3 Non-traditional ways to purchase real estate in today's market
Other ways to finance real estate transactions without FHA or Conventional loans Although there are many creative ways to structure real estate deals I will cover the ones that I have dealt with the most, which also the most commonly used are in today’s market. Before I get into the specifics I would like to give some basic foundation regarding current market trends in the area over the past 15 years. Let me say that today’s real estate market (especially in the Miami Valley) is very unique in that for the most part, we are in a buyer’s market (exclusions do exist within the market), which means that there is an excess of homes as a result of the 2007 housing bubble which caused many families to lose their homes. In addition to that, Greater Dayton areas (especially inner city Dayton, Trotwood and Springfield) have been experiencing a steady decline in the population due to families leaving the area to find opportunities in other areas such as Columbus, and other growing cities with positive population growth. As a result of these trends, the market is saturated with homes (particularly Northwest “Old” Dayton, and West Dayton) that are bad shape and need repairs or simply that need to be torn down. There are entire neighborhoods (ex: Santa Clara in “Old” Dayton) which is plagued by boarded up homes and businesses. The reason this is important is because the neighborhoods become transformed and begin to detract families and instead where once there was a neighborhood with a large concentration of families is now full of single individuals or families that are renting. Many people in the poor neighborhoods understand that, their homes will not be homes that they can sell to first time home buyers, as the banks are less likely to give a loan for a home in the middle of a “war zone”, for obvious reasons. One of the reasons being is it takes just as much time to process a loan for a $200,000 USD home as it does for a $20,000 USD home and the pace of the profit is much slower with a cheap home. This means that the majority of the times, the people that are going to buy the homes in the poor neighborhoods are cash investors and savvy investors that know how to structure mutuality deals where both parties are satisfied, and both are getting paid. One of my favorite strategies to utilize in situations described above is to do a land contract. There are many different ways by which a land contract can be structured but overall the concepts are universal. The buyer pays a minimal down payment to the seller, the two party’s sign a legally binding contract (seller pays the closing and recording fees. $350-$410), the contract gets recorded at the recorder’s office, and the buyer pays the seller a monthly “mortgage” payment each and every month. The seller does have some equitable rights to the property now (this is very important) and he/she can fix it up to sell it (for a profit or to live in). Essentially the seller is playing the role of the bank in financing the individual. ALWAYS remember to have your contracts reviewed by an attorney/title agent ahead of time to make sure all parties are on the same page with the deal. Secondly, the other way to close on a home is by paying with cash. This strategy is particularly useful when dealing with foreclosed homes which are sold as-is. Foreclosed means that the previous owners could not make the payments and the bank took the home back. 80% of the time, the home has been sitting for a couple months to a year or more and there is a good chance that it has been vandalized and has been stripped of copper pipes, electric wires, appliances, Water heater, A/C unit, furnace, the list goes on. A lot of times people cannot qualify for a loan when purchasing distressed properties that require complete overhauls to get them up and ready to be livable. This is why, one of the best ways in today’s market to get access to quick cash is by borrowing the money from a credit card (if you have good credit, usually above 720) which usually has a low, if any, interest associated with the credit card for the first 12-18 months. The benefit to this strategy is that with a credit card, there is no collateral, which means that if for some reason you default on your credit card and cannot make your payments, the credit card cannot take the house for which you already paid for! However the downfall is, if you don’t make monthly payments and the interest associated with the card you may get into trouble which will negatively affect your credit score for the next 7 years. So you must be very careful when borrowing money from a credit card as the interest rate is usually high after the initial 12-18 months (13.99-27.99%). Thirdly, you can often times do what is called a rent with an option to buy or more commonly called rent-to-own. Rent to own deals have their own quirks. The owner allows the tenants a period (which is negotiable) to come up with a certain amount of money of down payment (I usually pay between 10-20%) within a certain period of time (also negotiated) while also paying a rent at the same time. Here is an example, Tenants A want to purchase their rental house for $50,000.00 and the landlord agrees to that price. Tenants A will put down a total of 20% (10% right now and save the other 10% over a period of 1 year) so this means that $50,000x.10=$5,000.00 down now, and another $5,000.00 that will need to be saved in an account (which the landlord legally cannot use until after the first year). This means that each month the Tenants need to put $5,000.00/12 months=$416.67 to save enough money to have the entire down payment of 20% by the end of the first year (this is important). The trick is that for some reason you do not have the entire down payment, the landlord can technically keep the entire down payment, as a result of your breach in the contract. Also keep in mind that while you are saving the $416.67 a month you are also responsible for paying the rent at the same time, which could be another $416.67 or a total of $833.33 per month. So this means that your monthly income to be able to afford this type of deal would need to be at least $2,500.00, or 3 times the amount of rent. The benefit of doing a rent-to-own is that you are still only renting, but the option to buy is there available for you to utilize in case you wanted to own your own piece of the American Dream. The down fall is that, if you started saving money as a down payment and do not end up saving enough in the time frame agreed to, you can kiss it goodbye. There are other ways to finance deals in real estate, however these methods are the most practical and widely used in today’s local market. Joint venture cash deals can also be profitable. Join me in Blog 3 in which will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of RENTING vs. BUYING a home Cheers!
BLOG 3: Renting VS. Owning your home
Thank you for joining me this week to discuss the topic of renting vs. buying your home. I would like to start out by saying that I personally believe that there is nothing more rewarding that owning your own home and can bring a host of other benefits as well. However, renting can be a good choice as well, especially if you are not yet ready to take the next step into homeownership. Without further to do, let’s dive in! BACKGROUND In 2014, Dayton was ranked at number 6 amongst the top most affordable cities in the USA to purchase a home (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/2014-most-affordable-cities_n_4554763.html). This is mostly due to the fact that may people have moved out of the Miami Valley and as a result there is a saturated housing market coupled with a low demand causing the average price of the homes to decrease. In 2014, Springfield was ranked 2nd most affordable small city in the country. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/top-affordable-small-cities_n_4943698.html) RENTING: Pros: Relatively high rent even in less desirable neighborhoods Short-term/short obligation Fixed cost Low down payment Low-no credit ok, low income ok (must at least make 3x of what the rent is) Can do sublease (if permitting of contract) and make money from your rental If you rent an apartment in a quad-plex and have the ability to sublease the other 3 units you can make a modest income from “managing” the other 2 units of the plex Cons: Uncertainty Not building any equity but simply making your landlord richer BUYING/OWNING: Pros: Miami Valley market is very affordable Brings stability Appreciation of value/proportional to inflation Interest is tax-deductible (if using itemized deduction) HELOC (Home equity line of credit) allows you to borrow money against your home Debt pay down Purchase home with instant equity. This means finding a deal that is below market value and buying it. Example finding a home that is selling for $50,000 but comparables/inspection show that in current condition it’s worth $80,000 which means there is $30,000 of instant equity! You can then use the $30,000 as a HELOC to invest in even more properties. Homestead in certain states. Cons: Unforeseen repairs. For older homes will be more overall and for new construction will be very low for the first 5-10 years. Transactional costs are usually 10% of the sale price and this is why you need to stay in your home for a minimum of 4 years so that if you were to sell it, you would break even. Owners have a tendency to over improve their property to their liking Need high down payment (3.5% with FHA and around 10-20% with Conventional loan) Need relatively good credit score of at least 600 to qualify for a loan Long-term commitment so plan to stay in your home for a minimum of 4 years (to cover the transactional 10% cost)
Blog 4: What you should know before buying a home
There are many things to consider when thinking about buying a house, which typically is the biggest single investment one will make in their lifetime. This is why you want to be able to protect your investment from the get go by taking into consideration the following things. There are three main things to do before closing the home. The ...thing that will protect your asset from any prior interest in the property (such as dowers, liens, and other potential problems which will prevent the transfer of 100% of the interests of the property). Marketable Title Act allows title companies to search 40 years into the history of the property and if no discrepancies are found, the closing follows. A title search is relatively cheap (few hundred dollars) and in Ohio, typically the seller covers up to $300 of the cost. A title search is well worth the couple hundred dollars, especially since the seller can typically cover a large portion of it. So, DO it, no if's and's or but's about it. There are other things that need to be completed before the contract is signed and deed is transferred (remember: deed is NOT a title. You only get the title once you have paid off the entire mortgage). One, make sure to get all of the inspections completed even if you are paying cash and they are not required. A lot of experienced investors that buy homes can estimate repairs fairly well (and more often than not do not get inspections done) but it doesn't hurt to get a second opinion. But first time homeowners who don't have any experience in construction should certainly get all of the inspections. Ohio is a "let a buyer be aware" state so the responsibility for detecting latent defects (hidden) are for the buyer to discover before closing on the property. Judges will not be sympathetic to your cause as a buyer if you file a complaint regarding a problem with the house, especially if the inspections were not performed. Two, get a home owners warranty which usually costs around $300-$429 in case within the first year the house has any major problems that require extensive work. An example is if the furnace stops working, you simply pay a deductible and your furnace will be replaced or repaired at no expense to you. Three, home owners policy insurance is also another mechanism that assures your investment is safe, the average policies range in price but usually about $1,000.00-$2,000.00 is what you can expect to pay for a year of coverage. This policy protects you from a host of potential liabilities such as wind damage, fire damage amongst others (flood insurance usually has to be bought separately). Lastly it is important to keep in mind the taxes which are collected bi-yearly by the country treasurer office. You can either pay the taxes separately of your mortgage or you can include them in your overall mortgage payment (depending on what the mortgage says). I hope to have answered at least some of your questions with this blog regarding the house purchase process and if you have any further questions feel free to comment on the blog!
Blog 5: Is your home ready for winter? Blog 5: What you need to do to get your house ready for winter
These are some of the most common tips which will save you a lot money in the long run. Note: These are suggestions rather than a to-do list, may not apply to all situations FOR HOMEOWNERS AND INVESTORS #1. Change your furnace filter and get a tune-up/Carbon Monoxide inspection from a Specialist. Around $100.00 MacAfee (A+ with BBB) for each yearly tune-up. This will save you hundreds if not thousands over the lifetime of the furnace. #2. Clean gutters and re-hang them as necessary to assure proper drainage. A lot of people disregard this but it is CRITICAL to have a good foundation. #3. Have your water heater and water lines insulated. #4. Make sure all of the windows are closed with the latch. If old single hung windows, consider replacing. Usually standard window about $200.00 each. #5. Tune-up temperature of water heater. Around 125o C preferably. #6. Check for door and window drafts. Use adhesive insulation tape to seal up cracks where air escapes in. If a draft is still coming through, wrap the entire frame of the window with a plastic bag using double sided tape. #7. Roofing work, if needed. Make sure to get it done while it’s still warm otherwise it will be more expensive in the winter time. Check the integrity of the roof to make sure NO torn off shingles are present and that boots surrounding all roof protruding pipes. Furthermore, check flashing around the chimney and if needed, replace t. Lastly, check the integrity of the chimney (make sure it’s not crumbling and blocking the chimney liner.) Make sure to get it done before it gets cold. #7. Get your chimney cleaned, if use your fireplace for heating. #8. Add root killer to your drain line (if you have bushes or large trees in your front yard). #9: Buy rock salt for stairs and sidewalks and keep extra, just in case. #10: Shut off valve for your exterior spicket and drain the line. #13. Install programmable thermostat and keep the temperature constant in the house. #14. Switch the flow produced by your ceiling fans by reversing the rotation of the blades to force the hot air down. #15. Consider adding insulation to your attic or walls. #16. Open up blinds in the day to let heat in and close them up in the evening time to retain heat. #17. Spray the foundation and around all doors and windows bug repellant spray because once it’s cold the pests will want to get in. #18. If you have time or hardwood floors, a couple area rugs would be good for insulation especially if you prefer walking bare foot. #19. Power wash the siding, windows, gutters, doors, screens, down spouts, foundation, sidewalk, etc. to maintain the integrity of the curb appeal. VACANT INVESTMENT PROPERTIES TIP #1 Rule: of vacant investment property*** If you have a property that is VACANT in the winter time, you must make sure to do the following: Winterize the water lines Or Drain all of the water from the water lines so they do not freeze and explode. Or Get ready to replace the entire water supply plumbing system If the house is left over the winter without being winterized or having all of the water emptied from the water lines, what will happen is ice will build up and cause the (usually) cooper pipe to “split open” in various spots and will usually cause for the entire house to need new plumbing to be installed throughout the entire house. The new water line material is called PEX, and it does not “split open” if it’s not winterized, and it is not worth stealing, unlike cooper. Lastly, 100 Ft. of PEX costs only around $26.00 in comparison to cooper which would be significantly greater.
BLOG 6: HOW TO AND HOW NOT TO DETERMINE PROPERTY VALUE OF A HOME IN TODAY'S MARKET
This is a very commonly misunderstood concept in Real Estate as many people try to determine property values by using things like Zillow.com or the County Auditor Assessments. The reason why using Zillow “Zestimates” are not a good idea is because the values are based on a mathematic algorithm that takes into considerations the size of the home, the number of bedroom, etc but it does not recognize if the house is in the cul-de-sac of a quiet neighborhood or a home surrounded by boarded up properties. In other words, Zillow does not understand the location factor. On the other hand, the Auditor assessment is a starting point, but tends to be off as well because the interior condition of the house is not taken into consideration when determining the value. In addition, the values are determined only every 6 years! The most accepted method of determining value in the professional real estate and appraisal community is by using the Comparative Market Analysis method (CMA) which compares homes which are similar in size, structure, age, etc. that sold in the past 6 months within a ½ mile radius. Using this data has proven to be the most accurate form of determining value. This is one of the main reasons that less than 10% of all For Sale By Owners (FSBO) are unable to sell their houses, because they are relying on the wrong data which causes the value to usually be too high. Contact your local Real Estate Expert for the most accurate estimate. BLOG 7 will discuss WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR HOME ASSESED BY A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL YEARLY. Make sure to like our facebook page www.facebook.com/comfortlivingohiollc
Blog 7: FOR PROPERTY OWNERS:
FOR PROPERTY OWNERS: So many people don't know this trick that can save you HUNDREDS IN PROPERTY TAXES PER YEAR. Do you own real estate which is assessed by your county for MUCH HIGHER than it really is worth on the open market? This means that you are over paying for your city taxes and will continue to until the taxes are reassessed every 6 years (a lot of time they will still be off). As a Re...al Estate Agent I can help you establish a Fair Market Value for your home (based on comparable sales) which you can take to your county and file for petition of taxes (usually the first 3 months of every year, may vary by county). Upon examining your claim, your county will adjust your taxes to reflect the conditions of the market, rather an inaccurate algorithm estimate (restrictions apply to foreclosed homes and others). Call today to get an accurate estimate of your property value FOR FREE! 937.631.5562 Make sure to like and comment on our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/comfortlivingohiollc
Blog 8 BASED ON YOUR SITUATION SHOULD YOU RENT OR BUY A HOME?
BASED ON YOUR SITUATION SHOULD YOU RENT OR BUY A HOME? Owning a house, usually, is the most expense thing a person will ever own. Homeownership is dubbed “the American Dream” and that’s one of the reasons people chose to own a home versus renting. Others choose to a house because it can be cheaper to own rather than renting. For others, the flexibility of being able to move at an instant notice is a must, so those people should prefer to rent. These following questions will are meant to guide you to draw a conclusion. Do you have a down payment (>3% of sale price)? Do you have a credit score over 620? Have you been prequalified? Can you afford the payment? Are you planning on living in that home for more than 4 years? Do you have a house emergency fund? (>$1,000) Are you ready more responsibilities to manage (including home maintenance, paying mortgage, Taxes and insurance on time?) Do you have any experience with general home maintenance? Do you know reliable BBB Accredited professionals in case of an emergency? Do you understand the type of home insurance policy you have (repair costs vs. depreciation)? Are you planning on being deployed or out of the country for any extended periods of time? Feel free to share to the discussion of what should be considered when considering renting and buying! ******Survey******* When you started your home search which means did you use to find the home of your dreams? (Real Estate agent, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Craigslist.com, Drive-by/Open Houses, etc.) Please answer BELOW
BLOG 9: What it takes to be an EFFECTIVE property manager
BLOG 9: What it takes to be an EFFECTIVE property manager Many times you hear of property owners that simply do not have what it takes to be an effective property manager as they have non-paying tenants and/or have horror stories about what their tenants do to their property. I will break down what it takes to be an effective Property Manager. Educate yourself on your local laws regarding the Landlord and Tenant Rights (Ohio Revised Code). If you do not evict non-paying tenants you are doing all of you fellow landlords a disservice because future landlords will not know that these tenants are bad and then it becomes the job of the next landlord to evict. 3 day eviction notice is a SPECIFICALLY WORDED DOCUMENT and cannot be altered. It must be served no earlier than 3 days after the payment date (weekends are not included). As harsh as it sound, YOU MUST train you tenants like you do pets. If they are late, you make them pay a late fee. If you don’t, they will continue to constantly be late and this will cause you a lot of headache down the road. Get all of the expectations out up front so there are no surprises later. (payment date, late fees, yard maintenance, paying for utilities, when eviction will be served, how to correspond with you, etc.) Get everything in writing including contract, addendums, and any warnings just in case you have to present them in court. The more that’s documented the better. Don’t forget that you are the owner of the property so that means it’s your responsibility is to discover any hidden problems with the house. I would encourage conducting quarterly inspections on the property to make sure that the tenants are obeying the contract and all systems of the house functioning properly. If any part of the contract is breached you need to send a written letter to your tenants explaining the problem and the solution for the problem whether that’s a verbal warning, fine, or eviction. Know how to run background checks and make sure to verify EVERYTHING your potential tenants are telling you. Many times, the tenants will not be truthful for one reason or another so you have to make sure to do your due diligence and verify everything. This is why I charge $35.00 to process each application. I use www.beenverified.com Get an attorney on your side that has experience with evictions and one that answer questions for you regarding landlord/tenants rights. Usually an eviction will cost you $200-$300 if done with a lawyer and about $150 if you file it yourself. Get to know your local experts such as HVAC companies, plumbers, electricians, roofers and other specialists whom you will need when things go bad, which they will. Keep their numbers handy. Keep track of all of the income and expenses so that way when its time to file taxes you are ready to go. Stay on top of keeping track, do not save up until the end of the year. Make repairs as needed, do not let things go. Do not become a slumlord. Treat your tenants with the out most professionalism and expect the same in return. If you charging your tenants a deposit which is greater than the monthly rent, you have to return their deposit (at the end of their term) with interest on the difference, over the entire rental period. There are good reasons to charge tenants an extra deposit especially if they had problems with their previous landlord, had an eviction, etc. Most importantly, take care of you tenants and treat them with honesty and respect and maintain the property and you will be surprised how your tenants will respond back. Feel free to comment below and i will respond ASAP. Thanks for reading! Arthur
Blog 10 What you should know before hiring a contractor?
What you should know before hiring a contractor? How should you decide who to hire? When choosing for a reliable contractor make sure that he/she is licensed, insured and bonded because that way in case there is any injury while on the premise, or in case there is any damage done to the property while the project is underway (ei. you're having your roof replaced and its rains and damages the drywall). How should you pay of the contractor? You should have the entire job written in a contract and the entire job should be broken down into manageable and clearly defined chunks. Once a milestone has been completed 100% then and only then will the contract get a draw/part of the payment. This means that if you have 10 windows to install and each window costs $200 each (material and labor), you can break the job into 2 parts. Once the first 5 windows are installed you can pay out $1,000 and once the other 5 windows are installed you pay the other $1000. DO NOT pay ahead of time! I repeat, DO NOT PAY AHEAD OF TIME. Should you have a contract printed and signed? Absolutely! Anytime anybody is doing work for you make sure you are signing a contract with them to make sure that both you and the contractor understand the scope of the project. Any additional work that is not covered by the contract should be added as an addendum. Once the job has been completed in its entirety, make sure to sign whats called a "Final and Unconditional Waiver of Lien" which shows that both parties are satisfied with the work completed AND that the contractor cannot put a mechanics lien on your property. Stay tuned for tomorrow's BLOG 11 which will look at HOW TO HAVE AN IMPECCABLE RENTAL APPLICATION AND WHAT INFORMATION YOU NEED TO COLLECT FROM YOUR TENANTS. Thanks for tuning in! Until tomorrow
Blog 11: Impeccable Rental Apps
You need to have an application that asks all of the important questions. The most important things that should be included in the application are the names of all of the people that will be living on the premise. It will require a social security number, previous address(es), previous landlord and his/her number, current and previous empoyeer, current bank account and lastly it should have several professional references preferrably from a doctor or a lawyer (not mom and dad). You also want to check the county municipal records for evictions and other criminal history. I would also get a monthly subscription to on a site like beenverified.com and search the applicant to make sure they do not have any criminal history across the country. Why do you need all of this info you ask? The easiest way to answer that is because you want to be as informed as possible about who you will be renting your property to. You want your tenants to be good stewards of the home, to take care of it and to be able to pay in case there are significant damages do to it. You want to have the bank account info and the current employeer so that way in case you do evict their damages are not covered by the deposit, and a judge issues damages to you. The way that you collect those damages is to file for wage garnishments from the employeer or from the bank account. Other important things to consider: Do they have pets? Pets can cause extensive, irreverisble damage so you may want to take an extra pet deposit and charge a monthly fee per pet. Are they smokers? Smoke odor absorbs in the walls and stains surfaces not to mention increases the risk of a fire. How many people will be living at the premise? You want to have an idea of who is residing in your home. You must be clear with your tenants that people that are not permanant residents should not be living at the premise without first passing it before you in writting otherwise your house could become a "hotel". Are they a registered sex offender? Are they a felon or is anybody that will be living in the house a felon? Stay tuned for tomorrow's BLOG 12 which will breakdown the WHY HIRE A PROFESIONAL AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME VS. SELLING IT AS A FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO)? Have a great evening!
Blog 12: What makes Springfield such a UNIQUE Mid-Western City
Blog 12: What makes Springfield such a UNIQUE Mid-Western City Location: Located in between Dayton and Columbus this conveniently location allows for easy access to I-70 (E and W) and 20 minutes from I-75 interchange. It’s is very seldom that there is congestion on the freeways so this makes it an ideal place for distribution. Furthermore, Springfield is roughly 1.25 hours from Cincinnati and 2.5 hours from Cleveland. Education: One of the best Liberal Arts Schools in the Nation, Wittenberg University, is located in the Heart of Springfield. Wittenberg is a highly recognized higher institution most notably for having the most Professors of the Year, as well as top 10 most beautiful campuses in the country! Clark State Community College has a very positive influence on our community as there are 2 campuses in Springfield. There are numerous degrees that are offered including but limited to criminal justice, nursing, and many more. Springfield Police Academy is located here as well. Springfield is home to many schools from Public to Catholic and everything in between. Economy: Springfield and has a relatively diversified economic base composed of manufacturing (Navistar), outsources telephone service (Assurant), food service (Dole, Klosterman), Retail sector (Springfield Commons, Park Shopping Center, Upper Valley Mall), Health Care (Springfield Regional Medical Center), education (Wittenberg University, Clark State CC), Car dealerships (Jeff Wyler, Bill Marine, Foreman), Military (Springfield Air National Guard, Wright-Patt Air Force Base), Corporate HQ (Speedway). Here is the full list of top employers: http://www.ci.springfield.oh.us/Bus/pdf/Top.pdf Recreation: Springfield offers a Reservoir (CJ Brown) which has trails, swimming, fishing, boating, camping ground with cabins, a beach, picnic grounds, walking/jogging/biking. Located minutes from downtown this place is truly one of a kind. There are a ton of parks (Davey Moore, Lagonda, etc.) all across Springfield most notably Snyder Park which spans several miles and offers walking, jogging, biking, kids play area, tennis courts, football field, horse shoe courts, picnic area, baseball field, Arboretum (coming in 2015 at the old Snyder Park Golf Course). This is one of the oldest parks in Springfield and is one of the most beautiful. George Roger Clark is a historic park located 3 miles West of Springfield. It is the birthplace of the great Shawnee Indian leader Tecumseh. This park offers numerous trails, Native village, fishing lake, picnic area and much more. Historic Frank Lloyd Wright Mansion Some of the longest bike paths in the country run through Springfield! Unique Real Estate Market: This year Springfield was ranked #2 most affordable city in the US for a city its size. With low prices and high inventory, much of Springfield is a Buyers Market however there are some highly desirable neighborhoods that are Sellers Markets. Subdivision development is occurring in Moorefield Township but overall the inventory is staying relatively the same. Across the board, prices of homes are relatively the same since 2009. Look for prices to go back up in the next couple of years as we continue to rebound from the 2007 housing crash. Most of the houses that sold were in the $100,000-150,000 price range and only 4 homes priced at $400,000+ sold in the past year.
Blog 13: 15 Home Safety 101 Tips
15 Home Safety 101 Tips These are some of the most common things that you should do to stay safe in your home. 1. When you know you are not going to be home for an extended periods of time , buy several timers and plug lamps and radios in and have them turn on at set times during the day and night to make it look and sound like somebody is at home. 2. Make sure to have a dead bolt on all of your doors because when only the knob lock can be broken into using a simple credit card. 3. Make sure all of your windows can be properly locked. Make sure you close up all of your blinds/curtains so that way others cannot see directly into the house to see what valuables you have. 4. Install motion sensor lights around your property including around the garage and/or all of the doors. You can also simply install a set of lights that are on a timer and turn on whenever you want them to. 5. If you keep a spare key hidden outside make sure to keep it in a safe place that cannot be easily found. 6. If you have an investment property that is sitting vacant you can put boards/bars up on the windows that could be possibly be broken in through if left unsecured (windows that are hidden from direct view of people). 7. Install a security system in the house including video cameras. If you don't want to install the entire system you can simply buy fake cameras which look real, and work very well. You can get some fake cameras for around $15.00 a piece. 8. Put up signs on the windows warning others that there is a dog in the house. If you don't have a dog, get one. 9. Have your grass cut regularly so it does not look like the house is abandoned. Keep the house in good physical looking condition including cleaning your gutters, maintaining the roof, keeping the grass edged, etc. 10. If you know that you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, have your newspaper and mail picked up regularly. 11. This one is highly over-rated, lock your doors and windows when at home and when away from home. 12. Stay involved with your local neighborhood crime watch/neighborhood association and be vigilant of all activity around you. 13. Get a concealed carry license, get a fire arm. 14. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your property. To be a good neighbor you should also keep an eye on their. 15. Have emergency numbers in a place where they can easily be found. Police, poison center, you physician, etc.
Thanks for joining me today! The content for the latest Blog 14 has been recorded as a Video so check it out below to find out HOW TO GO ABOUT PLANNING AND EXECUTING ANY HOME RENOVATION. Hint: It would be helpful to read BLOG 10 before watching this video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYecuhMUXGY&list=UUMsv-00QEHCUFR8gAYsyr1g Until next time, God Bless
BLOG 15: Why is it so critical to get a TITLE SEARCH done before closing a Real Estate deal?
BLOG 15: Why is it so critical to get a TITLE SEARCH done before closing a Real Estate deal? Title Search is important because it looks at all of the previous titles (to a specific parcel) to make sure there are no problems that will prohibit future ownership rights. There are many reasons why there could be problems with a title for instance if dower rights were not released upon the sale of a property (spouse rights to ownership) which means there is Cloud of Title aka problem with Marketable Title. This means that even though you own the property, you don’t hold the title 100% and must get the holder of the dower rights or their heirs to signs off on their behalf to release their portion of ownership to you. Title Searches go back 40 years and look at the chain of title that precede. Any encumbrances on title that are 40 years or older are dismissed and will not impact a title. Title Search is vital because it checks all public records for any types of liens (mechanical, mortgage, 2nd mortgage, Home Equity Line of Credit/HELOC, etc.,), taxes, easements and encumbrances. Usually a Title Search takes 3-5 days to complete and costs $200.00. You will want to make the investment to get a title search done otherwise you may be up for a rude surprise later on. It is literally the best $200.00 you can spend! Do not overlook it! Stay tuned for another helpful Blog tomorrow!
Blog 16: Profitable Real Estate Portfolio should include…
Blog 16: Profitable Real Estate Portfolio should include… Every wise investor understands the importance of diversifying their assets. Real Estate business is not any different in that in order to have a performing portfolio of investments you need to have multiple sources of income to compensate for the investments that may be under performing. So you need to have leverage over your investments. This Blog will look at the importance of having a diversified Real Estate Investment portfolio. It is important to have Rental units which are a source of long-term wealth building as well as some short-term investments such as flips which bring in fast money. The more liquid your investments the more desirable they are. Liquid means investments that can easily be converted to cash. For example, if you own your property and/or have significant equity and need quick cash you can take out a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) against what you already paid for the house. This aspect makes Real Estate very desirable. However, most of the time you cannot take a HELOC from an investment property, even if you own it outright. So this makes some of your investments more liquid than others. Firstly, a good rule of thumb to follow on an investment property is that if it can pay for itself in under 10 years, it is a good investment. Realistically in today’s affordable Springfield and Dayton markets, it is not uncommon to find investment opportunities that can pay for themselves in around 5 years. However, the same is not true for much of the country. You can get really lucky and find a home that can pay for itself in under 3 years, which is a tremendous investment (a lot of times they will be in blue collar neighborhoods, what some consider “hood”). There is also a tax benefit for having rental units over doing flips and that is if you own a property for more than 1 year your tax burden to the IRS decreases significantly. Instead you would simply pay your income tax to the city in which these rentals (roughly speaking for every $20,000 in rental income, be prepared to pay about $430 in income tax per year, depending on the tax %). Use the long-term investment route to build your bank account/retirement. Secondly, there is the flip side of the investment. This type of investment will give you the fastest return for your investment. You must really make sure to know your market, modern styles, your target customer, and the competition to understand where the most desirable neighborhoods are. The more the desirable the neighborhood (good schools, close to shopping, many homeowners live here, etc.) A lot of times, the most desirable homes are in a seller’s market which means there is a limited inventory of homes and the sellers can dictate prices of the inventory more so than in a buyer’s market where the market is saturated with homes for sale. This is why you need to be very careful to understand whether the flip is going to sell fast. Although for the most part Dayton and Springfield are Buyers markets (saturated market with a lot of competition), there are pockets of Buyers markets where homeowners desire to live. Since flips are usually fast (under 1 year), they get taxed under capital-gains taxes. Flips come in two flavors, Retail buy and Rent Ready buy/pre-hab. Retail buy refers to selling the property at 100% of value in today’s market because the house is in great structural condition, does not need any repairs, is staged properly and is ready to be moved into upon closing. Rent Ready buy refers to pricing the home at 80-90% of fair market value because the house needs some MINOR work (like installing a mirror in the bathroom or installing blinds). Pricing the house aggressively at 80-90% of value leaves “meat on the bone” for the buyer to purchase the property and incentivizes the buyer. Pre-Habbing means that the house is in ready to rent condition which means all systems are fully functional and relatively updated if not new. To be a successful flipper, you must be a beast at understanding your target customer needs, modern tastes, the market values and your competition. Being able to manage a profitable and diversified investment takes some practice, as each investor and each investment firm have their unique challenges. If you want to learn more about building your Real Estate Investment portfolio leave a message or comment! Thanks for tuning in! Until tomorrow
Blog 18: Stagging your home is no longer a question of If….
Blog 18: Stagging your home is no longer a question of If…. (check out the video to above to see an example of proper home stagging. PS: I had an offer of nearly 100% within 2 weeks of listing it) If you want TOP DOLLAR If you want to sell your home in the fastest time possible If you want to bring as many buyers as possible If you want to have a greater chance of getting multiple offers Purpose of staging? Create a mood. Buyers buy on emotion more so than logic. 7-10% higher sold price Reduces selling time by 3x How to go about planning for staging: De-clutter Remove things that get in the way and make the buyers feel as though they are a guest in somebody elses home. You want your buyer to see themselves living there rather than seeing Johny’s 1st grade picture. Remove as much stuff as possible and what is left, keep it very organized and limited. Paint Baseboards Doors Trim Touch up walls and ceilings Make sure the house is 100% clean baseboard fans windows vent covers vents screens door knobs drawers doors shower head (clean or replace) toilet behind the toilet and under the sink and vanity Cauching Tub Trim Windows Doors Sink make sure home is well lit repaint rooms in necessary to a beige color makes the rooms look bigger make sure all fixtures have bulbs, replace 60 AMP bulbs to 100AMP bulbs cleaning windows will bring 30% more light depersonalize remove pictures remove personalized items if home smells, you want to put a candle or incent bring some fresh flowers for open house Make sure you have curb appeal. Nice front door Nice mulch that compliments the exterior Hardwood floors Refinish them as necessary Roof Make sure there are no leaks or other concerns Foundation Make sure no gapping cracks are present Clean/repaint foundation Basement Make sure to get all of spider webs down Other Make sure that anything that may make the buyer say “EWW” is gone Only after the following items have been addressed should you actually stage the house. There are professional staging services available that will …. Bring in furniture that will complement the style of the house Set up the house to make it aesthetically appealing and with a nice flow from room to room Freshen up the house by installing plug-in freshners near entry get rid of dark curtains that block out sunlight (more light = better)
Blog 19: Things all “updated” homes need to have to sell fast and for top dollar
Blog 19: Things all “updated” homes need to have to sell fast and for top dollar When most buyers are buying a home they want it to be as close to turn key as possible so doing these things below will make the buyers more apt to buy yours house over the competition. For example, say you have a house which was built in the 1930’s and you want to sell it fast and for top dollar, which items would be worthwhile to replace/repair. Some things cannot be repaired such as the design of the house which is called functional obsolescence. This means that some things are incurable. These are the things that most buyers in today’s market will be looking for when buying a house. Open concept floor plan New or refurbished Kitchen cabinets, countertop, kitchen hardware, double sink/modern faucet, tile backsplash, modern lighting, nice flooring a Clean carpet, restored hardwood floors, laminant or ceramic tile Neutral warm beige colors across the entire house with white trim (or natural hardwood) and white ceilings Remodeled bathroom New vanities or pendulous sinks No carpet in the bathroom! Tile or linoleum are best. Do not use laminant because it absorbs water and warps. No strange colors of tile (like pink, green and yellow) Modern mirror, vanity lights/skanz, and accessories (toilet paper holder, towel rack, etc.) GFCi outlet Replace the front door (at the very least make it look good by cleaning it or painting it). The buyer make a first impression about a house in the first 8 seconds so make sure the first thing they see, doesn’t repel them. Replace dated door knobs and/or hinges Updated electric fixture(s). The more well lit your home, the easier it is to sell it. Light is associated with positive energy and warmth so keep your home as inviting as possible. Replace any bulbs that are under 100AMP to 100AMP. Replace 2 prong outlets with 3 prong outlets, old switches for new switches and install new plate covers over those outlets and switches Install mulch that compliments that exterior of the house, and/or plant some flowers or bushes. You want your buyer to be impressed enough with the Curb Appeal that it entices them to check out the inside. Consider power washing the siding and roof to make the house pop. Install new shutters or paint the ones that are up. Clean the gutters and do some touch up painting if necessary. Thanks for tuning and and make sure to tune in for tomorrow's BLOG 20 which will look at the questions you should be asking a Real Estate Agent before hiring him/her to sell your most expensive investment.
BLOG 20: 9 things that you should be asking your agent before you “hire” one of them to represent your best interests.
BLOG 20: 9 things that you should be asking your agent before you “hire” one of them to represent your best interests. So you are thinking of BUYING OR SELLING A HOME? You need the best agent on your side to make the process as easy as possible with the most favorable results. Are you an investors and if so what is your area of expertise (single family homes, duplexes, quads, commercial)? Do you have your own Real Estate Portfolio? Do you have a company? How many properties do you have in your portfolio? Do you know about property management? What is the market like right now in my city/neighborhood? What is the average CDOM (Current Days On Market) for homes in my neighborhood? At what price will I sell my home fastest and for the top dollar? What’s so unique about your marketing plan that no other agent offers? What are the schools like? (Agent must be able to point you in the direction of where you can find this info so you can make an informed decision. Agent should not give their opinion on schools.) Why are you the agent that will get me the top dollar vs. the others? What is your List-To-Sale Rate vs. Market? Do you understand how Creative Financing works such as lease/purchase, rent-to-own, land contract? How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood? Thanks for tuning in! Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
Blog 21: What you need to know about Lead Paint! Know how to protect yourself.
Blog 21: What you need to know about Lead Paint! Know how to protect yourself. Did you know? Health Issues with kids have been seen as a result of high levels of exposure to Lead-based paints in and out of household. In November 2014 in State of Ohio the threshold for maximum exposure that was deemed acceptable was just decreased from 10 µg/dL to 5 µg/dL. This is because there are health problems that can arise when Lead-based paint is disturbed where the lead based particles get into the air. It is also a hazard if the Lead-based paint is chipping away and can be broken off and swallowed by a child. Lead-based paints can be found on windows, windows stills, doors, door frames, stairs, railings, banisters and porches (inside and outside of your home). When lead-based paint is in good condition it is usually not a health concern. Only when the paint is disturbed, is there an issue because that’s when the lead dust can form. Did you know? If the home was built before 1978, the seller has to disclose known information on lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards before selling a house. Agent, when selling a house must include about specific warning statement about lead-based paint. Buyers have up to 10 days to check for lead. Landlords must disclose info on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before leases take effect. Leases must include a specific warning statement about lead-based paint. Did you know? EPA has specific laws that you must abide anytime that you are renovating a property. Read the EPA’s pamphlet, The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right, to learn about the lead-safe work practices that contractors are required to follow when working in your home. EPA or State-certified renovator who is trained in the use of lead-safe work practices should do the work to reduce exposure. Did you know? You can reduce your exposure to lead-based paint by keeping your home clean and maintained. Did you know? Children under 6 are most at risk for poisoning in your home. Lead exposure can harm young children and babies before they are born. For help in locating certified lead abatement professionals in your area, call your local agency, or visit epa.gov/lead, or call 1-800-424-LEAD
Blog 22: AS AN INVESTOR, SHOULD YOU GET YOUR REAL ESTATE LICENSE?
AS AN INVESTOR, SHOULD YOU GET YOUR REAL ESTATE LICENSE? BLOG 22 WILL BREAK IT DOWN FOR YOU! REAL ESTATE LICENSE: In my opinion, Real Estate Agents are the original "no money down" investors because they do not own the property but simply play as a middleman in the transaction. It will cost you around $1,500.00 and can be completed in less than 1 month to obtain. ... Some of the most successful investors have their real estate licenses. BENEFITS OF BEING A REAL ESTATE AGENT IF YOU ARE AN INVESTOR. 1. Save on commission for finding your own deals. >Can see homes at your convenience, don't need to wait for agent to get there) 2. More professionalism is expected of you (and returned back to you) as an agent you are an expert in the real estate field. 3. Have access to the MLS. >Can find any active properties, comparable sales, and ton of other useful info about the properties and the market conditions.
Whether you are a seasoned, savy investor or just thinking about becoming an INVESTOR, You need to see this checklist of all of the things that I check EVERY TIME regardless of whether i am buying for myself or helping one of my clients. Blog 23 is here to help! This is a checklist which you can use to calculate the extent of work that needs to be completed to get the home fixed up and made livable, up to modern codes and regulations. You need to have a ball-park estimate of the fix-up costs before you get into each project or before listing a property so you can know what it will realistically sell for considering the repairs. Always make sure to use BBB accredited contractors who have good reviews (READ BLOG 10: What you need to know before hiring a contractor).Always check yourself by getting several estimates for each job or wrap them all as a package deal. At the very least get 3 estimates for each job. 1. ROOF. check for any unevenness, missing shingles, any damaged wood. Usually exceeding 3 layers of shingles is considered breaking the law due to the weight factor. 2. SIDING. Wood/Paint, vinyl or aluminum? needs cleaned or painted? 3. WINDOWS. 2 pane efficient or old wood windows? Storm windows present? Do the windows need to be wrapped with aluminum? 4. DOORS (inside and out) + knobs and hinges. Are the doors 6 panel? 5. CHIMNEY. Is it falling apart? Is there a chimney cap present? 6. GUTTERS/DOWNSPOUTS. Are they there? Is water properly draining? 7. FOUNDATION. Is there significant "deterioration" where the house is no longer sitting evenly? 8. HANDRAILS. Any where were there are more than 3 stairs you need a handrail. For insurance purposes. 9. DRYWALL. Any holes or settling marks present? Any possible water damage? any discoloration? 10. FLOORING. Wood, laminant, carpet, tile, linoleum? Does it need repaired? 11. KITCHEN. kitchen cabinets/top/sink/faucet. Kitchens are usually a big selling point for a buyer so make sure to make it look modern with a nice countertop and a custom mosaic tile backsplash to really make it pop. 12. CEILING FIXTURES. Do all of the rooms have good lighting? 13. HVAC and Central Air. How old are the units? Have they been serviced lately? 14. DRAIN LINES. Plastic or cast iron? Any significant leaks? 15. ELECTRICAL SYSTEM. Shape of main wire feeding the box. Is the box updated to the modern breakers? Are there GFCi outlets within 6 feet from all water sources? 16. WATER LINES: cooper or Pex? Pex is the newest material and thieves do not steal it because its very cheap, but lasts. 17. GARAGE/DOORS/GARAGE DOOR OPENER 18. YARD. Is there a fenced yard? Is the fence chain linked or 6 ft. privacy? 19. BATHROOMS. This is another biggie when it comes to selling your home for top dollar. Whats the condition of the vanity, mirror, lights, toilet, tub/shower, surround for the bath/shower. Is there a style (matching accessories?). Is one of the main bath downstairs? Is there more than 1 bath? 20. CURB APPEAL. Does the home have nice trees and bushes around the property? Are there any potential hazardous trees? Is there a lot of brush to cut down? 21. DRIVEWAY. Does it need to be resealed/re-filled? 22. INSULATION: Type? Blown-in or rolled? 23. WATER SOFTENER, PUMP (IF RURAL) There are plenty of other things that you should check that are important to consider before purchasing a home however these are the most important things that i check before i make an offer on any residential property (things like painting didn't make the list). Remember it is always a good idea to have a professional look at it as well, for a second opinion such as a contractor or an inspector. Likes, comments are appreciated!
Blog 24: All about Springfield’s Largest and Oldest Park (Snyder Park)
Blog 24: All about Springfield’s Largest and Oldest Park (Snyder Park) HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE: Snyder Park has a long and storied history. It is the largest and longest park in Springfield, running along Buck Creek and measuring at 122 acres! One of the most photographed landmarks in Springfield is the Snyder Park Arch way entry into the Park from S. Western Ave (figure 1). The park was donated by the Snyder Brothers and the land cannot be converted to anything except a park. In 1906 there was a professional baseball team that played out of Snyder Park. Right next to the current baseball diamond is the now closed Snyder Park Golf Course which as of next year (2014) will be an Arboretum, in partnership with OSU extension. Previously, the golf course was a dump, then a horse race track, then a car race track, then from 1920 until 2013 was the golf course . SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL: Snyder Park is a unique place that you must visit if you are out of town and want to get the full Springfield Experience. Snyder Park is located next to Veteran’s Park which hosts annual Springfield Arts Festival every summer in the Amphitheatre. WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY CONNECTION: One of the biggest contributors to the park as of lately has been no other than Dr. John Ritter from Wittenberg University. He and his students have done countless experiments here at Buck Creek as well as on the entire park. Dr. Ritter wad the brain behind one of the latest creations in the Park, White water rapids! ACTIVITIES: 1ST WHITE WATER COURSE IN OHIO (kayaking) tennis courts horse shoe pits ponds/lagoons walking/jogging/biking paths (bike path runs from Snyder Park 6 miles NE to CJ Brown Reservoir) picnic tables baseball field and plenty of space to toss around a Frisbee or play a game of football or soccer There is also an amphitheater in Snyder park as well were occasionally movies are played in the summer months. http://ecosportscorridor.com/whitewater-springfield.html RECENT AND FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS: • Recent improvement to the park are the new handicap accessible playground which opened in 2014 and cost around $300,000. • Arboretum which is coming in 2015. • In 2015, the Park is also expecting a new “Spray ground” where jets shoot water out of the ground, to cool off on those hot summer days while enjoying the beautiful park! This will cost around $350,000 to construct. • The park will also be getting a new entrance, as a new bridge will connect Snyder Park from Snyder St. The project is set to be completed by 2017. The old bridge (green) will only be used by pedestrians only. • A new drain system for the city is going to be installed for the City and will run through Snyder Park. Expected completion year is 2017. Snyder Park is sure to have something that you will like! See for yourself when you’re driving through or are nearby! This park is one a kind and offers something for everybody.
Blog 25: Want to see the most EXPENSIVE HOMES IN CLARK COUNTY?
Blog 25: Want to see the most EXPENSIVE HOMES IN CLARK COUNTY? Springfield is the second most affordable city for a city of its size in the entire United States. ... As you see, most of the homes in the Clark County market are WELL below $1,000,000. So if you are looking for affordable housing, think Clark County! Please see the spreadsheet and map below!
Blog 26: Pre-Approval for a mortgage
Blog 26: Pre-Approval for a mortgage This is a fairly quick process and can be done online in a matter of 24-48 hours. Online pre-approvals are nice because they are fast and give you an idea what loan amount you can expect to qualify for. Online pre-approvals do not guarantee loan. Pre-approval is based on two main criteria (although other things are taken into con...sideration during the underwriting process): income and credit score. Typically you want to have a credit score over 620, however to be safe you will want to be around 640 (to get the best deal you will want to be around 720). Pre-approvals need to go through underwriting (top level management) to determine whether you qualify and for what amount you would qualify. Usually it takes 5-7 days for the application to go through under writing. Each lender has their own guidelines on the different standards. Pre-approvals are usually good for 60 to 90 days. Things to do to prepare for a pre-approval: 1. Get the credit score to the highest that you can (at least 620) 2. Reduce your debt-to-income ratio 3. Save as much as possible for you down payment If you have specific questions feel free to call MY PREFERED LENDER Ammie Spahr at Wells Fargo 937.325.4093 EXT 14 Thanks for tuning in!
Have you been thinking of prospering through Real Estate as a seasoned investor or as a first time home buyer? Regardless of where you are, Real Estate proves to be a solid, physical investment that produces income! With the support from an experienced agent, you can go FAR! Here are the homes that you can buy TODAY (Under 20K) and start killing it in the Real Estate game whether your strategy would be to buy and hold or buy and flip! Call Arthur to consult 937.631.5562!
BLOG 28: Tips for a succesful OPEN HOUSE!
BLOG 28: Tips for a succesful OPEN HOUSE! There are many things you can do to prepare a home for an open house/ready for sale and it all depends on the status as to whether the home is vacant or occupied. You can also use these tips to get your house ready if you are having company. If you home is occupied and you want to have an open house make sure to do the following. Make sure the owners are not there when you are showing the home Make sure the house is picked up (especially important if the house is occupied by tenants) Bake some cookies or at the very least install some fragrances into the outlets or even burn some candles to give the home a nice smell. Put out an American Flag in the front of the house. Clean up debris outside and spiffy up the "curb appeal" of the house. Clean all windows, siding, gutters, fountation and downspouts (powerwasher works nice). Turn on as many lights as possible. Open up the windows to allow for natural light. Adjust the temperature to appropriate temperature (if necessary)> Open up windows (if weather is permitting) to allow for fresh breeze. Play some calming music. Offer a small snack to those that came. De-clutter as much of personal things as possible such as things that clutter up the main components of the rooms. If your rooms are clutters, people tend to feel claustrophobic. This is also a good reason to open up your windows and install mirrors in your home, so it makes the home feel more open, and even bigger than it appears. Funny how our psychology works! If the house is vacant…. Light staging can be the difference between selling fast and not selling. In today’s market to get the top dollar in the fastest amount of time, you should definitely consider staging your home. Even light staging such as installing mirrors, inspirational wall stickers, decorative and tasteful artwork work like magic. This will give the home a personal feel without being too overbearing. Bring as much nature inside. This means put up some flowers in a vase. Make sure the heat is working and the water is working as well. There are many other things you can do to have a succesful open house, just do something out of the ordinary and it will pay off! Thanks for tuning in!
BLOG 29: 3 things YOU must know when pricing you home
BLOG 29: 3 things YOU must know when pricing you home Good monday morning friends! Today is March 2, 2015 and today we have some useful things that could help you get top dollar in the fastest time possible if you are thinking of selling your home. Have a read and feel free to comment below! We will try to respond asap. Location “Location, location, location” its cliché but true. If your home sits next to a set of railroad tracks, airport, highway it clearly has a problem with location. What this means is you must accommodate for that with a good (reduced) price and sell it in good condition (compared to comps) if you want to sell your home for top dollar in the fastest amount of time. Price “Price, price, price” is not as cliché but is equally as true. If you have a home in the worst ghetto imaginable, and the price is right somebody will take a chance on it. This also means that even if you have a great location and the home is in great condition but the price is way too high, what will happen is it will not appraise for what you are asking, which means you will not sell it. This is why pricing your home based on the closest comparable sales within the past 6 months is critical. Price is also heavily based on the demand of the real estate market in which you are in. So when pricing your home, you should be cognizant of what else is for sale around you. It is critical to price right from the get go otherwise the home will sit and accumulate CDOM (current days on market) which will make the buyer weary so to why it hasn’t sold. Condition When selling your home, you want to appeal to all of the buyers so your potential pool of clients is large. When you leave the house unclean, messy, smelly, unlit, and generally uncared for the buyers will assume that all of the other system (like furnace) have been neglected as well and they will likely not like it. When selling your home and wanting top dollar in the fastest amount of time, you should focus your attention on making the home as structurally sound and aesthetically appealing as possible which means that from the point the buyers come across your home in any form it should be in ready to move in condition. Not to mention, todays buyer are snatching up those homes that are staged. That’s right, in today’s market staging is no longer a question of if. Using the same formula from above, even if you have a home with a good location and the price is right, to get top dollar it also needs to be in great condition. Tune back in wednesday morning to learn how you should be marketing your property to get as many eye balls on it as humanly possible, which will get as many people through the door as possble which will ultimalty sell the house faster. Have a great day friends!
For Better Living We are a reputable real estate agency with licensed and experienced brokers who know the real estate market extremely well. specializes in the purchase, sale and rental of residential properties. We want to help you find your dream home! In addition, we have a wide range of real estate properties for sale or for rent in the area. Have a look through our website to learn more about us and the services we offer.
You and your crew must understand these rules. Take time each day to remind them of what the expectations are. Deadlines are to be met and exceeded on a regular basis. If a job is going to be delayed, you must let Arthur know ahead of time. There is no bonus for finishing ahead of time. Regular communication. Each morning – a progress report/pics updated of job. Are we on track to finish by the deadline? What work was completed that day or previous day? All work needs to be documented via progress report (written: as an email) and with pictures 30% will be paid upfront (for materials) and 70% upon successful completion of the job. Quality over quantity. Sloppy work does not get repeat business, period. Comfort Living is not and will not be known for sloppy work. Our expectation is best or nothing. When Arthur is called to inspect the successful completion of the job 100%, the job should be 100% done. If a job is not 100% done when Arthur is called, this will prompt a payment for the portion of the job completed and a release from any future work. When a job is “done” the contractor should CHECK his work to assure its completion at least several times. Do not take on a job that you don’t know how to do or that your crew does not know how to do exceptionally well. Again, sloppy work will not get repeat or referral business. Your assurance of future work, depends on the type of work you perform on a daily basis. In order to get more work you have to work to impress each and every day. All payments will be reported as a 1099 and payment will be made via Comfort Living BIZ checks. All keys are to be returned immediately upon a completion of each job. If lockbox present on the door, keys never leaver the lockbox. Work is to be performed during regular hours between 7 am – 7 pm, unless owner has been notified ahead of time of any changes. It is your responsibility as contractor to notify owner before showing up. If unit is occupied, you must give the tenant a courtesy call 30 minutes ahead of time. Do not take materials, tools and supplies that are not yours. This is a serious offense and will require immediate termination. There is a 0 tolerance policy for coming to the job site under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This will lead to immediate termination. Make sure your crew is fully aware of this, as your entire team can be penalized over the actions of 1 person. No warning will be given. You and your crew are expected to handle yourselves with the outmost professionalism which means to foul language and no reckless behavior. No smoking inside any of the properties. Clean up after yourself. If you just finished a job, the job site should be properly cleaned up (floors, walls, window stills, fans, hardware, countertop, sink, tub, vanity, toilet, blinds, hardware, remove all rubbish and dispose of properly. Heat stays at 55*F at all times, unless there is a need for it to be higher at which point it can be turned up up 65*F. All work related requests (materials, etc) are to be made via email by emailing Arthur@ComfortLivingOhioLLC.com. Upon completion of the work make sure you have the contractor sign a Conditional Waiver and Release upon final payment which prevents the contractor from putting a mechanics lien on your property. Do this every time to be safe. What you can expect in return You will be paid on-time every time. You will be treated professionally and with respect. Continuation of future business and referrals.
BLOG 32: 5 most common ways to finance your real estate deals
BLOG 32: 5 most common ways to finance your real estate deals 1. Cash This is by far the simplest way to deal in real estate because there are no third parties involved and you can usually get a great discount for paying with cash. 2. Credit card This is the method that I used when I got started in real estate and it has some advantages and disadvantages. In order to have this option you must have a good credit score. How I used this is I would borrow the money from the lender (via checks that they send) usually at 0% for the first 12 months and 12-22% interest thereafter. The trick is that you want to get this balance paid off within a year so that way you are not accruing large interest. The way you do that is you simply borrow more money from another lender and pay off the current debt. The key is that you want to maintain your credit in good standing so you can continue to utilize this method. The benefit to using this method is that if you buy a really cheap house for “cash” on the credit, you own the house 100%. Even if you were to default on paying back the credit card, the lender could not take away your home, where as a lender that financed you could via foreclosure. 3. Financing with a lender This is the most common way to purchase real estate. More than 80% of the loans out today are FHA loans while the rest are Conventional and VA. There are some requirements that you must meet in order to qualify for a loan such as a minimum credit score of 620, a healthy debt to equity ratio, stable and adequate monthly income and a solid rental history. When you do not make your monthly payments, you will be foreclosed on – will lose the home and will have bad credit history for 7 years. 4. Creative financing This is one of my favorite strategies to use to acquire properties. Creative financing comes in many flavors including but not limited to land contracts, lease with option, and many more. There are many small details that you should educate yourself on before trying to do one these deals because it does get messy. 5. Hard money lender This essentially means that instead of obtaining a loan from the bank, you obtain it from a private individual that offers hard money loans at higher interest rates than does the bank. Usually this method is used by Flippers that need to have quick cash to purchase and rehab a property and put it right back on the market. I have never used this form of financing before but I do have a connection in case you ever want to use it!
Blog 33: Ohio laws on Septic Systems are changing: Why this matters big time
Blog 33: Ohio laws on Septic Systems are changing: Why this matters big time 06/05/2015 As you may have seen in the news recently, there are changes that have been made in the State of Ohio that concern Wells. Whether you are an existing owner of a property that has a septic system or if you are thinking of constructing your dream home, or even if you own land that you wanted to develop – this affect you big time. According to the new law, in order to replace or install a new septic system the ground must first be inspected by a soil engineer which costs $2,500 to inspect, and there are only 8 in the SW Ohio which makes a lengthy process. If you had a lot PERC tested before, it now means nothing. Traditionally in Clark County, Ohio our soils are very dense which makes settling in the leach field more difficult. This means that liquids do not settle as fast in some spots. The reason the State of Ohio put in place this mandate is to reduce pollution to the environment by making sure that the soil of each property can adequately accept the “overflow” from the septic system. How this affects you? A typical septic system lasts 20-30 years which means that chances are you will have to get at least one replaced in your lifetime (especially if you live in rural areas). In order to install a new septic system you will first have to order the soil engineer to perform research on your property and determine how quickly the discharge can settle through the ground. If the soil is really dense then you will be limited to how many bathrooms/kitchens the home may have because the soil can only take in so much water. If your home has 3 bathrooms now and based on the tests, it can only accept discharge from 2 then obviously there is a problem. In addition, this change will affect lot development and the new home building market in rural counties in Ohio and hinder economic redevelopment. Not only that, but the new septic system will cost more money overall to get installed so the bottom line is that this is a bad thing for counties like Clark of which a large population is rural. If you have questions or comment leave them below and they will be answered. Have a blessed day
Blog 34: Procedures to closing a the PRE-APPROVAL PROCESS and PURCHASE PROCESS are changing as of 08/01/2015
Blog 34: Procedures to closing a the PRE-APPROVAL PROCESS and PURCHASE PROCESS are changing as of 08/01/2015 TILA (Truth-In Lending Act) and RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) disclosure laws are changing once more this time on 08/01/2015. This is a significant change in the way that home sales will be closed because it will force Title companies to provide the buyer and sellers with Closing Disclosure (previously known as HUD-1 Settlement Statement and Truth-In Lending) 3 days before the closing. This will also affect the pre-approval process. Currently, Title companies are supposed to provide the HUD-1 Settlement Statements 24 hours ahead of closing. This means that if there are any changes that need to be made (even for $0.01) to the final Closing Disclosure (CD), the title company has to make the necessary changes and wait at least 72 hours before conducting the closing. Furthermore, the Pre-Approval process is changing as well. Currently, there are 3 steps that take place which are 1. Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is provided 2. Initial Truth-In Lending (TIL) statement issued 3. Intent to proceed is initiated. Starting 08/01/2015, Loan Estimate (LE) will replace GFE and TIL. This means that the underwriter will be issuing the pre-approval rather than the loan originator. These rules apply to all lender on close-End mortgages only (not HELOCs), as well as for all refinancing and purchases. The reason for the changes is because the new disclosures are more clear and concise. All lenders will now have consistency. Lastly, borrowers will receive all loan features, rates and fees as well as estimated cash to close more promptly than currently.
Blog 35: How to find the owner of any property in the US
BLOG 35: How to find the owner of any property in the US There are many resources which you can use to find the owner of a particular property for which ever reason. All of the documents that concern Real Estate are public records which means anybody can access them. One of the most commonly used ways is to use the Auditor website. Each county in each state has a county auditor. The job of the Auditor is to provide access to the real estate, tax record information, and GIS maps. Auditors are also responsible for assessing real estate values – which are usually done every 6 years in the State of Ohio. Here are some of the local Auditor site links for Clark, Montgomery and Miami Counties. http://www.clarkcountyauditor.org/ http://www.mcrealestate.org/Main/Home.aspx http://www.miamicountyauditor.org/ If you need more in depth documents (deeds, etc.) about any property in the US – each county in the US has a Recorders office which keeps track of any deeds and other contracts. Each county in the US either has their own Recorder site or they subscribe to the USLANDRECORDS website. https://uslandrecords.com/uslr/UslrApp/index.jsp If you are trying to track down the owner of an abandoned property and are not having any luck locating them using the above methods you may have to use the Municipal Court website to see if they have had any tickets/offenses lately. The citation always has a current address on the ticket. Again – each county has their own Municipal Court Site. (Clark, Montgomery, Miami Counties) http://www.clerkofcourts.municipal.co.clark.oh.us/…/CaseSea… http://www.clerk.co.montgomery.oh.us/pro/ http://courts.miamicountyohio.gov/pa/pa.urd/pamw6500.display There are many other ways as well but these are good starting points to find out who an owner of a property is – especially if it is abandoned. Comments and questions are welcome! Thanks for tuning in - until next time! #ComfortLiving #Blog #RoedigerRealty #Realtor #RealtorLife #HelpfulHints #RealEstateEducation
Blog 36: Running your RE business as a business
Running your RE business as a business Hello everybody today we will discuss your BUDGET PLAN. In order to get where you want to get in life it all starts with imagination and then moves to having a concrete day to day plan. It is a matter of being consistent in doing the DPA (Dollar producing Activities). For examples, other professionals like doctors and lawyers know their base pay per hour of what they need to make. This same strategy can be applied to your business. For example, you can either choose to do $5.00/hr work to post your online ads, or you can have your Vitual Assitant do it. If your time is worth $35.00 per hour you can then delegate that work to someone else while you focus on making $35.00. Running your business like a business is a choice. It all boils down to having a budget with all goals for the year broken down month by week, month, quarter and year. You need to schedule the DPAs in your schedule and do then every single day. Budget plan strategy: Start with what you want your take home income to be. Add all of the costs of doing business including but not limited to: payroll taxes and health insurance, advertising, supplies, franchise fee, postage, auto expense, professional fees, misc, telephone, rent, travel, education and equipment. From that you can calculate a NET REVENUE. Next figure out the amount of hours that you are planning to work. Set boundaries for yourself so you can enjoy your family, friends and experiences. Dream BIG, -Arthur 12/23/15
WE BUY HOUSES!