Some Tips In Building A Green Home

If you are thinking of joining the advocacy of going green, what better way to do it than to start building a green home. You will need to follow certain environmental practices in building a green home – such as those that help lessen (negative) effects on the environment.

First thing you need to consider is building materials. Building a environment friendly home would require materials that are eco-friendly and compliant with the current standards in constructing green homes. You may browse the internet for details regarding the compliances and product info to help you where to get and how to use them. If you have a contractor in mind, make sure that the company offers services specifically for building a green home.

It is imperative to prioritize sustainable materials such as those that can be recycled or natural materials that can be replenished due to their growth rate. Hardwood from large old trees should not be cut down and used, since they take years to grow and the earth beneath will also be affected when they are taken out. Using alternative wood such as bamboo is better since this specie can grow rapidly.

Lightweight concrete is a type of concrete that has been used in building a healthy home for years. However, this type of concrete is not as strong, but it can perform as well as traditional concrete and can hold up to any weather condition. It is often used as home insulation and it’s also capable of retarding fire.

Prefabricated panels for homes are also available and they can be ordered and purchased at reasonable amounts. Generally, they are similarly priced to regular building materials that are used for a typical home. And they must also get approval from organizations that monitor environmental compliances.

In order to have less impact on the environment, building green homes employ appropriate architectural design. Typical green homes are smaller than regular homes like those that are found in rural areas and large counties. Styles may vary from contemporary, bungalow, Victorian, ranch style and many others.

The important thing about building a green home is that it will help lessen the negative effects on the environment in general. There are many factors that you need to consider such as energy and water consumptions, recycling and using eco-friendly materials. Generally, once you have these factors implemented on your green home, you’ll be able to help reduce harmful impacts on the environment and on the earth.

Tips For Wholesaling Houses With Tenants

Many new investors expect to be wholesaling vacant houses when they get into the business, yet quickly find a great percentage of properties today are occupied, even foreclosures and REOs. So how does this change the game and what tips can help those wholesaling houses with tenants better navigate the process more profitably?

While many, especially newer real estate investors may find wholesaling vacant houses simpler, there are many advantages to flipping tenant occupied properties in this market.

First time home buyers still make up a small percentage of the market in most areas and certainly don’t provide the consistent volume and speed that wholesaling houses to investors hungry for rental units does.

Properties which already have tenants in place eliminate the guess work for end investors and give them the confidence and advantage that comes with an asset which is already delivering positive cash flow and returns. This can help generate higher profit margins and move homes faster.

Of course wholesaling properties that are occupied can also come with some need for additional due diligence and a few challenges. First and foremost today this means figuring out exactly who is occupying the property and what the deal is.

In many cases today, even when a property has been foreclosed on and classified as a bank owned REO for years previous owners can still be found living there. This is a big problem situation for investors. While it may not appear to be much of a concern for those wholesaling or flipping real estate contracts it can mean getting stuck with a deal no one else wants to touch.

Make sure the property is free of previous owners and squatters before closing or be prepared to be stuck with them indefinitely.

Even when actual tenants are in place it is essential to verify rents, rent status and deposits accurately. Never just take the seller’s word for it, or even their agent or an occupant. Official estoppel letters should be obtained from all units and figures verified.

Keep on top of this at closing to ensure all funds paid are prorated and appropriate amounts are transferred to the new owner. As the buyer or middle man remember that cash back at closing due to deposit credit and rent paid in advance is not profit. Some have boasted walking away from the closing table with thousands in cash, but which actually needs to be held for refundable deposits or forwarded to new buyers.

The buying and selling process, especially when there are multiple sales in a short period of time can be very stressful and annoying for renters. Be friendly, be as transparent as possible and ensure that they understand the benefits to prevent them from becoming difficult or blocking potential deals.

6 Tips for Home Buying Right Now

1. Get pre-approved for a loan.

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

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

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

3. Check out neighborhoods ahead of time.

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

4. Make time for house-hunting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Tips To Keep In Mind When Buying Your First Property

Many people got rich buying and selling real estate. So, investing in real estate is a lucrative business. Unlike buying stock, you can easily put in millions of dollars into your first purchase. But you have to have the necessary information before getting started. Below are some tips for you to get started.

1. Repairs

Do you know how to use a toolbox? Can you repair drywall? Can you unclog a toilet? There is no doubt that you can call a professional to get these jobs done, but this will cost you a significant amount of money. Most property owners, especially those with a few homes, do the repair work on their own in order to save money. So, if you can’t do these projects yourself, you may not want to be a landlord.

2. Debt

Experienced investors have debt as an important part of their portfolio of investment. However, a common man can’t afford to carry debt. So, if you have a student loan to pay, or you have some medical bills to pay, buying a rental property won’t be the right move for you.

3. The Down Payment

Usually, if you want to invest in real estate, you should be ready to make a big down payment. Aside from this, investment properties require approval requirements that are more stringent. So, the small sum that you put down on your home won’t work for your investment property. For this, you need a minimum of 20%. So, you have to keep this in mind.

4. Higher Interest Rates

Now, the cost of getting a loan may not be that expensive, but the rate of interest on your investment property may be a bit higher. Keep in mind that you need to make a mortgage payment that won’t be so high. This payment should not be too difficult for you to pay.

5. Figure out Your Margins

Big firms that purchase some distressed properties opt for at least 5% return on their investment. The reason is that they have a staff to pay salaries to. As an individual, we suggest that you aim for 10% ROI. According to estimates, the maintenance cost of the properties is 1% of the value of the property.

6. Buying a Fixer-Upper

You may want to get a house that can be bought at a bargain for flipping into a rental. However, if you are going to buy for the first time, doing so will be a bad idea. Moreover, unless you are good at home improvements, the renovation will cost you plenty of money. What you need to do is search for a home the value of which is lower than that of market. Moreover, make sure that the house doesn’t need heavy repairs.

7. Figure out Operating Expenses

On average, the operating expenses on a fresh property are at least 35% of the gross operating income obtained from that property. So, you should figure out your operating expenses as well.

Hopefully, now you are ready to buy your first home

I Buy Houses – Tips For Selling Your Home to Private Real Estate Investors

Many of the “I Buy Houses” signs you see posted on street corners and in front of homes belong to private real estate investors. In today’s recessed economy, a large percentage of homeowners are struggling to attract buyers. When property owners need to sell their house quick they oftentimes turn to individuals or organizations that specialize in buying houses for cash.  

Before calling the number on “I Buy Houses” signs, it is important to engage in due diligence and determine the source. Unfortunately, there are many scammers in the world and currently the real estate market is a prime target.  

Thanks to the Internet it is relatively easy to locate information about anyone. Business owners are required to register in each state they wish to conduct business. In most states, the Department of Revenue oversees business registrations. Other states utilize the Secretary of State office.  

The Attorney General’s office handles consumer complaints; as does the Better Business Bureau. Realtors and brokers are licensed through the Real Estate Commission.  

To locate any of the sources above via the Internet, type in your state plus the name of the organization, e.g; California Real Estate Commission. These agencies can help to ensure you are working with a licensed, legitimate, complaint-free business or real estate investor.  

I buy houses in southern California and work with a group of nationwide investors. Nearly all of us have heard horror stories of innocent homeowners losing their property to foreclosure scams. Mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, offers an article on how to avoid foreclosure rescue schemes.  

As an investor, people call me nearly every day, begging me to buy their house. The biggest problem I encounter is the fact that people wait too long before they take action. By the time they call me they are panic-stricken and desperate. It shouldn’t be that way.  

I’ll give you the same advice I give to everyone else. If you are delinquent on your mortgage, you need to call your lender now. I realize you might believe your lender is the devil incarnate, but most banks will work with you if you don’t ignore their requests. Once a house falls into foreclosure there is little room for negotiation.  

If there is no hope of getting back on track, ask your lender to engage in a short sale. Lenders agree to accept less than is owed on the loan if the borrower can sell their home within a certain time frame. Short sales are relatively complex and require time and patience.  

Short sale real estate is typically priced around ten percent under market value. In some areas, short sale properties are being sold up to 50-percent under market value. It’s best to work with a real estate investor who possesses short sale experience and understands the process.  

Selling your home to a private real estate investor is no different than selling to any other buyer. The exception is that investors are experienced and know what needs to be done and when to do it. Working with an experienced investor can simplify and expedite the process.  

In closing, be certain to read and thoroughly understand any legal documents prior to signing them. It’s always a good idea to have a real estate lawyer review the documents to ensure they are legally-binding and will stand up in a court of law if necessary.