "must sell, fix-up, needs work, vacant," and of course, "motivated sellers" (although agents often advertise "motivated seller" when in fact their client isn't all that motivated!). Be prepared to make a lot of calls and not to spend much time with each seller - finding deals is a numbers game, and you have to make a lot of calls to find that one special deal.
But you shouldn't limit yourself to FSBOs (homes that are "for sale by owner"). Instead, draft a letter on professional letterhead and fax it to all of the real estate offices in your area. Explain that you are a real estate investor looking for distressed properties and that you can close quickly if the price is right. This way, you can have an entire army of real estate agents working for you, free of charge. If one of them finds a property for you, the seller of the home will pay the agent's commission. You owe them nothing, it comes off the seller's side.
Another idea is to call the owners of rental properties and offer to buy. Many income property owners are reluctant landlords and will certainly entertain the offer. If they say no, leave them your name and phone number and tell them to call you if they're ever interested in selling.
Finally, you can place your own classified ad. A simple headline like "We Buy Houses for Cash" works best. Don't worry that other investors use the same ads, it's a numbers game. Sometimes people will sell to you because they like the way you sound or they trust you over your competitor. How many advertisement do you see in the paper for mortgage companies, car dealers and retail stores selling the same product? There's enough business to go around, and so long as you get the phone ringing, you'll learn to get good at converting them into deals.
By knowing what you're looking for - distressed owners - and following these strategies, you will already be way ahead of most beginning real estate investors. It takes work, and lots of it, but the rewards are worth it.
Things to Check Out Before Buying A House
If you’re thinking about buying a house, you’ll have a number of things that you’ll want to specifically look into before you do. This article will give you a number of suggestions about exactly what factors to look into before you make the big plunge into being a homeowner.
First, always ask around among the neighbors before you buy. You’ll be surprised about what might turn up. If there’s been bad blood, a neighbor might be willing to reveal every problem they know about with the house. They’ll also be able to clue you in to things that may not be a problem with the house in particular but may be with the neighborhood in general. This can include a number of things. Remember to ask about: whether the house or the neighborhood is in a flood zone, whether there are any problem neighbors nearby, whether they know of any previous damage, and whether there is a crime problem. You can probably think of about a dozen other things to ask - talk with several neighbors, and if you find the local gossip, you’ll be in on everything you need to know. Always make sure that you document what representations the owner makes to you about the house - it could come in handy later, especially if there are major undisclosed problems with it. Do a little searching on the internet - you can always do a search for the name of the homeowner and see if anything interesting comes up. If there’s something shady or they’re untrustworthy, you want to know about it. By the same token, you can often easily see if they are legitimate that way. Make sure that you’ve had a title search done - your real estate agent will probably take care of it, but it’s a must-have. Hire a handyman to inspect the place if you aren’t good with that sort of thing - or just get someone you trust to look around. It doesn’t take much to make sure that your house will be a good investment.
10 Things You Must Do Before Buying a Home
Buying a home is often the largest personal finance transaction a person makes in his or her life. So it's critical that you make the right preparations and do the proper research. Regardless of unique situations and special circumstances, there are ten things you must do before buying a home.
1. Study the home buying process.
This will allow you to make better decisions and act confidently. Home buying lingo is a big part of this, so be sure to read through a few home-buying glossaries before you get into the thick of things.
2. Obtain your credit report.
Get a copy of your credit report and review it for errors. You can get copies from all three credit bureaus at once by visiting www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Mortgage lenders will review your credit with a fine-toothed comb, so you should do the same ... before they review it.
3. Fix credit errors quickly.
If you find an error on your credit report, go to the company's website where the report came from (TransUnion, Equifax or Experian) to contest it. It can take time to clean up an erroneous credit report, so get started as soon as you spot the error.
4. Check your debt-to-income ratio.
Mortgage lenders like to see a borrower's debt at (or below) 20% of net monthly income. If your debt exceeds 20% of your net monthly income, try to pay it down for applying for a mortgage loan. You'll have an easier qualification process and will likely qualify for a better rate.
5. Determine your budget.
Use an online mortgage calculator to get an idea of how much you can afford to pay each month, and what that equates to in terms of a home price. This will give you a budget to work from, which will help you weed out the homes that are beyond your comfort zone.
6. Start saving your cash.
This is one of the best things you can do before starting the home buying process, for a couple of reasons. First of all, mortgage lenders like to see that you have some cash reserves on hand. Secondly, you'll need cash reserves for any unexpected fees or costs that might arise (which is common).
7. Get pre-approved for a loan.
During pre-approval, a mortgage lender will review your credit, finances, debt, etc. and conditionally qualify you for a certain amount of mortgage. Sellers will take you more seriously if you have a pre-approval letter, and the process also helps identify any problems with your credit or other qualifying factors.
8. Avoid new lines of credit.
Try to keep your financial situation as "stable" and favorable as possible. It's a good idea to pay down some debt (see item #4 above) and to save up some cash. But the worst thing you can do is take out a new loan / line of credit. At best, this could make the qualification process take longer. At worst, it could tip the debt scales into the "greater than 20%" zone, which will make it harder to get a loan.
9. Validate the asking price.
It's called an "asking price" for a good reason. No asking price is set in stone, and everything in real estate negotiable. So don't accept an asking price as being reasonable until you validate it through careful research. Compare the home / price to recent sales in the area. Your real estate agent can provide a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you with this step.
10. Get a home inspection.
It is never -- I repeat, never -- wise to skip the home inspection. A house is a sizable investment, and the last thing you want is to find a bunch of things wrong with it after you've taken ownership. Home inspections are very affordable, and you cannot put a price on the peace of mind you'll have as a result of your inspection.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
Preparing to sell your home can be stressful and time consuming. Knowing what kind of things to focus on can greatly reduce your stress and keep you focused on the projects you need to undertake in preparing your home for sale. Having a home that is clean and in good condition will typically sell for a higher price and more quickly than homes that are not well maintained.
The difference between a home in good condition and one that is not many times is as simple as a new paint job or replacing damaged fixtures throughout the home. Put yourself in the potential buyers’ shoes and take a good hard look at your home. What would you want to have fixed if you were to buy this house?
When preparing to sell your home don’t neglect the yard. Your yard is the first thing home buyers will see. Keep you lawn mowed and hedges trimmed. If it is spring time plant some flowers in the front to add some color. Pick up any clutter than is in your yard, front and back. I’ve seen homes where all is going well and I like what I am seeing until I get to the backyard and it looks like a junk yard. Typically, the seller of the home will clean it up but sometimes they don’t and the buyer is left with the mess. Plus upon seeing the mess the buyer may forget about the good things and remember your home by, “the one with all the crap in the yard.”
Consider painting your home, especially the inside. Newly painted walls add to the overall appearance of your home and may help it sell. Repair doors, windows, walls, and anything else that needs to repaired. If there are things that you can’t afford to repair at the time or if you are not interested in repairing it know that it will reflect in the price people are willing to pay for your home.
Inexpensive Tips to Sell Houses
In the past years, selling houses focus only on recreating the exterior so as to invite buyers. However, a shift has now occurred wherein the emphasis is given towards the inner appeal as well. After all, there is no point in selling (or buying) a beautiful house judging by the external offers it has if you are going to sacrifice the design of the interior.
Look at your own house with a critical eye, as if you are somebody looking at another person's house. Don’t dismiss any flaws that you think are acceptable enough on your own perspectives. Think as if your prospect buyers are the worse critics you will have and your future dignity would lie on them. Strange isn’t it? But we tell you, this technique is effective enough to warrant easy market for you. This is because you have already limited the possibilities of rejection and scrutiny.
As you may have already noticed, there are various television programs that let people see what they can do in their own houses that could make them appealing for buyers. In most cases, the houses are reconstructed in inexpensive ways yet cause dramatic changes. Well, it would help if you'll follow the suggestions such home improvement shows provide.
But you must always keep in mind that you have to maximize the effects of such changes through incurring lesser expenses. Thus, you must seek the best prospects that would bring out the best in your house while not taxing your wallet.
For one reason or another, the floor seems to matter much and buyers took notice on the type of flooring you have used in your house. Also, focus on the condition of your flooring. If this needs reconstruction then see to it that it is reconstructed in the least possible expenses you can have.
Don’t hasten the changes though. You will have to plan the design and the outcome of the changes in your flooring. Go for economical yet appealing floor tiles and other types of flooring. There are lots of options for you. In fact, there is almost an endless list of materials you can use to furnish your floor with. Among the most common are laminated tiles, ceramic tiles, cork tiles, wood and others. Of course, the type of material you will choose will be largely dependent on the entire setting of your interior.
Some houses seem to have its distinct odor that act as repellant against promising buyers. You may not know this but you must understand that any possible turn offs should be removed.
This is typically hard to judge. Since you have already lived in your house and has already become accustomed to its smell, it would be hard for you to detect any unwanted odor. In this case, you must ask the assistance of another person who hasn’t been in your house for long. Whatever his or her opinion is, you have to analyze and consider them in great detail.
Also, take a look on your walls. Maybe there are marks that should not be there. Or perhaps cracks are already appearing on some of its portions. Wall blemishes could affect both the price and the interest of the buyer of your house. Be sure that you have completely fixed your walls that expansion cracks and nail pops barely have their traces.
These are just some measures you could use to help get the higher prices for your houses while incurring minimum expenses on the repairs.
Sell Your Home At Top Dollar With An Inexpensive Face Lift
Have you ever why some homes sell faster than others? It could be the very same model in the same neighborhood, and one home moves quickly whereas some just remain on the market with disinterested buyers. Here are some tips to stage your home to not only sell it, but to get top dollar.
First, examine your home from the curbside as though you had never seen it before. It may be difficult to really put on your objective glasses, but if you can, you will be surprised of how accustomed we become to that broken gate, the damaged garage door, or the garden hose that isn?t rolled up. These may sound like minor issues, but to the home buyer, they?re touring your home with a magnifying glass and a white glove. Begin your evaluation by writing down everything you notice that could improve your property in the slightest way. Here are some inexpensive, easy tips to enhance your home and get top dollar!
Be sure to replace or trim trees and plants and try livening up your garden with some colorful, fragrant flowers near the entrance. In some cases, you can even use beautiful silk floral pieces in large pots as long as they look real!
Varnish or paint the entrance door with subtle colors such as black, burnt brown, gray, forest green, or white. If you?re home is older, replace the old door with a glass entrance door. If you have a screen door, consider purchasing one of the newer models and make sure the latch works for easy entry. First impressions and anticipation of walking into your ?dream house? begins here.
The first thing people notice is if the home is bright and cheery. The last thing homebuyers want to do is walk into a dark hole and depend on a realtor to turn on (and off) the lights and open (and close) all the blinds or shades. The cheery greeting your home gives to people will give them an immediate impression as to how they FEEL about your home. If you have pets, be sure to pack away all their toys and dog foot or kitty litters. Keep your home smelling fresh and clean that doesn't repel the prospective homebuyer.
Flooring is one of the most important features homebuyers will judge. Clean the carpet and don?t request that buyers take off their shoes. Do everything in your power to welcome visitors and keep them there. Any excuse you give them NOT to view your home will lower your numbers. Remember the more people who view your home, the better chance you have in selling it.
Replace bathroom fixtures with the newer ones ?Hollywood lights are out. Make sure the bathtub is scrubbed clean as well as shower stalls. Buy a new shower curtain, if necessary and caulk around tiles in the shower and tub. Be aware that bright colors or children's colors may be a turn-off to new buyers. Paint your walls with neutral colors such as beige or off white.
Take out the clutter, garbage, stinky shoes, and put your dirty clothes in the hamper. It's very important to have those beds fixed in the morning too! Clean the sliding glass door to the patio as well as the patio furniture. Cut and trim the grass often for a fresh, clean smell.
People want to imagine their families living in their future home and you have the ability to set the stage. The home should be complete with bar stools at the breakfast nook, soft lighting, and nice furniture. Remember, the backyard has become an extension of the home. Show off your BBQ, patio furniture or children's play area in a way that they feel their own family would enjoy.
If you have a pool, have the pool guy come over so your pool is sparkling clean. Buy some Tahiti candle torches for a tropical look. If you have a bar, place plastic glasses and trays as though you were ready to have a party. If you don?t have a covered patio, you may want to make a small investment by buying a canvas cabana that warms the heart and sets a romantic mood. Put some candles on your patio table and accentuate with lots of plants surrounding the patio.
Blinds, plantation shutters, and Roman shades are in. The least expensive, but most popular choice, is to replace your verticals or outdated mini-blinds with wooden blinds. They?re easy to install yourself and will make a big difference in the overall look of the home. You may find some very nice Roman shades that are reasonable and can be used in lieu of curtains as a trim. Curtain panels from the high ceilings will serve as a window treatment and add elegance or magnitude to your room also.
Make sure your kitchen and bathrooms are always clean and remember that homebuyers will look in your pantry and closets. You can always fake it by cleaning the sinks every morning before leaving for work and wiping down the mirrors if there are any noticeable spots. Never leave dirty dishes or pots and pans in the sink. Just hide them in the dishwasher.
Dare to be open enough to get opinions from your friends, neighbors, and realtor. Ask if they have any suggestions as to how to arrange your furniture and be willing to give it a try to see how it looks. Their perspective may make a big difference in your entire floor plan. People are looking for space so you want to do whatever it takes to make your home look open and spacious.
If you feel that your bottom line can handle more expensive upgrades to compete against other newer homes, you may want to replace old carpeting with 18" tile and new carpeting in the bedrooms with a thick pad. I wouldn’t suggest changing your countertops to granite or changing the kitchen cabinets as that would be very expensive and may not be compensated unless you are doing a total renovation.
Selling a Home - The Preparation Stage
There are certain processes that are vital in any endeavor. And selling a house, being something that truly posses its own difficulties, also require some activities that would prepare it for the subsequent processes. Here are some of the initial stages that mark the preparation of your house for sale.
You want your house to be impressive and friendly enough with future buyers? Then clear the clutter.
This might be among the most difficult thing you would do with your house. During your years of ownership, you might have attached emotions into your house that it would be hard to detach yourself from it. But this is more than that.
Years of emotional attachment could mean years of clutter collection. We collect all sorts of materials that could be difficult to separate ourselves from. This clutter would be evident on the top shelves, drawers, countertops, closets, attics, garages and basements.
Well, if you want to sell your house immediately, then you must let the buyer see more open spaces.
Look then at your house from an anonymous point of view. Try disconnecting your emotions for awhile and see it from another person's eyes. If you can't do this then find someone who will gladly do it for you.
You might not realize the extent of help this activity could bring but you would soon find that the precious materials in your eyes are not as much precious from the view of another.
This can't be done unless you start thinking your house as a commodity. If you would have noticed, when you buy a house the real estate agents would refer to it as your "home" but if you are selling one, he would make it a point to call it as "property". This helps the process of realization occur faster since words connote even the emotions that are embodied in each article.
Your realization must come from the point that it is no longer your home but theirs. By doing this, you will re-channel possibilities that could inadvertently make the selling a longer process.
Separate the person from the personality
When selling a house, be prepared to separate even the most valuable things from it. It would do you no good if you would leave picture frames with your own photos on it. Instead, leave anonymous items that would make the buyer feel that this is a potential home for him and not a trace of your own personality could be found.
If the buyer of your property sees anything that would remind him that this is not his home yet, such as a family picture hanging on the wall, you could shatter their hopes that this is the potential home for them. These would leave your marks in the house which in turn, could repel the prospect of recreating the personality of the home from their own point of view.
Remove all things that would remind the buyers of the memories of the previous owners. Put them all in storage somewhere apart from the attic, garage and basement.
The two suggestions we have given here are not only effective for making your house a bit friendlier for sale. This also eases the hard process of letting go of something you have owned yourself for long. Undeniably, this would take much effort on your side since it is not that easy to make you forget of something you have accustomed yourself to love.
|When buying a home for the first time it is most likely the biggest financial decision you have made thus far. Now you are at a point when selling your home, for what ever reason, is just as big of a financial decision as buying. No matter what the reason for selling your home you still want to get as much of your investment back as possible. There are 3 key points to consider when pricing your home, market conditions, targeting, and price.
Having a good understanding of what the local real estate market is doing is important when determining to put your home up for sale. Depending on your circumstances it may be wise to hold off until the real estate market conditions improve. However, there are times when you need to sell your home as quick as possible. When the real estate market is humming with activity and there are more buyers than sellers of quality homes you will likely get more return on your investment when selling your home. Just the opposite may occur when there are more sellers than buyers. Different times of the year can affect both buyers and sellers. By knowing the effects of the seasons on the real estate market you may find your home will sell at a higher rate of return during that time frame. For example, during the spring and summer months there tend to be more sellers which, makes the market highly competitive. However, if you list your home in the fall and winter months there may be less competition especially if the climate is harsh.
In order to sell your home you have to have the resources to target potential buyers for your property. Real estate agents have the ability and know how to do just that. With the use of media, technology, and networking real estate agents can give your home the exposure needed to sell your home. The Internet has become a powerful tool in today’s real estate market for getting your home in front of potential buyers. If you home is not listed in with the local real estate listing service you could potentially be cutting out 75% or more of interested home buyers.
Finally, the most important thing to consider when selling your home is price. Typically, when the home you are selling on the real estate market is well priced it will sell quickly. Buyers these days are well educated and they typically use real estate agents to find homes that fit their needs. If your home is over-priced it may get over-looked for the simple reason that it is over-priced.