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Posted in Real Estate

Important Things to Remember When Hiring Green Home Builders

Choosing to go green entails a lot of effort and sacrifices at the beginning. But in the end, all of these efforts will be worth it, most especially when you know that you are doing something to benefit the environment as a whole and your fellow men. Going green means being more conscious of the way you live your life making sure that all decisions you make will be for the benefit of the environment and preventing any harm from happening to it. One of the best ways to ensure that you are now living a greener lifestyle is to build a green home from top to bottom. Now, you can never achieve this unless of course, you hire the services of a reputable green home builder. A green home builder is someone who can build your home keeping energy and environmental efficiency in mind. When looking for possible green home builders that you can hire, you must first speak with contractors found in your vicinity. If you hire a builder who lives far away from you, you can expect to pay them higher for their services.

In order for you to choose your green home builder wisely, it is best that you be guided by some important things worthy of remembering when hiring one. To begin your search, while you talk to a green home builder the very first time, be sure to ask them about the kind of building materials that they are using. Be sure to also ask them about what disposal methods they use. This gives you some assurance that they are complying with sustainability measures. When it comes to the building materials that they use, they must not be toxic and must be friendly to the environment. This can be guaranteed if all of their building materials come from sustainable materials or renewable sources. Usually, the materials that are being referred to here are those that come from houses that have been knocked down. Some of these materials include cabinets, old doors, wood accents of the home used for making ceiling beams, and many more. A good green home builder knows how to choose their wooden materials wisely and steers clear from plastic materials. When possible, you should be allowed to see what other green homes or projects they have done in the past. Their construction aim must be more on green building and not just using green techniques to create a green home or property. Before signing a contract with the builder, make sure to read from their terms or include in your terms the need for them to only use green and sustainable materials.

                                     

There are some green home builders that tell you that they only use effective green building methods out there. However, as time goes by, there are some builders that feel tempted to use techniques and designs that bring more harm to the environment just so they can benefit from the money that the clients have given them. For these specific scenarios, it is best to hire only a reputable green home builder that have good references from people near you. A certified green home builder ensures to have the necessary knowledge and skills in doing green construction and design.

Posted in Real Estate

Major Reasons Why Downtown Condos Sell Higher

There are a lot of reasons why downtown condos have become on demand for both real estate sellers and buyers a like. No wonder why they are priced higher than average condos. This short article will give you some major reasons why downtown condos sell higher.

• Location
As the name implies, downtown condos are located in places where majority of people want to be in. Whether you are new or old in the real estate business, location plays a crucial role in what potential your property brings. Selling downtown condos to potential buyers instills in their minds that they are getting a good deal out of them. For sure, they will be proud to call this place their own home.

In terms of the seller, selling condos found in downtown areas is seen as something very valuable and can bring them more money than usual. The location gives them confidence that they can sell the property for a good price. You really cannot blame them why highly-sought after condos found in the downtown sell more than those found in faraway locations.

• Convenience
Downtown condos are convenient because of their close proximity to public transportation options, parks, fun activities, and places to eat. If you are the type of person who prefers to access everything you need and want easily and at a short period of time, these condos can be beneficial for you. Just think about some of the places that you always go to such as the places you like to hang out and even the ways in which you can get to work.

Paying extra for having everything near you with only little time to spend will be worth the price. You just have to remember dealing with the amount of noise the location brings you with the constant presence of people around you. Ask yourself if some peace and quiet is better off sacrificed just to get the kind of convenience that you prefer.

                                     

• Newer buildings
Investing in newer condos is a good thing. You see, there are a number of benefits to buying places that have not yet been resided by past owners. This could only mean that with newer condos you get buildings with better conditions, newer technology, and having less need for getting replaced or fixed anytime soon. Most downtown condos are typically built just recently while some are sold right away even if their construction is not yet done.

As a condo buyer, even before the construction is completed or materials are not yet bought, you can already secure your own unit. By purchasing beforehand, you have the perk of choosing what colors you want your interiors to bear and all other design aspects of your condo unit. It is one of the best feelings in the world to know that you are living for the first time in a place that no one has ever resided ever before. In addition, you get the liberty to choose what features you want the inside of your condo to have.

• Investment return
When you buy condos found in downtown areas, you can still sell them in the future if need be. As a matter of fact, its high investment return potential is the reason why you should buy one now yourself. People will always want to live in these spots. Clearly, you should not be worried that this viewpoint of most people will change in the coming years.

Posted in Real Estate

The Many Benefits of Becoming a Private Money Lender

If you become a private money lender, this basically implies that you are there to offer a financial lending hand to investors who go into the real estate business. There are number of benefits to becoming one, but before you learn each one of them, you must first have some idea what private money lending is all about.

To begin, when it comes to its application in real estate financing, private money lending is basically the process where a person but not a bank will be lending some money to the real estate investor with other considerations such as pre-determined return rates in return. Now, why opt for private loans? For most banks, they do not allow lending of money to investors whose properties have an after-repair value or simply put properties that still need to be improved to gain some market value. Some clever people who have some available cash with them in their own IRA or a broker account have realized that they can take the role of a bank on these matters and get better returns from the money that they will be lending in return. You are talking about more money than that you get from having bonds, money and savings market accounts, and being on the stock market. Thus, the private money lending industry was born helping real estate investors until this day achieve their goals one step at a time.

Private money lending would be nonexistent if not for how valuable they have become on the part of the lenders. Here are some benefits of becoming a private money lender.

• Negotiable terms: The private money lender can have the interest rates negotiated with the real estate investor or borrower to get the best possible profit share. Furthermore, the principle and interest payments can also be negotiated. Both parties will have to reach an agreement to how much the private loan must be.

• Return of investment: Usually, for private money loans, interest rates are between 7% and 12%. This range of interest rates is greater than the returns for money market accounts, savings, and CDs. This range is also higher than the 4.7% interest rate in the stock market after adjustment of inflation.

• Provision of collateral: When a real estate investor applies for a private money loan, the real estate property will serve as the collateral. Usually, real estate investors take hold of properties that come at very significant discounts. Keeping this discount in mind, the lender will have high quality collateral in case the borrower decides to default.

• Choice: With private money lending, the private money lender is given the freedom to decide to whom and to what project they will be lending some money. They are also given detailed facts on the kind of profits normally made by the investor, the investor experience, and the project in question.

• No effort: The loan is the only thing that a private money lender worries about. It will all be up to the real estate investor to take the risks and do all the necessary work to find, fix, buy, and sell properties. All the lender does is collect the interest.

Posted in Real Estate

Making Rental Properties More Attractive by Promoting Its Green Features

If you go green and start picking up on what benefits it brings you and others, the first step basically requires you changing your lifestyle. However, being more inclined towards the environment requires more than just changing how you live your life daily. If you look at the bigger picture, after incorporating a greener lifestyle, you then come to conclude that making others realize what benefit going green has on your life, you have to start doing it at home. There are some areas or features of your residential home or rental property that you can turn into greener options.

Going green is considered a fresh and sustainable option in the home construction and home decoration industries. Usually, the prices of rental properties are affected by square footage, site, elevation or height, and number of years from their construction date. But now, the green aspects of features of a home have been shown to have some positive impact on the selling price of the property. With that thought in mind, if you have a rental property with green features, you can be sure to say that it will stand out from your other rental property competition in the market.

For you to convince your potential tenants that your property has gone green, start with the basics. First, you acquire a LEED certification. This certification provides any building with some rating that it is guaranteed cost-saving, efficient, and healthy. Based on studies, green rental properties get more rental premium (9.1%) than those that are not green. In addition to LEED certification, energy star compliance also tells whether or not a rental property is green. Basically, this energy star compliance measures the energy efficiency of any property or home. Usually, this symbol is associated with the energy-saving features of appliances. However, for green properties, they are given to as recognition to property owners that have increased the energy efficiency and decreased the carbon footprints of their buildings.

• Your target market
For green rental properties, your target market are the millennials. Living in green rental properties enables this group of people to have some edge in terms of sustainability in the property where they live while taking advantage of what a green property offers. They also get attracted to them since their going green in terms of their properties is not taken as a hindrance to their freedom.

• Reaching out to your target market
Millennials cannot live a day without having any form of technology by their side. Technology is never absent in any aspect of their lives. Try looking at your millennial target market and you rarely see one without any gadget. Aside from gadgets, they are also very active in various social media platforms. Thus, if you want to market your green rental properties to them, connect with them using the social media platforms that they use.

• Effective marketing methods
As just mentioned, social media is the best way to keep in touch with your market, but how do you do so? You can advertise your green rental property by using photos, posts, and videos. Let your potential tenants know about your green rental property by including some rich descriptions of your property along with their photos, and if possible, let them experience your property by taking them on a video tour.

Posted in Real Estate

Top Five Reasons to Invest in Real Estate

A lot of people who are working for a better future are always affected by the changes being done by the government in terms of their policies as applied every quarterly. Usually, the most common issues revolve around taxes. Now, if you want to save your money from getting taxed every single day, investing your money is the best decision to both save money and get good returns out of your investments. As of this writing, no matter where you may be, investing in the real estate market is one that has been shown to give you the most returns. It is even better than investing in stock market, funds, or interest rates. You can always expect prices of goods and services to always be on the rise. What might affect you the most might be the fact that you get to contribute a portion of your hard-earned money to the government to serve as your taxes. Thus, it would be wiser on your part to invest your hard-earned money in real estate.

Most people who are working always seek some ways to get some returns out of the money that they earn. However, in any case, most governments will not really help you out in saving your money as well as getting good returns for it. Even so, the government has eventually laid down some good policies that will enable you to save some money only if you are already ready to do some saving. Making investments gives you some financial freedom. And you can even decide to get the money you have invested in cash if need be. Having more money entails more financial freedom. Having financial freedom means a better life for yourself as well as your loved ones. What follows are the top five reasons to invest in real estate.

1. Regular cash flow
As mentioned above, investing in real estate allows you to save more of your money and get good returns in the coming years. If you lease your properties, not only will you be getting regular cash flow but also be securing your assets. For the best returns of your money, real estate investments are surely the best way to go.

2. Multiplying value by leveraging
Commercial properties are capable of multiplying the value of your real estate investment. When one has debt with one of your assets, they can be multiplied many times over with the original value that they have. Thus, you allow yourself to invest in more assets with just less money while improving your equity as the loan will be paid.

3. Investment hedging
Each real estate investment you make comes with great returns. Compared with other assets, house and properties have been shown to have the highest correlation with inflation. Usually, when inflation rises, the real estate prices will also increase making it more beneficial on the part of the real estate investors.

4. Physical asset capitalization
Real estate properties are income producing resources in themselves. The structure of your property has some value where as time goes by, it becomes more valuable.

5. Enhancement of taxing benefits
Most governments make sure to provide favorable tax value benefits for people who are investing in real estate. Typically, a person selling some property has to pay an income tax to the government for their income. However, if he or she will be buying another property, the taxes will not be levied.

Posted in Real Estate

Buying a Used Home vs. Buying a New Home

If you have plans of finally settling down and buying a house that you can call your own, you will usually be facing the dilemma of either buying a brand new one or buying one that has been previously owned. The differences between these two housing options will be discussed in this short article in relation to certain factors so that you can better decide which one you should go for with the family that you are building.

• Price
The price is the first factor that must be taken into account when on the hunt for a good home for sale. When you look at the current real estate market, short sale homes and foreclosed homes are usually cheaper in comparison to new homes. It might not sound right to know that a brand-new house sells for more in comparison to a home that is several years old in the same neighborhood or location. New houses are not considered comparable to previously owned houses in this regard, that is why you can always expect them to sell for more, most especially that upon appraisal, they do not show any issues at all. However, with the price in mind, it might sound unfair that a previously owned house with a spa or pool, landscaping, window treatments, and ceiling fans will still sell cheaper than a brand-new one that does not have any of these features.

With brand-new houses, you can always expect to pay higher for them with their current condition and being under full warranty. In addition, you will also be securing some things not yet found in this new house as well as have some landscaping or patio done. Nonetheless, a lot of people still choose to buy a new house from a previously owned one, and you can see this trend among builders who sell really well.

• Location
In terms of location, you seldom see houses that are located nearby the place where you work as well as more common amenities such as schools, hospitals, the airport, or the downtown area. For more developed cities or towns, you cannot find a lot homes in their main area, more so, builders of new homes in these areas. When a city develops, the development will be outward. So, for newer homes and commercial establishments, they are mostly fond outward. This is something that you should think about when deciding to get a used home or a new home. As you travel both ways, also consider what effect traveling daily has on your time and the prices of your gas.

                             

• Updates and add-ons
Lastly, updates and add-ons will also have some effect on the overall costs of used homes and new homes. For instance, used homes will most likely be needing some updates that will usually be comparable with adding new things to a brand-new home in terms of total costs. For used homes, you might need to have a fresh coat of paint done, update your granite counters, or change your appliances. So that you can better decide if you should go for a used home or a new home, calculate both the updates and add-ons that you will be needing for them.

Keeping all of these factors in mind, you can say that either buying a new home or buying a used home will have their own advantages and disadvantages. The key to making the perfect choice is to assess your particular preferences and needs and choosing a housing option that can better fit them.

Posted in Real Estate

Selling Your Home Fast on Your Own

Who says you cannot sell your own home all on your own? Of course, you can! You should not always rely on the services of a real estate agent. And not hiring one does not imply that you will be facing more challenges and long-term hassle while selling your home. Even real estate properties listed on the market for sale can take weeks or even months to attract potential buyers. As a home owner selling your own home, it is very much possible to finish the entire process of selling faster all on your own.

For faster selling of your home without any help from a real estate agent, make sure to do the following.

1. Do home staging, take high quality photos of your home, and upload them online.
Since you are putting up your property for sale online, it is a must that you have it look incredible from the inside out. Make sure every spot is presented on a good light. You can even hire an expert to do home staging by decluttering certain surfaces, re-pleating your curtains, setting fresh flowers on top of your table, and plumping up your cushions.

2. Take advantage of word of mouth strategies.
Having your property listed online or on newspapers will never be enough in gathering as many potential buyers as you can and hopefully getting a good deal out of them. You must spread the word to anyone and everyone you know that your property is for sale from your friends, neighbors, workmates, churchmates, your Facebook friends, and all other social media contacts that you can ever think of. You can even place a huge banner outside of your gate for all the people passing by your property to see.

3. Deal with a number of potential buyers.
Always keep your phone lines open and your social media accounts active to entertain possible queries via messages, call, and texts regarding your home for sale ad. While you are on them, be careful of property agents who will appear out of the blue and provide you with some interesting valuations of the house that you are selling. You should rather go with people who have better reputation about selling properties that are similar with yours.

4. Master the game of playing hard to get.
Now that you have posted the best photos of your house for sale as well as some crucial details and descriptions about it with your phone ringing countless times, embrace all of these things as they happen. You can begin by turning down the view requests of people, just be sure to do it courteously. You may want to make the excuse that you are doing a few pre-sale improvements. The really interested buyers will make an effort to really reach out to you that will surely end up in your house selling fast.

5. A few other things to remember:
• If you cannot avoid getting visits from potential buyers:
Be sure to make lasting impressions regarding your home. Remove all personal belongings and clutter and ensure to keep your entire house looking magnificent, cozy, and fresh all in all.

• Get ready with things your solicitor might need:
Organize all the necessary legal documents of your house that might be needed including warranties, building regulation certificates, and window and door certificates. Do not forget to all prepare the most crucial document, that is your title deed.

• Have a real estate agent nearby:
With no prior experience of selling a home, you will be better off having a good agent nearby that can assist you with all your concerns about the house that you are selling.

Posted in Real Estate

Important Reminders in Selling Your Inherited Property

Inheriting a property from a loved one implies that you have a lot of things to think about, and usually, it goes in both ways. There are some who choose to move right into the property once they have found out that they have inherited it. On the other hand, there are some who want to sell it and get it over with. For some, choosing the latter allows them to have some peace of mind while at the same time help them come up with some profit that they can use for other more important things such as paying off their debts as well as financing for the college education of their children. Even so, those who choose to sell their inherited property are not so sure where they must begin. If you happen to be one, it is best that you find someone or a company that specifically deals with these matters so that the entire process will just be smooth sailing for you and profitable at the same time.

• Tax implications
Typically, emotions are heightened during these scenarios that people who are involved in the inheritance forget to formally discuss what tax implications they must face later on. Due to the fact that there will be estate tax and inheritance tax issues that will come into the picture, it is best to hire an agent who is an expert in selling inherited properties. It would be a wrong move to go alone or with a family member or friend who does not have any idea as well about the best way for you to sell your inherited property.

• Sale preparation
Before you will have your inherited property listed on the market, ensure to have it read for possible buyers. Besides, for most investors and buyers, if they find out that an inheritance property is for sale, they often expect to good a good deal as they often conclude that the seller wants to get rid of the property as soon as they can. To prepare the property for sale, be sure to remove all of your personal belongings and have it cleaned. In addition, it would be a great idea to have an estate sale or a yard sale for the belongings of the inherited property that are now yours.

• Picking a price for the inherited property
As mentioned above about buyers knowing that a property for sale is inherited, usually, they convince as much as they can the property owner to reduce the selling price. But then, this should not always be the case. If you are going to sell an inherited property, again, it is best to work with an agent who has dealt with selling these properties for a long time. You can get the price that you want and need with this agent you hire who has for sure asked around for selling prices of nearby properties, assessed trends in the locality, and has in-depth knowledge of the current happenings in the real estate market. The process becomes smooth sailing not just with their knowledge but with their negotiating skills that they have developed through several years of experience.

• Never do it alone
Never let your emotions get in the way and lead you to the wrong direction during these trying times. Always have a reliable company by your side with the experience and knowledge making sure to always have your best interests in mind.

Posted in Real Estate

Top 5 Reasons to Invest in a Waterfront House

Waterfront properties seem to be one of those rarities in real estate. They remain firm and do not get easily swayed with most trends in the market. Of course, there are reasons why this is so. Summer days can be better off spent on rivers and lakes offering the benefit of decreased stress as well as memorable family times. Cabins and house rentals are also becoming popular all year round. Aside from that, these properties can also be bought to serve as permanent residences among home owners who wish to get some privacy and be one with nature. Your seldom see waterfront houses for sale in the real estate market. But if you do see them, for sure, you have a long list of interested buyers ahead of you.

There are many reasons why people invest in waterfront properties. This short article will give you the top 5 reasons to invest in them in case another one comes along for sale, and you are interested in buying it.

1. Getting your much-needed privacy
A lot of people are now prioritizing privacy over other things when looking into several housing options. With waterfront properties, this is a given. The presence of dense foliage and the long distances between homes diminish sounds effectively. This makes home owners better appreciate their own quiet time and go into deep thoughts as well as go into conversations with family and guests. Since there will only be limited space for further housing development, you cannot expect to have other houses seen between the water’s edge and your property. This enables the home owners to have a better view of the water. Usually, waterfront houses that are put up for sale come with a private dock or if not, at least have some walking distance or pathway to the shoreline.

2. Exciting water activities
Water activities are one of the most effective ways to bond better with family and friends. The water is never short of fun activities to choose from starting with swimming, fishing, boating, skiing, etc. They can never be done on land that is why you seldom see home owners who have the luxury to enjoy all of these activities. Even doing the simplest of activities near lakes and rivers like sipping your favorite cup of tea while reading a book can be all too magical.

3. Limited supply
You seldom see a lot of houses near bodies of water. With their being rare, you can expect their value to be retained unlike houses sold in urban areas that suffer from price fluctuations. Thus, if need be, you can easily sell your waterfront property in no time. If you will not be using them, you can offer to have them rented to get additional earnings. Of course, you are expected to maintain your property adequately. Even so, buying a house that offers unlimited fun and quality family bonding is no doubt a wise investment choice.

4. Being close to nature
Though being close to nature is dependent on the location of your waterfront property, if you choose one near rivers and lakes, for sure you can enjoy the wildlife and their natural habitat. You can fish for food or sport, catch rare glimpses of owls or deer, watch birds from the dock, and even just spend more intimate moments with nature that you can never get in the city.

                         

5. Experiencing a wide array of health benefits
According to studies, being near bodies of water pose a wide range of health benefits. You can a sense of serenity and piece that allow your stress levels to be reduced. You also get to breathe cleaner and fresher air and steer clear from light and noise pollution in heavy amounts in comparison to living in the city.

Posted in Real Estate

Choosing the Most Suitable Fixed Mortgage Term for You

The current real estate market is enjoying low interest rates just like what is happening in other business establishments. That is why most home mortgages that are being issues come in fixed terms. Most potential home owners prefer to enjoy low interest rates for the entire term or duration of their loan; thus, they proceed in taking advantage of this kind of mortgage term. If you have made up your mind that you would rather go with fixed mortgage rates than the variable mortgage rates, you proceed in applying for one. If you are eligible for this kind of mortgage, you then proceed in choosing the most suitable fixed mortgage term depending on your needs, situation, and/or conditions. Here you can find a brief discussion of the varying fixed mortgage terms that you can choose from for you to better decide which one you should be going for.

1. 15 years or less
This fixed-term mortgage is the shortest term among the others and offers the most benefit in terms of interest rates with its interest rates being always lower than those of the other types. You will be paying lower for your total payments with lower interest rates and having fewer payments in less years. Asset accumulation will grow faster and your payments will be able to pay much faster your principal mount rather than just pay for your interest rates. However, not all people are easily eligible for this fixed mortgage term. To qualify, you must have a higher income, other assets, and have less overall debt. Furthermore, you will be paying higher monthly installment payments at a shorter period of time.

2. 20-25 years
This particular fixed-term mortgage is considered as the in-between of the shorter mortgage term (i.e., 15 years or less) to the longer mortgage terms (30 years or more). That being said, if you compare the interest rates of this mortgage term from the shorter term, they are a bit higher; however, compared with the longer mortgage terms, they have much lower interest rates.

3. 30 years
Among the different fixed mortgage terms, this term is the most common one being chosen by potential home owners. Even if the interest rates can be higher than the abovementioned two terms, they are still low, generally speaking. This is the best option for most qualified individuals who are in need of buying a home but need to get an ideal financing option since the prices of most houses are increasing.

4. 40 years
The last fixed mortgage term was nonexistent decades ago. It was only just recently where this extended mortgage term has been introduced into the mortgage market. With this particular fixed mortgage term, you can extend the number of years to repay the house that you have bought with lower monthly installments. However, your overall payment will also most likely go up. This is a good deal for potential home owners who are having a difficult time qualifying to apply for a good mortgage loan.

As you choose which fixed mortgage term suits you best, just do not forget to look into a number of factors such as your comfort zone, financial capacity, overall costs versus expenses, and the monthly payments. So, which fixed mortgage terms do you intend to choose now?