Tuesday, 31 August 2010
FHA HAS JUST INCREASED THEIR LOAN LIMIT IN KING AND SNOHOMISH COUNTIES
TO $567,500! This is up over $200K from the previous loan limit. This will allow for much better pricing than JUMBO loans up to $567,500.
Can you imagine a JUMBO scenario where the borrower doesn't need to show
any seasoned assets and only has to make a 3% down payment, -which can be money contributed from any family member AND their interest rate would be 5.625% on a 30yr?? (today's rate) This is almost a FULL point better than a JUBMO, non-conforming 30yr fixed!
UNREAL. .we will be seeing MANY more FHA loans in the following years to come.
Also to help BOTH Buyers and Sellers. I have a special program that give the commission back to the buyer looking for any type of Real Estate. Thats right, you find the property and I will write and negotiatie the contract and then see it through to the end. North West RE will keep $2,500 and the rest will go to YOU! for Sellers I have a Flat Fee listing for $2,500. You will get your property listed on the MLS and Full a Service, completely Marketed listing. Best of all you pay nothing till your home sell.
Feel free to call me with any questions.
Monday, 30 August 2010
Be careful when buying rental property. We stayed at a motel for a week one winter. The bill showed twice what it should have, but since I already paid the correct amount in cash, I thought nothing of it. When we noticed that the lobby and swimming pool were unheated, we thought it was frugality. Only a year later, when I read a news story about a new owner struggling to make the motel work, did I realize what was going on.
The owner had been planning to sell. To prepare, she was using the two most basic ways to inflate the appraised value: decrease expenses and increase reported income. By stopping repairs and quietly adding $100 in income every day, she may have shown $45,000 more net income for the year. At a .08 capitalization rate, that means the appraisal would come in $562,000 higher than it should have. Oops! The poor guy who overpaid!
Do you want to avoid a mistake like that when buying rental property? You need to watch for tricks like these. You also have to understand the basics of appraising income property.
It starts with the capitalization rate, or "cap rate." If investors in an area expect a return of 8% on assets, the cap rate is .08. Net income before debt service is divided by this to arrive at the value of a property. I explain this further in another article, but the primary point here is to remember that every dollar of extra income shown will increase the appraised value by $12.50 with a cap rate of .08, or by $10, if the cap rate is .10.
Sellers Dirty Tricks
If sellers of rental properties increase the net by honest means, then the property should sell for more. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest ways, both legal and fraudulent, that are sometimes used. Unlike sellers of houses, who may cover foundation cracks with plaster, the tricks used by sellers of income properties aren't about appearance. They are about income and expenses.
Income can be inflated by showing you the "pro forma," or projected income, instead of the actual rents collected. Ask for the actual figures, and check to see that none of the apartments listed as occupied are actually vacant. Also, be sure that none of the income is from one time events, like the sale of something.
Income from vending machines is a gray area. Smart investors subtract this from the net income before applying the cap rate, then add back the value of the machines themselves. If laundry machines make $6,000, for example, that would add $75,000 to the appraised value (.08 cap rate), if included. Since they are easily replaceable, adding the $10,000 replacement cost instead makes more sense.
Hiding expenses is the most common of seller's tricks. Paying for repairs off the books, or just avoiding necessary repairs for a year, can dramatically increase the net income. Demand an accounting of all expenditures. If a number in an expense category is suspicious, replace it with your own best guess.
Analyse each of the following, verifying the figures as much as possible, and substituting your own guesses if they are too suspect: vacancy rates, advertising, cleaning, maintenance, repairs, management fees, supplies, taxes, insurance, utilities, commissions, legal fees and any other expenses. This is how you make buying rental property safe.
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Buying rental properties can be a great way to build your wealth. However, as in most real estate investment, it is sometimes difficult to know if you've found a good deal - especially the first time. Here are some things to look for to be sure that rental is a great investment.
<P>1. Location. If traffic is heavier, rentals are easier to rent. A sign will often pull more response than an ad in the paper. If it is a nice locale, it will usually rent faster. This is also true of places close to amenities.
<P>2. Numbers. Run the numbers. Get every last expense figured into your calculations, and be sure that you will have positive cash flow from the start.
<P>3. High home prices. Look in towns with high home prices, as this creates rental demand. What do people do when they can't afford to buy? They rent.
<P>4. Low maintenance buildings. Avoid cedar-shake roofs, and wood-sided buildings. Look beyond current expenses to how much maintenance the building will need. Low maintenance means less headaches and more profits.
<P>5. Good rental history. Ask to see the rental history. Note how long residents are staying on average, and how well they pay on time.
<P>6. Below market rents. Buying rental properties with below-market rents means you get to raise rents. Raising rents means you imediately raise the value, because rental property values are based on income.
<P>7. Complies with zoning and fire codes. Have it inspected, and ask local officials if there are any problems.
<P>8. Less than 20 years old. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if you limit your search to newer buildings, you will be less likely to have building code and maintenance problems.
<P>9.Owner/manager that is out of state. These properties are often the best deals, because it is tough to manage a property from far away. An out of state seller is often more concerned with a quick sale than a high price.
<P>10. Neighborhood is stable or improving. Stable is okay, but if you can buy in a neighborhood that is improving, you'll rent the units more easily, and therefore get automatic appreciation in value with time.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Buying real estate can start with a look in the newspaper, a visit to a broker, or a search online. These are all good ways to find your next investment property. You're looking at the same properties as every other investor, of course, so it's not always easy to beat the competition to a great buy.
A better way to find good real estate investments is to look for properties that aren't yet for sale, and make an offer. I bought my first home this way. I put an ad in the paper stating what I was looking for, and soon had a call from an old couple that had been thinking about selling. I bought their place at a good price, and they saved a broker's commission.
Buying investment real estate that isn't for sale starts with a three step search process. First decide what you are looking for. Single family rentals or apartment buildings? Then start looking for properties that fit your criteria. Then contact the owners.
Buying Real Estate From Non-Sellers
Don't limit yourself to "fixer-uppers" or other "problem" properties that seem more likely to have owners willing to sell. Many owners of investment real estate have thought of selling, so you can start with almost any building you like. You never know beforehand if or why a landlord is ready to call it quits. You find out by asking.
Tact is necessary here. Call the owner and tell him you're an investor, not a broker. Let him know that you like what you see. Tell him you can have an offer ready in a week if he's interested. If he's not interested, thank him politely and hang up, but send him your card or a letter. Many investors have bought from owners that changed their minds.
If there is some interest, explain that you are an investor, so your offer will have to be based on your return on investment. This means you'll need to see the books. Specifically, you'll need to see the rent roll, listing the units and what they rent for, plus current occupancy, and operating expenses for the last year.
Have a confidentiality agreement ready before you call. Let the owner know that you'll sign it and deliver it to him before you see the books. He may not want to let the tenants know he's thinking of selling, so inspecting the units may have to wait until you make an offer. Just make an acceptable inspection a contingency in the offer.
Why buy investment properties this way? No competition and no sales commission means you may get a better price. Also, instead of waiting for that perfect property to be listed for sale, you just find it now. Why wait until it's for sale before buying real estate?
Friday, 27 August 2010
Did you know that Spain is the largest country in Europe after France but with just over 40,400,000 people, it is one the least densely populated!
Did you know that over 1.2 million foreigners have chosen to settle and buy properties in Spain, which attracts more than 52 million visitors each year!
Did you know that 640,000 new homes were built in 2004, a higher number than Germany, France and Italy combined. Predictions show that another 2 million homes will have to be built over the next 6 years to meet the demand for Spanish property!
It is not simply Flamenco or Bull Fighting or the San Fermin Festival or lots and lots of bright sunshine that is attracting more and more tourists and tempting people to settle in Spain from around the world.
Even if we ignore that Spain, for last thousand years or so, is the cultural center of the Europe, she has much more to offer to the world’s citizens, many of whom are looking for Spanish villas for sale.
The local Spanish developers had something different in their mind, the majority of the apartments or properties are bought for the good financial returns a buoyant market returns.
There are around 2,750,0000 empty flats around the country and most of them are not even for rent. Owing to this problem, a good number of Spaniards are not finding homes to live in though construction is one of largest employment sector there.
Never the less, the situation is changing. The government is trying to fix this problem by clamping down on planning permissions, although these measures for reform only started recently this will serve to build a financially secured Spain in future.
Currently those who invested in the past have largely disappeared and the houses and flats are now being owned by overseas clients and Spaniards who are buying them as relocation properties or holiday homes.
In any case the situation for foreign buyers is as lucrative as it is precarious. The Spanish property business, like any other business in any corner of the world, has attracted a number of middlemen, who, unfortunately, are as always eager make a fast ‘buck’ with prospective buyers. Experience has shown that when a person is trying to buy some property from a broker he or she runs the risk of overpaying and even fake buying. It is not always possible for an outsider to know the full history of these agents and we should not forget the old saying ‘seeing is believing’.
The Spanish property market changes frequently, before buying property in Spain a cautious buyer should primarily try to gather all relevant information regarding the property and the-then market scenario. A good place for research is always the internet where there are plenty of good helpful sites on buying property in Spain.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Buying Property in Spain
Although any expatriate intending to buy property in Spain would be advised to use the professional services of an estate agent and a translator and must legalise the transaction before a Public Notary, the following glossary of terms commonly used either to describe properties in Spain or during the transaction process is a useful aid for non-Spanish speakers.
Abogado - Lawyer<br>
Actos Juridicos Documentados (AJD) - Stamp duty<br>
Adosado - Semi-detached house <br>
Agencia Inmobiliaria - Estate Agent<br>
Agencia Tributaria - Tax office<br>
A.P.I. (Agente de la Propiedad Inmobiliaria) - Officially licensed estate agent<br>
Aire acondicionado - Air conditioning <br>
Aparcamiento - Parking <br>
Apartamento - Apartment <br>
Arras - Small payment given to the seller to guarantee that the property transaction will be completed within an agreed time limit.<br>
Asesor Fiscal - Financial Advisor<br>
Aval - Loan underwriter<br>
Ayuntamiento - Town hall<br>
Balcón - Balcony <br>
Baño - Bath/WC <br>
Caja de Ahorros - Savings bank <br>
Calefacción central - Central heating <br>
Campo - Countryside <br>
Casita - Cottage <br>
Chalet - Villa <br>
Cocina - Kitchen <br>
Comedor - Dining room <br>
Compra - Buying<br>
Compra-Venta - Promise to Purchase <br>
Contract Comunidad de propietarios - Comunity of property owners <br>
Constructor - Builder <br>
Copia Simple - Copy of the Mortgage Deeds<br>
Cuarto de Baño - Bathroom <br>
Cuotas de comunidad - Community fees<br><br>
Cuenta de Banco - Bank account<br>
Documento privado - Private document<br>
Documento público - Public document<br>
Dormitorio - Bedroom <br>
Ducha - Shower <br>
Duplex - Apartment over two floors <br>
Edificio - Building <br>
Escritura - Deeds of ownership <br>
Finca - Farm house or small estate <br>
Garaje - Garage <br>
Habitación - Room <br>
Hacienda - Tax office<br>
Hipoteca - Mortgage I.B.I Rates <br>
Inmobiliaria/agente - Estate agent
IVA - VAT <br>
Jardín - Garden <br>
Ladrillo - Brick <br>
Libre de cargas - Debt free <br>
Licencia de obra - Building permission<br>
Licencia de Ocupación - License to occupy a property<br>
Metros cuadrados - Square metres <br>
N.I.E. - Identity Number for Foreigners <br>
Notario - Notary Records legal documents and transactions<br>
Nota Simple - Certificate from Land Registry <br>
Obra nueva - Document certifying a new building <br>
Oferta vinculante - Bank document specifying mortgage conditions <br>
Pago en efectivo - Cash payment <br>
Parcela - Lot or plot <br>
Piscina - Swimming pool <br>
Piso - Apartment <br>
Plan Parcial - Town hall plan for building plots<br>
Playa - Beach <br>
Plusvalía - Municipal Capital gains tax on sale of property <br>
Poder - Power of Attorney <br>
Préstamo - Loan <br>
Pueblo - Town or village <br>
Registro de la Propiedad - Land Registry <br>
Representante fiscal - Foreigner's official tax representative <br>
Residencia - Residency permit <br>
Residente - Resident <br>
Sala, salon - Lounge <br>
Se vende - For sale <br>
Se alquila - For Rent <br>
Solar - Lot for building <br>
Solana - Utility Room <br>
Sótano - Basement <br>
Tarjeta de Banco - Bank card <br>
Techo - Roof <br>
Teja - Roof tile <br>
Terraza - Terrace<br>
Terreno - Land plot <br>
Tipo de interés - Interest rate <br>
Título de propiedad - Property ownership deeds<br>
Trastero - Storeroom <br>
Venta - Selling <br>
Vista de mar - Sea view<br>
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Every year many thousands of properties in Spain are sold to foreign investors. What is the attraction? Firstly the country has a great climate and that is particularly appealing to those people living under the grey skies of northern Europe. Getting there is both quick and relatively cheap. A flight from London in the United Kingdom to Malaga on the south coast of Spain takes only a little over two hours. It is possible to get some very cheap flights with either one of the well known budget airlines or by picking up a spare seat on one of the hundreds of charters that fly to Spain every day.
There is a wide selection of property to choose from both in type and numbers. Consideration of the following points will help to narrow the search. Size of the property, the garden and the number of rooms required. People planning to emigrate with children should check out what schooling is available locally. Consider the local health & social services. Choose between a built up area or open countryside. How near is the beach, a town, the shops, the bars and restaurants, public transport, its frequency and what time does it stop in the evening?
Many developers looking to improve their own cash flow will offer property for sale off plan. The potential buyer may be able to view a show home but in many cases they are literally shown a development plan or a scale model. An initial deposit is payable followed by several stage payments. A couple of advantages, if property prices rise between purchase and the completion of the project the buyer will own a property worth more than they have paid for it. Secondly, most developers will allow the buyer some say in style and design of both the inside and outside of the house. The down side is the amount of time buyers will have to wait until the development is completed, often in excess of 12 months. And of course they don't know what they are getting for their money until the property is completed.
The cheapest property available in a finished state is likely to be an apartment. These are often on an urbanizacion or housing estate that will often include other types of property such as townhouses and villas. These small communities will include a pool and landscaped gardens. Some kind of security is often employed either in the shape of guards or CCTV cameras. A community charge is payable to cover these facilities. A word of caution. Many of these properties are let to holidaymakers during the summer months. Some to English people with children. The noise these guys make while on holiday has to be heard to be believed. If it's not the kids during the day it's their drunken parents in the early hours of the morning.
A detached, purpose built villa offers more privacy and seclusion but it will cost more than a comparative property within a community.
Buyers looking for a more of the Spanish experience should look at properties within an established town or village. Many of these properties look small but are surprisingly spacious once inside.
A Finca is a property standing on a plot of land in the countryside. It may be a tumbledown farmhouse or a just completed villa. Many fincas have a good deal of land and this may have fruit orchards or olive groves.
Finding the right property should be no more than a question of looking. Once a decision has been made on the location and the type of property it is time to talk to the estate agent. Make certain this person is registered with the authorities and holds a license. Many estate agents have a background in time share developments so the hard sell can be expected. Any claims made by agents should, wherever possible, be substantiated by an independent source.
Any offers to purchase a property should be made in writing and include the following: The price, how it is to be paid and in what currency. The amount of the deposit, to ensure the property is withdrawn from the market, and when it is to be paid. The completion date. Who is responsible for the payment of which taxes. And a detailed list of what is included in the price, furniture, fixtures and fittings and a proviso that all systems, air conditioning, etc. are in good working order. It is vital that this is done in conjunction with a solicitor. Many English speaking solicitors are to be found throughout Spain. No document provided by an estate agent or others should be signed without a solicitor having prior site of it. This cannot be stressed enough.
When an offer is accepted the solicitor should firstly make a check with the land registry. If all is well a private contract binding both parties to the deal is prepared. Following that is the preparation of the public deeds (Escritura de Compraventa) which must be signed before a Spanish notary. Upon completion the solicitor will fax the title deed to the local land register confirming the identity of the new owner and ensuring that the property cannot be sold a second time.
There are certain charges involved with yearly maintenance of the property and these may include, community fees, electricity, real estate tax, rubbish collection charges, water. If the property generates rental income the owner will be liable
for property income and wealth tax. The estate agent should be able to provide this information.
A mortgage application in Spain is relatively straightforward. The following original documents need to be shown, passport, if employed, the last three months payslips and if self employed, accounts of the last 3 years, an accountant's reference, and tax returns.
A further 10% of the agreed price will have to be found to cover additional fees that include: Legal fees of approximately 1%, Notary and Land Registry Fees of approximately 1%, Title Deed Tax of 0.5%. A Valia tax, payable on any increase in land value may be payable. On a new construction IVA tax is levied at 7%. It is charged at the full rate of 16% for purchases of land. Purchases of used property are subject to a transfer tax and this like the IVA comes in at 7%.
People planning to move to Spain for a period in excess of 6 months must apply for residency. Spanish property owners' who do not have residency should appoint a financial representative and they must be resident in Spain. This can be a lawyer or tax adviser or to save a few Euros a neighbour or friend. It is to this person that all correspondence regarding the property will be sent.
Consider appointing a gestor or legal representative. They will look after all the paperwork and in Spain there's plenty of it to look after. There's that residency to begin with. People planing to work will need a work permit. If opening a business they can assist with the licenses and permits that will be required. They will also advise on the import of pets, cars, furniture and electrical goods. And they can sort out pension payments in Spain.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Buying property in Greece seems to be rising up to the top of many persons “to do” lists for this life and this is why there has been an increasing surge of interests in the estates found in this magnificent country. Since the turn of the century, property for sale in Greece has become a great attraction for foreign persons who are willing to invest in real estate and this has turned the action of buying property in Greece like a gold hunt.
The greatest deal of buying property in Greece represents the propriety that is usually used as a holiday estate. Apart from this, there are also lots of retired persons that consider buying property in Greece a good opportunity to spend their rest of life there. Moreover they can finally unwind, enjoy their unique twisting of the ordinary and get rid of the flurry of activity from the big cities.
Greece is now encompassing a great place of investment in real estate, in sundry areas, such as commercial, industrial, residential. After the Olympic Games had been held in Greece there was a boom in buying property in Greece. This high interest has not been quenched yet. Although the foreign persons that are ferreting out for property for sale in Greece might find the process of actually owning a propriety an intricate set of rules and regulations, it is important for them to be acquainted with the fact that grasping and taking in all the things required and of course trying to meet them will very soon help them be the possessors of a property for sale in Greece.
Due to a new adjustment to the Greek law, foreign citizens can now dare to dream at the wonderful proprieties situated in Crete and Corfu, areas that once were considered very sensitive. Therefore, if you desire to have access to a property for sale in Greece, apart from checking various sites on the internet it is advisable to resort to specialist agencies that are accredited to give you unobtrusive pieces of advice concerning your desire of buying property in Greece.
Moreover, there if you want to acquit property for sale in Greece, are imposed no restriction it is a great asset for you. However, it is imperative to take into account that prior to buying property in Greece a prerequisite for you is to be granted the permission to purchase a real estate in the Greece by a local authority. After this you will be a real freehold owner, and therefore a good advice for you is to crack while the iron is still hot and to take advantage of this desirability.
It is true that buying property in Greece may require you to put aside a lot of time but it is really worthy, and apart from this there are a plethora of sites and agencies ready to buttress your actions and to help you get hold of a suitable property for sale in Greece.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Bulgaria has attracted a lot of attention over the last two years, as foreign buyers and investors flock to its emerging property market. In 2004, foreigners invested over Euro 500 million in Bulgarian property, compared to Euro 98 million in 2003. Frequently listed in the top 20 places to buy a foreign property, Bulgaria is now firmly on the property investment map.
With EU entry forecast for 2007 investors are keen to buy into the Bulgarian market to reap the inevitable rewards of capital appreciation and establish a rental income in a country that has demonstrated increasing tourism over the last few years. In the first 6 months of 2005 alone, over 2.7 million tourists visited Bulgaria; with a 42% increase in the number of British tourists. By 2020 the World Trade Organisation has predicted that the number of foreign tourists visiting the country will increase to 10 million.
The most popular regions for foreign property investors can be broadly categorised into 3 sectors: the Black Sea Coast, Sofia and the mountain ski-resorts. Other buyers are attracted by the old houses inland that can start from as little as £1,700 and the medieval charm of picturesque cities and villages like Veliko Turnovo, Arbanassi and Tryavna in central Bulgaria.
Enjoying over 300 days of sunshine a year, boasting a coastline that stretches over 380km, spectacular mountains, eco-tourism and some of the most affordable property in Europe, there is no wonder that Bulgaria is attracting such interest. Property prices in some regions have doubled in the space of the last two years alone – though new apartments on the coast are still available from as little as £20,000.
Despite recent bad press about developers and estate agents in Bulgaria over-estimating rental returns and exaggerating capital growth rates, Bulgarian property remains under-valued and is a good investment.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
The North Carolina coastal area is a wonderful place to vacation, retire or build a second home. It is packed with adventure, romance and fun. The North Carolina coast has long been a favorite vacation spot for families who like to return again and again.
Bluffs Cape Fear
Developers are now working on a project called The Bluffs on Cape Fear. This unique waterfront community is located on the Cape Fear River. It's only 15 miles from downtown Wilmington, NC. This exclusive gated community will be a retreat for many vacationers and retirees. It consists of 600 to 700 acres of rolling tree covered land. There will approximately 700 lots and home sites.
This area offers a host of activities that will please everyone. Access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Intra Coastal waterway make this a paradise for water activities. Boating, fishing, jet skiing, and beaches are on-hand for your enjoyment. Brunswick County is rated one of the top 10 vacation spots because of its stunning beauty and attractions. Once you have visited, you will want to return again and again.
Buying Pre Construction Property
Whether you want to retire or vacation in North Carolina, there is a splendid opportunity at Bluffs Cape Fear. By buying NC Pre Construction, you can be in on the beginning of this outstanding project. As a result of buying this NC investment property, you'll see your property values rise.
In these uncertain times, many people are putting their money into real estate investments. Bluffs Cape Fear gives you a chance to do this at pre construction prices. With a small amount of earnest money, you can reserve your lot at the rock bottom price. Then while you are preparing to build, you can watch your land value increase. Prices will never be this low again, and as development progresses, selling prices will escalate.
Besides being a great investment, The Bluffs Cape Fear gives you many desirable attributes. The amenities for this gated community include a beach house, a river clubhouse and a swim and tennis center. For nature lovers, there will be interior lakes, walking trails and conservation areas.
Bluffs - Wilmington NC
The Bluffs are close enough to Wilmington to enjoy the attractions there. You will find fine dining, golf courses, parks and museums. The history buff can tour Civil War battlefields, and the shopper can browse the boutiques and shops. Nearby beaches are readily accessible for days of sun and relaxation.
This is the best time to buy pre construction and be part of the growth and expansion of this locale. At this point, you can reserve your property and arrange financing with a small deposit. Whether you want property for your second home, retirement, or to resell, this opportunity would be hard to duplicate anywhere else.
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Bulgaria is a big country, despite what some sellers will say there are actually still plenty of properties around to buy at really good prices. Places still cheap include Razgrad and Dobrich which I happen to think are only long term investments, I think they are very poor areas often with not much going for them, not the sort of place where you want to leave an empty house, even empty I have had windows stolen, doors etc even from an empty house.
Although on Ebay some sellers say "Near the sea" you wouldn’t exactly call 34 Miles from Brighton near the sea, besides the sea isn’t everything and in Bulgaria winters don’t help the coastal areas considering that temperatures in winter is similar to London in winter. On the note of the sea, note that there has been a barrage of oversubscriptions to new apartments and houses by the sea, so rentals may be hard because there is simply too many properties by the sea for rent - Some developers are offering guaranteed rental, but these promises are rarely stood by. Buying plots by the sea is equally risky, with Natura 2000 allowing only certain parts to be built on; many speculators who bought land a while back are seething because what was once a development opportunity has now become pretty much a nature reserve. Prices are way huge beside the sea anyway, compared to the market price increases of inland property. Remember, Bulgaria is not Spain; Bulgaria is Bulgaria with its seasons, hot and cold. Nessebar is an exception to my rule, totally stunning, if you can buy there, buy.
In my view, Ski properties are good, but watch out because there have been some flouting of planning laws to get rich quick, so if you don’t do your homework you may just see your dream holiday home getting pulled down before you can say resell. Buying near or in the "established" (I’m saying established because these places haven’t got started yet, I recommend doing some homework and buying in or near these areas).
Although a big sprawl with little thought to planning and streetscape, I think central Sofia is a good investment right now. Given that it is the capital city of Bulgaria, its expanding airport and wealth concentration, I think it’s a safe bet, but be careful because prices are hiking quickly. There is some great architecture in Sofia, so if you can dodge the raging traffic, don’t forget to go have a look. Buying in towns and villages around Sofia, especially to the West, may be a good idea, think Surrey to London.
Around cities like Veliko Tarnovo, Rousse and Vratza are a good buy. Make sure things are happening in the villages (New houses, renovations, flash cars etc) before buying there, otherwise take a long term view as your property value flourishes slowly.
Picturesque Vratza (Just over 70 Miles to the North East of Sofia) has the backdrop of the Vratza Balkan (Huge mountain range) and Leva River running to the front of the city.
Veliko Tarnovo with its amazing Tzarevetz Castle (Watch the famous light show) and Great River Yantra running through the city is a great city with a huge amount of things to do for everyone.
Rousse is the gateway between Romania and Bulgaria. In my opinion, Rousse is a hotcake of the future, along with Veliko Tarnovo (Which in my opinion is a better place to invest in)
Don’t let the prices you see guide you to what the prices are and will be when you get to Bulgaria. Prices on EBay, on catalogues and anywhere else vary wildly, so there is no guide price etc for property in Bulgaria.
Local prices are often different from so called tourist prices - Don’t look like a tourist and you minimise on paying like a tourist.
Don’t make decisions on the spot, take your time. Buy what you like, in an area you like with the money you would like to spend - Not the max you can
Remember - Bulgaria is not cheap, it’s only cheap to us, so don’t go saying "£5000, that’s cheap" because the estate agent may just think you have loads more to spend and price the houses as he wishes.
When buying, see if there is a regional airport, while it may not be operational now or small, it may expand in the future; think Luton, Inverness and Stansted before they became international airports.
Make sure there are "things" around your village or town to make it an interesting place for renting or prospective future buyers, is there a mountain nearby, a ski range (Or future ski range)
When you are looking for a Bulgarian property, especially since distance buying at auction, you need to look closely at the photos to see if the house you are looking at is the one you really want.
Bulgarian properties were built without much planning in the past, generally they have been built by local (Often unskilled) tradesmen using traditional teqniques that are sometimes forbidden in todays cautious building world.
When looking at photos of houses at auction, check:
-The corners, the bottom of the walls, the top of the walls. Is there dark spots (Could indicate dampness), is there painted spots (Could indicate an attempt to "paint over" the dampness). Obviously there is dampness somewhere or another with older Bulgarian properties, but not in every room, you may as well live in a dirty sauna! If a whole houses has been painted, look carefully at what has been covered up, it could be large areas of dampness or cracks, at least if there are cracks you should see then to work out if they need sealed or pinned.
-The roof. Is it slanted, is it not straight or bowed at some point? If a roof is not straight it may mean just bad design (Remember these houses were generally built with little or no actual physical plans) or it may mean that it could collapse because it is weak (Could be woodworm, weak joist etc) so this may cause issues in the future. As a general rule of thumb, we check the roofs are straight and even before selling to others, sometimes the roof is solid though and able to withstand some more years or rain, heat and cold.
-Check the village in the background. Is there people, is there modern cars, do the houses around the house you are looking at look like they are well looked after? It depends what you are looking for, but you generally want a village which is vibrant (Or is aspiring to be vibrant) and that money (Or skills, or love...) are coming into the village.
The walls. Is there large cracks on the houses, if they have been painted you may not see them.
-The floors. Many Bulgarian properties (Including many we sell) have compressed mud floors rather than plain old concrete or wood. Although traditional Bulgarians have been happy with these for years, you dont really want to put a new wall to wall carpet down on these. If a floor has mud on it instead of wood or concrete, then it may be necessary to dig out the mud and re-lay the flooring, which actually isnt so expensive.
Friday, 20 August 2010
Is island life for you? Or is having an island getaway for you? Both questions would entail completely different lists of pros and cons. For investment purposes, island homes tend to hold their value, as land is obviously at a premium on an island!
The population of USA has access to many islands, in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the US Virgin Islands and in the Pacific. If you are planning to buy a second home on an island, you will not need to do the same soul-searching that would be required for a permanent move.
Many families have bought an island cabin as a group purchase, and the weekends and vacations are allotted on a casual 'time share' basis within the family. It is shared in turn for weekend getaways where the children can roam free on weekends and vacations and every now and again they will all plan to show up together! It is a great idea for promoting family unity. It also keeps costs down, as boats, fishing rods, repairs etc can be shared.
However, that is a little different to suddenly deciding to sell everything up and move to an island. To some, that would sound idyllic and to others it may bring on claustrophobia!!
The advantages and pitfalls must differ according to each island's amenities, climate, environment and many other factors, but are there any general island 'rules'?
Most island residents who choose permanency would probably opt for an island with a ferry service. There are times when the sea is too rough for a little row boat, or motor boat, and they do not want to feel isolated. Of course, for many people this isolation is exactly what they DO want!
Sometimes a ferry schedule can mean that when you arrive home late (from a vacation flight) or from the theater you cannot make it home on the ferry. Many islands have a water taxi service that you can pre-book, or some residents will just use their own boat, and others will decide ahead to spend a night in the town's hotel.
One other problem with living on an island is that often you may have to worry where to park your car. Is the island big enough to have a car ferry, or do you need to leave your car each time you go over on a tiny ferry? In the latter case, you will need to negotiate parking near the ferry - although this is often provided for.
Such other inconveniences, like arriving home with no sugar, is really just an accepted part of island life, and easily adjusted to. That's what neighbors are for, and community glue is strong on islands!
No matter what the inconveniences are, to islanders, the peace and the feeling of being 'away from it all' is paramount. If you work off island, it only takes a few short weeks for that feeling of peace to pervade your entire being. It happens the minute you step onto that ferry boat each evening to cross the ocean to your island home.
Perhaps this poem by J. Earnhart and reproduced in the magazine "Island Life", sums it up best
:If ever you've lived on an island
if ever you've lived by the sea;
You'll never return to the mainland
once your spirit has been set free.
If ever you've smelled the ocean
or tasted the salt in the air;
You'll know you've discovered a haven
that is uncommon, precious and rare.
If ever you've seen the whales play
or watched the eagles in flight;
You'll remember, again, why you live here
and why it feels so right.
If ever you've seen the sunset
as the ferry passed the shore;
You've seen the beauty of the island
that will be with you forever more.
If ever you've heard the seagulls
the waves, a foghorn, the winds;
Then you've heard the song of the island
and the peaceful message it sends.
Indeed, if you live on an island
if you're lucky to live by the sea;
You'll never return to the mainland
as your spirit has been set free.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
First a little story about buying investment property.
My wife and I stayed at a motel in Tucson for a week one winter. Our bill was for twice what it should have been, but since I already paid the correct amount in cash, I thought nothing of it. During our stay, we noticed that the lobby and swimming pool were unheated, and passed it off as frugality. A year later, however, when I read a news story about a new owner struggling to make the motel work, I realized what was really going on.
To prepare the motel for sale, the owner had been using the two most basic ways to inflate the appraised value: decrease expenses and increase reported income. Stopping repairs, turning down the heat, and quietly adding $100 in income to the books every day, might have increased the net income for the year by $45,000 more. With a .08 capitalization rate, that means the appraisal would come in $562,000 higher than it should have. Imagine the the poor guy who overpaid!
To avoid a mistake like this when buying investment property, you need to watch for tricks like these. You also need to understand the basics of appraising income property.
Valuation of income properties start with the capitalization rate, or "cap rate." When investors in an area expect a return of 8% on assets, the cap rate is .08. The net income before debt service is divided by this to arrive at the value of a property. This is expleained further in another article, but the primary point to remember is that every dollar of extra income shown will increase the appraised value by $12.50 with a cap rate of .08 (Or, for example, by $10, if the cap rate is .10).
<b>Avoid Dirty Tricks When Buying Investment Property</b>
When sellers of income properties increase the net income by honest means, the property should sell for more. However, there are many dishonest ways, both legal and fraudulent, that are sometimes used. Sellers of houses may cover foundation cracks with plaster, but the tricks used by sellers of income properties aren't about appearance. These tricks are about income and expenses.
One way income can be inflated, is by showing you the "pro forma," or projected income, instead of the actual rents collected. Demand the actual figures, and check to see that none of the apartments listed as occupied are actually vacant. See if any of the income is from one time events, like the sale of something.
The income from vending machines is a gray area. Many smart investors subtract this from the net income before applying the cap rate, then add back the value of the machines themselves. For example, if laundry machines make $6,000, that would add $75,000 to the appraised value (.08 cap rate), if you included it. However, since they are easily replaceable, adding the $10,000 replacement cost instead makes more sense.
The other important tricks sellers play involve hiding expenses. These can include paying for repairs off the books, or just avoiding necessary repairs for a year. This can dramatically increase the net income, meaning you pay more for the property. It also means you have less income than expected, and deferred maintenance to catch up on.
Ask for an accounting of all expenditures. If a number in an expense category is suspicious, replace it with your own best guess. Then re-figure the net income.
Look at each of the following, verifying the figures as much as possible, and substituting your own guesses if they are too suspect: vacancy rates, advertising, cleaning, maintenance, repairs, management fees, supplies, taxes, insurance, utilities, commissions, legal fees and any other expenses. Do your homework, and avoid seller's tricks when buying investment property.
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Investment may be counted on the gross or the net basis. Net investment is gross investment minus depreciation. Investment may be ex-ante or planned or anticipated or intended investment; or it may be ex-post, i.e., actually realized investment, or when investment is not merely planned or intended, but which has actually been invested or implemented. This is so true when Buying Investment Properties.
Another classification of investment may be private investment or public investment. Private investment is on private account, i.e., by private individuals, and public investment is by the government. Private investment is influenced by marginal efficiency of capital i.e., profit expectations and the rate of interest. It is profit-elastic. Public investment is by the state or local authorities, such as building of roads, public parks etc. In public investment, profit motive does not enter into consideration. It is undertaken for social good and not for private gain.
Investment which is independent of the level of income, is called autonomous investment. Such investment does not vary with the level of income. In other words, it is income-inelastic. Autonomous investment depends more on population growth and technical progress than on anything else. The influence of change in income is not altogether ruled out, because higher income would probably result in more investment. But the influence of income is negligible as compared with the influence of population growth and progress of technical knowledge.
Examples of autonomous investment are long-range investments in houses, roads, public buildings and other forms of public investment. Most of the investment is undertaken to promote planned economic development. It also includes long-range investment to bring about technical progress or innovations. Public investment means investment which occurs in direct response to invention, and much of the long-range investment, which is only expected to pay for itself over a long period, can be regarded as autonomous investments.
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
You’ll find there are some people who tout the benefits and advantages of buying homes that have gone through foreclosures. Often, those homes are offered up for auction to the highest bidder and there are some really good deals to be had at that point.
There are some very important pieces of information you should have before you start planning to buy homes that have been foreclose upon.
First, understand that a lender gave money to the person who wanted to buy that house in order for that borrower to make the transaction. The lender had some expectation that he’d recover all that money plus some interest, but most lenders simply aren’t in a position to handle property. They don’t want to foreclose on the house because then they’re going to have to do something with it. That means that the foreclosure process could take a long time while they look for some way to recover the loan from the original borrower, but it also means that most lenders are going to foreclose and then quickly offer the property at auction.
You’ve probably heard about auctions that ended with buyers getting really good deals. That happens, but it’s not always the case. Why would a lender agree to let a particular piece of property go for less than it’s worth? Remember that the lender isn’t in the real estate business and their primary objective will usually be to recover the amount of the original loan plus interest, if possible. If the original loan had been paid down significantly, the lender could agree to sell the property for a fraction of its value.
Another important point is that these auctions will typically be made public. For the person hoping to bid on the property after the foreclosure is complete, this probably means you’re going to have some competition. This is the main reason it’s not a good idea to allow the foreclosure process to run its course before you try to buy a particular piece of property – or to buy it back if you were the owner before the foreclosure.
Most lenders aren’t anxious to see property in foreclosure. They’ll often work with the owner for a long time, hoping that the loan will eventually be repaid. But when they have to foreclose, they usually don’t want to hold the property long while looking for a buyer who’ll offer up a good deal. If you’re planning to visit some foreclosure auctions, you may very well find an incredible deal.
Monday, 16 August 2010
Greece doesn't require any introduction, when it comes to speaking about its role in the worldwide tourism. The nation's timeless ancient history and its unharmed natural landscape, provide with the needed pull for drawing in millions of visitors to its soil each year. But, the story doesn't stop there, and the recent trends might say, even the Greece property market was about to experience a major boom due to the greater keenness being shown by the foreign buyers. Greece property provides the buyers with an option to buy holiday homes, villas and apartments over a wide range of tourist places. These places are scattered allover its mainland, the coastal area and several of its well-known islands. Least to say, these are well developed urban areas with the air links and sea routes arriving in from and leading out to the entire globe.
There is no definite answer as to why this latest upsurge may have taken place in the Greek property market, but the analysts attribute two major geopolitical events for this transformation. The first one was the admission of Greece into the European Union in 1981, and the second one, the return of Olympic games in Athens in 2004. Both events proved crucial in helping out the Greek tourism and its real estate market to resurrect themselves in the eyes of the global community. A whole lot of new construction was undertaken during the Olympics campaign, which subsequently became the selling ground for the Greek real estate.
From what we understand about today's Grecian real estate, it is hard to buy a low-cost single family house in Athens, where the demand to supply ratio for such units is much higher compared to the other regions of the country. This leaves out the buyers with an option to buy apartments in Athens, which are easier to locate in the Greece property since the 2004 Olympic games ended here. At the same time, people can buy luxurious villas in the resort towns as an investment option or to have extended holidays there.
Buyers eye the hectic profits these days, when deciding to invest in the villas or farm lands across the Greek countryside. Villas can be sold to other buyers at a handsome premium later. On the other hand, many villa owners lend their properties to holidaymakers, who flock in huge numbers after each winter season. Thus, the market for Greece property provides with a great investment value to all those who might be willing to cash in from its buoyant trend.
Anybody who might be seeking to own a Greece property will have to fulfill certain conditions before doing so. These are, having a Greek bank account, being enrolled as a tax payer in Greece and getting a prior permission to buy properties in certain areas. The permission to buy properties can be obtained from the chief administrative or judicial officer in the area of concern. It should also be noted down that, those hailing from the European Union should easily be able to own properties in their names, as compared to those from the non-EU countries.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Buying great pre foreclosures is one of the most effective ways to find discount property available for direct purchase in today's competitive market. With so many people searching for homes through real estate agents and other traditional forms of property purchase, it can be tough to find any substantial savings. And buying other forms of repossessed or distressed types of houses often means competing with others in an auction scenario. But buying pre-foreclosures means dealing directly with a homeowner on your own to negotiate a sale, so it can be a great way to get the price you want.
These unique homes are available for purchase because the owner has defaulted on their mortgage loan, and is in danger of having their property repossessed and sold through an auction by a lender. Unless the homeowner can find a way to come up with the remaining amount of debt owed on their loan, the lender will use the sale as a method of collecting. To keep this from happening, many homeowners seek to sell their homes once they go into default. A foreclosure sale can ruin a homeowner's credit, as well as their chances of ever getting another home loan, so they will often be very willing to sell their property to avoid it.
Pre-foreclosures can be very attractive to homebuyers and investors, because the owner will often be willing to undersell their home simply to raise enough money to cover their debt. Since the amount owed is usually much less than the full value of the home, homebuyers often are able to work out mutually beneficial deals with homeowners that can earn them huge discounts on purchase. Often times, the only trouble is finding pre foreclosed homes, but that's where ForeclosureConnections.com can help.
With our vast online database of listings for pre foreclosures, anyone can find hundreds of incredible properties available for purchase all over the country. No matter where you're looking for apartments, houses, commercial property or any other type of real estate, you can find it with our easy to use service. We'll also teach you all about how to buy these valuable commodities for the best values possible by walking you through the process of determining values and costs and placing bids. You'll also be able to find all kinds of other discount houses available from banks, lenders and even government property such as Fannie Mae foreclosures. Visit us today and let us help you locate the home of your dreams for an incredible price!
Saturday, 14 August 2010
In teaching workshops on how to buy foreclosure homes (often listed on a foreclosure auctions report), I often write on the markerboard in big bold letters, "Gain They're Trust to Close More Deals".
The principle of gaining the trust of the homeowner threatened with foreclosure is a deal-maker. If they trust you, they are more likely to accept your offer. Besides that, if you have earned their trust by explaining their options to them, then if they choose to let the home go to auction where it will likely end up on a foreclosure auctions report (and you win it) they are much more likely to vacate the property without a fight.
1. Work with their Current Lender
Forbearance: An agreement between the lender and the borrower that reinstates the delinquent loan because the homeowner will put up an initial lump sum of the total delinquency and pay the rest over a period of time.
Loan Modification: A change in any of the terms of the original note. This includes decreasing the interest rate, re-amortizing the remaining balance, extending the term of the note.
2. Work with a New Lender
Refinance: Where a new lender loan the borrower monies to pay off existing debt. This option is generally open to borrowers that face a temporary setback in their financial situation and can prove that they can afford the new mortgage payment. Most financial institutions will not loan to people unless they have the above mentioned criteria and at least 20% equity in the residence.
Junior Mortgage: Where a new lender will offer a second loan or junior lien in order to make up any back payments, late fees and other charges necessary to reinstate the loan. Rates are typically 12%-18% and terms are 5 to 10 years.
3. File Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a way for people who owe more money than they can pay right now, to either work out a plan to repay the secure creditors over time in Chapter 13 filings, or wipe out (discharge) most of their bill in a Chapter 7 filing. While the debtor is working out a plan, or the trustee is gathering the available assets to sell, the Bankruptcy Code provides that creditors must stop all collection efforts against the debtor. What happens to your bills, debts and house will be controlled by the Bankruptcy Code and the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy(the owner will NO longer have control over any of their assets). Bankruptcy will have a serious impact on the credit lives for the next 10 years.
4. Sell Their Home
List with a Realtor on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)- Due to the short foreclosure period in Texas, listing their home with an real estate broker and being able to close within 21 days is a very unrealistic task due to the new buyers financing. The process of lenders approving the buyers credit, appraising the house, completing underwriting, reviewing title, getting a new survey, getting payoff demands and drawing documents--can take 3-4 weeks to complete (assuming no problems pop up). Just because the property is under contract and scheduled to close will NOT stop the auction.
Sell to an Investor- Selling their house to an investor who offers " cash at closing"; no new loan contingencies; no repairs to be made (AS IS); fast escrow; a for sure sale providing a fresh start with reputation and integrity intact would be their best option. Although the investor's price is less, the investor can salvage the seller's credit, bring loans current, rebuild seller's credit by paying the sellers debt on time every month. This is a much BETTER solution than doing nothing and losing everything at the foreclosure auction.
5.Giving Up and Letting it Go:
Deed-in-Lieu: Borrower voluntary conveys the title (property) back to lender in lieu of the lender foreclosing. Most lenders would rather go through with the auction and clean title by extinguishing inferior liens.
Let it Go to Auction: Obviously, nothing good can come from this, the owner loses their home with no money, credit problems, hard to find new housing due to past history and the lender can sue for any deficiency.
Friday, 13 August 2010
If you're seeking real estate in Orlando, Florida or surrounding areas, there's never been a better time to buy a Florida home. There are many benefits of building a new home in Orlando as well. With a Florida new construction, builders and Realtors are finding creative ways to work with buyers. They are offering specials and new home rebates out of their own commissions to give you even more reason to purchase real estate or build a home in this beautiful part of the state.
A new home rebate isn't the only reason to buy now, but it is a tremendous value-added service. Preconstruction opportunities, new home construction, and other types of realty in Orlando are abundant since Florida has been ranked as Top 3 in growth in the United States. It also ranks Top 4 in population and has about 18 million people.
Benefits of Moving to Orlando, Florida
Orlando has much to offer its residents. There is always plenteous sunshine, and the weather is great through much of the year. Florida has no state income tax so you'll be able to keep more of your hard-earned money! Orlando is only about an hour to an hour and a half from several beautiful beaches, from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf of Mexico beaches. Also, Orlando is a center for attractions in Florida such as Walt Disney World, Universal Thrill Rides, Discovery Cove, SeaWorld, and many others. The area attracts many tourists each year and offers numerous employment opportunities.
Retirement Benefits of Moving to Orlando
New home rebates are a great reason to retire in Orlando. As a retiree, you can benefit by receiving up to 2% of your new home's price as a cash rebate. This puts anywhere from $4,000 to $30,000 in your pocket! This also benefits you if you're looking to buy Florida new homes for investments, a second home, or a condo. A Florida buyer's rebate will give you an opportunity to do any needed repairs on the home, pay other bills, or just improve your cash flow after a new home purchase. Your retirement can be a great experience, and you'll be able to make the transition more easily once you've worked with a helpful Realtor.
Search Tips to Find the Right Real Estate Property in Orlando
In Florida, new homes, condos, and new construction builders might seem difficult to find. A great way to explore the available real estate is to use online resources. You can specifically search for property in Orlando, locate a Realtor (be sure he or she offers the buyer's rebate), and compare pricing and benefits of certain neighborhoods. The Internet also enables you to view photos of the homes, calculate your payments, and more. There are many helpful tools to make your real estate purchase go smoothly.
With these tips in mind, choose real estate in Orlando, Florida that will best suit your personal needs. With the new home rebate that is being offered today and other benefits of Orlando residence, you're sure to find exactly what you are seeking.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Where do most investors turn to when they seek preforeclosure opportunities? Sure, they take a look at free foreclosure listings or even sources of foreclosure listings that they pay for. While these sources may lead to productive and profitable deals, they also require extensive marketing and business promotion in order for an investor to tap into these preforeclosure opportunities. <br><br>
To Get a Free Foreclosure and short sale Course including how to buy REO Properties, Go here Reo Properties <br><br>
What other options do investors have? Well, in today’s market, more and more realtors are marketing properties as short sales in the MLS. While these do represent preforeclosure opportunities, I also think that this can be risky for the investor because many real estate agents are pretty new to the foreclosure world (and thus may just be learning what is a short sale) and you are taking a chance that the agent in charge of the deal actually knows what they are doing. Plus, you still have the emotional aspect of the sale, a natural by-product of <a href=”http://www.realestateforeclosuresinvesting.com/foreclosures/home_foreclosures.php”>foreclosures</a> that can complicate deals in some cases. <br><br>
A significant but often overlooked option available to investors concerns bank foreclosures. This umbrella term includes REO properties and HUD homes but it all ties in with the REO process, the phase of foreclosure that follows the auction and where a lender must then sell the foreclosures in their inventory. <br><br>
Many investors shy away from REO properties or HUD homes because they feel they have less negotiating power or simply lack the capital to make aggressive offers and play along with the rules that REO lenders stipulate. While I favor preforeclosure and short sales myself, I also have a system in place that allows the machine to run on autopilot, a system that I can also teach you. <br><br>
My efforts here are to assure you that there are indeed deals to be found within the realm of REO properties. The offer process in many ways is less complicated, there is little to no emotion on the part of the seller (the REO lender), and deals can be completed much more quickly. If that appeals to you, and capital is your primary limitation, then you owe it to yourself to check out my Preforeclosure Cash Flow System and the module within it that covers how to obtain unlimited amounts of capital for your foreclosure business. <br><br>
In closing, the entirety of the foreclosure process is ripe with deals that are there for the picking. As rigid as REO properties or HUD homes may seem, the REO process is as much as part of foreclosures as the preforeclosure side of the business. Don’t limit your scope, learn from what I have to offer you, and I wish you the very best in success in real estate investing. <br><br>
To Get a Free Foreclosure and short sale Course including how to buy REO Properties, Go here <a href=”http://www.realestateforeclosuresinvesting.com/foreclosures/hud_foreclosures.php”>REO Properties,</a> <br><br>
Dedicated to Multiplying Your Income,
The Business Building Coach to the Foreclosure Industry
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
When it comes to buying a new home, probably one of the biggest things on everyone's mind is whether they'll be able to find the property they want within the price range they can afford. It seems like everywhere you look property values are on the rise, and especially in urban areas, it's becoming difficult to find a home that meets your practical standards and still falls within the affordability range. But there are alternatives to buying on the expensive open market, and one of the most lucrative can be buying bank foreclosed homes.
When you buy from a real estate agent, the chances for getting substantial savings are very slim. An agent is not only trying to sell the home for the biggest price to benefit its owner, but the more they sell a home for, the bigger their own commission is! For this reason, buying bank foreclosure properties can be a much better way to find a truly discounted price on a home. These properties are the result of bank foreclosures, which are repossessions of homes that are then sold to collect debts. When a homeowner defaults on payment of their home mortgage loan, the lender will have to repossess their property and sell it to reclaim the amount owed in debt. But often times, the debt owed is far less than the actual value of the home. This means that a lender can undersell these homes and still make back all of the money they need, while the buyer stands to benefit by purchasing great real estate for anywhere from 10 to 50% off the price it would fetch on the open market!
With ForeclosureConnections.com, you'll get access to an online database of over 500,000 listings nationwide for all kinds of discount properties, including bank owned foreclosures. With our help, you'll be able to locate all kinds of deals in towns and cities all over the country. You'll also have our expert assistance for finding the best deals available. You'll learn how to identify good values, hunt for hidden costs that could come back to hurt you, and ultimately choose the best investment opportunities possible. There's no better or more helpful service available today, and with our 24-hour Customer Support there to help, you'll never be left in the dark with questions or problems! Sign up with us today and start your hunt for bank foreclosed homes at remarkable prices all over the United States today!
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Real estate is changing hands in ways that make headlines. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, here are some tips to help you make the best deal.
So you want to buy a house? In this market? Are you nuts? Actually, it depends on where you are. You could be very shrewd right now if you pick the right spot, the right pricing trend and bid aggressively. It requires homework, homework, homework.
Example: My wife scoured a market, screening 90+ houses. We eventually found a fixer-upper for $162K. We offered $160K the same morning it was listed. They took it on a handshake. One year later—with no improvements!—we sold it for $208K. For those of you without a calculator, that’s a 30% return on the investment.
And you can do it, too. Here’s how:
1. Pick a growing area. This is essential. Yes, it’s hard to predict economic cycles and which metropolitan areas are going to prosper over the next year or so. However, if you read the business pages regularly, you’ll have a much better idea of where to buy/invest.
2. Learn the market. This is also essential. You’ve got to know what’s out there, what houses are going for and how to spot a bargain from the overpriced. When you find your bargain, you probably won’t have much time before the competition gets wind of it. So you must be ready to make a solid offer right away.
3. Make your offer contingent upon a thorough inspection. There’s nothing worse than buying something with plenty of infrastructure problems. They’ll cost you time, money and aspirin. If you discover only a few problems, try to get the seller to lower the price to counterbalance the flaws in the property. They often will.
4. Finally, recognize that you will not likely land your first prospect. Therefore, be patient and be prepared to keep looking until you find the right house that makes good economic sense for you to purchase.
Follow the above four tips and you’ll do better with your property investment.
What to get the best price for your home? Just follow these six tips:
1. Everything (usually) looks better in brighter light. So let the sun shine in. Open curtains and blinds and turn on lights in all the rooms.
2. Fix up those little things. Oil or WD-40 those squeaky door and window hinges. Tighten any loose door handles. Replace broken shutters, fix leaky faucets, etc.
3. Deodorize! Nothing turns off a potential buyer than a “funny” or unpleasant smell. You’ve heard of the bake bread or cookies in the oven trick…it’s a lot easier to just use plug in deodorizers.
4. One of the easiest things to do is clean the place. Clean in the corners, clean the cabinets, re-grout the kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, etc. Wash the baseboards, make the place shine, especially in the entrance way.
5. Get rid of the clutter! Buyers need to envision the home as they would live in it. Anything interfering with that vision works against you in selling your home to them. So divide all your possessions into three groups:
a) things you really need to live in the house,
b) things you don’t really need but want to take with you to your next home, and
c) things you don’t want to take with you and should really toss.
Now, put those things your want to take with you to your next home in a rental storage facility. Hold a garage sale and/or donate everything else to charity. That’ll leave your home looking elegantly simple…the best way to present it to potential buyers.
6. Paint, paint, paint. Virtually every home has some areas that could use a fresh coat of paint. It is one of the most important (i.e., best and inexpensive) investment you can make is maximizing your sale price. Make sure you patch cracks and peeling paint first, though.
Follow the above six tips and you’ll sell your home faster and for a better price that if you didn’t.
For more information: <a href=”http://www.denver-real-estate-homes-for-sale.net”> http://www.denver-real-estate-homes-for-sale.net</a>
Monday, 9 August 2010
Over the last several years most buyers and sellers have dealt with either a buyer's or seller's market. A buyer's market is what the market is called when there are more sellers than buyers, so the listings take longer to sell and buyers can really shop around until they find exactly what they have been looking for. A seller's market occurs when there are few homes for sale and buyers have a lot of competition for homes. For the first time in a long time, the market is shifting toward a balanced market, where it favors neither buyers nor sellers. When the market is more balanced buyers and sellers need to approach the buying and selling of real estate a bit differently.
<b>Great Tips for Those Buying and Selling in a Balanced Market</b>
Most of the time, those that are selling their home can afford to buy a new home before they sell their old home. In a balanced market this is a very risky move because you may be able to find a home that you like before you are able to sell your home. A balanced market often causes homes to sit on the market for a bit longer, so you should be sure that you can afford to have the home sit on the market for a few months before it sells. When the market is balanced you also cannot count on the selling price of your home, so buying a new home before you sell can leave you in a bad place if you don't have savings to fall back on.
On that note, it's important not to count on a specific selling price in a balanced market. Because homes sometimes take a bit longer to sell, it's important to be open about the selling price of your home if you want it to sell. Buyers are often more picky, so you may have to drop the price of your home if you want it to sell quickly. If you count on the selling price of your first home when you buy your second, you can end up in some serious trouble. For this reason, it is often best to put off buying a new home until you sell your current home.
Another option when you are selling and looking to buy at the same time is make a new buy contingent on the first home selling. This can be a risky move, but if your offer is good many sellers will accept the conditions of your offer. Your Realtor can write up the offer so that you have six months to sell your home before you close on the new home. This will allow you some time to attempt to sell your current home before you officially get in over your head with a new home. Again, it's risky to put this into your offer, but if you are careful it can work for you.
<b>The Bottom Line</b>
The bottom line is that in a balanced market it is risky to buy before you sell. Depending on your specific market it can take months to a year to sell a home, so it's best to wait it out. A good tactic that many people use in a balanced market is to sell your current home first. This will give you plenty of time to decide what sort of home you want, so that you aren't rushing through the home selection process. By the time your home sells you will know exactly what you want and you can go for it. If it happens that your home sells really quickly in the balanced market, that's okay! An interim rental will cost you very little and will allow you to sell and move out of your first home, but continue to keep looking for that perfect home to buy. You will also know exactly how much money you have to put into your new home if you sell first, so you can buy a new home with confidence.
Another option is to sell your home, but allow 30 or even 60 days to close on it so you can take that time to either find a decent rental or find something to buy without rushing. Long closes are often best for all parties, so don't be afraid to ask for a long close to give you and your family time to decide where you are going from here.
Selling first just makes the most sense. Because you don't know how long your home will take to sell in a balanced market and you cannot determine how much it will sell for, it is just the safest route to take. If you are a risk taker, than you don't have to go this route, but most people find that the sell first philosophy works better in the balanced market.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
In an age where investment is possibly the most secure investment available, the process of trying to identify the perfect area in which to invest has become more and more important. There are certain areas in this country that have become synonymous with real estate fortunes, Florida, California, Las Vegas to name a few. But as these markets become more and more saturated, smart investors are looking to other areas as they have seen the focus switching away from these overloaded markets.
As the focus has moved away from these markets there are a few different areas that have started to emerge as areas of potential growth. One such area is Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is an extremely popular resort destination and along with such a designation comes the opportunity for real estate investment. Like many other destination areas, Myrtle Beach has a booming vacation rentals industry that is only showing signs of growth in past years. This has presented a great chance for real estate investors to get in on the ground floor of this booming area.
If vacation rentals are not to your liking and you prefer the stability of long-term renters then you need not worry as Myrtle Beach is also a great place to live and work. The solid industrial core and diverse economy have created a environment of economic growth and prosperity that bodes well for the future of this area. There is also a great system of education here that includes both public and private schooling and a variety of post-educational options including Webster University.
The future is looking bright for Myrtle Beach. With a thriving vacation industry and the emergence of a strong business sector, this area will continue to see growth for many years to come. This is a great time to invest in Myrtle Beach as getting in on real estate in this area will show a great ROI no matter what vein of real estate you choose to place your money in.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Sacramento, located in the great Central Valley almost in the middle, between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, is fast growing and a great place to live. Sacramento is just two hours drive from San Francisco and Lake Tahoe and benefits largely from the proximity to the Bay Area. In spite of being so closely located, the Sacramento real estate market is much more affordable than the San Francisco Bay Area market, and is much less congested.
Sacramento offers a variety of housing options to choose from. Sacramento homes range from low priced condos from the $150s to multi-million dollar homes. Homes are available in a broad variety of styles ranging from the modern to historical landmark homes. One can find houses in many neighborhoods that range from low 200’s and up, in various bed and bath combinations.
If you are thinking of buying real estate in Sacramento, now is the time. Prices are still very affordable, and have even come down a bit. As the inventory of Sacramento homes for sale increases, the average days on the market increases as well, giving the Sacramento home buyer more homes to choose from when shopping.
The entry level and lower priced homes are selling more frequently, leading to a decrease in the median home price in Sacramento County. As of March 2006, the Sacramento County median home price was $359,000, up 8.1% from a year earlier. In general, sellers of higher priced homes that have been sitting on the market for long; especially those that have been priced above $450,000, have been forced to lower their prices.
The Sacramento real estate market is bustling now with the rise in the number of homes on the market. The Sacramento county MLS active listings are at an all-time high. All this is good news for the buyers as it gives them more real estate to choose from.
Currently, the real estate market is neutral but is fast heading towards becoming a buyer’s market. So, if you are looking forward to buying a Sacramento home, then it’s a good idea to take advantage of these market conditions today. Sacramento homebuyers now have the advantage of more negotiating power as sellers vie to catch the attention of discerning buyers.
Source: Data Quick Information Systems
Friday, 6 August 2010
Perhaps for years you've dreamt of owning a place in the country – maybe a small ranch in Colorado, or a private lakefront lot in Minnesota, or maybe your own ski chalet in the Rocky Mountains. Today's low real estate prices combined with great interest rates are making it possible for more people to realize this dream. Before you get out your checkbook, here are some things to consider before taking the plunge.
1. Determine what things are important to you. If you are an avid skier and find yourself spending the equivalent of a mortgage down payment in condo rentals every year, maybe purchasing a property closer to the slopes is just what you need. Keep in mind, however, you won't have the freedom to move around, so choose a location you'll want to return to year after year. If you're only thinking about taking up a new sport or hobby, consider renting for a few seasons to ensure your dream still holds the same appeal once it becomes a reality.
2. What sorts of ties do you have to your current home? Do the kids come to visit on holidays? How will your having a second home affect your family routines?
3. Begin to zero in on the perfect location for your rural home by making a list of all areas that fit. List your favorite sports and past times, desirable weather, geography (do you want mountain living or beachfront), available employment opportunities, ethnic or social conditions, taxes and utilities, and price range.
Next, do some research and determine which states are most compatible with your needs. Try to get your list down to about three favorites.
4. Contact the chamber of commerce and local government agencies for as much information as they will send you and begin compiling a portfolio on each region.
5. If this is not an area you've previously visited, try renting a place for at least a few weeks to get a feel for the place. Another option is to visit some home sitting sites such as HouseCarers.com to check for house sitting opportunities in the area. It's one of the best ways to immerse yourself in an area and feel like part of the community.
6. Once you've planned your visit, contact area realtors and make appointments to tour some houses. Send them a list of the properties you want to view as well as your list of criteria and maximum price range. The agent will undoubtedly include other houses on the tour; and you may find it helpful to take notes and pictures of your favorites as they will all start to blend together after awhile.
7. Revisit your favorite homes, inspecting inside and out, looking for obvious deficiencies such as water stains, leaks, odd smells, leaky faucets, or poor water pressure. Find out the age of the roof, furnace, well and septic (if applicable) and request maintenance records.
8. Once you're ready to submit an offer, make it contingent on a successful home inspection by a professional. Add up any of the big ticket items you may need to repair or update and deduct the costs from the asking price. Note that the seller will be responsible for the cost of the survey, and any other pertinent inspections such as water, soil, structure, etc. You should reserve the right to cancel the deal if any of these inspections produce what you consider an unsatisfactory result.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
It is great that you have decided to buy or invest in property that is in Bulgaria, but you may not know what to expect. When buying in Bulgaria, you can expect a lot of things, from great priced real estate to a variety of types of real estate to buy. Bulgaria is a land full of property waiting to be invested in, that is what you can expect when buying in Bulgaria,
Depending on what city in Bulgaria you are choosing to get property in can vastly change the type of property available. For instance, if you were to get property in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, then you would most likely be looking for apartments or maybe a house, since Sofia is the most developed property market in Bulgaria. Now, there is a broader range of what to expect on a real estate market through out Bulgaria and is as follow:
Beach apartments: One area in Bulgaria is known as Sunny Beach, it is an international beach resort. There is private land hear to build apartments or holiday villages. Of course, this means that there are apartments available for rent or you could buy one and rent it out. There are other beach resorts in Bulgaria where the same sort of real estate market is, just not to the same potential as Sunny Beach.
Ski Resorts: Of course there are ski resorts in the mountains of Bulgaria. These are probably the most difficult to obtain property in, but it is possible to find it in some resorts. Your best bet here is to buy some residential property in one the neighboring villages and rent or live in it there.
Let’s not forget to mention the properties available on the Black Sea. This does fall under the category of beach apartments, and Sunny Beach is one of the resorts on the coast of the Black sea. The reason in mentioning this is that you may be able to find some great summer houses along the coast of Bulgaria. If you do not want to visit it yourself, you can always rent out your summer house.
Residential Real Estate: there are houses, apartments, condominiums, and more. Depending on your current citizen status, you could even buy some land and build a house in Bulgaria. All of these types of residential properties can be for sale or for rent, heck you can even buy your property and put it up for rent. It all depends on what you are looking for and what your needs are.
When buying in Bulgaria you can expect a wide range of property to be available, some at reasonable prices and others a little high priced. It all depends on what you want and where you want it. Rest assured, your real estate dreams can come true when you are buying in Bulgaria because of the vast number of properties and property types that are available. When buying in Bulgaria you can expect anything.
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Why? Well, large scale homebuilders profits rise in direct proprotion to speed of which their homes are completed. Generally speaking, homebuilders incent sub-contractors to finish on-time and penalize them when they do not. Corners are cut in an effort to maintain the all important schedule. Unfortunately, the builder cannot watch every sub-contractor at every single stage of the build.
Hiring an independant home inspector will give an extra set of eyes and make sure your interest is represented. They have expertise and will recognize defficiencies. Plus, they are very affordable and pay for themselves many times over.
I had a colleague who bought a newly contructed home just a over year ago. And, at my request , he hired a highly respected home inspector. During the roof inspection, the inspector noticed much of the roof insulation had fallen during a wind storm. He took some pictures and decided to check back a few days later to make sure the insulation was reinstalled. A few days passed when he decided to take another look. By this time, the drywall was now being installed. When he arrived, he noticed several sheets of insulation still laying on the floor. Upon closer inspection, he found that the ceilling still had missing insulation. The trouble is, that the drywall had already been installed over much of the ceiling. Of course, with the pictures in hand, he brought this issue up to the builder and it was rectified. Imagine the added costs to the energy bills had the insulation issue not come to light. Best money my friend ever spent.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
It’s one of our biggest investments and some of us are doing it more than once during our life.
Like many things in our life that have changed dramatically, so did our habitation practices. Most of us don’t stay in one house for the full duration of our lives as it used to be for many people in previous generations.
Our modern dynamic life style and economy, calls for flexibility, mobility and frequent changes, People are following their jobs and careers even if it means moving from one side of the nation to the other.
This tendency is in line with our culture of consuming society. We replace everything faster, we treat cloths, cars (some just lease), refrigerators and our dwellings like fashion items with short longevity.
When we decide to buy a house we need to think in terms of sort to medium range periods of time and that should bring us to consider the resale value of our home in the future.
Buying a home with good resale value might take a little longer, and it might take a bit more work on your part, but you'll love the payback later, when it sells quickly and puts extra money in your bank account.
The first consideration should be your family needs but it’s cleaver to keep an open mind about what might suite future buyers as well.
The most important three factors are: location, location and location... :-)
Indeed, it’s first thing to consider when looking for a home. So, what makes a good location?
There are some general elements which are obvious like:
- Does the neighborhood have easy and fast access to the schools, shopping centers and country club.
- It’s wise to pick a house that is located relatively elevated above the area, that can provide two advantages: a flow of good air and a nicer view.
- How many neighbors are adjacent to you and/or across you in proximity, off course the less the better.
- A house located at the end of the street will suffer less noises from the neighbors and their guests. If the street is a dead end it’s even better. A corner house may have more light and air.
- The positioning of the house towards the north if it’s a warm area as opposed to the south in cold areas. In general, a rule of thumb and this one is general and found right to many locations around the world, as strange as it may sound, the northern neighborhoods are usually more desirable than the southern ones exactly as the western ones are more prestigious than the eastern ones.
- The size of the lot, its shape and the square footage of the house itself.
If the majority of buyers in your area are young families with children,
consider a house with a large yard that's not fronted by a busy street.
- There are many other environmental aspects to consider with respect to
personal preference like a green agricultural area vs. urban area,
quality of schools and other social services and facilities.
In addition to these external considerations there are many important internal elements that can make a house quality higher and buyers are always looking for, such as:
- Closets, lots of closets and with as much additional storage space as possible.
- Light and bright - Homes with lots of natural lighting are very popular.
- Split bedroom plans, with bedrooms on each end of the home, are increasingly popular with buyers.
- If you live in a scenic area, having a view can help you sell.
- Plenty of bedrooms, baths and Rest rooms.
- Large and convenient kitchen with as many cabinets and cooking space as possible.
- The tendency to work from home calls for a suitable room to be set as a home office.
- Laundry and dryer machines located at the same level as the bad rooms.
- A spacious basement is a plus.
<b>Features to avoid</b>
- One-bath homes sell for significantly less than homes with at least two baths and they take longer to sell.
- Electric baseboard heat and electric ceiling heat are not as desirable as
central heating systems. A fireplace in the living room is a plus.
- Tubs and showers in outdated colors, or scratched from years of improper cleaning, might be hard to change without ripping out doors or walls.
- Popcorn ceilings date a house, you know, those bumpy ceilings that were so popular in the 1970's.
Your first objective is to buy a home that's right for you, but do consider its resale value before you make the final decision, especially if you know you'll move again within three to five years. A careful purchase now will help give you extra funds to move up with the next time you buy a home.
Depending on the type of financing you choose, there should be either 2 or 3 separate inspections on the home you want to purchase. The first should be your own basic inspection (see the bottom of this page for what to look for), the second should be a professional whole-house inspection by a reputable person. Should you select a government loan (FHA or VA), the third inspection should come at the time of the appraisal, which to some degree amounts to a "mini-inspection." Do not, however, rely on this appraisal as your only inspection of the property!
We cannot emphasize enough the value and necessity of an extensive home inspection. Many home purchasers, either in the desire to save the $200 to $500 that a good inspection costs, or due to simple ignorance, have spent enormous sums of money repairing items that any good home inspector would have pointed out. Any offer to purchase you make should be contingent upon (subject to) a whole house inspection with a satisfactory report. Do not let anyone not the agent, not your family or friends, and especially not the seller, dissuade you from having the property thoroughly inspected! Not only will you sleep much sounder after you have moved into the house, a professional inspection can give you an escape hatch from a contract on a defective house. If the contract is written contingent on an acceptable inspection, any defects in the home must be either repaired or monetarily compensated for.
If you are not satisfied, you have the option to cancel the contract.
Monday, 2 August 2010
All house prices are still rising popular areas, homes usually already under contract by the time the estate agent’s board goes up. People should also find another sources a part from estate agent
Every year around 40,000 properties are sold at auction in the UK - many at up to 30% below high street prices. Auction firms always focus on unusual, hard-to-value premises like churches and village halls, commercial lots with potential for change to residential property.Usualy properties which need renovation get sold though the auction. This is why most of the time you going to find yourself in competition with professional property developers.
To get property at auction requires very careful planning, full attention to details and good nerves.
If you succeed the reward - dream house at good price. But if you don’t do carefully groundwork then your bargain could turn out to be very costly under- the-hammer horror. It is worth know that some superficially good looking properties go to auction because they have hidden problems like dry rot, strict planning restrictions, bad neighbors
Where to start?
About 250 companies run residential property auctions every single year in the Great Britain. One, estate agent FDP Savills, holds ten national auctions a year in London and seven regional auctions. It says there is very strong demand for all types of property at auction and there is good market for flats and houses which requiring refurbishment.
Every auctioneer will send you catalogue for all coming auctions at list one month in advance. That is time for you to do you homework. Examine property; surround area to make sure it is suitable. It is also time to have the property surveyed. Ask you solicitor to check the title to the property and arrange mortgage for you. If you are successful buyer you need to plan to complete the purchase with in 25 days of the auction. The list of auctions you can easily find online. You also need to be ready to insure the property from the moment you get it.
Before you go to auction set your highest bid.
You need to estimate the total costs of decorating repairs, surveying fees, mortgage, legal and removals and any other expenses – and then work out how much you are willing to spend. Please do not forget buyer’s premium will add another 1.5 per cent on the top of selling price and also you need to pay stamp duty.
Pre-sale catalogue prices very often wildly below the real sale price to get buyers to auction. Property prices can go up and down throughout per-sale period. Please keep in touch with the agent. The actual price usually set on auction day and it will be 10 per cent
Of the reserve price which is minimum price the owner will accept. Once the price met reserve vendor legally obliged to sell the house to the highest bidder.
If you are successful bidder you will need to sign a legally binding contract after the auction also you need to pay ten per cent of the property price by cheque. Remember they do not accept cash.
Try to attend auction a few times before you start bid. It helps to get confidence. Check all local estate agent just to see at what price similar property have sold for.