Curb Un-Appeal

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If you are selling your home, you have to begin to view the house as an outsider might view it. This could be difficult because not everyone has the same taste in style. There are some things you simply shouldn’t change or worry about and then there are some definite items you need to change as you prepare to sell or rent your house.

 

Personality Rules

I enjoy a front yard lush with plants, secret paths, and mystical lighting. I lean to an old-fashioned façade and a porch really matters to me. Having said that, if your home is a modern with concrete paths and limited foliage, I won’t like it. Yet, you probably should not change a thing about it, because there is a heavy market looking for your style of home.

Curb appeal s relative and it can’t suit everyone. But, if I am unsure about the style I want, I can view your home and begin to get an idea of what appeals to me. This may mean I don’t buy your house based on the curb appeal, but I am able to get a better idea of what I like and what my relator can show me.

If small things, such as paint, or a few ugly potted plants are not what I want, these can be changed at minimal cost. So, do consider looking at the purple house, even if purple is not your favorite color. However you feel about what you are viewing, keep in mind that it is very poor taste to trash a home in front of the current owner. Keep your opinions to yourself and to your relator.

 

Changes to be Made

 Thinking beyond personal style, there are some modifications that you should make or freshen up as you prepare to sell your house. Look at these items and use this list as a reference while you prepare the home.

  • Paint-it should not be too many colors, overly unique, peeling, or chipping.
  • Plants and grass-the plants should be alive and not over grown. Planters should not be chipped or broken. Grass should also be alive. It should not be too high, patchy, or filled with weeds.
  • Pathways-pathways should be sturdy, not cracked, level, and lighted properly.
  • Lighting-all lights need to be working, free of frayed wires, suit the home’s style, and placed where needed.
  • Shutters-shutters should be hung straight, not broken, and painted properly.
  • Wind chimes and other unique decorations-I once toured a home that had chandelier crystals hanging in the tree, and the effect was magical. Unfortunately, not all unique DIY decorations work. Ask a friend or two to give you an honest opinion and then remove anything that keeps getting a negative vote.
  • Toys and pets-these two things can be tricky. I do not think toys should be displayed in the front yard. I am okay with minimal toys in the back yard. It should not look like a theme park. I also think pets should not be tied to a front tree. I am afraid of large dogs, and would be more focused on getting past a larger dog in the font yard than looking at the front of the home. Be careful with toys and pets.

6 Advantages of Real Estate Investing

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Truth be told, investing all of your money in real estate is not for the faint heart. While there are quite a number of variables that can turn your small investment into a multi-million investment, the very variables may cost you far more than what you bargained for. Thankfully, with proper strategies and knowing where to buy property from, the benefits can be immense. If investing is real estate is something you have been giving some serious thoughts, here are top advantages of real estate investing.

Steady income
Additional and consistent income generated by real estate investment makes this kind of investment one of the most sought after. If you buy a property and you convert it to rental units that can earn you a steady income stream in form of rent. That is not the only best part; depending largely on where your property is located, your earnings can be quite significant. For instances, urban areas and places with a college or university tend to offer the highest income stream because they demand for space is high all year round.

Significant profits
This probably is one of the biggest benefits of investing in real estate. If you find a property at a low price, the amount of profit you can net in the long run can be significant. For example, you can choose to purchase for much less than its value, do a few repairs it and resell it at a much higher selling price.

Security
Owning a property can offer you a sense of security; unlike stocks and bonds, property’s value does not tend fluctuate as much. While housing prices may come down, they may increase in value in the longer term. Word of caution though; before you invest in real estate, do a thorough research of the area before you buy the property. It is important.

You get more access to credit
A consistent and more income generated from your investment may give you greater access to more credit. Banks and lending institution are now lending more money to people who make more money. Overall, the income you make from your investment can in a myriad of ways open a wider credit lending doors allowing you to grow your investment. For real, it cannot get better than that.

Tax benefits
There is nothing we all dread like tax; when it comes to real estate investment though, there are quite a number of ways to combat the loss of your money in taxes. Apartments, commercial building and rental house all offer their own variation of tax incentives. For example, not only is the cash flow received from your rental not subject to self employment tax, the government can also offer other tax benefits like depreciation and surprisingly lower tax rates for long term profits.

Appreciation
While we all know that real estate prices do not always go up, over the long term, real estate is surely going to appreciate and soar through the roof in value.
To sum it up; if you have ever wondered how you can make money and grow your wealth, investing in real estate is the way to go.

Four Factors to Consider Before Buying a Home

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It is rare to find people who would prefer to spend their whole lives in rented homes. There is an element of excitement and fulfilment that comes with knowing that you finally inhabit a house that you can confidently call home. That said, it is worth noting that making the decision to buy a home is not a casual that that should be taken lightly. Rather, it is a weighty matter that demands careful deliberation. If you are in that space, here are a few things to chew over before taking the big leap.

1. Buy for the Future
The temptation to make decisions that seem convenient at the time is not farfetched. If you are not careful, you can fall prey to this and end up committing a costly investment blunder. That is why it is absolutely important for you to have a mental picture of your long-term plans before you contemplate buying a home. Perhaps, you may be single at the moment but intend to get married and have children someday. In that case, is important to buy a home big enough to house a family. It makes no financial sense to buy a home that will only serve short term goals.

2. Hire a Realtor
The process of buying a home can be relatively lengthy and complicated. You had better contract real estate professionals who know their way around it. Most sellers would normally hire real estate agents to protect their interests by ensuring that they get the best deals for their properties. Although it will come at a cost, it may serve your interest to get someone you can trust to look after your interest and guide you through the process.

3. Buy a Home you can afford
If you have enough money to make an outright purchase, this may not be an issue for you. The concern is for prospective home buyers who intend to employ alternative financing methods like mortgages to buy real estate. For starters, prudence dictates that you find out whether you can afford the mortgage. It is generally recommended that mortgage payments should not exceed a third of your gross income. Secondly, you may qualify for a mortgage at the moment but there is no guarantee that your income levels with remain strong for the long haul. If you are unsure of your long-term financial prospects, taking a mortgage may not be a wise decision.

4. Purchasing a Home Can Wait
As great as owning a home can be, you should be under no pressure to invest in one if you are not ready to settle down. This can especially be the case if your career requires you to be flexible and mobile. The timing has to be in conformity with your current pursuits and future aspirations. There are plenty of rental options that you can explore in the meantime.

Conclusion
These factors paint just a partial picture of some of the things that require consideration before you commit your finances to that dream home. Ultimately, a sound decision should be informed by a comprehensive deliberation of your future plans and all the factors at play.

Real Estate Agents as Property Managers

An estate agent’s work is very diverse as they have to know all about both selling and buying real estate. The real estate they have to deal with could be residential real estate such as single family, detached houses, semi-detached houses, condominiums, blocks of flats or even co-operatives and for each different type, different rules may apply.

Then there are the commercial real estates such as hotels, office blocks or shopping arcades. They will have to take care of evaluating properties, advertising them and also the selling or buying of them.

Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of their job is ensuring that all laws, regulations and rules are adhered to in order that any sale is perfectly legal with all papers signed and distributed correctly.

One additional task that many estate agents also undertake is to act as property managers for property investors. Property investors will often buy properties in order to rent them out and make a profit.

When they do this, they are often only concerned with any profits that can be made and not the general managing of the property. They therefore ask the estate agent to act as their property managers.

As a property manager, the estate agent will have to ensure any rents are collected, and repairs or maintenance are professionally taken care of and generally see to the well-being of the property on behalf of the owner. This of course means that the estate agent will have to be fully aware of any laws and regulations concerning rental properties.

Even though an estate agent’s work is diverse and important, it is usually not necessary to have any qualifications to become an estate agent as most training is done ‘on the job’.

Obviously anyone wanting to become an estate agent would need to have certain qualities and an agency will usually look for abilities to communicate well with others, a solid knowledge of math and of course honesty.

As well as learning on the job, agents can further their knowledge of the business by taking distance learning courses which are offered by both the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFoPP) and by the National Association of Estate Agents.

As an agent just starting in the business, you could expect to earn around £12,000 to £16,000 a year but as you gain experience and knowledge of the business, that salary can increase to £20,000 to £35,000, plus, depending on the agency you work for, you may be able to earn commissions on sales.

Although these salaries are based on salaries earned country wide, some place, like central London, which have high property values, those salaries can be higher with some agents in London earning as mush as £50,000.

Although there are some advantages to being an estate agent, like job security as, in an environment where many jobs outside of IT are being reduced, the number of estate agents is expected to continue tom increase. One disadvantage though is, you must be prepared to work weekends and holidays as that is when many potential buyers like to view properties.

Working with a Real Estate Agent

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For most of us there will be at least one time in our lives when we will need to work with a real estate agent. Real estate agents are not people that most of us deal with all of the time and so we may be a little uncertain as to what exactly a real estate agent does, how they may differ from a real estate broker and if they are really needed in the first place.

In answer to the first part, what exactly does a real estate agent do, we must look at the description of a real estate agent.  A real estate agent is someone that is licensed to carry out negotiations and transact sales of real estate. This means they can work on behalf of either a buyer or seller of property and have experience in doing so.

It is perhaps the experience which is of the most value to most people as; legal matters both national and local can be very complex when it comes to the buying and selling of property. The experience that an agent has is one of the reasons why even people that make their livings buying and selling properties, often carry out much of their business transactions through an agent as, with their experience, they can speed up the process.

For individuals thinking of purchasing a home though, an estate agent’s experience is even more valued. A good professional estate agent will make it their business to be able to answer any questions you may have about a house for sale and also everything about the neighborhood in which the house is situated.

Without the answers an agent can provide, it may take you considerable time finding out where the nearest schools are, where are the nearest shops, bus stops or whether or not the area is considered to be ‘safe’ at night.

A real estate agent differs from a real estate broker in so far as a broker is more qualified. Whilst an agent is qualified to make sales or purchases, they are only permitted to do them on behalf of a broker.

A broker is the level that has to be achieved in order to start a real estate business but once they have achieved this level, they can either work alone or hire agents to work for them. A real estate agency is therefore owned by one or more brokers who may or may not employ agents.

It is generally accepted that a real estate agent is needed as without them, often by-laws or other legal regulations may be infringed, resulting in controversies as to the legal owner of a property. Apart from that though, an agent can far more quickly make you aware of any properties available in the area, specific to your needs and financial restrictions, if any.

If you are considering selling a property, an agent will ensure that it gets effective visibility of being available to be bought, hopefully ensuring a quicker sale. They will also be able to advise you as to a price you can realistically expect to sell it for in the current property market conditions.