House Flip For Profit – 7 Tips For House Flipping Success in Any Market

1. Get Prepared – Now that you have decide to start flipping houses for profit it’s time to get your goals and expectations set correctly in your mind. Figure out how much cash you have available for this investment. Make sure that you have enough money to cover a twenty percent down payment, the remodel of the home, and enough cash on hand to cover the monthly mortgage payment until the property is. I know it sounds overwhelming, but I will show you how to reduce the up-front cash and the funds for the remodel. It always make sense to write down your plan. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it just has to make sense to you. You can’t possibly know where you are going without a map to navigate by.

2. Identify a good property to flip – Now that you have some idea of your direction, it’s time to consider the type of property that would make a good flip. Figure out if you want to buy a single family home that needs work, or a multi-family home where your intention could be a condo conversion. For our purposes here, we’ll discuss the single family house flip. If you don’t have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in your area, find a reputable real estate agent who could provide you with access to the MLS. It is wise to have a buyers agent because it’s doesn’t cost you any money. The buyers agent is compensated by the listing broker’s agency. Once you have access to the MLS, you can start searching for properties. I like to search by zip codes in areas that I know to have desirable neighborhoods. In a down market, such as the one we are in now, there are plenty of rundown homes that happen to be in great neighborhoods. Those are the homes that will always sell first. You should focus on bank owned, short sale and foreclosed homes that are on the market. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how much the seller is asking for the home, what matters is if the project makes sense. I typically figure out the price I will pay for a home after I figure out the amount of work that needs to be done and how much I can sell it for. Remember, the market tells you what a home will sell for, not a price tag.

3. Inspection and Property Analysis – Before you can make an educated offer, you must know two things. First you must know how much it will cost to bring the house to it’s highest and best condition. You need to appeal to the type of buyer that is most likely to purchase the home. You should have a trusted contractor meet you at the house so they can give you an idea of the costs involved. Now add 20% just to be allow for unexpected costs. Once you know your cost you should consult with your real estate agent to determine what similar homes have sold for and look at the homes you will be competing with. Now that you have a good idea of the future selling price and the cost of the construction, you can now use basic math to add the cost to the purchase price and then subtract that answer from the estimated future sales price to determine if there is a enough profit margin for this house flip to make sense for you. Tip: Don’t forget to add sales commission to your cost if you plan on using a real estate agent.

4. If the Numbers Work, Get Financed ! – Once you know that there is enough profit after your acquisition cost, remodel estimate and sales cost. You now know the most that you should pay for the home. Before you make an offer, you must get your financing in place. This is my area of expertise since I have been a mortgage broker for several years. There have been many changes in the mortgage industry since mid 2006. Money is a little tougher to get, but it is still available with a down payment and decent credit history. Guidelines are always changing, but right now at the end of 2008, a minimum of 20% down payment is required to purchase investment property and the borrower must show income and assets to qualify. If after the 20% down, remodel money and cash to cover the monthly payments, you do not have much money left, you should consider a partner for the deal. You may not be a fan of long term partnerships, but when you are flipping property, you would be looking at a 4-6 month partnership, not a lifetime. If that works out you could always buy more property to flip in the future. It also helps split the risk and the tasks. Just make sure your expectations are set properly. If going the partner route I suggest opening a joint bank and funding it with 6 months of mortgage payments including tax and insurance. If you have more questions about financing, I would be happy to answer them. I will provide my office contact information at the end of this article.

5. Remodel / Rehabilitation Phase – It’s time to get this home fixed up and back on the market as fast as possible. You should now have your contractors come in to start the construction phase. Keep in mind that cheap labor will almost always be more expensive. Make sure that the contractors are pulling the proper permits. The last thing that you want is a forced work stoppage because the required permit was not pulled. Furthermore, if these workers do not know or build to code, it will usually cost you double to correct a code issue. By now you should have a detailed list of everything that needs to be done. Break it down by major systems such as heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical, and any other system that needs repair or service. Then go room by room and make a list of what needs to be done in each room. Joint compound and a fresh coat of paint goes a long way. Just make sure you use modern, neutral colors that would not be offensive to anyone. Make sure you inspect the exterior of the home for repairs and touch-ups. The yard should be clean and landscaped properly. Make sure you check in on the contractors daily to make sure things are on track, don’t assume all is on schedule. Finally, take advantage of using Lowes and Home Depot credit to avoid payments and interest for six to twelve months. You should be able to buy most of the materials with that credit. Just makes sure you pay the entire balance when the interest free period ends or you will get whacked with all of the accrued interest.

6. Sell your House Fast – Now that your home is complete and ready to go on the market. You should already have an idea of how much you will list this property for, but you must once again verify the value. The best way to do this is to have an appraiser or a real estate agent do a comparable market analysis. If you don’t know an appraiser, call your mortgage broker and ask him or her to use their appraiser to help figure out a range for you. I do it for my mortgage clients as free value added service, it’s just good business practice. You may want to sell your home yourself and that is fine, but you must have the time to show it and also be able to list the property on your local multiple listing service. If you are trying to avoid paying a full real estate commission, a local real estate agent will usually do an “entry only” listing for a nominal fee. If you do not have the time or do not want to deal with the hassle of listing the home yourself, hire a real estate agent to list your home. You should have already added in the sales commission fee into your figures before hand. When figuring value make sure that you also look not only at similar homes that have sold, you should also look at your competition. Your home needs to be a great deal when the average buyer looks at it against others in the same price range. Finally, if you are not getting sufficient showings after a week or so the home may be priced to high, don’t be afraid to lower the price. Sometimes a little profit is better than no profit. That is why you must purchase the property that you want to flip as low as possible and estimate the remodel as accurately as possible.

7. Make Plans for your Profit – If you priced your newly remodeled house correctly, it will go under agreement and you will soon close. If you have planned correctly, you should have some profit coming to you. It would be wise to have a solid plan with regards to your profit. Here are some options; You could simply take the profit as well as your initial investment and place it in your bank. In that case, you just created a taxable event or in other words, a long or short term capital gain depending on how long you held the property. That option is better if the profit gain was minimal. If you made a significant profit and were planning on flipping another property, you can defer your taxes through a 1031 exchange. Basically a 1031 exchange is a tax code that allows you to defer capital gain tax to a later date buy reinvesting your profit into another investment property within a certain time frame. There are rules that must be followed in order to make the exchange valid but considering the benefit, it could be well worth it. The advantages of doing a 1031 exchange includes having more money available now and more buying power. It means not being taxed while your are building your real estate investment business. You can flip your profit, just like you flip a house. Here is an idea, why not flip homes until you have enough down payment funds to exchange into a 30 unit apartment building. Then you can turn your money into a cash flow. You could defer paying any taxes until after you sell the last property and actually take the money. It is always wise to speak with an accountant when making tax decisions, so always consult a professional CPA when dealing with tax laws, that is money well spent.

I will leave you with one last thought; Use professionals from start to finish. Licensed professionals may appear to cost more, but they will save you money by getting the job done on time and correctly.

Basic Tips For Going Green in Your Home

Did you know that homes are now built so precisely that there is no fresh air entering into or leaving our homes? The air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside and can be a breeding ground for illness and allergies. Everything from our furniture, paint, household cleaners, flooring choices, and décor has built-in toxins and chemicals that are emitted into our breathing air every day. These toxins, also known as VOC’s or volatile organic compounds, have been connected to higher risks for heart attack, asthma, allergies, skin rashes, cancer, and reproductive disorders.

Now for the good news! You can actively take steps to go green in your home and create a safe breathing environment for yourself and your family. Here are some ways to be proactive and go green in your home.

The trend these days for homeowners is to renovate or rejuvenate their existing home, rather than simply purchasing a new home. As a result, many new products and paints are used to bring new life to older homes. If you’re not careful in choosing eco-friendly products for your renovations, you’re likely introducing more harmful chemicals into your breathing air. Did you know that new carpet will off-gas toxins for nearly 20 years? Suddenly, that “new carpet smell” isn’t so great, is it?

Going Green Tips

1) Choose an eco-friendly paint – paint manufacturers are responding to the need for cleaner air inside our living and working environments, so there are quality choices available on the market today. An eco-friendly paint is created using recycled paint or vegetable dyes and minerals.

2) Opt for eco-friendly flooring – natural fibers are attractive in any home décor, so opt for floor coverings like cork, bamboo, or linoleum. These “green” materials are attractive and inexpensive.

3) Purchase green furniture – furniture constructed from certified sustainable wood or reclaimed wood. Bamboo furniture is also a great choice and can be incorporated into many styles of décor. Do you love the look of vintage furniture? Using furniture that has been around the block a few times is another great way to go green when choosing “new-to-you” furniture pieces.

4) Invest in a natural air purifier – no chemicals are needed to clean the air in your home. Instead, invest in a quality air purifier for your home. Green household plants absorb polluted air, so include these in your decorating plan. Burn beeswax candles instead of chemically created candles. Beeswax candles emit negative ions, which are beneficial for you. Another natural air ionizer is a salt crystal lamp.

5) Look for natural fibers – shower curtains, window treatments, throw pillows, bed pillows, etc, should all be manufactured from natural fibers. Look for products that are manufactured using natural unbleached cotton, organic wool, organic hemp, or shredded rubber latex. Products to stay away from include those made from plastic, foam, or synthetic materials.

Going green in your home does not mean you have to sacrifice quality or beauty. Manufacturers of home décor, furniture, and renovating materials recognize that savvy consumers want eco-friendly choices and they’re providing choices that are beautiful and budget-friendly.

It’s easy to go green in your home, so get started today. You’ll be breathing cleaner air that much quicker!

Helpful Tips When Buying One of the Splendid Costa Blanca Villas

There is a wide variety of Costa Blanca villas and apartments for sale and resale on the different parts of Costa Blanca in Javea, Moraira, Denia, Altea and others; and very promising exciting investment opportunities on the Costa Calida and Costa del Sol.

These villas have special properties which makes it a most perfect place for retirement. When contemplating on searching for your dream home, Costa Blanca Villas has a lot to offer. Nonetheless, purchasing a property in Spain or any other foreign country is always a complicated process which needs extra caution.

Here are some helpful tips and useful information about how to go along with your plan of purchasing your dream home on Costa Blanca villas to ensure that it is less of a burden and more of a pleasure.

• Know the area beforehand. Refer to all kinds of maps and plans for the surroundings of your future villa, especially if the building is in a quiet, distant neighborhood; it might attract unwanted visitors. Better yet, make sure that it is not too quiet or isolated. You can search around with local villas agents and friends.

• Check what the property looks like in off season. Make sure you have already spent some time not just in summer but also during winter, so you know the place from both sides of the coin.

• Rent various flats and apartments before you decide on purchasing a property to watch out for intensity of noise and sounds both during day and night; and look out into the day and night traffic to see what the transport vehicles are like.

• Don’t just transact in villa vendors, look also into national agents. Search the web who can help you find different Costa Blanca Villas guides or agents. It is important that you check if these agents are API trained.

• It is always safest to employ your own legal representative. Having your own legal representative ensure your best interests. Of course, some estate agents will assure you that they will arrange all the legal business for you (similar to a conveyencor in the UK), but in case of a problem, who exactly will they represent – you or their client? The legal representatives in Spain licensed to carry out property purchases fall into two categories:

1. Gestors (pronounced Hestor), are more like an ordinary Solicitor charge between €500 to €1,000, whilst the

2. Abogados (similar to a Barrister), are more qualified and able to represent clients in court, charge between €1,500 to 1.5% of the purchase price.

• Look at several websites to get an idea of Costa Blanca Villas prices; Never from TV programmes as they give a false impression. Generally, inland prices are cheaper, whilst prices in coastal areas are more expensive. However, one should bear in mind that in inland areas local dialects are frequently used.

• If you still have doubts about the property you want to purchase, you can always do your own research. Ask your future neighborhood. Most Costa Blanca people can speak in English, French or German language, and so as far as language is concerned there is no problem purchasing Costa Blanca Villas.

There are too many dreadful, disgusting stories of people losing their money or property because of purchases made from wrong information and sources. Extra caution is highly recommended.

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

As a FSBO seller, you are responsible for handling all of the aspects of selling your home. So, how do you go about showing the property to interested buyers?

Tips on Showing Your FSBO Property

The huge advantage of selling your property for sale by owner is you save a ton of money on real estate agent commissions. At six percent a pop, the savings literally amount to tens of thousands of dollars. The potential downside is you actually have to do the work. One aspect where this is particularly true is when it comes time to show the property to interested buyers. Here are some tips to help you with the process.

First and foremost, it is important to time the showing. If you have multiple parties showing interest in the home, try to set a single time to show the home. The goal is to have them at the property at the same time. This creates the impression there is a lot of interest in the home. This impression will then motivate the buyers to make offers on your property.

A second tip is not to show your home on your own. As sad as it is, there are cranks and weirdoes out there. Make sure you have at least one other person with you when showing the property. If you need some help with this, mortgage brokers are often willing to come to showing. There goal is to snag one of the potential buyers as a mortgage client. Regardless, it gives you multiple people in the home and cuts down on any risk of something bad happening.

The third tip is to get your marketing brochures together. Buyers rarely look at just one home. You want to give them a brochure so they can remember and visual your home. The brochure should contain all the relevant information about your home including price, square footage, unique aspects, your contact information and pictures, pictures, pictures! Did I mention pictures?

Finally, make sure you have a guest book for potential buyers to sign. Ask for them to sign their names and provide a phone number. This will create a record for you of everyone that saw your home. It will also provide you with phone numbers so you can call them back if necessary.

Showing your home is a critical part of the real estate process. Follow these tips and it should go off without a hitch.

Tips to Book Your Vacation Rentals

Florida is a popular tourist spot in USA because it has various beaches and theme parks. You can also laze around beaches which are located either on the Atlantic or Gulf Coast. You can visit the beautiful Disney theme parks. Atlantic coast beaches are known for their great surf and Gulf coast for sands and crystal clean waters. You can find great golf courses and various other water sports. You can enjoy Disney and other Kennedy space centers in Florida.

If you want to stay for a week or more in Florida the best thing would be to hire a vacation home in Florida. If you want to spend less then you can consider staying in vacation rental, condos, Villas and beach houses as you can enjoy amenities that are available at home. If you follow these tips you can book a vacation rental easily:

* If you’re planning to travel in Florida during peak season you have to shell out more money from your pocket. But if you’re traveling during off-peak season the price of the same vacation rental property will be a bit less. You’ll be able to save a bit of money on your vacation home.

* It’s never too early to start thinking about your next vacation. If you’re able to visit the vacation rental properties that you’re interested in renting. If that isn’t feasible, then browse pictures and reviews of that vacation home. Try to feel for that rental. Find out whether that holiday home has everything you will require during your stay. (Bedding, Towels, Dishes, Pool toys and television etc. Also find out whether that particular vacation home is located in an ideal area. Look into vacation rental homes ahead of time so that you can get a better idea of what you want to rent.

* You can also book vacation homes through a rental agent. You can call an agent to discuss about available properties and you can find out how much you can pay for a rental in a certain area. Based on the days of your stay you can also ask about discounts for extended stays. There are some vacationers who stay longer than a week.

* When you’re booking a vacation home you have to sign a lease. Read the fine print to make sure there won’t be any surprises during or after your stay. Find out about specific features like docking fees, cleaning fees, boat usage and liability. It would be better if you know exactly what your responsibilities are before you sign a vacation rental lease.

* Once you know when and where you want to take your vacation start looking into vacation rentals. Beach houses fill up close to a year ahead of time. You can also check out newspaper and internet for vacation rental details. And then call to book the rental. You have to pay a small deposit up front to secure the rental. If you sign your lease agreement you will be able to book your vacation rental properly.