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Choosing a Realtor for a First Time Home Purchase Is Important

As a first time home buyer, the home buying process can seem complicated and confusing. From mortgage questions to dealing with real estate agents and closing costs, there are many things that you need to learn about to be sure that your first home purchase is a pleasant one and results in a good investment. A good realtor can be a huge help in guiding you through the buying process.

The first step in buying a home is to meet with an experienced real estate agent who can answer all of your questions and help you become knowledgeable abut the local housing market. Ask to meet with the realtor and have a list of questions ready to ask. If the realtor does not seem to want to take the time to answer your questions or does not seem knowledgeable, meet with other realtors until you find one willing to spend time with you and that you feel confident has knowledge and experience. Do not rush into working with a realtor or looking at homes until you find one you are comfortable with even if you have to meet with several. While realtors are not mortgage experts, a good realtor should be able to answer basic questions about closing costs, down payments figures and the time frame in closing a sale as well as being able to recommend several mortgage companies that you can contact to make sure that you are financially qualified to buy a home.

 

Once you have selected your realtor and gotten some names of mortgage companies to talk with, gather all your financial information including your pay stubs, last year’s tax return and all statements about debts that you owe and make an appointment to talk to the mortgage company representative. You will also need to check your credit report and see if there are any inaccuracies that need to be corrected before applying for your mortgage. The mortgage company will look at your income and expenses and tell you how much you will be able to qualify for in getting a loan. With this information, you can then go back to your realtor who can compile a list of properties that are within your budget and that meet the criteria that you most want in a home. Also, having been pre-qualified by the mortgage company will make prospective seller take you more seriously.

 

Once you have found a home that you wish to purchase, your realtor can lead you through making an offer. Once the offer is accepted and a sales contract signed, an attorney will handle the final closing and the paperwork for the mortgage and the deed. If you do not have an attorney that you have worked with, your realtor or mortgage company can usually recommend someone to handle the closing.

 

A good realtor can make the sometimes confusing and stressful process of buying a home a much more pleasant experience. Be sure that you choose your realtor carefully.

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“Real Estate in Temecula” a Great Investment Even in Today’s Market

Temecula California is a prime location to invest in real estate because investors have an opportunity to purchase real estate at a significant discount. Real Estate agent Janice Kraft credits these discounts to the change in Temecula’s real estate market.

In 2003-2004 Temecula experienced a real estate boom. Temecula was a desirable location for many buyers. Temecula offered large homes with plenty of amenities, for far less than homes in metropolitan areas like San Diego and Los Angeles. As the demand for real estate in Temecula went up, so did the property value. Home owners watched as their equity went through the roof almost over night.

 

A few things happened during this period of time. Home owners in Temecula began to pull the equity out of their homes. With the price of real estate in Temecula consistently going up, some home owners found themselves refinancing almost every 6 months. The cost of real estate was growing rapidly. As the cost of real estate went up, many buyers found themselves resorting to unconventional loans . The idea was to get in the property, and in a few months or a few years they would have gained enough equity to secure a conventional loan. Both the homeowners who were refinancing, and buyers who opted for unconventional loans anticipated that the real estate market in Temecula would continue booming. Sadly it didn’t. In fact the slow down in real estate caused many homes to lose the equity they once had. Depending on how many times they refinanced, some homeowners found themselves owing more than what their home was worth. Homeowners who purchased real estate with unconventional loans found themselves facing mortgages that grow by the month. In the first 3 months of 2007 Temecula has experienced record numbers of defaults and foreclosures. The price of homes in the area have fallen, and the amount of time a home stays on the market has vastly increased.

 

Janice Kraft a successful real estate agent in Temecula explains that despite grim forecast in the market, real estate in Temecula is still a very viable investment. As a specialist in short sales, Janice says that purchasing real estate in a market like this is actually a very smart investment. Many real estate agents in Temecula are finding that the market is saturated with inventory. What was once a sellers market has evolved into a buyers market. If you are interested in purchasing an investment property this is the perfect time to act.

 

The key to finding a good deal on real estate in Temecula is to hire an experienced real estate agent. Familiar with the real estate market in Temecula. Janice Kraft is one of REMAX’S platinum real estate agents. She understands the area’s real estate market and is committed to helping her clients maximize their dollars. With over ten years experience as a real estate agent in Temecula, Janice has proven herself successful in any market. As your real estate agent Janice can offer a host of opportunities.

 

If you are interested in hiring Janice Kraft to be your real estate agent, or you have questions you’d like her to assist you with, you can reach her at 951-529-2089 or email at

 

jrkraft@myexcel.com or at www.janicekraft.com

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Make Money with these Real Estate Wholesaling Tips

One of the best ways to start making money in real estate is through wholesaling. The whole idea behind wholesaling is to make an offer on a property, get it accepted, then instead of buying the property yourself you will sell it ‘as is’ to another real estate investor. The investor will get the financing, buy the property and make all of the repairs.

This is a quick way to make money and you will have the benefit of:

 

  1. Not having to use your own credit.

 

  1. Only a small deposit ($10.00 to $100.00) of your own money will be used.

 

  1. You will not have to repair the property.

 

  1. You will not have to wait for the property to sell.

 

  1. It takes little training to get started.

 

What you are doing is making an offer on properties which are below market value and then reselling them to real estate investors before you even own the property.

 

There are a lot of real estate investors that are looking for properties that are below market value that they can repair and then sell or ‘flip’ and come out with a profit. They are looking at the after repair market value to determine if it is a good investment.

 

Investors are constantly on the look out for these types of properties. In essence, you will be doing the legwork in finding appropriate properties at the right price that will attract investors.

 

How much money can you make from these types of real estate deals? As an example, you find a house for sale for $70,000.00 with estimated cost of repairs of $10,000.00 and a market value of $100,000.00 after repairs. You get a written contract with an addendum that you have the right to assign this contract to someone else. Then you find an investor to assign the contract to. The investor will pay you a fee, anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 and he will buy the property, make the repairs, and then flip it for a profit or rent it out. Your job is done by finding and assigning the property to the investor.

 

This is a quick in and out deal for you as you do not have to wait for mortgage processing or wait for repairs. Once you find an investor you collect your fee and go find another good investment property and do the same thing over and over.

 

Even if you are making only $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 per deal, you can turn these deals over fast and start building up some cash pretty quickly.

 

How to find the investors can be one of the easiest things to do. You see ads in the newspaper all of the time for just this type of real estate deal. You can place an ad for investors and you will probably get many calls. You will be saving them a lot of time by finding the properties for them.

 

Joining a real estate investment club is a great way to find investors for your wholesaling. These meetings are made up of investors, wholesalers, hard money lenders, real estate companies, and mortgage companies.

 

Do some research on real estate wholesaling if you want to get started in real estate investing but do not have the cash or credit to obtain properties. This is a great way for beginning investors to get their feet wet without having to invest a lot of money or time.

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High-Rise Condominiums in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market

Some call it Sin City, others call it the Entertainment Capital of the World, but many people don’t really notice that Las Vegas actually has a booming and exciting real estate market. The city that never sleeps sure isn’t dull and it never has been. Even with it being a small railroad town in its early years, Las Vegas has been a popular real estate market for corporate entrepreneurs and for individual investors alike.

Like many other resort destinations, Las Vegas has recently seen a lot of development in the area of high-rise condominiums. What better place than Las Vegas? If you’ve ever flown into Vegas, you’ll have been able to see the beauty of the unique hotel and casinos that only Vegas has. Imagine this being your view from your high-rise condo. Many more people now aren’t having to imagine this, but are indeed enjoying these fantastic, one-of-a-kind views. In fact, in May 2007, almost 50 high-rise condos closed escrow in the Las Vegas real estate market. The exquisite detail and quality that defines these condos are what is drawing in investors and home buyers, coupled with the huge amount of growth that Las Vegas has always seen from its meager beginnings. One only needs to do a quick search on Google to see the feature and extra-rich condominiums that are currently available in the Las Vegas real estate market.

 

The condo developments are offering amazing incentives to get people moved into these high-rise condos. Some of those incentives are for the developments to pay the closing costs associated with purchasing one of the high-rise condos, or by adding free upgrades to many of the fantastic amenities already available in these luxurious condominiums. The Trump Organization, after quickly selling out their first tower of high-rise condominiums on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, began to immediately build the second tower and that second tower will probably be sold out pretty quick also.

 

While Las Vegas may not strike you as a place to buy real estate, it is in fact a fantastic place to buy a condominium. Many people are under the assumption that prostitution is legal in all of Nevada, but in reality, in counties that have over 100,000 people (such as Clark County, where Las Vegas is) prostitution is illegal inside those county lines.

 

Luxury condos are popping up all over, but in many places the market is slowing down. Not in Las Vegas. The real estate market is extremely healthy and flourishing, and right now is a great time to get into a beautiful luxury high-rise condo in Las Vegas. They say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” but when you realize what exactly is happening in the Las Vegas estate market, you’ll definitely want to stay in Vegas.

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Real Estate Agents in Temecula

There are over 1500 “real estate agents in Temecula”. Now that the bubble has officially busted, finding a “real estate agent in Temecula” is difficult because the industry is saturated with real estate agents. A few years ago, the real estate market in Temecula was operating in its prime. Plenty of people from cities like San Diego and Los Angeles were flocking to the inland empire. The major selling points for ” real estate agents in Temecula”, was the price. The common problem a real estate agent in Temecula faced was not having enough inventory. Things have greatly changed in Temecula. Now if you ask a real estate agent in Temecula the greatest challenge they face the answer is unanimously too much inventory. One real estate agent in Temecula told me that she found that with such a large inventory many buyers are getting overwhelmed when it is time to make a decision about which property they should purchase.

Things look even more grim for sellers, with so much real estate in Temecula for sale, or being foreclosed on its taking much longer to sell a home.

That is why finding a knowledgeable real estate agent in Temecula is important. The real estate agent you choose should know Temecula very well. With the listings of real estate in Temecula being so dense, the real estate agent needs to identify the listings that are more suited for your needs. With the amount of new homes being built, your real estate agent should determine what suites your needs the most a pre existing home, or a new home.

 

Because of the mass building that occurred a few years ago, and the creative financing many homeowners have found themselves in a hard situation, owning a home with a mortgage that is more than the homes value. Because of the slowing of the housing boom, many new home builders are selling their homes for much less than they sold them a few years ago, and with many more incentives. A good real estate agent in Temecula, knows about this new pattern in the market place and would definitely make sure that they provided all the information that would serve you the best.

Because of the new housing market in Temecula, you want to be sure that you find a real estate agent that is committed in helping you. And not committed to selling a home that’s mortgage exceeds its worth.

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New Trend in Real Estate May Save Sellers Money

In a hot housing market, sellers can make a profit on their property even after paying six percent commission to a real estate agent. But hot markets always cool down, and those who need to sell their properties in a declining market may hesitate to give up that six percent of the sale price to someone else.

What’s a seller to do? He can put a For Sale by Owner sign in his front yard, advertise in the local paper, list the property on the internet, show the property several times a week for several weeks, screen potential buyers, negotiate with a serious buyer, prepare all the necessary paperwork, arrange the closing, and hope the deal doesn’t fall apart because he just put a down payment on his new house.

 

Or he can hire a real estate agent to it for him.

 

Six percent, though, is still a good chunk of change to give up. But sellers need not despair. There is a new trend in the real estate industry that can save sellers money, and still provide assistance in the process.

 

The real estate industry refers to an un-agented property as a FSBO. FSBO means For Sale By Owner, and the slang is pronounced ‘fisbo’. Companies that provide select services to sellers are becoming known as FSBO companies, or FSBO services. Many of these are directed at the marketing piece of the selling process. For a flat fee, they will provide marketing venues, such as space on their website or in magazine distribution venues. But some go beyond that.

 

At gotofsbo.com, based in Virginia, a seller can advertise in the For Sale By Owner magazine, and so take advantage of such services as Advertiser Assistance Option. This package assists in the paperwork right through to closing, and for a flat fee of $475.00.

 

At premierfisbo.com, sellers can have a web page to advertise their listing, a for sale yard sign with an info tube, a template for a color brochure or flyer to print from any computer for the info tube, a How To Kit for do it yourself sellers, selling contracts and disclosure forms. This package is available for a flat rate of $299.

 

For those sellers who feel uncomfortable with the legal side of selling, there are numerous books available on the market, as well as an increasing number of real estate attorneys who will prepare and execute the paperwork for a flat fee.

 

Essentially, the service provided by a real estate agent has been broken down into a selection of services. Where the six percent commission is all-encompassing, the FSBO companies allow sellers to select which services they need, and to pay a flat fee for those services, up front, and so keep a larger portion of the proceeds from the sale of their homes.

 

Does this trend in selective services for home sellers spell the end of the real estate agent? No, it only means selling through an agent is not the only option. It means sellers who must get the optimum profit from his or her property do not need to overprice their homes to cover that commission, which usually results in extended time on the market.

 

Increasingly, real estate brokerage firms are offering flat fee services resembling the services offered by FSBO companies. The brokerage, and thus its agents, assemble a package from the array of services that best suit an individual seller’s needs. The do-it-yourself trend in home selling is galvanizing brokerages and real estate agencies to examine the long accepted practice of commissions paid by the seller.

 

Though using a FSBO company does not guarantee a sale, neither does using an agent. But being able to select specific services gives the seller control over the process, and this control is absent when using a commissioned agent. An agent may allow the listing to languish if the seller is reluctant to lower his or her price. Flat fees for selected services will obligate the agent to perform those duties he or she has been paid to do.

 

The trend toward selective service and flat fees is still a small part of the real estate industry, and their usage rate correlates to the state of the housing market. But as more homeowners become savvier in the ways of marketing and selling property, the FSBO companies will become increasingly popular.

 

Sellers want to maximize profits, and the real estate industry needs sellers. Clearly, the trend toward flat fee services will ultimately become typical in the buying and selling of homes, and the six percent commission will be a luxury item, and not the industry standard.

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Real Estate Prices Slump While Property Taxes Rise

In all my years of property ownership, I have never seen a market like this one. Recently, Robin and Company (a CNN Broadcast) had a new report on the housing market. They mentioned that in February sales slumped 0.3%. Robin and Company also mentioned that the average median home sale value dropped to $217,000. The biggest point they mentioned was that whole house values slump tax assessed values are on the rise.

Personal Housing Prices Slump while Property Taxes Rise Impact

 

With my property, I’ve always used the real property search in MD to get a gage of my home’s value. In the past, the real property taxes’ assess value was about half of the real value. We would pay taxes on that small amount. We could get the property appraised and get access to the larger amount. Now that gap has narrowed significantly. I’ve seen the gap go from a few hundred thousand to 1/3 of that.

 

I recently had an appraisal of one property in January. I really haven’t doing anything new to it. I simply maintained the property. We do upkeep and make certain anything that needs to be addresses in addresses. We have a staff that can handle any and all issues. Roughly 4 months later, I get another appraisal. The homes value dropped 40,000 dollar. I was nearly chocked at the change. The appraiser told me that the values were simply not there right now. He continued to let me know that we all took a hit in the winter. He expected that the value would catch back up this summer.

 

Client’s Housing Prices Slump while Property Taxes Rise

 

I worked on a clients home and improved the value significantly. We gave her property an update kitchen, bathroom, and garage. She will have a tremendous increase in her value. She didn’t want to get a new appraisal from her bank. What was her reason. She didn’t want to have the property accessed rise. She didn’t want to pay more in taxes. He current tax assessed value was $420,000. The houses appraised value was only $400,000. In other words the goverment litteraly is charging her more money in taxes than her home is really worth.

 

I’m working with this client to fight the tax accessed value. However, I wonder how many other have this exact same issue.

 

Buyers Market as Housing Prices Slump while Property Taxes on Rise

 

I have another client that was going to purchase a house in baltimore. We went through a few chalenges to get the deal done. At the end of the day. The seller and their agent was unfreindly and not willing to work with the buyer. We ultimatley let the seller walk. There are so many additional homes on the market, we have no need to fight for one with and unfriendly seller.

 

As a buyer, this market is the best of bother worlds. If you choose to buy and older home, sellers will most likely want to work with you. If you choose to buy a newer home, the builders have insentives to give you a sweatheart deal. I know two investors that bought investment properties in my area with 10,000 down. They got $80,000 in builder incentives. Niether person put up another dime. The moved out of there older home and rented it out to new tenant.

 

All that said, this is a tough market. It can work to your advantage. You might fight to make it happen. Best of luck in your Real Estate chalenges.

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What Real Estate Agents Won’t Tell You About Their Income

People have a misconception that real estate agents have a pipeline of money that flows into their pockets from helpless buyers and sellers.

While there are some very successful real estate agents out there, nothing could be the farthest from the truth in most cases.

 

Before you beat on your real estate agent, look at what I’ve outlined for you as to how much they actually make.

 

The National Association of Realtors has stated that the average agent does 7 closed transactions a year. We’ll stick with that for the sake of this article.

 

If you list your house for $200,000, with a 5% commission rate, the commission you’re paying out would equal $10,000. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change! No wonder all the agents are driving nice cars!

 

Breaking that down further, we see that your agent has to split the commission with the selling agent, as over 90% of real estate transactions have two agents involved.

 

So, there goes $5,000.

 

Of the $5,000 left, your agent gets to split it with their broker. $2,500 left for your agent.

 

Since your real estate agent does not have taxes taken out, immediately a portion of that has to be accounted to Uncle Sam. Since I’m not very good at numbers, I have an accountant. Just for the sake of round numbers, I’m going to subtract $100 off to pay federal and state taxes.

 

We’re down to $2,400.

 

From that $2,400, since we have the privilege (?) of being self-employed, we have to pay out of pocket for things like health insurance. Personally, this is equal to $1,300 per month. This is a single deduction, in other words – no deductions here for any kind of 401K or retirement plan.

 

Down to $1,100.

 

Out of that $1,100, we can subtract the gas in our car driving back and forth to your listing, the postage for all those nifty mailers we did, and the cost of the virtual tours on your house, food for the open house and a whole host of “your house” related expenses. To keep this conservative, and for round numbers, I’m going to use $300.

 

Down to $800.

 

Now we get to keep this for ourselves! $800 can pay our own mortgage payment and household utilities, car payment and contribute towards our annual Realtor fees, which in this year run slightly over $800 annually.

 

If there’s anything left, that’s what we get to feed our family with.

 

Remember, this is one transaction. One a month and chances are we’re heading straight for the poorhouse. Remember, also, the National Association of Realtors reports an average agent sells 7 houses a year. Can anyone realistically live on that? Especially in a down market when houses aren’t selling like they used to?

 

So before you go beating your real estate agent up on their commission, ask yourself if you could, or would, walk into your boss’ office on a Friday afternoon and ask for a cut in pay. Real estate agents have families to feed as well.

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Comparing Homes for Real Estate Leverage

A buyer has made an offer on the home that you are selling, and you now face the challenge of deciding whether or not to take the offer. You as a seller want to get the maximum dollar potential out of your home that is possible. But, do you know how to determine whether the offer is a fair offer that will reap the best possible benefits? Find out the true value of your home by comparing it to homes that are similar or just like yours in the area. Compare homes that offer some of the same comforts and square footage size as yours. By doing this you can make the best decision when an offer is made.

Take a look at the last few homes in your area that have sold. Compare their similarities to yours, and this is a great way to determine the true market value of your home. By checking in the local classified ads in your newspaper or by calling a realtor and finding out how much homes like yours have sold for is the best way to get started in this process. If the homes you compares yours too do not match up with the comforts that your home has to offer or vice-versa, it is a good idea to look at how much typical homes are selling by square foot.

 

To figure out how much a home is selling by the square foot is very easy. You simply take the square footage amount (let’s say 2000 sq. ft.) and divide it by the total sales price (for instance $100,000). By dividing the two numbers you will find out what a home is selling for by the square foot. You can make adjustments to this price as you see fit, and it is also important to note that you should include the entire square footage not just the heated and cooled square footage (i.e. garage or carport). There are also other factors like the number of bedrooms, living areas, bathrooms, and the location that can also affect the sales price on a home. That reason is why it is a good idea to also compare homes that are like yours to make sure that you find an average price that is best to compare your home to.

 

If a home has a market value of $150,000 it is good practice to make an offer that is about 10% less than the asking price, but in no case more than the asking price. If you want to make sure that you are getting the best possible price on your home take into consideration these tips and get the best dollar for your property.

Should You Offer a Lease Purchase Option to Sell Your Home?

In today’s real estate market, sellers are frantically searching for someone—anyone!—to purchase their homes for a reasonable price, and turning up empty in the end. It is definitely a buyer’s market, which means that sellers are having to rethink their strategoes for selling their homes.

One of the alternatives to keeping the house on the market is a lease-purchase option, which can be a life-saver for many sellers.

 

A lease-purchase option is an agreement that resides somewhere between a mortgage and a lease. As the seller, you will essentially be the landlord for the buyer, but the money he or she pays in rent will also be put toward the sale purchase of the home. This gives you a monthly income from rent, and also puts you one step closer to selling the house.

 

It isn’t a good idea to pursue a lease-purchase option if you need the cash from the sale of your home to buy a new one. Although you might be able to receive a modest down-payment before the lease terms begin, it won’t be sufficient to finance a new place to live. Instead, lease-purchase options are perfect for sellers who already have a new home or have sufficient financial resources to buy one without selling the old.

 

The most dangerous aspect of a lease-purchase option is the fact that most buyers who request this arrangement are unable to secure a traditional mortgage on their own. They might have defaulted on a mortgage in the past or perhaps they have blemished credit; whatever the case, you have to be careful about offering a lease-purchase option.

 

The major benefit of a lease-purchase option is that sellers usually make more from the sale of their home in this agreement.