Three Pillars of Real Estate Tax You Should Know

The US Government subsidizes real estate in the tune of trillions of dollars (that’s right, trillions). Taxpayers Uncle Sam subsidizes real estate by backing and guaranteeing mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  According to the Wall Street Journal, nine out of ten residential mortgages currently originated in 2010 are backed by the government. How does this benefit you? You get lower interest rates.  The Government's purchasing spree has pushed down and kept interest rates low for quite some time. What's another subsidy you can take advantage of? Tax breaks for homeowners. As a homeowner (or potential one), [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:30:01+00:00April 2nd, 2010|Uncategorized|

5 Myths You Need to Know Before You Buy Short Sales

Short sales.  Buy pennies on the dollar.   Instant equity. A lender's loss is your gain. A couple years ago, your pocketbook could only afford you a modest house with three bedrooms, now with the same pocketbook, it appears can afford a mansion with five. Before you get your hopes up and your heart set on getting your dream house for 50 percent off, remember that short sales typically have a 30% success rate.  Sellers change their mind, buyers walk from the deal, or banks disapprove of terms. So before you put in an offer, arm yourself with information [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:53:18+00:00March 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|

How to Prevent Mold from Destroying Your Home

Your home is your biggest asset.  Many things can destroy your asset - termites, a fallen tree, three wild rambunctious five-year-olds, you name it. If you are an Office fan, I’m sure you just saw the most recent episode of Jim and Pam having a baby!  On the way to the hospital, Pam asks Dwight Schrute to pick up an iPod from her home, but made it very clear to only touch the iPod.  While searching for the iPod, Dwight finds mold in their kitchen and feels he must eradicate the deathly mold from the premises.  [...]

By |2018-11-10T22:33:50+00:00March 11th, 2010|Uncategorized|

9 Lies Realtors Like to Tell

In the interest of full-disclosure, I am a real estate agent. While this may make my profession look bad, I believe that consumers need to be educated.  Please remember, not all agents are liars.  There are some that conduct themselves with integrity and look out for their client's best interest.  Enjoy. 1. "Once in a lifetime opportunity!" - sometimes an agent will tell you this is the "once" in a lifetime opportunity.  If the agents are out of the field and looking at homes constantly, opportunities happen on a monthly basis.  When the agent tells you this and [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:54:09+00:00February 25th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Six-Little Known Factors That Could Affect Your House Value

If you've considered buying a home, you probably know a busy street with double lines or transformers in the backyard doesn't bode well for your property value. But have you ever thought about other factors that negatively impact the value of your home that's not so obvious?  Ones that an unscrupulous real estate agent might forget to inform you?  Read below for more. 1. New Construction Density - As you probably know, the more nice homes you are surrounded by, the better.  All things equal, newer homes tend to increase your property value. The flip side is also [...]

By |2018-11-10T22:33:51+00:00February 18th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Real Estate Appraisals – The Ultimate Guide

What are real estate appraisals and why are they important? If you've ever purchased a property before you've either knowingly or unknowingly paid a $400 fee.  They're required whenever you want to get a loan on your property - conventional loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a mortgage refinance. To be sure, real estate appraisals are not the same as comparative market analysis (CMA).  Listing agents use CMA's to determine the ASKING PRICE of homes. The goal of an appraisal is to determine the market value of the property.  If the property were to be sold [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:59:54+00:00February 10th, 2010|Uncategorized|

A Question for The Intelligent Investor Readers: the Short or Long of it?

After blogging for the last three weeks, I have an important question to ask you. Do you prefer getting short blog posts everyday or do you prefer one extensive post per week? Now, before you conclude please hear me out. Most blogs are shorter and by their nature pack smaller punches.  For real estate however, you might want an all-inclusive article that you can bookmark and even reference.  Let's take the topic of real estate appraisals.  Instead of just getting a quick snippet (200-300 words) on appraisals you might prefer something that is 1000-3000 words that covers everything [...]

By |2018-11-10T22:33:51+00:00February 5th, 2010|Uncategorized|

Does Real Estate Help You Diversify?

As an asset class, real estate provides benefits aside from the 5.68% return over an extended period of time. Many talk diversification.  But as an investor you must ask, How diversified?  Just because you own ten stocks instead of three doesn't mean you're diversified.  If you invest in Ford and Ford auto-part makers you have little or no diversification.  A drop in the auto sales hits both the auto and auto-part industry. Standard & Poor's 500 is the standard proxy used for measuring the performance of stocks.  When you look at the correlation with residential real estate and [...]

By |2018-12-13T23:51:35+00:00February 3rd, 2010|Uncategorized|

6 Steps to Real Estate Investment: Finding the Right Agent (Part 6)

The challenging thing about find the right agent is that you can't do a police line up and compare them.  Much of real estate is done behind closed doors and so it's hard to follow a track record for analysis. While a lot could be said about finding the right listing agent, I will just focus on the ones I think are most important. Integrity - a must have when you're doing business with anyone.  You need to make sure the agent has your best interest at heart.  There are many ways an agent can undermine your interests [...]

By |2018-11-10T22:33:52+00:00February 2nd, 2010|Uncategorized|

Six Steps to Real Estate Investment: Fixup (Part 5)

As mentioned in the previous post in the series purchase price is 70% of the battle.  Next in line would be fixup.  The general rule is: Do not go "over the top". During my time at an investment fund, of the ten or so homes we've went over the top we never recouped the costs.  We put in radiant heating, box beam, double crown molding, Viking appliances and the works.  In some neighborhoods it might be needed to sell the property, but you will likely not get back 1-for-1 on your money.  There are exceptions and if you [...]

By |2018-12-13T08:32:27+00:00February 1st, 2010|Uncategorized|
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