Real Estate Made Simple

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Direct Real Estate Investing vs. REITS

Many people are confused about how to invest in real estate, as there are many different types of REITs. Real estate investment trusts are corporations that manage properties for investors.

Direct Real Estate

Direct real estate investing is a way to get into the real estate market without having to spend a huge sum of money. It allows you to generate steady and attractive returns by investing in properties that are worth their rental income.

Direct Real Estate Pros

One of the many advantages of investing in real estate is that it can generate substantial cash flow. This can be done through various tax breaks. One of these is depreciation, which allows you to reduce the cost of buying and improving a property.

Even though the stock market fluctuates, the real estate market generally rises over time. This means that investors may be able to sell their properties at a higher price later.

With direct real estate, you have more control over your money and the properties you buy. For example, you can set rental prices, determine how many properties to buy and refinance your mortgage when the market drops.

Direct Real Estate Cons

One of the biggest disadvantages of direct real estate investing is that it requires a large amount of time and energy to be successful. Another disadvantage of direct real estate is that many investors require financing to pay for their investments.

If the market tanks, they may default on their loan. Real estate is not a liquid asset. This means you will not have the chance to sell a property quickly if you find yourself in need of emergency cash.

REITs

A REIT is a corporation that invests in income-producing real estate. It is typically modeled after mutual funds. In the US, there are more than 225 REITs that are listed on major stock exchanges. With a combined market value of over $1 trillion, these companies are the world’s largest REITs.

Pros and Cons of REITs

One of the main advantages of REITs is that they allow investors to access the profits of the real estate market without being bound by traditional real estate investing rules.

With a 5% dividend yield, REITs are likely to have the highest total return potential. They also have the potential to increase their capital appreciation. Like stocks, REITs trade under heavy volume. This means investors can buy and sell their shares without being forced to do so.

Some of the drawbacks of REITs are that they are not considered “qualified dividends” by the IRS. This means they are taxed at a higher rate than ordinary dividends.

Another downside of REITs is that they are sensitive to changes in interest rates.

Rising rates can make their prices go down while increasing interest rates can stimulate demand. One other thing that’s negative about REITs is that they tend to focus on a specific type of real estate, such as hotels. If this type of property is your main concern, then you’re prone to experiencing property-specific risks.

If you’re looking for a more conservative approach to real estate investing, direct real estate may be a better choice. It’s also likely to provide you with tax breaks. The appeal of REITs is that it allows people who don’t want to manage real estate to get into it. They also provide a good way for people who have limited time and energy to learn about the industry.

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Winter Home Maintenance Tips

It is essential to make sure that you maintain your home well throughout the winter. No matter what time of the winter it is, checking the various areas of your home on a regular basis can help you avoid an emergency when temperatures drop.

Repair or Replace Gutters

It is vital to keep the gutters on your home clean and repaired when needed. Clearing out your gutters to make sure they drain properly is a great way to ensure that your roof, foundation, and landscaping are all well cared for during the winter.

Make Sure Window Wells are Clean

If you have window wells for the basement of your home, it is essential to make sure that they are easily accessed from the inside and outside. Cleaning them out periodically and making sure the windows are easy to open are good safety measures.

Clean Your Dryer Vents

It is essential to maintain dryer vents to start fires if they get clogged. Adding this cleaning to your monthly home maintenance calendar will ensure that the vent is always clean and less of a fire hazard.

Make Sure Your Heating System Runs Efficiently

Having an issue with your heating system during the winter is never fun. Consider having your heating system inspected to ensure that it runs efficiently and doesn’t need minor repairs. If you know there is a problem, it will probably worsen during the winter because your system is under more stress. It can also save you money in the future if you get the more minor issues taken care of right away.

Get a Plumber to do an Annual Check

Having your sewer lines checked and your water pipes insulated is vital during the winter because having a plumbing problem in the winter is much more of a hassle. You can get a plumber to inspect the pipes in your home to make sure everything is working correctly, and there are no clogs that will worsen when it is cold.

Have Your Roof Checked

During the winter months, it is easy for a home to have excess ice or ice dams that form on the home, which can cause damage to the home. To avoid this, it is crucial to ensure that your attic is well insulated and you don’t already have damage to your roof.

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Don’t Make these Mistakes as a New Homeowner

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There are so many things to do and decisions to make! But if you want your new house to feel like a true home, there are some mistakes that you should avoid. We’ve compiled this list of four mistakes that people often make when they’re first starting as homeowners:

Not getting to know the neighborhood

One of the best things about moving into a new home is getting to know your neighbors. But this can only happen if you take the time to get to know your neighborhood. Spend some time walking around and talking to people. Find out what kind of activities going on in the area, and see if there’s a neighborhood watch program or community garden that you can get involved in. The more connected you are to your neighborhood, the more comfortable you’ll feel living there.

Not decorating enough

It’s easy to want to just move all of your furniture in and call it a day, but unless you’re good at arranging furniture, your house is going to look pretty boring. Take the time to decorate your home in a way that reflects your personality. Hang pictures on the walls, put up some shelves, and buy some plants. Not only will it make your house more comfortable to live in, but it’ll also make it feel like home.

Not taking care of the basics

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving into a new home and forget about all of the basic upkeep that needs to be done. But if you want your home to last, you need to take care of the basics like painting, caulking, and repairing broken appliances. You don’t have to do all of this yourself, but it’s important to have a plan in place for who is going to do it and when.

Not getting organized

One of the best things about having your place is being able to finally organize all of your stuff the way you want. But this can only happen if you take the time to get organized right from the start. Create a system for everything and stick to it. This will make finding things a lot easier, and it’ll also help keep your home clean and clutter-free.

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Why Mortgage Reserves Matter

Mortgage reserves, also known as cash reserves, are finances available to lenders after paying their deposit and closing their home acquisition. The cash should be in liquid or able to be converted into cash quickly. The purpose of mortgage reserves is to secure several months of mortgage installments in case of any financial constraint. It is generally determined by the number of monthly deposits one can make based on the saved cash. The monthly installments should comprise the principal, interest, property taxes, and mortgage or homeowners’ policy. It also involves any payments for homeowners available, secondary, and leasehold disbursements.

Generally, purchasing a home requires a lot of money. Therefore, apart from saving for your deposit and closing price, you must keep your mortgage reserves for various months. The mortgage lenders must ascertain that one can afford the monthly installments after any financial challenges. Cash reserves also help individuals to become satisfied with their choice of purchasing a home. There are also various costs associated with buying a house. These include maintenance payments and getting extra furniture.

Regardless of the lender’s requirements, the homebuyers should save not less than 3 to 6 months of their mortgage and home payments. As a result, the housing expenditure should not be more than a quarter of the monthly income. One should save proper reserves in bank accounts or from profitable businesses. Lack of savings may lead to serious debt. However, staying without investing is also not a good idea.

Acceptable Assets for a Lender’s Reserve Requirements

In cases where reserves are needed, one has to provide evidence of the owned assets. An account with stocks and bonds, for example, is an easy way of transferring the required cash. The other assets comprise of:

  • Retirement accounts such as Roth and IRAs
  • Regular earnings
  • Trust and saving accounts with a bank or credit union
  • Committed finances in employee 401k accounts
  • Vested amount from life insurance
  • Court settlements, lottery wins, and disaster relief funds
  • Money market accounts, CDS, and short term treasury bills

It is advisable to budget for mortgage reserves for anyone planning to own a home. Using a mortgage calculator helps to determine the amount that someone needs to save. One should also seek advice from mortgage lenders to make an informed decision and plan accordingly.

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What to Know About Buying a Foreclosed Home

As a prospective home buyer, you may wish to purchase a foreclosed home due to various reasons. You may want to shop on a budget or extend your real estate business portfolio. Regardless, you have to prepare for the things that lie ahead when buying such a home.

Fortunately, this guide looks the things to know about buying a foreclosed home:

Learn About the Foreclosure Categories

Foreclosures fall into two main categories, which are the judicial and non-judicial types. The judicial type occurs when a lending service files a court case against the borrower. The court will then rule in favor of the lending service and release the property for auction.

The non-judicial type occurs based on a specific property sale clause for failing to make up for payments. It does not require a court order.

Use Legitimate Platforms to Source Foreclosures

While you may have many options for finding suitable foreclosure deals, some are not legitimate. The list of options you can use include:

  • Use public records that are available in your state or county’s property database. However, this process requires lots of time and research as the records are immense.
  • Consult with a real estate agency or service. A reputable service often has insight into the best foreclosure properties you can buy.
  • A local bank website is also an excellent platform. Some banks facilitate foreclosures and then list the properties on their sites for auction.
  • You can use online platforms such as Auction.com, which lists countless properties across the country.

Your Finances and Preparedness

Before buying a foreclosed home, ensure you have the financial capability and preparedness to handle such a process. Details such as your Social Security Number (SSN), tax returns, and credit scores should be excellent.

Additionally, you also have to determine whether you have adequate funds to buy and develop the property. Ensuring that all these details are intact will smoothen the process of owning a foreclosed home.

Buying a foreclosed home seems like a tough call, but it’s also a lucrative venture when you have the correct information. Additionally, you also have to prepare well for buying such property, including details such as your credit score.

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