What You Need to Know When Moving to a New State

1. Does it have facilities that you need on a daily basis?

You do not want to move to a new location and find that there are no grocery stores for you to get vegetables; you need to drive miles away. And it is not just a matter of availability; they should also be stocking commodities which are required daily. It should be convenient for you to shop at any time of the day. There should be schools, drug stores, hospitals and other important facilities near the new location, they should be accessible anytime of the day and night.

2. How is the environment, is it conducive to your needs?

Do you need a quiet neighborhood, or don’t mind the noise? Do you have children? Will they have an easy way to get to school? Does it snow in the winter, if so how good is the plowing service? How good is the garbage collecting service? are there nearby recycling centers? There are so many questions to be asked about a new area. It pays to ensure you have as much information as possible before deciding to move. You will enjoy your new neighborhood much more if the environment accurately fit your needs.

3. Who are your neighbors?

They say that we may not have the power to choose our neighbors but when you are planning to move, all the power rests in you. Although it might not be possible to know what kind of a neighbor you will have by just looking around or having a little chat, getting some information no matter how little could make all the difference. Avoiding a potentially negative experience with a neighbor can save much trouble and heart ache. It would always be good to know who your neighbors are, do they have lots of late night parties, do they have a son learning drums? or maybe they have children at the age as yours or old enough to babysit yours? Having information about the residents in a new neighborhood is extremely valuable.

4. How much will it cost to move?

Although this should not influence your decision to buy a property, you will need to consider this as some planning is required. Moving to some places can be expensive given the few movers in the area and also the attitude of the movers. You need to consider the cost if you have other home options, and are finding it difficulty to choose. It should not be overly expensive to move. Go for places where moving expenses are low, if all the other factors play out to your advantage.

5. Can I afford the lifestyle in my new location?

You may be moving to a location where life is a bit expensive compared to your current area. It might be a place where residents have to cut a niche for themselves. Do not go to a place where you may be forced to spend more than you can afford to keep up with the lifestyle. Move to a location where your income allows, do not struggle to pay your bills, you may be moving out to get a peace of mind only to start a life of endless debts, misery and stress.

It pays to consider these questions when making this crucial decision, it will make your move easy and enjoyable.

How to Rent a Home Safely

Renting a home can be tricky, and finding ways to make it a safe transaction take some time and diligence. There are different considerations that must be taken into account depending on whether you are a renter or a landlord. Let’s take a few moments to look at both sides.

Renting – the landlord side

There are a wide variety of reasons that you might have to rent out your house. Perhaps you are in the military and you are being temporarily assigned to a new duty station. Or you need to get a little extra income and you have space in your house for a college student to live in. Each of those reasons is perfectly valid, and has a different set of factors that have to be considered before the tenant moves in.

For everyone you rent to, a background check is always a good idea. It will cost you between $25 and $100, depending on how deep the check goes. The last thing you want is to be stationed in Germany, helpless to deal with a tenant who has damaged the house.

Second, you will need to find out if there are any additional costs involved in renting, like fees or taxes you will owe to the city for being a landlord. There may also be HOA considerations to be met or additional dues that have to be paid. You will also need to be financially able to handle the times when your house is not being rented, because that mortgage won’t go away.

To help oversee the tenants and to make sure your rent is collected properly each month, particularly if you will not be living on-site, consider hiring a property manager who can be your representative.

Make sure you also have enough of the right kinds of insurance beyond homeowner’s insurance. Your agent can help guide you so you have all of the right coverage.

The easiest way to determine what you should charge for rent is to do some research using sites like Zillow, Trulia, or Home Finder. This will give you an idea of what comparable homes are renting for. If you are only renting a single room, look at the apartment sections to get an estimate of a fair rent amount.

Renting – the tenant side

As a tenant, make sure you take out renter’s insurance to cover your own property and belongings inside the house or room. Your landlord should also have a rental agreement or contract for you to sign that will protect both of you legally.

Check other rental units in your area to see if the room you are considering is fairly priced. Do a quick Google maps search to confirm what you are looking at is the same as what you see when you drive past the place. And, when you contact the owner, make sure he or she is ready to meet with you or have his or her property manager meet with you if the owner lives out of state. Mailing you keys, rents below market value, and a Google search that turns up empty are all red flags of places to avoid. Also, if the landlord wants you to wire money to him or her before anything is signed, walk away and be glad you didn’t fall into a scam artist’s trap.

Whether you are the renter or the landlord, a little prep work ahead of time can save you a ton of grief later.

All The Real Estate Basics For Beginners

There are several methods of making good money in the real estate industry. In case you do have the right amount of capital then you could easily create a consistent cash flow of profits by investing in the right property. There are various basics of the real estate industry, which could help you in making good money here. All you have to do is to use some of your knowledge and skills to survive in the industry and then you’ll be able to become really successful here.

Selling Properties

Having a career as a real estate agent can prove to be really rewarding if you do know what to do with your skills. The best way to utilize your skills for making good money is to sell real estate properties. As we all know that agents in the industry are paid commissions and by earning even 2 or 3 good commissions you’ll be able to make a lot of money. Even if you don’t have any prior experience of selling properties, you don’t have to worry about anything as this industry would surely offer you something good.

Property investment

Investing in the real estate sector is an impeccable way to make some passive income. You could easily buy a property and rent it out at good rates. This would surely allow you to make some good profits over a long period of time. All you have to do is to find the right area or locality where you could invest your money and earn some good income.

Flipping homes

Another major income earning proposition in the real estate industry is to buy a distressed house, redecorate and design it and eventually sell it at a good rate. This is basically flipping of homes for making good profits. A lot of good investors do this from time to time because they do know the fact that there is a lot of money in the industry. You could even take up a loan for purchasing such a property at good rates.

Occupants in Common

A simpler method of getting into the field of real estate investment is to bring together a large group of family members or friends to purchase a large piece of property. This is the best way through which you could save a lot of money and also reduce the total financial burden on each of the investors.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and go through these real estate basics for making good income.

Important Tips for Selling Your Luxury Home

If you are an owner of a luxury home desirous of selling it, you might be surprised and disappointed to find that there are not many takers for it. The reason behind this reluctance is the fact that people do not want to spend an astronomical sum in buying a residential property. It is like maintaining a white elephant that does not guarantee returns on investment. You must make sure that you keep the luxury home in top condition so that it is able to attract prospective buyers. Also, you need to advertise it aggressively so as to find buyers willing to give your asking price.

Correct Pricing is the Key to Quick Selling

It is understandable if you are deeply attached to your home. But your love and appreciation for your home should not dictate the asking price you set for it when trying to sell it. If you set this price too high, you might be disappointed with the response of the interested buyers. It is a good idea to hold consultations with a real estate agent in your area to set the asking price realistically. He knows the prices of similar properties in the area that have been sold recently and so there is no reason not to believe him in this regard. However, you can double check this information by comparing the figure with the asking price of similar properties currently listed in the market.

First Impressions Are Often the Last Ones

If you are lucky enough to receive a flurry of interested buyers, make sure you are able to hold and sustain their interest through a property that looks beautiful at first glance. Just imagine how a prospective buyer feels when he comes to buy a dream house for his family and sees a structure that looks old and tattered. If there are lawns in the property, ask a gardener to spruce things up. Get the entryway cleaned with high pressure steam and also get minor repairs fixed to give the visitor a good impression.

Use Aggressive Marketing to Tell People about Your Property

There are all sorts of buyers from passive to active in not only domestic market but also at the global level looking to invest in properties. Most owners make the mistake of targeting their gun on rich people thinking they are likely to be interested in buying a luxury home. There are many middle class people who are attracted to the idea of owning luxury properties through financing. Spread the word about your luxury home through print and electronic media and do not leave social media platforms behind. The more you advertise, the higher the number of people across whom the message goes about your property.

Show Patience When Selling Luxury Property

Luxury property is not like an old iPhone or a pet that can sell pretty quickly in your own locality. You have to be prepared for grueling rounds of negotiations with prospective buyers to be able to sell the property at a desired price. Do not jump on to the initial offers you get but also do not reject them outright. If you show patience and wait for sufficient time, you will definitely find a buyer who can pay your asking price.

Hire the services of a real estate agent

It is a long and tedious procedure trying to sell your luxury property. It is a prudent idea to hire the services of an experienced agent who has the experience of dealing in such properties in the past.

• Huge Clientele

A real estate agent has high profile connections and huge clientele when it comes to home buyers. He/she knows how to sell your home to the perfect buyer within no time. On the other hand, not being a professional agent, you don’t know as much home buyers as he knows.

• Perfect Home Value

Sometimes, home sellers find it difficult to sell their homes on their own and the biggest reason for not being able to sell home is that they usually overprice their home and don’t analyze the contemporary market prices. However, professional and experienced real estate agents help them price their home perfectly so that that may get more potential home buyers quickly.

• Convenient Process

Professional realtors make the selling process convenient for the home sellers. For instance, there are many home sellers who don’t want to get involved in documentation or to deal with home buyers all the time. Here the agents will help you and get your home sold by potential home buyers.

• Motivation to Sell

Selling homes is their professional and they’ll get their commission only when they sell a house. So there is enough motivation for them to delicately sell your house to potential home buyers.

Easy Steps to Finding the Perfect Houses for Rent

Whether you are new to renting or have been leasing properties for years, the process of finding great houses for rent can be incredibly time consuming. One third of all Americans rent their homes, including college students, families, and seniors. Fortunately, you can find houses for rent that fit all budgets and types of households. The key to finding a great piece of property without stressing yourself out too much is to make your search smarter and more efficient. Read on for some tips on how to do just that.

Determine Your Budget

Before you even begin your search, create a budget and take a hard look at what you can really afford to spend. The general rule is that you should never spend more than 30 percent of your take-home income on housing costs. You’ll also need to factor in any debt you may have, as well as commuting costs, groceries, savings, and other expenses. Many landlords have income limits, so make sure to ask about that. Keep in mind that you will also need to budget for utilities, so it’s crucial to ask your landlord about what will be included in your rent.

Create a Wish List of Features

You probably have a count in mind for bedrooms and bathrooms, but it’s great to also draw up a “nice to have” list. Is it important to you that you have a patio, deck, or great outdoor space for entertaining? Do you want a fireplace or fancy bathroom, or can you make do with just a shower?

If you are into cooking, you will want to consider what kind of stove and kitchen amenities you will need. It is also a good idea to start thinking of compromises that you’re willing to make. For example, would you be willing to give up some square footage for a great location? Is a roommate a good compromise for a high-end apartment?

Choose a Rental Type

Consider exactly the type of property that will work best for your family and lifestyle. Houses for rent aren’t the only option – you can also consider townhomes, apartment units in high-rise buildings, and accessory units in single-family homes. A lot of this will depend on how long of a lease term you’re after and how much space you’ll need. Use these factors to decide whether a sublet or renting directly from an owner or corporate housing company would be better for you.

Go Through the Application and Approval Process

There are some things you should expect in the application process. Landlords will typically ask you to fill out an application that allows them to run a background check on you and request that you supply information in the form of references, pay stubs, and more. You’ll then have to negotiate the terms of your lease. With careful negotiation, you may be able to work out perks like a month of free rent or reduced parking. Now all that’s left is to put in your deposit!

Going through the rental process doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow some of the tips above and it will be a breeze!

Best Tips For Renting Out Your House

It’s a great time to rent out your home.

  • Rents are (in many areas) at an all time high, and keep moving higher.
  • Find the right tenant – so you make money while you sleep.
  • Have a new house payment? Then why not let someone else help pay for it?

There are times when you are looking for a new home, yet need to rent out your existing home.

Perhaps you have already purchased your new home and haven’t yet sold your old one? Rental income would definitely help in this situation.

Who doesn’t need extra monthly cash flow? Right?

Just like anything in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Be careful not to fall into common traps like rushing the process or leasing your home to the wrong tenant.

Here are a few tips to have the process go smoothly:

1. Presentation is Everything.

Your home is your castle – no doubt about it. Daily life is so demanding that you don’t always notice that you’ve been jamming paper grocery bags in that space between the refrigerator and cabinets… for two years.

Here is what has been happening: You have secretly been forgiving yourself for all these little unsightly things around your home because of work, kids, travel, etc. Unfortunately, potential tenants are not so forgiving.

Just like anyone who is wants to buy something, the tenant will immediately look for everything which is “wrong” with your property.

Many homeowners take this personally, but it’s important to remember to put yourself in the tenant’s situation – how would you react?

You need to make your home presentable for the widest array of personal tastes, otherwise you are limiting the amount of potential tenants – and rental income.

Remove All Clutter – Stuff it in the drawers or bury it in the backyard, just don’t have it in your home.

Clean Everything Until it Shines – Think about those home magazines; are the bathrooms and kitchens clean or dirty.

Buy Plants and Flowers – TIP: You really can’t go wrong with orchids; they seem to breathe new life into an old room.

Create a Sense of Openness – Arrange your furniture and outdoor areas with a sense of open space, especially in entry ways. Retail stores do this in all their entry ways to allow customers to “take it all in” first, before they buy.

Natural Light Works Wonders – I mean really… if you have a tenant who thrives in a really dark space – unless they’re developing old camera film – it’s probably not someone you want in your home.

Make All Repairs Now (while you still have the chance) – Yes, it’s time. That loose door knob, leaking toilet, crack in the tile, etc. is costing you money. Fix it now and if it’s broken again when the tenant moves out, then remove it from their security deposit.

2. Price Your Rental Right

Pricing is everything,

It is easy to look at comparable rentals in your area to get an idea of how to price your home. Just be sure not to fall into the trap of thinking “nothing compares to our home… it’s better than anything else in the neighborhood”.

Unfortunately, potential tenants have no emotional attachment to your home, so be prepared for some brutally honest opinions.

Remember that you have to see things from their perspective. What would you look for? What type of things would you point out about your home if it did not belong to you?

A huge value-add to add to a lease is for the landlord to offer to split the utilities with the tenant. Sometimes this can make a lease more desirable if you are having trouble getting a qualified tenant.

Remember, I said split the utilities – never offer to pay them in full, as this will open you up to a lot of problems of over-usage.

Splitting the utilities will require some extra paperwork at the end of the month (the tenant will need to email you the utility bills each month, however it’s a very attractive offering to most tenants and will allow you to keep your lease at a competitive price.

3. Build a Short List of Leads

The amount of resources available to landlords today is vast. Social media, online profiles, online background checks, etc. make it much easier to get a clearer picture of who you are thinking of having in your home.

As long as the information on your potential tenant is available to the public, don’t be afraid to use it. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Images can reveal a lot about someone and their lifestyle.

Remember: It’s not fair to judge someone based on their online profiles alone. However, if they allude to participating in illegal activity, or post a lot of photos about having house parties, etc. – well, this makes your decision a little bit easier.

4. Verify and Qualify Your Tenants

Some of the biggest mistakes I see with landlords qualifying tenants is that the landlord is way too busy to individually look up references and simply call the numbers provided on the rental application.

Don’t just call the numbers provided on the application!!

It’s not a common practice, but sometimes a potential tenant will give numbers on their application to “references” which are actually friends or family doing them a favor.

If a tenant lists a reference which is a previous employer or previous landlord/management company, ALWAYS look up the number on your own. This is just a safeguard which will get you more accurate information.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of using third-party services to qualify your tenants. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to do my own research and actually pick up the phone

Here are some helpful resources to make your life easier:

1. Get Application – Try and search Rental Applications

2. Get Docs Signed – If you are managing multiple rentals and screening a lot of tenants, yet are still faxing or hand-signing documents. STOP. Look into using Docusign.

3. Manage Your Business – Search for management software which runs your entire rental business. Everything from screening, background checks to even collecting rents.

4. Advertise Your Rental – Always favor paid services (where the tenant has to pay to search listings) to advertise. In general, paid services provide more qualified tenants (in my experience).

Advertising Real Estate Made Simple And Easy

As we all know, selling a property can be a complicated process; regardless of which country you are. If you are selling your property privately, especially getting the advertising right will help you increase your chances of closing the deal.

With proper advertising and promotion, you could easily attract a lot of potential investors. Luckily, there are several great methods of advertising real estate properties for sale including newspaper ads, magazines and hoardings. In the article given below we are going to talk in particular about advertising real estate in the simplest possible way.

Key steps of advertising your properties

  1. You should get started by signing up with a full-service broker or real estate agent in your area. He is a professional who would help you advertise your property through various mediums so that you can reach several investors.
  2. Another important thing that you could do here is to advertise your property in several newspapers. This is a great medium to reach more and more potential investors in a particular area. You could mention all the details regarding your property in the newspaper so that the investors get a better idea regarding what to expect from your property in terms of rate and area. Make sure that you do mention your phone number or address so that people can easily reach you.
  3. Use several bulletin boards and hoardings to advertise your property. Even if you have to spend some extra bucks on advertising you should do so because it could surely help you find the right investor who is willing to give you good money in exchange of your property. Keep a tab on the boards once you have put up your advertisement as it would help you in knowing more about the people who are interested in purchasing your property.
  4. You should now position some fliers at different locations so that you can reach more and more customers here. This is a great way to gain some exposure in the industry.
  5. You got to now advertise your property in a number of real estate magazines and journals. This is something which could really help you as far as generating some fine results is concerned.
  6. Click and upload your property’s picture on a reliable website that could help you in selling land.

These are some of the best steps that you could follow for advertising real estate market in the simplest possible way. It is of utmost importance to look out for some fine options here so that you are able to make the right decision.

Things To Keep In Mind While Moving

Moving is one the most hectic things in one’s life. However, it can be very emotionally stressful too. This is due to the fact that the transportation of items has to be smoothly organised. Between this, many people forget about the basic things that one should remember while moving. Some of these important basics are discussed below.

Cars and other vehicles

Cars can be really useful while moving, as you can easily load your important items on it and travel to your house. However, the problem starts with smaller vehicles like motorbikes. You cannot load your items and move on the bike. You’ll have to come back and take the bike back after driving your car to your new home. This can be very frustrating. Thus, always insist in hiring a trailer for transportation of smaller vehicles.

Transporting food items

Transporting food items can be very awkward. However, all that food cannot be wasted either. Thus, you must pre-plan what you are going to do with your leftover food items. The best way, of course, is to eat them. You can start organising parties and eating heartily, in order to use up your supplies before the moving date. Food cans may be easily transported, though.

Assembled furniture

Movement and transportation of assembled furniture can be a little confusing as they may not come out through the doors from where it got in at first at a disassembled state. Some pieces or furniture can be easily disassembled though. Then they can be transported and reassembled at your new home. However, flat pack furniture just isn’t like that and cannot be disassembled easily at the first place. In such cases, you’ll have to make an important decision of leaving it behind. If it is really that important, then you will have to remove a wall or something to get it out of the house.

Electricity and meters

Checking the final electric meter reading is one of the most important, and unfortunately, one of the most forgettable things while moving. If you didn’t check the meter reading before leaving the house permanently, then you’ll have a lot of problem regarding a new electric connection. Also, you’ll have to come back to check the meter reading. This can be especially problematic if your new home is a long distance away from your old home. Another problem is that if your old home is sold, you will have an awkward conversation with the new owners. Thus, it is best to check it before leaving the house.

Are You Treating Your Real Estate Investing As a Business?

Although it is likely that no one will ever see it, it is essential that you create a business plan for your real estate business. You are treating your real estate investing like a business aren’t you? Just the process of putting the plan together is extremely valuable. You will be forced to ask yourself questions and come up with solutions for problems that you don’t even know you have. At the very least, it will expose some threats to your business or identify potential opportunities, so you are aware of what is around you.

Here are four reasons why you need a business plan:

Evaluating your strategy

There is no process that will teach you more about your business. When you are done with the plan, you will have a clear understanding of your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.) With this information, you will be able to accurately plan for success. Creating the business plan should take a fair amount of time and there are some key areas you will be focusing on. These include your product, your competition, the market and of course your numbers.

I love numbers, so going through the financial section is one of the most important pieces of the business plan in my opinion. You will want to tie in your financial goals with your plan to narrow down what your margins need to be and how many deals you need to be doing. Of course these are all projections, and a business plan is a breathing document which needs to be updated throughout the year.

Monitor performance

Several times through the year you need to run your financials and update your business plan. Read about your industry and check into your competition. Stay on top of what is going on. It is easy to over look this and get caught up in the everyday business operations, but without keeping current, you will not be able to make necessary changes to stay or become successful.

Let’s say you are really focusing on flipping properties in Thornton. Thornton becomes saturated with investors and wholesale pricing starts to increase. Prices for materials are also increasing, but you are not seeing higher resale prices. Your plan calls for $15,000 profit per property, but you are now making $5,000 or $10,000. The sooner you identify this and research other neighborhoods, the closer you will be to staying on track with your yearend projections.

Locating your target market

Most of the successful investors we work with focus their business. With real estate, it is most often focusing on location. I met with an investor yesterday that only buys houses in Washington Park. He never adds square footage, but does full renovations. He does this over and over and makes a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. This is great because he knows the area and makes offers on almost all properties that come on the market. He buys houses that no one else knows about because he markets his business in this area. He knows the market and the competition.

Other investors really focus on a type of seller and market to them. Some of my best deals were when I was marketing to probates. Direct mail to probate was a big part of my business plan. Looking at the different opportunities should be part of the business planning process so you will be forced to look for your target market.

Attract partners and investors

This is rarer than you might read about on the internet, but it is a true benefit of your business plan. I have never been asked by my banker or a vendor to supply a business plan, and I have borrowed millions of dollars. Where it really does come in handy is when you are dealing directly with individuals for funding. This could include private lenders or partners. Investors need to know how we run our business and how they are going to benefit. For this reason, we share our full business plan with them when they consider us as an investment option. This proves that we have done our research and have a solid strategy for growth.

6 Secrets for Selling Your Home Fast

Are you in a financial crisis? Do you want to sell your home fast? If so, we suggest that you read a few secret tips that we have given in this article. With these tips, you will find it easier to sell your home in a short period of time.

Set the right price

First of all, you should evaluate your house and then reduce the price by 20%. Once you have done that, you will get tons of buyers with attractive bids. The buyers will keep bidding and you will be able to get much more than the actual value of your house. Actually, you have to have the courage but the majority of buyers don’t have it. Still, it’s the best strategy to sell a home fast in the here and now.

Half-empty closets

Nowadays, every purchaser is in search of storage. So, you should create enough space in your closets. All you have to do is remove half the things from your closets and then re-organize the rest of the stuff. This will impress the buyers. Also, make sure all of your cabinets and closets are neat and clean.

Light it up

Make sure you light up your house. After location, lighting is something that all buyers care about. What you need to do is remove the drapes, dust the windows, install quality light bulbs, change the lampshades and cut the bushes. Actually, the idea is to make your home as bright as possible.

Play the agent field

One mistake that you don’t want to make is hiring an inexperienced broker. What you need to do is do your homework to get an experienced broker. The professional should be able to monitor the MLS. He should have the information about the houses that are going to be on the market. Actually, you should look for a broker who uses technology in order to do their business.

Conceal the critters

Like most house owners, you may think that having a cat or dog in your house may impress the buyers. However, this may not work for you. You need to keep in mind that not every buyer loves dogs or cats. Actually, some buyers may not like to see a bowl of dog food in your house. This may give an impression that the home is not clean. So, it’s better to transfer the critters to a good pet hotel for that day.

Always be ready to show

You need to be always ready to show your house to potential buyers. Actually, you can’t predict when the potential buyers will request you to show your house. What you need to do is keep your house ready at all times. Your house should be in the best shape. So, make sure the dishes are not in the sink and that the dishwasher is clean. While it’s a bit inconvenient, you will be able to get your house sold fast.

So, you may want to use these 6 tips if you want to sell your house as soon as possible.