Friday, 30 November 2012

Report: The Real Estate Market In Panama

Most likely, you have heard of the recent real estate BOOM currently occurring in Panama. Perhaps, there are several internet sites you have read or visited searching for further information on the topic. Or maybe you are one of those persons that have taken the decision already of buying an apartment or a beach house, but you don't know where to start or wish to start your own real estate project in Panama, yet still need more information. Well, I have prepared this article in a practical and simple way in order to guide you in our real estate market. You will find this paper helpful, whether it'll be for the direct buying of a property or to start your own real estate project in Panama or simply to have a more complete notion of this rising real estate BOOM.

What is happening in the Panamanian Real Estate market?

What is going on in Panama is without any sort of precedent. The market is growing rapidly and such real estate development has never been experienced before in our country. Monthly, we are visited for hundreds of foreigners interested in buying real estates in Panama, in the City, the coasts and the mountains. The constant rising of the value per square meter is almost in a monthly rate. For example: in January, 2006 it was possible to find apartments in Panama City for around US$ 1,000.00 per square meter, which is nearly impossible nowadays (US$ 1,200 - US$1,400 and rising). This has generated the value per square meter to triplicate in the city and even to quadruplicate in the rest of the country. The main real estate broker associations have foreseen that the general value of the land in Panama could rise up to 30% to 40% in the next three years, due to this price increasing flow.

Extreme luxury towers of over 100 stories, residential houses of over a million dollars, yachts and marine clubs, huge luxury hotels, golf camps designed by well-known international specialists, as well as top of the line malls, are currently under construction or in process of delivering in the next couple of years; renovating the face of the city into an international and cosmopolitan metropolis. Promoters, private investors and international real estate companies, from United States, South America and even Europe, have started the construction of real estate projects of great impact. Also, a great number of international real estate broker companies are currently setting up businesses in our country per month. Specifically we could say that seven of the highest towers under construction in Latin America are being built in Panama City, within the areas known as "Avenida Balboa" (this area is projected as the skyscraper in front of the sea in the city). We could mention, among others: Aqualina, Aquamare, Vitri, Ocean Two and One, Los Faros de Panama and Ice Tower, ready to be delivered for the year 2009; besides the hundreds of apartment towers bring developed around the city. Great beach lot projects, island resorts, as much as in the Caribbean Sea (Bocas del Toro) as in the Pacific Ocean (Pearl Islands); as well as delightful retirement mountains (Boquete, Altos del Maria) are part of the avalanche of real estate projects that seems just to be starting.

Which are the real factors that caused this real estate boost?

We all know that after the hostilities occurred in Panama in 1989, the Panamanian real estate market remained hesitant and the small amount of inversions in this sector were led in its majority into commercial projects. Eleven years had to run by after this event (year 2000) for the leaders in the tourist sector of the Panamanian government (led by the well-known Panamanian singer Ruben Blades) to take action initiating a serious campaign for the enhancement of the country's image. Panama was shown as "the path less traveled", stressing not only in the advantages of being and international banking services and offshore center, but also in the social, tourist, ecological and geographic elements that until then were unknown to the rest of the world. This successful campaign was promoted worldwide in the main international television chains, in Europe as well as in the United States. Added to this, something that has to be acknowledged, for the year 2003 Panama comes back to the international field with the announcement that a young Panamanian lady (Justin Pasek) won the Miss Universe contest, situation that allowed by extension the range of advantages of our country as a tourist and commercial destiny. Between the years 2003 and 2005, little by little the number of visitors increased as a consequence of these two important catalysts.

Meanwhile, small groups of professionals (lawyers, brokers, and independent professionals) were offering seminars about the Panama's advantages or organized small real estate tours to foreigners. Several articles published in international retirement magazines (generation known as "Baby Boomers") and second residences abroad, started to acknowledged Panama as one of the best countries in the world to live at high standard levels, but with low costs; all of this caused due to excellent projects addressed to this market, as "El Valle Escondido" in Boquete - Chiriqui or "Altos del Maria" in Panama. One of the main triggering factors of this real estate boost in Panama occurred last April 24th, 2006, when Donald Trump announced in New York City the construction in "Punta Pacifica" area in Panama City of a 65-story tower branded as "Trump Ocean Club International Hotel", with a cost of 220 million dollars. Further more, on October of the same year, the national acceptance for the enlargement of the Panama Canal was given, initiating construction works in the year 2009. Starting from this point, there is no doubt that Panama would become the centre and role model of real estate investments in the area, situation that has been increasing exponentially.

Which are then Panama's advantages as a real estate destiny?

Well, let's get into the subject. Let's study those advantages that Panama offers and that will allow you, effectively, to take the decision to buy a property in our country, as many foreigners have done. From the real estate point of view, we could mention:

-*- Panama offers the best banking center in the region, with the use of the American dollar as legal currency and with top of the line banks (HSBC, CITIBANK, BBVA, etc.) which will facilitate the process of obtaining mortgages for foreigners, offering a fast international bank transaction process for deposits and reservation of properties.

-*- Panamanian immigration law has one of the best retirement programs in the world, which will allow you to become a "resident" in less than two months. This program offers several incentives as the possibility to import goods and personal values into your new properties free of import duties, as well as motor vehicles also free of import duties.

-*- An outstanding service, utilities and infrastructure system for properties, such as: high speed Internet (there are five of the main Internet interconnection Networks crossing through Panama), Cable and Satellite TV, public potable water, wide range of telephony offer, fixed and cellular.

-*- The opportunity to buy extreme luxury apartments with ample spaces to a price amazingly low compare with apartments of the same quality in USA and Europe.

-*- The opportunity to acquire properties exempt to the 0% of property taxes for a period of 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years (depending on the date of construction's commencement).

-*- A vast variety of companies and bilingual professionals involved in the real estate market.

-*- If you are a businessman, Panamanian law has fiscal benefits to constructors and promoters that start real estate projects in the country.

Additionally, there are other advantages to take into consideration that even when you are not directly involved in the real estate business, they can become helpful at the moment of taking the decision of buying a property:

-*- Panama has been acknowledge for companies as Pinkerton Intelligence Agency as a high standard security country in contrast with the current situation in neighboring countries.

-*- You can hire house keeping services for a low cost (around US$ 150.00 per month)

-*- Up-to-date high standard technology available.
-*- The opportunity to acquire products from all over the world in the Colon Free Zone, due to the noticeable position of the Panama Canal and the transit of over 14,000 ships per year.

-*- The conditions of Panamanian taxation law allow the tax payer not to pay taxes on bank interests or even income taxes when the service and/or business are performed abroad.

-*- An exceptional geographic position to perform international commercial transactions, with fast access to the Pacific Ocean as well as to the Atlantic.

-*- Panama has a low-risk profile in regards to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

These are some of the many advantages that Panama can offer if you decide to acquire a property in our country, whether it is to invest or simply to relocate and enjoy life.

Which are the most attractive places to buy properties?

To better answer this question, we have to divide our answer in four groups: Panama City, the mountains, the Pacific shore and the Atlantic shore.

Panama City

The main seaside view luxury condos are found in Panama City, distributed as follows: Balboa Avenue, Punta Pacifica and Costa del Este. The region known as "Avenida Balboa" has become the icon of real estate development in Panama. The reason for this is due to the current construction of luxury residential apartment towers with an outstanding architecture with a height of over 100 stories, to be concluded in the year 2009. Balboa Avenue offers quick access to the whole city, the banking area, as well as to the main avenues, given that it is the coast boulevard. One hundred meters away from this area you will find restaurants, bars, hotels and several facilities. European promoters, American and South Americans have foreseen the real estate potential in this area, equivalent to condos phenomenon occurred in Miami during the eighties. "Punta Pacifica" area was developed over the old City airport (for the reason that it was next to the pacific coast and inside the city). This region was designed specially to provide an answer to the upcoming real estate demand. The area offers beautiful projects and high standard apartment towers. You will also find in "Punta Pacifica" malls (Multiplaza Pacific), Hospitals (John Hopkins Hospital), corporate buildings and access to highways (Corredor Sur) which will grant you fast access to the international airport in 15 minutes. Is also in this sector where the Trump Organization and K Group will raise their promoted real estate project. Another of the desired areas for foreigners is Costa del Este.

The "other city" as is referred to was also conceived and designed for the development of apartment buildings and closed residential communities. It is the perfect place for a foreigner to completely relocate in Panama. This region has it all schools, malls, wide avenues; this sector offers several real estates with a gorgeous view to the sea or to the city, located five minutes away from the city and only ten from the international airport. It also important to stress out that this luxury tower's development is not circumscribed to these few areas. There are also urban projects in the region of Punta Paitilla, Coco del Mar and San Francisco (all of them in front of the sea), as well as beautiful developed residential areas in the surroundings of the Panama Canal, such as Albrook, Clayton and Quarry Heights.

The Mountains

Gorgeous mountain projects with cool, fresh weather from 18Cº to 20Cº (64ºF to 68ºF) have been developed in the provinces of Panama, Cocle and Chiriqui. In the province of Panama, the most representative mountain project is found in the region of Sora, 75 minutes away from the City and known as "Altos del Maria". This project consists of a well-organized foreigner's community with utilities and spectacular landscapes. Another region of urban development can be found in what is known as "Tierras Altas" (High Lands) located in the province of Chiriqui (Volcan, Boquete and Cerro Punta). Among these places, Boquete has become one of the most relevant real estate centres in the whole country, given that it counts with a wide supply of real estate projects, residential houses in the mountains with amazing landscapes. Boquete has been recognized by specialist in the subject as one of the best places for retirement in the world, fact that has generated in this region the highest concentration of retired foreigners in the country. Finally, in the province of Cocle, you will find the region known as "El Valle". Located in an extinguished volcano, El Valle offers the perfect weather, rivers, waterfalls and tourist attractions. El Valle is at present taking measures to become one of the most wanted regions in the field of mountain real estate properties, owing to its facilities and infrastructure, as well as to its proximity to Panama City (1hr. 45 mins.)

The Pacific Shore

The supply of lots in front of the sea starts in the pacific coast line of the Province of Panama, and it goes all the way until the mid-country provinces. Most Panamanian high-class families have their beach houses on this sector; due to its proximity to the City (45 minutes). This coast line offers residential areas such as Came, Coronado, Punta Barco, San Carlos, Gorgona, among others. Within these beach residential areas we have to remark the region known as "Coronado", region which counts with one of the best professional Golf camps in Latin America, pools, beach clubs, equestrian clubs, several restaurants and great supply of houses and apartment buildings in front of the sea. Additionally, further on in the pacific coast line, we can find the region of Playa Blanca. Since the development of the macro hotel project known as "Royal Decameron" in the area, the infrastructure and general surroundings have grow significantly. In Playa Blanca, you will be able to find casinos, swimming pools, restaurants, bars and discotheques, beach clubs and a great variety of real estate projects just right next to the beach. Finally, we should also mention the recent development experienced in the seaside areas the provinces of Los Santos (Pedasi) and Veraguas, such as Playa Arenal, Punta Mala and Playa Venao, among others; which have become the new destiny for many foreigners (mostly Europeans) that are searching for great extensions of lands in front of the sea.

The Caribbean Shore

In this area, we can find a similar supply of real estate properties to the one found in the pacific coastline of the mid-country provinces. There are several properties in front of the sea, as well as vast extensions of hectares next to the beach. This region is located two hours away from Panama City and it offers the option to buy in the well-known Colon Free Zone. On the west side of the country, you will find in the Caribbean coastline, the spectacular region of Bocas del Toro, where properties next of the sea or in the middle of an island are simply astounding. A great variety of international real estate companies have started projects in the crystal clear waters of Bocas del Toro. Bocas is one of the most known tourist destinies in Panama, located only 1hr and 45 minutes away by plane. It offers an amazing night life, restaurant, hotels and tours around the different islands of the area. Bocas del Toro coastline has become the most wanted real estate choice for retired or pensioned foreigners in the Caribbean. Among the best areas of Bocas del Toro you can find Isla Colon, Boca del Drago, Red Frog Beach and Playa Larga. The residential project known as Red Frog is of renowned reputation in the international spheres, given that it offers an incredible exclusively designed development for foreigners in one of the most beautiful islands in Bocas del Toro, Bastimento's Island. The project has marine clubs, restaurants, houses and a dazzling infrastructure.


The most notorious group of islands is found in Bocas del Toro, given that, as we already mentioned it offers a wide variety of real estate projects in the Caribbean, scenario of several TV series broadcasted around the world. The most important islands of the archipelago are: Isla Colon, Isla Bastimentos, Isla Solarte, Isla Cristobal, Isla Popa and Isla Zapatilla. Likewise, we can found several small independent islands for private projects. Bocas' islands counts with an astonishing ecosystem for scuba diving, marine activities and bird watching. Another group of islands that is raising popularity is the real estate market found in the archipelago of Mosquito's Gulf, in front of the pacific coastline of the province of Chiriqui. This Gulf has been granted by the Panamanian government the title of Ecological Reserve, as a consequence of the great diversity of marine fauna found in the area. Most of the islands have registered real estate titles, which allow its prompt buying. The surroundings of these islands are famous for being one of the best places in the world for Black Marlin fishing. The Pearl Islands are located within the Gulf of Panama, three hours away from the city in the open sea, offering a group of more than 35 beautiful islands with spectacular landscapes, surrounded by coral reefs and vast vegetation. The beauty of this area attracted the production team of the popular reality show "Survivor", who has filmed several times in this region. Finally, you will find the island of "Coiba" in the Pacific Ocean, formerly a prison already abolished and currently a National Park. The main island and its small islands such as Isla Iguana have become in top destinies for scuba diving and water sports.

What should I and should not do when buying a property in Panama?

As a final tip, we will recommend you some practical advises in case you decide to buy a property in Panama:

Recommendation # 1 : You can visit the projects on your own, but it is advisable to be assisted by a professional who could properly introduce you to the promoters, avoiding the pointless increase on the price.

Recommendation # 2 : If you are not fluent in Spanish, you should ask the promoter to get you the contract both, in Spanish and in your native language, for all legal transactions to be performed.

Recommendation # 3 : Once you reserve your property, immediately ask for a receipt and the signature of the Promissory Purchase-Sale agreement.

Recommendation # 4 : Once you have signed this agreement, double-check the deadlines for the subsequent down payments of your property. If you miss one of these, you are exposed to lose the money already paid to the promoter.

Recommendation # 5: Try to take a quick decision on acquiring the property; given that once you reserve it, the price is then frozen. Due to the current demand in the market, prices on apartments rise at a monthly rate.

Recommendation # 6: Once you reserve your property, look for the professional advice of lawyers or real estate brokers, in order to verify all documentation and contracts are due to the procedure of registration.

Recommendation # 7: Think about the possibility of acquiring your property through a Panamanian corporation. They are of fast incorporation, considerably cheap and easy to manage. Using a corporation to acquire a property in Panama will ease a future transfer of it, if that's the case.

If you need any other assistance in acquiring a property in Panama, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Real Estate Bubble Burst - A Preview of Things to Come!

The LA Times ran a story on March 4th on the bust of the Shanghai, China, real estate market. In one of the world's hottest housing markets, the last three years saw a doubling of prices. Things are now so bad now that thousands of real estate offices have closed, many homeowners have loan amounts that are greater than their properties resale value, recent buyers are fighting with developers to rescind their purchases, and banks are awaiting a wave of mortgage defaults.

Morgan Stanley's chief Asia economist said "Shanghai's housing slump is only going to worsen and imperil a significant part of the Chinese economy". About the property now under construction, this same economist said "They'll remain empty for years!"

The similarities to our hot US bubble markets, makes me believe this is preview of what we are already starting to experience (though at a much slower pace).

The first signs of trouble in our real estate markets were very subtle and only picked up, or acknowledged, by very few real estate professionals. Since mid 2005 the red flags have been quite obvious to even the layperson. Yet, the forever optimistic 'it's always a good time to buy' industry line is embraced by the mass media (they certainly do not want to lose their immense source of real estate advertising revenue) and the naive general public.

In San Diego in particular and most other major metropolitan real estate markets, it's quite acceptable to acknowledge and embrace the double digit real estate appreciation of the past. Yet, even the thought of depreciation of real estate is looked on with the same disbelief and distain as if a child molester moved in next door.

There is a proven saying in our stock market: "You can never go broke taking a profit." In many US markets, seasoned investors can still turn a profit. However, if Shanghai's real estate market is any indication of what awaits the hot US markets.....the window of opportunity is closing very fast!

Copyright 2006 Promotions Unlimited - All rights reserved - Any additions/modifications/hyperlinks added to this article will be considered a copyright violation & subject to immediate legal action without further notice.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Real Estate Investing with No Cash and No Credit

Lots of folks think it can't be done.

How in the world can you buy a piece of real estate property without cash or credit? How is it possible to buy a $50,000 house or a $1 million dollar house if I don't have an abundance of cash or an excellent credit rating?

Nothing stops a would-be investor cold in his tracks like "no cash or credit." The prevailing perception is that "I can't start real estate investing" because (1) I sure don't have any money and (2) my credit is horrible!

The typical way real estate investing is accomplished is with an earnest money deposit to accompany the Purchase Contract and a down payment at closing. Many real estate investing tycoons, in wanting an offer accepted, make large earnest money deposits so the property seller will recognize the buyer as a serious investor. And because many real estate investing tycoons use real estate agents as their purchasing liaison, they provide sizable down payments out of which the sales commission will be paid.

Well, when I started my real estate investing career, I had neither cash nor credit. I had a serious business failure prior to my start in real estate investing, so I had to conjure up a way to succeed outside the traditional norm.

While I was well aware of the accepted procedures of earnest money deposits and down payments in real estate investing, I was forced by my situation to find alternatives. I did not realize at the time that commercial property is often purchased without any cash outlay at closing or even a credit check of the buyer.

So without any pocket change or a savings account, I began offering a $10 bill as my earnest money deposit! And I began offering no down payment at closing. My Purchase Contract offered simply the assumption of an existing loan! (In the 1980s when I started my real estate investing career, wrap mortgages were common, whereas today other legal instruments accomplish the same purpose.)

I don't have to tell you that real estate agents were not exactly fond of me. In fact, in my highest week of tendering offers, I submitted 235 offers on MLS houses, and got 235 rejections. I mean, the realtors and brokers were infuriated at my non-traditional offers! Most went to great pains in writing "REJECTED" across the entire length (even both sides) of the legal-size Purchase Agreement I had laboriously filled out for submission. The young man "running" my offers (and his broker) were verbally blasted out of the saddle! I got NO acceptances from my 235 offers. Yet, I still managed to buy two properties from the 100% (humiliating) rejection. Two property owners approached me later and said, "I can't accept your offer on that property I had listed with my real estate agent, but I have another house you can have on the same terms!"

That break-through began my trek into the Nothing-Down Wilderness that made me a multi-millionaire in three years. Once I realized it was persistence with a thimble-full of know-how, I forged on to discover motivated sellers who accepted my offers. I bought $1 million in properties that first year, another $1 million the second year, and $10 million by the 4th year.

It's a shame that even some real estate investing tycoons don't know how to buy with no cash and no credit. But the bottom line is that know-how still makes possible the impossible.

Buying property of any price is still achievable with no cash and no credit. It's done every day in residential and commercial property. And because it is achievable, anyone can enter the real estate investing arena, regardless of the size of his or her wallet.

Friday, 23 November 2012

What Your Buyer's Real Estate Agent Won't Tell You - Part 1

Buying a house - The realistic approach

This article is not about the secrets of buying a rental property for no money down and half the price of the market value of the house. I am not Tom Vu or Don Lapre and I am not in jail.

In Canada, the no money down home did use to exist, but not anymore. Some banks and/or lenders were willing to lend you the 5% down payment so that you don't have to pay a dime out of your own pockets to purchase a home. However, given the current financial situation with tighter lending restrictions, there will be no bank or lenders who can do that in Canada.

The buying home for half price did use to exist as well. At one point, foreclosures in Canada would allow foreclosed homes to be sold at rock bottom prices. The new law, which has been in placed for many years now require the homes be sold at the highest possible price for foreclosed homes or else the lenders could be sued. Hence, sometimes foreclosed homes sell higher because Canadians have the misconception that foreclosed homes are a really good deal causing it to have a reverse affect. There have been many people buying foreclosed homes believing they got a good deal and not doing a thorough check as to the actual value of the home.

Now, clearing out the quick money maker myths of buying homes, there are still many things you need to be aware of before starting.

If there exist ever an industry with more sneaky sales tactics and money motivated people, it has got to the Real Estate industry. As a buyer, you could be dishing out $350 000 and everyone wants a piece. The Real Estate Agents want a piece. The lenders want a piece. The lawyers want a piece and the sellers want piece. No wonder there are so many scams in this industry.

The first thing to be aware of is the Real Estate Agent. A Real Estate Agent is suppose to act on your behalf to buy or sell the home. Both the buyer of the home and seller of the home will have their own Real Estate Agent called a Buyer's Real Estate Agent and a Seller's Real Estate Agent.

In Canada, each Real Estate Agent gets an average of 2.5% and sometimes 2% for the commission of selling the home. Some Real Estate Agents provide cash back rewards. Canadian Real Estate Agents gets higher commission than anywhere else. In United States, their Real Estate Agents only get 1% of the commission and their homes are actually much cheaper. Even though Real Estate Agents are the least educated of the parties involved in the buying home transaction, they seem to be getting the biggest piece of the pie.

Do not listen to their gimmicks on Real Estate Agents are ethical. ( Where do they get the idea any Real Estate Agent off the street is ethical. Their claim is based on these tests that they pass to become a Real Estate Agent. Agents passing a test does not meant hey are ethical. It only means they can remember enough to pass the test.

One would believe it should be the Real Estate Agent's job to help the buyer ensure the home is of value. Rightly so, many buyers depend on the Real Estate Agent to protect them and provide them advice and in my opinion, the ethical Real Estate Agent should do that. However, the true reality is that Real Estate Agents do not make money unless if the home is purchased. The reality is that the Real Estate Agent's salary is not truly dependent on giving you advice. The Real Estate Agent's job is to get the buyer to buy a home through them so they can get paid!

As a result of this, what ends up happening, are two types of Real Estate Agents with variations in between. The first type is the honest agent with the belief "If I work hard and treat my buyer right, the buyer will come back to buy more homes from me. The second type is the "I need to get the buyer to buy a house quickly so that I can move on to the next buyer (sucker) so that I can maximize my time for profit." The bottom line is that you are looking for the first type and you want to avoid the second type.

We'll call the first type, the Bad Real Estate Agent. We'll call the second type, the Good Real Estate Agent.

So what kind of characteristics does the Good Real Estate Agent have that the Good Real Estate Agent does not have?

1. The first characteristic is Patience. Bad Real Estate Agents will attempt to sell you a home quickly to get the money quickly. Do not buy a house without spending a lot of time looking at several different homes. Be careful of tactics such as Real Estate Agents claiming it is the perfect and acting like a salesman rather than providing you information.

2. The second characteristic is information. A good Real Estate Agent needs to provide you all the information to let you make the informed decision and we are not talking about their opinion. Real Estate's opinion does not matter. Real Estate Agents have data such as the history of the house being sold at, homes being sold near the area and type. A Real Estate Agent should be able to provide you with a compilation of official documents that tells you these kinds of data to let YOU make an informed decision.

3. The third characteristic is care. You will know this during the actual signing of the contract to purchase the home at a certain price. Once you become interested in a property and want to buy the property at a certain price set by YOU, you have to write up a contract. The contract consist at least three conditions that will null the sale of the home and a security deposit.

The common three conditions are, buyer can get financing, the home passes inspection and the appraisal value of the home is above the price to be purchased. Generally, you will want the lenders to appraise the home so that you know the fair value of the home and the lenders would only lend of you are buying the home at fair market value.

The security deposit is an amount you will provide to lock the home from being sold to other buyers while you perform to checks to see whether these conditions have been met. If these conditions are not met, then you SHOULD get your security deposit back.

The Bad Real Estate Agents will want to you provide very few conditions and a big security deposit. Doing so ensure the home is more likely to be sold.

Do NOT go through the internet and pick the first agent you see or the agent that has the most advertisements. They are just spending marketing money which they intend to recover from you. I especially find the ones that are top ranked search engines to be the most conniving, especially the Mississauga location!

More to Come!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Flipping Real Estate: Calculating Costs

If you've been in the real estate investing business, or more specifically been flipping real estate, for more than a few days, you've inevitably gotten an email that reads something like this:

"Investor's Dream. This property will go QUICK.

- Property Address: 1234 Main Street

- Asking Price: $100,000 (Add or subtract zeros!)

- After Repair Value: $150,000

- Repairs: $15,000

- Profit: $35,000

- Details: Needs paint, carpet, tile, new kitchen, update bathroom, some roof damage.

- Tenant occupied. Need to evict!"

STOP! Before you read on... Take a guess at what you think the "real" profit's going to be on this real estate investment...

If you haven't ever gotten an email or fax broadcast like this, then rest assured, you will! I'm about to probably tick off all of the late night infomercials and pitchmen out there! Sure, I understand that when you've got 30 minutes (or 90 minutes, for that matter), that you've to sell what's sexy... not what's real!

Now it's my turn to expose the real deal on real estate investing! This goes for flipping real estate itself (i.e. properties) or simply flipping the contract (also known as assigning the contract). When you're flipping real estate, you need to be able to calculate the "real" bottom line and if your assigning the contract, you need to know your numbers so you don't get blacklisted from investors! This one piece of information will keep you from getting into trouble because of any "real estate bubble"!

Purchase Costs

Here goes... Have you EVER purchased and sold a piece of real estate for FREE? If you're not sure what the answer is... It's an emphatic NO... You are going to have costs to buy, costs to hold and costs to sell. This holds true even if you are buying a property for all cash. (Think title fees, attorney's fees, recording fees, etc.)

If you're not getting a mortgage, your purchase costs are obviously much lower, but nonetheless, there are costs associated with any real estate transaction. Plus, more than likely, if you're relatively new, you're probably not paying all cash for property anyways. You're probably going to be using a hard money investor for your initial real estate investing financing!

For a quick calculation, you can estimate anywhere between 3% - 5% for closing costs to just acquire the property. That's 3%-5% of the purchase price.

Holding Costs

How much is it going to cost you each and every day to own this piece of real estate? See, if you're making money in real estate, you'd better believe that there are a lot of other people that are going to expect to get paid and they get paid in the form of mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, property insurance, etc. Each of these is an expense each and every day that you own the property. Here's an example... A hard money loan on a bread and butter type piece of real estate might run you 15%. Let's say you got the property for $100,000. Every month, you are paying $1250 in interest alone. Let's say that taxes and insurance are another $200/month and then utilities at $100. Right there, the property is costing you $1550/month - or roughly $50/day. See, why it's important to know your not only your holding costs on a real estate investment, but also how long it's going to be on the market before you can flip the property.

Selling Costs

Here's the third part of the real estate investing puzzle. When you want to turn around and sell this piece of real estate, it's going to cost you yet again! Are you going to use a real estate agent and pay a commission or 3-4-5% or even more? On $150,000, that's anywhere from $4500 to $7500 chopped of the top. Then, you can figure 1-2% in closing fees.

If you can remember this... and apply what you've just learned to each and every real estate deal that you do, you'll be safe flipping real estate in any market. You see, if it's a hot market, you can calculate less time for holding cost. But, in a slower market, make your offer based on 6 months or 9 months of holding costs. It's really simple math! And real estate really is a numbers game...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Real Estate Investing Program

The Ultimate Real Estate Investing Program

What Type Of Real Estate Investing Program Fits You?

What type of real estate investing program is right for you? The right real estate investing program will make it simple to become a successful real estate investor. But let's be clear, the steps to becoming successful as a real estate investor are simple but simple does not always translate to easy. Choosing the right real estate investing program is one of the most important decisions you can make as a real estate investor.

The best known real estate investing program is the Carlton Sheets no down payment system that has been running as a TV infomercial for over twenty years. As fare as real estate investing programs go the Carlton Sheets No Down Payment system leaves much to be desired and I would not want to have to make a living based on that real estate investing program alone. But Carlton Sheets has introduced a lot of people to the wonderful world of real estate investing and for this he should be thanked.

Let's take a look at three real estate investing programs and the benefits of each.

Kick Ass Wholesaling. Learning How To Buy.

The single most important skill for real estate investors is learning how to buy properties significantly below market value. When you learn how to buy at 50-70% of market values profits are assured and exit strategies plentiful. Pay too much for a property and there is often little you can do other than take your losses or hang on for dear life hoping the market appreciates over time.

Another advantage of wholesaling is the ability to quickly generate profits without having to use your cash or credit. An example is you find a house worth $200,000 that a seller will sell to you for $130,000. You could in turn sell this to another investor for $140,000 and make yourself $10,000 quickly and never have to fund the purchase. For a complete system on wholesaling check out Kick Ass Wholesaling

Work For Equity. The Most Profitable Way To Sell Properties

This is an advanced real estate investing program not because it is hard to implement but because most investors never discover the system. Instead of buying ugly houses and either wholesaling or rehabbing there is a way to sell and make twice the profits and have a larger pool of buyers wanting your house.

Work For Equity is the real estate investing program where you sell the property with a special lease option agreement that requires the purchaser to repair the property at their expense. Later, typically after 12 months to maximize your tax gains the lease option buyer has the right to purchase the property (in the real world only about 30% of any lease option buyers exercise their option and purchase the property).

If the lease option buyer exercises their option and purchases the property you are cashed out and this is good news. If they lease option buyer does not exercise their option you have a property that has been improved at their expense and you are free to sell again using any method you choose.

The benefits to the real estate investor are too numerous to detail here but in the end work for equity can literally double an investors profits compared to rehabbing the property then selling the property for the full after repaired value.

Work For Equity is a real estate investing program that every investor should use. Why not make twice the profit on deals your currently rehabbing? All the details can be found in the Work For Equity Pro System.

Instant Real Estate Profit Pro - How To Buy Properties In 5 Minutes Or Less

For the serious investor there exists a real estate investing program designed to handle all of your buying needs - in 5 minutes or less.

Imagine being able to analyze a property, estimate profits, and print out all of the documents you need to give the seller a completely justified offer that includes a cover letter, repair cost estimates, how you arrived at your offered price, and two offers - one cash and one terms. Users of this system are so efficient they often put properties under contract after talking to the seller one time and without even looking at the property.

This real estate investing program also prepares complete get the deed (AKA "Subject To") packages which allow you to take over existing loans. Note: Banks do not like this practice so you must understand the risks involved. All the documents you need including disclosures, authorization to real information, power of attorneys, and so much more. It even creates a land trust for you which should be part of your asset protection plan.

Or how about buying pre-foreclosures or doing short sales? Automatically prepare short sale packages in less than 5 minutes. This section is for advanced investors but so easy to use you'll feel like a pro in no time.

There simply is no real estate investing program like Instant Real Estate Profit Pro. Just take a look at what the program has done for investors around the country.

Real estate investing is a lot like being a specialized heart surgeon. Can you imagine needing open heart surgery and the doctor not having all the tools he needs to complete the surgery? Having the right real estate investing programs is what makes successful investors!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

"Time" Is A Major Real Estate Wealth Growth Tool, So Use 'IT' And Watch

In this report I use figures from my area of the world ... I know they don't apply all over the world, but they should encourage you to get the figures for yourself.

After all no report is going to make your money grow ... it's the knowledge you gain and "Your Application Of The Knowledge" that makes your financial wealth Grow.

In another report I gave you a concept I borrowed from Phil Ruthven, a truly wonderful speaker on economics, on how he looks at Home Ownership.

Now I want to look at the Tools we have available to help us Grow!real estate wealth,

So folks, if you want Real Estate Development, you must use all the tools available to you to get some. Of all the tools you have, the single most important one is TIME.real estate wealth,

1. Time is your greatest friend. Time to buy good investment property and let it double in value every 8 to 10 years or better.real estate wealth,

2. Federal Government Real Estate Investment Tax Deductions are another tool the Government uses to tell you in Words, Dollars and Cents that they want you to get wealthy so you can look after yourself to your final days. real estate wealth,

3. Correct Financial tools are also vital to your wealth development. See my report of Finance. I will go into some further detail in this section on the use of Evergreen Lines of Credit and how they work.

4. Good Real Estate Management is the next tool. Well-managed and well-maintained real estate investments, that houses good quality tenants is also essential. Trying to do this work yourself, is a mistake. See my report on Property Management. real estate wealth,

In Australia, it has been instilled in our consciousness, that we must all own our own home. And there is nothing wrong with the concept. It's just that we should have been told to rent it out; Don't live in it.

By buying a house TO LIVE IN, while we are young, we are wasting the wealth creating tools of Time, Double Income, (if married) Property Income and Tax Deductions. No wonder so many people have to play catch up later in life. real estate wealth,

So the first clue to Real Estate Wealth Development is don't buy a residential property for you and you partner to live in. You buy a house as an investment and you rent elsewhere.

Growth Tool No. 1 - Time

Time is your greatest friend. Real Estate is a long-term investment and by being loyal to it, the real estate will reward you handsomely all through your life. real estate wealth,

You can prove this to yourself, as I did, by getting the figures of average house sale prices, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for Brisbane, the largest City in Australia.

To save you the trouble I got the figures and I painstakingly went through them in order to validate the old wives tale that, " real estate doubles every seven years."

Well, it does better than that, you'll be pleased to know.

I was able to get the figures from 1973/74 to 1994/95. I think I started there because that was when I arrived in Brisbane on transfer from Melbourne. real estate wealth,

That is a twenty-two years period, during which we had several credit squeezes, a few recessions and a few good times as well.

In 1973/74 an average house price for the whole of Brisbane was $23,234.00. That average includes the best and worst house and suburb.

Seven years later, in 1980/81, it was $43,470.00 an increase of 87%.

However by the next year, the eight-year, it had risen to $56,757.00 giving an increase of 144% from 1973/74. So you see that it more than doubles by the eight year. real estate wealth,

Going on a further seven years from 80/81 to 87/88, the $43,470.00 went up to $83,679.00; a further 92%.

Interestingly, going on one more year to the eight year, it had again increased to $113,917.00 giving an increase of 162% from 1980/81.

A further seven years from 87/88 to 94/95, the price of the average house in Brisbane went up to $163,325.00; a further 95% increase.
real estate wealth,

Unfortunately the Bureau amalgamated the Shires of Logan and Caboolture into this statistical base and I could not extract the figure for the eight year.

However on the evidence of the previous 22 years I believe it is safe to assume
the increase would be at least 5% making it an increase of 100%. real estate wealth,

So these figures prove that over a period of 22 years the asset has increased by seven times its original value and all you would have to do is buy it at the beginning.

I hope this gives you some idea of why TIME is so important to growth. And remember that I am talking about average prices, I am not talking about hot inner suburbs that will obviously do much better.

If you REALLY understand these figures; you should ask yourself why you are willing to miss out on buying good real estate by stopping negotiating for the sake a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. I've seen this done many times because of stubborn-ness. Crazy! real estate wealth,

For goodness sake it's the Real Estate Asset that is in short supply; not money. If you have found real estate that fits your criteria; BUY IT!

The Real Estate Development Coach

Copyright Colm Dillon, October 2003

All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 12 November 2012

All About Real Estate Agents

Who Are They...

Real estate agents are professionals instrumental in connecting the buyer with the seller.
Additionally, many real estate agents manage rentals wherein they introduce tenants to landlords and oversee the maintenance of the property on behalf of the landlords.
In most areas real estate agents are required to be highly educated, licensed and are regulated by a governing body.
Some real estate agents are also Realtors.
To use the title Realtor, a real estate agent must be a member of the National Association of Realtors which in addition to a number of other requirements, requires Realtors to adhere to a strict code of ethics and offers Realtors additional educational and designation opportunities.
Though not required by rule or law, it might be a wise decision to seek the services of a Realtor.

What Do They Do....

Real estate agents bring together two or more interested parties, perform those steps necessary to successfully conclude a transaction and charge a commission for their services.
For sales transactions, they charge commission to the seller while for rentals, commission is typically charged the landlord.
Real estate agents generally calculate their fee as a percentage of the selling price (in the case of a sale) and as part of the rent for rental units.

How Do They Do It...

People who want to sell or rent their property leave details of their property with the real estate agent.
Along with all property details the real estate agent will typically have keys to the house to facilitate showings.
The other interested party (i.e. the buyer/tenant), gets access to this information and to the property by contacting the real estate agent.
That's how the real estate agent becomes a hub of information.
Contrary to some common misconceptions, real estate agents typically represent the seller or the buyer but rarely both.

Why Should I Use One...

First and foremost, to protect yourself. Real estate transactions are highly regulated, highly paper (document) intensive transactions.
The real estate agent possesses an in depth knowledge of the laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and documentation necessary to successfully complete the transaction to the satisfaction of the buyer, the seller and the law.

Because real estate agents are most familiar with local real estate market conditions, it is wise and makes sense to seek the advice of one to get an idea of the current trends and pricing for properties within that market.
A good real estate agent will know the prices (or price range) of various properties of different types and at various locations within the region.

Because of the real estate agent's knowledge and expertise, property sellers often get a few thousand dollars more for their property.

Many home seekers, including seasoned real estate investors use the services of real estate agents to locate the best real estate bargains in the easiest and quickest manner.

Furthermore, the best agents analyze the wants and needs of a home buyer/tenant and provide valuable input as to the kinds of properties available to them within their budget. Therefore, a good real estate agent will not just present a list of available properties to the buyer/tenant but will actually discuss their needs and make suggestions.

The good real estate agent, working in this manner benefits in at least two ways...
First and most obviously, when the real estate agent is able to successfully complete the transaction the commission is earned and the real estate agent is paid...
and secondly, if they make the customer/client happy they earn a good reputation and often receive referrals (hence more business).

Worth Noting...

It is worth noting that there is a myth floating around that real estate agents only work on behalf of the seller, buyer beware.
This is not written in stone nor is it always the case. Real estate agents are, in most regions, highly regulated.
With few exceptions, real estate agents work either for the seller (as is the case with many listing agents) or for the buyer (as is the case for a buyer's agent).
Additionally, some areas allow for dual agency where an agent can work for both the seller and the buyer or as a transaction broker where the agent represents the transaction itself and neither the seller nor buyer individually.
However, in the case of dual agency/transaction brokerage, note that rule, regulation (law) and ethics do not permit the agent to act in favor of either party while in detriment to the other.
If you are unsure of the relationship between you and your real estate agent, do not hesitate to ask.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Las Vegas Consumers Leary About Their Real Estate Agents

Consumers are sounding off about their past experiences with their real estate agents throughout the country and in the Las Vegas real estate community. It would seem that the general public is not happy with the performance or guidance given by their Realtors and most compare them to used car salesman. We at MyGoRealty.Net want to offer you some of our opinions to this problem affecting consumers from Las Vegas to New York.

One of the primary complaints for consumers wishing to purchase Las Vegas Real Estate was a conflict of interest if their real estate agent whether in Las Vegas or elsewhere was representing them as a buyers agent but being paid by the seller. The complaint stems from the understanding by the buyer that if the Realtor was being paid by the seller, what reason did the real estate agents have to protect their interest as a buyer.

In Las Vegas all real estate agents are required to disclose whom they represent, this agency disclosure is there for the purpose of allowing the buyer, seller and prospective agents to understand whom is representing whom.

To take this one step further, if you as a consumer are leary about your Las Vegas Real Estate agent receiving compensation from the seller, you can elect to pay these fees yourself. This might serve you in two ways when buying a home in Las Vegas. First this would allow you to negotiate this cost from the real estate listing price of this Las Vegas home. The second benefit would be securing piece of mind knowing that this Las Vegas Realtor that you are paying is going to represent your best interest. This also gives you a bargaining chip with your Realtor. The real estate agent will understand since you are paying the fees, they must know that if you are not satisfied with their level of service or knowledge, you will fire them and find another Realtor to pay this fee to, not to mention the extra legal ramifications this real estate agent will be accepting with you paying the fees.

Another common complaint about real estate agents is that they don't possess adequate knowledge about all factors related to determine a homes value. One consumer even stated that Realtors are not the brightest bulbs. Because of these perceptions, consumer's dont feel real estate agents earn their commissions.
I must agree with this statement as most agents in Las Vegas have very little knowledge much less understand there are more factors to determine a homes value than a comparative market analysis. Las Vegas as within any other city, you must understand that a homes value requires you to consider, job growth, economics, political decisions, population statistics, income projections and building cost to just name a few. We offer our clients a free instant real estate value checker called My Neighborhood Values which calculates some of these factors transformed into mathematical figures into its value algorithm.

With the past explosion of the Las Vegas Real Estate market more and more people are acquiring their real estate license. The problem we see with this is most of these individuals don't understand that the real estate profession is a full time job. They don't familiarize themselves or keep updated on an every changing market such as Las Vegas. Most of these agents get into the business for the money and forget that even though this industry pays well, it requires a lot of dedication, knowledge to remain successful and the ability to put your Las Vegas clients before yourself.

As a consumer the most important decision you will make when purchasing a home is selecting a real estate agent. Always make sure this agent is familiar with the areas you are considering. Make sure your real estate agents knowledge goes beyond that of typical agents. Be aware that no matter whom you select to represent you in Las Vegas, no one can better advise or prepare you for the issues that may lay ahead, than yourself.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Real Estate Investment Trusts

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) is an investment trust where many people invest their money in commercial and residential real estate businesses. The trust manages and possesses many commercial properties and mortgages. The trust also invests in other types of real estate. Real estate investment trusts shows the best characteristics of both real estate and stocks.

Real estate investment trust is a company that operates income producing real estate such as apartments, offices, warehouses, shopping centers, and hotels. Though a variety of property types are there, most of the REITs concentrate on any one of the property types only. Those specializing in health care facilities are called the health care REITs. The real estate investment trust was formed in 1960 in order to make large scale income raising investments in real estate, which can be easily accessed by smaller investors. The trust's main advantage is that it helps a person to select an appropriate share to invest on from a variety of group rather than investing on a single building or management.

Real estate investment trusts are broadly classified into three categories - equity, mortgage and hybrid. The first category involves the ownership and management of income producing real estate. Mortgage real estate investment trusts offers money directly to real estate owners by acquiring loans or mortgage backed securities. The third category not only owns properties but also provide loans to real estate owners and operators.

Real estate investment trusts differ from limited partnerships in many ways. One of the main differences lies in reporting the annual tax information to the investors and another is that there is no minimum investment amount. For a company to become a real estate investment trust, it should share out 90 percent or more of its taxable income to its shareholders once in a year. Once a company is qualified as an REIT, it is allowed to reduce the dividends given to its shareholders.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Boston Real Estate - Choosing the Right Boston Real Estate Agent

As a successful Boston real estate agent, it always puzzled me how and why some people choose particular Boston real estate agents to sell their homes. For most of us, a real estate purchase is the single largest investment we will ever make in our lives. Still, when it comes time to capitalize on this investment many home sellers are much too casual and have very low standards for the person they choose to handle the sale of their property.

I can cite many examples of poor decision making when it comes to home-sellers choosing a real estate agent, but there is one example from my experience that really boggled my mind.

I received a call from a woman about six months ago who asked me to do a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) of her Boston Condo. (I gladly obliged and confirmed a time to meet with her and to tour her property.) The CMA process typically entails an initial tour of the subject property, comprehensive market research to produce a report, and an in-depth, in-person listing presentation. After meeting the client, viewing the property, doing the necessary research and presenting my report, I was certain that this woman would list her property with me. She disclosed to me that she had interviewed five other Boston realtors and that she was "by far" most impressed with my presentation and me. She cited my track record selling Boston real estate and Boston condos, my knowledge of the Boston real estate market, and my professionalism as the reasons she viewed me as the most qualified real estate agent to sell her home. She also disclosed to me that my service charge was identical to the five other agents she interviewed so "price" wasn't an objection I would have to overcome.

After giving her forty-eight hours to review her options (I of course sent her a thank you card for considering my services), I followed up with a phone call to see if she had any outstanding questions. To my surprise she told me that she had decided to list her property with a friend, who is also her hairdresser, and sells real estate part-time in a suburb of Boston. My initial shock came from the fact that she decided to list her property with an out-of-town broker, someone who had very little knowledge of the Boston real estate market. But what really blew me away was her decision to list her property with a friend, who not only had very little total real estate experience, but who works part-time in real estate and had never sold a property before! Her exact words were: "She is a very nice person and I would like to help her jumpstart her real estate career."

At this point she had already made her decision and the last thing I was going to do was to disqualify her friend as a competent real estate agent, so I wished her the best of luck and told her that I would try my best to cooperate with her friend to sell the unit. She thanked me and recognized my professionalism. What I really wanted to ask her was this: If I told you that you had $150,000 to invest, (which is approximately what she stood to profit from the sale of her home), and your friend, who is also your hairdresser, called you and told you that she just started selling stocks part-time and she wanted you to invest your money with her, would you do it?

Fortunately, most of the people I have actually posed this question to have thought about it and answered no. Unfortunately, there are too many people who do not think about their real estate investment in these terms and are essentially answering yes! For some unknown reason many people are much too casual when it comes time to sell their real estate investment, when if fact, most people look to the equity they have in their homes to pay for important things like major home improvements and educational expenses while they own their home.

It turns out, the woman I used in the example above ended up calling me in a panic after her property sat on the market for six months, overpriced by almost 10%. She had to sell the property within 60 days of calling me as she had been carrying two mortgages for four months and was running out of money. I ended up selling the property three weeks later for a reduced price because the property had become "stale" in the eyes of buyers in the market and she had very little bargaining power when it came to negotiating price.

You must have high expectations when choosing your Boston real estate agent and must truly think of your real estate investment as the largest single investment you will ever make in your life. The following is a list of 25 questions that you must ask all of the realtors you interview before choosing one to sell your Boston home:

1. Are you a licensed sales person/broker in the state of Massachusetts?

2. Do you have a licensed broker in your office?

3. How long have you been selling real estate?

4. Do you strictly work as a seller's agent?

5. Do you have buyer's agents working in your office?

6. Will you offer compensation to sub-agents, buyer agents, or facilitators, or all?

7. What is my liability if you offer compensation to and welcome sub-agents and he or she misrepresents my property?

8. Will you ever allow a buyer or another agent to enter my home without you being present?

9. Is selling real estate your full-time job?

10. How much real estate have you sold in my neighborhood in the past year?

11. Can you provide 5 references of people you have sold for in the last year?

12. How many listings do you currently have under contract?

13. What is the "average days on market" for all of your listings over the past year?

14. What is the average ratio of asking price to sales price for the last 10 properties you have listed?

15. What differentiates you and your company from your competition?

16. How will you arrive at an appropriate suggested asking price for my home?

17. How and where will you market my property?

18. What is your service fee?

19. What services are included in your fee?

20. What is the length of your listing contract?

21. Is your contract an exclusive listing contract?

22. Are your real estate forms in compliance with the laws in Massachusetts?

23. What professional real estate organizations do you and your company belong to?

24. What is the state of the Boston real estate market? Is this a good time to sell?

25. What properties would I be directly competing with if I put my property on the market today?