The demand for condos is still high and a good number of developers are making them available to meet with the market demands. New condos come with better amenities, units and benefits and they are not really equal. Some are better than others, but there are things or features that you can use to be sure that the condo you are interested in is really worth the money you are going to spend on it.
1. Good location
1. Switch to Energy-efficient Lights and Fans
One of the most effective and simplest ways to reduce your energy bills is to switch over the lighting of your home to fluorescent bulbs. Skeptics have been raising concerns about the safe environmental disposal of these bulbs due to their mercury content. However, if you follow proper disposal instructions, this concern becomes addressed fully.
A single fluorescent bulb can produce light equivalent to an incandescent
By accident, I believe that our industry does us all a disservice. How? By calling us real estate investors.
How many of you call yourselves real estate investors? Lots. How many of you feel a little queasy when you introduce yourself as a real estate investor? (No need to confess you just need to recognize that feeling).
Do you want to know why you may be feeling queasy? I’ll tell you. It’s because of the incongruent language we are using on ourselves. Let me prove it while helping bust the number one fear of real estate “investors”.
What do you think of when you hear the word investor?
I bet it’s “cash” or “credit”. Right? Maybe something that you feel that you don’t have. So if your business card declares you a real estate investor and you don’t have any cash, do you feel funny, or out of integrity, or incongruent? Maybe a little?
On the other hand, what do you think of when you hear the word entrepreneur? The answers to this question usually range from “opportunist” to “opportunities” to “ideas” to “deals”, etc.
The definition of an entrepreneur is someone who uses the time, talent and treasure of other people to realize their idea or vision. Read that again because this a subtle but important point about your real estate success.
The number one limiting belief of real estate “investors” is “I cannot do this business because I have little cash and/or bad credit.” And if your subconscious holds this belief, guess how hard you are going to work to find deals. Guess how many deals your are likely to do. That’s right, you will do ZERO.
Good news! This limiting belief is easily busted.
You are not a real estate investor. You are a real estate entrepreneur.
What’s the difference? Well, entrepreneurs bring the deals to the money. Investors bring the money to the deals.
By DEFINITION, entrepreneurs are not expected to use their own cash. They are expected to raise cash for their deals and projects. That’s what we do. We find the one thing that is much more valuable than the cash which is the deals.
Money is easy. Finding the deals is the part that requires a little work. But most real estate “investors” get hung up in marketing or making an offer because they don’t have the cash sitting in their checking account. They freeze.
You need to declare yourself a “Real Estate Entrepreneur.” That’s what I do. At this stage of my life, it’s more fun being the entrepreneur and putting deals together. It’s my form of creativity. It’s my art. Being the investor and putting up the cash is OK but it’s kind of like being the guy that furnished the paint to Michelangelo. Nobody remembers the paint supply guy.
With the current economic problems, housing prices have really taken a hit. Its not expected to change in the next few months, but most economists expect great changes in housing values in the next couple of years. If you are selling a home today, you probably are going to have a difficult time getting the amount you want. Banks have made it difficult for many people to obtain financing, but for those that do, its certainly a buyers market. If you are considering investing in real estate today, its a wise choice in most metropolitan areas.
Austin, Texas is definitely one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the South. Youll find all types of property for sale here, including modern homes, multiplexes, luxury homes, and even some fantastic lakefront homes. For those looking for Austin multiplexes for sale, one of the best places to begin is by the University of Texas. There are dozens of multiplexes here, from duplexes to large apartment buildings. Many parents will purchase one of these properties so that their children can live in it while going to school. They will have a great investment property out of the transaction, as well. These properties never have a lack of renters and while the turnover can be high at the semesters end, there is always someone else ready to move in.
You will find that many of the Austin modern homes for sale are located in master planned communities. Many are gated, ensuring a higher level of security for the residents. Some of these communities are located right on Lake Austin and are some of the most sought after in Austin. Several of these communities are fairly new, ensuring that the architecture, amenities, and surroundings are very modern. Youll love the natural beauty of many of these communities, as well as the parks, biking and hiking trails, and swimming pools. Elegant and elaborate clubhouses become focal points for neighborhood gatherings. The best that Austin has to offer can be found here.
Youll need to get in touch with a great realtor. Not only will they be able to direct you to some of the best neighborhoods for what you are looking for, they can also show you available properties, negotiate with sellers, and finalize the sale. You can search through local newspapers, drive endlessly throughout the city, or spend hours on the internet looking at listings or you can meet with a realtor and have several possibilities within minutes.
When you are looking for some of the best Austin modern homes for sale, youll be quite pleased. There are many to choose from, but youll want to act quickly when you find one that you love. If not, its likely that the property you want will already be sold. People are buying up Austin multiplexes for sale quickly, as its never been a better time to make such an investment.
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Any such person usually has extraordinary skills in researching various properties of the region, making an analysis of the properties and then bringing in together the right kind of buyers and sellers. The work of any Calgary realtor involves hours of research, training and continuous education to stay updated about the property market in Calgary.
The work environment of any Calgary realtor may not always be comfortable and luxurious. A realtor might not spend his office hours in the comforts of his office, but he might be moving from one location to another, attending seminars, workshops and open houses to know more about properties. He might hardly get to spend time in his office and work in a relaxed manner. An agent might often be required to work beyond the standard forty hours a week and work full time during weekends and evenings too to meet the various commitments towards the clients. He usually does not have any fixed working hours and the working hours might really be long and very irregular. A realtor has full freedom to determine his own working schedule as per his needs. It has been observed that agents do not even get the luxury of a Sunday when there is too much of work load.
The recent advancement in telecommunication and the use of internet in property dealing has helped many realtors to work from the comforts of their homes. They can now use internet to get in touch with their previous and prospective clients, have their own websites and store all relevant data in their own office. If any realtor wishes he can make his own home his office and work as per his own schedule. This reduces external hassles related to communication and traveling and makes him have a work environment as per his own liking.
Residential real estate investing is a business activity that has waxed and waned in popularity dramatically over the last few years. Ironically, there always seem to be a lot of people jumping on board with investments like stock, gold, and real estate when the market’s going up, and jumping OFF the wagon and pursuing other activities once the market’s slumping. In a way that’s human nature, but it also means a lot of real estate investors are leaving money on the table.
By understanding the dynamics of your residential real estate investment marketplace, and acting in opposition to the rest of the market, you can often make more money, as long as you also stick to the real estate investing fundamentals.
Real estate investing, whether you’re buying residential or commercial property, is not a get-rich-quick scenario. Sure you can make some fast cash flipping houses, if that’s your bag, but that is a full time business activity, not a passive, long term investment. The word “investment” implies that you are committed to the activity for the long haul. Often, that’s just what it takes to make money in real estate.
So, while the pundits are crying about the residential real estate market slump, and the speculators are wondering if this is the bottom, let us return to the fundamentals of residential real estate investing, and learn how to make money investing in real estate for the long term, in good markets, as well as bad.
A Return To The Fundamentals of Residential Real Estate Investing
When real estate is going up, up, up, investing in real estate can seem easy. All ships rise with a rising tide, and even if you’ve bought a deal with no equity and no cash flow, you can still make money if you’re in the right place at the right time.
However, it’s hard to time the market without a lot of research and market knowledge. A better strategy is to make sure you understand the four profit centers for residential real estate investing, and make sure your next residential real estate investment deal takes ALL of these into account.
Cash Flow – How much money does the residential income property bring in every month, after expenses are paid? This seems like it should be easy to calculate if you know how much the rental income is and how much the mortgage payment is. However, once you factor in everything else that goes into taking care of a rental property – things like vacancy, expenses, repairs and maintenance, advertising, bookkeeping, legal fees and the like, it begins to really add up. I like to use a factor of about 40% of the NOI to estimate my property expenses. I use 50% of the NOI as my ballpark goal for debt service. That leaves 10% of the NOI as profit to me. If the deal doesn’t meet those parameters, I am wary.
Appreciation – Having the property go up in value while you own it has historically been the most profitable part about owning real estate. However, as we’ve seen recently, real estate can also go DOWN in value, too. Leverage (your bank loan in this case) is a double-edged sword. It can increase your rate of return if you buy in an appreciating area, but it can also increase your rate of loss when your property goes down in value. For a realistic, low-risk property investment, plan to hold your residential real estate investment property for at least 5 years. This should give you the ability to weather the ups and downs in the market so you can see at a time when it makes sense, from a profit standpoint.
Debt Pay down – Each month when you make that mortgage payment to the bank, a tiny portion of it is going to reduce the balance of your loan. Because of the way mortgages are structured, a normally amortizing loan has a very small amount of debt pay down at the beginning, but if you do manage to keep the loan in place for a number of years, you’ll see that as you get closer to the end of the loan term, more and more of your principle is being used to retire the debt. Of course, all this assumes that you have an amortizing loan in the first place. If you have an interest-only loan, your payments will be lower, but you won’t benefit from any loan pay down. I find that if you are planning to hold the property for 5-7 years or less, it makes sense to look at an interest-only loan, since the debt pay down you’d accrue during this time is minimal, and it can help your cash flow to have an interest-only loan, as long as interest rate adjustments upward don’t increase your payments sooner than you were expecting and ruin your cash flow. If you plan to hold onto the property long term, and/or you have a great interest rate, it makes sense to get an accruing loan that will eventually reduce the balance of your investment loan and make it go away. Make sure you run the numbers on your real estate investing strategy to see if it makes sense for you to get a fixed rate loan or an interest only loan. In some cases, it may make sense to refinance your property to increase your cash flow or your rate of return, rather than selling it.
Tax Write-Offs – For the right person, tax write-offs can be a big benefit of real estate investing. But they’re not the panacea that they’re sometimes made out to be. Individuals who are hit with the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), who have a lot of properties but are not real estate professionals, or who are not actively involved in their real estate investments may find that they are cut off from some of the sweetest tax breaks provided by the IRS. Even worse, investors who focus on short-term real estate deals like flips, rehabs, etc. have their income treated like EARNED INCOME. The short term capital gains tax rate that they pay is just the same (high) they’d pay if they earned the income in a W-2 job. After a lot of investors got burned in the 1980’s by the Tax Reform Act, a lot of people decided it was a bad idea to invest in real estate just for the tax breaks. If you qualify, they can be a great profit center, but in general, you should consider them the frosting on the cake, not the cake itself.
Any residential real estate investing deal that stands up under the scrutiny of this fundamentals-oriented lens, should keep your real estate portfolio and your pocketbook healthy, whether the residential real estate investing market goes up, down or sideways. However, if you can use the real estate market trends to give you a boost, that’s fair, too. The key is not to rely on any one “strategy” to try to give you outsized gains. Be realistic with your expectations and stick to the fundamentals. Buy property you can afford and plan to stay invested for the long haul.