4 Common Pitfalls To Purchasing A Foreclosure Property

Due to the mortgage crisis that our country faced over the last several years, there are continually more and more foreclosure properties that are being put up for sale everywhere you turn. Of course, this can be very tempting for homebuyers as people can sometimes get properties for 30% or even less on the dollar.
However, if you are considering a foreclosure property for your next purchase, then there are some common pitfalls that you will need to avoid along the way to protect yourself and your future asset. Let’s review some areas to be aware of before making any serious offers.
1. Avoid Making Emotional Offers: When you are planning on putting a bid down on a property, you need to be extremely confident with the home’s current condition, its true market value, and what will be needed to fully restore the property.
Too many buyers will think that they found a slamming deal and fear that they will lose the home to another bidder. So instead of taking the time to truly do their homework and complete the proper inspections and analysis, they can end up locking up a property for more than it’s actually worth.
2. Estimate Neighborhood Values: Consider what other comparable properties are selling for and talk to a real estate agent who has a working knowledge of the area. In fact, it’s a wise decision to thoroughly review these questions and any other recommendations your Realtor may make:

  • Is this neighborhood a desirable location and how are crime rates?
  • What schools would be available for my kids or future buyers?
  • Were there any other foreclosures or investor sales that could negatively affect the future value of my home?
  • How long do I plan on living there and how could that affect things?
  • What type of appreciation should I expect?

3. Get Preapproved: Before you even start looking at homes, you must get preapproved on a mortgage in order to know exactly what you can afford. Sadly, many buyers can miss out on some phenomenal deals or spend hours of wasted time because they avoid this step. Show banks that you are a serious buyer and have your financing in place!

4. Get Professional Help: Not only should you seek the expertise and of an experienced Realtor, but you may also need guidance from a real estate attorney or financial consultant as well. Each professional can ensure that you are making the right choices throughout the process and can protect you from any issues you may come across along the way.

Remember that there is a lot more than meets the eye when you are trying to buy a foreclosure property. Negotiating with the banks, filling out paperwork properly, and undergoing all the necessary inspections can be a very detailed and tedious procedure.
Therefore, we encourage you to give us a call today to get started. Our agents have years of experience assisting other clients with buying foreclosures for their next home or investment property. Discover how we can help you to make a smart and profitable investment as well!

3 Things To Consider Before Listing As FSBO

If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you may feel inclined to list it as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) before working with a Realtor. For many, this is considered one good way to cut back on costs and possibly earn a little more profit on the sale.
However, there are certain aspects you may want to consider before going down this path. Statistically, over 80% of FSBO’s end up being listed with a Realtor at some point. Therefore, it pays to take the time to fully assess whether or not this is the right plan of action for you.

Properly Marketing Your Property

First of all, listing a home for sale can be a very time consuming and difficult process. Unfortunately, this typically is not as easy as posting a sign in the yard and setting up a classified ad in the local newspaper. There is certainly a lot more than meets the eye.
For instance, many FSBO websites will tout that you can obtain a wide exposure to buyers nationally, but this pales in comparison to the results that you can expect from big named sites like Realtor.com, which only agents can post to.
Next, your agent will have a lot of expertise with implementing online real estate marketing strategies that will gain you a ton of locally targeted searches. And in fact, nearly 90% of all searches for real estate related inquiries start online.
Realtors will also have a strong network of both agents and buyers that they work with on a regular basis. This is a business where it pays to network. More contacts equals greater exposure.

Asking Price & Showings

For starters, a lot of FSBO’s will start at the wrong asking price. This is by far one of the most important factors that goes into marketing your home, so you want to do this properly off the bat. But, without being fully invested in your local market and understanding the current trends, it can be difficult to price the home accurately.
As alluded to in section one, selling a home can be a lot of work. Most individuals these days have to juggle a full time job, family obligations, recreational activities, household chores, etc. Where do you find the time for fully investing into the sale as well?
When the opportunity would arise for interested parties to view your property, you would need to schedule individual showings, open houses, inspectors, appraisers, etc., while also trying to stage and maintain your property’s appearance. Miss out on a good opportunity for matching schedules and you can quickly lose interest.

Negotiations & Contracts

If you get to the point where you negotiate with a buyer, it is much more difficult to handle this aspect without a qualified agent. Selling your home can be a very emotional undertaking, so it is easier to set unrealistic expectations, or to even concede on more than necessary when you don’t have a 3rd party buffer.
During most real estate transactions, both the buyer and seller will typically have a set of concessions and contingencies. For a majority of buyers, they will expect to have some type of a financing, inspection and/or termite contingency.
This is set up for their protection, in order to complete their due diligence on the home before moving forward to closing. If other issues are found, this may even been grounds for further negotiation or eventually walking away from the deal.
Or you will be expected to lower the price, fix the issue or offer a concession on something else in order to alleviate the problem. Likewise, you want to ensure that the buyer is not overstepping their boundaries or that you are pressured into giving away more than is reasonable.
In summary, it’s worth taking the time to carefully consider these 3 areas before making any final decisions. If you still decide to take the FSBO route, we sincerely wish you great success. Also, please feel free to share our information with a friend and to bookmark our page for future reference as well!

Investing in Real Estate vs. Stocks

When it comes to investing in land/real estate or stocks, there is no one size fits all. Although both vehicles have proven over the long run to provide excellent returns when handled properly, each person will have their own unique goals, risk tolerance, and capital that they are willing to spend.
Additionally, this is where a financial planning specialist may offer useful insights as well. You may have heard the advice to not put your eggs all in one basket. Therefore, it may even be beneficial to consider pursuing both forms of investments to better leverage your profits.
So our goal is to offer an overview of both sides of the coin in order for you to start forming your own opinion. All in all, it is most important that you proactively take your financial future into your own hands and only pursue the path that you feel will be the best for you and your family.

Benefits of Investing in Land or Real Estate

Many very successful people started out their investing careers in real estate. Plus regardless of what happens in the economy, it is factual that people will always need a place to live. Homes very rarely decrease in value when they are well maintained and purchased correctly.
In addition, land can be an extremely lucrative investment since the world’s population continues to increase, and as a result the demand for land used by residential, commercial and retail entities is always on the rise as well.
With real estate you are offered something that is tangible and can be easier to calculate your due diligence. In other words, after reviewing the property specs with appraisers and inspectors, you have a fairly good idea of what you are getting into.

Downside of Real Estate Investments

First of all, there is typically a lot more time and energy invested in managing your investments. Whether you are renting your property out to tenants or keeping your lots clean and free of debris and coding violations, this is something you will be much more actively involved in.
Next, real estate always has some sort of cost involved. Regardless of what you decide to do with your properties, you will still be responsible for taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs/maintenance and possible a host of other expenses. Plus you can end up overspending and losing your shirt.
Finally, you have to have the proper investment strategy in place. Although real estate has historically been a strong hedge against inflation, you always need to consider your own local trends so you can properly leverage your investments to realize a strong ROI.

Benefits of Investing in Stocks

Unlike real estate, this is an investment that can be essentially placed on autopilot. Aside from keeping an eye on your portfolio for rises and dips, you can leave the management and operation of each entity up to the professional staff. You own a piece of each company without having to work for it.
Even with the Great Depression and other scares that we have witnessed over the last century, stocks have historically proven to be the best return on investment for those who hold on through the tough times and invest their returns properly.
Additionally, it typically doesn’t take a huge upfront investment to get involved in the market, and this is very beneficial for those who don’t have a lot of cash on hand. As long as you choose the right companies, earnings will continue to increase. Selling your stocks is also infinitely easier than listing a property or land for sale as well.

Downside of Stocks

On the other hand, the greatest benefits of stocks can sometimes be the most detrimental weaknesses. For example, though you do not need to actively invest sweat into each company, you are also leaving your finances in the hands of a management team that dictates how things operate.
Therefore, if business takes a nosedive so do your stocks. Some will recover while others may crash and burn. Also, this can be a very emotional game. Especially for those who are getting closer to retirement, the couple scares that we have witnessed in the last decade caused many people to pull out at huge losses.
Finally, stocks can be a lot more unpredictable, especially if you are jumping on the bandwagon of rising trends or promising starter companies. Though some may end up being a homerun, you are always listening to the speculations of gurus or your own gut feeling. Alternatively, real estate can typically be more accurately measured.
In conclusion, it important that you take the time to assess the investment opportunities that are available to you before making any decisions. It is important to look out for your financial future and well being, and we’re here to support you along the way.
If you need more information about how you can get started investing in real estate or land, and want to discover the options available in our local area, take the time to contact us today. We look forward to doing business with you!

What To Know Before Buying Your Next Fixer Upper

If you’re looking to buy a fixer upper here are some rules to follow:

  • Pick the right location!
  • Know Your Stuff
  • Make sure you consider the time and cost associated with doing a rehab
  • What are your financing options?

Rent To Own Video Course

With all the uncertainty in the real estate markets these days, a lot of folks are choosing Rent To Own as a strategy for acquiring their next home.
The following video course details what you need to know about the Rent To Own / Lease Purchase process.

3 Things To Consider Before Doing A Rent To Own

Your Rent To Own Checklist

3 Truths About Rent To Owns

3 Ways To Prepare for A Rent To Own Purchase

4 Keys To Finding A Good Rent To Own Opportunity

Who Is Responsible For What In A Rent To Own

Your Down Payment & Security Deposit

Negotiating Rules

In this series of videos below, you’ll learn about the 7 rules to follow when negotiating your next home purchase.
These are:

  • Never Put Your Best Offer First
  • Develop a good relationship with the cooperating agent
  • Know when to walk away
  • Gauge what the seller wants
  • Have a working knowledge of your market
  • Get A Home Inspection
  • Ask For it!

These rules are outlined in the 7 videos below…

Negotiating Rules 1

Negotiating Rules 2

Negotiating Rules 3

Negotiating Rules 4

Negotiating Rules 5

Negotiating Rules 6

Negotiating Rules 7

Buying A Home? Take This Free Video Credit Course

Below is a series of videos that will teach you what you need to know about getting your credit in shape for a future home purchase.
Please feel free to share these videos with a friend who currently owns or is looking to buy a home.
Staying out of credit trouble can have a big impact on your financials for years to come!

Credit Course Video 1

Credit Course Video 2

Credit Course Video 3

Credit Course Video 4

Credit Course Video 5

Credit Course Video 6

Credit Course Video 7

Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

Before purchasing a home, it is vital that you have a better understanding of title insurance policies that are available for both lender and homeowner protection. If obtaining a mortgage, title insurance will be a requirement to shelter the lender for the full amount of the loan until it is completely paid off.
However, owner title insurance will be something you need to consider if you want to protect your own interests as well, since the aforementioned would not cover your own equitable interests in the property. Typically the purchase of an owner policy can either be covered by the seller, or is something that you can include along with the lender policy for a small investment.
When purchasing a home, buyers are actually obtaining a right to occupy the land and property space which comes in the form of a title. Therefore, insurance is necessary to identify any issues that may be attached to the title of the home before closing on the property.

Several Issues That This Search Could Uncover Include:

  • Easements that may allow for roads, sidewalks, cables, etc. to be built on your land
  • Judgments or liens that are a result of unpaid taxes or money that is owed
  • Errors or forged signatures contained within deeds, trusts or wills
  • Undisclosed heirs or rightful owners to the property
  • Additional legal issues or pending suits such as divorce that could affect the purchase

Owner title insurance will protect both homeowners and their heirs from any claims that arise as a result of problems that were initiated prior to obtaining the coverage. In the event that you were to inherit your own liens or judgments against the home, a new policy would then protect the next buyer if these bills were overlooked and remained unpaid upon closing.

Did you know that approximately 1/3 of all title searches will uncover some type of issue on a property? Although these tend to be extremely thorough and accurate, there are still those rare instances where certain matters will remain undetected. Title insurance is therefore the solution for any such cases that may arise.
In the event that you purchase a policy and claims do arise, the policy will reimburse you for any losses that are incurred under the coverage. Therefore, the stress, fees and wasted time that you can avoid when faced with such unfortunate circumstances are well worth the small investment.
To obtain information on reputable title companies that we highly recommend before your next purchase, contact us using the information included on our “Contact Us” tab above.

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