Your diploma represents a vital step on the road to success. Next up: establishing a good credit history.
If you’re a recent college grad, you’ve likely heard speeches about pursuing your passions and believing in yourself, but you probably haven’t heard much about establishing a good credit history. Here’s what you need to know.
It matters — a lot
Qualifying for mortgages, auto loans, apartments and even jobs has become dependent, to some degree, on your credit history.
Find out where you stand
The first step is knowing your current status. Access your credit report by visiting Annual Credit Report.com. Make sure all the information on the report is accurate, because errors can — and do — occur. Damaging discrepancies need to be corrected right away.
Build a credit history
Your credit history is one of the key factors making up your credit score, the all-important three-digit number that determines the rates you pay on everything from credit cards to mortgages to auto insurance.
The best time to build a credit history is when you’re young, and the best way to start a credit history is to get a credit card. This may sound counterintuitive, but if you don’t have a credit card, the scoring system has no information to go on for assessing your creditworthiness, so you come across as a credit risk.
Research credit card options
While many of the major issuers offer cards geared toward new applicants with little or no credit history, you might stand a better chance of getting a card at a credit union. Size up your card options on a site such as LowCards.com.
Gas cards and department store cards are also typically easy to get and can be a good place to start if your options are limited.
Another possibility — especially if you don’t have any credit history or your credit is damaged — is to get a secured card. These cards work just like a regular credit card, except that you place a security deposit with the credit card issuer to obtain one. They typically require $200 or more for the deposit, and this amount becomes the credit line for the account.
Use credit responsiblyThe way to keep your credit score high is to spend responsibly within your means. Don’t use more than 30 percent of your available credit, and pay off your balances in full and on time every month. Your payment history contributes to 35 percent of your credit score, so this point is important.
Chip away at student loans
Student loans are a form of debt, and are therefore taken into account as part of your credit score. And while you may be worried about a lender seeing all of this debt (likely tens of thousands of dollars), there’s no need to be concerned if you’re handling your finances properly. Just be sure you’re managing your debt obligations and repaying them on time, every time.
On Point Homevestments
Many people are still wondering whether or not real estate is one of the best investment strategies for long-term wealth building. Is investing in homes still a smart investment for the average individual? Is a home still the best investment of a lifetime for most Americans? If so, why are some pessimists still questioning the rebound in the news?
Behind the Headlines
Real estate companies will always boast about the benefits of acquiring real estate because it is their job. That is, unless of course, they have gotten into the rental business and make their money by touting the benefits of renting instead. Let’s be honest; statistics can be found and twisted to support any point of view and argument. Entire years of real estate statistics have been revised in the past, new indexes have been created to restart the clock, and even the national GDP was revised. Most don’t even bother to tune into job and unemployment numbers anymore due to how skewed different data sets have become.
Even though the most conservative figures show housing rebounding, especially in hot areas like San Diego, there continue to be doubters. However, it doesn’t take much more than a little common sense to figure out real estate is still the best investment for most of the population. This applies to affluent individuals with top 1% income, as well as those that need to pinch pennies. Stocks have continued to demonstrate extreme volatility and risk. While UT San Diego reports local real estate is still 50% undervalued.
In the stock market, plenty of Americans have lost 6 figures, literally overnight. Direct investment in real estate isn’t that volatile, and nothing is ever lost until a property is sold. For example; some Southern California homeowners saw their home values rise and fall on paper during the last couple of decades, but if they don’t sell for a few more years when prices exceed their previous peak, they will come out handsomely.
Invest in Real Estate, Even if You Can’t Afford Your Dream Home
One of the top excuses for many not to buy a house is that they can afford their ideal dream homes yet. Of course, unless they invest in real estate in some way now, the odds are against them ever being able to afford that dream home. Incomes haven’t been going up, but rents and home prices have. Those wanting to buy a home should not invest any money in stocks or bonds, but should prefer cash. Of course, in reality, cash depreciates too. It can be at risk whether it is in the bank or under the mattress.
Investing in real estate is the best way to build up more wealth and cash to buy that dream home. Can’t find a home you’d live in even for a few years? Then buy a rental property.
Many Americans are sadly being seduced into the lifelong renter mindset without realizing the horrific consequences it could be dooming them to. Consider those paying 50% of income in rent right now. Rents have been going up 20% a year in many places. If rent goes up another 20%, many could be priced out of both buying a home and renting too! Then what?
With Americans living longer, and with company retirement plans evaporating, they also need to consider where they will live for 40 years of retirement on limited income? Even legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett, with all of his endeavors into energy, insurance companies and holding sizable stakes in companies like Coke and Wells Fargo, still calls his own home his best investment ever.
On Point Homevestments
When you've got to buy a house from across the country, start with a winning strategy
Searching for a house locally is not without its difficulties. Add hundreds or even thousands of miles to the equation, and it becomes infinitely more complicated.
Though long-distance house hunting has its unique challenges, it’s not impossible. In fact, with the right agent and the convenience of modern technology, it’s never been easier to buy a house remotely.
Here are a few critical factors to keep in mind when you find yourself in a home search from afar.
Do your homework
When it comes to long-distance home shopping, “the Internet is your friend,” remarks Meghann Shike of Synergy Realty in Nashville. “You know the neighborhoods you live around, but you know nothing about your new one. You don’t know where the mall is, the [grocery store], or the schools.”
Though nothing can substitute checking out the neighborhood in person, Shike recommends looking up commute times to work, crime rates in the area, and, most importantly, how the schools rank. Even if you don’t have children or don’t plan to have children, it’s still good to know the quality of the schools for resale purposes.
One of the biggest pieces of the long-distance house-hunting puzzle, however, is to make sure you’re researching who the best local real estate agents are. It’s always crucial to hire an agent you trust, but with a long-distance search the agent can make or break the experience.
“You’re going to want someone local on the ground — someone who is very familiar with the city, neighborhood, and prices,” Shike says. “You need to get a feel for how that person operates. Are they available to talk to you? You’re going to have more questions than you realize, and your agent is going to need to be there to answer them.”
Have a travel budget
When Kyle and Samantha Steele found out they were going to be moving from Oklahoma City to Columbus, OH for Kyle’s new job, the couple looked at listings online, got in touch with real estate agents, and picked an upcoming weekend to house hunt in person.
The Steeles’ agent showed them multiple houses, but nothing was quite right. Then they found out that many of the older neighborhoods in the area didn’t have great access to high-speed Internet. That’s when they decided to build.
Their agent was instrumental in guiding them on their short house-hunting weekend, and in finding a builder. “[Our agent] basically helped us with everything, every step of the way,” Kyle states. “When we couldn’t find anything, she helped us find model homes in the area we’re building in, and showed us three different model homes. She answered questions, and helped us find the building company. She even helped us find a hotel for the weekend.”
Inevitably, unexpected appointments came up during the building process that required one of the Steeles to be present. “We had to make an appointment to meet with the design studio to pick out the floors and the carpet,” Samantha remarks. “So far, I’ve been to Ohio twice.”
The couple advises long-distance house hunters to prepare and plan ahead, especially for last-minute travel. “Be flexible,” Kyle says. “Make sure you have a few thousand dollars in reserve that you can spend on plane tickets and a hotel — because you will have to go back and forth.”
From the agent perspective, Shike recommends planning a house-hunting trip that’s at least four to five days long, so you’re not cramming in tons of showings that you won’t remember at the end of the day.
Know what you want
When you’re in the market for a home, you should always have a running list of features you want, but it’s especially crucial when you’re buying from a distance.
“I like to tell my clients to do a ‘top five.'” Shike says. “What’s your non-negotiable? Is it being able to step out the front door to walk your dogs? Do you want to walk your kids to school?”
Knowing exactly what you want out of a house and location allows your agent to help you narrow down neighborhoods and homes more easily, and assist you in making an offer quickly, which is especially important in a fast-moving market.
“Buyers need to get over the fear of writing an offer when they haven’t seen the house in person,” remarks Shike. “I can video chat our way through the house, but I can’t get you on a plane [to get here] in the same time the local people can who are shopping.”
Overcome remote home-buyer jitters
For those buyers who are nervous about making an offer sight unseen, Shike says there is the possibility of adding a clause in the contract that the sale is contingent on the buyer seeing it.
Of course, there is also always the option of renting first before you take the plunge. “You could rent for the short term or get a six-month lease, which is enough time to get settled in your job or routine,” recommends Shike. “That can be nice for buyers who are a little more anxious about the process — to relieve that anxiety.”
Overall, buying a house from a distance shouldn’t necessarily be looked at as a negative experience. In fact, Shike believes it can give many shoppers new opportunities, and buyers are often more excited when purchasing long distance.
“It can be a nice change of pace for people,” Shike adds. “Another benefit to moving long distance is a fresh start: a new neighborhood, new culture, new people, and new experiences everywhere.”
On Point Homevestments
Find out if teaming up to buy a second home is right for you and your pals
Given the current strength of the dollar abroad and the fast-moving real estate market at home, you may be thinking about buying a second home at your family’s tried-and-true vacation spot, on a sunny beach, or near your favorite ski destination. But what can your budget realistically get you?
If what your vacation-home fund allows is more fixer-upper than dream home, going in on a purchase with friends or family could be a great way to get much more home for your money. If you’re considering going this route, here’s how to get started.
1. Decide if it’s right for you
“The number-one reason to consider buying a house with friends is that it lowers your investment amount,” advises Bryant McClain, director of sales and marketing at Itz’ana Resort & Residences. “Unlike timeshares or fractional ownership opportunities, when people go in together and buy a property at market price, they enjoy the equity gains of the traditional real estate market.”
McClain also points out that the best candidates for shared property are those who want to use the home a few weeks a year, then rent out the home the rest of the time. (Just be sure you’re correctly set up to do so.)
Owners also have to be comfortable sharing ongoing expenses, like property management fees, utilities, insurance, and repairs.
2. Lay the legal groundwork
To protect all owners when the unexpected happens, and to avoid hurt feelings and strained friendships, McClain recommends hiring an attorney to set up an LLC, then purchasing the home through that company.
“Owning a property with friends or family is all fun and exciting on the front end, but what happens three years later when somebody wants out?” says Bryant.
Your attorney can draft an operating agreement that clears up expectations on everything from how utilities are shared to how a buyout would work if one owner wanted to sell and the others didn’t.
3. Start searching
Keep in mind that the vacation-home market moves quickly, and with multiple stakeholders needing to agree that a property is the one, it’s best to decide on your shared criteria before you start looking.
This is especially important if you’re searching from afar or if one person will be doing most of the home touring on behalf of the group. That way, when you find the right home, you can put an offer together quickly.
“Treat the whole transaction like a business,” suggests Bryant. “Make a spreadsheet with potential homes, list pros and cons, and ask everyone to vote — that’s where having an odd number of owners comes in handy.”
You should also enlist a local real estate professional with expertise in the destination where you’d like to buy. That person is best qualified to help you identify homes that are a good value, that will perform well in the local vacation rental market, and that are in locations likely to appreciate.
There’s plenty of legwork between “Hey, maybe we should buy a home together” and signing on the dotted line, but if you find the right people to partner with, approach it like a business transaction, and act quickly when you find the perfect home, you’ll be sitting back and enjoying your dream home before you know it.
On Point Homevestments
Once you've got the basics, it's time to do a little more digging.
Nearly every home search starts online these days. Sorting through listings, photos, floor plans and descriptions is a great way to feel out the market for those who are in the earliest stages of the home search.
When you find a home you’re ready to bid on, it’s incredible how much background information you can find online. The Internet is full of data on past home sales, recorded sales prices, and the history of each sale, plus information that may not be as obvious — such as the safety of the neighborhood you’re considering buying into.
Here are three ways to use online tools and real estate mobile apps to get more details about the home you want.
Check building records
Nearly all public information and documentation is now available online, and most municipalities provide web access to building permit history. Although the law requires most sellers to disclose previous work done on the property, there may be a history of earlier work the seller didn’t know about.
For example, if there is a newer bathroom or kitchen but no history of a permit for the work, there is a chance someone did the work without a permit — and potentially not to health or safety code. And if you become the owner, this unpermitted work becomes your responsibility.
To begin your search, type “building records,” plus your city’s name into your favorite search engine. Example: “building records Seattle.”
Use Google Street View
Researching an address using Google’s Street View can be one of the most revealing options available. Street View provides a snapshot of a property at a particular moment in time, which can provide insight into the recent history of the property or neighborhood.
Be aware, however, that the image you see may not accurately reflect the home’s current state. For example, I helped a homeowner list and sell a home in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood a few years back. We planted a beautiful garden area to create a buffer between the sidewalk and the windows. But a search for the property on Google Street View revealed the windows with bars on them, and no garden. The previous owner had bars on the window, and someone had removed the bars to make the property look more inviting.
Seeing the windows with bars on them in Google Street View could raise questions for potential buyers: Is the neighborhood unsafe? Was there a history of crime in the community or on the property? Are the street-level windows safe?
Consult a neighborhood crime app
A variety of crime reporting apps for mobile devices show on a map recent crimes that have been reported, including assault, theft, robbery, homicide, vehicle theft, sex offenders, and quality of life (which often means noise complaints). It’s an easy way to get a quick overview of how safe or unsafe a neighborhood is.
So much information is available to buyers these days. You don’t need to rely solely on the seller’s or the real estate agent’s disclosures. Use online resources to find out as much background information on a property as you can, either before making an offer or during your contingency period. It is best to do as much research as possible, in order to make an informed final decision.
On Point Homevestments
Save some room in your budget for expenses after move-in
By the time you get the keys to your new construction home, you might feel stretched thin in the finance department. From earnest money and design center upgrades, to closing costs and moving expenses, buying a brand-new home is never cheap.
As you take a look at the costs on the horizon, it’s wise to look a little past your closing date. There are a few post-closing costs that are unique to brand-new homes and some that are familiar to all new homeowners.
Set aside a little money for these expenses now, and it’ll be smooth sailing once the “sold” sign is out front.
Unless you’ve negotiated a washer and dryer into the price of the home with your builder, your new laundry room will likely be a big empty space when you move in — no washer and dryer to be found.
Many builders don’t include a refrigerator either, opting instead to let homeowners choose a style that suits their needs.
Here’s a tip to ease your wallet woes: Start shopping appliance sales once you know your approximate close date. Many appliance stores will let you purchase ahead of time to take advantage of a good price, then delay your delivery until you move in.
If you’re upgrading to a larger home, your utilities will likely increase, especially heating and cooling. And if you’re moving to a new city or a location with a different utility company, you may have to pay a deposit to start service.
If you’re interested in services like cable, satellite TV, or Internet, you may have to install some equipment that would already be installed if you were buying a pre-owned home.
Look at all those big, beautiful windows in your new home! And then notice that they’re bare — no blinds or curtains in sight.
Most new homes do not come with window coverings, and they’re definitely something you’ll want to quickly look into when you move in. There are better ways to introduce yourselves to the neighborhood than through wide-open windows — or bed sheets pinned up for privacy.
There’s nothing more exciting than picking up some great new furnishings and decor for a brand-new space. You may have pieces that worked well in your old space but don’t fit your new home’s layout.
Or maybe you have a new guestroom to furnish, a deck that is begging for patio furniture, or beautiful hardwood floors that need area rugs. Set aside some money now so you can start decorating right after move-in day.
Did you know that some builders only landscape the front yard, leaving the backyard unfinished and unfenced? And, if your new neighborhood has a homeowner’s association, the rules may require you to finish your yard within a certain time period.
That means you foot the bill for landscaping your new home’s yard, and whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, it’s still an expense you shouldn’t overlook.
Setting foot in your brand-new, just-finished home is an exhilarating experience, and something you won’t soon forget. With just a little planning and saving in advance, you can spend more time making your new house a home, and less time stressing over how you’re going to pay for it all.
On Point Homevestments
Does your home offer any of the perks some buyers will pay more for?
To understand how much your home is worth, you have to know what affects its value. The Zestimate home value is Zillow’s tool for extrapolating the real market value of your home, based on existing home-related data and actual sales prices in your area.
Thousands of data points correlate with home values and sale prices — some of which are obvious (like the condition of the home) and some that aren’t.
Here are several surprising things that can affect either the existing value of your home or the price someone is willing to pay for it, all based on data.
1. Proximity to a Starbucks
How far do you have to drive to get a Frappuccino? If the answer is “not that far,” you’re in luck.
A 2015 Zillow report found that, between 1997 and 2014, homes within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks increased in value by 96 percent, on average, compared to 65 percent for all U.S. homes, based on a comparison of Zillow Home Value Index data with a database of Starbucks locations.
To evaluate if this effect is isolated to Starbucks, the research team looked at another coffee hot spot (one with particular pull on the East Coast): Dunkin’ Donuts.
The data showed that homes near Dunkin’ Donuts locations appreciated 80 percent, on average, during the same 17-year period — not quite as high as homes near a Starbucks, but still significantly above the 65 percent increase in value for all U.S. homes.
2. Blue kitchens and blue bathrooms
Beyond America’s obsession with curb appeal, what’s inside your house counts a lot too — especially the colors you paint the rooms (particularly the kitchen).
According to Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis, which examined more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, homes with blue kitchens sold for a $1,809 premium, compared to similar homes with white kitchens.
Blue is also a popular bathroom shade. The same analysis found that homes with pale blue to soft periwinkle-blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more.
Walls painted in cool neutrals, like blue or gray, can signal that the home is well cared for or has other desirable features.
3. Trendy features
Joanna Gaines’ aesthetic is permeating more than just your YouTube search history. Zillow listings mentioning the shiplap queen’s favorite features — like barn doors and farmhouse sinks — sell faster and for a premium, according to a 2016 Zillow analysis of descriptions of more than 2 million homes sold nationwide.
Listings with “barn door” in the description sold for 13.4 percent more than expected — and 57 days faster than comparable homes without the keyword. Meanwhile, listings touting “farmhouse sink” led to a nearly 8 percent sales premium.
Sellers can use the listing descriptions to highlight trendy details and features that might not be noticeable in the photos.
4. How close you are to a city
If you own a home in a major American metropolitan area, you’re most likely sitting on a significant (and rapidly appreciating) financial asset. Case in point: Home values in the New York, NY, metro area are worth $2.6 trillion, per a recent analysis.
The average urban home is now worth 35 percent more than the average suburban home. Since 2012, the median home value in urban areas has increased by 54 percent, while the median home value in suburban areas is up just 38 percent.
On Point Homevestments
Today’s greatest real estate investors know it, and it’s about time you did, too: real estate trends, or at least the ability to translate them, can prove invaluable to the advancement of one’s career. Real estate market trends are, after all, the perfect indicator for divulging not only where a market has come from, but also where it has the potential to go. The more investors know about today’s emerging trends in real estate, the more likely they will be to realize success. But, of course, not all trends are created equal; some are inherently more valuable to follow than others. The key is to identify the trends most likely to last and capitalize on the position they may place you in.
Real Estate Market Trends Impacting Buyers & Sellers This Summer
The weather is on the brink of heating up in nearly every real estate market, and that means one thing for those with their finger on the pulse of the national housing sector: things are about to get a lot more interesting. If for nothing else, the summer real estate market represents the busiest time of the year. It is at this time when the whole of the entire housing market gains an incredible amount of momentum from both buyers and sellers. It is worth noting, however, that the summer real estate trends of 2018 look perfectly comfortable mimicking those of the previous years. The trends we have seen up to this point, and even the trends we should expect for the foreseeable future, are to be expected.
To be perfectly clear, there are a number of real estate market trends that are impacting buyers and sellers this summer, not the least of which include:
It shouldn’t surprise buyers or sellers to learn that these trends look like they will carry over into summer. That said, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with them on a more intimate level. The more you can expect to glean from the upcoming summer real estate market, the more likely you are to navigate it with success. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
If you are interested in giving yourself a competitive edge this summer, you’d be wise to learn as much as you can about what to expect.
Of the real estate market trends most likely to carry a lot of weight in today’s investor landscape, home sales deserved to be talked about first. It is home sales, after all, that serve as one of the most important market indicators for gauging an area’s health, and those that take place over the course of summer are no different. Home sales will take place at a fierce pace this summer. According to Zillow, the average home lasts on the market for 78 days, but don’t get to caught up in that number. If anything, that number will witness a decrease in the coming months, as it does every summer. Case in point: home sells will speed up as the competition heats up. There are simply too many buyers eager to get into a new home, and summer appears to be the time they hope to do so. As an investor, take note of the speed in which buyers are willing to move; it’s one of the real estate trends most likely to be maintained by the state of today’s market.
High Demand And Affordability
Few housing markets across the United States, if any at all, have managed to solve the largest problem facing the real estate landscape: inventory levels, or lack thereof. More specifically, however, supply and demand is currently dictating today’s exponential increase in prices. It is worth noting, however, that demand hasn’t taken a step back. The economy is better off today than it was even a few short years ago, and there are more buyers looking to participate in the housing market, but there’s one problem: there aren’t enough homes to satiate demand. All year, in fact, prospective buyers have wanted to partake in the market, and have been met with opposition around nearly every single corner, and it doesn’t look like this summer will offer a solution. That said, investors should go into summer knowing that they aren’t alone. The next few months will be competitive to say the least, which means success will favor the prepared more than ever. As an investor, factor the competitive nature of today’s market trends into your acquisition strategy. Instead of low-balling sellers, try offering a little more, or even exercising an escalation clause. Real estate price trends suggest inventory levels will only continue to drive up prices, so be prepared for the cost to go up. Doing so could mean the difference between having your offer accepted or ignored.
Hot markets are, for all intents and purposes, a relative classification. Nearly every market in the country is firing on all cylinders at the moment. However, there are markets that are doing better the others. Most notably, the California real estate market appears to be setting an incredible pace. Whether or not that pace is maintainable remains to be seen, but there’s no denying the activity currently taking place in The Golden State. More importantly, the California real estate market has several of the “hottest” markets in the country, not the least of which include:
According to Realtor.com, California accounted for 13 of the top 20 hottest housing markets as recently as the first quarter of this year.
Real Estate Technology Trends
The advent of technology has certainly shifted the way things are done in every industry, and the housing sector is no exception. Real estate technology trends have drastically improved the way people take on what can be, at times, an intimidating industry. Real estate technology serves one purpose: to make our lives easier. It is safe to assume that investors using the right technology are at an advantage over those that, well, aren’t. The key, however, is to adopt the right technology. There are technological advancements that are far superior to others, and it’s in your best interest to use those that will give you the best edge. Here are some of my personal favorite real estate technology trends at the moment, and how they can advance your career:
Commercial Real Estate Trends
Real estate market trends aren’t relegated solely to the single-family landscape; they are also present in the commercial sector. Here are two of the most important trends investors should be keeping an eye on this summer:
Emerging trends in real estate don’t necessarily have to come out of nowhere. The majority of the real estate trends I spoke of here are the result of months, if not years, of anticipation. They are now trends because they appear ready to carry over the momentum they have already generated into summer. It is worth noting, however, that those aware of what’s going on stand a better chance of realizing success, and today’s investors are no exception. If you want to give yourself an advantage over the competition, be sure to listen to what the market is saying; it may be the only thing you need to take your career to another level.
On Point Homevestments
For investors looking how to get started in real estate investing, today is your lucky day. Every day there are thousands of would-be entrepreneurs looking to start a real estate business, but for one reason or another, they keep putting it off and waiting for the right time. Truth of the matter, there will never be a perfect time to delve into the investment game, as there will always be something going on that can present a potential roadblock for investors, whether it’s not enough capital, education or time to start. In fact, some of the most successful investors had the same exact problems, but what got them through was a commitment to hard work and never taking no for an answer.
If you’re looking how to get started in real estate investing, here’s a brief roadmap of things to get underway:
How To Get Started In Real Estate Investing
Join A Networking Group & Investment Club
For many, there is something intimidating about networking as a beginner real estate investor However, the reality is that this is often the best time to do so. If you want to accelerate your learning curve you need to be around people who are in the business. For those of you wanting to learn how to get started in real estate investing, it begins by showing up at local networking groups. You will hear from contractors, attorneys, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and maybe even fellow investors. You don’t need to add anything to the meetings just yet. If you sit and listen you can begin to develop your strategies and goals. This is accelerated even more with investment club meetings. You can bet at these meetings there are a few other people with the same experience level as yourself. The amount of education alone at these meetings makes them worthwhile but you never know if you will meet a potential business partner.
Understand Numbers & Costs
The real estate business is full of numbers. While you don’t need to be an accountant, beginner investors need to have a good understanding of where numbers in a real estate transaction come from. The first place to begin when learning how to get started in real estate investing is by understanding closing costs. As a beginner investor, you may be surprised to learn just how quickly these costs add up. The same is the case with rehab costs. Even if you have done some contracting work there are additional costs you need to be aware of. There are also numbers involving in setting up your business, generating leads and evaluating deals. Most new investors start out with a limited amount of funds. You need to be able to allocate these funds wisely. The only way to do this is by understanding as much as possible about numbers, fees, costs and more.
Pick A Market
While most new investors have a pretty solid idea of the type of property they would like to purchase, they aren’t so sure about its location. Before making a real estate offer, investors need to narrow down which markets they’re interested in. This entails conducting thorough research on the market, as well as analyzing the purchase price range, which should give investors an idea where the market is headed.
Once you’ve picked a market, you’ll want to drive the neighborhood to get a feel of what’s out there. Believe it or not, there is a lot that can change in the matter of a few miles. When getting started one of the best real estate investing tips for beginner investors need to pick a market and then become an expert on that area. This will enable them to confidently make an offer because they know everything about the market.
Assemble A Team
The real estate investment business is a team sport. Even though you are acting as an individual you need a support staff around you. The quicker you reach out to your team the quicker you can start investing. For investors looking how to get started in real estate investing, begin by contacting a local real estate agent. Almost everyone has a friend or a friend of a friend who is in real estate. Even if you don’t you can do a quick internet search and see who is selling real estate your area. Reach out to them and explain that you are new in the business and are interested in buying investment property. You may have to make several phone calls until you find a real estate agent that fits with what you are looking to do. Next, you should start calling local contractors. You may be able to find one in your local networking groups. If not you can ask your real estate agent or your personal network if they know anyone. A good contractor is important if you are interested in the rehab side of the business. Don’t let your lack of experience intimidate you from calling. These people want to work with you just as much as you want to work with them.
Make An Offer
Once you feel that you know the business and have a team in place go ahead and start making offers. At this stage it is pretty easy to talk yourself out of any deal if you try hard enough. There is no such thing as a risk free deal. Some risk is smaller than others but every deal can have potential problems. If you ran the numbers and double checked the property you should make the offer that you feel is right. You may have to make ten offers to get one property accepted. When you do it will more than make up for all the hard work you put in.
For those looking how to get started in real estate investing, it’s very simple: just do it. There are no licensing or capital requirement needed, no classes you have to pass or education certificates needed to be obtained–just a desire to become a real estate entrepreneur.
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For every new investor that enters the business, there are another five that are still waiting on the sidelines. They have seen what the business can do for those that work hard, and are genuinely excited to get started. However, they have their apprehensions. They may have heard a horror story from a co-worker and are scared. They may have a relative who owned a rental property years ago and remember how painful it was to watch them go though the recession. In most cases, these stories are largely overblown, or even exaggerated. Truth be told, real estate is one of those businesses that most people know something about, but few are experts in. Ignorance, or a simple lack of knowledge, prevents many from even entering the business altogether. Of course there are many other reasons people fail to get their real estate feet wet, but they are just excuses.
Most people in a traditional nine-to-five job end up wasting a few hours a day doing nothing. They spend time playing on their phones or reading their favorite website when they are bored. In reality, it is easier than ever to invest in real estate. Even if you aren’t tech savvy, there are more real estate valuation and educational websites than ever before. You can receive an email or text from your Realtor on your phone, research the property on your lunch break and check it out on your way home. This doesn’t require any more time than you spend checking Facebook or any other social media sites. At worst, you may have to sacrifice some time at night or on the weekend – nothing that won’t be worth it in the end.
You don’t need to have a large bank account to buy your first property. It is certainly an advantage to have some money to cover basic expenses, but it isn’t a necessity. In recent years, the number of private and hard money lenders has taken off. It is much easier today to find someone to partner with or borrow money from than ever before. A few phone calls to your real estate agent, attorney or mortgage broker can give you several different options. The right partner will allow you to close more deals than you may have imagined. You may not make as much money as you expect on your first several deals, but you will also have much less risk. As long as you have a desire to network and build your business, a lack of money is not an impossible obstacle.
One of the best things about the real estate investing business is that anyone can do it. You don’t need a license or certificate to get started. The most experienced investor had to start somewhere. If you commit yourself to learning something about the business every week, you will quickly have all the education you need. There will always be something that you don’t know, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting started. Additionally, there are many different outlets for you to learn the business. There are more books on real estate than ever before. If there is something you don’t know, you can lean on your real estate agent, attorney and fellow investors. The business does not require you to know everything about every different niche.
You may be slow getting going because you don’t have enough local contacts. In the same way that technology can help research deals, it will also help you gain contacts. There are many new real estate agents in your market that would welcome working with a new investor. A quick post on social media can get the ball rolling. You can also search for networking meetings and local real estate investment groups. It shouldn’t be hard to find at least a handful of these types of meetings. In a few short weeks, you can find everyone you need to help close your first deal. These people will be just as excited to work with you as you will be to work with them. The more involved in the business you are, the more contacts you will develop.
Anyone that has invested in the stock market can attest to just how risky it can be at times. There is no such thing as a risk free investment. That being said, if you do your homework and invest in solid properties you are able to control the level of risk you are comfortable with. Most investors that have lost money have done so because they didn’t know everything about the property or the deal. There is always the chance that something unexpected will come up, but this is the exception rather than the norm. Real estate is far more stable than other investment options. You are in control of what you do with the property and in what market. A single stock can have a greater return, but it can also go down unexpectedly overnight.
If you are waiting for the perfect moment to start, you may be waiting a very long time. There is no such thing as a perfect time. If you love the business and want to get involved, there is no better time than right now.
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