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10 Ways To Find Investment Properties

If you really want the best deals in investment properties, you have to increase your odds by finding more deals. Who is more likely to get a cheap apartment building, an investor that looks through the MLS listings and calls it a day, or the one that uses ten resources? Here are the ten:

1. Talk. Let people know you are looking and sometimes the properties will come to you. There are a lot of owners out there who want to sell, but haven’t yet listed their property.

2. Use the internet. Go to a search engine and enter the type of real estate you are looking for, along with the city you want to invest in. You never know what you might find.

3. Drive around looking for “For Sale By Owner” signs. Owners often don’t want to pay to keep the ad in the paper every week, so you won’t see all properties there.

4. Find abandoned properties. That’s a pretty clear sign that the owner doesn’t want to deal with the property. He might sell cheap.

5. Find old “For Rent” ads. Call if they are a few weeks old. Landlords are often ready to sell, especially if the haven’t yet rented the units out.

6. Talk to bankers. You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.

7. Offer someone a finder’s fee. There are people that always seem to hear about the good deals. Have such people coming to you.

8. Eviction notices. If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can get the information at the courthouse, it can be useful. A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is a likely seller.

9. Old FSBO ads. If you call on two-month-old “For sale By Owner” ads, and they haven’t sold, they may be ready to deal. Owners often give up the effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out!

10. Put an ad in the paper. “Looking for investment properties to buy,” might be sufficient to generate a few calls.

The 5 Worst Remodeling Mistakes You Can Make

Just about everybody dreams of turning an okay-but-not-perfect home into a dream home. That’s why home improvement stores and do-it-yourself television programs have become so popular in recent years. And there’s no reason you shouldn’t remodel… as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, so you can avoid the pitfalls that often snag unsuspecting homeowners.

So, how do you fix up your home correctly? Keep the following “worst” remodeling mistakes in mind when you’re planning and carrying out your project.

1. Be careful about over-expanding with additions.

Adding an addition can be a mistake. If you love your neighborhood and your location, and you’re planning on staying in your home for the rest of your life, an addition can make sense. If, however, you see yourself moving someday, think about the ramifications adding a lot of square footage onto your house could have.

You’d think that any increase in size would automatically add value, but if the other houses in the neighborhood are one-level, one-garage ranchers, your decision to add a second story and a bunch of fancy bump outs might just look out of place. This can make it difficult to sell. People want a big upscale home in a neighborhood with other big upscale homes, not a big home that dwarfs everything else in a modest neighborhood.

2. Watch out for under-budgeting problems.

Home improvements are always more expensive than you originally estimate. They usually take a lot longer to finish than estimated too. This means homeowners regularly go 20-30% over their budgets, which can leave them in a world of financial hurt.

To protect yourself, be very conservative when figuring out how much of a remodeling job you can afford. Assume costs will go over estimates and make sure you can handle that additional financial burden.

3. Don’t turn your home into something it isn’t.

Make sure to take the style and design of your house into consideration when you plan remodeling projects. An ultra-modern bathroom with concrete counter-tops and stainless steel cabinets is going to look a little odd in a Victorian house.

Changes that don’t match the style of the home will be a big turnoff to potential buyers down the road. This is particularly true with historical homes; people want the original details. They’re a big part of what gives those older homes their appeal and value.

4. Don’t do it yourself if you’re not qualified.

There are plenty of projects that do-it-yourselfers can handle, but when it comes to big remodeling jobs, you’re better off letting a pro take care of it unless you’re experienced at both design and construction. Due to inexperience, amateurs end up doing sloppy jobs, and that’s something that devalues the house when it’s time to sell. Even worse, you may find out half way through the job that you’ve screwed something up big time and you need to hire a pro to fix it. Then you’ll not only have to pay the cost of the job, but you’ll have to pay extra for your own mistakes.

5. Don’t take on unnecessary renovations.

If you’re remodeling at least in part to increase the value of your home for when you sell it, don’t bother with projects that won’t recoup their cost (and there aren’t many major remodels that do). If you’re selling your home, fix anything that’s broken and do simple (and economical) cosmetic jobs. Let the future homeowner spend the big money.

Of course, if you’re remodeling to turn your home into your dream home and you want to live there for a long time to come, then you can make any changes that make sense to you. Just don’t think of remodeling as a financial investment; think of it as an investment in improving your lifestyle.

Tips & Tricks To Investing In Property

property investingProperty investment has a lot of potential benefits, and it can help you build up a substantial wealth, in time of course. However, property investing has some risks, and no one can guarantee that everything will go ok and that the money will build up.

Less risky than shares, property investment attracts many people and has two major benefits : the tax advantages from negative gearing and the capital growth.

Negative gearing in property investment means buying with money that came from a loan that has the annual ‘rent’ less than the loan interest and the expenses paid for the property’s maintenance together. Doing this brings benefits from taxes and the most important thing is the interest of your mortgage.

Capital growth represents the money made from the value of your properties. This is not guaranteed, because you have no guarantees that the value of a property will raise.

If you plan on starting to do some property investing you don’t have to start by investing in a place where you also live in. You can for example buy an apartment that you can then rent out. Furthermore, property investment that’s done in a place which you are not going to occupy takes some of the stress and emotion of what and where to buy.

One of the first things you must consider after you’ve decided do perform a property investment is where to buy. It is recommended that you try to buy in a growing area that provides everything a tenant is looking for: shops, transportation and leisure.

Another useful tip if you plan on renting is to choose an apartment instead of a house because they are easier to maintain and a great part of the expenses are shared with the others.

A risk in property investment is that the value of the property you bought may decrease, and you may be forced to sell the property quickly, so consider this when buying and try to pick an area where you know you can always sell the property with no efforts.

And the last advice about buying and renting a property is that before doing the property investment you can ask a little about the history of tenancy in the area, if there are many tenants, if there are periods when the apartments aren’t occupied.

After doing the property investment in a property that will be rented you can pay your ‘rent’ for the loan from the bank, if you got one, and when the ‘rent’ is finished you will no longer be negatively geared, but positively geared. This way you’ve made your property investment pay for itself. Not being negatively geared anymore makes you lose the tax advantages, but you should still be able to make profit.

If you want to get into property investment but you feel that you don’t have the time to manage and take care of everything, you can hire a property manager that will take care of the property management for you. The fee for such a thing is somewhere around 5% of the profits, but it has many advantages, you save a lot of time and you will benefit from the experience and knowledge property managers have in this domain. These people deal with rentals and tenants daily so they know a lot about this.

Another thing you need to do is trying to keep up with all the changes that occur in property investment and property investing taxation laws.

These are the basic things you should know about property investing, if you want to start investing into property.

Backyard Decks Building Basics and Concepts

Q: Do I need a contractor’s license in order to build a backyard deck onto my home?

A: Generally, no. Individuals who are doing any type of construction on their own home are not required to obtain a contractor’s license. If you have any questions regarding the building of backyard decks as a commercial business, on the other hand, you may need a contractor’s license and/or other special permits.

Q: Will I need a building permit before building a backyard deck? How can I get one?

A: Prior to beginning any type of construction project, including backyard decks, you will need to request a building permit. Failure to do so may result in fines, so be sure to file the necessary paperwork at your local courthouse in the office that issues building permits. Before doing so, make sure that you have the exact size and dimensions of the backyard deck that you wish to build. If you have a drawing, have a copy with you incase you are asked to provide one.

Q: Even though I am not familiar with construction of any kind, I would like to try building a backyard deck. Should I do all of the work myself or hire a professional contractor?

A: There is no ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. The bottom line is that if you feel comfortable in doing the job, you can attempt to complete the project yourself. However, if any part of the construction is unclear or becomes complicated, you should call a contractor to at least come in and inspect your work. If needed, a professional can take over the job even after you began construction.

Q: I’m not sure if I can complete the construction on my backyard deck, but I don’t want to spend the money to hire a contractor. Can I start on the construction and then call a contractor if I run into problems?

A: Yes, but this isn’t necessarily the best plan of action. If you start the job and run into serious problems with the construction, a contractor may end up charging you even more to go in and correct the problem before completing the deck than if they were to be the primary builder from the beginning. Therefore, you should only start the construction on your backyard deck if you are confident that you can complete the job.

Q: If I do hire a contractor, how can I select the best one for my backyard deck project?

A: First of all, make sure that you choose a professional who is licensed to work in your state. Secondly, check out the contractor’s reputation with the local Better Business Bureau and confirm the number of years they have been in business. And last but not least, make sure they are knowledgeable in the construction of backyard decks and get everything in writing before handing over a deposit.

Real Estate Investing For Maximum Profit

If you are looking for good returns over time, and a lower risk investment strategy, then investment in real estate is a good path to follow. Worldwide real estate markets are following an upward trend, that are creating exceptional returns for investors which has led to more people getting involved in this sector, and pushing gains even higher.

One of the reasons why investment in real estate is so attractive is the fact that as well as the appreciation in value of your asset, you can also take tangible benefits from it over the lifetime of your investment.

There are a number of different strategies that you can follow when investing in real estate. Most simply, you can just sit back and watch as the value of your own home increases over time, and then sell it at a profit when you are ready to move on. Downsizing is a popular option for seniors who no longer need a family home when they retire, and would rather take advantage of the value of their property.

A more aggressive way of taking an income from real estate ownership is to develop properties. By buying a run down home, and redecorating and improving the building, you can turn it around for a quick profit which you can then reinvest in more projects.

More ambitious investors will consider the possibility of full scale construction projects, and certainly taking a building from ground level through until completion is ultimately very satisfying both on a personal and financial level. Construction is not for the faint hearted through, as hands on project management will take up a lot of your time and requires very specific skills, so amateurs need not apply.

Although it requires greater investment of your time as well as money, building a portfolio of rental properties offers some of the best returns of any real estate investment strategy. Aside from the long term appreciation in the value of the properties that you own, you can also enjoy a consistent stream of rental income from your tenants that should easily cover any outstanding mortgage payments on the property.

Whatever method of real estate investment you choose to follow, it is important to realize from the start that profit is not guaranteed, nor is it ever easy money. If you are developing properties, you should take into account the cost of any work that you carry out, and maximize your margins by doing as much of the work as you can yourself.

With the easy availability of credit from a variety of sources, it has never been easier to get the seed money to use in order to get your real estate investment off to a start.

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