Real Estate Investing
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Feb 14, 2018

11 Ways to Add Value to Bathrooms

Bathrooms, like kitchens, are a huge selling point in your home. They're also the most personal of spaces. Here are 11 ways you can add value to yours through quick updates that make a big difference...

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Feb 08, 2018

How rising interest rates will affect consumers

Rising bond yields, and worries that the Federal Reserve might get more aggressive in raising a key interest rate, have sent Wall Street into turmoil in the last week.It began with last Friday's jobs report that showed a big jump in wages and a corresponding rise in bond yields, which influence a whole range of interest rates. All of a sudden, it appears the recent era of rock-bottom interest rates is ending.Consumers can expect to feel some impact from a rising rate environment, though not nearly as much as the stock market. Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, still believes the Fed will hike interest rates three times in 2018 -- not four as some on Wall Street fear.No major impactFor consumers, three 0.25 percent hikes in the discount rate will mostly affect those with variable rate loans, such as credit card balances."However...

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Jan 22, 2018

How a government shutdown impacts real estate and housing

With a dispute in the Senate over the immigration program DACA still unresolved, the government shutdown continues for a third day on Monday morning after Congress’s failed attempts to pass a spending deal that would fund the government through mid-February. A Senate vote on an agreement that would end the shutdown and fund the government for another three weeks is scheduled for noon ET Monday. Whether the plan will gain enough support from Democrats is unclear, according to CNN, but until business as usual resumes, homebuyers and sellers could be in store for headaches — but not any long-term setbacks.During a shutdown, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) furlough large swaths of workers, significantly delaying mortgage approval until work resumes.Banks and private lenders will...

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Jan 03, 2018

Home prices are set to soar in 2018

The temperature may be frigid across much of the nation, yet home prices are sizzling and sellers are in the hot seat. Sales prices jumped 7 percent annually in November, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

That is the third straight month at that pace, far higher than the price gains in the first half of 2017. Low supply and high demand are fueling the spurt and neither of those is expected to ease up anytime soon.

Supply is actually falling even more now, and a strengthening economy is pushing demand. This will have potential buyers out early this year, trying to get a jump on the spring market.

"Rising home prices are good news for home sellers...

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Nov 18, 2017

Things to know about a neighborhood when investing in rental homes

Before you make the decision to purchase a home for rental purposes, it is important to do your research before actually signing on the dotted line. While the home may appear to be a great rental property, believe it or not, the neighborhood can be a make or break for any deal. Regardless of how nice the house is, if the neighborhood isn’t sound, you are going to have a really hard time finding decent tenants. When considering a property, take some time to really look at the area around the property. Do your due diligence and make sure you have an intimate knowledge of the surrounding neighborhood before putting up any money. Ask questions When purchasing a property for investment purposes, it is always best to view the property first hand. You should always inspect the house for yourself—but, just as importantly, you should check out the neighborhood yourself, as well. Spend some time in the area to get a good feel for the neighborhood. Meet the neighbors and those who work in the local shops...

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Oct 31, 2017

Private equity changing rental market

After the housing crash, a new industry rose around property management that allowed single-family homes to be treated as commodities. Following the Great Recession, private equity started moving into the housing market, buying tens of thousands of homes and turning them into rental properties.In a recently aired segment on NPR’s WBUR, Dustin Dwyer, reporter for Michigan Public Radio and a Grand Rapids resident, explained how private investors from out of state became interested in purchasing homes in the Grand Rapids market.Dwyer was curious, “Why would someone from Chicago or California be interested in buying up homes in Grand Rapids, Michigan?”Dwyer said he learned through speaking to other residents in the city that out-of-state companies began investing in Grand Rapids homes to turn around and sell them as rental properties, often driving up the price of rent and forcing people out.He also spoke to analysts and experts in the housing market and learned about the increased trend of investors and hedge funds buying large amounts of properties after the 2008-09 housing crash...

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Oct 05, 2017

5 Expenses That Shock First-Time Homebuyers

Americans are an optimistic sort. Take this new study from Bank of The West, which found that 85 percent of millennials are confident they’ll achieve the American Dream — of which owning a home is a big piece.Yet, more than half of those surveyed don’t have a plan to actually get there, and once they start on the path, they’re often shocked at how much it costs. Sure, some costs associated with homeownership are predictable, like your mortgage payment.

But many of the ancillary costs of homeownership take homeowners by surprise, including property taxes, insurance, utility bills, and more. U.S. homeowners can spend more than $9,000 per year on these hidden...

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Sep 07, 2017

Hurricane Irma: Renter? You could be on your own for shutters

In the mad rush to cover windows and doors before Hurricane Irma strikes, some Florida renters find themselves in an awkward spot: What if the landlord won’t put up the shutters or plywood?

The short answer: Tenants are on their own.

Nothing in Florida law requires landlords to protect their home — or their tenants — in a hurricane, lawyers and experts say.

Hurricane Irma: Get the latest news and information on the storm

“I don’t think there’s anything in the statute that says, ‘Hey, if a hurricane’s coming, you’ve got do to this,’” said Sunrise attorney Charles L. Simon.

Florida law requires landlords to comply with “all applicable building, housing, and health codes.” When there are no applicable codes, the landlord has to keep the building “in good repair” and “capable of resisting normal forces and loads.”

Even an historic Category 5 hurricane with 185 mph winds, as Irma recorded in the mid-Atlantic, does not count as “normal forces and loads,” lawyers said.

While it might seem obvious that a homeowner would want to protect their assets, that doesn’t always happen...

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Sep 06, 2017

Timely Tips For The New Real Estate Investor

Whether you want to diversify your investments, develop cash flow for your retirement years or achieve other financial goals, investing in real estate can be a smart idea. Real estate tends to be less volatile than the stock market, and the owners of investment properties can benefit from price appreciation as well as the current rent roll.That does not mean that owning investment real estate is an easy road to riches. If it were, everyone who owned an apartment building or a rental home would be rich, and clearly, that is not the case. If you are new to the world of real estate investing, you need to plan carefully, develop a strategy for success and treat your new endeavor like the business it is. In my experience as a real estate investor, it makes sense to understand your investment personality, but also the role the business of real estate plays in your daily life. Here are some timely tips new real estate investors can use to make more money while reducing their risk.Treat Your Real Estate Investment Like The Business It Is...

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Sep 03, 2017

Why Online Investing Makes It Easy to Diversify Your Real Estate Portfolio

Modern Portfolio Theory is based on the idea that certain types of investment risk can be mitigated through a strategic pattern of diversification and asset allocation.Diversification is important because it spreads risk across multiple types of investments within a single portfolio. By diversifying into different investments, the overall portfolio’s  risk is reduced so that the investor isn’t as exposed to a loss from a single investmentAsset allocation is important because it reduces the risk of an outsized impact on an investor’s portfolio from a market moving change in one asset class. In addition, asset allocation takes into account each individual investor’s risk tolerance, time horizon and investment goals. Bull markets don’t last indefinitely. Markets and asset classes will have good and bad years. For these reasons, it is important for investors to choose a variety of asset classes and allocate their investment selections within each class strategically. Real estate is an important part of a well-diversified portfolio, and the advent of online real estate investing makes it easy, convenient, and transparent for all investors to add real estate to their investment strategy...

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