Investing for Resale
One common method of investing in real estate is investing for the purposes of resale. This method uses real estate in much the same way that other investors use stocks or similar investments; you purchase a piece of property and then attempt to sell it for more than you invested into it. Investors who buy and sell real estate in this manner will often use the money made from one piece of property to purchase another, keeping some real estate on the market as much as possible and keeping the excess money that was made from the last sale.
Investing for Rental
Another common method of investing in real estate is investing for the purposes of owning rental property. Instead of putting a house or apartment building back on the market after purchasing it, the rental investor finds individuals who are interested in renting their property and then serves as landlord. This type of investment doesn't yield as much at one time as resale investments, but has the potential to bring in a somewhat steady return for months or years to come.
Advantages of Real Estate Investment
The advantages of real estate investment are much like the advantages of any investmentÖ there is an opportunity to make money, sometimes large amounts of money. Resale investors can often purchase property that needs minimal repair, fix it up, and see a significant increase in their profits for not a whole lot of money. Rental investors can make even more over time, because as long as their property is occupied they're going to be making money. Years down the road, they can also choose to sell their rental property for additional profits.
Disadvantages of Real Estate Investment
While there is a great potential to make money with real estate investment, it's not without its disadvantages. For resale investors, they may not be able to find a buyer as quickly as they'd like, or the real estate market might drop after they'd made their purchaseÖ either scenario meaning that they aren't able to get the money out of the property that they want or in some cases not even able to get back what they put into it.
Rental investors have to deal with the people who are renting the property, as well as potential periods when no one is renting itÖ and are responsible by law for certain amounts of maintenance and repair even though it may be the tenant's fault that the repairs are needed.
They also have to deal with non-paying tenants, and those who are quick to threaten legal action even if it's not legitimate. Both types of investment also require payment of property taxes and other fees.
Money can be made with real estate, just make sure that you're ready for the drawbacks as well.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
Do you regularly contract a gardener, milk delivery, maid service or other third party service that you need to cancel?
Have you arranged a mail redirect?
Have you turned off the gas, water and electricity, if asked?
Have you stopped all utilities, and informed any tax or local authorities of your move so that they can adjust your final bill and have it forwarded to your house?
Is everything packed, removed, binned or accounted for?
If you are leaving furniture, have you checked that there's nothing in, underneath, behind or on top of it?
Have you fulfilled any items that will ensure the return of your deposit (if you had one?)
Is everything packed and clearly marked?
Have you paid, or do you have the means to pay for your new house, if required?
Have you clearly explained, or marked out any repairs required within your old house?
Have you left any manuals that you don't need, for appliances or items you're leaving behind?
Have you transferred things like your driver's license, visa, passport or work permit to your new address?
Once you've ensured you've taken care of everything, you can move on to your new house knowing that you're able to continue your life without fear of disruption, identity theft or needing to contact the new occupants of the house with your problems. You'll also be able to relax and enjoy the move itself.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
The new income-generating replacement property gives the investor the double gain of added income and savings from tax that would have otherwise gone to the IRS coffers.
Besides saving the buyer from a huge tax burden coming in the guise of capital gains, the instrument offers maximum immunity and flexibility in reinvesting the money gained from the sale in a replacement property within a given period.
The exchange being time-bound is no kid's play either. In every exchange of this kind, Qualified Intermediaries (QI) plays a crucial role connecting the buyer and seller. The Federal Tax Code makes service of QI mandatory since 1991 in any exchange.
The federal nature of the 1031 Exchange regulations make the Qualified Intermediary play a wizard in guiding and structuring the exchange, satisfying all parameters and suiting the goals of the clients. It is the QI who does the paperwork required by the IRS to document the exchange. The QI carefully prepares all documents and serves the parties with copies of the exchange agreement, novation agreement and escrow instructions.
The Exchange Agreement reads like a contract between the Exchanger and a Qualified Intermediary. The Exchanger explicitly agrees to transfer his old property to the Intermediary, in lieu of a new property to be supplied by the latter within 180 days. The contract outlines all terms and conditions under which the exchange of properties should take place.
For a 1031 Exchange to take effect, both the old property as well as the new property should be in the category of investment property, capable of generating income. The examples could be rental property, bare land, vacation homes or more.
As soon as the old property is sold, within 45 days the seller has to come out with a list containing two or three probable properties fit for replacement. And the whole process of purchasing the new property or replacement property from the list must be over in a period of 180 days.
The exchange becomes bona-fide only when the title stays intact and whosoever held title to the old relinquished property gets the title of the new property.
In between the sale and purchase of property, the seller of the old property would get no access to the money he accrued from the sale, as the money will be vested with the ëQualified Intermediary's till the exchange gets over.
This 1031 Exchange process has matured and had many names in the past including Like Kind Exchange, Deferred or Delayed Exchange, Simultaneous or Concurrent Exchange, Starker Trust or Exchange, Alder-son Exchange, Reverse Exchange, Two, Three, or Four Party Exchange and Baird Exchange.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
Good companies manage all aspects of the exchange. They provide service that is quick, easy to use and backed by experience. In good companies, experienced attorneys are the managers. The senior staff will be rich in experience with regard to investment property transactions. The specialized team of attorneys mainly deals with more complex reverse and build-to-suit exchanges.
The main parameters that distinguish a good and bad exchange company are speed, service and the security they offer the client. Speed lies in the pace at which the company prepares the document. The documents are then sent to the closing table, allowing the seller to close and proceed with the exchange. Service is the dexterity in preparing all documents required for the exchange, including reminders of 45 and 180-day time limits and extensive complimentary consultations.
Security comes in the form of an unconditional guarantee on exchange funds from Insurance Companies: high value fidelity bond coverage and Professional Liability insurance cover.
These days, banks are working with Exchange Service providers. The Cole Taylor Bank of Chicago is one of the largest independent banks in Chicago, and joined hands with Nationwide Exchange Services (NES) of Cupertino in California in a strategic alliance for handling Cole Taylor's tax-deferred 1031 Exchange business. This Chicago bank specializes in serving the business banking, real estate lending and wealth management of closely-held and family owned small and mid-sized businesses. Cole Taylor Bank is an Equal Housing Lender.
Nationwide Exchange Services is a leading Qualified Intermediary for Tax-Deferred 1031 Exchanges and has conducted thousands of successful 1031 Exchange transactions. It is applying advanced technologies and secure business processes to enhance standards of financial security, visibility and customer service to establish new standards for products and services in 1031 tax-deferred Exchanges.
The alliance enabled the Bank to become part of the NES team and benefited in becoming the primary financial custodian for NES in the Midwest Region. The alliance also helped the bank to offer their customers an expanded set of tax-deferred 1031 Exchange products, such as reverse and build-to-suit exchanges, at the most competitive cost structure.
The systems from NES combined with the bank Cole Taylor's financial security and brand recognition has spurred confidence in the customers. Collaboratively, they bring distinct advantages to all 1031 customer sets, right commercial developers and corporate entities to individual investors.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
2. They also make sure that the note is recorded and they are listed as mortgagee, trustee, or the first contract holder on the policy. This guarantees that they will be entitled to any proceeds from any claim ahead of the borrower.
3. They make sure that they get a notice of cancellation if the borrower fails to keep a current policy on the property.
4. They make sure that real estate taxes are paid on time by the borrower, and if necessary the note holder will pay the taxes themselves.
5. They make it a habit to drive by the property on a regular basis or have someone drive by to make sure that their investment is still intact.
6. They keep all pertinent information on the buyer in a safe place in case of fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or any other type of catastrophe.
7. They make sure that they have received an amortization schedule from their attorney or title company so that they can keep up with all payments that are made to them.
8. They notify the borrower well in advance (at least 3ñ6 months) before a balloon payment is due. This gives the borrower more than enough time to find favorable financing; this reduces the threat of default.
9. They don't allow the borrower to get comfortable making late payments. They install a late payment clause in the contract and enforce it.
10. They are serious about their money and initiate foreclosure proceedings at the first sign of trouble. They are not childish in this area. They obtain the services of an experienced foreclosure attorney to handle the problem instead of trying to save a few bucks and "do it yourself".
11. They realize that a note is a depreciating asset. They understand that each month and each year the value of their note becomes less and less due to inflation.
12. They understand the time value of money and are able to answer these questions:
. How much is my note really worth in today's market?
. If I decide to sell today for all cash, how much would I get?
. Can I sell a partial of my note?
. How fast can I get the money?
. Who will buy it?
. What is my risk factor in the long run?
. What if things don't work out as planned?
. What is my exit strategy?
. Should I continue to receive monthly payments for the duration of my note?
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
3. Drive around looking for "For Sale By Owner" signs. Owners often don't want to pay to keep the ad in the paper every week, so you won't see all properties there.
4. Find abandoned properties. That's a pretty clear sign that the owner doesn't want to deal with the property. He might sell cheap.
5. Find old "For Rent" ads. Call if they are a few weeks old. Landlords are often ready to sell, especially if the haven't yet rented the units out.
6. Talk to bankers. You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.
7. Offer someone a finder's fee. There are people that always seem to hear about the good deals. Have such people coming to you.
8. Eviction notices. If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can get the information at the courthouse, it can be useful. A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is a likely seller.
9. Old FSBO ads. If you call on two-month-old "For sale By Owner" ads, and they haven't sold, they may be ready to deal. Owners often give up the effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out!
10. Put an ad in the paper. "Looking for investment properties to buy," might be sufficient to generate a few calls.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
Look for fixer-uppers in neighborhoods you are interested in. Many times these homes will have a hard time selling and the owner is ready for just about any offer. You will find these houses ranging from just needing a little "cosmetic" work like landscaping or painting, to totally trashed out houses in need of some serious renovation. If you are into repairs, this is a great way to get a home for a good deal.
If you are not skilled at repairs and renovation, be careful about fixer-upper homes. They could end up costing you quite a large amount of money to pay others to fix.
I also recommend getting a home inspection so that you know what exactly you are in for before you begin.
2. Seller Carry-Back
Look for a home with an assumable loan. Instead of buying out the owner's equity, ask the seller to carry back a second mortgage for the rest of the money owed. If you can get the seller to carry all of the rest, you can get the home for no money down.
3. Offer an Object for the Down Payment
Offer something other than cash (land, a car, a boat, or valuable collectibles) to the seller instead of a cash down payment. This is why it is important to listen to sellers. Find out what they want and need. Maybe you have (or can get) just what they need. For instance maybe they wanted to use the down-payment to buy an RV and it turns out that you just happen to have one you don't need. Offer that vehicle as a down-payment, and it saves you from coming up with the cash.
4. Offer Services for the Down Payment
Offer your services or expertise to the seller in lieu of a down payment. Some examples include $10,000 worth of auto services if you're a mechanic, dental work if you're a dentist, desktop publishing services if you're a designer, artwork if you're an artist or legal work if you're an attorney.
Look for foreclosure properties that require little or no down payment. Some lenders and government agencies will let you buy a foreclosure with no down payment if your credit is good and they're anxious to have the home occupied, or if you have skills (carpentry, landscaping or even painting) that you can use to increase the home's value. Distressed properties - assume with little or no down to save foreclosure.
6. VA or Other No Money Down Loans
Look for conventional loan programs such as VA or FHA that require little or nothing down. VA loans have helps countless veterans get into their homes. There are often programs available to first time buyers or people who are distressed (such as with Hurricane Katrina) that will help people get into a home with little money down. You usually will have to qualify for the loan with the bank, though.
7. Find an Investment Partner for Equity Sharing
Look for an investment partner who'll put up some or all of the cash in an equity-sharing partnership. You make the monthly payments and the two of you split the eventual resale profits.
8. Wrap-Around Financing
Wrap-around financing is where you assume a seller's VA Loan by doing a new Contract for Deed. Since this contract is flexible and does not have to follow the old loan, you can ask the seller to carry not only the loan amount, but the rest of the purchase price of the house, letting you get in with little or no money down.
9. Rent-to-Own or Lease-Option
This is really is one of the best ways to get into a home of your own when you can't get a bank loan. Remember that you may still have to get a loan down the line. If you have a lease-option for 5 years, at the end of that time, you will need to purchase the house, so you can use the time to fix your credit, or use one of the other options that are discussed in our book to purchase the house at that time. You can always try to negotiate another 5-year lease-option if you need more time. (For more detailed information on lease-options, check out our free ebook, "Buying a Home When You Have Bad Credit" at http://I-can-buy.com.)
10. Government and Community Down-payment Programs
There are many community and non-profit organization programs out there to help people get into homes of their own. Many of these do no require any money down.
There are some organizations and programs that will pay for some or all of the down payment for you. Generally these are for lower to moderate-income individuals, but these days that includes a lot of people. You also usually have to be able to qualify for an FHA loan (which is somewhat easier than a conventional bank loan.) If you have been unable to get into a home because you don't have enough money for a down payment, then maybe one of these programs will be for you.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
2. Explore creative financing options. During the home loan pre-approval process, ask about ways to get creative with your financing. Low down payment options, first and second mortgage combinations and first time buyer programs might help you afford more funding. Many lenders are now offering interest-only home mortgages; just make sure you thoroughly evaluate the terms for this type of home loan. Down payment grants are also available in some instances and might be worth investigating or discussing with your realtor.
3. Sell your existing home first. Although selling your existing home before finding new real estate to buy can be a little nerve wracking, any inconvenience will be offset by your ability to make an offer with cash in hand. Contingent purchases are not the best when negotiating to buy a home. Having your financing in order and your bags packed will give you the advantage in a competitive market.
4. Look for vacant real estate. Perhaps a seller's job has transferred him out of the area. Or maybe a family purchased a new home before putting their existing one on the market. In any case, a vacant home could be just the deal for a savvy home buyer, so have your realtor look for vacant property in your preferred neighborhoods. And keep in mind, the longer a house stays empty, the greater your negotiating power will be.
5. Consider cosmetic fixers. If you're handy with a paintbrush, a toolset and gardening equipment, consider buying real estate in need of cosmetic fixing. Property that lacks curb appeal needs minor handiwork or the yard overhauled could end up being the home of your dreams for a price you can afford. You just need to look beyond the ho-hum to see the potential of a cosmetic fixer.
6. Buy a home that's a major remodel project. If you want to live on Lake Washington, but can't afford a $2M home mortgage, consider buying a dilapidated cottage on a fabulous lot with western exposure. In time you'll need to gut the existing home and build from the ground up or contract significant home improvements. But in the end your property value will skyrocket. And if your carpentry and other construction skills are well-developed, you can save even more and accrue "sweat equity" during your remodel by doing much of the work yourself.
7. Don't discount bank foreclosures. One person's loss could be your gain if you buy real estate in foreclosure. Although the search for a decent foreclosure may take a while, your realtor should be able help. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://www.hud.gov/) can be an excellent resource for foreclosed properties. Because HUD houses are sold at market value, your best bet will be homes that need cosmetic work or even major repair.
8. Land with a manufactured home. Sometimes, to buy a home on a budget, you need to look beyond convention. Even if your wish is to buy real estate, you may have to settle for a piece of property in an outlying area with a mobile or manufactured home. Discuss this option with your real estate agent and try to keep an open mind about this possibility.
9. An older, smaller home. Older homes are typically priced much less than newer construction and don't tend to create buyer bidding wars. If you can enjoy life in an older and smaller home in a neighborhood or suburb off the beaten path, this could be your ticket to real estate ownership.
10. The cheapest house in the best neighborhood. You have your heart set on a specific ñ and expensive ñ neighborhood. Maybe it's the schools that you're interested in. Or perhaps it's the close proximity to downtown or the waterfront. In any case, a budget-savvy buyer will look for the least expensive home for sale in the neighborhood. If you're not in a hurry, you can even play the waiting game to see what properties come on the market. Your real estate agent can be a real asset in this case by investigating potential sellers.
Buying real estate without breaking your budget will require research and compromise. On moving day, however, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that your homework paid off!
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
Does this sound familiar?
Developing commercial and residential projects in urban areas require special care. While some urban areas are on the verge of new developments, misunderstanding and community opposition can block even the best designs.
You can reduce risks by taking a thoughtful approach to the process. Some residents and politicians demand programs be based on trust, openness, and consensus building. This should not mean you compromise your design. Executing these ten important steps can result in strong design and a smooth process.
Consensus doesn't mean that everyone agrees, it's more about showing respect for different opinions, developing relationships, and identifying shared goals to establish positive public opinion so the project will gain community and government acceptance. It's important to nurture supporters and expose the extremists.
The following 10 points should be addressed:
1) Create the vision. It's about design, not density. Establish a vision early by connecting it to local settings and looking for ways to build partnerships. Good design attracts people.
2) Know your market. Do the homework necessary to understand the competition and the market forces that influence a project.
3) Understand the issues. All communities have a set of unique characteristics and issues that guide their decisions. It's essential to have a good understanding of the marketplace, environment, regional influences, and financial aspects. There is no single solution.
4) Get the public benefit. Make the benefit for the city & community clear.
5) Pay attention to everyone who has a stake in the project. Have small discussion groups to get their feedback.
6) Establish trust. Do this by sharing knowledge and listening carefully. Be honest, encourage participation from everyone, stay neutral and pursue win-win goals.
7) Inform decision makers. Meet one-on-one and provide solutions to educate decision makers.
8) Use the media. Take the high road and keep the message simple. Talk about helping the community.
9) Use the unique. Incorporate the areas physical social and historical environment into the design.
10) Be patient . Listen carefully, provide guidance, establish credibility, and let the process grow.
By using these ten points, several revitalization plans have been completed in the face of strong initial community resistance. Guided by strong visions which have been established by working with city programs launched to solicit feedback and educate everyone have had a profound effect in the success of revitalization efforts.
Implementing major public and private improvements can convert old spaces into lively gathering places for community activity.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
1. First is to check out the many new zero down programs now available from lenders. Especially if you're a fist time buyer. Also FHA and VA have loans that may not be zero down, but are very close.
2. Borrow money for the down payment. Borrow the money from family, friends or a business partner at a high interest rate or a percentage of the profit when the property is sold
3. Raise the price and lower the terms. Offer the seller more than he is asking provided he is willing to accept the down payment in the form of a note. If the seller is asking $150,000 with $15,000 down and willing to carry the balance of $135,000. Try offering $155,000 in the form of a promissory not instead of cash. The seller gets a little more money for the additional risk.
4. Borrow against a life insurance policy. Many life insurance policies let you borrow against the policy for the purpose of investing in real estate or other investments.
5. Use other property as collateral. Create a note on existing property that you or a partner own and use it as the down payment for the property you are buying.
6. Home equity loan. Home equity loans are generally easy to qualify for as long as there is adequate equity in the property.
7. Seller refinance. Have the seller refinance the property, receiving the cash he needs from the proceeds of the new loan, the buyer gives the seller a note for the balance of the seller's equity.
8. Find an investor. There are many people who have money but no time. Their current profession keeps them too busy. Work out a deal where they put up the money and you split the profits when you sell.
9. Lease with option to purchase. Lease a property with the right to buy it at some future time. Provide for the rental payment to be credited towards the down payment if you decide to exercise your option.
10. Give them something they need. If the seller is planning to purchase something in the future that you own or can buy, use it as a trade. This can be anything such as furniture, boat or motor home.
Francis Stark #FrancisStark
Become a Real Estate Investor
"Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The young wise man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate."