How To Find Hot Markets For Real Estate Investment

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 5th, 2019

How To Find Hot Markets For Real Estate InvestmentReal estate investors who want to build up a strong investment portfolio always keep an eye out for hot markets, which gives them a chance to pick up properties that add to their portfolio value.

A word of caution about hot markets is that if you learn about them after they are already hot, you may have missed much of the run-up that made them hot. 

Clever real estate investors try to anticipate markets that will heat up before they do, so they can buy properties in advance of increasing values. Selling properties in a hot market is how they capture profits. 

The Hot Markets

Realtor.com® identified seven markets in the United States that are currently hot markets for flipping houses. The average gross profit for house flippers is $62,700. This figure does not include the cost of making the repairs. The gross profit equals about 20% to 33% of the home’s sales price after making the repairs.

An evaluation looking for hot markets for flipping homes considered the percentage of home sales that were investment properties.

The current hot markets, in the order of activity, are:

  1. St. Louis, MO – 18.8% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $189,900.
  2. Birmingham, AL – 17.3% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $190,000.
  3. Miami, FL – 17% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $299,900.
  4. Tampa, FL – 16.2% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $230,000.
  5. Memphis, TN – 16.1% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $206,300.
  6. Las Vegas, NV – 15.7% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $301,800.
  7. Phoenix, AZ – 15.1% of home sales are investment properties. The median sales price is $275,800.

Hot Pockets In Cooler Markets

Another way to find opportunities is to know your local market very well and look for areas that are up and coming. Look for a fixer-upper in a decent area. Also, search in areas that are adjacent to high-priced areas. 

Look for soft barriers that can be passed easily, such as a block that is improving, which is next to another block that has already improved. Hard barriers, such as a wide street, a freeway, or a river make it more challenging for an improving neighborhood trend to pass across them.

Summary

Finding a hot market or a hot pocket comes from investigating potential growth areas and watching them. Get a feel for the trends. One strategy is to buy early when the prices are still low, rent the property for a while, and then sell later, once the market heats up.

If you are in the market for a new home or want to find out about the hot neighborhoods in your area, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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What Is Passive Real Estate Investing?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 31st, 2019

What Is Passive Real Estate InvestingWhen you are looking to purchase a home, you might be looking for a place for you and your family to live. It might surprise you to learn that not everyone who is looking for a house is necessarily in search of a place to live.

Real estate is also a great way for someone to grow wealth. Furthermore, real estate is actually one of the most common ways that people become millionaires.

Some of the active ways that people invest in real estate include flipping houses and renting out property. This can be time-consuming and isn’t right for everyone.

If you are looking for a way to make money in real estate without flipping houses or looking for tenants, passive real estate investing might be the answer.

An Overview Of Passive Real Estate Investing

While passive is the opposite of active in this scenario, passive real estate investing does not mean that you won’t have to do anything. There is still work to be done.

When you invest in a passive manner, this means that you aren’t playing an active role in the growth of the asset, which is property in this example.

One example of passive investing is the stock market. You need to make sure that you do your homework before you start throwing money at the real estate market.

There is a serious time commitment that comes with passive real estate investing. You will also need to monitor the property values to make sure your investment is generating a solid return.

Ways To Get Involved In Passive Real Estate Investing

There are a few common ways that you can start investing in real estate, in a passive manner.

First, one of the most common ways is through the stock market. There are businesses that make their money by investing in the real estate market for you. You can buy shares of these companies who then invest your money in real estate.

Alternatively, you can also set up a partnership with an active investor. You might own the properties and then pay the active investor to rent them out to someone else.

Finally, there is also real estate crowdfunding that has come on the scene. Those looking to invest smaller amounts of money might be interested in this method which pools smaller investments together to invest in much larger real estate projects.

It’s important to talk with your trusted local real estate and mortgage professionals to get the best information for your personal situation.

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Join Or Create A Real Estate Investors’ Pool For Fun And Profit

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 13th, 2019

Join Or Create A Real Estate Investors' Pool For Fun And ProfitMany baby boomers are reaching retirement age. If they set up their financial planning well, while younger, they should have accumulated enough wealth to have some discretionary money available for making investments.

Others, who may be just starting out, have some investment capital but not necessarily enough to buy a piece of commercial real estate on their own. These investors might enjoy a real estate investment pool, also called an investors’ club.

Pooling Resources

One way to get some investment participation in real estate is to pool investment funds needed to have enough for the down payment on a piece of real estate.

For example, if the down payment for acquiring a single-family rental home is $40,000 and four investors chip in, this means the contribution by each one will be $10,000. Each investor will own 25% of the deal. Many can come up with $10,000 for investment but it may not be as easy to find a spare $40,000.

Real Estate Investment Clubs

An investment club is where people get together to review the summary of a real estate deal to discuss its merits as a group investment.

To find a local group there is a nice system called Meetup online, which is a good resource. If there is no real estate investment club in a particular local area, consider forming a new one through that system.

Legal Structure

For real estate purchased by an investors’ pool, the best legal structure is to acquire the property by a newly-formed limited liability company (LLC). An LLC is very easy to create online. The LLC structure limits the liability of its owners (members) to the amount they each invest in the LLC.

It is best to set up a new LLC for each closing of a real estate acquisition. In this way, the owners can be different and to separate the deal from the successes or losses in other deals. Investors in an LLC buy units of the LLC, not shares.

When an LLC starts, it is authorized to issue a certain number of units. Each investment gets a proportional percentage ownership share of the LLC. The investor gets the number of units that represents the percentage value of the investment compared to the total investment.

Work with a real estate agent to help find deals. Use competent legal counsel and a professional accounting firm to set up and manage the LLC properly.

Summary

Investment clubs can be very fun. There may be considerable discussion and disagreement about each potential deal. This is a welcome thing. It is excellent practice to learn how to conduct proper due diligence.

Investors who are just learning about what to look for in a real estate deal gain insights from more experienced investors. Experienced investors stay active and get a chance to pass on their knowledge to the less-experienced ones. Everyone enjoys socializing together and that is a nice extra reward.

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The Monopoly Technique – How To Build Value By Acquiring Adjacent Properties

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 18th, 2019

The Monopoly Technique - How To Build Value By Acquiring Adjacent PropertiesHave you ever played the classic board game called Monopoly? The object of the game is to collect all the properties until one winner bankrupts all the other players. The other part of the game is that accumulating properties adjacent to each other increases the value of the individual properties. When a player acquires all the properties of the same color (two or three), then the rents go up and property development can begin.

The Monopoly Game In Real Life

The same basic principles sometimes work in real life. Owning a property and then buying the one next door creates a value-added possibility of the combined properties being worth more than the individual pieces.

To start this strategy, tell the neighbors of having an interest in buying their home in the future if they want to sell. This is a way to get the first option to buy a home before it lists on the market.

Control Of The Neighbors Adds Value

In many neighborhoods, there is one home that creates severe negative pressure on property values. These homes may be neglected and badly needing a paint job and landscaping. The home may be a source of neighborhood noise problems or heavy traffic.

When considering buying into this neighborhood, make a plan to buy the derelict house. Then, before bringing it back into a marketable condition, there may be a chance to buy the ones next door for a steep discount from the market value.

If possible, buy all the properties at once and close them around the same time. This helps avoid triggering a profit demand from those who are opportunistic and learn about the interest of a buyer in more than one property.

Cashing Out

If possible, buy three houses, one of each side of the derelict house, then renovate all three properties. Make them into rental units or to sell them as a “flipped” property after the renovation for a big profit.

If there is the possibility of controlling a full block on both sides in a rundown neighborhood, it is possible to start with one block of home improvements at a time. Entire neighborhoods may improve one block at a time.

Redevelopment

In some neighborhoods, there is a chance of re-zoning and redevelopment. For example, it may be possible to build a larger structure by combining two properties. There is profit possible in assembling the land for redevelopment purposes, even for those who do not do the construction for the redevelopment.

Summary

Playing Monopoly in real life can make investing in real estate fun. It is possible to start with a few low-cost rental homes. For rental properties, it makes it much easier to manage them if they are next to each other. Values may increase in the neighborhood by the renovation of a derelict house.

If you are intested in listing your current property or in the market for a new home, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional!

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The Benefits Of Developing A Multi-Use Property

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 31st, 2019

The Benefits Of Developing A Multi-Use PropertyRenovations that create a multi-use property or the development of a new multi-use project can be a very attractive investment especially in urban areas that are undergoing redevelopment. The concept of multi-use is to make the most of the site that is revitalized or developed.

Multi-Use Projects

Typical multi-use projects have a mixture of retail space, restaurants, offices, and/or living spaces. They may include parking areas. Large multi-use projects can also become destination locations that are core improvements, which create a momentum for the gentrification of an entire area. Waterfronts, boardwalks, and walking promenades are successful as multi-use projects in many cities.

The advantages for investors in these projects include the ability to design the use of the space to maximize the return on investment (ROI). Depending on the area for the project’s construction, there may also be tax advantages.

Tax Advantages

Under the new tax laws, Opportunity Zones all across America have been created to stimulate redevelopment in areas that are distressed. The federal tax advantages include either delaying capital gain taxes or avoiding them altogether if investors hold the investments for more than ten years.

It is also possible to sell a project in an Opportunity Zone for a profit and then reinvest the proceeds under a tax exchange transaction into another investment in an Opportunity Zone and avoid paying the capital gains. Check with a competent real estate and tax attorney to learn how to set up an Opportunity Zone Fund to maximize the tax advantages.

Additionally, the financial basis used for calculating any profits on the second transaction is raised, thereby locking in the tax savings on the profits from the first transaction. This is a very effective strategy for build-to-suit developers who organize a multi-use development project in an Opportunity Zone with the intent to sell it.

State, County, And Municipal Support

Depending on the location, there may be state, county, and/or municipal support in terms of tax abatements and contribution of the land and funds for the development of a multi-use project.

Lack Of Basic Services

Another key consideration is that many Opportunity Zones lack sufficient basic services. Some neighborhoods do not even have a grocery store. A multi-use development, in a distressed neighborhood, which offers services and stores for these basic needs, is likely to experience an immediate consumer demand for the offerings.

Loans And Investment Funds For Multi-Use Projects

Lenders are more attracted to multi-use projects because of the possibility of higher average rents per square foot that will cover the monthly mortgage payments. Multi-use projects can be successfully funded by crowd-sourcing techniques as well.

Opportunities For Real Estate Agents And Brokers

REALTORS® have commission-earnings potential in the sale/acquisition of the properties for a multi-use development, leasing out the properties when developed, and selling a project upon construction completion or after being leased out.

Conclusion

The advantages of multi-use approaches as a development project are significant. There is plenty of support available in many parts of the country for these projects. REALTORS® benefit from many opportunities for commissions on each project as the development begins, the project is leased out, and then potentially sold.

Be sure to partner with a trusted real estate professional if you are interested in purchasing and developing a multi-use property.

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Buying A Second Home And How To Pay For It

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 23rd, 2019

Buying A Second Home And How To Pay For ItHow does an average homeowner become a real estate investor? Certainly, owning a home is an investment in real estate. However, this guide discusses the next step for many to become a real estate investor. This is to buy another property and use it for a commercial purpose. Owning another home is less of a burden when an investor finds a way to make the home pay for itself.

Here are some tips on how to help a property generate cash flow:

Renting Out A Home

Renting the home to others may be an effective way to pay for it. To do this well, a real estate investor looks for a home with special characteristics. The home is for sale at a low enough price and can be financed well enough so that the cash flow coming in for the rent will be equal or more to the expenses of owning and managing the property. It is terrific if the property makes a positive cash flow each month, even if only a small amount.

If a property has a $50 per month positive cash flow, then that small amount builds up over time. Adding more properties with positive cash flow increases the investment portfolio value quicker.

Home Office

Using all or part of a home as an office creates special tax deductions for the expenses that cover the portion of the property used for business. Even if a homeowner does not have enough money to buy another home, starting a small business by using a home office may help create the money for the investment needed as a down payment on the second home.

Renting A Home Out As A Vacation Rental

Many like to rent homes in nice areas for vacation purposes. The home can rent out as a full home or as individual rooms in the home. Airbnb is a useful web-based service that can bring rental customers for those interested in doing this.

Bed & Breakfast

Another way to make money by owning a property is to turn it into a commercial enterprise as a bed & breakfast. Depending on the location, and the number of tourists attracted to a particular area, a bed & breakfast business can be profitable.

Tax Implications

Even if owning a second home does not make positive cash flow, it can still be financially beneficial when it reduces the tax burden. Work with an accountant and/or investigate the tax implications of owning the property. It may be possible to take deductions such as for property expenses and non-cash deductions such as depreciation, which when combined with other income, reduces the overall tax liability.

If owning a second home reduces the taxes to be paid, this is a financial benefit that offsets any negative cash flow. Tax savings is money in the pocket, so this counts as part of the positive cash flow that comes from owning a property.

Summary

These are just a few ideas to consider that may help pay for a second home and make it easier to become a real estate investor.

When you are considering a new property, be sure to partner with a trusted real estate professional.

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How To Find Motivated Sellers In Your Real Estate Market

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 14th, 2019

How To Find Motivated Sellers In Your Real Estate MarketBargains in real estate may come from identifying motivated sellers who are willing to let a property go for less than it is really worth. Real estate investors who acquire properties at a discount from current market value enhance their success by increasing their profit potential. Real estate agents who list properties owned by motivated sellers increase their chances to sell a property quickly and have happy sellers who might refer them in the future.

Here are some tips on how to find motivated sellers:

Distressed Discounts

A property that lists for a long time and then the listing shows a discount is a clear sign the owner is becoming motivated. However, just because a property shows a discount from the original listing price, it still may not be a bargain. It is important to learn if the present owner has an unreasonable expectation. Check the recent comparable sales (comps) and then offer no more than 25% less than the sales price of the lowest comp.

Track Foreclosures

For real estate investors with the liquidity to do all-cash deals, tracking foreclosure dates creates opportunities. Properties may be bought just before the final foreclosure date at a large discount because the owner knows that the house will soon be lost anyway.

Short Sales

Another all-cash deal is the short sale. In this type of sale, the lender is driving the deal. The lender is willing to accept a steeply-discounted price to avoid an expensive legal foreclosure process. These homes almost always sell for way below market price and the seller is highly motivated.

Divorce Proceedings

A couple going through a disputed divorce may be forced to sell a home in order to be able to divide the assets owned by them. These are highly motivated sellers who may simply want to get rid of the home fast as part of the process of being finished with the relationship.

Estates

Another reason why a home may need to sell is if the person who owned it died. An estate sale may be a good deal if the executor of the estate is motivated. This happens if there are multiple family members who are impatient and have claims to a portion of the assets as their inheritance.

Will Pay Cash For Houses

A simple sign or flier posted many places with “Will Pay Cash For Houses” and a telephone number on it actually may work in some areas to find motivated sellers.

Personal Networking

Ask everyone if they know of someone who needs to sell a home quickly.

Summary

Finding motivated sellers is a useful thing to do for investors looking for great deals and real estate agents wanting faster-selling properties to list. Ask a homeowner why they want to sell to learn their motivation. Property owners who experience troubles create opportunities for others who are ready to help them sell a property fast and when the need is urgent.

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4 Reasons Millennials Should Buy A Retirement Home First

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 29th, 2018

4 Reasons Millennials Should Buy A Retirement Home First There’s an idea running through marketing and business circles that anything that is popular, the opposite will likely be popular as well.

Consider that sugar and caffeinated beverages such as Coca-Cola have seemingly opposite products like Coke Zero. That product, in turn, is offset in the marketplace by high-sugar, high-caffeine energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull.

In the housing industry, reverse living homes enjoy popularity. Basically, the bedrooms are downstairs while the kitchen, living room and other gathering spaces are upstairs. This concept of doing the opposite brings us to the idea about buying a first home.

The vast majority of potential buyers focus on starter homes as they build financial success. Some think about how that first home could be expanded to grow a family or sold when marriage and young ones come along. But Millennials enter the housing market may want to consider doing the opposite. What if you bought your last home first?

Consider these reasons for starting with your retirement home.

1: Lifestyle Suits Renting First

Millennials are flooding the job market and beginning to earn wages that prompt them to make major life purchases. But Millennial jobs tend to be different from the traditional ones of previous generations. Tech companies are trending in hip cities across the country and places with excellent weather. That means these first-time home buyers would either find themselves commuting through rush-hour traffic from the suburbs or paying urban real estate prices. Young Millennials may be better off renting and investing in property elsewhere.

2: Rent Out Your First Home

By taking your initial down payment and investing in a rental property, Millennials can make money or maintain a zero-expense real estate buy.

By purchasing your future retirement home in a vibrant community with a relaxed environment, it can pay for itself while strengthening your economic portfolio. The equity building in that first property will position you for a second home to live near work or build a family. That retirement rental may even put a few extra dollars in your pocket.  

3: Pursuing Career Opportunities

Whether you are fresh out off college, completed military service or rising in a company’s ranks, Millennials on the younger end of the spectrum can benefit from agility. Being able to seamlessly relocate to pursue emerging career opportunities or take a promotion in another city or state can help maximize your earning potential. Having a home is certainly nice, but you will be faced with a decision to sell and buy a new one or pass on an opportunity. Those are not necessarily the best considerations during prime earning years.

4: Downsizing Matters

The trend of valued elders is to downsize family homes as the enter their golden years. Ironically, many purchase the same type of starter homes all over again. The value of buying a retirement home first is that you will be able to cash out of any other property and apply that revenue to living expenses. In all likelihood, the initial real estate buy will be paid off. In the end, doing the opposite of common trends can prove to have improved long-term benefits.

If you are looking to buy a home to live in or for a long term investment, contact your trusted real estate agent to help you find your dream property.

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Myths About Buying A Vacation Home

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 22nd, 2018

Myths About Buying A Vacation HomeAre you thinking about buying a vacation home? Maybe owning two homes is part of your retirement dream. Maybe you’d like to have a second home in your favorite holiday locale.

If you are thinking about taking this step, you might have talked to family and friends about it. Unfortunately, many people give well-intentioned, yet poor advice when it comes to buying a vacation home. Here are some myths — and the truth — about buying a second home straight from leading real estate experts.

You Can Buy A Vacation Home With No Money Down

You have probably seen advertisements about buying a vacation home with no money down. However, this is simply not the case and those advertisements are misleading. Unlike buying a first home, you will need a sizable down payment to purchase a second home.

The minimum amount down that you will need to buy a second home is 10 percent. In order to qualify for the lowest down payment, it would also have to be a single family residence and not an investment property.

So, if you plan to use it as a vacation rental, then you will need more money down – usually at least 20 percent due to the property being considered an investment property.

Renting Out Your Vacation Home Is Easy

Sites like VBRO, HomeAway and Airbnb have made renting out vacation rentals much easier. However, renting out a vacation or second home is not as simple as it seems. While renting out your vacation home is a great opportunity, you must run it like a business.

And remember, there are more expenses than just the mortgage payment and possibly HOA dues. Utility payments and amenities like internet and television services add to the monthly expenses and are desirable features to prospective renters.

Take some time with your trusted real estate professional and pencil out the total costs of maintenance. Then you will have a great idea of what it will take in rent to cover the costs.

You Don’t Have To Worry About Your Vacation Home When You Are Not There

Many people think that they can buy a vacation home and then forget about it when they are not using it. This is simply not the case. Vacation homes are often targets for thieves, so you’ll have to plan for a way to protect your home when you are not there.

Fortunately, the newer smart alarm systems make it easy to monitor a property from anywhere. Many smart home systems also include flood detection monitors so that you can be immediately notified if you have a water leak.

Owning a vacation home can be a very rewarding investment and a great addition to your long term financial plan. Once again, take your time and get your trusted real estate and mortgage financing professional involved to help you make the best decision possible.

 

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How To Manage Investment Property While Working Full-Time

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 6th, 2018

How To Manage Investment Property While Working Full-TimeIn 2017, upwards of 75 percent of independent rental property owners in the U.S. reportedly worked another job on top of being a landlord. That means the overwhelming majority of landlords are attempting to juggle more than they can handle at times. However, there are organizational and strategic concepts that can maximize efficiency and profitability.

Consider the following tips that bring property management tasks under three basic headings: organization, automation and outsourcing.  

Organization Matters

One of the things that tends to overwhelm landlords is thinking about the rental properties as an extension of home ownership. The rental seems like it involves many of the same tasks such as maintenance and repair.

By rethinking rentals in terms of a small business, the way these and other tasks are approached can become radically different. If this were a Mom and Pop store or a corporation, the necessary resources would be brought in to handle niche labor. Organize all of the tasks that the rental unit(s) require under categories that may include the following.

  • Rental Advertising
  • Applicant Interviews
  • Background Checks
  • Legal Documents (leases)
  • Maintenance and Repairs
  • Rent Collection and Bill Paying

Accounting

With a defined set of tasks organized under specific headings, it becomes much easier to visualize the breadth of work involved and what supporting resources would be needed.

Automation Matters

Industries across the globe are moving to automation as a way to increase productivity and lower costs. There’s no reason landlords working other jobs cannot do the same.

While fixing a burst pipe may not be a good candidate for automation, there are numerous tasks property owners undertake that no longer require valuable time.

  • Advertising: Consider a process where an online advertisement is pre-written and posted when a lease expires.
  • Rental Payments: Consider automatic withdrawal from tenant accounts or having them direct deposit.
  • Bill Payment: Consider auto pay for every possible facet of the property, including utilities, taxes, insurance, mortgage and others.
  • Maintenance and Repair: Consider an online form for tenants to fill out that provides real-time notification.

These and other tools can streamline the amount of time required to manage a rental property without incurring significant expense.

Outsourcing Matters

People who work regular jobs and also manage rental properties are entrepreneurs by nature. That go-getter personality leads many to take on more tasks than there is time in the day. That’s why outsourcing is so important.

Outsourcing things like accounting or legal services are no-brainers because they require specialized knowledge. But other tasks such as applications, background checks and maintenance may be good things to put on someone else’s plate as well.

As noted in the beginning of this article, if a small business mindset were applied, many of these tasks would be assigned to a designated resource. Consider operating rental units in this fashion by running a cost analysis and outsourcing. Roll in the labor costs that make sense and take some time to binge watch a Netflix series while your investment turns a profit.

If you’re ready to invest in a rental property, contact your trusted real estate professional who can point you to the hottest markets in your area. 

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