Different Ideas For Real Estate Investing

Television commercials and websites make real estate investing look easy. Realtors offer kits to the secrets of investing and they guarantee that you will find some good properties within a certain amount of time or your money back. It’s not that simple to find a good deal but it isn’t impossible. The key is using multiple forms of media to search for good deals.

Real Estate Investing And Foreclosure

If you’re going to be investing in real estate then you need to put your realtor thinking cap on. Realtors send out postcards and newsletters to try to find potential buyers and sellers. Since you’re looking for property for investment purposes, you are in search for sellers. You can target an area where there is a lot of foreclosure going on. Basically, you want to find any potential sellers and anyone who may know a potential seller.

Don’t be afraid to call people when you’re looking for real estate investing opportunities. Oftentimes, investors are uncomfortable calling people that are going through foreclosure. This is understandable because foreclosure is an extremely hard, stressful and messy situation. You will find homeowners that will get terribly upset and curse you out or hang up on you. However, you also have a chance of benefiting from this phone call because you’re contacting the person yourself. If you send a postcard the person has to contact you, but if you make a phone call you’re making the effort.

Real Estate Investing And Flipping Houses

Flipping houses is a huge real estate investing market. For those who are not familiar with this term, flipping houses refers to buying a home and quickly selling it for more. More times than not, there’s a whole rehabilitation process, however, people usually still end up making money. In fact, people make millions by simply buying an ugly old house and dolling it up. At the same time, there are certain things to look at when you’re considering this form of real estate investing.

If you’re going to be a real estate investor at all, you need to know your market. This is particularly important if you’re going to be flipping houses, though. You need to be able to know a potential sale when you see one. Observe a lot of houses in the area. Note features and financing options in the houses that have sold quickly. You can even ask real estate agents about terms of sale.

Don’t be afraid to invest in a home that needs aesthetic work. In fact, it is better to start investing in real estate that only needs cosmetic work. Look for homes that need painting, flooring and cleaning. Don’t look at the house as an ugly home but as a canvas for your creativity. These types of homes are not appealing to most buyers and investors but you should actually seek carpet stains, holes in the wall, ugly curb appeal, nasty wallpaper and so on. You can easily turn these ugly shacks into profitable investments.

At the same time, be weary when you’re looking at homes that have structural, electrical or plumbing problems. This is not a good idea when you’re just starting out because you will need to invest a good amount of money to fix these issues. If the real estate that you’re investing in has severe structural problems you want to get an estimate from a reliable contractor as to how much it will cost to fix. Use these estimates to your advantage when you’re deciding whether or not to purchase a home to flip. Remember, every expense reduces your profit.

Why Bother Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate can be hard work but it can also pay off. You can really make a big profit if you are able to spot a diamond in the ruff.

Credit Crunch Light at the End of the Tunnel

When thinking about the economic slowdown now gripping the United States, one might think of the naked emperor of yore, who could not realize his condition until told by a child. By the time analysts and the White House recognize the extent of the credit crisis, its effects will probably not be noticeable. So where are we now Several times since last August’s signs of an imminent drop in growth, markets have rallied due to speculation that problems in the area of sub-prime mortgages have bottomed out. Alas, thus far it appears to have been in vain.

On April 25th, Reuters and the University of Michigan reported in their Survey of Consumers that consumer sentiment fell ever deeper in April to settle at 62.6 from 69.5 in the preceding month. Not only is this the third straight month that consumer’s outlooks have remained downbeat, but this month’s ratings are the lowest in 26 years. The last time consumers’ finances were as stressed was in 1982, which was due to the stagflationary economy of the time. Stagflation refers to a stagnating economy with low or limited growth prospects coupled to high inflation. The recent recession came from a different set of circumstances, but consumers are feeling the pinch all the same. While inflation remains a key factor for monetary policy makers and politicians, estimates of core inflation (which excludes volatile food and energy prices) remain low for now.

This is a good thing, because it has allowed the Federal Reserve a lot of leeway regarding monetary policy. They have cut the interest rate they charge for lending to commercial banks by nearly three full percentage points since the onset of the credit crunch last summer, and are poised to cut rates 25 further basis points at their next rate-setting meeting April 30th. However, interest-rate futures contracts also predict a 20% chance that they may not cut the rate at all, signaling a possible end to further monetary stimulus. It is unclear whether inflationary concerns or macro-economic stability is guiding the Fed’s decisions because, since rate cuts began, food and energy prices have also skyrocketed.

While this doesn’t normally affect core inflation to a significant degree, over a protracted period of time prices will continue to increase for everyone. In addition, the Treasury’s stimulus package is set to begin arriving to millions of American consumers at the end of April, four days ahead of schedule. The Bush administration and other prominent authorities have touted the $152 billion influx as a means to increase spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the US economy. While consumer spending should begin to pick up somewhat, surveys have shown that many people plan to spend their check one of two ways relieving personal debt (which reached epic proportions in 2007), or adding to savings. This reflects both how necessary a lump sum of cash is to many poor Americans, and how much spending has been curbed. Until spending picks back up, the service sector will continue to ache. Promising numbers in manufacturing orders for April also reflect strong fundamentals, even as the housing and construction industries continue to slump It may be presumptuous to assume that the US is out of the proverbial woods, but there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel.

Brownfield UK Land The Only Show in Town

The Government’s plans to focus residential development on Brownfield UK land is fraught with challenges, writes Alex Way.

The Government’s much vaunted commitment to delivering 3 million new homes on UK land by 2021 is considered unrealistic in some circles (given c.13% of UK land is in Greenbelts). Others however regard that target as inadequate for a burgeoning population (pointing out that 3 million new homes reflect not the future but the current requirement). Whichever view is correct, Brownfield UK land will feature prominently in the UK’s house-building programme.

For those unfamiliar with the term, Brownfield UK land is that which has been previously used for industrial or commercial activities, but not residential purposes. Such UK land may or may not retain ‘legacies’ of its former use (e.g. contamination).It is becoming clear is that the Government’s approach to land use planning on UK land has two dimensions Brownfield redevelopment and the creation of a number of ‘Eco-towns’. It is Brownfield UK land which is the subject of this article; ‘Eco-towns’ will be considered elsewhere.

Given the strategic importance of Brownfield UK land in ameliorating the UK’s housing shortage, many people involved in investing in land will likely consider Brownfield UK land for sale. There is of course no definitive answer with respect to whether such an acquisition is the best investment for someone buying land as a land investment it may well be so. But there are some peculiar challenges associated with Brownfield UK land development to which we can now turn.

The most profound barrier to residential property development on Brownfield UK land has already been mentioned in passing contamination. This can be particularly pronounced in respect of a UK land site formerly used for industrial purposes, (eg a chemical plant). However, ‘soil remediation’ in many cases can sufficiently decontaminate UK land sites of this type so that they can in fact be used for residential property development.

Those involved in buying land as a land investment or for residential property development purposes are (or should be) acutely aware that remediation work can be extremely expensive, and is not a panacea some Brownfield UK land sites cannot be made fit for human habitation owing to a former use.

Another consideration in developing Brownfield UK land sites is ‘bad neighbours’. This has nothing to do with ASBOs and everything to do with the fact that in many cases Brownfield UK land is surrounded by development land with a similar land use planning status industrial or commercial. Therefore even if the subject Brownfield UK land site is not contaminated, neighbouring sites may be so, and at any rate, an extended area used for industrial or commercial activities will often lack the features of sustainability which are considered prerequisites for UK land to be used for residential purposes, (eg public transport links, local services and amenities).

It goes without saying that the majority of people involved in buying land as a land investment or for residential property development does so on the basis of the financial viability of the project (ie the opportunity to extract profits). This necessitates a robust method of ‘risk assessment’. The associated issue here is that Brownfield UK land development projects can difficult to risk assess accurately.

Whilst it is known that land planning authorities will now tend to look favourably on sustainable residential property development proposals on Brownfield UK land sites, the only UK land planning directive in relation to the riskscosts involved in remediating a given piece of Brownfield UK land is the term ‘suitability of use’. Thus, without a set of clearly defined standards in this area, risk assessment particularly in relation to decontamination can be very challenging.

The issues mentioned above with respect to the challenges in developing Brownfield UK land are the most obvious, but there also many others. Indeed, in some observers’ eyes, Brownfield UK land is unlikely to be able to deliver the number of houses expected by the Government, (ie it is likely that the capacity of Brownfield UK land has been significantly overstated).

These observers reason that Brownfield UK land is being given such prominence because to do so is politically expedient the Government needs to be seen to be building significant numbers of new homes, but is acutely aware of the NIMBYs and the political risks in committing to ‘bulldozing’ UK land in the Greenbelts.

NIMBYs ‘Not in my back yard’ – the moniker given to those living in the heartlands of England who resist new development near their homes. The term is always used in a pejorative sense.

Be Prepared Before You Buy

Before you buy a home, there will be a few things you need to do to get ready. Here’s a list to help you know where to focus your energy, and make the process go as smoothly as possible.

First, you need to know what you can afford. This goes hand in hand with another key goal—getting pre-approved for a mortgage. During the process of getting pre-approved, your lending institution will consider your income, expenses, credit rating and other factors, as well as any equity you may have in real estate you already own, plus what you have saved as a down payment. They will then let you know how much they will lend you. That is essentially how much you can afford for a new home.

Also, don’t feel like you need to stick with your regular bank for a mortgage. Shop around to get the highest loan at the best rate. This is where mortgage brokers come in handy, as they are skilled negotiators, and know the ins and outs of lending institutions. They aren’t afraid to get on the phone and find you the best rates in town.

Once you know what you can afford, and are pre-approved for the best mortgage loan you could find, start writing down exactly what it is you want in your new home. Do you need a shop Do you love to garden, or would you loath the responsibility of too much yardIt is especially important for spouses and other family members to know each others needs. That way you won’t be getting your hopes up about a property that your husband, wife, or kids for that matter, would never be happy in. We all have different needs, so discuss what they are with your family. Be clear on the issues you may be willing to compromise on, and set boundaries for the kids. It’s important to consider their needs in a move, but they need to realize they might not get everything their imaginations can dream up.

Okay, so now you know what you can afford, you know for sure you’ve got a mortgage when you need one, and you know what you want. Now it’s time to find a great Realtor® to work with, if you don’t already have one. The right agent will listen to your needs, offer their expertise, and help you find the best home. Their understanding of all the legal lingo takes the stress out of buying and selling.

Now, how about when and how you get the home Don’t be afraid to set conditions on your offer, especially right now when most of the country is in a buyers’ market. If you need to wait until your home sells, or your job change takes effect, or after all the inspections you want done are done, then put those conditions on your offer so the seller knows what to expect. If they really want to sell, and you’ve made them a good offer, these conditions should be no problem at all.

Now, be sure to get any inspections that are relevant to the home you are considering buying. Also, get it appraised, or ask to see the latest appraisal if the sellers had one done very recently. But be clear that an appraisal won’t tell you about a sneaky oil leak coming out of that old buried oil tank beside the house, or the mold in the basement walls. Appraisers don’t do inspections before they appraise. An appraisal is based on property values in the neighborhood and city, and specific qualities to the home such as size and age. However, if an inspection turns up something nasty, that could lower the value of the home. Similarly, if everything checks out and the home is in great shape, that confirms that it is at or above its appraised value. But an appraisal is important, so you know that what you are paying for the home isn’t just based on the owners inflated hope.

When you are buying, be sure you are aware of what the closing costs will be. There can be land transfer taxes, lawyer’s fees, appraisal fees, inspection fees, title insurance, and a few other costs that come up. Being prepared means you won’t end up floundering at the close of the sale. Considering closing costs before you even put in an offer will make your purchase go smoothly, and let you enjoy moving in to your new dream home.

Happy house hunting!