Apartment Building Investing – Find Motivated Sellers

As the creator of the „Buy Your First Apartment Building E-Course“ I have many potential students and beginning investors ask me, „How do I find motivated apartment building sellers?“

There are many ways that investors use to find motivated sellers, however, what I see happening many times with beginners is that they start looking for properties to purchase before they thoroughly understand how to identify a truly profitable opportunity. Here are my recommendations for how to begin learning about multifamily investing and then how to find motivated sellers.

Begin by learning what makes mult-family property profitable by taking these steps:

  1. Study and learn about what makes an apartment building profitable.
  2. Read as many books about real estate investment and apartment building investment as possible. It is a lot easier to learn from other people’s mistakes. There is no need to reinvent to the wheel.
  3. Find a reputable real estate investment club in your geographic area and meet with the commercial investor members. These „old hands“ are a valuable source of market information.

After the aspiring multi-family property buyer has received a thorough education by reading books, industry magazines and networking with other commercial real estate investors then he or she is ready to begin the process of searching for an actual property to purchase.

Contacting Commercial Realtors

A great reference source for finding well educated commercial real estate agents is the CCIM website. The CCIM is a professional designation that qualifies a commercial real estate professional as capable and knowledgeable in the field. You can also find commercial real estate agents using a simple search on the web.

When searching for a commercial real estate agent take these steps:

  1. Speak to a number of commercial realtors in the area and ask about „pocket listings“. Pockets listings are apartment building owners that the experienced realtor might know who are serious about selling their building but they have not listed the property yet.
  2. Find a commercial realtor who specializes in multi-family investments. A good commercial realtor who specializes in multifamily properties should have a great knowledge of what apartment buildings have sold for recently.

Alternative Strategies for Finding Apartment Building Deals:

  1. Place an ad on Craigslist stating what you are looking for:
  2. „Looking To Sell Your Apartment Building? I am a commercial real estate investor interested in buying multi-family property in Philadelphia between 5 and 100 units. I am looking for owner financing over five years with 5% down or will buy with a 20% down payment and a bank loan.“

    Or, here is an ad that I copied directly from Craigslist this morning:

    I BUY MULTI-FAMILY PROPERTIES W/SELLER FINANCING OR QUICK CASH. Need to sell?
    Moving? tax benefits run out? call me for a offer.

  3. You can also place the same ad in the commercial real estate section of your local newspaper but be prepared to pay a handsome sum for the ad and also be ready for unsolicited calls for real estate agents. Newspaper ads do work but you are better off using free or more direct methods like direct mail.
  4. Another strategy is to contact the owners of commercial real estate directly. This can be done in a number of ways. Multi-family owners can be located by researching the tax records of a metropolitan area. Usually, the owner of record will be listed along with his or her or contact information. The next step is to write a letter that explains who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. The purpose of letter to have many interested apartment building owners contact you. You should leave your phone number, mailing address and email address for sellers to contact you. You should make it very easy for the sellers to get a hold of you. Remember, you will need to look at dozens of deals and sellers before you find the one that fits your investment criteria. You can also contact owners directly by telephone. Keep in mind that multifamily property owners are usually very busy so you might want to write a script or have talking points written down so you are able to get right to the point and get your message across accurately.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Oil Stocks CHK WLL – What Is Their Worth?

(1) CHK stock price $16.74, NAV $32.5

CHK is my favorite oil or natural gas stock. Here is updated Net Asset Value (NAV) table from CHK July 2004 earning release:

Table CHK PV-10 per share NAV vs Natural gas price

N Gas price NAV per share

$4.50 $16.11

$5.00 $19.60

$5.50 $23.11

$6.00 $26.61

$6.50 $32.5

PE = 10 or 10% of earning yield is considered reasonable valuation for non-growing business. PV-10 Net Asset Value (NAV) is standard calculation for value of oil or natural gas reserve assuming current production cost and expenses. When N gas price = $4.5, CHK will make $1.611 per share per year true profit with current production/exploration expenses. CHK is worth $16.11 at $4.5 gas price in this case. We can imagine that as if CHK is a bank deposit account, the interest rate is 10%, if we deposit $16.11 principle there, each year we get 10% interest returns or $1.611 interest per year.

For the 1st half of 2004, natural gas price was between $5 and $7 averaging at $6.0. Natural gas price was as high as $9 in later half of 2004. CHK stock price is still below $17 recently and its reported quarterly net income severely under-estimated its true profitability.

* Margin of Safety – CHK

Wall Street analysts have been predicting significantly lower N. gas price or oil price in 2-3 years ahead. Therefore, CHK or the whole oil and gas stocks are trading as if N. gas price between $4 – $5 range or oil price between $20 – $30 range.

First of all, I disagree that oil or natural gas will go down much from here. Inflation, weak dollar, China and US strong economy justifies the current high energy price. Energy price will stay high for quite long term. Wall Street analysts are still living in past memory of low oil price in 1990’s world. In fact, current oil price is still at half of price of 1970’s peak if we adjust inflation from then.

Second of all, even if I am wrong and wall street analysts are right, and natural gas price crashing down to $4.5 or oil price crashing down below $30 in next 2-3 years, CHK current stock price has already factored in such low energy price (see above table).

Third, the NAV value is a moving target. Specifically for CHK, NAV is growing at 20% to 25% per year recently.

* CHK – NAV growth 20% or $3 per share per year

Neither CHK nor WLL pay dividend. They all reinvest their profit into acquiring or drilling for more oil or gas reserve. Therefore, reserve based NAV adjusted by cash or debt reflect true net asset value for the stock. Reserve based NAV increase per year reflect their true earning of business.

CHK NAV value per share has been growing at 20% – 25% per year rate or $3 per share currently. Even if energy stocks continue to trade at current low valuation to its true earnings, CHK stock price is likely to increase 20% – 25% return per year just due to its NAV increase. If Wall Street finally accept high energy price as norm in the future, then CHK can reward shareholders even more.

CHK mainly achieved this excellent operation performance by following measures:

Low cost drilling and fast organic production growth. Current quarter yearly organic production growth is 11%. This is one of highest in the industry.

Excellent acquisition track record. Over past few years, CHK has been able to dramatically increase production of acquired property in short term so that CHK’s acquisitions have been accretive to current shareholders. Even though the latest acquisition is slightly dilutive in per reserve basis, it is expected to be accretive in cashflow or earning basis.

Successful out-performing hedging program. CHK has been able to obtain above industry hedging prices over past years. CHK is not locked into long term contract of low prices as many do. For the current quarter CHK realized a low gas price due to past hedging so that their earning per share is flat compared to last year. CHK hedging is light in 2005 or beyond so that higher price can be expected in 2005 or beyond.

(2) WLL stock price $31, NAV $63

WLL is trading at discount even to private acquisition price and very low multiples to its cashflow. WLL also has very experienced management team with long track record in oil gas business.

WLL reported $63 per share PV-10 NAV at latest quarterly earning report. Currently WLL is trading significantly below its PV-10 NAV value. In fact, WLL is trading at big discount to its peers too. WLL is trading at $1.32 per Mcfe reserve. The current average industry acquisition price was $1.5 per Mcfe reserve over past 1.5 years.

For the 1st half of 2004 WLL generated 18% of annualized return after replacing all the reserve depletion. The recent acquisition of $44 million acquisition is accretive at $1.11 Mcfe per reserve cost. It is accretive in either reserve , cashflow or revenue basis. With more accretive deals like this, WLL NAV growth can be 20% per year or more instead.

The recent 2 quarters reported yearly organic production of only 2%, much lower than expected 5% – 10% growth. However, production growth is over-rated performance measurement in Wall Street. Most importantly, WLL did not waste any money into over-spending. WLL simply did not spend extra expected drilling capex. WLL reserve replacement drilling cost was still low. From investor point of view, even if WLL production growth is not as good as CHK, WLL NAV can still grow at 18% to 20% per year with smart accretive acquisition and low cost drilling.

(3) Conclusion

I continue to like WLL and CHK. I continue to hold WLL CHK in Blast Investor Real-time Plus model portfolio.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Key to Personal Finance

Additional effort in managing one’s personal finances will result to a more positive usage of personal resources. With attainable, realistic goals, ones financial standing will progress in no time at all. However, for the part of the individual concerned, this calls for proper planning and monitoring. There is also a need to assess at some point to see if the goals set are being met or further intervention is needed to alleviate the financial condition.

Available Income:

  • Regular household cash flow
  • After Budget cash or net flow

Regular household cash flow is what remains after the expected yearly expenses are subtracted from the expected yearly regular income. After budget cash or net flow is simply what one ends up with after subtracting regular household liabilities from the known assets. The part of the regular income that does not go towards normal expenses is a very important resource that can be diverted towards other personal financial goals. A balance sheet should be able to determine the net worth before proceeding to plan further on how to save enough for bigger and more important purchases.

Factors to be considered if 50% net increase is desired:

  • Full liabilities
  • Outstanding debts
  • Investment Instruments
  • Savings yield- savings + interest gained
  • Outstanding student loans

It only goes to say that when liabilities decrease, a person’s net worth increases along with it. The number one advice for people with plans to progress financially is to avoid taking juicy bank loans on offer as they are ever-potent dangers to one’s credit score specially when the interest pile up. Recovery from debts will be a much needed boost to personal finance. The more payables are settled, the fewer the liabilities are and this carries a positive reflection on one’s balance sheet and also his credit standing.

Personal investments make up most of a person’s net worth and thus it is a perpetually good move to gain as much valuable assets as a person possibly can in the course of his lifetime. This is not to say that forethought should not be employed here but the contrary. Investing by buying up profitable assets should always be preceded by careful analysis, so that a purchase will actually add vigor to one’s portfolio. The general trend is that if you are the risk avoidant type of investor high risk investments are avoided. These are properties which have value that changes with the ebb and flow of time like real estate, precious metals like gold and other physical goods that are known to have volatile values.

The riskier among us, those whose mettle are undeniably more resistant to fear easily trade in stocks and other financial instruments of our time. In this type of assets, the rule goes that the higher the risk, the higher the possible gains. This kind of investments no doubt needs to be studied and studied again due to the very nature of it to avoid excessive losses and to catch gains when and where they are likely to fall.

As savings is an important and integral part of a person’s net worth, due research is called for to yield the names of institutions that offer better products or simply better rates for one’s hard earned dollars. For example, American soldiers have the option and the privilege to take advantage of the DOD Savings Deposit program that has very high interest rates at 10%.

Savings accounts and CDs serve you in two ways: firstly by increasing your total net worth and secondly by giving a much needed buffer zone to your personal finance portfolio, as seen by prevailing trends all over. The reason for this is because such instruments are federally insured and grows at a steady, favorable rate every year.

One thing that has perennially damaged net worth are student loans as they can persist a long time after a person has graduated and worked. To counter the negative impact of this, one effective practice is to take advantage of seasonal tax breaks. With American opportunity tax credit alone, an individual can save as much as $2,500 and those who are still studying should altogether shun away from private student loans in favor of federally funded loans as these carry a lower, or fixed rates in general.

Most effective ways to maximize cash flow:

  • Highly informed financial decisions
  • Making and adhering to a budget
  • Controlling impulsive buying
  • Putting Cost cutting measures in place

Smart financial choices can sometimes spell the difference between ruin and progress. For instance, there is a choice between buying a house which becomes unaffordable later on as opposed to renting a modest accommodation. If the sale price of the house is proven to be a figure greater than 20, when the actual sale price is divided by the yearly rental, then you would be wiser if you rent. Managing personal finance need not be a daunting task; it only requires patience and practice.

Where you can cut costs:

  • Cut back on unnecessary expenditure
  • Cooking instead of dining out
  • Look into car insurance cost cutters
  • Collecting and using coupons
  • Buying wholesale instead of retail wherever applicable

There is absolutely no shame in using coupons and the benefits are tremendous, it can even get to be a habit. Why pay the full price when a little vigilance in cutting and saving coupons goes a long way? If no printed material is available from where to glean coupons, the internet is always there, the perfect place to search for printable coupons.

Cook at home and cook in batches. Then freeze for later meals. Have the due diligence to look after leftovers and you will probably save a fortune in take-out budget. There is no shame in keeping eatable food and it does wonders to a family or individual’s food budget.

Cut down on company offers, like phone packages, cable or internet packages, whatever has hidden charges, zero in on them and ask to get only the basic service, pay only for what you actually need and use. The extra features cost and pile up in the long run.

Carpooling is also one way to save, and if you must absolutely drive, drive safely to avoid charges. These small things all contribute towards managing one’s finance in a sane and productive way. And the habits that are changed also stick, so it is best to make sure that you make changes for the better.

How to estimate: Tools in Determining Worth

  • Simple Net worth calculator
  • Retirement calculator- many are downloadable
  • Mortgage rate calculator, again downloadable
  • Spouse or partner income calculator for multiple income households
  • Loan calculator, for free from many sites
  • Currency converter- already in wide use everywhere
  • Home budget calculator- a standard for many housewives
  • FICO score range tool- again available for free online
  • Student loan calculator- for up to date interest rates

These personal finance calculators are absolutely necessary when strategizing and setting up your long and short term goals, tax payments and schedules, mortgage resolutions and other financial steps. The closer the estimates are to real figures, the closer you will be to realizing your plans and these depend heavily on calculators.

Personal finance is simply net worth, cash flow, the relevant planning, savings, investment instruments, budget or allocations and cost cutting. If effort is made to understand the concepts in theory and applied wisely, a personal balance sheet and credit score will improve continuously beyond recovery and go well into growth.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Choosing a Realtor – Tips to Help You Choose a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Having a Hard Time Choosing a Realtor?

Choosing a Realtor when selling a house can get confusing and difficult especially taking into account the fact that there seems to be as many real estate agents trying to get your business as there are houses. Okay that may not be at all true but you get the picture.

There will be so many real estate agents promising you the stars whilst charging fees that vary wildly. One has to learn to pick the best one that not only will find you the buyer who is willing to purchase your house at the best price but also the one whom you can trust and work well with.

Follow These Tips to Choose a Realtor That Is Right For You

Always Ask For References – Don’t be so confident about your ability to judge a person’s character. If the agent is really good then ask him or her for references on recent sales. Contact those references and let them narrate to you their experience with the agent. Chances are if there are negative reviews, comments, or complaints about the Realtor then you would know about it soon enough. 

Cheaper Is Not Always Better – Do not always go for the real estate agent who charges the lowest commission. Realtors and real estate companies often shoulder the cost of listing and marketing your house to potential buyers. A huge pay-cut in commission may mean at the very least a listing in the open market but very little assistance and effort from the agent beyond that. Also, a relatively higher incentive will motivate your agent to drop everything and hurdle any challenges that may come his or her way. Simply put, you will get what you pay for.

Benefits Of Choosing Wisely – Another thing to consider is that in a selling transaction two real estate agents are often involved in every sale. Often times, it is a practice by the real estate agents to cede fees to the buyer’s agent. If commissions for your agent is tight then he or she might not be willing to cede fees to buyers‘ agent thereby decreasing the chances of a completed sale.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Lease-Option and Rent-To-Own Properties – 11 Ways to Find Them When They’re Not on the MLS

Lease-options (also known as rent-to-own, and similar to lease-purchases or land contracts) are a good way to find properties to buy when you can’t buy traditionally. Perhaps you have poor credit, or no down payment. Or maybe you’re not sure about a new neighborhood, and want to rent before buying. The problem is: Lease-options can be difficult to find. Many aren’t listed as „lease-options“ on the MLS („Multiple Listing Service“–the real estate databases used by Realtors), and others are not on the MLS at all. Here are some little-known ways to find a lease-option when they are not listed on the MLS.

But, first, the fundamentals:

A lease option combines a lease for a piece of property and an option to buy the property at some point in the future. There’s no one „standard“ lease. But the lease can be typical for your area. (The secret to this technique lies in the option.) The lease says that the tenant has the right to occupy the property for 12 (or 24, or whatever you choose) months, paying rent of $x a month. It contains the same basic provisions as any lease: keep the property clean, no illegal activities, pay rent on time, etc. There isn’t anything unusual about the lease.

The magic is in the option. The option gives the tenant-buyer (the renter who may become the owner) the right to purchase the property for a specific amount in a specific time frame so long as he obeys the terms of the lease.

So those are the fundamentals. The problem is: How do you find them? If you go to a Realtor, he/she isn’t going to find many–if any–on the MLS. But don’t let that stop you. There are many, many of them out there. You just need to know where to look.

Non-MLS Rentals

Many rental properties-single-family homes, townhouses, and condos-are rented out directly by the property’s owner. Remember, as we pointed out above, that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ All the points made above apply to non-listed rent-als. In addition, these owners are facing the hassle of dealing with calls from many „tire kickers“ and less-than-serious callers. So, many get frustrated pretty quickly.

And the person seeking a lease-option has another advantage: The ability to speak directly to the owner. Now, technically, even if a property is listed with an agent, you can speak directly to the owner. But the owner has decided to use a real estate agent, in part, to avoid all that hassle. It’s poor form, and usually not a good idea, to try negotiating directly with a seller when that seller is represented by a real estate agent. In the case of non-listed rentals, there is no such buffer. You can call and, in most cases, speak directly with the owner.

There can be another advantage, too: Not having to deal with a real estate agent who doesn’t understand lease-options, doesn’t „believe in them,“ or thinks that he or she is protecting the owners‘ interest by not accurately presenting your offer to the owners.

You can find these properties in the classified ad sections of newspapers. You can also find them on online services such as Craigslist. And you can find them by looking at bulletin boards at your local supermarket or other locations. And if you can’t find enough by looking, then place your own ads in the newspaper, on Craigslist, and on bulletin boards.

Here are some clues to properties that might work out as lease-options:

For Sale by Owner (FSBOs) Properties

These are properties that the owners are trying to sell themselves. People often try to sell properties themselves for two reasons: In a seller’s market–when there’s more demand than supply–FSBOs figure that the house will pretty much sell regardless of who the agent is, how much marketing is used, or even the price of the house. So why, FSBOs wonder, should they pay an agent 4%, 5%, 6%, or even more when all it’ll take is a „For Sale“ sign. In a seller’s market, it’s very difficult to find lease-option properties, especially among FSBOs.

The picture changes sharply in a buyer’s market-when there’s more supply than demand. In a slow market, some sellers think they can’t afford to pay an agent’s commission. They think that they’ll end up with more money in their pockets if they sell the home themselves. They’re often wrong, but that’s their strategy.

One other thing to keep in mind about FSBOs: The asking price of their house is far more likely to be too high than too low, or even properly priced. In part, they don’t have access to all the tools a real estate agent does. In part, they’re emotionally attached to their homes.

Sometimes, they had an appraisal on their property for one purpose, such as a refinance or home equity line of credit (in which cases, the appraisals tend to be on the high side), and they think that the appraisal was an accurate reflection of the value upon resale. It isn’t. And sometimes they’ve used one of the many online services, such as Zillow, to price their homes. Those services sometimes are reasonably accurate. Often, they’re not.

So, in any market, hot or cold, FSBOs are likely to be overpriced. And in a slow market, that means most will sit there and just not sell. That’s why you, the buyer, should have a real estate agent on your „Dream Team“ even if you’re planning on finding the property yourself. Your agent can quickly tell you whether the price being asked by the seller is reasonable.

When dealing with a FSBO, a lease-option buyer can offer closer to what the FSBO actually wants. The catch, of course, is that the sale will occur a year or more into the future, not today. If the FSBO needs all of his equity out of the property, this strategy won’t work. But if the FSBO can wait a year or two, there are golden opportunities for the lease-option buyer. The tenant-buyer explains to the FSBO that he can pay what the FSBO is asking (or close to what the FSBO is asking). Just not right away. It’s the same basic strategy that’s used above, for listed homes for sale. But now you can make your case directly to the seller.

Owner-Advertised Lease-Options

Sometimes owners will advertise lease-options. They understand the benefits of lease options to them-immediate cash flow, often at higher-than-market rent, plus a good opportunity to sell their homes-and decide to try it themselves. You can find these anywhere owners advertise-local newspapers, bulletin boards, Craigslist, and so on. In structured formats, such as newspapers and Craigslist, look under both properties for rent and properties for sale.

Owner-Advertised: Other Delayed Purchases

Be sure your agent also searches using other terms that describe similar structures. These terms include „lease-purchase,“ „rent-to-own,“ „rent-to-buy,“ „land contract,“ and „contract for deed.“ In each case, the owner is signaling that he or she wants to sell, but is willing to wait for the sale occurs. Some of these techniques, and some of these terms, are more often used in certain areas of the country than others. So search for them all.

Owner Financing

Search for properties on which the owner is willing to hold financing. This means the owner is willing to act as the bank. He doesn’t need all the money at closing. He’s willing to take payments over time while the tenant is living in the home. And many owners don’t have the lending criteria as strict or inflexible as the big banks.

But don’t stop there. Remember: A lease-option couples a lease with an option to purchase. So look for owners who are trying to rent their properties but are open to selling, or for owners who are trying to sell, but are open to renting.

Properties for Rent and for Sale

The first step is to find properties both for rent and sale. Even if they’re not listed as „lease-options,“ owners are willing to lease and sell. All you’re asking is that they lease now and sell later.

Former „For Sale“ Properties Now Listed for Rent

These might be properties that had been listed with a real estate agent, or properties that the owner was trying to sell himself. It doesn’t matter. But the house didn’t sell, and now it’s up for rent. These are properties that the owners really would like to sell. But they weren’t able to, so they’re will-ing to rent. Again, you’re offering a solution to their problem. You’re willing to rent now, and may be willing to buy later.

Former Rentals Now for Sale

Along the same lines, look for properties that first were listed as rentals, but now are listed for sale. There probably will be fewer of these than those first for sale, now for rent, but it never hurts to look. These, too, are properties that the owner is both willing to rent and to sell.

Thus far, we’ve identified properties that we know the owners have been willing to both rent and sell. Now we’ll move on to owners who might be willing to both rent and to sell.

Vacant Houses for Sale

Start with owners who are trying to sell, and whose house is vacant. These owners may have bought a new home, but haven’t yet sold the old one. They’re paying two mortgages-usually an uncomfortable situation. You can help out by providing a quick revenue stream–your rent payments–while offering the possibility of a sale in the future. If you’re able to, target the properties that have been on the market the longest.

Rentals

You’ll find more prospects among owners who are renting out their homes. It may be their former primary residence, and they’ve moved on to a new home. Or it may be a property they’ve held as an investment property for awhile. It’s important to remember that many owners are „reluctant landlords.“ It wasn’t their original intent to rent out their property. They don’t particularly enjoy the whole rental process, and they don’t like the hassle of dealing with tenants. But somehow they’ve become landlords and they’re trying to make the best of it.

For these owners, the solution you’re offering is the immediate gratification of a rental, and the longer term possibility of a sale. It may help if the property is vacant, but even reluctant landlords whose tenants have given proper notice, and haven’t moved out, may be eager to end their landlording hassles.

Investors

Some investors put together lease-options, then market the lease-options to tenant-buyer with a markup. These are called „sandwich lease-options“ because the structure resembles a sandwich: An owner on one side (one slice of bread in the „sandwich“) lease-optioning the property to an investor; the investor in the middle (the meat in the sandwich), and the tenant-buyer on the other side (the other slice of bread in the „sandwich“).

So those are many of the ways you can find a lease-option or rent-to-own home even when the property may not be listed on the multiple listing service. And the point worth repeating is: Some homes will be „advertised“ as a lease-option. Many won’t be. You’ll reduce or eliminate your competition by looking where others aren’t looking.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Condos for Sale – How to Choose the Right One for You

Have you ever lived in a condominium unit? If like me you grew up in a house with a garden then chances are you have no idea what factors and features to consider when looking at condos for sale. Not being aware of key aspects that could affect your quality of life as well as the unit’s resale value could leave you with a condo you can’t live in or sell.

What to prepare before checking out condos for sale

When a person decides to try buying a condo unit the first thing they do is look through adds, this is one of the most common mistakes buyers make. Prior to looking at units, preparations have to be made which can make looking for a condo easier and in the end more advantageous for you.

Down through the ages people have always said information is the key and looking at condos for sale is no different. Prior to visiting different units hire an experienced realtor. He or she will be able to give you invaluable advice plus his or her services are free since the seller will pay the commission. Another person you need on your side is a lawyer. „Legalize“ is a language not everyone is familiar with and it’s always a good idea that we understand everything we sign, trust me on this my siblings are lawyers. Next, crunch the numbers and look through mortgage requirements. Being ready on the financial front will give you a realistic view on what you can and cannot afford.

What to avoid while looking at condos for sale

Unfortunately not everyone is able to realize that small details can make a big difference in ones‘ quality of life. The following are some things you may not have thought to take into consideration:

• Steer clear of units that overlook the entrance to the garage or where vehicle traffic is if you value peace and quiet.

• Once again for peace and quiet do not choose a unit across from or beside an elevator.

• Make sure your suite does not look over the area where garbage is picked up; this is self-explanatory but is a detail most people will miss.

• Make sure most of the condo’s occupants are owners not tenants.

• Avoid condo buildings that are not easily accessible by any number of public transport services. Trust me you’ll need the service one of these days even if you do have a car.

• Avoid condo buildings where the neighborhood is not as pleasant as you’d like. The building itself maybe top notch but if the location is not at par then think twice.

• Avoid making a decision before going to the condo several times and at different times of the day and night.

• Remember to chat with the neighbors. You’ll need inside information about the area and if you can stand living beside them.

• Do not commit before you have discussed all the monthly fees, maintenance costs, association dues, closing fees and all financial matters. You need to know you can afford it all without breaking a sweat.

• Do not buy a suite with a view you can’t live with, no matter what the building’s amenities are.

Happy hunting.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Use Instagram to Market a Real Estate Listing

Instagram’s simple platform and focus on photos makes it the perfect app for real estate agents to share their listings. However, agents who aren’t familiar with the platform may not know what kinds of pictures to post. Simply posting a photo of your listing with the address and a description isn’t going to get much attention. You need to create a story around the listing and share multiple photos to tell that story.

The easiest way to start „Instagramming“ your listings is to use Instagram during an open house. Below are 7 different pictures you can take to create and share your open house story.

Start with a selfie

A „selfie“ is a photo that you take of yourself. Take a selfie in your car, in front of the sign or by the front door. Caption it with something like „Excited to host an open house at 12345 Main Street.“

Your favorite room

Take a photo of your favorite room in the house. In the caption, get your followers to imagine life in that room. For example, if your favorite room is the bathroom with the huge soaking tub, say something like „Can you imagine coming home from a hard day’s work and getting to soak in this tub? Glorious!“

Your favorite outdoor feature

Photograph your favorite outside space. Again, get your followers to imagine themselves living there. „Check out this built in BBQ. Would you love to host summer BBQs at this home?“

Give a shoutout to other agents

A shoutout is a social media referral. If a real estate agent you know comes by the house with clients, snap a picture with them and give them a shoutout in the caption (be sure to use their Instagram handle if they have one.) Your caption could read something like this „Look who stopped by my open house today! Thanks for bringing your buyers @realestateagent.“

Share your „to-do list.“

Write or type a list of things you need to do to prepare for the open house then post a picture. This gives people an idea of the services you provide when hosting an open house. You can also share the owners to do list to educate people on how they should prepare for an open house.

Tools of the Trade

Do you always bring a specific water bottle to open houses? Do you often bake cookies or bring a vase of flowers? Lay out your items and snap a photo. The caption can read something like „Here’s my open house survival kit!“

Get the owners in on the fun

If the homeowners are around, take a photo with them. Tag them and ask them to share the photo on their Instagram and to tag you!

Instagram is easy to use and the perfect platform for real estate agents who are unfamiliar with social media but want to use it to market their listings. With a few clicks of your smartphone camera and some witty captions, you’re next buyer could be one of your Instagram followers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How To Make Your House For Sale Stand Out From The Crowd

People who can afford the luxury want their homes close to amenities that support their lifestyle. The proximity to the finest goods and services is part of the purchase decision. Your best potential buyers have an active social life and look for amenities such as high-end boutiques, museums, art galleries, concert halls, five star restaurants, catering, and spas.

If you are like most sellers, you want to get as much as possible for your home and you want to do it as quickly as possible. But of all of the houses in Short Hills New Jersey, how do you make your home the one everyone wants?

Make a Presale Investment

The more repairs and upgrades you make, the more attractive your home becomes to those looking at Short Hills New Jersey real estate.

Take an inventory of the features you have already and decide what investments you are willing to make to appeal to buyers.

Some homeowners add a fresh coat of paint to their home, which will bring life back into a fading color. Others repair or upgrade their lighting scheme.

Lighting is a tool any good upscale home design uses to the maximum effect. Natural light is, of course, extremely important and can be achieved with large windows, glass walls, and skylights. Turn on the lights and open the blinds and draperies to create a bright and inviting environment in your home. You want a soft romantic glow in the bedroom and as much light as possible in the exercise room. There are plenty exciting lighting ideas for every room of the upscale home.

The kitchen and bathroom are two of the main selling points to any home. Potential buyers of luxury New Jersey real estate, are looking for upscale kitchens.

These can be traditional, European, or contemporary.

The home buyer, these days, embraces the newer styles and delights in innovative materials for counter tops, better lighting with more elegant fixtures and colors. Darker wood tops can be punched up with touches of reds or citrus colors.

Buyers of luxury houses for sale in Short Hills New Jersey are looking for spacious bath with large showers and separate tubs. Marble or granite flooring, walls, and shower and tub enclosures are expected.

Outdoor Improvements

Make sure your home looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. Landscaping is very important and should enhance the curb appeal, style, and sophistication of the property. Your lawn should be cared for, flower beds must be maintained and any outdoor clutter must be removed.

Many upscale homes have fountains, waterfalls, and rapids in their pools to add focal points of interest.

Make sure the water in your pool is crystal clear and all outdoor furnishings are free of mold or dirt.

Finally

Entry ways of natural stone such as granite, marble, or, slate are very popular and give the home an elegant touch. Make sure this area is spotlessly clean and have a focal point such as a potted plant within the entry way.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Realtor Door Hangers – How Teenagers and Doorknobs Can Get You Leads

If you live in a suburban neighborhood, you’re familiar with those little paper door hangers that get left on your front doorknob about a special at Pizza Hut or a deal on windows from a window manufacturer. You need to be like Pizza Hut! Well, not exactly but you do need „Realtor Door Hangers“.

They can be annoying (at least they are to me unless it’s pizza) but it’s a numbers game like every other marketing weapon. A certain number of people will need/want that particular service and they’ll respond to the ad/door hanger.

The best thing about „Realtor Door Hangers“ is that you can target the neighborhood you want. If you specialize in „Glendale„, for example, and you specify that on your marketing piece (Realtor Door Hanger), you’ll be targeting your audience as much as you possibly can. Marketing is all about getting a targeted list of prospects and you can do that with door hangers. It makes even more sense as a Realtor or agent because you specialize in a certain geographic area, of course.

By the way, you might be terrified to walk up to someone’s house and put a „Realtor Door Hanger“ on the knob. It’s ok. An alternative is to hire your teenager or a college kid to do it for you. Pay them per hanger and save yourself the agony. Or you could offer them a referral fee for any deal you close as a result of the door hangers they hand out. That’ll really kick them in the pants to put those puppies on every doorknob they can find. Plus, it’ll force you to track your marketing, which is a necessity.

Of course, the upside to doing it yourself is that you’ll get to know the neighborhood better and you’ll probably strike up some conversations with folks who either come to the door or are outside. It’s all about building relationships and this is a great way to do it.

One word of caution though: be discriminating about which neighborhoods you hang these „Realtor Door Hangers“ in. If the area is not so good, skip it. It’s not worth getting shot or mugged.

Plus, if you’re trying to get listings, you want homes that’ll potentially sell quickly; not the crack house that people won’t walk by. Stick with the nice, suburban areas where your safety isn’t in danger. That way I won’t have to worry about you.

So the first thing you need is an attention grabbing „Realtor Door Hanger“, of course. Check out DoorHangers.com for the most inexpensive and professional looking options. Put some color into it and make it pop and make sure you brush up on your copywriting skills; you’ll need some killer sales copy to pull a high response rate.

Once you have your door hanger printed and in-hand, it’s easy. Just walk around your selected neighborhoods and hang them up. Simple. Again, it’s all a numbers game. The more you hang up, the more traffic you’ll send to your website or phone.

If you really want to increase the success of your door hangers, go back and hang them up once a month or so. Statistically, it takes a consumer 7 times before they become familiar with your brand. Repetition is the key.

Even if your marketing piece stinks, if you get it in front of the consumer enough times, you’ll see results. It’s worth the time and effort to continue hanging these door hangers up month after month, or whatever timeframe you choose. You’ll reap the rewards in the long run, trust me.

One final thought, don’t go flimsy and cheap with these door hangers. Don’t print off some black and white copies from your computer and cut holes in them to hang over the door knob. What are people going to think about you and your brand? Is that portraying the image you want to convey? Of course not. So spend a couple bucks and get them done right.

Have them professionally printed and make them reflect the image you want to convey about your brand. Don’t skimp on this. It’s very important.

But of course, you don’t want to break the bank either. There are a few solid, low-cost door hanger designers and printers out there. Take a look around and get started!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg