Friday, 31 January 2014

Real Estate Investing - FSBOs vs. Agent Listings?

Many would-be real estate investing professionals face discouragement because of the assumption that acquisitions require deep-pockets. Some even believe the myth that nothing-down purchases are impossible.

The early 1980s era in real estate investing known as the Zero Down Real Estate Movement was initiated by Robert Allen with his best-seller, "Nothing Down." After observing how commercial properties were acquired with no money down, Allen applied 50 techniques from the commercial real estate industry to the residential property marketplace. He was reportedly paid $1 million advance royalties for his publication, and began holding real estate investing conventions across the country.

The Nothing Down era was a startling eye-opener to the public. Very few were aware of Allen's predecessors, like Nick Nickerson, Al Lowry and Mark Haroldsen who wrote books on real estate investing requiring no money. Allen popularized the notion, and it was a strong public draw for his real estate investing seminars.

However, some of Allen's convention speakers were ultimately revealed as "con men," and some bellied up. Robert Allen himself went bankrupt in 1996. The public generally concluded that Allen was probably a fraud, and that real estate investing was impossible without deep-pockets.

The Wall St.Journal got wind of the Nothing Down Real Estate Investing Movement, and interviewed many investors who were using "Zero Money Down" techniques. The business editor of the Wall St.Journal interviewed me repeatedly (and others who knew of my real estate investing), and featured me in an editorial as one of the most successful investors in the nation who had purchased millions of dollars in rental property without any money.

These previous unfolding events are pertinent to the conclusion of how to buy real estate properties with limited funds.

I proved that properties could be acquired without cash (or credit) to the tune of $10 million in real estate investments during my first 4 years. I used a $10 bill in the acquisition of many of my properties.

Purchases from FSBOs (For Sale By Owners) were possible through negotiations with motivated sellers. I bought millions of dollars in real estate properties without cash or credit by learning acquisition skills that required no money down.

On the other hand, real estate properties listed by real estate agents minimally require a down payment that covers the agent's listing fee. These listed properties were no more valuable than the FSBO properties, but the agent fees demanded cash upon acquisition. In the intervening years since the 1980s, I have purchased some agent-listed properties, but my target acquisition continues to be FSBO real estate property from a motivated seller.

Monday, 27 January 2014

How To Become A Commercial Real Estate Expert In Your Own Backyard

Many people may not realize you can literally become a commercial real estate insider just by working in your own local community. There is a wealth of opportunity for those who are motivated and wanting to make a difference, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of people in the community as well.

You do not have to travel across the United States or around the world to find money making properties that will financially take care of you for the rest of your life. It simply takes two things in order to become a real estate insider: knowledge of your community's real estate opportunities and a steady increase in your own education.

What makes a real estate insider?

A real estate insider knows the ins and outs of the real estate market in his or her own area of interest. This interest could be in office complexes, strip malls, large apartment complexes, medical buildings, and various other income producing properties The commercial real estate insider recognizes trends, the value of property, changes in values before they happen, all zoning laws and regulations, and infrastructural changes that can drastically affect the values of land on or around the new development.

The commercial real estate insider also knows the city decision makers. He or she knows with whom to speak in order to get information, advice, notice regarding changes in the zoning laws or regulations, and to stay ahead of the real estate market.

How do you become a commercial real estate insider?

To start, you should understand that a large part of commercial real estate is dealing with the officials and decision makers of the city or county because they are the ones who decide zoning and use for every piece of property within the city's or county's boundaries. They plan for future growth, and attempt to create a balance among both residential and commercial properties so that the community does not grow too quickly or become unbalanced.

Due to the fact that the city officials are so important to your ability to develop, renovate, and otherwise do what you want to a property, it is crucial that you get to know these people and create a rapport. You also need to know what is occurring in your community regarding real estate at all times. Zoning often changes; there may be new regulations or codes regarding the zoning, or the intended use could be limited to only a few uses that will hinder your intended project. All these things can greatly affect your dealings with a specific property, and how you pick and choose your opportunities.

A good way to meet these important officials, as well as learn about the real estate market in your community, is to attend zoning and planning meetings at your local Chamber of Commerce or courthouse. It is there that you can meet face to face the people who will influence your future as a commercial real estate insider. Introduce yourself as a real estate investor, and give them your card. Ask intelligent questions regarding real estate in your community.

Eventually, after building a rapport with these influential people, ask if you could meet with them to discuss a certain project, or something in which you could use more information or advice. You should always come to these meetings prepared with your questions typed so you stay on task and topic. Show that you appreciate their time, knowledge and expertise.

It is a great idea to ask for a few more introductions to people they know who may be able to help you. Always send a thank-you note that briefly reviews your discussion, what advice you used and how it will or has helped you. When you show appreciation for their advice, they are more likely to help you in the future, or share information of which others may not be privy. You will begin to make excellent contacts and learn key elements regarding your specific market. This is how you become a commercial real estate insider.

Beyond meeting the people who make the big decisions regarding the use of property in your community, you must know the laws and regulations regarding the various types of zoning. Zoning labels may differ from city to city, as do building criteria, the size of lots, building and fire codes, and limitations. You must study these rules and regulations so you know what you can and cannot do to a property. As these rules and regulations often change, it is important that you listen and take solid notes at all zoning and planning meetings, and other important real estate related meetings you might attend.

Your goal is to know your market inside and out so you can make decisions based on the changes in the market before anyone else even knows they are coming. You do this by recognizing certain points, such as an increase in vacancies of commercial property, or an increase in the median home price, or how the new mall planned to be developed in one year is going to greatly affect the land values around it.

In addition to understanding your own market, you should be reading the newspaper, trade journals, commercial real estate books, attending seminars, and speaking with others in your area who are involved with real estate so that you are constantly increasing your knowledge. It is with this constant training that you will learn strategy, finance, information about private lending, how to find deals, how to present offers, what markets are hot, new opportunities in the area others are not aware of, and many other tools and strategies that will keep you ahead of the rest.

To be a real estate insider, you must always be on your game. Make those contacts. Ask pertinent questions. Learn everything you can about your business, and act on this information. You will find yourself finding opportunities that you did not know existed, and you will become a commercial real estate insider sooner than you would think!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Language of Real Estate Investing: Use the "F" Words to Succeed

If you're new to real estate investing, you probably haven't figured it out yet. But you will. It's inevitable. Stick around long enough and you'll discover that successful real estate investors have their own lingo. Yes. Their own language. And if you ever talk to these investors, most of them will quickly resort to certain "F" words to explain their success.

Let me share just a few of these "F" words.


The all-important concept that keeps you on a clear, purposeful, directed path is focus. We are all focusing on something at every moment. For example, right now you are focusing on this article. How often are we focusing on the wrong thing? The key is to be focusing on the right thing. If you carry a lighted flashlight that is focused up instead of down at your feet, what would be the odds that you would trip in the dark? The odds, I say, would be fairly good. The flashlight is pointing at something; it just might not be pointing at the right thing.

For example, successful real estate rehabbers focus on the process - the rehab process - not the product. The product is a natural outcome of doing the rehab process well. Real estate achievers focus on implementing a duplicatable process to keep their rehab business growing. Non-achievers lack focus and haphazardly rehab the home. If the rehabbed house turns out all right, they credit their lucky stars. If the house is a dud, well, their lucky stars were not aligned just right.

Focus is the act of actually doing those actions that lead to the desired outcomes that you have chosen for yourself. Focus on the right things and you will get the right results.

Fix and Flip

If you are just getting into real estate, fixing and flipping properties is one of the best ways to realize substantial profits without using your own money. You start by searching for motivated sellers with junkers. In other words, find people desperate to sell their house that is in bad condition. Once you acquire the house, you fix it and quickly add value through a systematic rehab process. Then you resell the house quickly for a profit.

Let's suppose you stumble on a property suffering from neglect by its prior owners. You sense that there is a lot of money to be made because you can buy the property well below its market value, make the necessary repairs, and then sell the property.

To successfully implement a 'fix and flip' strategy, you don't need perfect credit, but you must have access to some cash. Preparing a real estate business plan to present to prospective lenders will vastly improve your chances of getting all the money you need to purchase the property including the repairs.

You can use the real estate business plan to provide your potential money lenders with your approach to your rehabbing business. You need to assure them that they'll have a first mortgage on the property that will be secured by the property itself. Most importantly, your lenders need to know that that you'll only purchase deals that are 20 to 30 percent below their after repair value.

After you purchase the property, the average turnaround on a 'fix and flip' property is approximately 90 to 120 days from the date you purchase the property to the date you cash out on the property. This timeframe is based on 30 days to fix it up, 30 to 45 days to sell it on the market, and usually 30 to 45 days to close. This process can be done faster, of course, under the right circumstances. However, the process can also take longer if you don't get the property up to market standards and in selling condition in this time frame.

How many houses do you want to do? How much money do you want to make? Even on a part-time basis, doing a 'fix and flip' several times a year can generate a nice second income. Yes. A second income that can quickly surpass your full time income.

Financial Freedom

Real estate is one of the best and easiest ways to create wealth. More millionaires have made their fortunes in real estate than anything else! Here is what some of the wealthiest Americans have said:

· "Real estate is the basis for all wealth." - Theodore Roosevelt

· "Buying real estate is the best, safest way to become wealthy." - Marshall Fields

· "90% of all millionaires made it through real estate." - Andrew Carnegie

Generally, most individuals that are looking for ways to get ahead financially give some serious thought to real estate investing. And many take the plunge. But why do so many that take the real estate investing plunge fall short of their financial goals?

Well, there are plenty of reasons to go around, but the principal reason centers around unrealistic expectations.

Many new investors are unwilling to pay the price. All worthwhile endeavors require some sustained and focused effort. In other words, some real work.

But many of us are searching for the magic key that will open the "real estate treasure chest" to instant wealth. Is it possible this magic key exists? Honestly, I think I have a better chance of getting my face carved on Mount Rushmore than you have of truly finding that magic key just lying around somewhere.

By now you know that success comes before work only in the dictionary. Sure, it's a cliché, but it's also a profound truth.

There are other "F" words that permeate the vocabularies of successful real estate investors. But if you will make focus, fix and flip, and financial freedom a part of your vocabulary, you will be on your way to reaching your financial goals.

I should know. Seldom a day goes by that I don't use one or all of these "F" words in my business.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Real estate Investment Success Series Tip #5 -3 Ways to Get More Out of the Real Estate Agent if You

Real estate brokers are the greatest asset of small investors since brokers deal with more properties than the individual real estate investor could ever deal with. That said, however real estate agents usually act for the seller so tend to act directly opposite to that of the buyer. In addition, their commission depends on the price that they can sell the property, so the higher the price they sell the more they can earn.

This article acknowledges this and lists four things you can do to get the most out of the real estate agents that you meet when you are shopping for your next real estate investment deal.

Tip #1- Use their knowledge

Most people know that some places have higher rental yields than other similar properties in the same class of real estate. If you are new to an area, you would want to tap on the vast knowledge of the real estate agent's local knowledge. Ask him what areas command a better rental and why. Then ask him to show you those properties. In this way you would get a better return on investment as opposed to him showing you the properties he wants you to see.

Choosing a property in a good area good as it allows you have a maximum upside when the economy turns around. Let the real estate agent know that you are a committed real estate investor and when he knows that you might be a potential return purchaser, he will let you know of any new real estate deals that come his way that might interest you.

Tip #2- Go early to scout out the area

This is a simple tip that most people seem to miss out when looking for a real estate property. If you are the potential buyer, spend some time going to the property in question earlier then the said time and check it out. You want to spend some time observing the neighbourhood and talking to the neighbours so that you can find out all you can about the neighbourhood before you talk to the real estate agent who would try to paint a glowing picture of the area. Look out for things like crime problem, bad neighbours and other things that can turn away potential tenants.

For commercial property real estate investments, you might want to go there a day before so as to scout the area for the purpose of ascertaining walkthrough traffic. The greater the walkthrough traffic the higher your potential rental returns. Its no good purchasing a commercial property in an area that has no visitors since your rental returns would be very low.

Tip #3- Compare stories with other agents

Once you have figured out what type of real estate investment property you are interested in and what area you want, you would want to make appointments with several real estate agents so as to learn more about the potential area that you are acquiring property in. Since real estate agents are competing with each another so you can find out the downside of another agent's proposed property at no charge at all.

In addition to learning the downside of your possible real estate investment, some of these real estate agents can give you valuable information that you can use tell your prospective tenants to rent out your property like for instance proximity to bus stations, the proximity to the subway, low crime rate and secured vehicle parking.

Tip #4- Get an agent that is qualified and in a medium to large agency

In general novice investors should contact a long-established real estate agent that is very familiar with the area that you intend to invest in. The reason is that you want an agent that knows that area very well and knows what properties are on sale and a bargain. The agent will also be able to tell you which areas are good for rental purposes and these areas should be the areas that you should spend your energy on.

Another thing to take note is that your agent should be a medium to large agency so as to gain access to a large database of properties for sale and rental. This would facilitate your search for high rental yielding properties through the agent. A medium to large real estate company would also not fold so easily and leaving you in the lurch while in the midst of a real estate transaction.

In conclusion, real estate agents are a useful part of the real estate investment process but if you mentally know what you want, you can benefit greatly from their years of industry knowledge. Effective real estate investment requires education and massive action on your part.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Houston Real Estate Agents

Houston, Texas has one of the most vibrant real estate profiles in the country because of the huge demand for housing in the area. As a result, there are now a large number of real estate agents who want to get in on the action that the real estate market in Houston provides and evidence to this are the thousands of online leads that a person can get from various search engines. Such is the result of the recognition by real estate agents that advertising online can provide them access to a wider market. However, having a website nowadays does not ensure success in the real estate business given that there are thousands of real estate agents who also have websites. Given this, real estate agents, especially those based in cities like Houston where there is stiff competition among agents, need to make their websites stand out among other websites so that they would get the attention of investors and homebuyers.

One way to make websites stand out

One of the keys in having a high traffic website is being prioritized by search engines when they provide leads to Internet users. Given this, real estate agents that advertise online need to take the necessary steps to help increase their website's search engine visibility. The good news is that there are a number of simple ways that can help real estate agents do so, which includes understanding and applying the concept of search engine optimization or SEO. This is very important because effectively applying SEO can help real estate agents become more visible to buyers and sellers of real estate. Basically, applying SEO involves building a website that is well organized and which has very relevant content. Examples of which include putting relevant phrases that buyers and sellers search for and optimizing titles, text hyperlinks, and headers.

Given the stiff competition among real estate agents in places like Houston, which has a very vibrant real estate profile, real estate agents need to take steps that can help them stand out among their competitors. One way they can do so is to build websites, which can help them gain access to a larger market of real estate sellers and buyers. However, real estate agents also need to make sure that their websites would also stand out among the thousands of websites of other real estate agents, which they can do by applying the concept of search engine optimization or SEO on their website.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Want to Be a Successful Real Estate Investor? What You Need to Do

Are you looking to make money through real estate investing? If you are, you are not alone. However, real estate investing is a tricky business. There are some real estate investors who are successful, while others are not. If you are interested in becoming a successful, profitable real estate investor, you will want to make sure that you know exactly what you are doing, when buying real estate investment properties. That is why it is advised that you do your on research or signup to take a real estate investment course or class.

When it comes to taking the time to thoroughly examine real estate investing, there are many hopeful real estate investors who wonder why they should bother. Many assume that buying real estate properties, fixing them up and then renting or selling them isn't a complicated process, but there is more to being a real estate investor than just putting a purchase offer on a property and doing a few repairs. By taking the time to actually learn about real estate investing, you are more likely to become a successful real estate investor.

One of the reasons why research increases your chances of seeing success and profits is because there are many real estate investing tips out there, just waiting to be found and used. What many do not realize that is many real estate investing tips, which include both dos and don'ts, are composed by successful real estate investors; those who have seen profits themselves. Getting your information from a successful, proven real estate investor is your best chance of success. This is because the information or tips that they give you are relevant, as they have often tried them out first hand. For that reason, you may want to look for real estate books or real estate courses that are written or being hosted by successful real estate investors.

Some of the many tips covered in many real estate investing books and real estate investing courses include tips on buying the bests properties, as well as how to make those properties rentable or sellable. As a real estate investor, you have the decision to fix up a purchased property and then resell it or become a landlord. Many real estate courses and books cover both real estate investment approaches, as well as outline the chances of success with each. As a real estate investor, you are your own boss; therefore, you are able to make your own decision, as to what type of investing you would like to do, but seeing information on past investors and their success may give you good ideas; ideas that could help you become a successful real estate investor.

In short, if you are serious about becoming a real estate investor, you will want to take a real estate investment course or purchase a collection of your own real estate investing books. When it comes to becoming a successful real estate investor, research cannot be emphasized on enough.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Real Estate Sector

Boom & Bust of Indian Real Estate Sector

Engulfing the period of stagnation, the evolution of Indian real estate sector has been phenomenal, impelled by, growing economy, conducive demographics and liberalized foreign direct investment regime. However, now this unceasing phenomenon of real estate sector has started to exhibit the signs of contraction.

What can be the reasons of such a trend in this sector and what future course it will take? This article tries to find answers to these questions...

Overview of Indian real estate sector

Since 2004-05 Indian reality sector has tremendous growth. Registering a growth rate of, 35 per cent the realty sector is estimated to be worth US$ 15 billion and anticipated to grow at the rate of 30 per cent annually over the next decade, attracting foreign investments worth US$ 30 billion, with a number of IT parks and residential townships being constructed across-India.

The term real estate covers residential housing, commercial offices and trading spaces such as theaters, hotels and restaurants, retail outlets, industrial buildings such as factories and government buildings. Real estate involves purchase sale and development of land, residential and non-residential buildings. The activities of real estate sector embrace the hosing and construction sector also.

The sector accounts for major source of employment generation in the country, being the second largest employer, next to agriculture. The sector has backward and forward linkages with about 250 ancilary industries such as cement, brick,steel, building material etc.

Therefore a unit increase in expenditure of this sector have multiplier effect and capacity to generate income as high as five times.

All-round emergence

In real estate sector major component comprises of housing which accounts for 80% and is growing at the rate of 35%. Remainder consist of commercial segments office, shopping malls, hotels and hospitals.

o Housing units: With the Indian economy surging at the rate of 9 % accompanied by rising incomes levels of middle class, growing nuclear families, low interest rates, modern approach towards homeownership and change in the attitude of young working class in terms of from save and buy to buy and repay having contributed towards soaring housing demand.

Earlier cost of houses used to be in multiple of nearly 20 times the annual income of the buyers, whereas today multiple is less than 4.5 times.

According to 11th five year plan, the housing shortage on 2007 was 24.71 million and total requirement of housing during (2007-2012) will be 26.53 million. The total fund requirement in the urban housing sector for 11th five year plan is estimated to be Rs 361318 crores.
The summary of investment requirements for XI plan is indicated in following table

SCENARIO Investment requirement
Housing shortage at the beginning of the XI plan period 147195.0
New additions to the housing stock during the XI plan period including the additional housing shortage during the plan period 214123.1
Total housing requirement for the plan period 361318.1

o Office premises: rapid growth of Indian economy, simultaneously also have deluging effect on the demand of commercial property to help to meet the needs of business. Growth in commercial office space requirement is led by the burgeoning outsourcing and information technology (IT) industry and organised retail. For example, IT and ITES alone is estimated to require 150 million sqft across urban India by 2010. Similarly, the organised retail industry is likely to require an additional 220 million sqft by 2010.

o Shopping malls: over the past ten years urbanization has upsurge at the CAGR of 2%. With the growth of service sector which has not only pushed up the disposable incomes of urban population but has also become more brand conscious. If we go by numbers Indian retail industry is estimated to be about US $ 350 bn and forecast to be double by 2015.

Thus rosining income levels and changing perception towards branded goods will lead to higher demand for shopping mall space, encompassing strong growth prospects in mall development activities.

o Multiplexes: another growth driver for real-estate sector is growing demand for multiplexes. The higher growth can be witnessed due to following factors:

1. Multiplexes comprises of 250-400 seats per screen as against 800-1000 seats in a single screen theater, which give multiplex owners additional advantage, enabling them to optimize capacity utilization.

2. Apart from these non-ticket revenues like food and beverages and the leasing of excess space to retailer provides excess revenues to theatre developers.

o Hotels/Resorts: as already mentioned above that rising major boom in real estate sector is due to rising incomes of middle class. Therefore with increase in income propensity to spend part of their income on tours and travels is also going up, which in turn leads to higher demand for hotels and resorts across the country. Apart from this India is also emerging as major destination for global tourism in India which is pushing up the demand hotels/resorts.
Path set by the government

The sector gained momentum after going through a decade of stagnation due to initiatives taken by Indian government. The government has introduced many progressive reform measures to unveil the potential of the sector and also to meet increasing demand levels.

o 100% FDI permitted in all reality projects through automatic route.
o In case of integrated townships, the minimum area to be developed has been brought down to 25 acres from 100 acres.
o Urban land ceiling and regulation act has been abolished by large number of states.
o Legislation of special economic zones act.
o Full repatriation of original investment after 3 years.
o 51% FDI allowed in single brand retail outlets and 100 % in cash and carry through the automatic route.

There fore all the above factors can be attributed towards such a phenomenal growth of this sector. With significant growing and investment opportunities emerging in this industry, Indian reality sector turned out to be a potential goldmine for many international investors. Currently, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into the sector are estimated to be between US$ 5 billion and US$ 5.50 billion.

Top most real estate investors in the foray

Investors profile

The two most active segments are high networth individuals and financial institutions. Both these segments are particularly active in commercial real estate. While financial institutions like HDFC and ICICI show high preference for commercial investment,the high net worth individuals show interest in investing in residential as well as commercial properties.

Apart from these, the third most important category is NRI ( non-resident Indians). They mostly invest in residential properties than commercial properties. Emotional attachment to native land could be reasons for their investment. And moreover the necessary documentation and formalities for purchasing immovable properties except agricultural and plantation properties are quite simple. Therefore NRI's are showing greater interest for investing in Indian reality sector.


o Emmar properties, of Dubai one of the largest listed real estate developer in the world has tied up with Delhi based MGF developments to for largest FDI investment in Indian reality sector for mall and other facilities in Gurgaon.

o Dlf India's leading real estate developer and UK 's famous Laing O Rourke (LOR) has joined hands for participation in airport modernization and infrastructure projects.

o A huge investment was made by Vancouver based Royal Indian raj international cooperation in a single real estate project named royal garden city in Bangalore over period of 10 years. The retail value of project was estimated to be around $ 8.9 billion.

o Indiabulls real estate development has entered into agreement with dev property development, a company incorporated in Isle of Man, whereby dev got subscription to new shares and also minority shareholding the company. But in recent developments indiabulls have acquired entire stake in dev property development in a 138 million-pound sterling (10.9 billion ruppees) share-swap deal.

o Apart from this real estate developments opens up opportunity for associated fields like home loans and insurance. A number of global have shown interest in this sector. This include companies like Cesma International from Singapore, American International Group Inc (AIG), High Point Rendel of the UK, Colony Capital and Brack Capital of the US, and Lee Kim Tah Holdings to name a few.
Following are names of some of the companies who have invested in India

International developer Country Investment
(US $ million)
Emmar properties Dubai 500
Ascendas Singapore 350
Salem & ciputra group Indonesia 350
GE commercial finance U.S 63
Tishman Speyer Properties U.S 300

Simultaneously many Indian retailers are entering into international markets through significant investments in foreign markets.

o Embassy group has signed a deal with Serbian government to construct US $ 600 million IT park in Serbia.
o Parsvanath developers is doing a project in Al - Hasan group in Oman
o Puravankara developers are associated with project in Srilanka- a high end residential complex, comprising 100 villas.
o Ansals API tied up with Malaysia's UEM group to form a joint venture company, Ansal-API UEM contracts pvt ltd, which plans to bid for government contracts in Malaysia.
o Kolkata's south city project is working on two projects in Dubai.
On the eve of liberalization as India opens up market to foreign players there is tend to be competitive edge to give quality based performance for costumer satisfaction which will consequently bring in quality technology and transparency in the sector and ultimate winners are buyers of this situation.

However this never ending growth phase of reality sector has been hard hit by the global scenario from the beginning of 2008. Analyst say situation will prevail in near future, and latest buzz for the sector comes as a "slowdown".

Sliding phase of the reality sector

In this present scenario of global slowdown, where stock markets are plunging, interest rates and prices are mounting, the aftermath of this can now also be felt on Indian real estate sector. Overall slowdown in demand can be witnessed all across India which is causing trouble for the major industry players. Correcting property prices and rentals are eroding away the market capitalization of many listed companies like dlf and unitech.

Fundaments behind slowdown...

Propetry prices move because of the basic principle of demand and supply
o when demand is high and supply low prices will go up
o When demand is low and supply high prices will go down.

For example let's assume that somebody has bought a property for Rs X and he is trying to sell the property (say after a year), there can be three options, assumption being that the owner is in need of money and cannot wait for more than 3 months to sell the property.

1. When the property prices are gliding everywhere : now owner will try to add as much premium to the property as possible, in order to book profits, therefore he will wait for 3 months and sell off in last month at the highest bid. Where he ill get total of Rs X + Rs Y.
2. When property prices have stabilized: here owner will not be able to sell at premium and book profits due to market stabilization & since he don't want to sell at a loss, he will try to get same amount he brought the property for. Where he'll get total of Rs X = Rs Y
3. when property prices are going down : owner will try to sell the property at least profit or least cost. Therefore he ill get Rs X-RsY.

Reality deals in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad have shown enormous downfall from October 2007 - March 2008. The downfall had been cushioned by fall in stock markets as it put a stop for wealth creation, which leads to shortage of capital among investors to invest in real estate activities. Apart from this in order to offset their share losses many investors have no choice, but sell their real estate properties.

Other factors which have contributed to this slowdown are raising interest rates leading to higher costs. Due to this almost all the developers are facing serious liquidity crunch and facing difficulties in completing their ongoing projects. Situation seems to be so disastrous that most of the companies have reported 50-70% cash shortfall. The grade A developers which are facing cash crunch include DLF,MGF, Emmar, Shobha developers, Unitech, Omaxe, Parsvnath Developers, Hiranandani Group, Ansal API, BPTP Developers and TDI Group. As a outcome of this liquidity crunch many developers have started slowing down or even stopped construction of projects which are either in their initial stages of development or which would not effect their bottom line in near future.

Also with increasing input costs of steel iron and building material it has become it has become inviable for builders to construct properties at agreed prices. As a result there may be delays in completion of the project leading finical constraints.

At the same time IT industry which accounts for 70% of the total commercial is facing a slowdown. Many residential buyers are waiting for price correction before buying any property, which can effect development plans of the builder.

Aftermath of reality shock to other sectors

Cement industry hit by reality slowdown

The turbulence in the real estate sectors is passing on pains in cement industry also. It is being projected that growth rate of cement industry will drop down to 10% in current fiscal. The reasons behind such a contingency are higher input costs, low market valuations and scaled up capacity which are in turn leading to reduced demand in the industry. High inflation and mounting home loan rates have slowed down the growth flight of real estate sector which accounts for 60% of the total cement demand. The major expansion plans announced by major industries will further add to their misery as low market demand will significantly reduced their capacity utilization.
Setting up new facilities will impart additional capacities of 34 million tone and 45 million tone respectively in 2008-09 & 2009-10. This is likely to bring down capacity utilization in the industry down from current 101% to 82%. Even as it loses power to dictate prices, increased cost of power, fuel and freight will add pressure on input costs.

Ambuja Cements too is trading at a higher discount than previous down cycle, suggesting bottom valuations. However, replacement valuations for Madras Cements and India Cements indicate scope for further downslide when compared to their previous down cycle valuations.
All this has added to stagnation of the cement industry.

Dying reality advertising

The heat of reality ebb is also being felt by the advertising industry. It is being estimated that all major developers such as DLF, omaxe, ansals & parsvnath have decided to cut down on their advertising budget by around 5%. The advertising industry in India is estimated to be around 10,000 crore. This trend can be witnessed due to weakening spirits of potential buyers and real estate companies call it a reality check on their advertising budgets. A report from Adex India, a division of TAM Media Research, shows that the share of real estate advertisements in print media saw a drop of 2 percent during 2007 compared to 2006. According to Adex, the share of real estate advertisement in overall print and TV advertising last year was 4 percent and 1 percent, respectively. It's a known fact that infrastructure and real estate companies are responsible for advertising industry maintaing double didgit growth rate. Therefore its understood that a recent slowdown in iindian reality sector has made things worse for advertising industry. The Adex report indicates that the top 10 advertisers shared an aggregate of 16 percent of overall ad volumes of real estate advertising in print during 2007. The list include names such as DLF Group, Parsvnath, Sahara, HDIL and Omaxe group. However, the real estate had maximum share in South India publications followed by North and West publications with 32% and 26% share, respectively, during 2007.

According to many advertising agencies consultants, this phenomenon is taking a toll as all real estate companies want a national foot print and also these companies are turning into professionals. Therefore they are setting standards when it comes to advertising to sales ratio.

Falling stock markets knock down reality stocks

Reality stocks have been hard hit by uncertainties prevailing in the stock market. The BSE reality index is the worst performer having shed 51% of its 52-week peak reached in reality. The BSE benchmark index has shed 24% since January. The country's largest real estate firm DLF scrip lost 54% while unitech lost 64% from its peak. The scrips of Delhi bases parsvnath and omaxe have lost 68% each since January.

The sector is facing a major downfall in sales volume in most markets of the country. The speculators have exit the market and Mumbai and NCR, the biggest real estate markets in markets are cladding subdued sales. In Gurgaon and Noida, which had seen prices almost treble in four years, sales are down 70%, leading to a price correction of 10-20%.
Lets us have a look how major cities are affected by reality downfall.

Top 4 metros taking the lead - in slowdown

Delhi &NCR

While bears are ruling the stock market, the real estate sector in Delhi & NCR region has started facing departure of speculative investors from the market. According to these developers based in region the selling of flats has become very complicated at the launch stage due to lack of interest from the speculators. Developers attribute this to stability in prices against the past where prices were up surging on monthly basis. The scenario has changed so much in the present year that developers are now facing difficulty in booking flats which may delay their projects and reduce their pricing power for instance a year ago, if 100 flats were being sold in month at launch stage now it has come down 30-40 per month. Till mid 2007 speculators made quick money by booking multiple flats at launch of the project and exiting within few weeks or months. But now due to the stabilization of the property prices little scope is left for speculators to make money in short term. Therefore outcome is their retreat from the sector.


Mumbai real estate market, which witnessed huge increase in prices in recent years, which made the city to enter in the league of world's most expensive cities, is now feeling the heat of slowdown. Property sales that have been growing at a clank of around 20% every year have been plumped by 17% in 2007-08.

Though slowdown news of property market in country's financial capital has been much talked about, but it was first time that figures proved the extent of slowdown. Information about residential and commercial property sales from the stamp duty registration office show almost 12,000 fewer transactions during the last financial year compared to the year before. From April 2007 to March 2008, 62,595 flats were purchased in Mumbai as against 74,555 in 2006-07.
According to reality analyst sales volume can die out further in south as developers persist on holding to their steep prices and buyers anticipate a further fall with current rates beyond reach. They further add that market is on a corrective mode and downward trend is anticipated for another 12 months.

Between 1992-96, the market ran up the same way it did during 2003-07. Post-'96, the volumes dropped by 50%. This time again it is expected to drop substantially though not so steeply. The demand is now extremely sluggish and customers do not want to stick out their necks and transact at prevailing rates.Chennai in past few years we witnessed reality index gaining huge heights on BSE and it also impact could be felt allover India. Amongst them Chennai was no exception. With IT boom in past few years and pumping of money by NRI's have led to prices touching skies. Chennai also witnessed a huge boom property prices over the last few years. However in past few months it has been facing slowdown in growth rate.

Following factors can be attributed to this:
o This is one of the common factor prevailing all over India- rise in home loan interest rates, which has made it extremely difficult for a normal salaried person to be able to afford a house.
o Depreciation of US dollar, which means NRI's who were earlier pumping money into the real estate are now able to get less number of rupees per dollar they earn in US. Therefore many of them have altered their plans for buying house in India.
o The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has imposed stricter norms for apartment construction and penalties for violations are more severe than before.
o Failure of the legal system of chennai to prevent intrusion, forged documents and illegal construction has added to the problem as many NRI'S are hesitating to buy plots in chennai.
o Apart from this tsunami of 2004 has shaken the confidence of many investors to invest in real estate.

However many analyst are quite bullish about this region. Especially in areas like old mahabalipuram, south Chennai etc because of numerous IT/ITES/ electronics/automobile companies are expected to set up their centers in these areas. Once these projects are complete and companies begin operations their, many people would like to live near to such areas and outcome will be boom in residential sector.


As discussed for above cities Bangalore is also dwindling between the similar scenarios. Bangalore seems to be in midst of low demand and supply. This trend is due to myopic developers, due to sudden growth in Bangalore in last few years, lot of builders have caught the opportunity of building residential houses thinking their will be lot of employment, increase in salaries and hence demand for housing. Past few years have been jovial for Bangalore as IT industry was doing well and banking and retail sectors were expanding.

However with this sudden economic slowdown, due to which Indian stocks markets are trembling, interest rates are high, jobs and recruitment put on freeze have led to cessation of investment in local property markets.

According to the developers real-estate industry of Bangalore has experienced a drop of about 15- 20% in transaction volumes. Adding to it grade A developers have faced a dropdown of 50% on monthly levels of booking compared to what they enjoyed in December 2007.

Future outlook

The real estate explosion in Indian real estate is due to by the burgeoning IT and BPO industries. The underlying reason for all these moves is that the Indian real estate is tremendously attractive, because of basic demographics and a supply shortage. Truly Indian real estate is having a dream run for last five years.

However in the current scenario Indian real estate market is going through a phase of correction in prices and there are exaggerated possibilities that these increased prices are likely to come down.
In this scenario hat will be the future course of this sector?

Many analyst are of view that tightening of India's monetary policy, falling demand and growing liquidity concerns could have negative impact on profiles of real estate companies. Slowing down would also aid in the process of exit of some of the weaker entities from the market and increasing the strength of some of the established developers. A prolonged slowdown could also reduce the appetite of private equity.

Its also been projected that large development plans and aggressive land purchases have led to a considerable increase in the financial leverage (debt/EBITDA) of most developers, with the smaller players now being exposed to liquidity pressures for project execution as well as a general slowdown in property sales. Property developers hit by falling sales and liquidity issues would need to reduce list prices to enhance demand, but many still seem to be holding on to the asking price - which, would delay the process of recovering demand and increase the risk of liquidity pressures.
It was being witnessed that before the slowdown phase the projects were being sold without any hook at an extravagant rate. But at present negative impact is highly visible as lot of high end projects are still lying unsold. In such a scenario, there may be blessing in disguise as high profile speculators will be out making way for the actual users.

But here also sector faces trouble as correction in prices has been accompanied by increase in home loan rates by the banks which have led to erosion of purchasing power of middle and upper middle class majority of whom are covered in the category of end users or actual users.
Therefore for future of real estate sector analyst call for a wait and watch method to grab the best opportunity with the hope of reduction in loan rates.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Investing In Real Estate Investors

With the never-ending changes in our Real Estate Markets real estate professionals are starting to pay attention to the sound of new commission streams of income. Some realtors have either shied away or ran-away from such terms as "Cap Rate," & "Cash-on-Cash Returns." Terms that only the 'smart' and 'numbers-oriented people use to determine if a Real Estate purchase is a "Good Deal", or not. A majority of the realtor brethren attended real estate school because they are excited and passionate about the promise of selling real estate and making a fantastic living. That being said "Times are a Changing." Even if you live in a Hot Market where residential real estate sells in 2-3 days there is an old approach to real estate that is growing faster by the day.....Residential Real Estate Investors.

This deft group of real estate investors is taking real estate and the real estate investment world into a new era! No longer accepting the crazy volatility of the Dow Jones and NASDAQ families. Unwilling to accept the investment practices of their fore-fathers these Investors throw caution to the wind for returns above the traditional 5-6% in their Roth or IRA accounts. These Investors are bold and oftentimes aggressive. Today's Real Estate Investors are all about the fast fix-n-flip, high appreciation, and rock solid monthly cash-flows. Cutting their teeth on investment in their own home-towns is only the beginning as the Serious Investors turn to points outside their own back-yards to other regions that demonstrate greater promise and higher returns. You may say well how does this older adult view their investment opportunities? For starters the age of these stealth hunters ranges from 28 to 68. From "Rich Dad-Poor Dad" book series to Trumps magical presence on "The Apprentice," the young real estate entrepreneurs are making their dreams happen to the tune of 3-5 acquisitions a year! Got your attention now? The typical Investor has good to great credit scores. Excellent cash reserves or hidden resources of partners with cash, and a willingness to make the deal happen at nearly any cost. The best kept secret of all is that these investing beasts travel in packs. Where you see one another is very close behind. In other words they know the people that you need to know to grow your investor database even larger. If the real estate professional does a good job the happy clients are likely to refer many of their fellow-investors. Not just investor clients but their regular every-day real estate business. Face it, if you can demonstrate to your clients how adept you are with their largest personal purchase of real estate, then wouldn't you suppose they will be over their "trusted real estate advisors" opinion on buying a basic home, condo or beach house?

So what if you haven't been focused in the real estate investment sector. And you are thinking this all sounds pretty good, let's give it a try. First question to ask yourself is who have your clients been working with or exploring their options of real estate investing with over the past 3-4 months. Statistically 6 out of 10 clients have considered investing in real estate or have already begun doing so before their realtor even has a chance to blink an eye. Got your attention now? How about the fact that in less than one year I increased my annual commissions by 30% by just positioning myself within my primary data-base of clients. All I did was let them know that I was ready, willing and able to begin assisting them with their "Investment Realty" needs. What I learned during the first year was that if I could create an environment for my clients to learn more about real estate investing that they would thank me in a variety of ways....Most importantly they would call me before writing a contract and would make sure that I was involved in every contract that wanted to make a real estate purchase. Before long 30% went up to 45% and further. Even if you aren't interested in expanding your client database, at least consider protecting the turf you have for so long spent tireless amounts of time and financial resources to maintain their allegiance. On the other hand if you are looking at your real estate career and are wondering how to reposition yourself for market growth certainly to go well into 2025, here are a few known facts about how real estate investors can improve your business.

1. Real Estate Investors are literally everywhere. Successfully tapping into your current database could increase your annual commissions by 20-30%.

2. Real Estate Investors will be loyal to the professional that helps fill the gap of their investment education. Workshops, mentoring groups, finding the "golden deals" in your market makes a huge impact!

3. Investing in Real Estate Investors doesn't have to mean that you lose your "typical" residential realtor position. Being a real estate investment specialist means you are smarter than the average realtor in the market.

4. Mortgage professionals are struggling to provide real estate investors with property deals, so when you can place an investor into a good deal the referrals will begin to flow even more.

5. Real Estate Investors tend to be more conscientious about your personal time away. Investors also like to shop Monday-Friday for their deals before the "Weekend Warrior" investors get out into the competition. This translates into more normal hours and days of operation for you and your business.

6. Real Estate Investors buy-sell cycles are shorter than primary home purchasers resulting in more transactions in shorter time-frames.

If any of these points are encouraging you to seek new options in your business then make sure to sign up for the monthly "Grow your Real Estate Investment business" e-mail newsletter from additionally, other excellent tools to improve and expand your real estate business can be explored at the InvestorLoft's educational Shoppe.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

All About Real Estate Investing Book

Real Estate Investing is no longer the special past time of wealthy businessmen. In today's world real estate has become a common financial motion for people from all walks of life. This trend will likely to continue to perform will into the predictable future. This change is due to elimination and concentration on company pension plans. Personal investing guide has replaced these plans as the preferred way to plan for retirement

Real estate investing book increases the knowledge and information in the real estate field. People who speak in real estate market are the people with experience in real estate industry. A real estate book which is introduced in electronic format is called as Real estate E-book.

A real estate investing book is a collection of paper, parchment or other material, bound together along one edge within covers that contain information about real estate investment business. A real estate book is also a real estate literary work or a main division of such a work.

A real estate investing book could be studied by real estate course students in the form of a book report. This book may also be read by a real estate professional or real estate business man who would like get more knowledge about some topic related to real estate. There are several recommended real estate investing books available for increasing your real estate investing knowledge and improving your real estate business.

Real estate investing book is one of the least risky types of investments books you can read. Rather than investing in hit or miss stocks that are sometimes unpredictable, real estate investing is a much more stable market. If you make a wise real estate investing book purchase, you will be able to increase your investment's worth over time even if you put little or no knowledge or basic ideas into it.

The purpose of the Investing book is to supply all the necessary information so that you can obtain new skills and educate more yourself in real estate investing field, in order to get proven profitable results from your investments in the stock market! The Investing book intends to not only provide advice on investments for beginners, but also aims to offer fresh ideas for experienced investors. The Investing book also offers a list of investing terms and important phrases that the investors would need to be well-known with upon their embarkation into investments.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Real Estate Investing Financing Truths - Part 2

No Money Down and other 'Creative' Real Estate
Investment Methods

For many years, investors have seen the traditional
real estate investment methods described in Part 1
of this article as a lot less than desirable!

They began looking at the prices of houses and
finding methods of bringing the price more in line
with making more money in a faster way.

These savvy investors developed ways to get loans
on properties that allowed them to pull money out
whenever they buy a real estate investment (cash
back at closing) and lower their payments to build up
their cash flow ('creative' investing).

They even developed methods of determining a
Sellers motivation for selling - and bought the
property at a discount price.

These creative investors also saw that some Sellers
were not able (for whatever reason) to sell the
property at a discount price, however, they still
needed to get rid of the property, as they didnt
know how to manage it as a landlord, or make
money from it - not that it couldnt be done, they
simply lacked the knowledge of how to do it.

The Seller just never learned how to profit from a
real estate investment.

These investors understood how to make money
from such properties, and did.

They bought the property on discount terms, and
made money from the spread by selling it at retail
price and/or terms (certainly one of my favorite
methods of real estate investing).

Buy Every Real Estate Investment via Discount Price
or Discount Terms.

Several years ago (actually, it really took off in the
1980s), Real Estate Investment Experts began
seeing the potential for making money in bringing
this treasured knowledge to the public in the form of
home-study courses, seminars and Boot Camps.

They found that it wouldn't create competition for
themselves, as many people, even though they
purchase real estate courses and attend seminars
and Boot Camps, will not actually take the
information and utilize it to make the hundreds and
even thousands of dollars possible for anyone
serious about Real Estate Investing.

These Real Estate Investment Experts (being
dubbed 'guru') found that this side of the business
was lucrative often making more income from
teaching about real estate investing than the actual
real estate investments themselves.

It is important to understand that these real estate
investment gurus learned early that they can only
teach others what to do, not be responsible for the
other persons success.

Providing the information to those that choose not
to use it is very similar to the old adage "You can
lead a horse to water, but you cant make it drink".

Yes, these real estate investment gurus got wealthy
from selling this information, but their theories,
principles and techniques taught thousands of
others (those that take action on what they learn)
how to realize their dreams utilizing their tried and
true methods of real estate investing.

From home-study courses and seminars, to boot
camps and one-on-one training, these methods
have been proven to be not only interesting to
millions of people, but capable of bringing massive
wealth to those that take action on what is taught -
those that go on and actually make real estate
investments themselves.

Knowledge changes things...

This knowledge of no money down real estate
investing techniques being known by thousands of
Sellers has made changes in the industry.

By bringing the Seller into the knowledgeable realm
of Real Estate investing, Sellers now know many of
the methods that the gurus teach.

This is both a blessing and a curse.

To the talented investor, these knowledgeable
people are more likely to work to create a WIN-WIN

Investors that avoid the tricks and stick to the basic
real estate investment techniques and terms that
have been proven to work over and over again,
have proven these powerful real estate investment
strategies work even with these informed Sellers.

Oh, yes, many of these real estate investment
techniques work today, as they have for many
years. So much so that it is almost possible to say
they have become principles; things that work, over
and over, the same way no matter what happens -
like gravity.

However, sadly, they are not really principles, as
several of the real estate investment methods and
techniques that worked in the 1980s and even
through the 1990s are today not as powerful, nor do
they work as often as they did before (although
some 'gurus' are still teaching the same methods -
even after 20 years...).

Some of this decline is due to a more educated
society (due to the flood of real estate investment
information available via books, tapes, home-study
courses and the Internet), while some of it is due to
simple changes in policies and laws.

It seems like a wave started late in 2003, the FHA
announced that flips (transactions where investors
buy houses cheaply and sell them at or near market
rates) are "illegal". (Note that illegal in this context is
not a legal term, but one that has been adopted
from "you are not allowed to do that and do
business with us".)

The FHAs announcement started a wave of concern
(if not panic) throughout the Real Estate investing

Title and Mortgage companies began to tighten up
their reigns. Many of these companies, in lieu of
direct information, began simply not completing any
transactions that did not follow the traditional real
estate investment system. This made it hard for
investors to complete transactions that involved
simple buy-then-resell agreements (as they are not
really real estate investments, but a rather nice way
to make some fast CA$H!).

In rapid appreciation areas (California and Nevada,
for example), the ability to flip a property all but
stopped (became 'illegal'). All the 'traditional'
creative real estate investing methods were virtually
put on hold.

Ingenuity to the rescue, other methods of real
estate investing always seem to pop up. After all,
"Necessity is the Mother of Invention", and "Where
there is a Will, there is a Way" are absolute

Investors have to make a way to get things done - a
way to keep their real estate investments profitable,
and even more creative real estate investing
methods were developed - to keep real estate
investors, and the love of real estate investment,
alive forever.

Friday, 3 January 2014

3 Of The Top 9 Reasons That The Real Estate Bubble Is Bursting

If you own real estate or are thinking of buying real estate then you better pay attention, because this could be the most important message you receive this year regarding real estate and your financial future.

The last five years have seen explosive growth in the real estate market and as a result many people believe that real estate is the safest investment you can make. Well, that is no longer true. Rapidly increasing real estate prices have caused the real estate market to be at price levels never before seen in history when adjusted for inflation! The growing number of people concerned about the real estate bubble means there are less available real estate buyers. Fewer buyers mean that prices are coming down.

On May 4, 2006, Federal Reserve Board Governor Susan Blies stated that "Housing has really sort of peaked". This follows on the heels of the new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying that he was concerned that the "softening" of the real estate market would hurt the economy. And former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan previously described the real estate market as frothy. All of these top financial experts agree that there is already a viable downturn in the market, so clearly there is a need to know the reasons behind this change.

3 of the top 9 reasons that the real estate bubble will burst include:

1. Interest rates are rising - foreclosures are up 72%!

2. First time homebuyers are priced out of the market - the real estate market is a pyramid and the base is crumbling

3. The psychology of the market has changed so that now people are afraid of the bubble bursting - the mania over real estate is over!

The first reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is rising interest rates. Under Alan Greenspan, interest rates were at historic lows from June 2003 to June 2004. These low interest rates allowed people to buy homes that were more expensive then what they could normally afford but at the same monthly cost, essentially creating "free money". However, the time of low interest rates has ended as interest rates have been rising and will continue to rise further. Interest rates must rise to combat inflation, partly due to high gasoline and food costs. Higher interest rates make owning a home more expensive, thus driving existing home values down.

Higher interest rates are also affecting people who bought adjustable mortgages (ARMs). Adjustable mortgages have very low interest rates and low monthly payments for the first two to three years but afterwards the low interest rate disappears and the monthly mortgage payment jumps dramatically. As a result of adjustable mortgage rate resets, home foreclosures for the 1st quarter of 2006 are up 72% over the 1st quarter of 2005.

The foreclosure situation will only worsen as interest rates continue to rise and more adjustable mortgage payments are adjusted to a higher interest rate and higher mortgage payment. Moody's stated that 25% of all outstanding mortgages are coming up for interest rate resets during 2006 and 2007. That is $2 trillion of U.S. mortgage debt! When the payments increase, it will be quite a hit to the pocketbook. A study done by one of the country's largest title insurers concluded that 1.4 million households will face a payment jump of 50% or more once the introductory payment period is over.

The second reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is that new homebuyers are no longer able to buy homes due to high prices and higher interest rates. The real estate market is basically a pyramid scheme and as long as the number of buyers is growing everything is fine. As homes are bought by first time home buyers at the bottom of the pyramid, the new money for that $100,000.00 home goes all the way up the pyramid to the seller and buyer of a $1,000,000.00 home as people sell one home and buy a more expensive home. This double-edged sword of high real estate prices and higher interest rates has priced many new buyers out of the market, and now we are starting to feel the effects on the overall real estate market. Sales are slowing and inventories of homes available for sale are rising quickly. The latest report on the housing market showed new home sales fell 10.5% for February 2006. This is the largest one-month drop in nine years.

The third reason that the real estate bubble is bursting is that the psychology of the real estate market has changed. For the last five years the real estate market has risen dramatically and if you bought real estate you more than likely made money. This positive return for so many investors fueled the market higher as more people saw this and decided to also invest in real estate before they 'missed out'.

The psychology of any bubble market, whether we are talking about the stock market or the real estate market is known as 'herd mentality', where everyone follows the herd. This herd mentality is at the heart of any bubble and it has happened numerous times in the past including during the US stock market bubble of the late 1990's, the Japanese real estate bubble of the 1980's, and even as far back as the US railroad bubble of the 1870's. The herd mentality had completely taken over the real estate market until recently.

The bubble continues to rise as long as there is a "greater fool" to buy at a higher price. As there are less and less "greater fools" available or willing to buy homes, the mania disappears. When the hysteria passes, the excessive inventory that was built during the boom time causes prices to plummet. This is true for all three of the historical bubbles mentioned above and many other historical examples. Also of importance to note is that when all three of these historical bubbles burst the US was thrown into recession.

With the changing in mindset related to the real estate market, investors and speculators are getting scared that they will be left holding real estate that will lose money. As a result, not only are they buying less real estate, but they are simultaneously selling their investment properties as well. This is producing huge numbers of homes available for sale on the market at the same time that record new home construction floods the market. These two increasing supply forces, the increasing supply of existing homes for sale coupled with the increasing supply of new homes for sale will further exacerbate the problem and drive all real estate values down.

A recent survey showed that 7 out of 10 people think the real estate bubble will burst before April 2007. This change in the market psychology from 'must own real estate at any cost' to a healthy concern that real estate is overpriced is causing the end of the real estate market boom.

The aftershock of the bubble bursting will be enormous and it will affect the global economy tremendously. Billionaire investor George Soros has said that in 2007 the US will be in recession and I agree with him. I think we will be in a recession because as the real estate bubble bursts, jobs will be lost, Americans will no longer be able to cash out money from their homes, and the entire economy will slow down dramatically thus leading to recession.

In conclusion, the three reasons the real estate bubble is bursting are higher interest rates; first-time buyers being priced out of the market; and the psychology about the real estate market is changing. The recently published eBook "How To Prosper In The Changing Real Estate Market. Protect Yourself From The Bubble Now!" discusses these items in more detail.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Getting Started in Residential Real Estate Investing

Residential real estate investing is a business activity that has waxed and waned in popularity dramatically over the last few years. Ironically, there always seem to be a lot of people jumping on board with investments like stock, gold, and real estate when the market's going up, and jumping OFF the wagon and pursuing other activities once the market's slumping. In a way that's human nature, but it also means a lot of real estate investors are leaving money on the table.

By understanding the dynamics of your residential real estate investment marketplace, and acting in opposition to the rest of the market, you can often make more money, as long as you also stick to the real estate investing fundamentals.

Real estate investing, whether you're buying residential or commercial property, is not a get-rich-quick scenario. Sure you can make some fast cash flipping houses, if that's your bag, but that is a full time business activity, not a passive, long term investment. The word "investment" implies that you are committed to the activity for the long haul. Often, that's just what it takes to make money in real estate.

So, while the pundits are crying about the residential real estate market slump, and the speculators are wondering if this is the bottom, let us return to the fundamentals of residential real estate investing, and learn how to make money investing in real estate for the long term, in good markets, as well as bad.

A Return To The Fundamentals of Residential Real Estate Investing

When real estate is going up, up, up, investing in real estate can seem easy. All ships rise with a rising tide, and even if you've bought a deal with no equity and no cash flow, you can still make money if you're in the right place at the right time.

However, it's hard to time the market without a lot of research and market knowledge. A better strategy is to make sure you understand the four profit centers for residential real estate investing, and make sure your next residential real estate investment deal takes ALL of these into account.

  1. Cash Flow - How much money does the residential income property bring in every month, after expenses are paid? This seems like it should be easy to calculate if you know how much the rental income is and how much the mortgage payment is. However, once you factor in everything else that goes into taking care of a rental property - things like vacancy, expenses, repairs and maintenance, advertising, bookkeeping, legal fees and the like, it begins to really add up. I like to use a factor of about 40% of the NOI to estimate my property expenses. I use 50% of the NOI as my ballpark goal for debt service. That leaves 10% of the NOI as profit to me. If the deal doesn't meet those parameters, I am wary.
  2. Appreciation - Having the property go up in value while you own it has historically been the most profitable part about owning real estate. However, as we've seen recently, real estate can also go DOWN in value, too. Leverage (your bank loan in this case) is a double-edged sword. It can increase your rate of return if you buy in an appreciating area, but it can also increase your rate of loss when your property goes down in value. For a realistic, low-risk property investment, plan to hold your residential real estate investment property for at least 5 years. This should give you the ability to weather the ups and downs in the market so you can see at a time when it makes sense, from a profit standpoint.
  3. Debt Pay down - Each month when you make that mortgage payment to the bank, a tiny portion of it is going to reduce the balance of your loan. Because of the way mortgages are structured, a normally amortizing loan has a very small amount of debt pay down at the beginning, but if you do manage to keep the loan in place for a number of years, you'll see that as you get closer to the end of the loan term, more and more of your principle is being used to retire the debt. Of course, all this assumes that you have an amortizing loan in the first place. If you have an interest-only loan, your payments will be lower, but you won't benefit from any loan pay down. I find that if you are planning to hold the property for 5-7 years or less, it makes sense to look at an interest-only loan, since the debt pay down you'd accrue during this time is minimal, and it can help your cash flow to have an interest-only loan, as long as interest rate adjustments upward don't increase your payments sooner than you were expecting and ruin your cash flow. If you plan to hold onto the property long term, and/or you have a great interest rate, it makes sense to get an accruing loan that will eventually reduce the balance of your investment loan and make it go away. Make sure you run the numbers on your real estate investing strategy to see if it makes sense for you to get a fixed rate loan or an interest only loan. In some cases, it may make sense to refinance your property to increase your cash flow or your rate of return, rather than selling it.
  4. Tax Write-Offs - For the right person, tax write-offs can be a big benefit of real estate investing. But they're not the panacea that they're sometimes made out to be. Individuals who are hit with the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax), who have a lot of properties but are not real estate professionals, or who are not actively involved in their real estate investments may find that they are cut off from some of the sweetest tax breaks provided by the IRS. Even worse, investors who focus on short-term real estate deals like flips, rehabs, etc. have their income treated like EARNED INCOME. The short term capital gains tax rate that they pay is just the same (high) they'd pay if they earned the income in a W-2 job. After a lot of investors got burned in the 1980's by the Tax Reform Act, a lot of people decided it was a bad idea to invest in real estate just for the tax breaks. If you qualify, they can be a great profit center, but in general, you should consider them the frosting on the cake, not the cake itself.

Any residential real estate investing deal that stands up under the scrutiny of this fundamentals-oriented lens, should keep your real estate portfolio and your pocketbook healthy, whether the residential real estate investing market goes up, down or sideways. However, if you can use the real estate market trends to give you a boost, that's fair, too. The key is not to rely on any one "strategy" to try to give you outsized gains. Be realistic with your expectations and stick to the fundamentals. Buy property you can afford and plan to stay invested for the long haul.