Last decade’s housing bubble is becoming a distant memory. Mortgage rates are near historic lows, interest-only loans are back and everyone loves real estate as an investment again.
More than 1 in 4 Americans (27 percent) said real estate was the best investment for money they would not need for at least a decade, according to a new Bankrate.com survey of 1,000 investors. Cash came in second with 23 percent of investors, only 17 percent said the stock market is their preferred place for long-term money and just 5 percent said they would put their long-term money in bonds.
It is the first time real estate has taken the top spot in the three years Bankrate has been conducting the survey. Cash was investors’ favorite in 2013 and 2014. “It begs the questions if more Americans are once again viewing real estate as a golden ticket,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.
Credit is harder to come by than a decade ago and lenders face more regulations, but financial advisors say many clients are catching the real estate bug again.
“Justlast week,a high-tech corporate boomer client with no experience in renovating and selling real estate told us he wanted to go into flipping a property with his friend, who does this for a living,” said Jon Ulin, certified financial planner and managing principal of Ulin & Co. Wealth Management in Boca Raton, Florida. His client wanted to liquidate 25 percent of his IRA to invest in the project and told Ulin it would “diversify” his portfolio.
“I advised him that putting a quarter or more of his life savings into flipping and renovating one property with the hopes of making a possible 14 percent profit is not a good idea and a gamble,” Ulin said.
Real estate has curb appeal that other financial assets can’t match.
“For many investors, the tangible nature of real estate simply offers much more peace of mind than the intangible nature of stock and bonds,” said Stephen Doucette, a certified financial planner and vice president of Proctor Financial in Sherborn, Massachusetts. “Real estate pricing also adds peace of mind to investors as pricing seems more stable because it is not updated daily by the media.”
Investors should weigh the long-term return potential of real estate investing compared with other assets.
The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which measures the value of residential real estate in 20 major metropolitan areas, has generated a hearty annualized 9.2 percent return over the past three years through June 30, but produced an annualized 0.4 percent loss over the past decade. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index, a broad measure of the U.S. stock market, grew an annualized 14.8 percent over the past three years and 5.87 percent over the past 10 years.
But investors with good credit can borrow to buy real estate, which can enhance returns—or magnify losses, depending on the market. “The singular and best reason to own real estate as an investment is to use leverage,” said Stephen Lovell, a certified financial planner in Walnut Creek, California. “Without it, your return on investment tends to be about 2 percent to 3 percent.”
Real estate also comes with different risks than other financial assets. You cannot sell it as quickly as stocks and bonds. You have to pay for insurance, maintenance and property taxes that can eat into your profits.
“You can’t sell real estate short so you cannot hedge against a down market and the market for real estate is too local,” warns Wes Shannon, a certified financial planner with SJK Financial Planning in Hurst, Texas. “You may live in a state or city going through an economic boom, but if the other houses on your street start to decline or convert to rentals you can see a depreciation of your [home] value … even one bad neighbor can ruin an investment in real estate.”
The recovery has yet to arrive in many states, reinforcing the notion that real estate growth is regional. No one can accurately predict when this real estate uptick will end or how hard, or soft, a landing it will make. In the meantime, let proven fundamentals, applied with a few modern wrinkles, rule the day. Here are 10 tips for 2015 to help the real estate process.
1. Do sweat the small (cheap) stuff, sellers
Little touches go a long way in the buyer’s eye, starting logically with the entry. Trim bushes, wash walkways and change out trampled welcome mats. Inside, de-stink with candles and counter sprays, de-jam closets and de-clutter rooms, focusing keenly on kitchen counters. Hide scrub brushes and other fantasy-killing labor tools. Dust, wax, scrub toilets, wash windows, test and clean lights, put out fresh towels, winnow family mementos, harness or hide that avalanche of toys, remove prescription drugs from medicine cabinets and police the yard for “pet bombs.” It’s time well-spent.
2. Take note(s), buyers
In a whirlwind house-hunting tour of several properties, buyers benefit by keeping a pro-and-con checklist of each home they visit. Otherwise, the features of several homes tend to blend together in a tired brain by day’s end. Creating a rating scale of 1 to 10 also helps, as does carrying a checklist of specific features that you seek in an ideal home. Capital Construction Contracting Inc also recommends you take note of any renovations needed so you can factor that into your cost.
3. Sell by season
Though spring is optimal, home selling is a year-round sport. Use seasonal accents to make buyers linger longer.
Winter: Unfurl throw rugs and spotlight functional fireplaces. Near holidays, add touches like wreaths and pine-cone centerpieces. Display photos of your home a season ahead, particularly in winter, so buyers can see the house ensconced by greenery.
Spring: Fresh-cut flowers and candles bring spring scents indoors. For that new-start look, do extra spring cleaning and use brightly colored linens, spreads and pillows. Add little pops of color to the entry and landscape.
Summer: Highlight patios and other outdoor areas. Swap out dark towels and curtains for light colors. Put out a seasonal fruit basket or add hanging flowers. Keep the house cool but not cold.
Fall: Display pumpkins by the door and vases of fall foliage or tricolored corn inside. Use seasonal scents such as baked apple. Keep those leaves at bay.
4. Drill deeply
Buyers are regularly advised to scope out the block at varying hours, but why not drill down further to see if your potential new neighborhood is fading or flourishing?
- Bad signs: A major local employer is struggling or moving away; adjacent neighborhoods are progressively turning into rentals; and a few too many for-sale homes are lingering on the market. Nearby commercial spaces remain persistently vacant.
- Good signs: Schools are in high demand and well-rated. Young families and artsy types are moving in. Older couples are “aging in place” and nearby commercial properties are getting redeveloped and quickly leased. For-sale homes are generating multiple offers.
5. ‘Big data’ is everywhere, so tap in
While local knowledge and old-school networking will always be valuable, the latest technology lets agents offer much more. Some agencies offer “livability” ratings by ranking and contrasting neighborhoods by air quality, traffic choke points and specific data on a home’s energy efficiency. In 2013, the National Association of Realtors introduced its Predictive Analytics group. Banks already use “big data” to gauge the worth of foreclosures and short sales, and mobile apps now offer it for consumer and agent use. Ask agents if they offer this and other edgy technology such as high-definition aerial footage shot by drones. Should your grandiose home merit that, go big!
6. Transparency equals trust
Buyers will certainly enlist inspectors to twice-over your home, Mr. Seller. So instead of inviting disappointment, delay and distrust, go transparent with your own presale inspection. It’s far better to know now about issues with the plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning), foundation, electrical systems and roof. Provide the buyer a copy of the inspection along with repair receipts, and explain if or how you’ve adjusted your price accordingly. Buyers appreciate candor.
7. Math versus ego
Too often, buyers get caught up in win-at-all-costs negotiation. They’ll stubbornly let as little as a few grand lock them out of the right house. At an interest rate of 4.5 percent, the difference between paying $200,000 and $195,000 — assuming 1.25 percent property tax and 15 percent down — is only about $25 per month on a 30-year mortgage, or about the cost of lunch for two at a fast-casual eatery, before the tip. Don’t let that ruin your chances at your dream home.
8. Retain mineral rights
With so many giant natural-gas fields (shales) in play across the U.S. and new ones pending, homeowners should exercise “seller’s market” clout to retain mineral rights. While that intent needn’t even be mentioned in the sales contract in some states, it’s always safest to note it, provided the buyer doesn’t protest. Avoid that scenario by conveying those rights to a trustworthy relative or to an energy company buying them before putting the house on the block. “Mineral rights? Oh, so sorry, I no longer own them.”
9. Buying? Then cool it for a while
Refrain from making big capital purchases like a new car, opening new credit cards or amassing big chunks of other new debt before buying a home. These raise your debt-to-income ratio, which lenders examine to determine the mortgage amount you can afford. Also avoid moving large sums of money around, changing banks, changing jobs and becoming self-employed before buying a home.
10. The price is right
Trite, you say? Perhaps. But accurate home pricing from the outset never goes out of style because it sells homes. Some agents advise sellers to overprice because inventory is low. Others say go below market to spur a bidding war. Don’t get caught up in pricing games.
Activity in the first month of a listing is always the best, so don’t risk wasting it. Price too high, and scare off many buyers and agents. Price too low, and risk leaving dollars on the table. Hiring the right agent based on recommendations, response time, in-person interviews, track record and data support will yield that pricing expert you need.
1. Leverage enables you to borrow other peoples money;
2. Compounding will let you maximise the benefits of borrowing other peoples money;
3. Historically the longer you hold onto a property the greater the capital appreciation, which is what makes you wealthy in the long-term;
4. Roughly around 10% of Australians own an investment property which is negatively geared;
5. New properties tend to have higher rates of depreciation compared to old properties;
6. Capital city areas continue to have growing populations and increased property demand;
7. Properties have grown by over 14 times since the 1970’s in Australia;
8. The interest component of mortgages on investment properties is tax deductible, which is why many people feel interest only loans are the best option for property investors;
9. Units and Houses have performed very closely over the last years in Australia;
10. Property near public transport tends to be in more demand compared to property far away.
Real estate is a tricky game – you must become very knowledgeable about your target markets and your competitors in order to become successful. That’s true in North America, as well as anywhere else in the world.
But when you start to branch outside of the U.S. real estate market, that’s when things can really start to get complicated. The rules are different, and mistakes can be costly.
Here are a few things you need to know if you’re considering investing in international real estate.
You Need To Know What Stage Your Market Is In
There are roughly five stages to every emerging market. If you don’t know what stage that market is in, you could get taken to the cleaners. The first stage is usually reserved for locals only. This means that locals are using the land for their own purpose, like agriculture and business.
An outside party can bring that land to the second stage, which means that large swatches of land are bought for the purpose of developing them at a later date (or hanging onto them indefinitely).
These large swatches are eventually broken up into smaller parcels, becoming further developed and moving into stage three of the real estate market stages. These parcels can become small enough that homebuyers can actually come in and purchase, as well as speculators.
The land switches to a mainstream homebuyer market in stage four when restaurants, hotels, and other consumer-driven developments arrive. This then becomes a full-fledged city at stage five, with all the infrastructure and civil services that come with it.
Each stage has its own advantages and challenges. For the risk-averse, the early stages are the most risky – but do provide the highest beta. This means that with a higher risk, comes a higher reward.
You Must Have A Plan
Without a plan, you’ll never have a clear vision of what to do with your new investment. Knowing if you are planning on renting the house, living in it, or just holding onto the property until property values rise are important questions to ask yourself before diving into real estate.
You Won’t Get Rich Quick
Real estate investing is a long-term investment. There’s no way around that – while people in distinct markets may have sped up this timeline, the fact of the matter is that real estate is hard work, and may not pay off in the end if you don’t do your research beforehand.
You Must Study Up
Becoming a successful international real estate investor means knowing everything you possibly can about the situation you are putting yourself in: the local market, the neighborhood, and even the property itself. If you don’t know what your cash flows will be, like how long it usually takes to rent a property in your market, you may have too much overhead to cover each month. Know before you buy!
As a final word of wisdom, becoming a real estate tycoon is hard work, and isn’t for everyone. If you take on something that is a little too far over your head, you run the risk of damaging your livelihood, your family, and your future. Know yourself before buying any property, and understand the risks and time commitment involved.
Selling a home is not the easiest of tasks but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as figuring out the rubrics cube! The level of difficulty does increase though when selling a luxury home. With the increasing level of difficulty comes an increased level of expertise that is required to sell a luxury home.
Many real estate agents don’t have a clue when it comes to selling luxury homes. The same can be said for the owners of a luxury home. It is important that the proper steps are taken to ensure the home is sold in a timely fashion and for a fair, market value price!
Here are several tips for selling luxury homes that are helpful for any real estate agent or homeowner.
Is The Price Right?
Pricing a home correctly, from the beginning, is extremely important whether selling a $100,000 home or a 1.5 million dollar luxury home! A common real estate pricing mistake that is made is hiring the real estate agent who suggests the highest price and in the luxury home market, this can be a huge mistake. It’s extremely important that a luxury home is priced competitively or aggressively from the beginning to attract buyers from the beginning. It is more common for a luxury home to sit on the market for longer than a lower priced home, however, a luxury home does not have to sit on the market if priced properly from the beginning!
To ensure the price is right, an in-depth comparative market analysis, must be completed on a luxury home in order to determine a competitive or aggressive price. A real estate agent should spend several hours massaging the data, touring other comparable luxury homes currently for sale, and calling other real estate brokers who have recently sold comparable properties to the subject home. Often times there are homes that are extremely similar to others in certain neighborhoods. It is rare to find a luxury home that is identical to another, so knowing every amenity a luxury home has is crucial when determining the price!
How Will The Luxury Home Be Marketed?
The price a home enters the market at does a fair amount of the marketing in itself, however, there are other marketing tools that should be used when selling a luxury home.
Print advertising and direct mailing should still be apart of any real estate agents marketing plan/system. The internet, however, has significantly changed how consumers shop. This is no different in the real estate industry! It is extremely important that a real estate agent who is selling a luxury home, is utilizing the internet. It’s important that a real estate agent has their own website and/or blog and that it is mobile responsive as well. Many home buyers are shopping on their tablets and mobile devices.
When selling a luxury home, it’s important that a real estate agent uses social media. Social media is an extremely important marketing tool for real estate agents that can help give their clients maximum exposure! It is a marketing tool that most real estate agents don’t utilize and/or understand. Ask yourself, what percentage of people in the market to buy or sell a home have a Facebook Page, Twitter Handle, or Pinterest Account? 95%+? By not marketing a luxury home for sale on social media, a real estate agent is doing their client a huge disservice!
When selecting a real estate agent to sell a luxury home, it’s critical to know where the luxury home will be marketed, how it will be marketed, and how frequently it will be marketed. When selling a luxury home, a real estate agent must have a comprehensive marketing plan/system and cannot list a luxury home, wait and hope it sells. These type of real estate agents are also known as a “post and pray Realtor.”
What Will The Quality Of The Photographs/Videos/Virtual Tours Be?
Most have heard the saying, “quality over quantity.” This relates perfectly to the quality of photographs and videos of a luxury home for sale. With over 90% of buyers beginning their home search online, it’s critical the photographs and videos of a luxury home are outstanding and nothing but the best!
Every real estate agent will offer to take photos of a home, but it shouldn’t be as easy as just leisurely taking photos. When selling a luxury home, if the real estate agent is not having a professional photographer take photos of the home, they better have some great equipment. Top real estate agents who choose to take their own photographs of their luxury home listings must have experience and also high end equipment such as a wide angle lens. When taking photos of a luxury home a few things that need to be considered are, is the lighting right for the photos, are the amenities being photographed, and is the exquisite location being highlighted.
A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, how much is a video or virtual tour worth? A billion? When selling a luxury home, a professionally created video or virtual tour can be the difference of whether or not the luxury home sells. Most local MLS’s have a limit to the number of photos that can be placed on-line, but allow a location where a video tour or “virtual tour” can be placed. Many luxury homes are much larger than 25 photos can showcase and also much more glamorous than 25 photos can showcase, so video is a great way to allow potential buyers the ability to “walk-through” the luxury home in the comfort of their present home.
Is It The Right Time To Sell?
When selling a luxury home, timing plays a larger role than when selling non-luxury home. For instance, if a waterfront luxury home is being sold in Rochester, NY, it’s important to select the correct time of year to sell. Selling a home in the middle of the cold, blustery winter would not be a good time to showcase the waterfront! The same can be said for a luxury waterfront home in Jupiter, FL, selling a home during hurricane season may not be the best time to list a luxury home for sale.
Will There Be Any Open Houses?
A very popular question many home owners have for real estate agents is, are you going to have an open house? There is much debate whether public open houses help sell homes or not. When it comes to luxury homes, public open houses do not help sell homes. When it comes to selling a luxury home, public open houses often bring in people just interested in seeing how the “rich and famous” live. There is absolutely no way to determine whether the people coming through the open house are qualified to purchase the luxury home or not!
While public open houses do not help sell luxury homes, broker open houses can be helpful. A broker open, which is an open house for local real estate professionals, allows real estate agents who have buyer prospects looking for luxury homes to view possible matches. A broker open is much more successful if the real estate agents who sell luxury homes locally are able to attend, as they have the greatest probability of having a client for the home!
Are The Location & Lifestyle Being Portrayed Correctly?
Luxury homes are often luxurious because of their location and lifestyle. If a luxury home is part of a development which includes a clubhouse or yacht club privileges, it is important they are being showcased in the listing information. This is another reason why utilizing video or virtual tour when selling a luxury home is a great marketing tool as it is a very good way to present a homes location as well as the lifestyle.
When buying a luxury home, the prospective purchasers will often want to know who else is living in the general vicinity of the home. It’s important to know or find out who else lives in the area and ensure this information is available to real estate agents who are showing the home.
Will Any Staging Be Done?
Staging does not sell homes but it certainly can help! There are many sellers who believe that by hiring a real estate agent who has a staging designation, their home will sell because their home has been staged. This is wrong. Obtaining a designation for staging doesn’t necessarily mean they are a great real estate agent.
When selling a luxury home, staging will help maximize price and minimize time on the market. When staging a luxury home, it is important that the amenities which make the home luxurious are being showcased. If there is an outdoor BBQ, is it staged so that potential buyers can envision their summertime gatherings? A luxury home with an over-sized formal dining room should have elegant place settings with fine china at each place setting to help a buyer envision what their fine dining parties may look like.
Can You Be Patient?
One of the biggest things that a seller needs to consider when selling a luxury home, patience is a must! Selling a luxury home will normally take longer than a non-luxury home.
One major reason that luxury homes take longer to sell than non-luxury homes is the number of possible buyers available to purchase the home. Face it, there are many buyers who can afford a $150,000 home entering the market on a daily basis. There aren’t many buyers who can afford a 1.5 million dollar home entering the market on a daily basis. For this reason alone, it’s important to be patient and understand that if the above tips are being practiced, a buyer will surface!
For example, in Monroe County, New York, there have been a total of 58 sold properties in the +/- of $500,000 price range in the past 12 months versus 891 sold properties in the +/- of $100,000 price range in the past 12 months. The average days on the market for the $500,000 homes was 73 and the average days on the market for the $100,000 homes was 39. As the statistics prove, in the Rochester, NY luxury home market there are less buyers in the marketplace than there are in the Rochester, NY non-luxury home market.
If ever in life we wished to live in a place that has pleasant surroundings flooded with huge amount of flora and fauna, then Central valley could be one of the places to consider. Central Valley is an amazing place to live which will give you an experience of a lifetime. Along with green fields all over, it has huge mountains on one side and crystal clear water flowing on other side, which looks amazing.
Now, who does not desire to live at such a place that hardly have any flaws. To own a house at such place will give anybody an immense joy, as almost every person would want to own a home at such wonderful place. While there are many people who wish to own a house at Central Valley, there are many other who wishes to sell their houses. Sometimes, it is quite easy to sell a house in this valley by posting an ad to sell house in a newspaper or by the signs that are usually posted on the road corner saying ” We buy homes in Central valley”.
No doubt, these ways to sell a house are quite effective and people do buy homes looking at these postings, but they are not always a safe option. Some of them might not have some legal issue that will put you in trouble later on. The best and safe way to sell your house is through a property dealer, which is a better option to do so.
Selling a house can be a trouble sometimes because it is not always easy to get a buyer. In fact, there are chances that you have to sell your house at a very low price than it actually costs. Instead of getting into such a trouble, it is better to sell your property to a real estate agent who is near o your house. Now, you might be thinking that why sell it to the nearest available real estate agent? The reason behind selling it to the nearest available agent is that they know the best about the property. Chances are higher that they buy your property as soon as you want to sell it.
As selling house is not an easy task, especially when there are hardly any buyers, then it is best to consult a property purchaser to save your precious time. When you really have the urgency to sell a house, it becomes essential to choose the nearest available real estate agent and avoid searching for the best in the market. Wandering to search the best will cost a lot of time and money besides stressing you with a lot of paperwork that you might not want.
So, the next time you wish to sell your house, then you must properly research agents, go to their office, and check yourself how they actually work. If you want to sell on an urgent basis, it is advisable to pick the nearest of the real estate agent to save time and money.
Inherited Property Basis
- Your basis in inherited property is the fair market value the day the previous owner died. For example, suppose your father bought his home for $150,000, but it was worth $250,000 on the day he died. The second figure is your basis: If you sell for $200,000, you have a $50,000 loss rather than a $50,000 gain. Normally you class gains and losses as short term or long term, depending how long you’ve held the property. With an inherited property, you always class the gain or loss as long term.
Use of Property
- You can deduct losses on the sale of investment property but never on personal property. For example, if you inherit a business or rental property and then sell it, you may be able to deduct a capital loss. You can also deduct a loss on a residential property if you inherit it but never made personal use of it. If, after inheriting, you and your family moved into the home and lived there, you don’t get to write off any losses when you sell.
Deducting a Loss
- You report capital gains and losses on IRS Schedule D. If you have a deductible loss on the sale of inherited property, you add it to your other long-term gains and losses for the year. You add that result to your total short-term gain or loss. If the final result on Schedule D is a loss, you can write off up to $3,000 of red ink against your non-capital gains income. For married couples filing jointly, the write-off is only $1,500.
Carrying Over Losses
- Suppose you sell an inherited property at a $10,000 loss and have no other capital sales. After you deduct $3,000 against your regular income, you have to carry the rest of the loss forward to next year. You can deduct $3,000 over and over until the loss is used up. If you have capital losses in future years, you use them up first. For example, suppose you carry forward $7,000 and have a $1,000 capital loss next year. You can also write off $2,000 of the carried amount. The remaining $5,000 goes forward another year. IRS Publication 544 has the details on calculating carry overs.
- Determine which type of real estate license you wish to pursue. Wisconsin offers licenses for brokers and salespersons. A broker may manage his or her own business. A salesperson must work with a licensed broker. Brokers must undergo additional training than that required of a salesperson.
- Meet the education requirements set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (WDRL). Specifically, you must complete one of the following: a 72-hour salesperson course from an approved educational program, 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law, or belong to the Wisconsin State Bar.
- Complete the educational requirements necessary for a broker if you intend to be a broker. In addition to the basic education requirements, you must complete either a 36-hour broker course from an approved education program or an additional 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law. If you belong to the Wisconsin State Bar, you need not meet this additional requirement.
- Pass the Wisconsin real estate examination. Sales persons need only pass the examination designated for a real estate license in sales. Brokers must pass both the sales examination and the broker’s examination. Sign up for an examination by contacting PearsonVue.
- Fill out the “Application for New Salesperson or Broker License” form. Include the license fee ($75 as of 2010 for an initial license). Obtain the form from the WDRL website. Additionally, sales persons must also be employed by a licensed broker in order to become licensed. If the sales person fills out the application before becoming employed, the sales person must file a “Notice of Real Estate Employment Form” when he or she becomes employed by a broker.
Deals in properties have become a cumbersome task which needs professional help for most of the time. Although, land trades can be made on own but it gives a tough time for a long period. Queensland of Australia is one of the most populous states where most of the inhabitants live near the coastal area. Sunshine coast is such a metropolitan area which features best real estate locations. Moreover, this area houses some of the best tourist spots that make it a center of attraction.
People seeking Sunshine coast real estate agents feel perplexed when it comes to pick the right one. However, it’s not extremely difficult to find a reliable one either. For credentials, an agent must have a license and minimum required exposure in real estate businesses. A popular myth which circulates that only a highly experienced person must be sought for the job is untrue. Agents with proper familiarity of those businesses are better than those who have spent years without having any competent knowledge.
Services offered by Real Estate Agents
The following describes about some of the services provided by real estate agents Sunshine coast firms:-
Guide: Their primary task is to guide the clients regarding different properties for sale within the location for buyers or investors. Similarly, they help sellers with strategies to sell their property on satisfactory deals. Other than that, their role also includes suggesting tenants regarding rental homes and developers for lands.
Advise: Agents keep track on the different properties within the aforesaid areas and keep their listings. They conduct comparative market analysis so as to provide with effective recommendations regarding those deals. It may include price estimation, current trends and several other factors.
Calculate: Job responsibilities of a real estate agents Sunshine coast include calculation of mortgage, finances and credit capacities. Their evaluation with respect to different aspects of the deals makes it helpful for the client. Further, they also give ideas on loan values.
Alert: Since they are well informed about the recent updates of properties and frequently keep a tab on them, it is useful to the clients who like to invest early. In the same way, they offer current market advice and subsequently the future status of those properties.
Market: Sellers may sometime find it difficult in marketing their land or property assets. Thus, the Sunshine coast real estate agents give out advertisements and listings along with attempts via different mediums to reach out for most people who need to buy them.
Maintain: Some firms also provide services regarding the repair and maintenance of building assets. They also keep visiting them at regular intervals to check the status in case of tenancy.
Inspect: They are knowledgeable enough to assess the properties by visiting those sites personally. Also, studying about the entire area, they help find a conclusive decision regarding them.
Other than the above, those agents also offer services of appraisals, financial references, selling tips and so on. They negotiate for deals, prepare the agreements and overlook at fund disbursements too.
Deducting Mortgage Interest
- Mortgage interest is one of the largest and most consistent tax deductions for rental property owners. Loans for non-owner occupied homes tend to have higher interest rates than mortgages for primary residences. Because more of your monthly payment goes toward interest in the first several years of a mortgage, your deduction will shrink as you pay off the loan. You can also deduct interest on second mortgages used to improve or repair rental real estate.
- You can’t simply write off the purchase price of a rental property in the year you buy it. Instead, you deduct a portion of the expense of buying an investment property over several years. You recover the cost of acquiring a rental home through a method known as depreciation. Depreciation, or the decrease in your rental home’s value which occurs over its useful life due to wear and tear, only applies to the structure itself because the land it sits on doesn’t depreciate.
Repairs to Your Rental
- Tenants turn to their landlords when a rental needs repairs. You can deduct the cost of ordinary, necessary and reasonable repairs you made to restore the home’s condition. However, components that you replace, rather than fix, usually aren’t deductible. Replacing or upgrading items in your rental property usually constitutes an “improvement,” which makes the home better, instead of simply restoring it.
Costs to Travel
- Depending on how involved you are in your rental’s day-to-day management activities, you likely spend money going to and from your property. You can deduct the cost of travel for your landlord activities. Amounts you spend to repair, fuel and maintain the vehicle you use to perform your landlord tasks, and hotel, airfare and meal expenses when traveling overnight, are deductible. You can use a standard mileage rate if you choose not to deduct actual vehicle expenses and meet certain other requirements. As of 2014, landlords could deduct 56 cents per mile driven.
Payment for Professional Services
- You can deduct wages for property managers and independent contractors who provide services for your rental property. The deduction applies to employee wages, labor costs and commissions or fees for professionals such as real estate brokers, attorneys and accountants.
Deducting Due to Loss
- You can deduct losses if your investment property is damaged or destroyed. You can also deduct insurance premiums, such as homeowners or landlord insurance. You usually can’t deduct the entire cost of property damage, although you can deduct a portion based on the extent of your losses and the amount covered by insurance. Homeowners insurance covers fires, theft, vandalism and other perils to your rental property’s structure. Landlord coverage can also reimburse losses to personal property and provide certain liability coverage.
- Know you’re vulnerable. Experts say the people most likely to be the victims of property investment scams are financially astute. Con artists know that they need to start with someone who is open to investing instead of being more conservative with money. Be careful not to be overconfident, since scammers can set up elaborate schemes that can fool even the best.
- Remember the old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be skeptical on promises of high, fast returns. Nothing of that nature comes without high risk, so consider what you can afford to lose. Be wary of email or infomercial offers, since they are favorite delivery methods for people who traffic in property investment scams.
- Check everything out. You can often recognize property investment scams just by doing your homework. Look into the company making the offer, and find out their history, record and background. Figure out who the directors are and look into their background. Let an accountant or financial advisor look over the paperwork, and then have a lawyer read everything before you sign.
- Understand how you will make your money. The more complicated the deal, the more important it is to look into the exact way your investment will create a return. Investigate any tax laws, especially in overseas countries, that backers are relying on to bring you money. Be sure the offshore investment is legal.
- Ignore pressure. One sign of a property investment scam is when backers are in a great hurry for you to sign. Hurrying only increases your risk of being a victim and losing a substantial amount of money.
- Watch for affinity fraud. That’s the name for how con artists use your religion or race and purport themselves to be “like you.” Once they have your trust, they can work their property investment scams.
- Keep up your vigilance. Even if you start seeing the promised return on your investment, don’t assume that all is well. Some con artists pull off property investment scams by paying out money for a time, then disappearing when they have a certain number of victims.
- Calculate both the at cost and market value of stocks purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to sell the stocks within the upcoming year and reported under the Current Assets section. If the company plans on holding onto the stock for more than a year, the stock value will be reported as a long-term investment under the Fixed Assets section in the left hand column of the balance sheet.
- Calculate both the at cost and market value of bonds purchased by the company. The lower of the two will be reported in the short-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for less than a year, and in the long-term investment section if the company plans to hold the bonds for longer than a year. These will be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
- Calculate both the at cost and market value of real estate purchased in the financial year. The lower of the two will typically be reported in the long-term investment section of the balance sheet. Real estate investments can be reported under the Current Assets if they are short-term investments, and Fixed Assets section if they are long-term investments.
- Determine the value of investments made towards the company’s affiliate accounts. These can be company affiliations or partnership agreements where the company has invested stock or cash into certain projects. These are typically short-term investments which are then reported under the Current Assets section.
- Determine the value of stock invested in subsidiary companies. These stock investments are typically long-term investments and are reported under the Fixed Assets section.
- Approaching existing foreign or multinational companies with a view to forming joint ventures, subsidiaries or strategic alliances may be one way to reach into the foreign investor pool. Any quest to find investors this way involves finding the right contact person by researching who is in charge of business growth or strategic partnerships. You also should take care to address the potential gains and pitfalls of investing through the foreign investor’s eyes. In this vein, the business plan you present to foreign stakeholders should discuss capital budgeting decisions adjusted for political and economic risk; cross-border cash flow optimization; and tax and transaction cost reduction policies.
Trade Fairs and Conferences
- Instead of taking a scattershot approach to finding a foreign investor, go where the prospects are. Major international trade fairs in your field bring potential foreign investors to a centralized location. International trade show directories such as Expo Database help you zoom in on specific industries, countries and cities. For example, the commercial real estate company Stewart Title Guaranty Company suggests Expo Real and Le Marché International des Professionnels de l’Immobilier as venues for real estate professionals interested in meeting foreign investors.
- Foreign investors come in all forms, from private equity and venture capital firms to angel investors. Narrowing down a set of foreign investors that are appropriate for you can be challenging without some sort of information management system to crunch the numbers. On the venture capital website VCGate, you can specify potential investors not only by country of origin, but by investor type, stage of investment funded, amount of funding sought and preferred sectors. Another database connecting startups to investors worldwide is Gust.com, which lists investors by industry, location and investor type.
- Just when some start-ups throw in the towel on finding a foreign investor because the latter have too strenuous criteria, others are learning about the benefits of programs that are tied to the investor acquiring a visa. For example, with the EB-5 program sponsored by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, entrepreneurs get to access foreign investors in exchange for the latter obtaining a green card. Entrepreneurs work with third-party intermediaries in securing EB-5 funding. However, entrepreneurs should be prepared to put up a lot of money upfront in administrative and travel expenses, and endure long wait times.
With more than 5 years of experience in the real estate industry, Bernie serves both a local and an international client base.
Hardworking and astute to the changes in the real estate market, he is able to advise his clients accurately and profitably, be it timing the market to sell or to make price readjustments.
Other than assisting his clients in buying and selling properties in Singapore, Bernie is also experienced in providing housing solutions for professional expats and assisting them ease into the Singaporean culture and way of life. Having backpack-travelled around the world for 3 years, Bernie is very able to empathize with and understand the needs of clients who are relocating to Singapore for the first time.
Bernie also speaks the Japanese language.
He is a powerful negotiator, being able to do his best for his clients, usually surpassing their expectations of him. He goes beyond the duty of real estate agents by researching the market on behalf of his clients, and once even hired a van (and drove)!!! to personally help a client move-house simply because he promised to assist. Little did that client expect Bernie’s promise of ‘assistance’ to be in such an involved way. Needless to say, such from-the-heart service has won him rave reviews and made many such clients into good friends who continually refer business to him years after their initial encounter, or simply call him up for dinner.
Bernie believes that in business, as in life, we should give our 100% or nothing at all. Above all, he believes that we should have integrity in all business transactions, treating our clients as we would like to be treated.
Bernie is currently with ERA Realty Network, the only real estate company in Singapore that operates from its own buildings as well as being listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) under its parent company, Hersing Corporation.
Within 1 year of initially being with ERA Realty Network, Bernie was already inducted as a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Club for being a producer in the industry.
Bernie is a specialist on all types of residential as well as commercial properties in districts:
* 1 (City, Marina area, CDB),
* 4 (Sentosa Island),
* 9 (Orchard Road and surrounding),
* 10 (Balmoral, River Valley, Holland Road),
* 11 (Newton, Novena, Bukit Timah),
* 15 (East Coast, Katong)
That said, he also welcomes all enquiries and offering assistance on properties in other districts of Singapore as he heads a team of dedicated real estate agents who handles properties in all other areas of Singapore.
Together, Bernie and team handles:
* New Project Launches
* Landed properties (Terrace houses, Semi-Detached, Bungalows)
* Land for rebuilding
* Commercial properties
* Industrial space
* Worker housing
Feel free to get in touch with Bernie at his mobile during business hours.
Below are 3 testimonials for Bernie:
Actually for several months, I have been coming to Singapore on business trips…with various agents looking for properties. We were under a time constraint to find a place… I was starting to get frustrated with the other agents. They weren’t really listening to what we were looking for as a family. He found this place that no other agent was even aware of nor prepared to show us. He got us a great place… we’ve been very happy here and it (the home) suited the whole family. So he definitely delivered.
When we finally found it (the property), we actually went through quite a process of negotiation which Bernie helped out very much with.
After we signed the contract and moved in, Bernie helped with the repairs and/or general upkeep.
And then we just stayed in touch actually, just to discuss the general property market.
We’d recommend him and we have recommended him to friends. So definitely (happy). (Bernie is) Very good. (A) very good agent!
I asked for the electricity and water to be cut off (utilities). If I leave it on and sometimes when they go viewing (the property) and if they forget to switch it off, the bill might go sky-high. So I was afraid of that. But then he (Bernie) assured me to just leave it for 2 weeks, because someone might want to see (the property) at night, so I might miss the chance of (selling the property). Because of that, I gave him 2 weeks to see what were the results.
He was able to produce results in less than two weeks! I feel very relieved and very happy that I can have the entire episode closed up, because it has been dragging (for 4 months before Bernie assisted in the marketing of the property) and I became so tired of it (the selling process).
In fact, they (the buyers) gave me a certain amount (price to purchase) but Bernie said he will try to get some more (better price). He (successfully) did that.
Bernie is a very effective agent, has the human touch, and (is) humourous.
I am very very satisfied (with Bernie and his services).
(Once) I told him (Bernie) that I have tried (for) quite some time to acquire my neighbour’s land… but it wasn’t successful. So, he put in effort to locate the owner(s) to approach the owner(s) a few times (to eventually convince them to sell the property), and to negotiate a very reasonable price for me and also for the owners(s). So we’re very happy.
He really goes the extra mile to do research and to understand more of what his clients want.
I am very happy (with Bernie) because he is not a pushy person (agent). When he sees the house and feels that this is not what I want, he will not ask me to spend time to go and have a look. That is what I appreciate (of him). He knows very well what his clients want. And he knows what I want.
And he will follow up and ask ‘How are you’. (Regarding) His service, I should say is EXCELLENT.
He will do (continous) research for the whole market (property), Asian and also the whole world’s market (in general). He will give his ideas (views) to keep us updated (clients) on what is happening in the property market. I don’t think there are many property agents (who are) willing to do extra work, extra research for his or her clients.
I did recommend someone to Bernie, and that is my partner, Dora.
I am very, very satisfied with his (Bernie’s) service.
Now I am building my dream house. ‘Thank you’ to Bernie!
- A traditional way to market your services involves publishing a business card in community publications. Contact local churches, schools and community organizations about their rates for advertising. They have regular newsletters and bulletins for their members. Target publications with members who live or work near your home base, such as in your section of a city or county. List your business card in publications with the highest number of readers for the business card fee. You can also sign up for listing your contact information on websites for these organizations. Sometimes web listings are free.
National Association of Realtors
- Beef up your marketing campaign through membership in the National Association of REALTORS. With a REALTOR credential, you get access to marketing tools for new and established agents. For example, Realtor.org offers a startup kit for new professionals in its online library. You can also get a mentor inside the association to advise you on a personal marketing plan. REALTORS may use the trademarked designation in print and online media, which provides instant recognition among many consumers.
- You can also use social networking as free online marketing. An article featured on the Chicago Association of REALTORS’ website cautions using social networking sites. Keep your own Facebook or other social networking account separate from your business account. Use each site’s privacy settings so no one can find your personal information without your knowledge. On a business profile, post helpful information for prospective clients, such as market trends and investment opportunities. When clients network with you online, they can exchange information using a site’s features. Diligently follow up on each customer contact in order to maximize the effects of social networking sites.
- For door-to-door campaigns, visit neighborhoods where you are likely to find clients. First, hire a printing company to produce door-hangers with your photo and contact information. You might choose a high-quality style with multi-color printing. You can quickly work your way through a neighborhood on foot or using a vehicle. Beware of dogs and no soliciting signs before approaching a home and hanging a door-hanger.
- Take a real estate assistant’s course and become certified. Visit the International Real Estate Assistants Association website for information on the certification process. This course teaches potential assistants how to use the tools and technologies used by real estate professionals.
- Determine whether you want to work as a contractor or an employee. If you want to work independently, you need to come up with a name for your business.
- Look for ads for virtual assistants. Work-at-home forums are good places to start. You’ll often find a folder specifically for virtual real estate assistants. Online employment sites, such as Craigslist and Careerbuilder, allow you to look for jobs by category and geographic location.
- Build a website for your services to give you a place to direct your prospective clients to and to create a more professional appearance.
- Create flyers and a brief letter explaining your services. Outline the benefits of having a virtual real estate assistant. Include your contact information, so prospective clients can contact you.
- Mail a flyer and a copy of the letter to real estate offices, brokers and individual realtors in your area. Remain positive. There’s a great demand for virtual real estate assistants. If you don’t receive positive results at first, continue applying.
- Ensure that you meet the requirements before taking the test. All states require one to three years of experience in real estate sales before an individual may take the exam to earn a license. Some states also require evidence of a set number of hours of professional real estate coursework.
- Check which test you need to take before you begin studying. This depends on which state you wish to be licensed in. If you want to be licensed in multiple states, you may need to take more than one test.
- Study for the real estate broker’s exam. The best way to do this is to purchase a study book for the test. Familiarize yourself with all the information that will be on the exam, such as federal and state real estate laws and ethical conduct guidelines. Work on sample questions and take full-length practice tests. Grade yourself based on the rubrics of the actual exam and keep studying until you feel prepared to take the test.
- Register for and take the exam. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep followed by a healthy breakfast before sitting the exam. Try not to cram for the exam the night before, though some last-minute review may help in your preparations.
Use the Right Resources
- Focusing on resources designed to pass the real estate test will set a solid study foundation. It is also important to note that test questions vary from state to state, and tests change; therefore, training books and resources change as well, so make sure you have the most current study materials. Always check training book dates, and look for current study guides. If you come across confusing material, it is also a good idea to ask questions of an agent who has passed the test in recent months.
Complete School Work
- As soon as the real estate course or program begins, start studying the material. Purchase current books and study them from cover to cover. Learn to take shorthand notes; listen to the instructor if you take classes in person and take class notes on every lecture or lesson. Read over all of these notes as you begin to prepare for the test. Also, do all homework or assignments listed in the book on your own, as most instructors will often not cover all book exercises. In addition to self study, join a study group with fellow classmates to help reinforce classroom material. If possible, take a test preparatory course, especially if a real estate course is not an option.
- It is advisable to not cram the night before the real estate test. It is important to relax the day before to avoid an overload of facts and stress. Getting a good night’s sleep is also recommended. Even if you have been studying for weeks, sleep deprivation will sabotage the brain’s functionality, potentially affecting clarity and efficiency during the exam. It is also important to get a well balanced and healthy meal prior to taking the test.
Test Taking Tips
- Be prepared with all the required test taking materials, which vary according to state test regulations. In most cases, blank paper, pencils and a basic calculator are allowed in the testing room. Be sure to have a sharp pencil and a properly functioning calculator. Read each question thoroughly, as misunderstanding questions is one of the most common causes of incorrect answers. Test question are commonly convoluted, so read the questions multiple times until you know what is being asked. Unclear questions can be left for later; lingering on one question can hinder completing the test. Once the end of the test is reached, do a second pass over to check your work and answer questions you got stuck on the first time through. Trust the material that you have studied, and have confidence in your answer. It is a good general rule to not change a test question unless you are absolutely sure it is incorrect.
- Apply for a mortgage with a traditional lender. When financing a rental property with a traditional mortgage, you may need to put up a larger down payment than normal. Some lenders require you to come up with at least 20 percent down for rental properties. You will also need to have a high credit score and a steady income to qualify for this type of loan.
- Work with a “hard money” lender to get access to the money you need. Hard money lenders regularly lend money to individuals who have low income or a bad credit score. When you use a hard money loan, you will pay a higher interest rate than what you would normally pay with a traditional mortgage.
- Use a home-equity loan to get money for the investment property. If you are a homeowner with a large amount of equity, you could potentially borrow against this equity and use the money to buy an investment property. To qualify for a home-equity loan, you will need a strong credit history and enough income to pay back the loan. Some lenders also require you to have a certain amount of assets on hand.
- Find investors to work with you on this investment project. Create an investment proposal and show it to your friends and family members. Some may be willing to give you money to purchase the property. This may be combined with a loan, in some cases. The investors could help you come up with the money you need for a down payment.
- Obtain your state-issue real estate license if you don’t already have it. This process typically includes taking mandated coursework, as well as passing an examination if you’re trying to get a broker’s license.
- Research the luxury lifestyle. To impress future luxury buyers, you’ll need to know the differences between mainstream and luxury brands. For example, you need to know about top-of-the-line light fixture manufacturers, the best plumbing fixtures, the most expensive appliances and world-class building materials, such as slate flooring.
- Make connections with local interior designers, landscape company owners and builders that already cater to luxury clientele. They’ll want referrals from you, and you’ll need their connections to prove to your clients you have ties to the best in the business.
- Assess your own appearance. You’ll need to exude the luxury lifestyle if you want your clients to take you seriously. This means you need an expensive, high-quality wardrobe, the right jewelry, the right hairstyle and a luxury vehicle.
- Join elite clubs in your area, such as polo clubs or country clubs. This will allow you to mingle with future clients, as well as become a part of their social scene. If you can’t afford a membership, look for volunteer opportunities to get you in the door.
- Choose a luxury niche and target market. Research the past few years’ sales to assess the current market. Plan to target a specific area of town or ZIP code, as well as the type of dwelling. For example, you might focus on lakefront homes or target high-rise condos.
- Apply at an already-established luxury real estate agency in your chosen niche. This will help you enter the luxury-market scene and make a name for yourself. After you become successful and have loyal customers, you can branch out on your own.
- The real estate exam covers a variety of concepts related to property. The exam covers property classes, types of property ownership and property transfer rules. The exam covers land use regulations, including government rights as well as private and public controls. Candidates must know land characteristics and the various legal descriptions of property.
Real Estate Regulations
- A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to federal laws that govern real estate practices. Candidates must have knowledge of fair housing and fair credit laws as well as landlord-tenant laws. This portion also covers ethical issues related to brokers, agents and other real estate professionals.
- The real estate exam covers real estate calculations and various mathematics concepts. License candidates must understand how to calculate property taxes as well as how to make general lending calculations. Other real estate calculations include calculations for mortgages and property values.
- Licensed agents must possess a general knowledge of real estate finance concepts. The exam tests the candidate’s knowledge of different types of real estate loans and the different sources of loans. The exam also covers various government programs, mortgages and credit laws.
Real Estate Valuation
- License candidates must understand real estate valuation and the different methods of estimating real estate value. The exam covers competitive market analysis as well as which transactions require property appraisals.
Contracts and Disclosures
- The real estate exam covers contractual relationships between buyers and sellers. Candidates must have knowledge of general contract law. Candidates must possess property-specific contract knowledge including purchase agreements, lease agreements, counteroffers and rescissions. Further, the exam covers numerous real estate disclosures such as material facts and property condition disclosures.
- A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to state-specific statutes and regulations. The state-specific portion covers licensing requirements as well as continuing education, license renewal and transfer rules as required by the state department of real estate. This portion also covers state laws governing licensee activities and state-specific real estate laws such as property ownership and transfer rules, landlord-tenant laws, fair housing rules and other state-specific disclosures.
- A contract with a realtor is a voluntary agreement. Sales commissions of 6 percent are common, but you can negotiate a lower commission when selling your house. Interview several agents and ask each of them if they’re willing to accept a commission of less than 6 percent. Shaving just 2 percent off the standard 6 percent sales commission will save $6,000 in commission fees on a home selling for $300,000.
- Leverage for a lower commission is even greater on luxury homes costing around $1 million. Realtors are so eager for luxury home listings that some will accept as little as 3 percent in sales commission, according to MSN Money. The agents realize that even with the smaller commission they may earn more on a luxury home than on lower-priced homes.
- A realtor does not keep the entire commission. The buyer’s agent usually receives half. That means on a 6 percent commission, both agents receive 3 percent, and they will share some of that money with their respective real estate brokers.
- Only the top 10 percent of real estate agents earn more than $100,000 in a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for a real estate agent in 2008 was $40,150. Median wages for the top 10 percent were $101,860. The lowest 10 percent earned $21,120.
- Some sellers avoid paying realtors by acting as their own agent. They list their homes as “for sale by owner,” and handle all marketing, inquiries and open house events. The strategy works for some sellers, especially in a strong economy when there is great demand for housing and homes are easy to sell. Other owners pay a flat fee of 1 or 2 percent to companies offering basic help with marketing and advertising.
Stability and Wealth Measurement
- In the broadest sense, per capita income matters because it serves as a measurement of the stability and wealth within an economy. Per capita income is a ratio of the amount of all a region’s income divided its population. Thus, if the ratio rises, it suggests that members of the population are more prosperous than they have been in the past. Conversely, a reduced per capita figure suggests that the standard of living in a region has decreased, assuming the price of goods has either stayed the same or increased with inflation.
- Because per capita income is a measurement of prosperity for a region, it is useful for determining what regions are in need of financial assistance, assuming that the cost of living is the same in those regions. For instance, if the cost of rice is a dollar in country Y, but two dollars in country X, and country X’s per capita income is higher, members of country X may be just as prosperous as those in country Y. If country X has the same per capita income as county Y, then the higher cost of rice would be an issue. If per capita income is the same, agencies that provide aid or financial assistance to those in country X, because members of country X would be financially worse off.
- A higher per capita income represents a higher purchasing power, as members of the community have more money to spend. This is useful in investment. For instance, in a new business, you would want to approach shareholders who actually afford to invest. Otherwise, you would waste resources trying to market your company to people who won’t back you financially. Additionally, investing in businesses in areas with higher per capita ratios may yield a higher return, as the income of the area suggests that people have the purchasing power to buy the business’ products or services.
- Even though per capita income is important, it is only useful when there isa relatively low number of very high earners in the community. High earners raise the amount of income in a per capita ratio, so including the very wealthy in per capita figures may give a skewed representation of what people actually make. Additionally, because per capita figures don’t tell you how income is distributed, it can mask social issues, which cause the average income in those regions to rise or fall.
- Demonstrate flexibility in your everyday working practices. Don’t grumble if the boss asks you to stay late, swap a shift with a colleague, or attend an out-of-town conference. If you make it seem as though your home life is more important to you than your work life, then those with the power to hire and fire will assume you are not suited to a role that takes you away a lot. This could mean that they pass you over when an international agent position becomes available.
- Build contacts with international counterparts. If working with a member of staff in an overseas branch of your company via telephone or email, ensure you are helpful and friendly. International agent positions are often decided by a collection of managers from a number of offices that will be affected by the work of the person in that role, so making an impression on colleagues based abroad when you come into contact with them can only help your case if an international agent role opens up.
- Learn a language. Study independently using audio lessons or attend an evening class in your area. If you want to work in a foreign country, you will need to be able to communicate when posted there. Having a foreign language on your resume will show you are prepared to try to integrate overseas, and will mark you out as a possible candidate if an international agent position becomes open.
- Show an interest in overseas events. Buy a newspaper that covers world news and read it at your desk in your lunch break. Demonstrating to your boss that you are up to date on international developments that may affect the way in which your company’s overseas trade is conducted makes you seem all the more suited to an international agent role.
- Tell your boss that you would like to be considered should an international agent role open up within your company. It is no use attempting to make yourself appear the perfect candidate if the person in charge of filling these popular positions has no idea you would like to be considered. Use a performance review to flag up your interest in an overseas role or, if necessary, ask your boss for a brief meeting and explain what your ambitions are. Ask your boss to give you constructive feedback on what you may be able to do to make yourself more suited to a future international agent role.
- Take photography courses at your local college, community center or school. Learn how to capture, shape, transmit, save and print digital photos. See how to use both digital and film cameras, lenses and film. Get experience developing film and setting different exposures. The PhotographyCourse.net website provides free access to online courses.
- Get a credential. The Professional Photographic Certification Commission allows you to take an exam and obtain the Certified Professional Photographer certification. The Photography website provides access to study questions, links to online resources and a glossary of terms. Use these resources to learn the basic operations of film and digital cameras, how to use the viewfinder, load the film or memory card and take the picture control exposure. Judges review 20 images you submit as representation of your work. They assess your skills, knowledge and ability to produce pleasing photographs. For architectural photos, judges look for good quality of light, color, density and appropriate contrast.
- Create a website to market your services. Using free website development tools, such as Wix, Weebly or Intuit, create a site to showcase your work and attract new clients. Advertise your business in real estate trade association publications for your area. Compare your site with websites produced by other real estate photographers to get inspiration. The American Society for Home Stagers and Redesigners provides tips to set up vacant homes so they look more attractive by finding focal points, scaling the space, managing traffic flow and using the best color schemes.
- Use the SCORE website to locate a mentor in your area. Observe a real estate photographer on the job to learn tips and techniques for taking attractive pictures of property. Real estate photographers also use multimedia, such as video, to show off properties. Producing comprehensive virtual tours and using advanced editing techniques allow real estate photographers to help agents sell more efficiently.
With a smart investment, you can make money with rental properties on a recurring basis.The advantage of making money with a rental property is that you will get money month after month. Although some of this money will go to pay off the original mortgage, with a good rental property investment, you can practically count on a steady flow of income.Read the short guide below to find out how to make money with rental property in basic steps.
- Talk to professionals and other rental property owners. Be in touch with real estate attorneys, real estate agents, accountants, and other landlords to learn what you can about the rental business. Keep in touch with these professionals consistently both before you buy your rental unit and after you are already renting it out. These people guide you in making the best decisions and therefore the most money with rental properties.
- Research the real estate market. Research prices for different types of rental properties in your area. Research both their selling prices and rental prices. You should also analyze trends and future projections.
- Decide where you will buy. Location is the key issue when it comes to real estate. You need to choose a location where rentals are in demand and property values are within your reach.
- Choose the type of rental property to invest in. Do you want to rent an entire apartment building? Are you interested in just renting a single family house? There are many types of rental units to choose from anywhere from small apartments to large 2 story homes.
- Find properties that match your criteria. Look for properties that are good investment deals. Try to find a rental property that is low in value compared to other similar properties. Also look for properties that are in good condition and will not require many repairs. (You might want to invest in a rundown rental property though if you find that it is a very good deal and the repairs are facial and not structural.)
- Buy the rental property. This process will probably involve taking out a loan.
- Conduct whatever repairs are necessary to get the rental property ready to be lived in.
- Find tenants to rent your property. Make sure to run credit reports on prospective tenants. Getting good tenants is important if you want to count on making money month after month. Tenants who do not pay on time or do not pay at all will destroy your rental property cash flow. You should also be careful because there are laws governing evicting tenants, so once a tenant is in your property, you might not be able to evict him easily or at all.
- Manage the apartment yourself or hire a property manager (or property management firm). There are many tasks to perform on a regular basis including collecting rent, paying taxes, fixing up repairs, paying insurance companies and more. If you do not have time or expertise to deal with these yourself, hire a property manager to do these jobs for you.
- Individuals who manage time well can be very successful in real estate. Those able to divide days into segments for duties such as advertising, prospecting, and servicing clients to accomplish tasks make good real estate professionals.
- Self-employed professions require a hefty amount of self-discipline. Individuals who can make a plan and stick to it can be very successful in the real estate industry. Treating a real estate career as a job and not a hobby is crucial to success.
Thirst for Knowledge
- The real estate industry is constantly changing. Being a professional in the industry means consistently updating your education and retaining information. Many hours of study and research are expected in this profession.
Attention to Detail
- Attention to detail is a must for those in the real estate industry. Dealing with multiple forms, contracts, and legal documents requires persistence, patience, and an ability to spot and correct errors.
- In a service industry such as real estate, patience is a valuable asset. When a client’s emotions run high, it is important that a real estate professional be steady, stable, and able to field concerns and complaints skillfully.
- Successful real estate professionals have a potential for a six-figure income. However, in real estate, there is no normal paycheck, since your compensation is tied into successful property closings. Income can be sporadic, and individuals in the real estate industry must prepare for that fact.
Real Estate Broker/Residential
- Real estate agents represent both buyers and sellers in the real estate transaction process. Both the buying agent and selling agent will then receive a commission, in exchange for representation. In the United States, this commission is around 3 percent of the property’s selling price. This amount might vary based on the country you wish to work in.
To become a residential realtor in another country, you should be able to speak the native language of that country with at least basic fluency. You also need to make sure that they are a member of International Consortium of Real Estate Associations, which will allow you to practice with your current real estate license.
Real Estate Broker/Commerical
- Commercial realtors specialize in selling commercial properties such as hotels, office space, retail, industrial and restaurants. Commercial real estate agents must analyze regional market conditions and the overall business economy to give clients the best information possible in choosing real estate. As an international realtor, this means you must have a very solid foundation of knowledge about the economic conditions and trends of the area in which you are working.
International commercial realtors need to acquire all the same documentation and certifications as a residential realtor would, plus additional certification due to the client base they work with. The rules and regulations vary on a country-by-country basis.
- Often an owner of a property will hire professional property managers to look after their real estate investments. Managers take care of customers, find renters, establish rental prices, and coordinate leases. It will most likely be fairly easy to become a property manager in another country as long as you have a basic work visa for that country. It will be mandatory to be able to speak the language at a high level and understand the culture of the area.
- Forget about only listing your million-dollar home locally; few people can afford such luxuries. Agents advertise the best homes globally or at least across the country to reach the masses, explains Forbes magazine. You can use free online classified-ad websites, such as Kijiji or Craigslist, but your chances of catching the wealthy folks’ eyes improve by advertising in their favorite magazines or newspapers, such as the Globe. Doing some of your own advertising, even if you have a real estate agent, can help speed up or initiate an otherwise tough sell. Ask if your agent lists prestigious homes like yours in high-end real estate publications, such as Luxury Home Magazine, for exposure that’s aimed at the right prospective buyers.
- Almost every homebuyer starts the search online, explains the Zillow website. Even many extraordinarily wealthy people who may be in the market for investment property, a summer or winter home, or a primary residence likely turn to the Internet initially. Create a website or blog dedicated to your home; you have plenty of website builders, such as WordPress or Weebly, to walk you through the process, if this sort of task intimidates you. Brag about your home’s immense size, striking architecture, and colossal pool, for example. Play up the location and amenities — but do so tactfully. If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, seek the help of a real estate copywriter; the more astute your advertisement sounds, the more astute the buyer you’ll attract. Upload plenty of top-quality photos and even a virtual tour to back up your claims. Provide links to your agent’s listing or website, if applicable, so that interested parties can easily arrange a viewing or obtain more information.
Make a Suggestion
- Expensive homes can take longer to sell than average-priced homes because of a lack of qualified buyers. Some million-dollar homes simply don’t sell, regardless of high-quality home staging efforts, because — as hard as it may be to face — they are unattractive, are in an unfavorable location, or are just too unusual. If you’re not willing to lower the price to a point that’s affordable to more buyers, don’t become frustrated; be resourceful. Suggest in your ads or blog that the home could become something profitable, recommends the National Association of Realtors. A dark, stone-constructed Gothic home might suit life as a spa, or a massive log home, deep in the woods, might become a bed-and-breakfast, as long as zoning allows.
- When you’re planning to hand your upscale home over to a real estate agent to market, look for someone with experience in selling such properties. Examine the real estate advertisements in your area to find out who lists many big-ticket properties. If your home has knock-out luxuries such as an indoor squash court, or has neighbors who include big-name actors, for example, consider hiring an agency such as Sotheby’s International Realty, which specializes in selling topnotch homes worldwide.
- Visit the FINRA website (see link in References). The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the first place to start when seeking a career as an investment broker. All stockbrokers are licensed by the FINRA which also administers the exam. The FINRA provides invaluable information on what is needed to be an investment or stock broker and offers detailed job descriptions.
- Register with the FINRA. All persons who wish to have careers as a broker must register with this agency. The registration form asks for personal information such as name, address, Social Security number, residences for the past few years, employment history and other relevant information asked for most careers. You must also supply fingerprints. You can get fingerprinted at a local police station for a small fee.
- Study for the licensing exam. Passing exams is also a part of the registration process. There is usually just one exam that you need to pass. The General Securities Registered Representative Examination is commonly known as the Series 7 Exam. This exam is required of all investment brokers. Some states, however, also require a person to pass the Uniform Securities Agents State Law Examination, which is known as the Series 63 Exam. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if the Series 63 exam in necessary to be a broker in your state. To study for these exams, you have several options. There are books, online courses, classroom work, CD and DVD courses. The FINRA also offers training for the exams.
- Schedule an appointment to take the exam. When you are ready to take the test, schedule an appointment at any of the authorized testing centers throughout the country. The test is available 7 days a week in most large cities. The test is computerized so you receive your score immediately upon completion.
- Pass the background check. Once you register with the FINRA, your information is sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a background check. Any criminal history will probably prevent you from becoming a broker even if you pass the exam. FINRA wants professionals who are knowledgeable about investments and also ethical.
- Once you have passed the exam(s) and the background check, you now have what you need to get a job as an investment broker. There are large brokerage houses that provide a small salary and training, while small firms let you sink or swim on your own. There are many places to get a job with a Series 7 license, such as full service brokerage houses and discount brokers.
- Craft a business plan. Analyze the financial aspects of starting a property investment company by learning how much money is required to start the company as well as what potential for profit exists based on your location. Develop a plan for how you will market and staff your company while also expanding it and making it profitable. Include all of this information in a written business plan for your property investment company, which you can create using the business plan information available from the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Apply for funding. Access your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus to learn what credit score you have as well as review your report for any mistakes prior to applying for a business or commercial loan. Speak to a loan officer to find out if you qualify for a loan based on your credit report as well as the business plan you’ve drafted for your property investment company. Consider taking on a partner who has the monetary resources or capital you need to start the business if you can’t qualify for loans on your own. Know thought that with a partnership, profits from your company will be split based on your agreement.
- Register your company. Obtain an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by calling 800-829-4933 or completing the form on the IRS website. Determine what sales tax laws are in effect in your region and whether they apply to your business by visiting with a representative from the department of revenue at your state and city level. Comply with any sales tax regulations that exist as well as licensing regulations such as a local business license from your city government.
- Buy property. Determine if your company specializes in residential or commercial property or a combination of the two. Hire a commercial real estate agent to assist you in finding your initial property to start your company as well as subsequent properties to grow your business. Know how to check property values with your local property assessment office to ensure you aren’t paying too much for a property. Consider getting your license as a real estate agent as this cuts down on your expenses since you don’t have to pay a realtor for each property sold and purchased by your company.
- Purchase insurance. Speak with local insurance agents in your community to get quotes for insurance on your property investment company. Obtain both liability and property insurance since this protects your business from lawsuits from tenants injured in or on your property while also protecting the physical structure from damage caused by fire and natural disaster. Add additional insurance to your business as your company grows and you acquire more property.
- Hire staff. Find an office assistant to help you manage and operate your property investment company especially if you are out of the office frequently inspecting current properties and looking for new ones. Retain a lawyer to assist you in developing leases and contracts for your company. Employ a maintenance person or crew to make repairs, renovate outdated properties and maintain the landscape of the properties you own. Consider hiring a property manager as your grow to take over the daily management of properties and free you up as the owner to focus on growing and expanding the company.
- Buyers should consider the cost of the rental property in relation to the expected amount of rental income that the property will generate. Buyers should compare prices of rental properties against the expected rental income for each building to determine which properties are selling at the best price. One way to compare rental properties is to look at how long it would take the rental income to pay off the building. For example, it would take 10 years for a building that costs $300,000 and produces $30,000 a year in rental income to pay for itself (not including financing costs).
- Sellers of rental property should be willing to provide buyers with information on current and past rental income. However, this does not indicate that the future rental incomes will be the same. Buyers must consider the area and local economy. Areas dependent on one large employer are less stable than those with multiple employers. New building in the area will also work to depress the rental market as newer spaces come onto the market and compete with the older buildings for tenants. Rental property owners must carefully consider the property’s future prospects.
- Owners must consider financing costs before buying a rental property. Interest rates and fees for loans for rental property are often higher than rates and fees for loans to purchase a primary residence. The costs of maintaining a rental property can also create a significant expense. Owners must keep properties in good repair at all times to maintain income from rentals and assure compliance with regulatory codes. While insurance covers many significant expenses, owners must maintain access to money to cover deductibles and uncovered expenses.
- The management of a rental property is an area that can produce both significant costs as well as hassles for the rental property owner. Management of the property includes screening and selecting tenants, dealing with tenants (while following all applicable laws and regulations), and caring for maintenance issues. Owners can choose to use a property management company, but owners should consult with these service providers before purchase to determine the costs that they will charge.
We all are aware that property dealings are no easy task and cannot be just over within a few days. It takes considerable time in different issues whether it is selling, buying or renting for different purposes including the residential and commercial ones. It is the situation when an optimum quality real estate agent is essential. Indeed, finding one credible person for that is also little bit daunting but not impossible as there are many reputed names across the country for the job.
The real estate agents Nambour having a legitimate license are the only ones allowed to indulge in authorized real estate activities. These license holders have prior qualifications and suitability to take up those responsibilities. The following explains briefly about what they are hired to do:-
- 1. Informed – Agents who deal in day to day real estate business are aware of the locations in the vicinity and have optimum knowledge regarding the subject. It helps them to apprise the client with vital information.
- 2. Interview – It is seen as a good quality of an agent who asks variety of questions to the clients. At least, it gives an idea about their interests in depth regarding the deal and how they can fulfill those demands.
- 3. Prepared – One of the jobs is to prepare legal documents related to contracts, agreements and lease papers and so on.
- 4. Coordinate – They check on the agreements for signing and also expending of the funds between the parties. Those blue moon real estate agents coordinate the entire process effectively.
- 5. Intermediate – Agents act as intermediary between the buyer and seller or any other party for discussions.
- 6. Negotiate – They have a prominent role in negotiation while purchase/sell of a property which can be fruitful to both sides.
- 7. Substitute – Most of the time they represent on the behalf of their clients as it could be an extensive process to seal the trade.
- 8. Investigate – Another role of theirs is quite important from the financial perspective is to explore the possibilities of client’s status of credit and finance.
- 9. Promote – It is the duty of a real estate agent Nambour to endorse the properties through advertisements, listing services and several other ways to inform interested public.
10. Compare – They know how to judge against similar types of properties to determine the best market prices for it.
11. Review – Analysis of the listings to find out prospective properties and acquire as much information about real estate markets are included in their job duties.
12. Inspect – When a property goes for rent, the agents have to inspect it in regular intervals and acquaint the owners regarding maintenance and related subjects.
13. Advice – They provide selective advice with respect to different issues of legal necessities, conditions of the market, price facts and others.
14. Assess – Before explaining to the clients about some properties, a real estate agent Nambour has to self assess them by visiting personally.
Demonstrate – They are hired to describe the features of a property as well as notify about its benefits and losses.
Warrants are a fixed price on company stock, for a predetermined period of time. For example, a stockholder could be offered a warrant of $2 per share for one year. Even if the stock rises to $5 per share, an investor can still purchase at the $2 rate, making an immediate profit. Convertible bonds do not have a fixed price term.
Convertible bonds mature and are able to be cashed in and treated as a regular bond would; however, they can also be converted into shares of company stock. Should the convertibles be issued as preferred stock, investors have the option of converting shares to common stock as well. Warrants deal with stock prices, and shares cannot be converted to other securities.
Convertible securities are one-time investments. Investors purchase more stock at a later date to maximize the profitability of a warrant.
Investors typically view convertible securities as long-term options. Warrants carry an expiration date and, therefore, are considered short-term in comparison.
- The first step is to find a home with lease with option to purchase possibilities. Check with realtors in your area and even homeowners that have their homes for sale by owner. Even if a residential property is for sale, the owners may agree to a Lease/Option, just to have something in their hand. Also some of the online property search websites will have lease/options listed. You might also convert a rental property agreement to a lease/option.
- Now you have located the home you want, the next step is the agreement. Whether you are the Tenant/Optioner, or the Landlord/Optionee, it is important that everything be in writing. In contract law, if it isn’t in writing, it basically didn’t happen. Remember, this is a residential rental or lease agreement with an addendum. One document. You can get forms off the internet, through business supply stores, or places like nolo.com. What is important here is what is in the agreement. All states have landlord tenant laws and those apply here.
- The Lease Option addendum to your lease should, at a minimum, set out the following: length of option (a year is not uncommon); the provision that any breach of the lease will lead to termination of the option (that includes, of course, failure to pay rent on time; how the sales price will be computed if the option is exercise (e.g. fair market value as determined by an appraisal at the time the option is exercised); how soon before the option period ends does notice of exercise need to be made and how (e.g. 90 days before and in writing); that the property is sold “as is” at the time option is exercised; time line of closing after notice of exercise of option; and what is an isn’t refundable in case the option is not exercised and the lease ends (security deposit for lease if governed by landlord tenant law and must be refunded with certain exceptions but the option fee is negotiable.)
- More about the option fee or rental payment credit. Most parties to a residential property lease with option to purchase agreement reach an agreement on whether any of the rent will go toward a downpayment on the house. This is negotiable. What usually isn’t negotiable, is that the tenant put down an option fee in exchange for the landlord, or owner, of the property keeping the house off of the market for the length of the option. The amount is negotiable and is usually nonrefundable if the option is not exercised. It is often, however, creditable for when the option on the home is exercised.
- Choose a regional market to work in, then contact all the major real estate agencies in the area, inform them of your desire to work as a real estate agent in the region, and ask if they would be willing to have you work with them. Once you receive a positive response from at least one company, ask for a job offer letter from the owner, which is required when filing for a business visa.
- Contact the nearest Mexican consulate and obtain a Business Visa FM-3 request form and the associated paperwork. The form is required of non-Mexican nationals requesting to work in the country. A list of addresses and other contact information for all consulates in the United States and Canada is on the Mexico Online travel website (mexicoonline.com).
- Submit a Business Visa FM-3 request, along with any other required documentation to the Mexican consulate general. Items that must be included as part of the request are the written job offer, completed visa request form and a valid U.S. passport and a letter outlining the reason for the request, and requested length of stay. Other items that could be requested by individual consulates are a second picture ID, resume or copy of the real estate company’s business license.
- Report to work in Mexico after the consulate general approves the visa application. Applications are generally approved within 10 working days of filing, but the time can vary. Unlike in the United States, no license is required to work as a real estate agent in Mexico; however, a trade organization, the Mexican Association of Realtors, or AMPI, helps real estate professionals in areas such as training.
Create a Clear Market Position
- Real estate companies can operate across the property spectrum, dealing with general residential and commercial clients, or they can offer a specialist service in niche markets. Companies may specialize in period properties, luxury homes, offices or agricultural properties, for example. By positioning themselves clearly in the market, companies can attract clients who are looking for a specific type of property. They can also fine-tune their marketing to focus on the right media and messages for their target market.
Build a Strong Property List
- Property buyers and sellers are looking for real estate companies active in the market and with a good track record of successful transactions. Building a strong property list is essential. A good list offers buyers choice and helps to build trust in the company. By offering potential sellers the benefits of marketing campaigns, effective presentations through property videos and brochures, and high levels of personal service, real estate companies can persuade owners to place their properties on their lists.
- Real estate companies must encourage prospective buyers to make their firm the first point of contact when they are looking for a property. By placing advertisements in local newspapers or specialist property publications, companies can attract potential buyers. Maintaining contact by phone or email with buyers helps to build relationships and increases the opportunity for a sale.
Build Professional Referrals
- In addition to building a client base through their own marketing activities, real estate companies can win business by encouraging referrals from other professionals involved in the property business, such as mortgage companies, surveyors, banks and law firms. A mutually beneficial relationship is essential. Real estate companies can refer their clients to firms providing mortgage finance, conveyancing or professional property services. A referral program can make it easier to establish relationships with new prospects, because they trust the opinion of the referrer.
Develop All-Inclusive Services
- Buying or selling property represents a major inconvenience for residential and business clients. Real estate companies can differentiate themselves by developing a portfolio of services that minimize inconvenience for clients. As well as providing the basic valuation, sales and marketing services, they can recommend other professionals, such as law firms and surveyors, arrange mortgages through third-party providers and source other essential services, such as storage or removal firms. Clients benefit from a single point of contact, saving time and reducing inconvenience
Understand the Format
- The PSI exam includes national and state portions, and requirements vary for salespersons and brokers. Those applying for a salesperson license must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the national portion and 75 percent on the state portion, while brokers need to score at least 75 percent on the national component and 80 percent on the state. The exams are timed and typically taken on a computer.
Know the Material
- Study candidate information bulletins, which are available on the PSI website, to prepare for the test. Each bulletin outlines the content covered on the test, identifies tips and provides sample questions. The topics covered in real estate PSI exams are generally the same, and include finance, property law and real estate fundamentals. Exams for sales agents may inquire about the terms of certain agreements, such as mortgage clauses, while those for brokers may require math calculations. For example, candidates may be given a value of a property and asked to calculate the monthly to earn 12 percent on total investment.
Hit the Books
- When key concepts or ideas aren’t totally clear, discuss complex details with colleagues who may have more experience in these situations and take notes. Take practice exams through psiexams.com to get used to recalling details while being timed. The PSI Learning Academy offers full courses to prepare candidates for exams in some states, such as Florida, Georgia and Texas. It also provides pre-exam preparation courses in 14 states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, as of 2014.
Use the Tutorial
- PSI doesn’t allow the use of notes during the test. Before the test begins, candidates are offered the opportunity to follow a tutorial of sample questions. Take advantage of the tutorial to get comfortable with the computer and the testing format. For example, instead of leaving questions blank during the test, you can select “mark” and the system will bring the question back later for review. Unanswered questions are marked incorrect.
- Get your certificate or associate’s degree as an administrative assistant. Courses taken through your local community college will give you this degree and pave the way for the REPA certification. All of the courses you take to obtain your administrative assistant degree will give you the foundation you need to become a real estate professional assistant.
- Learn in-depth knowledge of real estate licensing, transactions, listing types and contract regulations as you study the material. They will instruct you on how to become a licensed REPA. The course also gives you information on what is a “must have” in a listing agreement and fair housing laws. Testing will include all of the above topics.
- Take the Real Estate Professional Assistant certification course from the National Association of Realtors in a classroom setting or online. Learn everything you need to get started as a REPA in this well rounded two-day class. Take the virtual course from the International Real Estate Assistant Association as another option.
- Absorb the legal and day-to-day information you are gaining in class. You have already been exposed to much of it in your day-to-day duties if you are a real estate office worker. This knowledge will help to make you an invaluable part of the firm, particularly once you finish your REPA training.
- Use your customer service skills to their maximum potential. If you are the best at what you do in dealing with the public and your coworkers, the management in your division will notice that and help you to achieve your education. After all, it will benefit them as well.
- Get ready for change. Apply to all of the real estate firms within driving distance of you. You have the skills they are looking for and they don’t have to put in any time training you. Get all of the information you can on the real estate industry, and you may decide to get your license and become a full broker.
- Match your commercial real estate interests with various geographic regions matching your interests. Investing in commercial real estate involves extensive knowledge in a variety of commercial market classifications, including small and large retail, shopping centers, rental properties, office buildings and industrial structures. Matching your commercial real estate interests with targeted geographic regions ripe for investment requires years of following the real estate and investment markets. Once you feel comfortable with one or more commercial types of investment opportunities, research the geographic areas best suited to your interests. Conduct research by reading regional commercial real estate reports and meeting with other investors at conventions and professional seminars. The International Council of Shopping Centers, for instance, holds international, nation and regional conventions offering education seminars and training sessions.
- Network with other commercial investors and join finance partnerships. Investment partnerships provide cash reserves, but they also mean your fellow investors must share your investment strategies. Unless you have available funds for the commercial investment, adding partners offers the option to fund large commercial ventures. Meet potential partners at local commercial property training sessions and at professional conventions.
- Network with commercial property lenders. The National Real Estate Investor noted commercial lenders tightened lending practices with the economic decline beginning in late 2009, and slow markets mean a larger commitment of cash and collateral required for commercial investment plans. Work with several qualified lenders to develop a presentation package documenting your financial backing for use in presenting offers on commercial properties.
- Locate a licensed commercial real estate broker with specialty certifications in your interest areas and also an experienced title researcher. A licensed Realtor can provide current knowledge of the market, experience in negotiating sales prices and contract terms and the strategy know-how in pricing your offer. The real estate agent also offers exclusive access to a market of commercial properties. An experienced title agent also offers valuable knowledge for commercial property investors. Title agents research current property ownership, present and past loans and document comparable sales made in your targeted geographic region.
- Research specific properties and make offers on the real estate. Once your investment team decides on a property, consult with your commercial real estate agent to write a legal contract for the property. Ask your title agent to construct a preliminary title report to document the property history. This report assists in developing a price for the property and any necessary terms involving the physical condition, zoning and community restrictions, as well as any restrictions on future development or prohibitions on property modifications.
- There are a lot of different types of investments that an investor to put their money into. An investor could purchase a real asset such as residential or commercial real estate or collectibles or they could buy securities or financial assets such as bonds and company shares on the market. All of these investments are vulnerable to the vagaries of the market and can rise or fall in value.
- You can invest your money directly, by researching the markets, analysing valuations and making your own decisions on what to put money into. Many people, however, use intermediaries instead, letting the bank invest their money or joining investment clubs. The intermediary invests the money given to them by everyone involved in the scheme and then each individual shares in the profits and loss. This method gives the investor the benefit of professional advice.
- Investing is the process of making your money work for you, instead of simply sitting safely in the back, and it is increasingly a necessity of modern life. It is frequently no longer possible for an individual to work in one job all their life and retire on their pension. People move from job to job, or from career to career, and due to government cutbacks the responsibility for providing for their retirement falls increasingly on the individual. By investing your money wisely you can make a profit that you can then re-invest or put aside as a nest-egg. A good return on an investment can maximise earning potential.
- The major disadvantage of investing is that it is always possible to lose money on whatever investment you make. If you invest in a rare collectible, the value of it can rise or fall depending on its popularity and its availability on the market. Stock prices fluctuate based on everything from how the competition is doing to public confidence in the market. 2008 demonstrated how even house prices, traditionally the most secure investment, are not a guaranteed return.
- An investment shouldn’t be a gamble. The investor should research the market where they are investing thoroughly before they ever decide to commit their money. Although there is always a risk that the vagaries of the market will result in the investor losing money, they should always have a reasonable expectation that they will make a profit when they make the investment.
- Pick a good school. By selecting a good college real estate program, you can ensure that you will learn all you will need to know to pass the test. Research the components of different real estate courses and ask around. Inquire with area real estate professionals, and they are likely to tell you which programs are recommended most. In fact, some of these professionals might teach courses at an area school. Many consider the University of Florida’s real estate program to be the state’s best. The school offers an undergraduate and graduate minor in real estate, an MBA with a concentration in real estate and Master of Science in real estate. In Orlando, Valencia Community College offers a less time-consuming option with a Real Estate Specialist certificate course. The course is offered through the school’s Business Administration department. In South Florida, Miami-Dade College offers real estate courses through the School of Community Education. The 30-hour non-credit course can be taken online.
- Complete the schooling. Nothing will prepare you more for the test than the classes in which you enroll. Be sure to focus during the classes and do all of your homework. The courses are designed to help you pass the test. Therefore, you are doing a disservice to yourself if you fail to pay close attention in class.
- Buy an exam study guide. “The Real Estate License Exam for Dummies” provides basic information and study tips for taking real estate exams. “How to Prepare for the Real Estate Licensing Exams” is another good resource. This book includes nine full practice exams, and it features answers and explanations for all answers. For more Florida-specific information, a good source is the “Florida Real Estate Manual,” a paperback book written by Linda L. Crawford. The book features information on Florida laws and more than 600 questions and answers. “Barron’s Florida Real Estate Exams” and “CliffsTestPrep Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam” are also good sources. The “CliffsTestPrep” guide includes five practice tests. The books can be purchased from sites such as Amazon.com, and some might be available from your local library or through personal loan from a real estate agent in your area.
- Use the study guide to practice and focus on Florida state laws on real estate. The state test is written with an emphasis on ensuring that real estate agents in the state know the unique laws that affect the profession in Florida. Review the Florida-specific parts of the study guides and check the Florida Statutes for information on real estate laws. Remember that the study guides are sometimes dated, and they might not reflect new laws. Think of potential questions and come up with the answers. Study for several days before the test. Avoid cramming the night before the test. This can cut into sleep time and cause you to be groggy during the test.
- Talk to Florida real estate agents in your city about their own experiences with the test. They likely recall the parts that were the trickiest, and they probably know dozens of others who have taken the test. They can advise you on potential pitfalls and areas that you should not overlook.
- Visit the FloridaRealtors website (see Resouces). The website features a wealth of information for hopeful real estate professionals. Its resources include information on a real estate course program and audio CDs and DVDs that can help you prepare. The site’s educational materials are often more updated than anything else you will find.
- Read questions completely before answering, and skip questions when you are not sure of the answer. It could be costly for you to spend too much time on one question. The Florida state real estate exam is timed, and the state-appointed test administrators will require that you stop when your time expires. If you have spare time, you can use it to go back to the questions that you skipped and to check for obvious mistakes.
- Choose your location wisely. Lower priced homes near expressways, railroad tracks or busy intersections may seem like a great idea now, but will not appreciate as quickly as those located in desirable areas. Even if it means spending a little more, pick a location that is conveniently located near many amenities or at least part of a reputable school system.
- Work with a seasoned real estate agent, attorney and lender. To be successful at real estate investing, you will need to do business with people that are familiar with this niche industry. Check the credentials of everyone involved in your transaction and be honest about your expectations.
- Do your homework. Some investment properties could be part of a “too good to be true” real estate scam. Research the title history on the property in question and make sure that there are no outstanding liens.
- Calculate how much you can spend on your investment property. Your mortgage payment should be in line with what other properties in the area are renting for, or else you might have difficulty filling vacancies. You also need to keep enough money in the bank to cover everything for at least a couple months in case your renter defaults on their payments.
- Hire reputable contractors to handle renovations. Your investment property may need some serious remodeling before it starts turning a profit. To save money in the long run, retain licensed, bonded and insured contractors who have successfully completed projects like this before.
- Review any and all contracts with an attorney before signing them. Investment properties are subject to different laws than residential properties, particularly when it comes to reporting the income you are receiving. Ask your friends or family to recommend someone they trust.
- Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to devote to your investment property. Your tenants will need you around to handle maintenance issues, collect rent and keep up the exterior. If you can’t handle this on your own, keep enough money in your monthly budget for a property manager.
Single Family Homes
- Renting single family homes is the easiest way for new investors to buy real estate and enter the rental market. By choosing homes in good neighborhoods, investors should have little trouble renting their properties or selling them when needed. The primary downside of single family properties is selecting and dealing with tenants. Hiring a property management company to screen tenants, deal with the late night service calls and other problems can reduce the stress, but the costs will also reduce the profitability of the investment.
- Apartment buildings have the potential to provide a large stream of income that will produce significant profits. However, multi-unit buildings also hold the possibility of requiring substantial investments for maintenance or repairs. Investors may have to invest large sums of money into the building to make the property desirable to prospective renters. Multi-unit buildings are also more dependent on a strong local economy to produce the number of tenants needed to fill the building. These large buildings are more difficult to sell due to high costs and a limited amount of potential buyers.
Commercial Real Estate
- Commercial real estate can vary from storage facilities to shopping malls. As with residential properties, the cost of these properties will have a wide range. Renting commercial properties often has less risk from destructive tenants, but the number of prospective tenants is much smaller. This can lead to properties being on the market much longer, both when renting and selling. Combination residential and commercial properties, most often with a street level commercial unit and apartments above, can present an opportunity for a compromise real estate investment.
- Real Estate Investment Trusts, REIT, provide a way for investors to gain exposure to the rental real estate market without the significant investment of time and money required to purchase and hold real estate. A REIT is a trust that may hold various types of real estate properties, including residential and commercial rental real estate. A REIT’s management may choose to specialize in certain types of real estate or real estate in certain areas. REITs buys and sells on the stock market like any other stock which makes getting into and out of the investment quick and easy.
Investment Time Horizon
- The time horizon for achieving an investment goal varies from one goal to the next. In addition, some goals are reoccurring, such as travel, and others are more rare occurrences, such as a college education or the purchase of a home. In general, the greater amount of time you have to accumulate the money you’ll need, the more risk you can tolerate and the greater return an investment might earn due to the power of compound interest. The criticality of the need, such as saving for retirement, and the time you have to meet the financial need will determine your return requirements and your ability to tolerate investment risk.
Short-Term Investment Goals
- You arrange your investment goals by the deadline you set for achieving each one. For example, short-term goals might include a wedding, vacations and major household goods, such as furniture or appliances. Your short-term goals should also include the creation of an emergency fund that consists of three to six months of living expenses. To accomplish these goals, you might choose investments with short-term maturity dates that allow you to access your money without incurring a penalty. Both a Federal Deposit Insurance Company-insured money market account and savings bonds allow you to you earn money on your deposits that will help you accomplish your short-term goals.
Mid-Term Investment Goals
- Saving money for your mid-term investment goals is next on your investment agenda. Mid-term goals include money for a house down payment or house renovation, as well as a vacation home or business investment. You can accomplish these investment goals with investments that entail more risk, such as stocks, because the longer time horizon provides you time to recoup any losses.
Long-Term Investment Goals
- Your long-term goals are a critical element of you investment plan that might include a degree program, a family inheritance and a retirement fund. The retirement fund, which means you won’t be required to work throughout your life, is one important reason to invest for the long-term as frequently and as inexpensively as possible. You’ll want to accumulate your desired annual income after you retire multiplied by your life expectancy after retirement. For example, assume your retirement investments must generate $100,000 yearly when you retire and that your life expectancy is 25 years after retirement. In this case, 25 times $100,000 is $2.5 million. If you earn a 5 percent return every year during your retirement years, your investments will generate your desired $100,000 income.
- Keep the real estate motto “location, location, location,” in mind. You want your investment property to be in a prime location so that you can capitalize fully on your investment. Choose a town or city with lots of potential and growth. Pick an investment property in a location that will make it easier for you to rent it out or sell it for a profit in the future.
- Don’t buy a cheap home or building just because of its low price. There is probably a reason that the land is so cheap on the real estate market. Do your research to make sure that you are getting the best possible investment property.
- Choose the type of investment property you are interested in buying. If you are new to buying investment properties you may want to start out with a relatively simple investment property like a single home as opposed to buying a more complicated investment property like a trailer park.
- Get a general idea of property values, rental rates, and mortgage rates in the location you have selected.
- Contact a real estate agent. You want to work with a reputable real estate agent who has a reputation as someone who knows a lot about buying investment properties. Don’t settle for the first real estate agent you meet with. Make sure you get a real estate agent who is comfortable with investment property management.
- Find an investment property that interests you and do your research. Find out why the current owner is selling the investment property.
- Get investment property financing. You may need to apply for an investment property loan. Investment property loans are easy to come by if you have a sound investment property. Prove to the loan agency that their investment property loan is safe by showing them that the investment property has potential to earn money. Getting investment property loans and investment property financing isn’t hard, but if you can’t come up with the full amount in your own money with the aid of investment property loans you may also need to get an investment property mortgage.
- Make an offer and buy the investment property with the aid of your investment property loan and low investment property mortgage rate.
Different Bank Account Types
- When “investing” your money in a bank, there are a few options. You can put your money in a checking account or a savings account, where it will accrue a small amount of interest. Or you can invest in a bank’s money market account, which functions somewhat like a savings account but with higher returns and more restrictions. Lastly, you can invest in a certificate of deposit (CD), which features some of the higher interest return rates but contains some serious restrictions on what you can do with your money.
- With all of the investment or financial tools available at a bank comes one serious advantage: security. When you invest in an American bank, your money is safe even if you invest it in a CD or money market account. Should the bank fail or some other disaster strike, your money is guaranteed by the FDIC, a federal insurer that guarantees deposits up to $250,000 should something happen to an FDIC-insured bank. Most, if not all, banks in this country are insured in this way. In comparison to the stock market, bank investments are safe investments; you won’t lose money from market swings or economic trends.
- The ironclad security of bank investments, whether in accounts or CDs, is balanced out by the painfully low returns on these financial services. Checking accounts earn no interest; savings accounts earn a very small amount, usually amounting to 1 or 2 percent. Even with a large amount of money invested, you’ll be earning pennies with these types of investments. Money market accounts and CDs earn more. Typical rates for a CD are 5 percent, according to BYG Publishing.
- Depending on the type of bank investment you make, liquidity can be either an advantage or a disadvantage. It is an advantage if you possess a savings account. While you may earn small returns, you typically have access to money in a savings account at any time. For CDs and money market accounts, there are limits on when you can access your money. In opposition to this, stock market investments are, in theory, very liquid: You can sell your stock at any time. But, the practicalities of the market dictate that to recoup money lost or to realize higher returns, you may be forced to leave your money in stocks until the price reaches a point where you can make money or make back money lost.
- Prioritize your financial goals according to their respective timeframes. If you have a child who is two years away from going to college, you should rely on cash or ultra-safe fixed-income investments to pay for that expense. By contrast, if you are in your twenties and are simply saving for retirement, you should place your retirement funds in riskier stock investments since you will not be retiring for many years.
- Select your asset allocation based on the prioritization of your financial goals. Assets generally fall into three classes: stocks, which are riskier in the short-term but may generate higher long-term returns; bonds, which are less risky than stocks but have lower potential long-term returns; and cash, which is extremely safe but generates very little financial return. If most of your financial goals are more than five years out, you should invest most of your money in stocks. By contrast, if most of your financial goals fall within the next two years, you should keep most of your money in cash. Regardless of your goals, it is generally a good idea to have some portion of your money in all three of these asset classes.
- Diversify all of your investments within each asset class. Regardless of which asset class you focus on, you should never put all of your money in one or two securities. If you want to own stocks, you should invest in a diversified basket of stocks rather than in one or two stocks.
- Choose whether you want to invest directly in stocks and bonds or whether you prefer mutual funds. Mutual funds are diversified pools of securities. The main advantage of mutual funds is the level of diversification they provide while the main drawback is the management fees they charge, which erode your returns. If you have limited cash to invest, you should consider investing in low-cost mutual funds (that is, mutual funds with very low management fees).
- Open an online brokerage account with a company such as E*Trade, TD Ameritrade, or Scottrade. Online brokerage accounts are cheaper and easier to use than traditional brokers, and they provide you with the resources you need to research different stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
- Advertise your property in a foreign newspaper. You can easily do a quick search for a newspaper in the countries you wish to advertise to, and through their website either place and ad directly, or, be able to locate the contact information for their classifieds department. Remember to keep in mind foreign currency rates when getting prices.
- Make your own website. One of the quickest and least expensive ways is to create your own website for the property. You can easily find a cheap or free website hosting service and can even hire a web designer to help you post the site if you feel like you are not technologically prepared to build a website on your own. Also, keep in mind that many hosting companies now offer very simple website building software that just about anyone can use, and on top of that most of these companies offer the software for free.
- Place an ad in a foreign magazine. If you truly have a great piece of luxury property, you may want to consider taking out an ad in a foreign magazine. Look for aspects of your home that are unique and look for magazines that match that uniqueness. So for example, if you have a gourmet kitchen, you may want to put and ad out in an international cooking magazine. Or if you have lakefront property with water access, you may want to take out an ad in an international boating or fishing magazine. Just be creative.
- Post an ad on Craigslist or other international classifieds sites. Cragislist has made it as simple as possible to advertise your property to an international audience. Posting an ad on Craigslist and similar sites is also quite simple as well as free. You will not only be able to post a large amount of text regarding your property but you will also be able to post photos, and even a link to your website featuring the property if you have one.
- Make your home stand out. The best way to sell your home to any buyer, including an international buyer, is to find its selling points. Find what makes your home stand out among the many luxury properties and lofts and really sell that point. Whether it’s the view, the square footage, the location or the amenities, highlight them as much as you can in your ad to get your potential buyers hooked on learning more and potentially buying your property.
- Research the available and recently rented luxury units near your property. Note the time on the market and the features offered in units that rented quickly; such information can be found on a comparative market analysis, which you can get from a real estate agent familiar with the area.
- Compile a list of your rental property’s features that meet the demands of the luxury rental market as determined by your research. These might include multiple shower heads and saunas in bathrooms, scenic views or a gourmet kitchen.
- Stage the property with luxurious-looking furniture and decor — which you can lease — to enhance the interior. Rent enough furnishings to make the residence look comfortable, but still roomy. Take photos of the staged rooms to use in your marketing flier and online advertising.
- Create a flier. Use simple word processing software — which usually includes basic brochure layout features — or desktop publishing software. Incorporate a few of the most attractive images you have of the property. Include a detailed list of your unit’s high-end features to help potential renters compare it with other rentals on the market.
- Shoot a video of your property to create a virtual tour, which you can upload to social networking websites along with your property flier. Walk through the home and use your camera to show visitors each room’s luxury features. Also, capture footage of community pools, on-site amenities — such as concierge services — or conveniently located parking areas.
- Launch a website for the property or hire a web designer to create and launch one for you. Include plenty of photographs, video clips and write a detailed description to enhance the site. Include your contact information, or that of your real estate agent, on each page of the site so that viewers can contact you easily.
- Identify print and media outlets on which to publicize your rental property such as local magazines designed for high-income readers or websites that list luxury rentals. If your property is located in a specific area, such as an exclusive beach community, advertise it on websites and in magazines that promote the area.