You’ve been considering an investment in real estate but are you really ready? Putting your money into something you haven’t done your homework on could be detrimental. You may even have all the tools, but are still straddling the fence. How will you know it’s time? Here are a few signs that indicate you have some ways to go:
Long-term Investment Strategy
If you don’t have one of these, you aren’t ready. Although flipping homes and other elements of getting into the real estate game may seem attractive, all the income coming in is tied to you doing “work.” When you stop doing it, the money stops to. An actual investment strategy means once you’ve found the home, did the work and found the tenants, the income continues rolling in. That means your assets continue to grow year after year.
Finances Need Work
Are your finances in order? That means you’re living below your means and are saving a good amount of your income. How’s your rainy day fund? If you don’t have at least three, six to a year’s worth of expenses that you can quickly get to, investing in something that may not give you a return on your investment doesn’t really make sense.
Do you have insurance? It’s important to have at least a term life insurance policy that’s 10 to 12 times your income.
Unless you have the cash to pay for your investments outright, you need to have a high enough credit rating that allows you to get the financing you’ll need. While your credit doesn’t have to be perfect, it should be good enough and showing indications of improving over time.
Capital is the name of the game. You should have access to enough capital that will allow you to secure long-term financing to get those properties when you want. Take a look at your risk profile. Purchasing high quality, low-risk property instead of maxing out the capital you have can make a difference. If you don’t have the capital, you’re not ready.
While you’re giving these areas some thought, it’s also a good thing to look at the market. While there are always ongoing talks about a recession, consider the stock market. Which one is riskier? Market stats are usually based on the entire country, but real estate stats are only based on specific cities, properties and neighborhoods. That means even if a recession hits, each property is impacted in its own way.
It’s time to study how to beat a recession if one hits and know the fundamentals. If you have a property that provides significant cash flow now, chances are it will during a recession as well. If you have quality properties in high-demand areas, you can withstand a market downturn. The goal is to make a recession an opportunity if you can. It's time to get things in order. If you purchase the right property in the right area, you’ll be just fine.
Although you've enjoyed your residence for many years, all good things must come to an end. Now, as you get ready to embark on the next stage of your life, you've decided to leave your neighbors behind and sell your house.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why you should include your neighbors in the home selling process, including:
1. Your neighbors can help you promote your residence.
It may be tough to tell your neighbors that you plan to relocate in the foreseeable future. However, doing so may help you stir up interest from many potential property buyers.
For example, a neighbor may know a family member or friend who is interested in moving into the neighborhood. And if you give this neighbor a heads-up about your intent to sell your house, you may already have at least one person who is interested in buying your house as soon as it becomes available.
Your neighbors also can share your property listing with assorted family members and friends. In addition, don't forget to encourage your neighbors to promote your house on social media.
2. Your neighbors may be able to offer home selling insights.
Your neighborhood likely is full of property owners who understand the ins and outs of buying a house. Furthermore, your neighbors may be able to provide home selling insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
It never hurts to ask a neighbor what he or she thinks of your home. By doing so, you can gain honest, unbiased feedback about your residence and may be able to identify problem areas that you previously did not consider. Then, you can allocate the time and resources to improve your home's exterior and interior and ensure your house stands out in a competitive real estate market.
3. Your neighbors can help keep your neighborhood looking great.
Your neighbors may want you to stay in the neighborhood. But if your neighbors are true friends, they will probably do whatever they can to help you achieve your desired home selling results.
Letting your neighbors know that you plan to list your house may lead them to upgrade their properties as well. This may enable all of the houses in a neighborhood to stand out to visitors and will make it simple for homebuyers to envision what life would be like if they moved into the neighborhood.
Lastly, if you need extra help as you get ready to sell your home, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent. With a housing market professional at your side, you should have no trouble navigating the home selling journey.
A real estate agent will provide expert tips throughout each stage of the home selling process. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, negotiate with property buyers on your behalf and do everything possible to simplify the home selling cycle.
Collaborate with your neighbors throughout the home selling journey, and you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.
In today's virtual world, the vast majority of people are using apps and software to stay organized and keep their goals moving forward, including selling or buying a home. Fortunately, there are a ton of great tools available to help you stay on top of your real estate transactions. Here's a quick look at some of the best tools to keep you organized when you're going crazy trying to buy or sell your home.
Evernote is an organizational powerhouse. Saw a home that you love, but it's not for sale? Share pictures of what you loved with your real estate agent. Need to add a few landscaping tasks to your significant other's to-do list? You can make this happen in a shared notebook. Want to track expenses or have home warranty documents close to hand? Take a quick picture and save it to your customized notebook.
2. Google Calendar or iCal
You know that your real estate agent is trying to fit home showings in at convenient times, but what if you could avoid having to rearrange your schedule or go crazy at the last minute trying to make a showing happen? By allowing your agent to access your Google Calendar or iCal, they can plan showings around your schedule rather than blindly making recommendations to get it done.
Trello is a solid project management tool that goes beyond your typical to-do list. When you've got cleaning, staging and home improvements to pull off before your agent starts showing your home, Trello helps you get your list organized, prioritized and completed on time with options for setting deadlines, adding file attachments and easy communications with your entire family to keep everyone up-to-date.
When you're trying to share a lot of pictures, documents or similar information between yourself, your family and your agent, DropBox provides you with a great option for file sharing without compromising security. Passcode-protected information can quickly and easily be shared with others, making it easy for them to download and only share specific files on an as-needed basis.
When you expect to see multiple rounds of paperwork or similar documentation that requires signatures, but you can't get into the agent's office or don't want to spend as much time on the go, DocuSign helps provide you with options for digitally signing paperwork, saving you a lot of time that you would otherwise spend running when your schedule is already insanely busy because of an upcoming move.
Using these amazing organizational tools to stay on top of your real estate transactions, whether you're buying or selling, will help you get more done in less time without stressing out about the end results. If you need recommendations for local apps that work well for your area, please reach out to your real estate agent to discover more.
If your home is on the market, you may wonder why it hasn’t moved off the market. There are many ways to make adjustments to the price of your home, but if not done correctly, you could sabotage the sale of your home. Let’s say that you have your home as an FSBO (For sale by owner.) Buyers may wonder what’s behind the price of the house. Does the seller genuinely want to move the home to the sold category quickly? Why has the home been for sale so long?
You could face the same problems if you’re working with an agency. The difference is that s a seller, the agency is by your side, helping you to make the right decisions when it comes to pricing your home.
You need to be realistic when pricing your home as a seller. Of course, you want to make a return on your home. Of course, you think your home has great value. The critical point is that you need to understand the state of the market along with the neighborhood your home is located. So much goes into the pricing of a house.
Along with your agent, you can do some investigating to see where some improvements could be made in marketing your home. Look at the following:
How has the house been received on the MLS?
Are the significant benefits of the home highlighted?
How many open house opportunities did buyers have?
Are there good pictures of the house online?
Do the signs leading to the house stand out?
Can you add anything to the marketing of the home like a virtual tour?
While real estate agents have general guidelines as to how a home at a certain price point should be marketed, you can always be your own advocate.
The Consequences Of High Pricing
If you price your home too high, there are some consequences. Your home will stay on the market for an extended period of time if it's overpriced. Buyers will wonder why the house has been listed for so long, wondering if there’s something wrong with the property. Buyers will wait even longer to bite on the home in these circumstances because they are waiting for a price drop.
The best thing you can do in this circumstance is to take your home off the market. Work with your real estate agent. He can let you know whether it’s a good time to re-list the home. Perhaps you can make some improvements to the property in the meantime. A fresh listing and a clean look at the house may help buyers to find the property more easily at a price that pleases them!
When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, it’s an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you don’t know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, there’s a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore.
One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesn’t seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions.
Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that they’re secure in the transaction.
What’s Strange About This House?
While you wouldn’t word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if there’s anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking.
What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?
While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. It’s helpful to know what’s been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.
Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?
Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home.
Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?
You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the seller’s own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.
Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. You’ll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they don’t need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.