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The difference between a successful real estate IRA investor and a not-so-successful one often comes down to due diligence. The investor who understands what goes into valuing a property, to include historic and expected cash flows coming in and out as well as risk – is able to make better decisions than a less skilled investor. If you’ve been blindsided by the unexpected as an investor – or if you believe you could be – here are some tips from experienced professionals to improve your due diligence and help you avoid getting caught unaware by the unexpected ever again.
Don’t rely on pro forma financial statements and projections that you get from the seller. This is a common rookie mistake. But most of the experienced and successful investors we speak to have never seen a case where the actual cash flows from a real estate investment were better than the pro forma. Any such information you get from the seller should be considered, at best, a wildly optimistic scenario. You want to pay a fair price for the property’s actual performance, not the best-case but highly-unlikely scenario. Read More >>
“HD doesn't mean anything to me. It's a technical thing. It's like demographics. A lot of people know about it.” ~ Craig Ferguson
When we talk about demographic data it is hard to grasp. The US Census information is available for free online, but it is hard to gain anything meaningful from that. The common person isn’t apt at reading through that information, and the way the US Government organizes those numbers isn’t easily absorbed.
Demographix is a very niche app. It is a well organized database that has used the US Census information from 2010. This is not for everyone, but working in different areas I find myself needing access to information fast. Ok Google or Siri doesn’t always answer my questions on the spot. It can take time to work out the details about the population of an area I’m trying to buy or sell a home in. Demographix is neatly organized and at a glance I can look through a clean user interface. Read More >>
A little history. Back in 2007-2008, not only did the Real Estate market change, but so did our entire economy. With the near total melt down of our economy, Real Estate took a huge hit. The Banking/Lending industry all but shut down making mortgage loans.
This made it very difficult for us to do business. Up to this point we were doing just about every creative technique out there for they were all working. We were doing Subject To, Lease/Options, Private Money, Rehabbing, REO’s, Wholesaling, Wholetaling, Commercial, Building Spec Homes, etc.
Lending was way too loose, but that was what was making it easy to sell properties. In fact, it was so easy, some even crossed the line and put home owners into homes that they knew they could never afford, but were able to obtain these easy to get loans. We of course could not do that. Read More >>
Value is subjective to each party of any real estate deal and value doesn't have to be determined in dollars. Today people have been taught that the dollar is the only way to determine value. Let me give you an example of what I mean. When you go to the grocery store and go through the checkout lane with your chosen product that costs nine dollars, you give the clerk a twenty dollar bill; you are expecting eleven dollars in change back. This is what people today have been taught how to determine value, in dollars.
Dollars don’t have to have anything to do with value, here is an example. A lady who lives in my area was struggling financially, having trouble paying her rent every month because she was unemployed and couldn't find work in her field. This lady was dealing with much stress because she owned property in New Hampshire that was vacant land that didn't make her a penny. As a matter of fact, the cause of your stress was because the property taxes for her property in New Hampshire were due and she didn't have the money to pay her property taxes. She had a real dilemma. Read More >>
When I first started in real estate, I spent over $250,000 flying all around the world attending boot camp after boot camp, learning all the different ways I could get involved in creatively buying, selling and holding real estate. It seemed like it was always the same group of people flying around the world with me and taking the same training. The only difference I noticed was that many of the people who had attended these trainings had never even made an offer on a property. They never used the knowledge that they received and just kept on going to more and more seminars. And as we all do, we exchanged business cards with individuals we met at these meetings. At that time it was my husband, step-son and I attending all of these trainings. When I got home from many of the meetings, I would get telephone calls from individuals who still didn’t understand the process of the training they received. Read More >>
When you are looking to make offers, remember your obligation is to the most important person in your company; the shareholder. Most often, the shareholder is you. Have your list of what a profitable deal looks like, armed with your REIA Comps information and some courage your list can be successful.
The key to meeting your goals and having your success as an investor is a thorough understanding of VALUE. Understanding the value of a potential investment property is the basis for profits. Taking stock in the real estate market and learning how to properly analyze the market is paramount. This enables you to make a maximum profit when buying real estate for flipping or reno and sale. Read More >>
“My system for staying young is to work a lot, to always have a project on the go.” ~ Carlos Fuentes
Before insurance companies started offering plug in cameras designed to improve your driving and lower your rates there was already an industry standard port. The ODB-II port is existing technology standard in most every car produced after 1996. Automatic uses this existing port, at first it would connect to a bluetooth device and was only good for reducing your gas waste habits. Hard stops and other things would be flagged and brought to your attention. The second iteration of Automatic Pro adds GPS to track your route if your smartphone is out of battery life. You will still need a smartphone and bluetooth to sync the data later. Read More >>
Last month I wrote about beginner’s rules and the first presentation a person could do when looking to raise capital. I talked about the mistakes that I made early on. I just changed the names to protect the innocent, me.
I want you to think about being able to raise private money from local sources, business people, retirees, and people who have money sitting in banks or accounts that are barely earning them a .01% rate of return. If you are one of those people, then we need to talk.
So, picture yourself walking up to people and building a relationship. Is this scary? Is this awkward? Is this a cake walk? Read More >>
This is probably the biggest tip I tell wholesalers all the time. When you are interested in a property, make the offer! That’s it!
It’s such a simple tip. See property, have interest in it. Make an offer. Yet for reasons continually inexplicable to me, too many investors simply don’t make the offer!
I recently sold a deal that I got seven offers on within 24 hours. The irony is I had it at a higher price in purpose for a test I was running and no one offered on it. When I lowered the price, all of sudden everyone was interested. When I sold it, several of the others said ‘that was a good deal!’ To which my response was, ‘it was but you could have had it sooner had you just made the offer.’ The look on their face was shocking as if to say ‘you mean we can offer a bit less than the asking price?’
Let’s clear this up right now… Read More >>
Sure, there are reasons – good reasons – to not own rental property: tenants, vacancies and repairs, to name three. But have you ever spent time thinking why owning investment real estate might be a good idea?
Last year, my father-in-law was rushed to the hospital with what doctors thought was a massive stroke. When the ambulance arrived, he was taken directly to ICU where a ventilator was inserted, and to prevent further injury, he was given medicine to induce a coma.
Kim and I had to live at the hospital for several weeks. Gotta tell you, an ICU’s waiting room is full of interesting life lessons. Read More >>
Not finding quite everything you need in QuickBooks Online? Here are some handy add-on apps available.
QuickBooks Online may work for you just fine as is. After all, it was designed to meet the needs of the millions of small businesses that want to manage and track their income and expenses, create records and transactions, and run reports to gauge their financial health.
QuickBooks Online was also designed to grow along with your business. But there’s no need for Intuit to add internal features to do so. In fact, that would make it too expensive and unwieldy for many companies.
Instead, Intuit has partnered with other small business websites to provide add-ons—applications that extend the usefulness of QuickBooks Online in one or more areas, like accounts receivable and payable, inventory, and expense-tracking. They integrate easily to share data and do the extra work you need. Here are some of them to consider. Read More >>
If you ask my investors, private lenders, contractors, buyers, sellers, friends etc. to describe me, which I did, they will all tell you that I am easy to work with, a nice guy, dependable, hardworking and focused/ determined. These were the most common replies. To be honest I was a bit surprised. I expected the hardworking, dependable and focused, I was happy to hear nice guy but easy to work with was not on my radar.
Easy to work with was not something I would have used to describe myself so I decided to investigate. When I partner with other investors and/or private lenders I try to include in the agreement that I will be the final decision maker when it comes to renovations. Obviously, this does not always happen but I try. I do not do this to be controlling. I like it this way because everyone gives their opinions to me or the assigned person and that person makes a decision and executes. This keeps the project moving along smoothly. I’m also the person who actually reads through agreements and lender documents so if there is something that does not add up I make sure it is corrected and/or honored. There have been many instances where I have called the private lender to correct the documents his/her attorney sent that contained terms that were not agreed upon. I would have thought they would have said I was picky or a difficult partner or borrower but it was quite the contrary. They appreciated the fact that I was detailed and understood that I was simply making sure I got what was agreed. One person said that this actually made them even more comfortable with lending me money. Read More >>
Let me ask you a question… Are you properly managing your prospects? Are you taking the time to follow up with the sellers who didn’t initially accept your offers, or the sellers you still need to make offers to? Did you know that you are leaving thousands of dollars in potential income behind if you aren’t following up with sellers? One of the easiest ways to make a fortune in the real estate business and gain the advantage over your competition is to take the time to follow up with motivated and semi-motivated sellers. You’ve already got the seller in your pipeline, you’ve already done the marketing and spent the money to find this person, and now all you need to do is to follow up with them until they either sell you their property or tell you to go away. How much simpler could it be?
There are two types of sellers we are going to follow up with, those we’ve already made offers to who haven’t accepted our offer and those who have not made any decision after our initial contact with them. Quite often, you will need to make multiple contacts with sellers before their situation changes and dictates that they sell their property to you. When you stay in touch with these sellers, you build credibility with them. When it comes time to sell their home they will contact you first, even if they have been contacted by someone else in the meantime. Read More >>
Decade after decade, it seems like real estate keeps coming through. While any asset class can have a down year – or even several down years in a row, as the real estate investment community saw between 2008 and 2010 – real estate remains a proven long term wealth generator year after year, decade after decade, and generation after generation.
That’s what makes real estate an ideal investment for your retirement portfolio – and even in a special kind of IRA, called a self-directed IRA.
Some people still believe the myth that IRAs don’t allow you to own real estate. This is because Wall Street companies that only sell stocks, bonds, funds, annuities and other kinds of paper assets. They aren’t compensated to sell real estate, and so they don’t pitch it, other than to sell real estate investment trusts, or REITs, which are still securities, rather than direct real estate assets themselves.
But it is very easy for you to own real estate assets of all kinds within a self-directed IRA – even direct ownership of rental properties. Read More >>
The Residential Market in Atlanta is HOT! This is evidenced by the rapid quantity of homes that are flying off the market in a matter of days, providing they are in proper condition and priced correctly. A Seller's Market occurs when the number of properties available for sale divided by average monthly sales to calculate how long it would take to sell the current inventory if no other properties were listed – when that number equals 6 months or less, a Seller's Market exists. Our metro Atlanta market became a Seller's Market during 2012 resulting in several changes benefitting sellers, as illustrated here using the peak of the Buyer's Market compared to where we were in 4Q 2016. Read More >>
“Blah, blah, blah!”
That’s what we hear when most people talk. And sometimes that’s what other people hear when WE talk, too.
Have you ever noticed that most people think of what they’re going to say, rather than listen to the person who is talking? But when it comes to negotiating, that can be a HUGE mistake! Here’s why...
Let’s say you’re talking to a seller about their house, and when you ask them to describe their situation, they just seem to go on & on about how wonderful the house is, the gossip about the neighbor, how their health is failing, etc.
A lot of people will be thinking how boring or irrelevant that is, and just want to get to the numbers, or instead - talk about themselves. Am I right??
But if you do that, you might just miss out on a very important detail you need when it's time to negotiate a decent deal with them. Read More >>
I have heard it 100 times over…
That wholesaler, fill in the name, totally ripped me off. False rehab costs, false appraisals, false inspection reports, false ARV…and on and on.
Last month we talked about experienced wholesalers. This month, let’s flip it over to the new Buyers. They are new, excited and hungry. And they are prime targets to get taken advantage of by some wholesalers. Unfortunate as it is, there are wholesalers that are less than credible. I have seen quite a bit of less than ideal advertisements. Some examples: Read More >>
One of the Questions I am frequently asked by students wanting to implement a direct mail campaign is where to get the lists of sellers to mail to. While there are several resources available, I find they vary greatly in price and in quality of the lists. It is important for you to find a good, reliable source for your lists. When doing direct mail campaigns, their success is going to be based 70% on the list and 30% on the direct mail piece you are using to contact these motivated sellers.
There are a couple of resources for lists that I find to be especially reasonable in price and the quality of the lists is excellent for your use. One of those resources is very easy to find and simple to use use. Just go to your property appraiser, auditor, or assessors’ office and ask them to put the lists together for you. You will need to target specific types of sellers you want to do deals with. If your county is online preparing this list is usually pretty simple for them to do. I will suggest to you that you go down to their office and ask them for their help in person to customize these lists for you. If you just call them, you may get “blown off” by someone who doesn’t want to do the extra work, or you may get someone on the phone who doesn’t understand what it is that you need. I know all of this from personal experience with counties I have worked with. In addition, if you live in a particularly large county, they have plat maps you can look at to subdivide your lists by specific areas you want to mail to. This is just another way for you to hone in on the area and type of seller you want to work with. Read More >>
People from all over the world have a common trait. No matter what the product, the word SALE always draws our attention.
When it comes to real estate, that same line of thinking stands. The phrase "you make money when you buy, you realize that money when you sell" continues to ring true. The challenge is being able to spot that awesome deal amongst many poor or inadequate deals. I cannot stress enough proper real estate investing education should be your goal. Using REIA comps to analyze every new deal you do is the avenue that will help you make such a distinction.
There are many people venturing out and searching for additional ways to make additional income. Investing requires knowledge of different techniques which can be used when trying to buy, sell, negotiate or repair a house. Having proper investing education to stand on can mean the difference between success and failure. Read More >>
After beefing up its film incentive program in 2008, Georgia has emerged among the top places in the world for film production. In less than a decade, Georgia has quickly become the “Hollywood of the South” with more movies and TV shows filming in the Peach state than most places around the world. A recent study has put Georgia as the third largest film industry in the world only behind the United Kingdom. However, with the recent BREXIT issues, Georgia’s film industry is expected to exponentially grow and possibly become the number #1 filmmaking location in the world.
For those that don’t know, Georgia gives film, television and digital entertainment a tax credit of up to 30 percent. Georgia’s Entertainment Industry Investment Act provides a 20 percent tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production in Georgia, either in a single production or on multiple projects with no caps on amount spent. Then, the state grants an additional 10 percent tax credit if the finished project includes a promotional logo provided by the state. If a company has little or no Georgia tax liability, it can transfer or sell its tax credits as well. These credits create significant cost savings for the production companies producing feature films, television series, music videos and commercials, as well as interactive games and animation. Read More >>