Finding a House For Sale – Top Tips For Buyers

If you are looking for a house for sale in Christchurch, NZ there are several factors to consider. We’ve got some top tips for purchasing property in Canterbury, NZ.

1. Even though it’s a relatively small city, population wise, Christchurch is full of open suburbs with plenty of space and diversity that meets the needs of a range of purchasers. You can select anything from a beach front property, to one in the Port Hills, a central city pad, or a large house in the suburbs. Each suburb of Christchurch has a different feel, and it’s important to find a part of it that fits you and your personality as well as your housing needs.

2. Consider your garden needs. One thing Canterbury residents love is their gardens. Some newer areas have covenants so that gardens are kept to a specific standard. It’s important to find a place that matches the exterior maintenance of your lifestyle. Cottage gardens can look gorgeous, but may take some dedication, whereas native grasses and shrubs can look clean and clear and be low maintenance. It all depends on your lifestyle.

3. Schooling requirements are also an important factor. Many of the popular schools have zoning requirements and moving into a particular area can ensure your child/children have a better change of access to that school, but this often means you pay more of a premium. For parents of children who will attend a private school this may not be so much of an issue. The school culture is considered an important part of family life in Canterbury. Selecting a school in some of the outer suburbs often means your child can go to a smaller school, with a lovely family atmosphere.

4. Sporting and outdoor pursuits are another factor. Most sports are within an easy driving distance, but being situated near a golf course, a surf beach, or near biking tracks can be of benefit for the extra keen sports lover.

If you want a home that’s got all of the benefits of city living, with an outdoors lifestyle at your door, then buying a home in the Lyttleton Harbour and Bay areas can be a good option. The properties in these areas offer an easy commute to the central city if necessary, or you can work closer to home.

As you start looking for houses for sale in Christchurch, NZ, be sure to consider these above buying tips as part of your house buying process.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Min Sarginson

The Secret of Greenville

South Carolina is the new up and coming real estate secret. Prices have been steady here, in spite of a national dropping of realty sales and house prices. The Upstate is the fastest growing region in the state and positioned as it is, between Charlotte and Atlanta, its future development and growth prospects are said to be bright.

The largest city in the Upstate is Greenville, a beautiful town to call your own, and awarded the ‚Great American Main Street Award‘ in 2003. Greenville builders have been anticipating the growth curve and there are currently around 1500 brand new and sparkling homes for sale in this delightful town.The largest number for sale is in the price range spanning from $150,000 – $300.000.

There are also more than 1300 existing condos in the downtown area – a very scenic and appealing downtown with natural waterfalls.

The average price for a brand new home in the Greenville area is running at $300,000, although if you are interested there are several homes running all the way up to $2.2 million. The homes in the $300,000 price ranges will often have the luxury of finished exteriors in brick or stone and many of the builders will also build your custom design home for you.

This luxury is also found inside as well with expensive interior finishes that include crown molding, glamour style master baths, media rooms and stylish light fixtures with ceiling fan. Kitchens are bang up to date with stainless steel appliances, granite or top quality counter tops and your choice of the latest colors in paint.

Many of the builders are eager to reduce their inventory and are offering some great incentives. The majority of new homes are spread all over the Greenville, S.C. area.This area includes all of Greenville County, and Parts of Anderson, Pickens, Spartanburg and Laurens Counties. There are concentrations of homes in Simpsonville (364) Greer (190) Greenville (190) Taylors (87) and Easley (85)

For golf fanatics you can even buy your new home on a golf course! There are over 50 golf courses here: one for every week (plus a short holiday!) The climate runs from 32 in January to 88 in July. There are also traditional homes, estate homes and patio homes for sale here in Greenville.

Following BMW, several German companies are based here; in fact over 245 companies from 20 countries call this place home. Needless to say employment figures are good and the Expansion Management Magazine has listed Greenville as one of „America’s Top 50 Hottest Cities“.

However, this city has peaceful areas too, and was voted by Bike Magazine as in their top 5 „Best Places To Live and Ride“.

So Greenville is not such a secret, after all?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Eddy Kicker

Huge Profits From Short Sales – Fantastic Pre-Foreclosure Tool For Savvy Investors

Louisville realtors, investors and debtors facing foreclosure ask me from time to time how short sales work. Consider this a primer.

I recently brokered the sale of a house for $85,000 to an investor. The house appraised for $120,000, giving the investor substantial immediate equity. The lender took a $60,000 loss. The owner/seller was forced to sell his house, for which he received not one red cent, and had to move into rental. How is it that all parties walked away from the closing table satisfied?!

In the beginning…

When a home owner owes his lender more than he has borrowed, he’s said to be „upside down on his mortgage“. This can come about in many ways, the principal amongst them occurring when he simply stops making mortgage payments, often because he is in serious financial difficulty. If his mortgage payment is $1,000 per month, and he stops paying, or pays intermittently, the fines, interest and principle can rack up pretty quickly. And if the owner can’t pay the mortgage, chances are he hasn’t been able to make necessary repairs to his home. This situation is almost invariably accompanied by despondency, which again leads to neglect of the house.

Stir into the mix bankruptcy, and perhaps divorce, and you’ll understand it’s not surprising to find the homes of these owner/debtors are often seriously degradated. That leaky roof is probably the last of the owner’s problems.

The „F“ word

Foreclosure. It’s not a happy prospect for the lender or the borrower. Lenders have different tolerances for late payments. However by the time the debtor is late for the fourth consecutive month the vast majority of lenders begin foreclosure proceedings. In Kentucky the foreclosure sale of the home by public auction takes generally anywhere from 6 months to a year from the time the foreclosure procedures began. It can take longer – I saw one artful debtor drag on the foreclosure proceedings for more that 20 months! Her mortgage payment was $1,300 a month. After 20 months that became a significant debt compounded by late fees, interest, legal costs, and the potential cost of selling the property at a public foreclosure sale. To say nothing of the continuing, moment by moment deterioration of the property. By the time she moved out the bank had written off in excess of $80,000.

The lender’s and borrower’s conflicting interests

Capitalism is a wonderfully contrived system. It hands not only the power-barons a potent array of weapons with which to fight, but also the poor and destitute. Though the battlefield is nowhere near even, double digit interest thrust too deeply down an indigent debtor’s throat may precipitate his „nuclear“ retaliatory option – Chapter 7 bankruptcy. And so these two, symbiotically entwined, are locked in an elegant dance, teetering between dividends and disaster, profit and poverty. One serious mis-step, and the band stops playing.

Thus, from years of bitter experience, lenders have learned that it’s often better (cheaper) to attempt to gain the cooperation of the owner and have him agree to voluntarily sell and vacate his home, rather than evict him under foreclosure. Lenders also understand that the chance of ever recovering the money owed to them by the debtor is slim. But many debtors choose not to sell because, around the time they realize they will never catch up on their payments, they often have another „Ah Ha!“ flash of insight: that if they stop paying their mortgage and just wait for the foreclosure axe to fall (or better yet, engage in a hatfull of tricks to keep that axe at bay) they can live „rent free“ for at least 6 months. So now the debtor turns from borrower to squatter, perceiving it to be in his best interest to prevent the foreclosure for as long as possible. And if the house, the lender’s „security“, should fall apart in the meantime, so be it.

The solution

The lender is in a position to offer the borrower a very important concession for his cooperation: to write off the entire debt if the borrower finds a buyer to buy the house at a price and terms acceptable to the lender, within the time stipulated by the lender. This is the essence of a short sale. Lenders set their own guidelines for what they will accept. They may say they need to get fair market price, but will in fact often be prepared to sell for much less. They do not want to chance selling this house at auction and risk receiving a very low price. Or worse yet, receive a bid so low that the property does not meet their reserve price, and they end up owning the property. In this case the property is administered by the lender’s REO (real estate owned) department, which will then list the property with a realtor. And the cycle begins again……

The Lender initially said The Willows house was worth $120,000, and wanted it sold at about that price. It got the $120,000 figure from someone it had hired to do a BPO. BPO is short for „Broker’s Price Opinion.“ It is similar to a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) and serves the same purpose: to arrive at a fair market value for a property. Most are done as a „drive-by,“ meaning that the „driver“ (usually a realtor, maybe an appraiser) drives by the outside of the property, takes one to three photos and leaves. He then completes the lender’s BPO form on-line and e-mails it with the picture. Sometimes an „internal“ is requested, in which case the realtor goes into the property, takes about 3 internal and 3 external photos and sends these through to the lender with the completed BPO form.

When the debtor had realized he would not be able to save his house in The Willows, he contacted me to see if I could help. He did not want a foreclosure on his credit report, which would have prevented him from getting a conventional mortgage for three years. Even with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the wait period is only 2 years from dismissal. He also wanted to have his debt forgiven. I was able to accomplish both these goals, saving him about sixty thousand dollars.

The short sale process

As a Realtor, the first thing I did was explain to my client all his theoretical options, including deed in-lieu of foreclosure, loan renegotiation and others. He settled on short sale. I listed The Willows property, and had him sign an authorization for me to contact the lender to see if it would agree to a short sale. Remember, when I list the property, the owner/debtor is my client (not customer). This means I must always act in his best interest. The lender is not my client and I owe it no such duty. In a normal sale the seller and buyer have greatly divergent interests: the seller wants to sell at the highest possible price, and the buyer wants to buy at the lowest. In a short sale there is no such contest between the parties: the seller wants to sell at any price the lender will accept, and will generally agree to any price offered, contingent upon the lender’s acceptance. So in a short sale, the lender takes on the mantle of „seller“ vis-a-vi the buyer and these are really the parties who negotiate the contract. Now get your head around this one: as listing agent in a short sale I am often in the peculiar position of actively attempting to negotiate for the sale at the lowest possible price acceptable to the buyer! (But always with the caveat that this is in the seller’s best interest, and does not jeopardize the sale). This anomaly has many ramifications for the way I conduct and negotiate these transactions.

Price, Terms and Timing

Price: So how much will the lender lop off that price? I’ve generally found that as the day of auction approaches, lenders become more malleable. Pretty inefficient, because they loose a lot of time and money that way. I supplied the lender of The Willows property with objective material indicating that the drive-by BPO was inaccurate, given the condition of the house. The lender then had an internal BPO done. That was key to getting this particular deal done. I also sent off photos and comps of my own. In some cases I’ve sent the lenders well over 100 photos. Pictures speak louder than words, and it’s critical, when the property is damaged, that the lender understand the shape it’s in. Remember – the BPO realtor may be doing up to 50 BPOs a week – he could care less about this one deal. But as listing agent I need to keep the lender informed of all issues that coincide with my client’s best interests. The second Willows BPO came back at $100,000, and the lender initially tried to obtain that figure. Ultimately, with the foreclosure sale due to occur the next day, it reduced that amount to 80% of the $100,000 plus $5,000 to pay off non-mortgage related liens. At 4.50 pm the lender agreed to stop the foreclosure sale scheduled for 11.00 am next morning.

But hey, it ain’t over ‚til the fat lady sings! Because the loss on this loan was $60,000, and because the lender had authority to settle up to $30,000 only, we had to wait for final word from the mortgage insurance company, which we eventually obtained, but not without many hours additional work.

As you see, the price of The Willows property was determined by the lender looking at the bottom line – how much net it would receive. And in order to get this number, all lenders in short sales request a „fake HUD-1“ or a „net sheet“ submitted simultaneously with the offer. In a normal real estate transaction the HUD-1 is drawn up at the end of the transaction, after agreement is reached. – in a short sale the title search is performed immediately upon listing, even before there’s an offer, so that the figures can be applied to the net sheet as soon as needed.

Terms: The most common terms distinguishing these deals are that the lender often requires terms such as „sold as is“ and „proof of finance or funds required with offer“, and to protect the seller, the realtor should insert terminology indicating seller’s acceptance is subject to release from all liability for debt. None of this is carved in stone, and I’ve negotiated repairs and other concessions from lenders. Each case is unique. Paper will suffer any indignity – write the offer!

Timing: The REO, Foreclosure and Bankruptcy departments often appear to be understaffed and overwhelmed, so don’t expect instant responses. Some will take weeks to reply. Make sure the buyer and seller understand this. But once a deal is struck, the lender will often expect an unreasonably quick closing, and will attempt to penalize you with days interest for closing after a certain date. This all goes back to the net sheet calculations; because you have informed the lender how much it will receive by a certain date, it then attempts to hold the line at that date, even though they are generally very slow to respond. The Willows lender, after having not responded to multiple contacts, gave us just 2 days within which to close! Fortunately we well prepared, but it was very close.

Closing Note

The tax consequences of short sales fall outside the scope of this article. If you want info on how to handle competing offers, dual limited agency within this environment, or need a copy of the net sheet I use, you may contact me.


Here’s a new twist. A couple of weeks ago I submitted a $235,000 offer to a lender on a short sale, (Seller owes about $275,000) which the lender ultimately accepted. However, in it’s acceptance letter, at the very bottom of the sheet, the lender stipulated that it retained its right of recourse against the seller/borrower (my client)! And this despite seemingly contrary language in the main body of the letter. I explained to the lender that the ONLY reason my client had agreed to the short sale (and not to jerk the lender around in the bankruptcy proceedings) was because he expected to obtain a complete release from all liability at closing. After a weeks or so of wrangling, attorneys etc, the lender „saw the light“ and agreed to the release.


Though the information provided is considered reliable, it is not complete, nor warranted accurate. Always consult your broker or an attorney.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Neil Blumberg

Finding The Right Estate Agent

Estate Agent Services

Finding the right Estate Agent services that can assist you when you are either buying or selling a home is very important. In fact, this decision and who you choose to work with will determine whether your buying or selling experience is a positive or a negative one. There are many agents out in the market right now, but very few of them are experienced enough to deal with both the buying and the selling aspect in a proficient manner that creates a smooth experience for both the buyer and seller. In this article we will go over a few tips on how to choose the right Estate Agent Services when you are buying or selling a home.

When You Are Buying a Home

When you are buying a home, it is important to make sure that your money is well spent. This means making sure that the property that you are investing in will appreciate in value and not lose its value soon after you buy it. In order to prevent this, when you choose an agent to work with, it is important they know how to conduct market research correctly and that they are familiar with the area(s) that you are interested in.

When you are purchasing a home, your agent will need to make sure that all structural surveys are done by reputable parties. This means any and all inspections on the home in question will need to be performed to 100% accurately. Does the home have termite damage? Has it been rebuilt due to structural inconsistencies in the last 10 years? Has the roof been replaced? All of these questions and more will need to be addressed when are considering buying a home and the right Estate Agent services can help you. And finally, a real estate agent should help you negotiate a price and be well versed in the true value of the home that you are considering buying.

When You Are Selling a Home

When you are selling a home, finding the right Estate Agent Services is important for many reasons. First, you always want to find an agent that is considerate of your time as well as polite to both you and your prospects. This means not showing up at your house unannounced and at times that are not convenient for you. A talented agent will also be able to effectively communicate with both you and your prospects and sell your home as fast as possible. All too often, agents merely „show“ a piece of property rather than „sell“ it. When you are selling your home, this process can go very smoothly or it can be a disaster, depending on whom you are working with. Saying this, be sure that the agent you choose to work with has good references in order to prevent an unfavorable experience.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by James L Parker

Is Your Real Estate Agent Responsible?

As a realtor in a very active market I often think that I have seen it all when suddenly another situation arises that literally takes me by surprise. After ten years in the business and handling seven to twelve million dollars worth of property each year you would think nothing could surprise me anymore. I was wrong.

You may wonder how much responsibility does your real estate agent bear in a transaction. To figure it out you should take consideration to what your agent could possibly know about the transaction. Do they own the home you are buying? Most likely they do not own the home so are they expected to know everything or even anything about the integrity of the home or how it was built? How could they know this information? They may know a builders reputation and can advise you according to the information they may know about the builder but every builder can easily have built a lemon. Just like any car, you could be buying one that is less than perfect.

Understand up front that your realtor is showing you many homes and there is no way that they can represent the integrity of the home. I literally sold a home that was a short sale fifteen months ago which was a short sale and the buyer agreed to buy the home in its current condition. Naturally, they were advised to have a full inspection and they complied. There were issues on the inspection that they knew about but accepted the home knowing the items that needed to be repaired.

The purchase went through with my representation on all the necessary paperwork and everything handled professionally all the way until the end of a long short sale process. The realtors responsibility is to be sure that buyer and seller come together to an agreed purchase amount, inspections are advised and done, all legal paperwork is done correctly and all parties are happy with the transaction. This was the case in this particular sale.

As the realtor, I understood my clients were thrilled with their new home and they were in the process of making some changes to the home to make it their own. All seemed to be great as far as everyone was concerned.

After fifteen months later I receive an email that the buyers wife was very upset with some things with the home. She literally accused me of selling her a lemon of a home and that I should lose my license and be sued. I was in shock, I never heard anything from them beside how happy they were with this gorgeous home. I knew that I had done everything honestly, with care and integrity so I began to investigate. Apparently, the one buyer was unhappy with things after the fact, contractors installing new flooring which has nothing to do with the sale of the home or my representation. The accusations were so unfound in fact, the other spouse did not know of these accusations and was appalled by the other spouse and their unfounded accusations and deeply apologized to me. The home apparently had a couple minor issues but nothing to make it a bad purchase.

Understand, that your realtor cannot possibly know every home they are assisting you with a purchase or even know the history of a home they are selling. We are here to do our job bringing buyers and sellers together and making sure all steps are taken to make it a good fair deal and paperwork, inspections, closing and disclosures are all in good order.

Read your paperwork, you are signing releases against your agent and broker on the integrity or building codes as well as various other things to do with the home. They do not represent the home itself, they represent you. Like anything that you purchase, you do not blame the salesperson if the product has problems after you begin using it, it is the manufacturer that is responsible for the item.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Nancy Niblett

Things To Think About When Buying A Home

Buying a home usually is a major step in a person or family’s life but that doesn’t mean that you have to make a major mistake by doing it. You can walk into a real estate agent’s office and they can promise you the world, and some can probably give it to you for the right price. Some realtors are there for your money and nothing else but you must know that all realtors are not like that. Many actually have your best interest in mind. Make sure that you know your budget and what you can truly afford and you do not go over that amount no matter what. It is not hard, that is, unless you make it that way.

Before you start your home buying adventure, you want to make sure that you review all of your monthly expenses, your income which includes whatever you have stashed away in savings and then decide on what you have left over. Be realistic. Do not leave out necessities. If you do not have any savings, or if you have trouble getting a mortgage loan, then try finding a close friend or family member that can help you with co-signing the mortgage agreement.

If you have decided on a home and you have been approved for a certain amount, then your next step is finding your perfect home in the right place. Usually a good agent can get you started right away once they have gathered enough information from you to know exactly what you are looking for. You want to pick a location that has a great school district, one that has an increasing value when it comes to the housing market and one that is low in crime statistics. Next, you should hire a home inspector to inspect the home before signing on the dotted line. This is really a good idea because the home inspector could find defects in the home that could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

The overall final issues when buying a home takes place when you are closing the deal. This happens when the money is finalized and paid and the title is transferred from the person selling the house to the person buying the house. Be prepared to sign a lot of paperwork. In some states, attorneys attached to the mortgage lender a person called a title agent who will handle all of these issues for you. They are there to protect your interests and those of the seller.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Danny Wright

Investing in Rental Real Estate

It’s interesting how rental real estate gets treated as an investment. Like Rodney Dangerfield, it gets no respect. While conventional investments like stocks and bonds get the Financial Post and the Wall Street Journal, do a search on „how to purchase real estate“ and you’ll discover all kinds of no-money down schemes that seem designed to sell books and tapes instead of investment real estate. On TV there is Report on Business TV, but for real estate you’ll see flipping shows or infomercials. It strikes me as pitiful that such a solid investment vehicle gets such a bad reputation.

It is possible to buy with no money down, but it involves arranging a high ratio mortgage, and for rental property you only do that if you have equity in other properties. In other words, if you’ve got one property free and clear its relatively easy to arrange a line of credit at prime. A $100,000 property would cost about $400 per month, plus taxes and maintenance of about $200. In short, it would carry itself and give you income to pay the financing costs.

A more common method to buy income real estate is with a deposit. Usually is you can make investment property itself with less than 40% down its probably a good deal. These kinds of properties are easier to come across in stable markets.

There are lots of reasons to own investment real estate.

Reason #1 to own income real estate is because your renters buy it for you. Even if the other benefits didn’t accrue, that on it’s own justifies the investment. But the fact is, there are more benefits to buying rental property

Reason #2 is leverage. The most effective description of how leverage works comes from the book Buy, Rent, Sell, by Lionel Needleman (Needleman is not a fast talker; in fact, he’s an accomplished author and professor with many published books and articles on housing in Great Britain and Canada. His assumptions and math is a bit simplistic, and need to be tweaked for your local market, but the book is worth looking at).

He explains leverage in the following manner: John and Mary each buy a property $100,000. After a year both houses have increased 10% in value. Both buyers sell the properties and compare the profits.

John began with $100,000, and now has $110,000, which means he has earned a 10% return on his investment. Mary, on the other hand, put $10,000 down on her property, and mortgaged the balance for$90,000. When she sells she clears off the mortgage and totals everything. She also received a $10,000 profit, but since she only invested $10,000 in the income property, she’s made a 100% return on her down payment. As you may suspect, the real kicker is that while John invested in one house, kept it for a year and then sold it with a $10,000 profit, Mary acquired 10 houses, kept them one year, and then sold them for a $100,000 profit. Both started out with $100,000, but after a year John has only got $110,000 while Mary $90,000 more. The numbers are simplified in this example, but they decisively demonstrate the magic of leverage.

Reason #3 is taxes. In most tax zones costs incurred on investment real estate is comes off income. And, you can generally incur depreciation expense on the structure that in effect are paper losses that reduce the tax burden. Depreciation works like this: we know that the value of a durable item, like a structure, decreases with the years. Even if the property is maintained perfectly, an old house is not worth the same amount of money as a new house. This loss is depreciation, and you can use that depreciation loss to decrease the total tax payable.

Of course, when we invest in income property we expect that it will go up in price, and over the long run it often does. What occurs with the depreciation in that case? The tax collector was told the property fell in price through depreciation, but at the end of the process we sold at a profit. The taxman usually says that you’ve „re-captured“ the depreciation and levy tax.

Re-capture is no fun. It’s like discovering that you’ve already spent the money that you intended on spending in the future.

There is a great solution. When you buy the investment you cut up the original investment between the building value and the property value. Without cheating you set the value of the land as low as possible and the structure as high as reasonable (do the math and you’ll see it pays to be reasonable on your splits). When the property goes up in price and you liquidate, you tell the taxman that you didn’t recapture any depreciation since the structure did depreciate, while the land increased in value. This profit is capital gain, and capital gain is usually taxed at lower rates than income like…rent. You depreciate the money you make when you earn it as rent, and pay tax on it when it comes from capital gain.

Owning income producing property also enables you to write off the costs of things that you might have bought anyway, from office supplies to a trip to see the property.

Reason #4 is capital gain. Capital gain doesn’t always happen, but it often does. As we’ve seen with leverage, the capital gain can be leveraged. Even better, the capital gain can, sometimes, be greater than what some folks earn in a year of work.

Reason #5 puts everything together by combining cash flow, leverage, and tax planning. Rental real estate generate cash flow. Initially the cash flow could be neutral or even negative, but after some time it will often becomes positive. When it does you need to pay income tax on the excess rent. The solution for that is to re-mortgage and incur additional interest cost, reducing your taxes. You also re-leverage your initial property. The next step is to take that money and buy another income property. You pay no income tax, incur more depreciation, and still earn a capital gain. Better yet, with two properties you spread the risk, and when the time comes to sell you can stretch out the timeline and sell the properties in different years to minimize tax.

It can’t be repeated enough that you need to buy income property wisely. You need to know the location and the potential tenant. Properties that are desirable and are in a desirable area stay rented. „Desirable“ doesn’t have to be „mansion“, but warm, clean, dry and well priced are critical. Whether you buy a 1 bedroom apartment or a three bedroom house with a suite isn’t important.

Metrics are critical. The first is price-to-rent ratio. What that means is that you take the price, say $100,000, and divide the rent, say $1000/month, into that. In this case the result would be 100. Numbers between 75 and 175 are great, but never forget that projected capital gains and interest rates impact what numbers you go with. Low interest rates permit higher numbers, and solid capital gain projections will demand higher numbers. Over 200 is no good in almost every location unless all you need is dependable income, aren’t concerned about capital gain or don’t ever plan to sell.

Another excellent metric is the break even rate. This is the percentage of the price need for a down payment to allow the realistic rent to carry the property. The rent has to be a) market rent, not „hoped for“ rent, and b) net rent, not gross rent. If the investment will carry at less than 45% down its worth looking at. Clearly, if interest rates are low the net rent will carry more, meaning the break even rate can be high. Remember that low rates don’t last forever, so unless you can lock in very long term you have to assume that the break even rate to be low in low interest rate environments, and can be higher in higher interest rate environments.

If you discover a piece of property that has a desirable price to rent ratio and a desirable break even rate (and is in a good area and isn’t a bad idea), its worth throwing the numbers onto a spreadsheet and determining the internal rate of return (a real estate investment metric that combines various income streams) and projected cash on sale. There are spreadsheets and programs that can calculate this for you, but the key is „GIGO“ – garbage in, garbage out. Use correct taxes, the correct interest rates, your projections of income tax rate, and realistic estimates of capital gain and maintenance. Properties in bustling urban areas generally go up in value more than properties in rural or depressed locales. They also often have what seem to be inferior metrics – a downtown city condo could have a much worse price to rent and break even point than small house in a mill town. However, capital appreciation in a rural area is likely much riskier. Measuring mortgage pay down and tax benefits on a detailed spreadsheet let’s you fairly evaluate exactly how competing investments compare.

It would be foolish to ignore the issue of a property bubble, or crash. Buying on metrics both helps and hinders. It helps because if you are hard-nosed with break even rates and rent multipliers you wouldn’t purchase overpriced investment property (underpriced income property doesn’t really turn up in a bubble, and it doesn’t crash in value). It hinders because you can’t buy on metrics in a bubble, no matter how much you want to, because metric compliant properties don’t exist.

The other side of this is that when a market crashes there are lots of metric compliant properties, but often little mortgage financing and plenty of scared buyers and stressed sellers.

All in all, a balanced market is the optimum for purchasers, although buyers who acquire on metrics and exit the market near the peak often feel like they’ve hit the jackpot.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Rob Chipman

6 Tips for Home Buying Right Now

1. Get pre-approved for a loan.

Most sellers require a pre-approval letter along with your written offer. You should have it ready to go so that when you find the right home there is no delay getting your offer submitted. There’s a lot of confusion about pre-approved vs. pre-qualified… even Realtors sometimes use the terms interchangeably! But the pre-approval is the real deal. With a pre-approval, the lender has run your credit, and you will usually have filled out a loan application and provided documentation to the lender, who will then tell you the amount for which you are approved. With the pre-qualification, you will typically have provided some information verbally to the lender about your credit, income and assets, and the lender will give you a ballpark amount for which you are likely to be approved. Sometimes a pre-qualification letter will be sufficient; the main thing is to talk to a lender before you start looking at homes.

2. Decide if short sales and bank-owned properties are for you.

Don’t waste your time looking at properties that don’t meet your home-buying needs. Each of these types of sales has its own challenges for the home buyer, so it is important to know the basics of each and decide if either one fits in with your game plan. For example, if you need to get into a new home within a fairly short time frame, a short sale may not work for you, as they frequently take many months to complete. And bank-owned properties are often in need of work, which can add to the overall cost, or make it difficult to get certain types of loans. If you can be patient with a short sale, or have the ability and/or resources to fix up a bank-owned home, these could be excellent avenues to explore. If not, tell your Realtor® to skip the short sales and bank-owned houses.

3. Check out neighborhoods ahead of time.

One of the best things you can do at the start of your home-buying project is to take a weekend or two and cruise around various areas and subdivisions, especially if you are new to the area. Tell your Realtor which neighborhoods hold the greatest appeal for you – it will really help her understand the type of home you want and your taste in houses. Some buyers are looking for newer homes in areas with lots of families and kids; others prefer the quieter, „mature“ neighborhoods. Fortunately, there’s something out there for everyone, and a real estate agent who has plenty of local area expertise and knowledge will be a huge help in finding those neighborhoods that are hidden gems.

4. Make time for house-hunting.

Don’t plan to only go to showings on the weekend – in this market that’s not a winning strategy. There is actually a shortage of well-priced homes in good condition, and the ones that are also in a desirable location sell almost immediately. If you’re serious about finding your dream home, clear the decks and be ready to jump when your Realtor tells you a new listing just hit the market that fits your requirements. And more importantly – be ready to make an offer if it is the right house. It could easily be gone in a day or two.

5. Don’t waste time on houses that are already sold!

Do you spend your spare time house-hunting on Zillow, or Trulia? Or driving around and calling about houses with signs out front? Then you’ve probably already learned that a huge number of those homes – which appear to be for sale – are not really available. They are very often „under contract“ which simply means that another buyer made an offer that was accepted by the seller. These often still show as available on the public real estate websites, but in most cases the sale will close in a few weeks. Work with a Realtor® who will set up a custom search for you so you can focus on just those homes that meet your criteria and are actually still available.

6. And of course, the most important thing is to find a really professional and client-oriented Realtor!

A great agent will make your home buying experience smoother and more enjoyable. Get referrals from friends or family who’ve recently had a good home-buying experience, or call or email a few local agents. See which ones are responsive and return your call or email right away, and get a feel for how professional and knowledgeable they are about the local area and current market conditions. Also check out their commitment to their clients in terms of training above and beyond that needed to get a real estate license. Realtors® who work diligently on behalf of their clients have often invested in advanced training and designations such as:

  • GRI – Graduate Realtor Institute, only 19% of Realtors®
  • ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative, only 15% of Realtors®
  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist, only 10% of Realtors®


We hope these tips are helpful, and wish you success in your house-hunting!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Debra L Bellmaine

How Smart Buyers Use the "Mobile Real Estate Information Center", AKA "Realtor Open House"

There are many benefits to opening a house for sale on a Sunday afternoon. It saves having to make an appointment to see it, and it makes it convenient for everybody in the family to come together to tour properties. The seller benefits by having more people see the house in one afternoon instead of individual appointments. Most of the time however, visitors dismiss the help offered by the Realtor hosting the Open House and are reluctant to provide any information or ask any questions.

When visiting my Open House, do not be shy! ask questions and listen carefully, the information you need to make an informed decision is right there in front of you! I am the „Mobile Real Estate Information Center“ and I am here for a reason: I want to give you all the information you need to help you purchase a home, maybe even this one.

I know this house very well, I know when it was built, how long it is been on the market, what type of inspections are available, what type of work is needed, why the seller is moving. I also know the neighborhood well, ask me about proximity to schools, shopping centers, public transportation, demographics, theaters, I also know exactly how far is the library or the post office for example.

Before the Open House I print and bring with me a CMA (Comparative market Analysis) of the property so not only can I show how this house compares to others in the same area, but also what other houses have sold recently in the proximity. If this particular house is too big or too small, I have a list of other homes available for sale, I can share some addresses with you right there and then.

I might even have valuable and timely „inside information“ of homes about to come on the market, bank owned or foreclosed properties that I know are going to be listed soon. This information is potentially profitable for you Mr./Ms. home buyer… Just talk to me!

Even though I am not a loan officer, I know what the prevailing interest rates are and can quickly calculate your monthly mortgage payments with taxes and insurance, I can give you an idea of what your closing costs would be, I can even pre-qualify you on the spot! If I know what type of financing you need, I can tell you what type of documents you will need to get ready.

I am NOT just a Door Greeter, I can talk to you about investment properties, I can tell you some of the biggest tax consequences and/or benefits of owning a residence or an investment property. I can highlight to you the benefits of a tax deferred 1031 exchange and much more.

For me being at an Open House is like bringing my real estate office out on a road trip… Who benefits the most from my experience? Those who dare to talk to me about their real estate goals and dreams, you can pick my brain, I am committed to stay on that house for 4 hours so take your time!

Studies have shown that people are far more relaxed and willing to communicate with others on a weekend, they are more autonomous, they have time to slow down. Do not rush through the Open House, slow down and take full advantage of my 25+ years of experience and knowledge, it is all there for the taking! If you are not in my area, call me and tell me where you want to go, I will then put you in contact with the most active professional Realtor in that area… for FREE!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Antonio Cardenas

Sell Your Ebook With An Easy Payment Process – P1

Have you finished your e-book and ready to sell? Or if you are like me and other non-techies you want to get the payment system worked out before writing your book. You may consider this the hard part. If you are thinking that way keep reading you’ll find out it’s not.

It’s true plastic money is what turns the wheels of ecommerce or to put it another way ‚the gas that burns in the engine of ecommerce.‘ Therefore, you must be able to receive payments online so that your money-making ability is not hindered.

One of my clients with a resume service told me about the horrors she had with collecting payment using the regular check system. She told of how she got burned quite a few times. So along with her new business website including a career help and resume section, she wanted to receive payment online.

A friend of hers had described receiving payment over the internet and how fast and easy it could be. She was thinking she wasn’t ready for a merchant account but still wanted the ability to accept payment online.

Of course, being the good web developer that I am; I gave her several options to choose from just like I am about to give you. She chose Paypal to begin her selling experience online. Last time, I checked with her she was very pleased and had done numerous resumes and received full payment online.

Setting up your payment system is a necessary function of selling your ebook (information product) online. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as it may sound. In fact, it can be as easy as a one time setup with very little ongoing maintenance.

Free enterprise has advanced. It used to be very expensive to get a merchant account. There are now many professional companies on the Internet which are ready to help you get setup. If you are not ready for a merchant account there are also numerous 3rd party companies that will process your orders for you. All you need do is link your web site to their secure servers.

Merchant Accounts

If you decide to get a merchant account, you need access to a secure server and a shopping cart system. A secure server will protect your customers‘ information. Many companies that provide shopping cart systems require that you purchase a secure server license commonly called SSL. The shopping cart system will provide your customers with a total of what they have ordered, tax, shipping and the total cost.

The following website can provide you with a merchant account:

Total Merchant Services (TMS)

The TMS Merchant account, for Internet transactions, will enable you to accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. They offer two merchant processing software packages to choose from. The first package is the TotalPay powered by Authorize.Net(TM) Virtual Terminal. This package will enable you to authorize, process, and manage credit card transactions from any computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser.

Shoe String Budget Tip: If you are ready to invest in your own merchant account, be sure to shop around. At the time of this writing, the market was competitive with several companies offering Free Merchant Account Setup if you purchased their service. (waiving the steep setup price usually associated with merchant accounts)

In order to profitably sell your ebooks or other information products on the Internet, you must accept credit cards. Additionally, to sell effectively, you must make the ordering process as simple as possible for your customers. With the advance of technology and free commerce, even the smallest home business can now accept credit cards almost instantly. Choose one of the web sites listed above and get your ebook selling website up today. Best wishes for your wildly successful ebook.


Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Earma Brown

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