Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Sell Real Estate Notes

Selling real estate notes is a fast and simple solution for a real estate investor who needs quick cash. These notes specify terms of payback and include the loan amount, interest rate, and pay back time.

An investor can sell the entire lot of real estate notes, or part of them. The partial sale of real estate notes provides you a higher rate of return. There are several ways to sell real estate notes, including media advertising and postings on blogs. The real estate note selling market is a vast field of opportunities. The best technique to sell a real estate note is to list it on some reliable media. Remember that buyers range from individual investors to financing institutions and companies.

Real estate notes usually are residential notes, commercial notes, and vacant land notes. Residential real estate notes can be notes for houses, townhouses, condominiums, apartment buildings, and mobile homes. Vacant land notes pertain to developed land, undeveloped land and land not designated as a specific-use property, such as farm land or waste storage property.

The best option for those intending to sell real estate notes is to list them in any of the real estate note listing websites. Visitors to these websites are mostly professional people involved in the real estate business. You can also advertise in newspapers and magazines. When your real estate note reaches a wider audience, the chances of your getting a good profit are high. Real estate note brokers also offer you professional help in selling your real estate notes.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn't Want You To Know, A Year In Review 2006

During 2006 I have written a number of articles known as the "Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn't Want You To Know" series which has been a consumer oriented series of information to help home buyers and sellers protect themselves when conducting a real estate transaction. These articles are a natural extension of books I have written known as "Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn't Want A Home Buyer To Know" and "Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn't Want A Home Seller To Know".

The first book written during 1990 was called "Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn't Want You To Know" and it had a fair degree of national success, much more than I thought it would, when I introduced it to the media during 1991/92. We sold the book in every state in the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii and as far as Pakistan and Japan. This was not a bad performance for a self-published under-funded author.

I wrote this book because I was a licensed real estate agent in the state of Ohio and, more importantly, I was a residential mortgage banker for a few years and I saw many home buyers and sellers experience financial damage from dealing with inexperienced and unethical real estate agents. Many of the agents were either totally incompetent or so self interested that they would mislead buyers and sellers, anything to get them to sign a purchase offer or a listing contract. Many of these home buyers and sellers who were cut through the neck and didn't even realize they were bleeding because they lacked knowledge and insight into how the real estate game is played.

These books have always caused friction between real estate agents and myself because many agents resent the title of the books and the ill conceived premise that my position is that all agents are bad crooked people, which is false. In fact, whenever I did a media gig I always made it a point to clarify this is NOT a blanket indictment against real estate agents. There are good, honest, knowledgeable, full time real estate agents in the business who are highly professional. The problem is they are the minority and not the majority.

The major problem with the real estate industry as a whole is the ease with which a person can get a real estate license. While the educational requirements vary from state to state, in most cases, anybody can get a license to sell real estate in about 90 days. This just doesn't make sense to me. Consider that many agents are little old women who operate part-time, have no business or selling background, go to school for 30 or 90 days and are licensed to represent home sellers in property transactions from around $50,000.00 and up. I mean, a lawyer has to go to school for seven years to get a license to write a fifty-dollar will or represent somebody in a petty traffic accident. But silly-sally can go to school for 30 days and list a $250,000 house for sale? That does not compute in my mind. What kind of representation will a seller get from a part time agent with one toe in the tub? And the full-time pros know what I am talking about.

I have had many close discussions with agents while I was in the business and the bottom line is that part timers are often the weakest link in getting a deal done, unavailable for showings, etc. The bottom line, part time agents give part time results whether you are a buyer, seller or a full time agent trying to make a living.

And the truth is that most people, especially first time home buyers and sellers don't know what is going on...not really. How you select an agent to sell a home, the nature of contract law and the negotiable elements of listing contracts, purchase contracts, etc. is way beyond most first time buyers and sellers. The result is that sellers sign stupid long-term listing contracts with the wrong agents and the wrong companies and buyers pay way more for property then they would if they had more insight into the workings of real estate transactions involving commissioned real estate sales agents. I didn't originate the problem, I just identified the problems and the solutions for home buyers and sellers.

CAVEAT EMPTOR is legal jargon which means "buyer beware" and it means what it says. Whether you are a home seller or home buyer, you better know what you are doing when you are making decisions and signing contracts because, it is your duty to know and ignorance is no excuse under the law. If you do a stupid real estate deal, it's your fault. Which is a shame because buying or selling a home is a BIG business decision. It is a business transaction composed of people, emotions, contracts and cash and those are all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don't know what you are doing, and most people don't. And how are people supposed to get access to this information that will protect their legal and financial interests before they buy or sell a home anyway?


What many people don't know is the National Association of Realtors  (NAR) is one of America's largest special interest groups who have incredible lobbying power over our politicians to write real estate laws that benefit the real estate industry, not consumers. Thus, the caveat emptor clause... state and federal real estate laws are written in the interests of your local real estate company and not you.

Something else people are not aware of is the tremendous advertising influence the NAR has over print and electronic media to manipulate the news you read, hear and see because of their advertising dollar power. There is an article written by Elizabeth Lesley of the Washington Journalism review called Demand Happy News And Often Get It and it exposes the corruption and manipulation of the news consumers count on to make decisions about buying or selling a home. I strongly urge everyone to read this article.

Real estate is like the stock market in some ways. When you hear of a fad like "flipping" you are probably at the tail end of that gimmick bubble, kind of like the dot.com days... everybody jumped in because they thought it was hot and it was really the end of the dot.com bubble. A lot of people have gotten caught with their pants down on the flipping angle.

Home foreclosures are up across the U.S. because real estate agents and the lenders who cater to them (the real estate industry has tremendous influence over the lending industry because the are the source of so many home loans) have qualified otherwise unqualified borrowers, by putting them in gimmick loans. In the mad dash to milk the market, people have been steered in to interest only loans, negative amortization loans or attractive teaser loans like low interest adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and other stupid financing that is NOT in the best interest of the buyer. That's why many of the foreclosures are happening. Naïve and gullible people were sold a bill of goods based on unrealistic property values. The market got hyped and the agents and lenders were right there to exploit buyers and sellers. Did some people make money? Sure. But many people have found themselves against the wall with too much "house", too big a payment and a housing market that looks pretty bleak for a while...

All it takes is one ripple in our fragile economy to turn the real estate market into a landslide. Here's a news flash: The economy is on shaky ground. The economy has been kept strong by housing sales and corporate profits and both are an illusion. The real measure of the economy is durable goods, like automotive sales, which are in the tank causing massive restructuring and layoffs. People can't afford to buy cars because they are scraping the enamel off their teeth trying to make house payments...

So, whoever you are, and you read my real estate articles, keep in mind that the reason I have done what I have done, and will do what I do, is because I am on the side of the consumer. I am on the side of the person who wants to be a better, more informed consumer. I am on the side of the person who wants to save a few thousand on their real estate transaction by being smart and on a more level playing field with real estate agents.

And you know what? By educating people and teaching them how to do deals more intelligently, how to weed out the part timer agents from the pros and save a few bucks in the process, I am actually helping the professional full time agents. The truth is that honest agents won't have a problem with my position because it will get rid of the riff raff.

Thanks for reading!

Jim Hart

Copyright © 2006 James W. Hart, IV All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Real Estate Schools

When a person is looking for the right living or office space, but does not know how to go about the buying process, then a real estate broker or agent is the person to approach. These professionals not only help a buyer find and select the right property, but also get some of the best deals for their customers. Today, careers in the real estate industry are highly rewarding. Hence, the importance of real estate schools arises.

Aspiring real estate agents are offered real estate pre-license, post-license and continuing education courses in the classroom. They are also provided with online courses. There are various schools that pass knowledge in this faculty. Conveniently located in various states, these schools have been training real estate professionals for more than 20 years. They help a majority of students obtain real estate licenses.

Online real estate courses offered are also second to none. Students are offered online sales associate pre-licensing and online post-licensing courses, with a wide variety of supplemental material to help students pass the real estate exam. Real estate schools offer thorough training to the candidates, making sure they will be prepared the day of their exams.

It is said that choosing the best real estate school can be a tough decision. There is an eligibility criterion that needs to be fulfilled in order to apply for the real estate license. To begin with, the student must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. In order to apply, a candidate needs to submit application to the Division of Real Estate with the appropriate fee. He must also complete and pass the state approved 63-hour sales associate pre-license course.

Real estate schools have grown in popularity over the years. Most of what is taught in real estate pre-license classes, courses, and training is designed to help the student know what is required to be a qualified licensed real estate professional. In addition to this, one needs good communication and persuasion skills to make a successful career in real estate.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

How to Become a Real Estate Agent

Real estate includes residential and commercial property. The former refers to property that people live in and the latter to trade and lease of property intended for profits. Inflation, augmented income, better government measures, and easily available mortgages have improved consumer purchase capacities. Such progressive consumer trends have proved to be a boon for the real estate trade. Real estate includes real estate business purchases, sales, and property rentals.

Individuals are required to enroll in real estate schools to make a career in real estate, as is the case with many other professions. Courses conducted at such business schools provide an opportunity to learn tricks of the trade in order to identify market trends and patterns. They also provide certification to individuals who practice a particular trade. There are numerous real estate schools that offer a wide range of courses.

Individuals may decide upon a desired real estate education program. When selecting an institute, it is advisable to be cautious and make enquiries regarding college reputation, degrees, and fees. A number of these courses and diplomas are made available online. This enables practicing real estate agents to enroll for specialized courses and helps students living in different cities to take the courses they need. Some people may opt for such courses as a continuing education program. Certain institutes offer a money-back guarantee in case enrolled individuals are not are not successful in the real estate business upon completion of their education program. Accredited and reputed institutes offer a universal platform and can hire industry leaders as part of their visiting faculty.

People can become real estate agents upon completion of undergraduate and graduate courses and certified distance-learning programs. Others may be part of a family business and choose to get certified after joining the trade. It is possible to start working without any educational degree, but the success rate is not guaranteed. Most professionals are required to work as apprentices with listed real estate companies.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Real Estate Website Promotion is Easy

If you are a Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Broker, or provide a Real Estate service you know how important effective real estate web promotion is to your business. The large number of people searching the internet for local, national and international real estate information can simply not be ignored.

At the same time you may think effective real estate website promotion is too difficult to master, too expensive to afford, or just too mysterious to understand - an area reserved for experts in the field of search engine marketing.

Like most practitioners of highly specialized skills, search engine marketing specialists have a vested interest in making their field seem mysterious and difficult to master. But it is not really that mysterious. It is possible for anyone to dominate the search engines in virtually any local market. All it takes is a bit of common sense and some hard work.

The principles involved in getting good positioning for your real estate website are quite simple and straightforward. They are the same principles that apply to search engine marketing for any website and it is actually quite easy to apply these principles to real estate websites. Many real estate agents have simply given up trying to score well in the search engines for local real estate searches because they don't properly understand the process.

But think about it for a minute. When you do a search in Google for "real estate Phoenix" or "Banff real estate" or "Halifax real estate" or "Fort Lauderdale real estate", and you see the same real estate agents or agencies coming up on the first page week after week, how do you think they got there? What magical real estate website promotion formula are they using or who have they paid to get this high position?

Now before you answer that question, ask yourself how you think Google assigns these positions to different websites. Does their giant computer just pull names from a great big cyber-hat? Do they use secret rules that only a few insiders know about?

Of course not. All the major search engines make it perfectly clear what they are looking for - and especially Google. If you want to score well for a term like "real estate Phoenix" or "real estate Ottawa", really all you have to do is pack your site with good information about Phoenix (or Ottawa) and focus your home page in a very deliberate way on those search terms.

The search engines like focused content. They assume if your site contains lots of content relevant to "real estate Phoenix" then it should be shown high in searches for that keyword.

Of course the problem is that there are already a number of other real estate websites offering good content focused on your favorite search term, so you are going head to head with sites that have previously established position, and it will take a bit of time and a fair amount of work to get past them.

That is fair enough. After all, if the real estate agent down the streat offers more focused and relevant information than you do about the market you are both chasing, she deserves to come up above you in the search engine rankings. It makes sense, doesn't it?

That does not mean you should not keep on trying. It simply means you should be patient and work harder. Take a close look at her site and outdo her by refocusing your site and creating more interesting and valuable content. Focus is the name of the game. Make it crystal clear that you are the "expert" on "Calgary real estate" by offering the kinds of things that an expert would offer.

And please, do not hesitate to mention the search phrase you are trying to get positioning on. If it is "Kingston real estate" or "Sacramento real estate", then use that term all over your home page. Say to yourself, "OK Google, so you are looking for real estate websites that have something to say about 'Sacramento real estate', well here I am. I breathe Sacramento Real Estate. I ooze Sacramento Real Estate. I AM Sacramento Real Estate." This is called Search Engine Optimization.

In the meantime, while you're waiting for Google to come around on your primary search term, find some less competitive ones to focus on as well. For instance, if you want to service the entire Ottawa area, but most of your clientele is in Kanata or Nepean, focus some of your internet marketing efforts on those smaller markets. You have a much better chance of getting results in these significantly smaller and less competitive markets.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Connecticut Real Estate Agents

For people who are at all interested in Connecticut real estate, there are Connecticut real estate agents who are willing to assist and lend a hand. It should not be hard to choose the right agent who can help you find the right real estate for your purposes.

Who are these Connecticut real estate agents?

Connecticut real estate agents are also known in the real estate business as real estate brokers. They conduct real estate transactions with regards to any kind of real estate in the said area or location. These agents could be employed by a group or company who handles this kind of business. However, Connecticut real estate agents could also be the owner and the manager of their own agency.

Connecticut real estate agents assist sellers or buyers in marketing or in purchasing pieces of real estate property. There are agents who are mainly focused on helping clients market their properties and there are also agents who specialize in the buying process. However, there also are some agents who could do both. Connecticut real estate agents are required by law to have a license before they practice.

What do Connecticut real estate agents do?

The most basic thing that a Connecticut real estate agent does is to assist their clients in their Connecticut real estate transactions. They should be able to have the capability to let their clients purchase or market their Connecticut real estate property at the best possible price. These Connecticut real estate agents represent their clients during the whole transaction.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Real Estate Rebate - Can The Traditional Model Survive?

The Beginning Of The Real Estate Rebate: Society as a whole has been significantly impacted by the emergence of the Internet. It has made the world a smaller place and has intern changed the way we communicate and conduct business. It has helped companies target their clients through avenues such as Google & Yahoo, and has subsequently put the products and information that consumers looking for, at their finger tips. Social Networks such as Myspace and Facebook have made it possible to stay in contact with friends and family around the world via the Internet. As time passes these changes and effects will become more wide spread and alarmingly self evident. One such industry that stands to be dramatically affected is Real Estate.

For decades, the real estate industry has been defined by traditional representation in which an agent charges the seller a commission to market and sell their home or represents buyers through the entire home buying process. In the past, the traditional model was the staple of the real estate profession and it faced little to no opposition. This has begun to change. With the dependency that society and has developed on Internet, creative minds have begun to develop new models that cater to every type of consumer. As a result, consumers no longer have to settle for the "One Size Fits All" traditional model, but have a choice in choosing the type of service that fits their real estate needs.

New Models: Consumers may now choose between a variety of real estate products and services. These services are characterized by enabling buyers or sellers to seek specific real estate assistance as opposed to the whole package. In the case of sellers, real estate agents will charge a fee only for the services they provide. For example, a seller may only want to list their home on MLS (Multiple Listing Service Used By Real Estate Professionals around the Country) for the added exposure, and require some assistance drafting a purchase and sale agreement. Listing a home and receiving assistance with a P&S will cost you hundreds of dollars as opposed to paying a 5%-6% commission that would cost thousands of dollars. Buyers who are interested in finding a home on their own or willing to participate in the initial house hunting work, can receive a rebate at closing. This model gives buyers the professional assistance of a realtor and rewards them for their efforts with a portion of the commission at closing. One company that gives buyers a rebate is SharpBuyers. They are a national real estate rebate company based out of Boston Massachusetts. They have agents all throughout the country that will help buyers find a home and give them a rebate at closing. Another emerging model is real estate consultants. These are licensed real estate professionals that exclusively charge flat fee's for specific services.

The brokerages that offer these innovative real estate services are referred to as Discount Brokers, Rebate Agents, and Real Estate Consultants. It can clearly be seen, that all of these new models engage the buyers and sellers in the home buying or selling process. Subsequently, these models are ideal for the home buyers of tomorrow, generation X and Y. These are tech-savvy home buyers and they are not afraid to delve into the process if it means they will save thousands of dollars. Ten years from now, generation X will collectively be in their early and mid 30's. Many will use the traditional method to buy their first home, while others will seek out innovative brokers. How will the market share shake out in 2017? Only time will tell. It is anticipated that many traditional brokerages will be forced to adapt to a mixed service model, meaning they will offer both traditional and discount services to buyers, rather than one or the other. This may prove to be a necessary strategy if traditional brokerages would like to remain competitive after 2020. The new real estate business models enable consumers to have the best of both worlds, professional assistance and more money in their pockets.

Real Estate and The Internet Today: In today's world, the effect that the Internet has had on the real estate profession is extremely apparent. As the popularity of the Internet initially grew, many agents were concerned that consumers would cut them right out of the deal. To date, this has not been the case. The real estate industry has come to embrace the Internet and all of the great marketing tools that it has given birth to. It has also helped real estate professionals have better access to listing information, recent sales history and various statistical data reports. Leonard Nomura of Bentley Real Estate Group says he could not imagine life as a broker without the Internet. The numbers are astounding. According to the National Association of Realtors, 77% of home buyers used the Internet to find their homes in 2005. This has steadily grown from 2% of buyers using the Internet to find their homes in 1995 and is speculated to be over 85% today. According to clickz.com, 50% of all consumers who surf the web, do so with the intent to purchase consumer goods and services. This includes Real Estate, automobiles, clothing, music and anything else imaginable.

As a result of the emerging mixed service models, consumers can now choose from a range of real estate services that did not previously exist. It is believed that many real estate professionals see these new models as a threat because of their ability to significantly impact the traditional real estate brokerage's market share. According to Real Trends an industry newsletter, alternative Real Estate Models currently make up 2% of the market, but could grow to 12% by 2010. The transformation of the real estate industry has only just begun. Time will tell the true story of how the market will shake out, but the bottom line is this; alternative real estate models are putting money back into consumer's pockets and you will always put a smile on someone's face when you show them how to save thousands of dollars.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Phoenix Real Estate Schools

Travel and home magazines describe Phoenix as a tropical paradise. Financial and investment publications feature articles about the real estate situation in Phoenix and its rich economic vitality. As a result of this demand for property, real estate brokers and agents have a thriving practice. This has motivated many people to seek a career in the real estate business. As in any other field, professionals in the real estate business require specialized education.

Real estate schools coach and train aspiring real estate agents and guide them through the mandatory certification and examination process. These schools also offer their expertise in helping a student acquire real estate licenses.

Real estate schools in Phoenix offer online courses and the duration ranges from a month to a year. Typically, one year of study is required to complete a pre-license course. Completing a pre-license course gives students 63 hours of credit, which is required as a prerequisite for the real estate sales associate license. On completion, a student would have met the educational prerequisite to appear for the Phoenix State Exam. It is not necessary to be a U.S. Citizen or a Phoenix resident to obtain a Phoenix real estate license. The eligibility criterion are that the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, he/she should not have had a real estate license denied within one year or revoked within the two years prior to the application date.

Phoenix real estate schools provide adequate knowledge and support to its students in order to make them masters of the profession. It is advisable to plan the course as per each individual?s requirements and availability of time.

In recent times, many real estate schools have sprung up in Phoenix. Experts advise caution when choosing one for enrollment. Some of these schools are relatively new and do not have sufficient credentials to back their claims. It is believed that many don't even have a standardized curriculum. Choosing a reputed real estate school with a updated curriculum and practical sessions is critical to becoming a successful real estate professional.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

How Directory Listing Boosts Real Estate Sales

The real estate industry is a competitive one, and as a player in that market, you've got to play every edge that you can find. You've got your listings on MLS, submitted your ads to the newspaper classifieds, bought space in local realty For Sale magazines and even set up your own website. Now you need to maximize your exposure by getting the word out about the service that you offer. Listing your real estate related web site with a real estate directory is an excellent way to help drive targeted traffic to your website.

What's 'targeted traffic'?
Targeted traffic is what you want to make it worth while having a web site. The prettiest web site in the world is only useful if it provides leads for your sales. In order to do that, you need to attract traffic - and not just any traffic. You want web site visitors that are looking for what you're selling - whether it's homes, inspections or contractor services.

How to Get Targeted Traffic
You COULD just submit your web site to the search engines... and watch your listing get lost in the thousands of realtor, real estate, house for sale, sell houses and other realty-related web sites. Most web experts agree that in order to benefit from search engine traffic, your listing needs to appear in the first three pages of the search engine results.

There are ways to boost the flow of targeted traffic to your web site - and on the World Wide Web, increased traffic means increased sales. A real estate directory can help boost your real estate sales in a number of ways.

Why List Your Realty Site with a Real Estate Directory?
On the web, fewer means more. When you rely on Google and Yahoo! and MSN searches for your traffic, you're a tiny minnow in the ocean. There are literally thousands of other real estate sites competing for a spot in those first three pages. Want to be a big fish in a little pond?

A listing on the right real estate directory will put you where your potential customers and clients will see you - on a site that's designed for people who are looking for information about what you sell. Suppose you buy foreclosed homes in California. Because a real estate directory categorizes its listings, your potential clients don't have to wade through three pages of listings for real estate agents and home mortgage companies to find your listing.

Because the real estate directory has links to and from many web sites that are relevant to real estate, it's far more likely to rank higher in the page results than any single-realtor site. When you submit your web site to a real estate directory, you're leveraging the popularity and page ranking of the directory to bring traffic to your web site.

How a real estate directory boosts YOUR web site's ranking
But you're also helping to boost the position of your own web site in the rankings. Because many search engines count the links to your web site to establish the popularity of your web site, every link from an outside site gives yours a little boost. Even more importantly, when a web site that Google recognizes as an authority links to your site, you get an extra little bump up in the listings.

Reciprocal links, search engine submissions and submissions to directories are all important pieces of your web presence and marketing. By paying close attention to them all, you'll find that your web site pays off in increased sales.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Real Estate That's Out Of Sight

Many real estate investors have been flocking to some of the less expensive or newly appreciating parts of the country and plunking down their hard earned cash in order to get into the game. In this Special Report, we are going to take a look at what you need to know before you invest in real estate that's out of sight.

One of the mistakes that many real estate investors can make is to confuse what seems like inexpensive investment property with investment property that is a smart buy. This happens especially when real estate investors are used to the high prices of hometowns such as Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C. Real Estate investors that hail from these cities must take off their hometown "real estate goggles" and heed the advice of local experts in the cities they are considering for investment.

Ron Akin, owner of Sunridge Management in Dallas Texas, says, "I have seen real estate investors come to Texas from places where the property is expensive, like California, and they get so excited to see apartments selling for $22,000 per door when they are used to $80,000 - $120,000 per door. The key is to understand that what seems inexpensive for your home town does not mean it is inexpensive for our town. There is a lot more to consider than the price of the property before you purchase in a new market."

Once you leave the comfort of your own town to venture out to exciting new real estate destinations, real estate investors need to be aware that if property prices are lower it is also going to mean that rents are most likely lower. Sometimes rents are so low that properties won't cash flow even if they do seem "cheap". Another consideration is maintenance and management expenses. When buying out of state you are going to be at the mercy of someone else watching your building and you aren't going to have the ability to do things as inexpensively as you would if you were close to your property. "Here in L.A. I have access to a very large, very reasonable labor pool. In New Jersey, where I own investment property, the available labor pool is extremely limited and at least two to two and a half times as expensive," says real estate investor Sandy Shaud.

When you are considering investing out of town or out of state, one of the first things to do is find a local investment real estate agent. It is crucial to be aware of all of the special considerations of your potential new city. Joanne Ferraro of Prudential Fox and Roach in Margate NJ says, "Our city has restrictions on renting, like how many occupants you can have per unit and also restrictions on how you can't terminate a tenant, even if their lease is up. Unless you get assistance from a local real estate agent, there is no way you can know all that you will need to know as a new property owner in our town."

If you are considering a larger purchase like an apartment building, have a few professional property managers check out the building and the rents and expenses to see if they are realistic. Ron Akin says, "I have seen a lot of cases, especially sales of buildings that were managed by private owners, where the number of vacant units or the monthly expenses were not the least bit accurate. A good property manager can review the building and the books and give you their neutral opinion on whether a property can give you the cash flow you are looking for."

Another consideration is property taxes. Property taxes can vary greatly and have a great impact on your bottom line. The latest run up in real estate prices has been great for many real estate investors net worth yet bad for their monthly cash flow. If you own property in an area that reassesses property values every year, you could see a big jump in your tax liability since your property value has gone up. Sandy Shaud says, "My property taxes in California are set permanently at 1.25% of the purchase price of my property. In Dallas, where I have a large apartment building, my taxes are about 3% and reassessed every year. Three percent is a huge bite out of my monthly operating budget."

Finally, you want to look at the tenant base and vacancy rate of your potential new investment town. You can buy plenty of inexpensive rental property all across the country, but will you be able to rent it out for at least a break-even cash flow? Again, this is where your local real estate agent comes in handy. They can tell you the going rents and how difficult it is to find tenants in the neighborhood you are considering.

Another consideration is the type of tenants you will most likely attract depending on where you buy. "I have an investor who bought a property for $55,000 and it cash flows, but he wants to sell because he is having trouble dealing with the tenants. He bought in a rough part of the city and the occupants of his property are of a different mindset," says Megan Weil of Prudential Fox and Roach in Philadelphia. "Frankly, he is scared to deal with them." Sometimes it works out better to buy a more expensive property in a neighborhood where you will be dealing with like-minded tenants, even if the cash flow isn't as good.

There is a lot to consider before you jump into a real estate investment outside of your home town. Many seasoned investors will not buy out of town or out of state due to the increased expenses of managing a property from afar and the lack of control. Randy Bach, a CPA from Encino, advises, "I tell my clients that they shouldn't buy out of town unless they have the time and money to visit their property at least once a year." Hormoz Azizzadeh, a long time investor in Los Angeles says, "I won't buy rental property out of my area as it is too expensive and difficult to manage from far away."

However, many new real estate investors need to start in less expensive areas, as they don't have enough money to buy in a more expensive town. Investor Sandy Shaud says, "It is possible to have a successful real estate investment outside of your own home town. Just be prudent, do your homework and personally inspect the property and neighborhood. I do not recommend buying property from a meeting or on line without a personal visit."

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Top Five Reasons to Invest in Real Estate Today

When it comes to real estate, the topic of the day is the downturn in the market, the number of people losing their homes, and how much this is going to hurt the economy. In the seventeen years I have been in the real estate business, I have witnessed every fluctuation the market has to offer. While it is true that many property owners are enduring trying times, rarely does the same happen to knowledgeable real estate investors.

There are those individuals who remain emotionally unattached and invest wisely in real estate. As a result, they live a very comfortable, if not lavish, lifestyle. Investing in real estate, especially during a downturn, can widen an investor's opportunities and bring about lucrative returns. This is a truth. If you are thinking about becoming a real estate investor or have already made the decision to start, the following information is priceless.

Wanting to secure a comfortable financial future, most of us go to work every day hoping to build a nest egg. Since, it is common knowledge that real estate investors have the capacity to not only build a nest egg but also create a fortune, why aren't more people joining the ranks of real estate multimillionaires? Why aren't there more people fighting for a seat on the real estate bandwagon?

Well, the truth behind real estate investing is that it is a business and therefore, must be treated like one for it to prosper. Just like any other promising venture, investing in real estate requires a well-defined vision, a strategic plan, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Even with the overwhelming evidence revealing success, only a microscopic segment of the population is willing to take the risk, do the work and follow through. The rest simply watch and call those of us doing the work "Lucky".

When I began my career in real estate, I didn't have a plan. I didn't invest. I didn't even see past my next commission check. What kept me hanging on was a desire to live like the people I worked for, most of whom were real estate investors. Years later, I committed to create serious wealth through real estate. As soon as I mindfully committed to my goal, I began to make deals and more money than ever before.

By choice, I am not one of those investors who vacations six months out of the year. I work all the time meeting with clients, looking at properties and refining my strategy. Add to that a growing number of mentoring/coaching clients and my schedule is officially full. Nevertheless, I am continuously increasing my net worth as I am doing something that never feels like work.

Besides creating amazing wealth, being your own boss and having a place or two to call home, owning a real estate investing business has many other advantages. The following five play a special role for the novice investor.

1. Safe Investment

When we use a timeline to compare the real estate market to other investments, such as the stock market, it is easy to see that real estate continues to increase in value over time without any serious instability. Although, there is currently a housing crisis in various parts across the country, every indicator points out that what we are actually experiencing is a readjustment of highly inflated real estate prices. Just as prices may be dropping, in time they will undoubtedly increase. In contrast, the stock market has put investors through a dizzying rollercoaster ride made up of swift highs and abrupt lows throughout history. Regardless of what type of market we are in, it is clear that an investment in real estate guarantees a profit over time.

2. No Cash Necessary

For beginning real estate investors, sometimes the only investment they can make is their time. For every real estate investor, finding a lucrative deal is as good as striking oil. There are plenty of seasoned investors with money in their pockets itching to buy a piece of discounted property. Wholesalers often utilize this method. Therefore, if you are new to the game, consider finding a deal, tying it up and connecting with an investor who can take it off your hands...for a price, of course.

3. Almost Anyone Can Do It

Real estate is such a lucrative field that it opens doors to countless amateur investors everyday. There are how-to books and seminars at every turn teaching would-be investors a myriad of ways to make huge profits in the real estate market. While it is true that overnight success is practically unheard of, anybody with the heart, mind and determination can make it big in real estate. The keys are to continue learning and to monitor market conditions.

4. Leveraging Power

While novice investors can turn a quick profit by wholesaling their deals, Buy-and-Hold investors can yield a profit by borrowing against (leveraging) their properties. Typically, lenders will allow holders of owner-occupied property to borrow up to ninety-five percent of their property's value and up to eighty-percent of non-owner occupied units. This means that you can either purchase property with a minimal out-of-pocket investment or acquire financing that will allow you to pull cash out of your property's equity to use for future ventures.

5. Tax Breaks

The popular 1031 exchange and depreciation are just two of them. The United States government has set up multiple tax breaks favoring real estate investors. Owning real estate with the goal of making a profit allows you to deduct interest payments, repairs, and vacancies among other expenses when preparing your tax return. It is important to note that purchasing real estate makes economic sense; it should not be purchased solely for the tax benefits.

Ultimately, owning a real estate business is the way to achieve financial freedom regardless of economic conditions. Whether you quit your job and dive right in or you work at it in your spare time, you can make it happen. Worthwhile benefits are waiting faithfully for the taking.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

IRA Real Estate Investing When the Going Gets Tough

IRA real estate investments are booming in 2008 for soon to be retirees who are worried about their future retirement plans. With the economy looking wobbly, the stock market plunging and the big investment banks going under, with us bailing them out, some traditional forms of retirement investing are starting to look a little sick.

For these reasons IRA real estate investments are increasing. Increasing? Surely not. Along with an economic meltdown, a stock market collapse and all sorts of economic turmoil, isn't the real estate market headed for oblivion as well? Who in their right mind would consider investing their IRA in real estate?

Surely in 2008 real estate is a one way trip to the poorhouse.

No, not quite. Have you ever heard the expression that there is opportunity in adversity? There is plenty of opportunity in real estate right now, if you know where.

But lets look at IRA real estate investing first. How can you invest your IRA in real estate? Is it allowed? Is it legal?

Traditionally the majority of the population invest their IRAs in investments that are promoted to them by their custodian. In fact some custodians limit allowable investments to their own. So, it's estimated, over 90%, in fact around 96% of IRA funds are invested this way. Mutual funds, CDs and stocks, and so on.

No problem if the markets are pushing ever skyward, but quite a problem right now.

But what about IRA real estate investments? Yes it's entirely allowed to invest your IRA in real estate through a self directed IRA. Although this is not widely recognised, IRA real estate investing is one of the best forms of wealth accumulation for retirement. Real estate is a traditional long term wealth accumulation model, and as such is in fact ideal for IRA investing.

If you're not certain about the details of how to set yourself up for IRA real estate investing consult your CPA, that's outside the scope of this article. However take my word for it, it's quite legal, and many canny IRA investors are doing it right now, and have been for a long time. You may need to execute an IRA rollover into a self directed IRA, but the trouble is worth it.

And there's powerful reasons to consider investing your IRA in real estate. Did you know, for example, that it's estimated that 85% of all wealth in the US was created through real estate?

And that through your IRA you can secure up to 70% bank non-recourse financing to invest your IRA retirement funds in income producing real estate?

Its food for thought isn't it?

Now back to the real estate market. After all there's no point in IRA real estate investing if the value of your real estate investment is going down is there?

Although we all hear that the real estate investment market is dreadful this isn't the whole story. PARTS of the real estate market are dreadful, but not ALL of it. It's perfectly possible to find excellent opportunities for investing in the lower priced end of the market. Simple comfortable homes for the working class who live in those faceless suburbs in cities right across America. There are some fantastic IRA real estate investments available in the right place RIGHT NOW.

But if you're looking to get out there and find them yourself then you may be in for a shock. It's not something that is realistic for the individual IRA real estate investor. You need professional help.

Buy in the wrong place and you'll probably get burnt, big time.

But right now there are some excellent opportunities available for securing a great real estate investment, no cash down, at under market value, with tenants supplied, rental guarantees and even a guarantee that you will double your current investment return.

All through a major US public corporation with a reputation for solid real estate investment returns, for both IRA real estate investing and ordinary credit investing in real estate.

Yes you can secure your retirement future through a good IRA real estate investment, or more than one. However it's the time to leave it to those who really know what they're doing in hard times, and you can relax and leave the hard work to someone else.

But which corporation could possibly offer an opportunity like this?

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Insider Secrets to Investing in Real Estate in Nicaragua

The word is out: "Nicaragua is the new Costa Rica" but with prices 45-55% lower than its southern neighbor. Nicaragua is well and truly bouncing back from its troubled and often misunderstood past and beginning to transform into a sought-after investment and tourism destination. Misconceptions still persist, but in many ways that only increases the opportunity that Nicaragua offers.

Nicaragua's democratically elected government is showing a great capacity to reform in line with its commitment to a free-market economy. The country is booming and tourism is now the number-one industry, increasing by over 19% in 2005 even considering a record-breaking year in 2004. There is a real buzz in the air for this land of opportunity. Whether you are looking for a retirement or vacation destination, a place to start a business or a place to invest for the future, Nicaragua is definitely worth considering.

How much is good real estate information worth?

Market knowledge based on fact and base trends, rather than exaggeration and hype (in both directions) can make the difference between a good investment and a great one. The aim of this article is to capture the essence of the successful real estate investor in Nicaragua. We have consolidated the experience of hundreds of investors and identified seven success strategies for successful real estate investing in Nicaragua.

We hope that this encourages more investors into taking the first step in exploring real estate opportunities outside their home countries with confidence. Although imbued with a Nicaraguan flavor for the purposes of this article, many of the principles and steps highlighted in this article will also hold true in other investment destinations and contexts.

Seven success strategies for real estate investing in Nicaragua

1. Understand the link between tourism and real estate

Tourism brought in almost $200 million in 2005, according to the Nicaraguan government, more than any other single industry in its $5 billion economy. Current projections indicate that by 2007 there will be more than one million visitors to the country. The profile of visitors has shown a marked shift from budget tourists to more affluent and sophisticated travellers and higher-end hotels in tourist areas show consistently high occupancy.

There is strong relationship between leisure and vocational markets and the market for second homes and retirement homes. The areas attracting the most tourism are also generating the greatest levels of real estate activity. For certain real estate products, the link between tourism and real estate is particularly direct and immediate. Pelican Eyes...Piedras y Olas the highest quality hotel in San Juan del Sur, boasting occupancy levels well above industry standards since it opened, offers the possibility for investors to purchase a villa or duplex unit and participate in the revenues generated by the hotel.

2. Know where you are in a property cycle

Nicaragua has seen considerable price rises in the past few years. We have calculated percentage price changes for serviced lots between 2002 and 2005 for seven well known real estate developments on the Pacific that have been active over this period (most developments are more recent) and are still selling property. Over this period prices have risen by an average of 87%. Unimproved colonial homes in Granada have been rising by around 25% per year for the past three years. These price rises indicate that Nicaragua is now on the map as an investment destination, the positive price trend has started, but we are only just seeing the beginnings of a "second wave" of investors: the pre-retirement and retirement market.

Speculators still make up a considerable proportion of investors but an increasing number of pre-retirement / retirement and second home buyers are emerging. Much has been made of the 'baby boomer' generation when analyzing future buying trends in many markets worldwide. Baby boomers began turning 50 in 1996 and 78 million of them began to enter their period of highest earnings and greatest discretionary dollars. It is said that over the next 20 years the baby boomer generation will likely constitute the largest potential market ever for real estate products, especially second homes and timeshare/fractional ownership offerings.

The real estate product on offer has also evolved from simple lot sales (sold mainly to speculative buyers) to turnkey products with sophisticated facilities and services for longer term investors and the retirement market. A consistent growth in condominium constructions and sales has been evident for 18 months and is accelerating.

3. Follow trends not events

The bulk of foreign investment into the real estate and tourism sectors in Nicaragua is focused on the south-western part of the country. To take the Pacific coast as an example, in conjunction with Calvet & Associates, we have catalogued over 70 developments on the Pacific marketing to foreign buyers between El Transito and the Costa Rican border. The south-west of the country also includes the colonial town of Granada, Lake Nicaragua and the beautiful Laguna de Apoyo crater lake.

A number of investors are seeking out areas where there is less activity, for example beachfront areas further north. The prices may be lower in the northern part of the coastline - but for a reason - and it is important for investors to take this into account before they make an property purchase. The south western coastline has more dramatic geography, whiter sand beaches, richer biodiversity, better surfing, safer swimming areas and cooling lake and ocean breezes and, yes, also more recently investor momentum. This is not to say that there will be no price appreciation and development on beach areas further to the north but that a significant price differential will likely remain into the future.

4. Build a good network

Investors commonly complain of an overload of market information and building a good network will allow you to triangulate and contextualize information that you receive. Not surprisingly, given the excitement about the real estate market, there is a great deal of story telling and exaggeration that goes on. Do your due diligence, work with realtors who know the market, learn from professionals and be skeptical about claims that you can flip your property for 100% more "when the International Living investors come into town in a few weeks."

A solid piece of advice is to buy only what you see. Make up your mind on what you think the inherent value is of the property that you are looking at is. Don't factor in the "new coastal road" the "new airport" the "new Marriott" into the price. Certainly not if you are investing for the short term. Coldwell Banker Nicaragua has a network of lawyers, project managers, master planners and investment analysts who have a long track record of advising investors on real estate acquisition and development in Central America - these are independent third parties who can provide un-emotive grounded advice.

5. Due diligence everything

More specifically, retain competent legal representation and take out title insurance. Nicaragua has a particularly complex title history and some buyers who have not looked deeply enough into the title history of purchased property are now mired in difficult legal problems. A number of real estate developers try and persuade buyers to use their own legal team for property purchasing. Our advice is to employ independent legal advise at least to review (if not draw up) the purchase contract you are signing and check the title history on the property.

Coldwell Banker Nicaragua recommends investors to take out a title insurance policy. Other realtors do not recommend title insurance as the due diligence that ensues can slow down the purchase process and raise difficult questions. Seeking title insurance will force your lawyer to delve many years back into the property history of the property you are purchasing and follow a set of criteria in their reporting. If you are buying raw land parcels outside of a development your due diligence list needs to be longer and will cover infrastructure issues, environmental issues and development permits.

6. Invest with a confidence, develop with a conscience

This is the strap-line of the Nica Dev campaign run by Donn Wilson a developer, entrepreneur and surfer who has made San Juan del Sur his home. Nica Dev recognizes that real estate investors are entering into another country and have an obligation to respect the land, the people and the environment. When you arrive in Nicaragua the impression that you get is of a warmhearted nation that is welcoming to international visitors. In order for this warm feeling to endure into the future, local Nicaraguan also need to benefit from the real estate and tourism activity that is going on in the country.

Las Fincas, a development aligned with the Nica Dev campaign, is designed with sustainable development principles built in. For example a basic solar power setup is provided for everyone who buys and the project runs a series of active community outreach projects introducing highly effective, yet low-cost and low-tech, solutions for cooking and purifying drinking water. Skills and suppliers for low impact construction with elements such as rain water capture, composting and recycling, hard to find 18 months ago, are now readily available in-country. Coldwell Banker Nicaragua is launching its own campaign to generate funds for the Nica Dev fund as well as other projects that our clients are involved in here in Nicaragua. We will be giving our clients the opportunity to contribute to selected projects at the time of closing.

7. Become and expert in investing in real estate in Nicaragua...before you invest

Coldwell Banker Nicaragua Real Estate has launched a series of concise buyer briefings to help investors interested in the real estate market in Nicaragua in their decision making. The briefings highlight real estate hotspots, analyze market trends and set out good value investment opportunities.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Chicago Commercial Real Estate

There is currently a booming market for commercial real estate in Chicago. There are local firms and brokers who specialize in commercial real estate in Chicago. In addition, there are online resources available that can help one buy, sell, or research Chicago commercial real estate.

Retail businesses occupy a large percentage of the commercial properties in Chicago. Because there are a numerous federal and state laws that must be followed when to buying or selling commercial real estate, it is advisable to ask the advice of a professional real estate firm and/or attorney before doing so.

A number of websites provide online listings of commercial properties for sale. These lists are regularly updated. One can search these lists to gain a general idea of the quality of the properties that are available within a given budget. (The prices of commercial real estate typically vary according to their location, size, and quality of construction.) If you are planning to put one of your commercial properties up for sale, it might be to your advantage to add your property to one of these lists.

Although it is often more convenient to do research online, there is no dearth of professional service firms that can help one research commercial real estate in Chicago.

Some Chicago real-estate firms deal with only premium commercial properties. Most middle and small level firms, however, deal with all categories of commercial real estate. There are many individual brokers and commercial real estate attorneys who can help a buyer or seller close a real-estate transaction quickly and efficiently.

An attorney will complete and verify the necessary legal documentation. Real-estate attorney fees are usually commission based. The rates of commission vary according to the price of the commercial real estate being bought or sold and the reputation of the individual firm or broker.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Why Do Would-be Real Estate Investors Fail?

Let's face it, there's tons of real estate investing information out there.  But of all the people you've seen at seminars lapping up the words of wisdom from the real estate gurus, or the people you see at Barnes and Noble skulking around til 11 PM reading all the real estate investing books they can get their hands on (A charge of which I am guilty!), how many do you think actually succeed in their real estate investing businesses?

I don't have exact figures, but based on my experience as a real estate investing information provider and coach, I would guess it's close to only 1-2% of people who want to be real estate investors get into the business and stay in the business and make it profitable.

Those figures are so disappointing.

Why is it so hard? Why do so many would-be investors fail before they begin?  And why do others, who are able to take the first steps of their real estate investing career successfully, still fail to meet their goals long-term?

I realized the deck was stacked against me as I begin as a real estate investing student at a seminar a few years ago.  I bought all the real estate investing courses, signed up for private coaching, and watched as many of the people around me fell by the wayside.  There were many times I wanted to quit, myself.  You probably have your own story of struggle in your real estate investing career.

It's the million dollar question.  Here are the conclusions I've been able to come up with.

Why Do Real Estate Investors Fail In Spite of Great Real Estate Investing Information?

1) The Myth of Get Rich Quick - Why do would-be real estate investors fail?

Just because there are real estate investment strategies, such as flipping homes, that can be implemented quickly (60-90 days), that doesn't mean that it is easy to find deals, negotiate them and close them in the first month or two after you start your real estate investing career.  In my experience, most people need to take a little time to become familiar with the real estate markets in their area, real estate terminology and strategies, and then get started implementing so they can practice finding and negotiating with motivated sellers. 

Even with a good deal closed, you might only walk away with $5,000 or so from a flip.  With a subject to or lease option deal, the property may take years to "ripen" in your portfolio before you are able to sell it for a significant profit.  The biggest money I've seen people make quickly is coming from rehabs and short sale negotiations.  Pursuing these types of deals can verge onto a full time job.  They do work, and work quickly, but they take a lot of time to implement.

2) The Myth of No Money Down

So many times, I have heard students come on coaching calls with me and say, "I just lost my job, so I am really motivated to make this work quickly."  or "My goal is to flip one house a month every month because I need some cash for start up capital."  These sentiments are probably being perpetuated by the gurus out there who encourage people to think that real estate investing is a no-capital-required business.  Even after you get the formula down, it can take years before a paper-profit becomes cash-in-hand if you own rental property or do lease/options.

The exception proves the rule and I'm sure it's true that some people during some periods of time are able to make "thousands" quickly, when they need it most. For example, I know folks who get a lot of free deals off of craigslist or calling through the newspaper.  However, for the vast majority of real estate investors, some money is required for marketing to find motivated sellers if they want to keep their deal pipeline reasonably full.  In addition to marketing to find motivated sellers, deals take money for due diligence, legal fees, inspections, and so forth.  If you plan to hold property as a landlord, the costs escalate even more steeply.  If I had to put my finger on one major reason for lack of success in this business, besides false expectations, I would list lack of funding right at the top.

3) The TRUTH in "It doesn't work where I live." 

There's a cliche in the real estate guru field that speakers like to joke about.  It's that a lot of students like to say, "Your strategies won't work where I live."  Guru's play it off as a joke, like the person is making an excuse for not getting started in their investing, because they "can't." 

The truth of the matter is, there is a LOT of variation in the performance of real estate markets across the country.  In some areas, like the South and Midwest, property values are relatively stable and properties cash flow well.  In other areas, Southern California, Florida, and Las Vegas come to mind, property values fluctuate wildly and you can make a fortune or lose your shirt on the changing tides of appreciation. 

It's very important to understand real estate market cycles and where your market fits within the current phase of the market.  You implement to take strategies that work in your marketplace if you want to be successful locally.  Otherwise, you need to do what I've done and learn to invest where it makes sense, without being constrained feeling a need to invest where you live.  There are pros and cons to each strategy.  However, my point is that it's not right for the gurus to mock people who raise this objection.  It's a valid concern raised by thinking investors, even if it doesn't help sell the guru's real estate investing courses.

So, I've raised a lot of concerns about the mis-information being circulated in the real estate investing industry.  Have I disappointed you too much?  I are you "off" of investing now?  If you are good - if you can be talked out of it that easily, I'm glad I got you out BEFORE you invested any more of your precious time and money pursuing a strategy that doesn't appeal to you.

If not, even better. it is certainly possible to take a realistic approach to real estate investing and make it work for you.  You can grow your net worth to millions, but it does take time and perseverance.  I hope you're willing to stick it out.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Real Estate Note Buyers

Real estate note buyers can either be individual buyers or companies. Most real estate sellers usually accept real estate notes as part of a larger real estate deal that has been agreed upon. Payments are mostly made in installments. People holding real estate notes often sell them when they are in need of big lump-sum amounts. Many sellers do not to hold real estate notes for long time.

Real estate note buyers purchase different types of privately held real estate notes. They can be land sale contracts, promissory notes, contract for deeds, deeds of trust, and other types of real estate debt notes. Residential notes, commercial notes, and vacant land notes are popular among real estate note buyers, as these are common and the risk involved is minimal. Real estate note buyers sometimes act as brokers.

Real estate note buyers can buy a part of the real estate note, or the whole thing. The price depends on market values. Notes in the first lien position are preferred mostly by real buyers. Real estate note buyers demand copies of the deed of trust or mortgage, title policy, and closing statement, along with the note. Most real estate buyers pay the complete amount within a week or two. This delay is due to a slow preparation of documents.

Several real estate note buyers provide online quotes. Online purchases allow you to compare different rates of real estate note buyers and choose the right note. Confidentiality and competitive prices are offered by most professional real estate note buyers.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Donald Trump on Real Estate

I love what Trump says about the business of real estate.

I am a big believer in setting up business systems for all
my clients. So it is cool to hear from a master like Trump
about the importance of systems!


Tom Kish


'What Donald Trump has to say about the latest business
opportunities found in Real Estate Investing.'

By Phyllis N. Schwartz

Staff Writer

Have you ever wanted to become a millionaire?

If so - and, if you live in the United States, there is now a
very REAL chance for you to enjoy the same opportunities
as Donald Trump.

You don't need to invest in real estate to be wealthy. But, by
and large it is the easiest, most leveraged way to build real,
sustainable wealth. With mortgage rates at an all time low and
tax laws favoring real estate holdings, now is an ideal time to
profit from the greatest real estate gold rush in history.

Marriage, job changes, divorce, new families, death -- the
average American moves every five to six years. And with that
constant stream of movement across the United States, more
than 12 million homes are bought and sold every year. Many of
these will be great deals that you, yourself, could be profiting

The very same principles that make Donald Trump a fortune
with New York City skyscrapers will work for the average
investor, no matter what size the property.

So precisely what can the small real estate investor learn from a billionaire wheeler- dealer like Donald Trump? According to George Ross, Executive Vice President and Senior Counsel for the Trump Organization (and, of course, Apprentice co-star), one of the cornerstones of Trump's philosophy is "Improve any location."

And that's just what Trump did in his very first real estate deal on a foreclosure of a 1,200 unit apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio. Without a penny invested, Donald and his father, Fred, were able to turn the apartment complex around by doing some remodeling and taking a tough stance on rent collection.

In the single most valuable lesson in Donald Trump's real estate career, he learned how the government would assist buyers in purchasing property with little or no financial backing and how to get such aid. His passion for real estate grew from there and he went on to create the strategies and systems that turned his business into an empire.

"Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks."

In New York City, the Trump signature is now synonymous with
the renowned Trump Tower, The Trump International Hotel &
Tower, The Trump Park Avenue and the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street. He also owns golf courses in 4 states, and current projects include the building of the biggest development ever approved by the NYC Planning Commission .

Ranked #228 on Fortune Magazine's list of the world's billionaires, Trump stated: "Real estate is at the core of almost every business, and it's certainly at the core of most people's wealth. In order to build your wealth and improve your business smarts, you need to know about real estate."

The most obvious problem that confronts many would-be investors
is lack of know-how and/or financial resources. Common sense
would dictate that wanting to make money in real estate is simply not enough. Knowing how to get it is the real key to success. Like any other profitable business, it takes a proven business system.

In Trump: The Art Of The Deal, 'The Donald' gives his own assessment: "If you take care of the downside, the upside will
take care of itself. In other words, if you have a contingency
plan for everything that can go wrong, you can't help but succeed."

So how does the average Joe or Jane actually succeed in real estate?

Because you can't know it all, no matter how smart, educated or experienced, there is no way to acquire all the wisdom you need to make your business flourish. It's precisely why 95% of franchises succeed and only 25-35% of independent businesses fail. Wanting to make money in real estate is simply not enough.

Just as Donald Trump had starting out, you need a great mentor
with a proven track record to lead the way and support your
efforts... also a proven business system that allows you to invest in all types of real estate without ever having to tie up all your own cash. It is wise to begin your journey using the research, experience and wisdom of those who have been there before you.

The beauty of a franchise is that it provides a proven business
model with years of experience behind it. As far afield as real
estate investing may be from starting a McDonalds, the principle is the same. If you can find a real estate investment teaching program that eliminates much of the trial and error and allows you to get a quick start with a proven system, you've just found your own golden arches.

True success is bigger than any one person, no matter how well educated or experienced that person may be. There is no reason
to settle for anything less. Once again, to quote the king of real estate: "If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big." Sound advice to anyone who wants to become a millionaire.

p.s. Don't forget to check out my one of a kind business system for real estate investing.

I am the only expert teaching you how to use business lines of
credit to invest in real estate instead of cash!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

7 Simple Tips For Flipping Real Estate

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you've probably either dabbled in real estate yourself, or at the very least, know someone who has. So, how does someone that's brand new to real estate start flipping homes? (And let's clear the air right now... IT IS NOT TOO LATE to start investing in real estate).

Follow these 7 tips to start investing in real estate today:

1. Look In Your Own Backyard
The grass is always greener in the other neighborhood, and it's easy to keep looking for the "right" area. The bottom line is that any area is the "right" area. In order to be effective in the steps 2 through 7, you've got to get over the idea that real estate deals only exist in other areas. It sounds cliché, but there are plenty of deals in your own backyard. Not to mention, it's easier to manage and you're likely to know the values in and around your area.

2. Find the "Right" Property
Not every piece of real estate is a good investment - even if you can "steal" it! Make sure you look at things like:

o Property Location - Will you be able to sell the property once you've renovated it?

o Condition - How much work- and what kind of work - needs to be done and is it a project that you can afford to take on financially and from a management perspective?

o Seller's motivation - Is the seller truly motivated enough to negotiate on price?

3. Have A Thorough Inspection
Unless you've been flipping real estate for a while or have a background in construction, then it's a good idea to have a full home inspection. It may cost you a few hundred dollars, but will catch things that maybe you didn't know to look for. When flipping real estate, it's the "little" things that add up very quickly and can eat up your profits!

*** Bonus Tip*** Use a home inspection to help renegotiate the purchase price OR ask for a credit toward repairs.

4. Don't Get Emotional
Real Estate is emotional by nature. Investing in real estate cannot involve your emotions. It's got to be all business. If the numbers don't work, move on to the next. So many times, people are so desperate to flip their first deal that they make bad decisions just to do something at all. Then, they've become so attached to the deal that they try to sell it for higher than the market will bear and end up holding the property longer, reducing their profit and getting left with a bad taste in their mouth.

5. Know Your Numbers - All of Them!
Late night infomercials will hype you up with pipe dreams of flipping real estate for millions of dollars in profits and no work. You've seen the testimonials that go something like: "Mary Smith purchased this property for $100,000. It cost $10,000 in repairs. She flipped the property for $140,000 and made $30,000". Somewhere on the screen, you see in teeny tiny print: Results Not Typical. Your Results May Vary!

Of course results are not typical because those results assume that you buy the property for all cash and pay no closing fees and have no monthly costs. Be VERY cautious of deals that you see that sound like that!

In the real world, costs associated with flipping real estate are:

o Purchase costs: Upfront mortgage fees, attorneys fees, regular closings fees, title, survey, etc.

o Carrying costs: It's more than just the repairs! When you're flipping real estate, you're likely paying higher interest rates than on, let's say, a primary residence or second home. In addition to the repairs, you've got to consider monthly payments, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.

o Selling costs: Again, you've got closing costs and possibly real estate commissions to consider.

Whether you're flipping a real estate deal here and there or you're looking to make real estate your new career, it's important that you know - and figure - your costs into your calculations. Keeping this in mind will help you keep from getting emotional (See Tip 4)

6. Keep Track Of Your Progress
You can't improve what you can't measure! Throughout the entire project, you'll want to constantly track your progress. This way, you'll know, at any given time, where you stand on the deal. This will help keep you focused by keeping the bottom line in front of you all the time.

7. Expect the Unexpected
In virtually every single property you flip, you will run across SOMETHING that you simply didn't expect. Whether it's an issue that pops up 2 hours before closing that needs to be handled or a big surprise when you peek behind the drywall that you had to replace! You'll almost always run at least a little over budget or hold it a little longer than you anticipated. But at the end of the day, you'll have the satisfaction of taken an ugly house and turned it around and depositing a healthy check in your bank account.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Dallas Real Estate Agencies

Dallas real estate agencies help in buying and selling residential and commercial property in Dallas and its suburban areas. Like real estate agencies elsewhere, they do not own or buy any property that they list. They work on commission for their clients. Within the broad buying and selling functions, the real estate agencies in Dallas help in relocation, moving, rentals, mortgages, and other realtor services like insurance. The range of options offered by Dallas real estate agents for residential property includes houses, apartments, condominiums, lakefront homes, and sometimes ranches, too. Dealings in commercial property are largely restricted to the business areas, and some of the newly developed and developing areas.

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is the state government agency that issues licenses to real estate agencies operating in the state of Texas. Hence, the real estate agencies in Dallas come within the purview of TREC. TREC requires real estate brokers and salespersons to have sufficient education that would make them eligible to hold a license to work as a real estate agent. This is to ensure that consumers of real estate agencies get to interact with qualified and competent agencies.

Merely holding a license issued by TREC does not qualify a real estate agency to be a realtor in Texas. To qualify as a realtor, a real estate agency or professional should be a member of the National Association of Realtors, the national real estate industry association. Most real estate agencies in Dallas are members of this association, apart from being members of the MetroTex Association of realtors, the association for North Texas real estate professionals, which also consists of the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors. The Texas Association of Realtors is a statewide organization with 80,000 members that serves as a platform for realtors in Texas, including those in Dallas.

Most of the real estate agencies in Dallas have individual websites that list all the properties that they advertise for selling or buying. The websites are helpful for non-Dallas based clients to find property listings in Dallas quickly.

Friday, 28 February 2014

How to Start Your Overseas Real Estate Portfolio

Real estate is a tried and tested asset class and the majority of people agree that as a long term investment commodity there is nothing really to beat it for consistently returning strong growth and increasing yields...however, when a country's housing market goes temporarily cold as real estate prices move outside of the affordability gap, real estate investors often look overseas for the development of their property based portfolio.

Currently the real estate markets in countries such as the UK and US are slow and the ability to profit from property locally is reduced - therefore more people than ever are thinking about moving their focus abroad and starting an overseas real estate portfolio to enable them to build a passive income for life.

If you would like to learn more about building a passive income for life from investing in overseas real estate here are the main five considerations to bear in mind to maximize profit, reduce risk, increase yields and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves - but before we begin it is always prudent to mention that the value of any investment can always go down as well as up, and that investment decisions should be taken carefully and be made with the assistance of qualified and experienced advisors.

Tip One - Real estate markets around the world emerge, boom, go bust and re-emerge all over again, but they do so at very different points in time as each market is heavily dependent on the current state of the economy in the given country. As we all know economies ebb and flow like the tide and there is no such thing as a guaranteed market where property prices will keep rising. However, there are countries in the world going through major economic change where the real estate market is emerging and where the long term forecast is for a period of prolonged growth. An investor who is not risk averse and who is planning an overseas real estate portfolio should try and identify which countries have a strengthening economy and an emerging real estate market.

Tip Two - Having found an emerging market an investor needs to determine the key factor that makes an investment into real estate in the given country a good decision. I.e., if a country's property market is simply booming because of hype and an investor can see nothing to support the long term success of the market then they should walk away. If an investor can see massive room for growth but an interfering government who may attempt to restrict property investors from taking their profits then an investor has to decide whether or not they can still make enough profit from real estate to make any investment worthwhile.

Tip Three - Having determined that there is potential within a given market an investor needs to learn how to harness the power of other people's money! As real estate is an expensive and slow to liquidise commodity it is unwise to pay cash from personal funds for an investment property, rather it's wise to raise finance at a low interest rate from a secure financial institution. An investor should look into whether an international mortgage or a local mortgage is possible and affordable when buying overseas real estate.

Tip Four - As previously stated, over the long term real estate is considered by many to be one of the most consistently returning asset classes - the key to this consistent success is however the 'long term' bit! I.e., when buying real estate abroad for capital growth and rental yield it pays to be able to keep that real estate for ten years or more to ensure the greatest reward is derived from the investment.

Tip Five - And finally, having determined that the key factors exist to suggest that a property market has legs to run and that any hype surrounding its progress is based on fundamentally accurate facts as detailed in Tip Two, an investor need to ensure they buy real estate that will suit the market demand that is making the real estate market successful! Therefore if the baby boomers are driving a given market consider buying single level properties in secure communities, if on the other hand the young professionals are driving the market think about purchasing well located, designed and facilitated apartments.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Your Home Equity and Real Estate Commissions

If you're like most people, your home is the biggest single investment you've got. You expect it to increase in value over time, and you probably have more money tied up in it than in any other investment. This money is your equity, and a large chunk of it disappears when you sell your home using a real estate agent.

In this article, you'll learn how real estate commissions affect your equity, you'll see just how many real estate agents make money from a single commission, and in the section called Avoiding the Pressure, you'll get an inside look at why many real estate agents are so persistent at getting their sellers to accept low-price offers.

A Quick Word to Buyers

Buyers and sellers alike benefit when there is no real estate agent involved. The term "fair market value" has a different ring to it when the middleperson is taken out of the equation, and prices trend to a truer value when they no longer reflect real estate commissions.


Equity is the value of the unencumbered interest in your home. It's the difference between the fair market value of your home and the unpaid balance of your mortgage, plus any other outstanding debt on the home.

Real Estate Commissions

Real estate commissions are the fees earned by real estate agents and are based on the selling price of the property. They're usually in the range of 6%, and they represent an excessive portion of the property's equity, equaling thousands and thousands of dollars.

Your equity increases in two ways: as you pay off your mortgage and as your home appreciates. It decreases when you borrow against your home. But nothing reduces your equity quite like a real estate commission. You get nothing for it that you couldn't have got on your own.

Here are three assertions for why you should sell your home yourself:

Lower Cost of Selling

If you sell your home using a real estate agent, the commission you'll be charged is around 6%. For a $250,000 home, that's $15,000. For a $600,000 home, it's $36,000. You have to ask yourself what you're getting for all that money. The cost of selling your home on your own is negligible by comparison, and the result is the same: your home will sell. If you list your home on a For Sale By Owner real estate wed site, run a few classified ads in the real estate section of your local paper and prominently display a For Sale By Owner sign in your front yard, the cost of selling your home could be less than $1,000. With the amount you'd save in commissions, you could still afford to advertise more, if necessary, in places like local real estate publications and newspaper supplements.

Retaining Your Equity

Let's say a couple decides to sell their home. It has a fair market value of $300,000 and they have $60,000 of equity in the home. They decide to use a real estate agent and agree to pay a 6% commission, or $18,000. The house sells. After the closing, the couple realizes they've lost 30% of their equity. The $18,000 commission paid at closing meant that instead of walking away with $60,000, they only walked away with $42,000. So they have much less to put down on their next home.

Avoiding the Pressure

The economist Stephen D. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner wrote recently in their book Freakonomics (HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.) of Levitt's study showing that when real estate agents sell their own homes, those homes stay on the market an average of 10 days longer than their clients' homes. The same study shows that the selling price of real estate agents' homes is on average 3% greater than that of their clients.

Here's why. A couple who lists their home with a real estate agent for $250,000 may hear from the agent that someone has offered $240,000 for the home. The agent will typically insist that this is a good offer and that the sellers should take it. Why would the real estate agent be so eager to accept a price that's $10,000 below the seller's asking price?

It's simple. Agents split their commissions: half goes to the buyer's agent, half to the seller's agent. Then it's usually split again: each agent gives half of their commission to the agency they work for. So the agent representing the seller is only getting 1.5% of the sales price of the home (6% ÷ 4).
With a $240,000 offer, the price of the home is reduced by $10,000, but the commission is reduced by only $600. The real estate agent's cut of this is $150. It will cost the seller's agent only $150 to accept the low-price offer. What does it cost the seller? An additional $9,400.

This situation happens every day. There is a strong incentive for real estate agents representing the seller to entice their sellers into accepting offers well below their asking price.


As you can see, there are tremendous financial advantages to selling your home yourself. That's not to say it's for everyone. It requires a little more effort, and some are willing to part with all that equity to have a real estate agent do it.
But selling your home yourself can be easier than you think. The right research will help you price your home correctly, understand the paperwork involved, and prepare you getting the home ready to sell.

Make sure you walk away from your closing with your equity intact.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Real Estate Notes For Sale

Over the past few years, more and more people in the United States have been offering real estate notes for sale. Selling real estate is an easy way to turn one's monthly receivable payment into an immediate and large sum of cash. A real estate note for sale can be a mortgage note, a contract for sale or a land contract.

The best way to find real estate notes for sale is to look for real estate note listings. Several websites provide information on real estate notes for sale. They usually list real estate notes from different states. These websites also provide information on various categories of real estate notes. You can approach real estate note brokers who generally have up-to-date information on the real estate note market. They can also simplify the process of transaction. Local newspapers and magazines are other places to look for real estate notes for sale. Real estate investment clubs are a good forum to discuss matters related to real estate notes.

Competition in this field is very high. Earlier, it was easy to buy real estate notes for huge margins of profit. With several financial institutions and companies hunting for real estate notes, individual buyers often find it hard to buy and sell real estate notes. Most real estate note sellers do not sell their entire lot of real estate notes at once. This can place individual buyers in certain tricky situations. Generally, real estate notes sold partially would not generate immediate income. It is better you go for professional help, as the transaction can sometimes be confusing.

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Real Estate Bubble Fallacy

There has been a lot of talk lately about the "Real Estate Bubble", and a lot of folks are asking the question: "When it is going to burst"?

They are saying that the market just can't sustain this level of growth and appreciation much longer, and I heat them say that it is inevitable that it must come crashing down soon. People are worried. They don't think it can last; That whatever goes up, must come down.

These folks have been conditioned to believe what they believe most likely from the experience of the stock market bubble of 2000, and maybe the 1990's when the real estate market was hit hard in many large metropolitan areas across the country.

Its human nature to feel this way. We all know the saying (or the 80's tune for you big hair folks), "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". Or what about, "All good things must come to an end."? Its how we react to almost everything that affects our well being and general safety. Its a subconscious reaction at the gut level.

Just like in the stock market, there are bulls and bears. Bulls are typically more optimistic about the market and expect it go up, and bears are generally more pessimistic and expect the market to go down. They will always be there to provide free advice and "expert consulting". Remember though, who you decide to listen to will certainly have an effect on your decision making, and ultimately your success.

Well, I'm here to say that there is no real estate bubble! There never was a real estate bubble. Its a complete and utter fallacy.

"How can I say that?" you ask. I can say that because the real estate market is in reality, a Wave. Its a cycle, and we just happen to be riding the big swells, or the crest of this long, consistent, and fairly predictable pattern.

There is no doubt that real estate has been a rock solid investment for decades, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future and for many reasons that I would like to demonstrate here and now. Because you, as a real estate investor, must be able to move forward with confidence when deciding which projects and properties you want to buy and sell. That is the purpose of my website, www.realestateinvestment.net [http://www.realestateinvestment.net], to provide you timely information, strategies and techniques to help you succeed.

But first, what is a bubble? In terms of economics and markets, the best definition is probably something along the lines of "an isolated or ephemeral situation or condition with little support or substantiation from external conditions".

The best example, and the one foremost in the minds of us all, is the stock market tech bubble of 1999 and 2000. We all rushed into the tech stocks and the stock market in general as we saw the .com millionaires being made.

Y2K was a big factor in the tech bubble. People were buying new systems at a unprecedented rate in order to prepare for doomsday. People were also buying consumable goods to stock up for the dreadful event that never came.

So what was holding up, or supporting the "irrational exuberance" as Alan Greenspan characterized it? Well, we learned soon afterward, not much. It was an isolated, temporary incident that had little support from the other conditions. It was indeed like a bubble that burst.

And it has had little support since then. Historically speaking, after the stock market crash of 1929 and 1987, it took decades for the market to recover, although it did eventually recover. Just look at the Dow average and the S&P average for the last hundred years and see the pattern of recovery. You can be sure that a slow steady rise for stocks is in progress.

Now back to real estate. Let me explain why this is not a bubble.

Real Estate is Cyclic

Real estate has had its ups and downs over the years, but it is generally stable, with no drastic swings per se. If you were to look at the cycles on a chart you would see a clear pattern of gently rolling swells. This pattern is consistent across cities and regions all across the United states, although slightly varied in degree.

In addition, the cycles tend to favor the ups rather than the downs. It is not uncommon to see large cycles of appreciation and much smaller downward cycles. In other words, the current double-digit growth we've all come to know and love in recent years will likely be followed by downturns of single digit declines. Its like taking two steps forward and one step back.

In the big picture you will still be further ahead than when you started. You may see slower growth, but it will still be growth.

Real Estate is a Basic Necessity

People need to live somewhere. They need a roof over their head and their children's heads. Like food and clothing we must have a home. People don't need stocks or bonds. Therefore, you can be sure that whether the market is high or low in growth, whether interest rates are up or down, people will be buying, renting, leasing, and selling homes. It is as perennial as the years.

This Real Estate Wave Has Been Around Awhile

I don't know when you first realized we were in an up market in real estate, but it has been on a solid upward trend for at least the last 3-4 years. It didn't just happen yesterday. Of course like anything else, awareness of the general public is a bit latent, and dependent upon the media. It has only been lately that the media has really focused on it and thrust it onto the front page.

The old adage "Success breeds success" is also true. The momentum will grow as other more traditional investors continue to jump on the band wagon and pour their money and resources into real estate investment. It tends to create a perpetual, self-feeding market that is ideal for more seasoned investors.

Real Estate is Local and Regional

It is true that even in today's real estate boom, there are areas in the United States that are not enjoying the high rates of return that others are experiencing. California is a fantastic place to invest, so is Arizona and a host of other places.But the Rust Belt states are not as fortunate. Watch what happens to Florida home values after this horrendous hurricane season. This is because real estate is driven by the primary capitalistic force of Supply and Demand.

Generally speaking, property values increase in areas where the job market is strong, and where there are more people moving into than away from. Of course there are other factors to consider; including interest rates, availability of funding, climate, and governmental policies. These are all important and you must be cognizant of their impacts to your strategy.

However, it is true no that matter what the rates are or how nice the climate is, people will continue to migrate where there are abundant job markets and affordable housing. If you can stay just slightly ahead of that migration, you will profit immensely.

Real Estate Investing is Diverse

You can invest in so many different ways, from foreclosures and fix and flips, to buy and hold and everything in between. Right now the commercial space is relatively soft. It will recover no doubt, but people investing in single family homes are probably doing slightly better in returns. Vacancies are up and rents are down for commercial properties, but fortunately, the forecast is for this sector to improve over the next few years.

The key to successful real estate investing is to understand the forces, trends, and conditions that are driving the market. BE AWARE of your surroundings; Read articles and stay on top of industry news; Look in your own area at the job market and forecasts. Check my website www.realestateinvestment.net [http://www.realestateinvestment.net] for all the news and information you need to help you succeed in your real estate investing career.

There is no real estate bubble, but there is a real estate wave. Like any dedicated surfer, when the surf's up, get in the water and catch a wave! But watch for danger, be flexible, and be smart. Invest wisely and you can prosper in any real estate market.