Top 5 Financing Tips For Your Dream Home

buy a home

Purchasing a home comes with its challenges. The financial challenges including saving enough of a deposit to be accepted for a mortgage pre-approval, then maintaining this until you go unconditional, and finally, budgeting to afford mortgage repayments and all the additional bills.

Imagine living in your dream home with the style and space you’ve always wanted. Getting home at the end of a long day, kicking your shoes off and relaxing in the comfort of your own home. It can’t get much better.

Here are some lifelong tips that will help you maintain that dream lifestyle…

Put a budget in place to save for the deposit.

The bigger the deposit, the smaller the repayments. Essentially, working hard to save before purchasing your dream home will make it significantly easier for the lifetime of the loan due to the interest that will accrue.

For this reason, you should budget out a set amount of money to put away specifically for your dream home at every time interval. There are many ways to budget, and each type suits different people. For instance, you could budget on a weekly basis or a monthly basis.

Keep in mind, nothing is stable. Your financial situation will change over the course of saving for your dream home, usually for the better. Think pay rises. However, you should always be prepared to face the worst case scenario and accept that your goals could be put on hold by a year or two, if you are faced with big unexpected bills or job loss.

Boost your income.

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t just utilize your primary income to save for your dream home – there are always things you can do on the side that will put more money in your back pocket.

If you’re in an industry where you can’t do extra hours or do freelance work on the side, you can take matters into your own hands. Buy second-hand items and sell them for profit online. Make candles or soaps on the side and sell them at the markets or online through local social pages. There is always something.

Do your research and ensure the financial gain is enough. Once you find your niche and test and trial, you’ll be able to bring in a steady side income.

And if you can, freelance work is a really lucrative technique to save more. Freelance work usually pays a significant amount more than your usual pay due to the fact the entire pay goes straight to you as opposed to being filtered through the company you work for.

dream home

Make sacrifices

This is a universal tip that should be used at each stage throughout the home purchase and home owning process. Spending money willy nilly will not allow you to afford your dream home. You simply won’t have enough money left to pay the hefty bills that come with the dream.

Cut down your spending habits so you allow yourself a set amount for leisure time or entertainment each week. And cut all other spending on items you don’t need altogether. Clothing, technology, beauty products – only buy items if you really need them and before you purchase, see if you can either borrow or repurpose items you already own. Trust me, keep the big picture in mind. It’s your dream home, after all.

Always view spends as a whole, not as individual expenses

So, you nip out of the office to grab lunch two days a week. $40 a week may not seem like much, but if you calculate that over the year, that’s $2080. And if you’re spending three years to save for your dream home, that’s $6240. Add this to other small spends which accumulate to other large spends and it adds up to tens of thousands dollars.

For this reason, always calculate spends for their entirety over the course of the year as opposed to one-off spends. This will make you rethink – is this spend really worth it?

Use an excel spreadsheet to budget your expenses

Excel sheets are usually utilized to visualize spending. You can either create one yourself or find templates online which are usually easier to use and understand. Start out by putting in your outgoing expenses that can’t be compromised or lowered as they are a set bill. These include mortgage repayment, electricity bill, water bill, internet bill, phone credit, and more.

Purchasing your dream home and making repayments can be difficult, but it is all worth it when you get to reside in the home you’ve always dreamed of.

 

What Realtors Need to Know about Millennials?

When we talk about realtors, Phil Dunphy from the famous sitcom “Modern Family” might be the first one to come to our minds . His endearing nature as well as his integrity makes him a role model to look upto, despite being a fictional character. He was everything a realtor should be, patient, empathetic and of course willing to uphold the interest of his client at all cost. He personified everything that a millennial would want to see in a realtor.

when life gives you lemonade phil dunphy

The catch with millennials is that while they want something unique and out of the box, they are also not naive to buy into anything and everything, hence a perfect balance between innovation and pragmatism is required when it comes to dealing with this group. A deeper understanding regarding this age group would require you to thorough market research, write detailed marketing reports  and competition analysis forms an integral part of it.

Nonetheless, here are some of the key factors that realtors need to know about millennials

Millenials google EVERYTHING

So you were recommended to your millennial client by her cousin brother and you are pretty sure that you are sure going to bag this client, I mean recommendation from a close family member , what else can supersede it ? Well I hate to break it to you, but that’s really not the case. No matter where they have heard something or someone, millennials will resort to the internet for verification. Hence in order to create a solid first impression on your millennial client or prospective client, make sure to have an impressive online presence. Are your social media profiles updated and on point. Do you have your latest contact information on your profiles? Also make sure to monitor the vibe that your profile is exuding? It should strike a balance between being professional yet approachable. If you are willing to go an extra mile to strengthen your online image, consider starting a blog where you use your experience and expertise to share meaningful and valuable content with the world. This would not only cast a very good impression on your prospective clients regarding your level of knowledge in the field but it would also help you reach out to more people.

Having an impressive online presence can literally do wonders for you when it comes to your new age millennial clients.

Millenials google everythings

Millennials are a lazy yet active generation

The oxymoron here can be quite confusing but it is actually quite true and while showing houses to them this is one of the primary factors that every realtor must keep in mind. They love to socialise and meet new people as well as their friends, hence they would prefer houses that are near gyms, swimming centres, malls and hip restaurants. Having said that, millennials also love chilling in their own home and not go out. Sounds pretty weird right, but it’s the truth. Hence a house with a home office, especially in the times of covid or some sort of indoor entertainment can win the hearts of your millennial clients.

Now, these are more of generic points , if you want to go into the depths of the housing requirements of millennials , you have to undertake thorough market research as well as competition analysis and a great way to do that is using the Porter’s 5 forces framework. It will be a great way for you to understand the current competitions that you have, the potential competition that can come up, threat of substitution and other factors too. This will give you quite a clear idea about the existing demand supply ratio in the market thereby helping you make smarter decisions.

lazy man illustration working with laptop

Tech yourself up

This definitely wouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. Millennials are well versed in technology and expect the same from whoever they are interacting with. So make sure you too are up to date with the latest technology that has come up in the market, especially in the communication department. You don’t have to be an expert but a basic knowledge about the know-hows is important. For example don’t expect your millennial clients to communicate via BBM because that has almost become ancient. Similarly millennials don’t even like talking over the phone that much, texting is the way to go. Hence, it would always be advisable to text them once before you decide to call them up. While these factors may seem insignificant on the face of it, it can have substantial impact.

Tech yourself up

Be their mentor and guide

This can be quite a decisive factor when it comes to standing out of the crowd. Millennials or anyone for that matter would choose someone who offers more value to them and that doesn’t necessarily always have to mean showing better houses. Sure that is definitely the most important factor, but it is important to communicate it to your clients that you’re simply not going to stop at showing houses to them, but you are going to be there, throughout the entire buying cycle. Guide them regarding their finances, tell them some tricks where they can save some money, on a lighter note recommend some good restaurants and pubs in the locality, suggest some good interior decoration ideas . This is not to say that you have to go all out and be at their beck and call 24*7 . Just be someone whom your clients can look at as a friend and guide and induce that confidence in them that they can come to you when they need any kind of guidance or help.

Be their mentor and guide

Now forging this level of personal connection can require some extra effort on your part, but trust me you will reap the benefits of it soon. Just think of it, when you offer substantial value to your customer, and the time comes for them to recommend a realtor to their friends and family, who do you think they are going to recommend? *wink**wink*

Being a realtor for millennials is not really different from being a realtor in general. Sure , you have to be mindful about a couple of things including being updated with technology, having a good presence on the internet. But apart from that, the core value remains the same, upholding the interest of your customer.

 

Author Bio:

Mary Jones is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at TopMyGrades, which focuses on career counselling for university students in the US, Canada, UK and Australia. Mary is an Assignment Expert and has extensive content editing experience and has worked with MSNBC, NewsCred and Scripted in the past. She has also authored blogs on Lifehack.org, Wn.com, Medium.com, Minds.com and many more digital publications.

Rent or buy during Covid-19 pandemic

Since the start of the year of 2020, it has been a struggle for everyone around the world as a pandemic has struck since the beginning of March, slowly fading away at the moment but still taking full effect as people around the world still are taking necessary procedures to avoid any risky outcomes. The fallout from the pandemic has struck many upcoming business ventures, many businesses losing in the process and some eventually going bankrupt as there was a certain percentage of people around the world who have lost their jobs for the time being and the real estate industry is no different when it comes to the downfall of many businesses and potential investments.

purchase a household 1

For many other people living and working during such hard times, since it’s difficult to be doing such recreational activities during the pandemic, many people have stayed indoors actually saving money on the side for what was supposed to be spent on such things like going out for dinner, future vacation trips that were cancelled among the way as well as everything being delivered within the household so people would avoid any risky actions by going out and exposing themselves and their families to a virus that cannot be seen. Since this has been the case for many family households, it has proven to show that people are spending less which means they can be saving more for the down payment that they wanted for their actual property that they desire. It is beneficial to purchase a home at the moment due to the fact that mortgage rates have dropped because the economy has fallen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finding or having to sell a property has never been more challenging as the pandemic has struck most parties involved within the industry of real estate such as the homebuyers, home sellers, renters, real estate realtors, agents and inspectors and mostly because job security has been unstable to being able to overcome a mortgage payment that has to be paid regardless the times or circumstances.

purchase a household 2

Even if it is the best time to purchase a home because of the circumstances and the prices going in your favor but it doesn’t mean that the vision looking forward long-term for the real estate industry can remain uncertain. The real estate market nowadays offers a supply of homes for sale that are actually running low, which leads the industry to raise the prices and put ownership out of reach for many residents among any country.

It is well known that every neighborhood that you are looking to purchase a property, you would realize that you might be overpaying for most of the metric values at the moment. Prices have raised where they cannot be affordable for the common resident because of all the low interest rates among the real estate industry. But there are certain questions that you need to ask yourself before making any quick decisions before purchasing property in any community such as:

  • How much money do you have saved for a down payment?
  • If you have enough for the down payment, how much money do you have on the side saved for any emergency case that might occur?
  • Do you plan on staying in the same community for a long time or a short time?
  • Where do you see your career path going? Are you financially stable to make such a decision like purchasing a home?
  • Do you have enough money to cover the expenses of maintenance and taxes better than you would if you were renting a place than actually being a homeowner?
  • Are you married and looking to find a place for yourself and future children?

For many people within the real estate industry, depending on the capital and savings that would be what makes a difference for homebuyers and people looking to rent, because purchasing a home at any given time isn’t available for just everyone. While there are some obvious financial benefits towards purchasing your own property as the value appreciation can increase and the mortgage interest can lead to deducted tax payments, you end up losing that flexibility that actually comes with renting. Most people see when you purchase a home that you are pretty much stuck with that decision until you decide to rent it out and move out or having to sell it off all together, while others who most of the time can’t afford to purchase a place, do enjoy having to pay a certain amount for rent just for the sake of not making any future commitments that can harm your savings one way or another. As there are maintenance, insurance and even uncertain expenses which can lead to unfinished mortgage payments, which regardless how you want to see it, would be considered in a way cheaper than rent to be paid.

The COVID-19 Rules and Regulations regarding safety hazards and avoiding any further health risks, the coronavirus has changed many ways that we conduct our daily lives today within the real estate industry, but in the end it is a business as any other business but the real estate industry is used to adjusting to circumstances and they have made the basic adjustments towards the advancing developments of technology to achieve a virtual reality. The virtual world is quite different and safety oriented so that the potential buyer renter would be able to view the property without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Depending on the Pandemic Stage restrictions that can be forced and put into place for certain countries, it would be better to conduct your business online and having to view your property virtually as well as all the signed and needed documents can be shared online as well as communication can be made through phones and texts and even video calls if that would work in your best interest.

For those looking to sell their property during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are three main options that can be made to run the best home inspections available such as virtual tours of the property, live viewings (if possible and not going against any health restrictions) because certain virtual tours about some of the properties that are listed can just be enough for the potential home buyer to purchase the household and give them all the information that is needed to be able to finalize the deal between both parties of the real estate transaction.

In conclusion, as much as it is restricted and difficult to purchase or rent a property at the moment, then it doesn’t make it the wrong time to do so either. Due to the fact that some rates have lowered and been affordable for certain families, then it would be better off to get the deal finished before rates go back to normal and having to be too expensive to afford. You can even purchase a household and put it on the market for rent so you can gain your mortgage payments through your rent payments and not having to go through any trouble with future financial decisions regarding the real estate industry.

5 Important Ways Commercial Properties Benefit from LED Lighting Upgrades

LED lighting is much better than other forms of commercial lighting

Owners and investors in commercial real estate understand that LED lighting is much better than other forms of commercial lighting. Why? Well, it improves light quality, provides better color rendering, boosts eco-friendliness, reduces costs and just looks much better than traditional lighting. LEDs are super durable as well, so the costs of maintenance are minimal. In offices, this type of lighting improves mood, productivity and wellbeing. All in all, LEDs are the future of commercial properties. Need more information? Here are all the ways various commercial buildings can benefit from LED lighting upgrades.

Practical office LEDs

Next to air quality, lighting is one of the most important factors in office spaces and real estate in general. Offices are the first commercial spaces that adopted LEDs and there are no signs of going back. Since offices require different types of lighting, LEDs are perfect thanks to their adaptability. For instance, open office spaces require a lot of light while private offices, elevators and other smaller rooms require less intense illumination. LED recessed luminaires will provide all the necessary light for large offices, no matter if used as focused light sources or broad spotlights. Since LEDs emit directional light, they eliminate the need for reflectors.

Task lighting, wall sconces and accent office lighting for offices can be fitted with LEDs to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs using zone controls, personal light controls, dimmers, daylight sensors and controllable window shades.

Display LEDs

One of the most important parts in retail lighting is its ability to be placed in show windows and various display spaces. For instance, LED spotlights mixed with up- and down-lighting work well in every display setting. LED recessed lighting can be used for general space illumination, but it also has an option to serve as directional and targeted lighting. If a retail store has a wall display, LED spotlights or accent lights can provide the display with soft highlighting illumination.

Practical office LEDs

If you work with an experienced lighting designer, your retail space can be fitted with various LED options that will leave a huge impression on your customers. No matter if you’re aiming for a bold or soft ambient look in your store, almost anything is possible with LEDs and their large assortment of lighting options. Since you can light up your space while using less energy, you can even achieve good financial saving.

Durable 24/7 road, parking and landscape lighting

Many commercial buildings have parking spaces and landscaping. Parking and garage lights usually need to be on all the time, so LEDs can provide users with energy efficiency and safety. On the other hand, public road lighting needs to endure extreme weather conditions and still stay operational. Luckily, LED lighting installations can offer optimal visibility, low energy consumption, durability and minimal maintenance, all of which are very important features in parking lots, public lighting and street lighting.

When it comes to landscaping, these spaces require softer ambient lighting. Once again, LED updates are here to provide users with what they need by giving out directional ambient and accent lighting. Another benefit of LEDs is that they can be connected to daytime sensors and only light the area when it’s needed. Providing optimal color rendering, LEDs are perfect for flora illumination providing viewers with clean and crisp plant colors and dramatic shadows.

The mix of ambient and task lighting for restaurants

warm and gentle ambient illumination

While dining rooms and bars require subtle and pleasant illumination that will make the guests feel welcome and relaxed, preparation areas and food displays need a lot of bright light. This mix of lighting requirements makes restaurants a pretty hard place to illuminate. Luckily, LED luminaries for the kitchen combined with wall and ceiling lighting with diffusers can provide both strong task and warm and gentle ambient illumination.

Warm LEDs for hotel rooms

Another challenging job for LED retrofits, hotels can certainly benefit from a lighting upgrade but don’t expect the project to be easy to handle. It’s best to start with common areas, so you can receive quick energy-saving benefits. Hotel rooms and lobbies require warm LED lighting that can be easily incorporated with floor lamps and desk lighting. Recessed LED lighting can brighten up the space and provide good task illumination to hotel amenities like conference halls, offices and gyms.

energy-efficient lighting

It’s also important to mention hotel hallway illumination. These spaces require strong and reliable recessed LED lighting that provides direct lighting down the hall. If you equip wall sconces and soft base ambiance lighting with motion sensors, you will get practical, effective and energy-efficient lighting.

LEDs offer everything a commercial building requires, from efficiency and reliability to reduced costs, so they are a logical choice. Once commercial spaces switch to LEDs, there’s no going back to traditional lighting.

 

About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in small business, real estate, home improvement, and sustainable living.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to House Flipping

A fixer-upper can be an opportunity to make some extra money if you know how to invest wisely. If you’re considering house flipping, there are plenty of crucial things to understand before you begin the process. From your specific market to making significant upgrades, every house flipping element plays a role in your final asking price. Read on to learn more about house flipping and how you can use it to your advantage. What is House Flipping? The term “house flipping” refers to buying a home with a short holding period, with the intent to resell it quickly. Unlike buying real estate as a long-term investment, house flipping is a short-term way to make some money after your initial investment. These short-term real estate transactions can allow you to leverage your asset to make a bit of money once the flip is complete. Most investors buy homes that require some updates and repairs at a low cost. The idea is to “buy low” and then “sell high” later after making a few changes, and you’re ready to put the home back on the market. It’s important to note that there are no guarantees with house flipping since the real estate market can fluctuate widely. How to Get Started If you want to get started with house flipping, there are some crucial things to keep in mind. Each of these items should be part of your house flipping endeavor so that you’re positive you are making a wise investment. Start the process by doing extensive research on the national and local housing market. Ask a real estate agent to provide you with some comps or comparable prices of homes in the recently sold area. You’ll also want to find out what buyers in your area are looking for in square footage, upgrades, and more. This research is vital to ensure you make a wise investment decision and buy a home that will sell quickly. Budget your house flipping plan so that you don’t end up paying too much for a property. Set a limit for how much you’re willing to pay, and never go over that amount when offering. Don’t forget to consider the budget for renovations and upgrades as part of your complete budgeting plan. It’s essential to find a home at the right price, so you know you’ll get the best investment return. Consider hiring a home inspector who can help you assess the necessary repairs the property might need. A thorough inspection will make it easier for you to determine the total repair costs before you make an offer. Once you have a better idea of your proposed asking price, you can subtract the home’s cost and all of the repairs and upgrades. The final number will be your bottom line and show you what you’ll gain financially once the flipped home is sold. The House Flipping 70% Rule Use the 70% rule of real estate investing to guide you when looking for homes to flip. This rule states that you should not pay more than 70% for the house after the repair value, minus all repair costs. The ARV (after repair value) refers to the estimated value of the property after all of the necessary repairs are complete. Let’s say the home has an ARV of $100,000 and requires $25,000 worth of repairs. The house flipping 70% rule would suggest that you pay approximately $45,000 for the home. This leaves you with 30% “wiggle room” to pay for miscellaneous repairs and other costs if needed, and it also accounts for the amount of money you’ll receive once it’s sold. Here’s a simple formula to help you see how this figure is calculated: ARV of $100,000 x 70% = $70,000 – $25,000 = $45,000 The Importance of Ceiling Value When you’re ready to sell a flipped home, it’s crucial to understand the ceiling value. This term refers to a maximum asking price that you can put on the house, and state or local governments often mandate it. If you ask for too much, the home could sit for a long time, making some buyers hesitant to put in an offer. Talk to an experienced real estate agent to help you determine a fair market value for the home. Feel free to start by listing the house for a bit more, since you can always negotiate the final price down with a potential buyer later. Structural Improvements to Consider Even if the home appears to be in decent shape, there are a few key upgrades you should take into consideration. If the home has old knob and tube wiring, a full electrical upgrade is advised. Inspect the plumbing and look for signs of rust or wear. Insulation should be in good condition, and the home should feel comfortable when the HVAC system is running. The roof should appear in good condition with no leaks or missing shingles. Take a closer look at the home’s main components first to determine if these improvements are necessary. Room by Room Renovation Guide Inspect every room of the home you’re planning to flip to determine what types of renovations they’ll need. Each part of the house may require some updating and improvements to get a better asking price. Façade: Paint the outside of the home or add new siding to give it better curb appeal. Cut down dead tree branches, lay down a fresh coating of grass seed, and update the landscaping to make the entrance more appealing. Fix any broken outdoor lighting or replace dead bulbs. Paint the front door a bold color to give the property an updated look. Bathrooms: Update the flooring and fixtures in the bathroom to make it look fresh and new. Make sure all plumbing is working correctly and that there are no signs of leaks. A simple tile job around the shower or tub can be an inexpensive yet significant improvement. Living Room: A fresh coat of paint and new flooring can quickly transform an outdated living room. If the home is “broken up” into several separate rooms, consider knocking down a wall to create a more open floor plan. Extend the windows and make them oversized to allow for more natural light. Kitchen: Replace outdated appliances with new stainless steel ones and consider updating old countertops to a solid surface like quartz or granite. You can repaint older kitchen cabinets to save money unless they’re broken or in disrepair. Garden: Check for pests’ signs and remove all weeds and dead plants from a garden area. Plant new flowers or shrubbery around the home to give it a fresh, lively aesthetic. Bedrooms: It’s easy to update bedrooms with new paint colors and new floors. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a bedroom. If the master closet is small, considering altering the layout to accommodate a larger closet. Laundry: Re-tile the laundry room and install a new washer and dryer if your budget allows. Install a sink in this room to make it more functional. Addition or Extension: If you have a larger budget, consider adding an extension to the home. This upgrade will be more costly and time-consuming, but it should also allow you to get a much higher asking price. Adding the Most Value Today’s modern homebuyers are looking for unique properties. If you want to add the most value to your house flip, make some current updates that will appeal to younger buyers. A glass railing along a staircase is a unique and modern choice that replaces the standard spindle design. High-tech upgrades like remote security cameras or doorbell alarm cameras are easy and affordable upgrades. Replace an old garage door with something sleek and contemporary. Energy-efficient windows will make the entire home look new, and it’s also a great incentive for buyers. Pay attention to the outside and install a new covered patio or deck. Many buyers enjoy spending time outdoors, so this is a great way to get more value for your flip. Selling the Flip Once your property is updated, it’s time to put it on the market. Enlist the help of an experienced, qualified real estate agent who is familiar with your local market. Check your listing to ensure that it has all of the home’s details, including the square footage, special features, and significant upgrades. Hire a professional photographer to take clear, detailed pictures of every room, including the home and the outside. With the right marketing plan in place, you can quickly sell your newly flipped home for a great return. The process of house flipping isn’t for everyone, but it can be a smart investment choice if you have the know-how. Get to know your local real estate market and partner with professionals you can trust. Always stick to a budget when flipping houses, so you don’t end up paying too much. With the right updates in every room, it’s easy to quickly flip a house to get a great ROI.
Home renovation, repair and construction: isometric model house and tools with copy space

A fixer-upper can be an opportunity to make some extra money if you know how to invest wisely. If you’re considering house flipping, there are plenty of crucial things to understand before you begin the process. From your specific market to making significant upgrades, every house flipping element plays a role in your final asking price. Read on to learn more about house flipping and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is House Flipping?

The term “house flipping” refers to buying a home with a short holding period, with the intent to resell it quickly. Unlike buying real estate as a long-term investment, house flipping is a short-term way to make some money after your initial investment. These short-term real estate transactions can allow you to leverage your asset to make a bit of money once the flip is complete. Most investors buy homes that require some updates and repairs at a low cost. The idea is to “buy low” and then “sell high” later after making a few changes, and you’re ready to put the home back on the market. It’s important to note that there are no guarantees with house flipping since the real estate market can fluctuate widely.

How to Get Started

If you want to get started with house flipping, there are some crucial things to keep in mind. Each of these items should be part of your house flipping endeavor so that you’re positive you are making a wise investment.

  •   Start the process by doing extensive research on the national and local housing market. Ask a real estate agent to provide you with some comps or comparable prices of homes in the recently sold area. You’ll also want to find out what buyers in your area are looking for in square footage, upgrades, and more. This research is vital to ensure you make a wise investment decision and buy a home that will sell quickly.
  •   Budget your house flipping plan so that you don’t end up paying too much for a property. Set a limit for how much you’re willing to pay, and never go over that amount when offering. Don’t forget to consider the budget for renovations and upgrades as part of your complete budgeting plan. It’s essential to find a home at the right price, so you know you’ll get the best investment return.
  •   Consider hiring a home inspector who can help you assess the necessary repairs the property might need. A thorough inspection will make it easier for you to determine the total repair costs before you make an offer.
  •   Once you have a better idea of your proposed asking price, you can subtract the home’s cost and all of the repairs and upgrades. The final number will be your bottom line and show you what you’ll gain financially once the flipped home is sold.

The House Flipping 70% Rule

Use the 70% rule of real estate investing to guide you when looking for homes to flip. This rule states that you should not pay more than 70% for the house after the repair value, minus all repair costs. The ARV (after repair value) refers to the estimated value of the property after all of the necessary repairs are complete. Let’s say the home has an ARV of $100,000 and requires $25,000 worth of repairs. The house flipping 70% rule would suggest that you pay approximately $45,000 for the home. This leaves you with 30% “wiggle room” to pay for miscellaneous repairs and other costs if needed, and it also accounts for the amount of money you’ll receive once it’s sold. Here’s a simple formula to help you see how this figure is calculated:

ARV of $100,000 x 70% = $70,000 – $25,000 = $45,000

The Importance of Ceiling Value

When you’re ready to sell a flipped home, it’s crucial to understand the ceiling value. This term refers to a maximum asking price that you can put on the house, and state or local governments often mandate it. If you ask for too much, the home could sit for a long time, making some buyers hesitant to put in an offer. Talk to an experienced real estate agent to help you determine a fair market value for the home. Feel free to start by listing the house for a bit more, since you can always negotiate the final price down with a potential buyer later.

Structural Improvements to Consider

Even if the home appears to be in decent shape, there are a few key upgrades you should take into consideration. If the home has old knob and tube wiring, a full electrical upgrade is advised. Inspect the plumbing and look for signs of rust or wear. Insulation should be in good condition, and the home should feel comfortable when the HVAC system is running. The roof should appear in good condition with no leaks or missing shingles. Take a closer look at the home’s main components first to determine if these improvements are necessary.

Room by Room Renovation Guide

Inspect every room of the home you’re planning to flip to determine what types of renovations they’ll need. Each part of the house may require some updating and improvements to get a better asking price.

  • Façade: Paint the outside of the home or add new siding to give it better curb appeal. Cut down dead tree branches, lay down a fresh coating of grass seed, and update the landscaping to make the entrance more appealing. Fix any broken outdoor lighting or replace dead bulbs. Paint the front door a bold color to give the property an updated look.
  •   Bathrooms: Update the flooring and fixtures in the bathroom to make it look fresh and new. Make sure all plumbing is working correctly and that there are no signs of leaks. A simple tile job around the shower or tub can be an inexpensive yet significant improvement.
  •   Living Room: A fresh coat of paint and new flooring can quickly transform an outdated living room. If the home is “broken up” into several separate rooms, consider knocking down a wall to create a more open floor plan. Extend the windows and make them oversized to allow for more natural light.
  •   Kitchen: Replace outdated appliances with new stainless steel ones and consider updating old countertops to a solid surface like quartz or granite. You can repaint older kitchen cabinets to save money unless they’re broken or in disrepair.
  •   Garden: Check for pests’ signs and remove all weeds and dead plants from a garden area. Plant new flowers or shrubbery around the home to give it a fresh, lively aesthetic.
  •   Bedrooms: It’s easy to update bedrooms with new paint colors and new floors. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a bedroom. If the master closet is small, considering altering the layout to accommodate a larger closet.
  •   Laundry: Re-tile the laundry room and install a new washer and dryer if your budget allows. Install a sink in this room to make it more functional.
  •   Addition or Extension: If you have a larger budget, consider adding an extension to the home. This upgrade will be more costly and time-consuming, but it should also allow you to get a much higher asking price.

Adding the Most Value

Today’s modern homebuyers are looking for unique properties. If you want to add the most value to your house flip, make some current updates that will appeal to younger buyers. A glass railing along a staircase is a unique and modern choice that replaces the standard spindle design. High-tech upgrades like remote security cameras or doorbell alarm cameras are easy and affordable upgrades. Replace an old garage door with something sleek and contemporary. Energy-efficient windows will make the entire home look new, and it’s also a great incentive for buyers. Pay attention to the outside and install a new covered patio or deck. Many buyers enjoy spending time outdoors, so this is a great way to get more value for your flip.

Selling the Flip

Once your property is updated, it’s time to put it on the market. Enlist the help of an experienced, qualified real estate agent who is familiar with your local market. Check your listing to ensure that it has all of the home’s details, including the square footage, special features, and significant upgrades. Hire a professional photographer to take clear, detailed pictures of every room, including the home and the outside. With the right marketing plan in place, you can quickly sell your newly flipped home for a great return.

The process of house flipping isn’t for everyone, but it can be a smart investment choice if you have the know-how. Get to know your local real estate market and partner with professionals you can trust. Always stick to a budget when flipping houses, so you don’t end up paying too much. With the right updates in every room, it’s easy to quickly flip a house to get a great ROI.

How Do Mortgage Rates Affect Local Real Estate Buying?

Real Estate Buying

The chances are that you already understand that mortgage rates do have a huge impact on Manhattan residential real estate industry. This blog would certainly state all the far-reaching impacts that come along with rise or fall in mortgage rates.

Manhattan residential real estate values fluctuate with mortgage rates

When the mortgage rates fall low, it motivates real estate buyers to enter the market and buy the suitable option. They are sometimes at the fence to buy Manhattan local property and are only waiting for home loan mortgage options to get favourable.

That is how the rising property values get the economy charged up, by making property more difficult to obtain.

The inverse holds equal value as when the mortgage rates are at its peak, the buyers tend to withdraw the buying power or even enter the property market.

Also, one factor to know here is that with lesser buyers in the market, even the value of property decreases.

Noteworthy Points to Know About Effect of Mortgage Rates

The real estate property cycles have a huge dependency on interest rates. The potential Manhattan residential real estate buyers always keep a note of falling and increasing interest rates. That is how they pick options for property market.

What you need to understand is HOW MUCH effect of mortgage rates persists on real estate market!

Affects the affordability of a property

The price paid isn’t the lone factor that decides the overall property affordability. It involves other prices as well such as

  • Insurance Cost
  • Insurance for Natural Disasters Cost
  • Cost of Maintenance charges
  • Mortgage Loan’s total amount

How Much Difference can the changes in Mortgage rates bring to the market?

While looking at real estate properties, you’ll settle for deals that can be negotiated till your budget price ascertained.  Let’s say that by the end of the day, the mortgage rates fell and you received huge difference than what you were ready to earlier. With mortgage rates at a high, you may have to pay exceeding amount. Here are some examples with rough estimates to clear things out:

Assuming that the median price of a Manhattan residential real estate property listed (as of2020) is $259,000.

  • Taking the median average sales price to be – $250,000
  • If you apply for 30 year fixed mortgage after giving in 20%
  • That gives you $200,000 as finance amount for your real estate.
  • If the interest rate prevailing is 4.1%, the monthly paid interest turns out to be: $1,208
  • The slight increase in mortgage interest rate up to 5.1%, can increase the monthly amount to: $1,357
  • That is a huge difference of$150 monthly and the time period of 30 years loan makes it $50,000. The question is – Would it be a sane decision?
  • With slight increase to 6.5%, the interest amount goes to $1,500 monthly!
  • The overall amount goes to $130,000 in 30 years tenure!!!!

The red signal says to WALK AWAY!

How does change in loan interest amount affect the property sellers?

If you are in the seller shoes, and with certain rise in the interest rates, the buyer tends to spend less on the property. Since most part of it would go away in the interest rate, he wouldn’t go for maintenance and other changes at this point of time. Whenever the mortgage rates shoot up real high, chances are that you would have fewer homebuyers in the market.

That indeed would make you bring down the price of property to get a fair deal.

6 High-Tech Upgrades to Modernize Your Home and Boost Its Value

Modernize Your Home

When upgrading your house or remodeling it in any way, it’s really wise to be future-oriented with your upgrades. What this means is that aside from doing something you will currently benefit from, you should also consider how it will affect the value of your property in the long run. That’s why many real estate experts suggest that the best way to update your house is to treat it to a few upgrades that will boost its market value should you ever decide to sell it.

And even if you are really not considering selling your home any time soon – or at all for that matter, focusing a bit more on adding these types of upgrades really can’t hurt. So, with that in mind, here are just some of the high-tech products and gadgets you can use to instantly add value to your property.

Always be in charge of the temperature with a smart thermostat

By now, virtually every home in the world comes equipped with a thermostat. However, not every thermostat is a smart thermostat. That’s why, when thinking about upgrading your house, you should really check out this option. Upgrading your current thermostats with their smart alternatives won’t cost too much but it will offer so much in return.

The great thing about these nifty gadgets is that they can sense if you’re home or not and adjust the temperature according. Most of them can even be remotely controlled, which means you can simply adjust them when you leave work and be welcomed with the ideal indoor temperature once you get home. Needless to say, such a minor upgrade will really mean a lot if you ever choose to sell your property.

Play around with outdoor lighting

The outdoor lighting

The outdoor lighting is something not many people pay too much attention to. However, proper outdoor lighting will not only immensely help you but it will also boost your curb appeal. And if you really think about it, your house’s curb appeal will be the first thing potential buyers will see if you ever decide to sell your home. Even if you’re not thinking about selling your property, installing a layered outdoor lighting system will really do a lot for your house’s appearance. Not only that but it will also improve visibility and enable you to make better use of your yard even after the nightfall.

Create an outdoor entertainment area

Moreover, since you’ve already taken care of your outdoor lighting, it’s time to take things up a notch. Setting up an outdoor entertainment system is certainly not a necessity, but it will bring a lot of value to both your property and your experience living there. So, if you want to upgrade your home with something amazing all of your friends and family can enjoy, simply add a high-quality outdoor entertainment system to your backyard. Trust us, it will make all those warm summer nights far more interesting and enjoyable.

Implement a trusty security system

The next thing you should consider adding to your property – if you don’t already own one, that is – is a high-quality security system. There are plenty of options you can choose from, and they are widely different in terms of complexity. However, you should be looking for one that can cater to your personal needs. Just make sure it’s of high-quality and that it’s installed by a trusty and well-reputable company to avoid any potential inconveniences in the future.

Invest in a smart irrigation system

Invest in a smart irrigation system

Yard maintenance can not only be a pain but it can actually be quite difficult to master. Especially if you have various plants and foliage in your yard that don’t all require the same amount of irrigation throughout the year. The good news is that there are now plenty of smart irrigation systems on the market that can make this chore significantly easier. The majority of these smart systems feature a moisture sensor, that will make the entire irrigation significantly easier and more accurate. Just think about it – if you were buying a new home, this is definitely something you wouldn’t mind having already installed.

In the end, the choice of high-tech upgrades you decide to go with should really predominantly cater to your and your family’s needs. That being said, however, it’s always wise to be future-oriented with your upgrades to ensure that you get the best bang for your buck.

About the author:  Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in real estate, home improvement, and the construction industry. He is a regular contributor to the “Smooth Decorator” blog.

9 House Design Details and Features That Indicate Excellent Standards

House Design 1

The real estate industry remains optimistic in the current economic climate. According to investment strategists, the global COVID-19 pandemic has somehow helped many people realise the importance of having their own property. A personally owned property can be a fantastic defense against many of the uncertainties about the future.

 As such, whether there’s an upward or downward trajectory for the real estate industry, smart investors would do well to look into buying. And when it comes to investment opportunities, houses are always top considerations. Both fixer-uppers and luxurious provisions remain to be on high demand.

If you are looking to boost your investment portfolio by acquiring a ready-made apartment unit, that’s a fantastic idea. However, be as meticulous as possible to establish the price and quality compatibility of the apartment offers. According to real estate professionals, labels can be deceiving these days, so keep an eye out for tried and true markers of good standards.

What are these important indicators of a topnotch piece of property? Nine are discussed below.

1. Amazing views

Here’s a fact: The higher up an apartment unit is located in a building, the higher its price will be. Why? It’s because it typically offers a more spectacular view. Of course the skyline of the city is a better sight to behold than seeing into the window of an apartment unit in the building across from yours!

Also, a beautiful view from one’s home can contribute to a better quality of life. Research reveals that ocean views contribute to better physical and mental health. People who can see the beach from their homes report feeling calmer and more at peace than those who do not have such a view from where they live.

It’s practically the same thing with a mountain view. Those who live in a place that treats them to gorgeous mountain views on a daily basis claim that they are less likely to feel anxious or stressed. Thus, the view offered by the residential property is a reliable factor in determining true property value.

2. Spacious hallways

The width of the hallways leading to different areas of the house is also a top indicator of high standards.

According to international interior designer, Rebecca Robeson, this is because a hallway that is at least six feet in width automatically adds a luxurious feel to a home. It offers creative styling opportunities, and it can ensure comfort and convenience of movement inside the house as well.

3. Open concept

 

An open design for your home interior is modern and functional. The lovely thing about it is that it capitalises on possibilities. This is a must for discriminating property investors. Immense joy can come from the idea of having the freedom to do what you want or to take full control when it comes to decorating or arranging things for function.

You know you have a fantastic, high-quality home if it can support a creative lifestyle that is also ever-changing.

4. Beautiful bathrooms

In truly amazing homes, the bathrooms are not just mere rooms that allow people to take care of their hygiene. They are provisions for comfort and relaxation as well.

Some of the wonderful implements in the bathrooms of well-designed houses are high-tech toilets, rain showers, bathtubs, a spacious vanity counter, soft and cosy lighting, sophisticated tile work, and elegant hardware.

5. High ceilings

When it comes to luxury apartments in premium locations, high ceilings are a common denominator. The expansive feeling they create indicates an opulent life.

And for a homier atmosphere, a lot of property investors gravitate toward houses with high ceilings and exposed wood beams. Research reveals that exposed wood beams are a somewhat old-world, rustic detail that instantly brings warmth to any room and captures people’s attention.

6. Shiny Floors

House Design 2

A house built to impress has no sub-standard features. Therefore, even the floors are made of carefully selected materials. The most common flooring options for such homes are hardwood polished to a shine or stone such as marble, granite, or even honey onyx.

These options never fail to add a touch of luxury. Hard, dark wood floors, for example, are reminiscent of floors found in grand manors. Not only do they take centre stage when maintained well, but they also offer charming acoustics for the house’s interior. Meanwhile, stone floors are quite similar to those in stylish buildings, such as fine dining restaurants, hotels, and meeting rooms.

7. An impressive front door

There’s nothing like a door (better still, doors) with a commanding presence to signify that you’re in for something magnificent. Indeed, the best-looking houses always have impressive front doors.

It doesn’t matter if they’re big or a little on the smaller side indoors, an apartment with a beautifully designed wood, glass, or metal door is required if an apartment is to be labelled ‘luxury’ or ‘premium’ because the front doors are the first feature of the unit that people will see. If the door doesn’t look nice, it can automatically spoil a person’s overall impression of the rest of the house.

8. Large windows

House Design 3

If you think about it, the only reason for choosing small windows is so you can be prevented from seeing what’s outside, which is likely a rather disappointing view. Therefore, they are an important feature for a high-end apartment or residential property.

For top-quality homes, large windows are staples because they bring the beauty of the outside in, and they also provide excellent natural illumination and ventilation. Also, massive windows simply give off a classier vibe; they create the illusion of a bigger space and help inspire joyful moments spent just taking in the view beyond the house.

9. Security implements

Finally, security features are vital components of high-end homes. They assure you of a well-protected life. The thoughtful integration of security features is an excellent source of comfort and peace of mind — feelings that anyone would be happy to experience in their own home.

Indeed, houses make great investments; they are an integral component in creating the life one wants. It can be your own place to live in or an income-generator. So, if you are raring to invest in a new house and you have been receiving different real estate offers to consider, take into account the information provided above. Armed with these points, you’ll be better equipped when it comes to determining if the price of the provision is equal to the quality or actual value it offers.

 

6 Smart Ways to Get the Best Deal on a New Home

Best Deal on a New Home

Homebuying can be both exciting and nerve-racking as it requires elaborate research and lots of smart budgeting. For starters, you need to check your credit score and determine which type of mortgage you can qualify for. Then, you need to find your dream home, make all necessary inspections, and go through a lengthy conveyancing process. To simplify the homebuying process and help you get the best deal, we are listing six tips you should keep in mind when purchasing a new home.

Strengthen your credit score

Most people buy new homes with the help of loans provided by banks and mortgage companies. These institutions impose strict credit requirements on their clients, and in order to be able to negotiate smaller monthly payments, you need to have a strong credit score. If your credit score is unaccountably low, you should pull out your credit report, and check if you’ve been wrongfully penalized. Finally, you can try to strengthen your credit score by paying off all of your short-term loans before you take a mortgage.

Take rural locations in consideration

homes in county towns

Even though most young people nowadays would rather buy expensive houses and flats in the city, there are many reasons why they should take rural locations into consideration. For starters, homes in county towns are very affordable, and county towns within the comfortable commuting distance are great places for raising a family.

These homes usually come with bigger backyards, which can be used for agriculture and various leisure activities. Expensive city sport club memberships for kids can easily be replaced with hiking and fishing trips, so raising children in rural areas is also cheaper. On top of this, neighbours in these small towns usually form tight communities, and lifelong friendships are quite common.

Conduct necessary valuations and inspections

People who aren’t legal construction and real estate experts should use professional valuation and inspection for determining the appropriate property price. Home inspections are very popular on the real estate market, and the company you select can visit the home you’re viewing, check its state, and conduct pest and termite inspection. In addition to this, you should also hire a professional property appraiser, who will provide you with a written valuation report, which can be very useful during price negotiations.

Score a good deal with house and land packages

new house and land packages in Melbourne

Getting a good deal on a house is difficult, but it’s possible. In Australia, for instance, it often means opting for a bundle deal. Known as a house and land package, this bundle deal involves purchasing a property together with the land beneath it.

For those looking to settle in the coastal capital, opting for the new house and land packages in Melbourne comes with a plethora of benefits, including significant cost savings and far less complexity involved in the homebuying process. These bundle packages also offer the potential for development and future growth, which translates to additional financial benefits to future homeowners.

Pay higher deposits

Most people are reluctant when it comes to giving higher loan deposits. They don’t understand that the bigger their deposit is, the lower their loan to value ratio (LVR) will be. LVR is a very important metric, which you’ll get by dividing the full amount of your loan with the price of the home you’re planning on buying. For mortgages with high LVRs (more than 80%), lenders need to pay mortgage insurance. The amount of the deposit influences the overall interest and you can also use it as a chip while negotiating other repayment plan specifics.

Hire a conveyancer

Conveyancing can be hard for both the buyer and the seller, so hiring an expert conveyancer is in your mutual interest. Conveyancers provide advice and information about real estate sales, collect all necessary documentation, and conduct the settlement process. If you’re buying your first house, a conveyancer will:

  • Research the property and check its title certificate;
  • Deal with the sales contract and memorandum transfer;
  • Put your deposit money in a trust account;
  • Adjust all rates and taxes;
  • Act on your behalf and advise you during the property settlement process.

Wrapping up

Buying your first home should be one of the most wonderful experiences in your life. That’s why you should conduct all necessary checks and inspections and take the stress out of the equation. Following these tips will help make your purchase go smoothly and ensure you get the best deal there is.

About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced content writer with a focus in business, technology, entrepreneurship, and real estate.

4 Great Tips for Buying Multi-family Real Estate

Multi-family real estate

Multi-family real estate is, for many reasons, a wise and lucrative investment. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a homeowner or a renter looking to relocate into a more cost-effective living environment, or if you’re an aspiring investor looking to buy a property overseas or in a local market– multi-family homes can certainly yield sizable returns and logistical benefits down the road. Investors can rejoice at the fact that managing multi-family properties is easier due to the proximity of the units they’re renting, while homeowners also have a wonderful opportunity to become landlords and generate passive income and establish financial independence by renting out the other units.

That said, though, you still need to prepare for this grand step and understand all of the key variables that go into cost-effective property acquisition. Here are the five great tips that will help you buy the best multi-family real estate to suit your goals.

Research not one, but many locations

multi-family properties

Of course, we have to start with the location. Yes, it’s important that you research various markets and neighborhoods in order to find the best properties available for the lowest price (something we will delve deeper later on), but more importantly when we’re talking about multi-family properties, you need to sense the supply vs the demand. You see, multi-family real estate is somewhat of a niche, so you might not be able to find a lot of properties (or at least not the ones you like) in your region.

You might have to look into the surrounding suburbs, or even into different towns in order to find neighborhoods with these unique property types, which will invariably influence the price and the demand for multi-family real estate. The key is to look into numerous locations and markets in order to have a lot of prospects, so that you can start narrowing down your search and see which property ticks all of your boxes.

Find that diamond in the rough

multi-family house

All of these and many other reasons necessitate that you do your best to find an investment option with the highest long-term ROI potential, which typically means acquiring the property as well as the land it sits on, no matter if you’re looking to move in yourself, if you’re just looking to invest, or both. This is something that investors and future homeowners in Australia have been doing in recent years, for example, especially in costly urban markets.

In the Land Down Under, investors will look for prospective house and land packages in Sydney that allow them to procure the property and the land beneath in order to retain full control of their asset, and have the ability to shape the future of their investment. This is a great way to maximize your investment in the long term, so be sure to use the same approach and find those multi-family house and land packages in your region.

Be ready to double your investment capital

By now you’re sure to know that multi-family properties cost more than single units, that should go without saying. The price will vary greatly, though, based on numerous socio-economic factors that permeate the market, as well as the emerging trends that you need to know about. This is why doing your research is so important, and why you absolutely need to overestimate your budget.

Needless to say, the bigger your long-term goals are, the bigger the investment will be. This is why you need to have an excellent credit score and borrowing potential, why you need to stage and improve any property you may own, and why you should consider pooling your resources with other interested investors. If you’re looking for a duplex in order to move into one unit and rent out the other, then you can expect to find properties at literally half the price of a detached family home, while triplexes and quadruplexes can cost way more depending on the market.

Allocate resources towards renovation

multi-family property

There’s a lot of math involved in buying a multi-family property with a high ROI potential, especially if you’re trying to figure out whether to buy an already fixed-up property, or to buy one for a third of the price in order to restore it to its former glory. Typically, the latter will give you much more wiggle room, and you will be able to control your expenses, so be sure to allocate resources towards procurement, as well as renovation during the initial planning stages.

Wrapping up

A multi-family property is, simply put, a great long-term investment. But before you spring for the first good deal that crosses your path, be sure to use these tips to make the best possible decision for your personal and professional future.

About the author:  Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in real estate, home improvement, and the construction industry. He is a regular contributor to the Smooth Decorator blog.