Buying Real Estate Foreclosures

When looking for a home for you and your family you will come across all kinds of deals, bargains, and so-called values along the way. If price is a very tangible object for you and your real estate investment then you might seriously want to consider the value of foreclosures. If you are hoping to invest in real estate in order to turn a profit then you may also wish to consider these properties that are often sold well below the ordinary value of the property because they are in varying degrees of disrepair.

Foreclosures are properties that have been taken back by the lenders because the previous owners were unable to continue making payments on the property. Being that these homes were often owned by those in financial distress and may have been empty for some time before being sold, chances are that the foreclosure homes being sold at any given time are in some degree of disrepair. The shabbiness of many of these properties is one of the factors that keeps the prices down. Another is the fact that the lenders are essentially attempting to recoup their investment in the property. For this reason they are often willing to take less than the value of the property if that is what is owed on the property.

Why are these properties often in a state of disrepair? Truthfully, there are many reasons but the primary culprit in this situation is money. Obviously the owners of the home were struggling to make the payments or the home would not be in the state of foreclosure. If the notes on the property were difficult to begin with it makes perfect sense that other issues such as leaking roofs, shabby carpeting, or plumbing maintenance would take a distant second in priority to making the house payment.

At the same time, there are those who are bitter about loosing their homes. As sad as the situation may be some add insult to injury by damaging these properties intentionally. These homeowners feel they have nothing left to loose and if they cannot have their property hole then the lenders should not as well. While this is by no means the way to go there are very many who choose this path over other options.

The fact is that their loss in these situations is actually your gain. The damage they do to the property is often not terribly expensive to repair though it can be quite bothersome. Your willingness to do the work in order to create a beautiful home for you and your family or as an investment can often translate to big savings at the closing table or when negotiating the price of the property. Foreclosures can allow families to buy larger homes in better neighborhoods than they would ordinarily be able to afford. They can also provide a fabulous kick-start to a property investment portfolio.

Despite common claims and Internet advertisements, you do not need to buy a list in order to find foreclosed real estate in your area. You simply need to procure the services of a competent realtor and let him or her know that your intentions are to purchase a foreclosed property or some other property that is selling well below market value. You might be amazed at the wealth of information and assistance your realtor can provide not only in finding excellent foreclosures but also when it comes to procuring financing for some of the more creatively damaged foreclosures you may run across at insane bargain prices.

Home Shopping The Smart Way

When shopping for a home, there are quite a few things that can snatch your attention. When you look at a home, it’s very easy to fall immediately in love with it. New homes are clean, decorated perfectly, and many are what you pictured in your dreams. If you don’t shop the smart way though, you’ll end up like many other home owners and find faults shortly after you move in.

When you look at your potentially new home, you’ll want to check and see if you can fit your furniture in the way you want. A lot of homes these days are configured so that the furniture will only fit in one position. Often times, this leaves a television or other device in a weird location, sometimes making your furniture nearly impossible to fit through the doors. This is surely something to bear in mind, as you certainly don’t want to have to buy entirely new furniture.

You’ll also want to be sure that you get the right home for yourself and your family. Even though you may be a young couple now, you may want to get a house with enough room in case you decide to have kids later on down the road. If you don’t get a big enough house and end up having to move, you’ll find that moving with kids is a hard task indeed. If you have babies when you move, you’ll find moving to be even more difficult.

Once your children start to leave home, you may want to look into getting a smaller house. The choice is entirely up to you, and what will work the best for your needs. Anytime you purchase a house though, you’ll want to think about the size of your new home and consider the future needs of your family as well. This way, you’ll have everything covered for years to come and won’t have to look into getting a new home.

You may also want to look at any extras as well. Things like a pool and a hot tub may be a great thing to have, although you should look into the money that regular maintenance will cost you as well. There are a lot of things that may be great to have along with your home, although you should always look at long term costs before you purchase.

Location is also something you’ll need to consider as well. Some prefer to live out in the country, while others prefer the city life. Some prefer to be close to stores and such, while others prefer to be miles and miles away. The location of a home is very important, and in most cases will have a big impact on the price. Living in the city will cost quite a bit of money, although a home out in the country can cost just as much if there is a lot of land included with the property.

Whenever you decide to buy a house, there is a lot of things that you’ll need to consider. Buying a home is no easy feat, with a lot of things you’ll need to decide on. If you give yourself enough time and plan out your budget and the type of home you want, you’ll have plenty of time to make that very important decision. You never want to rush the process, as you could end up with a home that is less than perfect. If you take your time and look at several different houses, you’ll end up in your dream home before you know it.

Buying Pre Foreclosures

Pre foreclosures are known as properties that have reached the final stages before they get repossessed or taken back by the lender or bank. The owner is still in complete control of the property or home, although the bank or lender will repossess the home if the owner doesn’t attempt to rectify the situation. Normally, if the owner makes things right with payment, the pre foreclosure will settle and things will go back to normal.

When buying real estate, there are several benefits to pre foreclosures. Although there are several ways that you can buy a home, pre foreclosure is one of the best. Even though it is one of the best ways to buy property, many people miss out simply because they aren’t familiar with pre foreclosures and all of the benefits that come with them.

The best thing about pre foreclosures is the prices that are associated with them. In most cases, the owner has no choice but the sell the house, and therefore will listen to just about any offer that he receives. Due to this very reason, you can find pre foreclosures for sale at nearly 50% off market value. This is an ideal time to purchase, especially if you are looking to save a lot of money.

Along with the great prices you can get with pre foreclosures, you’ll also have the luxury of dealing directly with the owner – no third parties involved. This is a great advantage, with buyers being in total control of pre foreclosure sales. In the event that the home owner decides to turn down your offer and cannot find another buyer, he will lose everything. Even if you offer the owner a small price, he will be able to make a little bit of money selling the home.

You can find pre foreclosures that up for sale pretty much the same way that you can find homes in which the bank already has control of. You can look in the local newspaper, on the Internet, or by calling the lender directly. There are several options that you have in terms of finding pre foreclosures, giving you plenty of options. Once you have found a pre foreclosure for sale, it’s up to you to seal the deal and get the home of your dreams at a very affordable price.

When you compare foreclosed properties with pre foreclosed properties, you’ll find that there is less competition involved with pre foreclosures. Pre foreclosed homes are a great purchase, as they will normally come at a very affordable price. Those of you who have been looking for a new home shouldn’t hesitate to check out pre foreclosed properties. They are a great investment – and can indeed be very profitable in the long run.

Finding A Real Estate Agent

Whenever you buy or sell real estate, you may be like millions of other people out there, in thinking that you don’t need a real estate agent. Most people who buy or sell homes, generally think that a real estate agent is a waste of money. Those who choose to buy a new home, think that real estate agents only add to the cost of purchasing the home.

What most people aren’t aware of, is the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer. As a buyer, you’ll get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself. The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure this is the case. When you are interviewing agents, make certain to ask about any type of fees as well.

A lot of real estate agents out there may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller. If you are buying a home, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down. This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most – especially if you don’t have a down payment.

If you are interviewing a real estate agent and he or she isn’t familiar with down payment assistance programs, you shouldn’t hire their services. Agents who aren’t familiar with these types of programs generally aren’t on the level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.

You can also make a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender referrals are normally a great choice as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other. Choosing a lenders referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.

When you interview a real estate agent, make sure that you have the agent explain his fees. This way, you’ll know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase. You should also find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate. You can also ask about sample contracts as well. If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers. If you happen to be selling your home, then you’ll want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Agents that are dedicated to one or the other are the best to choose, as they will have more experience than agents who work with both buyers and sellers.

Find a real estate agent is an easy task – providing you know what to look for. If you take things one step at a time and carefully make a decision, chances are that you’ll end up with an agent who has the experience you want. You should always be careful when you choose, and never rush the process. Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate. When you make that final decision, you should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind – and isn’t just after the money.

Benefits of Flipping Real Estate

The obvious benefit and sought after benefit of flipping real estate is the profit. This is one incredibly tangible benefit, particularly when the profits are large and quick to come your way. Of course there are risks. Most ventures that offer high profit also come with a high degree of risk. Money, however, is not the only benefit that can be associated with flipping real estate though it is certainly the one on most investors’ minds when they get into this line of work.

Let’s talk profit first. Profit is the one reason that most people get into this business. The days are long and the work is hard. This is definitely not the type of work one would ordinarily undertake for the simple love of getting one’s hands dirty. This is real work that leaves you bone weary at the end of the day. However, when all the work is done and you get around to making the sell, you will find that the profit involved in a successful flip is well worth the effort you’ve put into the process.

The good news is that the savvy investor can still manage to make money even when the situation may not work out quite as planned. This is yet another benefit to flipping real estate. If the flip doesn’t work out, there is always the option of leasing to own the property or renting the property out. The profits in these situations are considerable less than a straight out flip but it can prevent financial ruin that is often the risk of a flip gone wrong. The fact that there are options and that you aren’t necessarily left ruined at the end of a bad flip is definitely a benefit. There aren’t many types of investments that allow you the option to save yourself the way real estate does.

One of the intangible benefits of flipping houses is that you are in essence working for yourself. In other words you do not have to punch a time clock or worry about overtime (at least not on your part). This can be a bad thing too if you lack the discipline required to get the job done. However, most of us will view this is a huge check in the pros column when deciding whether or not to take the plunge into the wonderful and frightening world of real estate investing.

Even though this is a business that requires a lot of work in order to turn an attractive profit there is some satisfaction at the end of the day involved in knowing that you are working for yourself and not to make someone else wealthy or in order to punch a time clock. That feeling of satisfaction is one that you should hang onto when the brand new toilet you’ve just installed becomes a geyser. Of course there are mistakes along the way, what other job keeps you on your toes quite like this one?

Real estate investing, house flipping in particular, can be one of the most frustrating types of investments a soul can pursue. At the same time it can also be one of the most rewarding mentally, spiritually, and financially. This is something you should keep in mind when deciding whether or not this is the right path for you.

Selling Real Estate in a Sluggish Market

Real estate is one commodity that many depend upon to get them through the rough times in their investment strategies. The problem is that unlike stocks and bonds, real estate is not the most liquid of assets to turn into cash when the going gets rough and money is needed immediately. This may be the one large drawback when it comes to real estate. You cannot rely solely upon real estate to get you through the financial rough patches, as real estate is a very fickle market.

There is only one way in which real estate can truly be sold in a sluggish market such as the one that is rocking the real estate world at the moment and that is not always a way that is ideal for investors. However by offering an exceptional value to consumers, you can almost always manage to sell real estate. This is by far not the method of choice for investors. Investors are often encouraged to hold onto properties during the rough patches by any means possible (and ethical of course) in order to get the maximum profit they are hoping to achieve in the endeavor. When this is not possible, make sure the property being offered and sold is the best value for the money that is currently on the market.

Play up the attributes of any given property and offer several properties for sell at once (assuming you own more than one). More importantly, offer different types of properties rather than one style of property. If you own a few rentals, a couple of vacation homes, time shares, and perhaps a corporate office building or two put one of each on the market and see which sells more quickly.

Another thing that must be considered in a sluggish market is that you cannot attach an emotional value to the price of the property. This is simply bad business. No matter how much sweat, tears, and blood have gone into the property you must realize that just as it is a business transaction for you, so it is for the person placing the bid. You cannot afford to run off potential bidders by becoming insulting or feeling insulted by their bids. Make a counter offer and see what happens rather than letting emotion rule the day. In a buyer’s market there will be low offers.

There are many who make livings (like most investors are attempting to do) by buying low and selling high. This means they will make an insultingly low offer the first time around to see where the seller stands. This doesn’t mean they are the scum of the earth only that they are in this for the greatest possible profit. Do not take their actions or attitudes personally. They are not insulting you or the property only attempting to gain the most money in the process. Most businesses operate that way no matter what they claim.

Selling property in a sluggish market can be a disappointing and gut wrenching process but it is often necessary for one reason or another. Unexpected expenses arise and money is needed when it is needed. This is after all why we make these investments in the first place, to be able to handle the unexpected twists and turns that life tosses our way.

Things to Avoid When Flipping Real Estate

Flipping property is rising in popularity as a form of real estate investing. The truth of the matter is that this is one of the more entertaining methods for many investors that are simply ‘itching’ to get their hands a little dirty. The sweat equity involved in these transactions, while attractive, can also be daunting when skills are inadequate and out and out dangerous in some situations.

If you are one of the many around the world who consider the appeal of flipping property with huge dollar signs in your eyes, you should take care to avoid the following things in order to minimize your risks while maximizing your potential for success.

1) Do not fail to have a qualified inspection of the property before any money changes hands. If you do not have any idea of the types of work that needs to be done then you cannot possibly make an educated estimate of the costs involved in rehabbing the property.
2) Do not underestimate the budget for repairs on the flip. This is one of the most common mistakes that even seasoned professionals make and it can mean the difference between a profit and a loss on the property if you aren’t careful and do not stick to the planned budget.
3) Do not overestimate your abilities. This is another common mistake. The fact that you’ve seen something done on television doesn’t mean that it is something you can do on your own. It costs more money and time to have someone come in and repair your mistakes than to have had a professional do the work from the beginning. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to do some of the work or that doing so would be cost effective. The trick lies in determining where your skills and abilities can really take you rather than where you hope they will take you. Plumbing, electrical, and structural work are generally best left to the professionals unless you have specific experience or training in these fields.
4) Do not fail to hold yourself accountable to your timetable and your budget. Real estate investing puts you in the bosses seat and while that is often simple when it comes to driving others, we often have a bit of difficulty when it comes to holding ourselves accountable for time and money along the way. Unfortunately, failing to do so can be a very costly blunder.
5) Do not forget to keep up with receipts, bills, etc. and reconcile the facts and figures daily. It is far too simple to allow a couple of trips to the local home improvement center escape careful scrutiny. Add a couple of these trips per day and you could easily find thousands of dollars missing from your budget with no paper trail to explain the transactions. You could also find that some tools will not work or be needed for the project. Those items cannot typically be returned without the original receipts.
6) Avoid having too many chiefs on the project. If this is your ball game then you need to run with it rather than having 10 people giving contradictory orders. Schedule meetings regularly to discuss progress and any adjustments or changes that may need to be made.
7) Avoid poor planning. This is one step that is the difference for many would be house flippers between success and failure. Plan out every step of the project in an order that makes sense. You do not want to paint the ceilings or walls after you’ve installed new floors. Nor do you want to rip out walls in order to replace plumbing after you’ve painted them. Plan things out in the proper order and allow a day or two between subsequent projects in case extra time is needed. The last thing you want to do is pay a group of contractors to stand around waiting for the paint to dry so they can begin the next step in the process.

Knowing When Your Ready To Buy

All across the United States, there are millions of people looking to a buy home – either now or in the future. Over the last few years, lower interest rates have come along, making it more affordable than ever to buy a home. When most people stop and give it some thought – buying a home makes a lot more sense than renting a home or an apartment.

In order to buy a house, you’ll need to start saving your money and have enough for the closing costs and a down payment. Your down payment will normally need to be around 15% of the price or the value of the property – whichever is lower. To be on the safe side, you should always try to have 20% to put down. If you aren’t able to put 20% down, you’ll need to buy some private mortgage insurance, which will cost you more in terms of your monthly payment.

In most cases, the closing costs will run you around 5% of the property price. Before you purchase the home, you should always get an estimate. An estimate won’t be the exact price, although it will be really close. You should always plan to save up a bit more money than you need, just to be on the safe side. It’s always best to have more than enough than not enough.

You’ll know your ready to buy a home when you know exactly how much you can afford, and you’re willing to stick with your plan. When you buy a home and get your monthly mortgage payment, it shouldn’t be any more than 25% of your total monthly income. Although there are lenders out there who will say that you can afford to pay more, you should never let them talk you into doing so – but stick to your budget instead.

Keep in mind that there is always more money involved with a home other than the mortgage payment. You also have to pay for utilities, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and maintenance. Owning and caring for a home requires a lot of responsibility. If you’ve never owned a home before, it can take a bit of time to get used to.

Before you fill out any applications, you should always look over your credit report and check for any errors. Although you may think you don’t, you can easily get an error on your credit report and not even realize it. If you have an error on your credit report, it can cost you a lot of money in interest rates. An error will decrease your credit score, which will put you in a higher interest bracket and ultimately cost you a lot more money in the end. Therefore, you should always know your credit before you approach a lender.

If you check your credit report early enough, you may leave yourself enough time to fix any problems and get your credit back on track. Rebuilding credit can take time though, sometimes even years. You should always plan ahead – and give yourself plenty of time to fix your credit.

Buying a home will require a bit of commitment on your behalf. You should always strive to get the best possible deals, which means knowing your credit and where you stand. This way, you can get the best interest rates. You don’t want to buy a home with bad credit, simply because you’ll pay a lot more money for the home. If you take the time to fix any credit problems and save up some money – you’ll be able to get a much better home for your money.

Lease to Own Real Estate

Credit problems plague people across the globe. These problems can lead to many other problems not limited to difficulty purchasing vehicles, getting jobs, opening checking accounts, and purchasing or renting a home. For those who are experiencing credit problems hope seems like a long lost commodity when it comes to the very American dream of owning a home of one’s own.

The good news is that there are some savvy investors around that are willing to take the risk on those who have had credit problems but are attempting to get their lives back in order. The bad news is that this good will often comes at a rather high price to the consumers. Getting into trouble with credit takes a while from which to recover. For many the process is long and filled with pitfalls and missteps along the way. For those that are living the nightmare of poor credit there are times in which the situation must seem hopeless.

For this reason investors that offer lease to own real estate to those with less than spectacular credit are often viewed as saviors on the one hand and villains on the other. However, they are taking a risk that others are unwilling to take on a person that has proven not to be the best credit risk in the business. In other words, many would find that they are justified by charging a higher price or interest rate than traditional lending institutions will charge. After all, it is their money that is on the line if the lessee decides to default on the contract. It is also their money that will be required to make any repairs that will be needed if eviction becomes a necessary conclusion.

For investors who are interested in ‘buy and hold’ investing this is one way of making that system work in their favor. Many times the ‘buyers’ will find another property after a couple of years and will have essentially rented the property for a specified amount of time. At other times they will seek alternative financing once they have been able to straighten out their credit situations. Either way there are many occasions when the property is returned to the investor and has turned a relatively decent profit while holding those who took some degree of ‘pride of ownership’ in the property during that time rather than ordinary renters who often have little or no regard for the condition of the landlord’s property.

There is more than one way that a lease to own deal can work. The most common however, is that there is a specified amount of time typically 2-5 years in which those that are leasing the property can live in the property with a portion of the monthly lease being applied towards a down payment for the property once they are able to get traditional financing. If a twenty percent down payment is achieved during that time the odds of them being approved for a loan are greatly improved. If they (being the lessees) combine this opportunity with serious efforts to improve their credit scores then there should be no problem achieving this.

As a real estate investor this situation is so much more attractive than renters for many reasons. First of all, the maintenance in these cases becomes the problem of the lessees rather than your problem, you have ‘renters’ that are hoping to have ownership of the property in time, and you can charge a little more each month for rent in order to cover the money being applied to the down payment on the property.

Has Television Changed the Face of Real Estate Investing?

If you take a look through the television stations on almost any given day there is a television show somewhere that features home improvement, real estate investing, or some sort of combination of the two. From shows that teach people how to sell homes that have lack luster reviews to shows that teach viewers that it is possible to purchase, repair, and re-sell a home in a matter of weeks for astronomical profits, there are shows that appeal to the entrepreneurial wannabes in audiences around the globe.

These shows have made and lost fortunes a few times over by convincing viewers that they too can do the wondrous things seen on television. The truth is that many viewers are capable of doing these things but television never really shows how hard the work actually may be. The television cameras do not always show the blood, sweat, and tears that go into making these projects successful and rarely mention the countless complete and total failures that occur along the way.

The cameras are also not to keen for showing up at 4 am and rolling well after midnight when the work for the day is finished. It doesn’t catch the heart attacks and nightmares as credit cards are going dangerously close to being completely maxxed out while dreams of quick riches fade right in front of investor’s eyes.

This does not mean that every project is doomed to failure only that things are not always as rosey as they may appear to be on the television shows. Flipping houses may seem to be a bit glamorous and a lot hands on. The problem with that is that too few people really realize how much work goes into the hands on part of the program. This is not easy money no matter how much the television cameras would like to convince you otherwise.

It is very possible to turn a substantial profit in a relatively short amount of time if you keep your cool, use your head, and buy and sell in the right conditions. The problem is that so many people do not consider the big picture and find themselves in over their heads and out of money before the project is anywhere near completion.

One thing that television has definitely done for this line of work is make competition for the flappable houses a little fiercer. The early bird in this business gets the worm and while the cheapest house isn’t always the best candidate the less competition you have driving the prices up, the better in this situation. The goal is to buy low and sell high. Most people do not have a terrible amount of competition, as of yet, on the selling high portion of the program. The real trouble at this point in time lies in the buying low portion as there are many more would be real estate investors that are interested in buying the inexpensive properties than there are that will actually see the projects through from beginning to end.

So yes, television has greatly changed the way people invest in real estate. Whether this is truly good or bad for the overall real estate market remains to be seen. In light of the recent down turns in real estate it is to be expected that some of the popularity may diminish. The sad thing is that this is still one of, if not the best ways to make a large sum of money fairly quickly that is legal in the world today. Fortunes can be made and lost in real estate; the trick is always in placing your bets on the right property at the right time. For those who are willing to take the risks associated with this type of investment in today’s market and those that are willing to wait for a slight upturn in the market the profit potential is phenomenal.