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“Investment personality?” you might ask. “What’s an investment personality? I want to make more money than I have. That’s my investment personality.” Okay, we’ll admit it: the idea of an ‘investment personality’ might not seem to have a lot of merit at first—until you realize that you do have a set of clear priorities and preferences based on your experiences. To one person, Real Estate IRAs—for example—might fit perfectly in line with their investment personality. For someone else, a Self-Directed IRA of a different sort might be more appropriate.
The question becomes: what exactly is your investment personality, and how can you know it? Let’s look through some basic questions to find out exactly what yours is – and whether or not Real Estate IRAs are the right match for you.
Basic Investment Personality Questions: A Short Quiz
Your investment personality might not be the same as your normal personality. Some people who find themselves perfectly risk-averse and introverted in their personal lives might enjoy a riskier approach to their investments…and vice-versa. Let’s take a few moments for some questions that may just reveal some things about your investment personality: Read More >>
Last month it was in California, this month it was in South Carolina. All across the country we are seeing rescission letters stopping foreclosures in their tracks. Over the last few months I have been writing about how effective a Truth in Lending Act (TILA) rescission of your mortgage could be, and how the banks are getting nervous. Well, the results keep coming in, and they are extremely encouraging!
One of my real estate investor students recently explained to his father how he might be able to use rescission to stop the foreclosure on his home. His father sent in a rescission letter and the 20-day period for the bank to respond went by without a peep from the bank or their attorney. When the auction day came up, the investor and his father went to the courthouse and explained to the judge about the rescission and the Supreme Court’s ruling on the matter. The judge pushed their auction to the end of the day in order to move onto other houses. At the end of the day, the judge asked for a copy of the Supreme Court decision to review it. After reviewing the decision, he canceled the auction and called for a new hearing. Read More >>
“With Google I'm starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless.”
~ Douglas Coupland
Go to your computer right now and Google “real estate.” Go ahead, I dare you. Care to guess how many results you’ll get? Well, I just tried it, and I got 1.1 billion results. That’s billion with a b. Talk about information overload!
You’re pretty sophisticated, though, so you know not to try that kind of a mushy search. And you already know that you can search specifically for images and videos. You also realize that Google is pretty good at guessing what you’re looking for, and it will usually put those results first. But not always: If you search for “bronco,” Google won’t know whether to give you information about cars, football, or rodeos.
Luckily, you can tweak your searches to be surprisingly precise, if you know how. Here are some tricks for searching on Google that I’ve found useful. I’m concentrating on Google because it’s so popular, but some of these will work in other search engines, too. Read More >>
There are many creative ways to find motivated sellers and promote your business. One of the great ways to get positive exposure for your business and give back to your community is to sponsor events or teams. There are lots of great ways to do this.
You can sponsor sports teams such as soccer, softball, bowling or track. You can also participate in a local golf tournament for charity. One of the ways to do this is to provide uniforms or shirts which of course have your company information on them. Walk-a-thons are another great way to achieve this goal. This is a good way to get advertising out for your real estate investing business and support your community at the same time.
Another way to promote your real estate business in a positive way is to sponsor events or take part in local functions by donating promotional items. For example, if your community is having a local fair or parade, you could donate balloons to be given out to the children which have your company name and logo on them. These are always appreciated and it's a good way to get your company information out to the public. These events usually get press or television coverage as well. Imagine a news shot of a parade where every child is holding a balloon with your message on it! Or, imagine the winning team getting their picture in the paper wearing shirts with your message on them. What better advertising could you ask for! And what better way to let people know that you buy houses! Read More >>
If you have done wholesaling for even just a handful of months, you have undoubtedly come across that property that was going to be an easy deal, a sweet deal, a killer deal only to have it stall and possibly unravel because of a title issue. Obtaining clear and marketable title is a key item that rarely gets focus in courses I come across. It is usually a ‘the attorneys will take care of it’ issue. This is 100% true except that it is still YOUR deal first and as long as it is your deal, you must remain in the driver’s seat.
Too many times, I have come across deals that stall simply because as a wholesaler, we forget that the closing attorneys get rather busy themselves and we may find our transaction playing second fiddle or even backburner to ‘easier’ transactions for the closing attorney. This is not a fault of the closing attorney. Think about it, like you they most likely want to knock out the low hanging fruit the same way you thought your deal would be an easy one!
Sadly, this results in even more time to resolve issues and potentially frustrated Buyers both with you and the closing attorney. Not all Buyers have the same desire to be patient to get a deal done. So how do we handle this? Read More >>
In this article I am going to take a different approach as to the format. This time I am going to give you a list of tips for finding and working with real estate Coaches and Mentors. A good education is paramount to building any successful business. Good mentors are the foundation of a good education. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Getting paid by your tenants in a timely fashion is one of the biggest challenges of being a landlord. QuickBooks can help in several ways.
You're meeting your business goals. Making sure that every property that has a tenant has been invoiced in QuickBooks. (You invoice in QuickBooks so you can track the timely payments made by the tenants.) You take advantage of vendor discounts. Basically, doing everything in your power to keep cash flow humming.
But you can't control how quickly your tenants pay you.
You can, though, use QuickBooks' tools to:
Figure 1: QuickBooks lets you accept payments from tenants in multiple forms. Accepting credit cards and e-checks is likely to speed up your receivables.
Negotiating is a vital part of your business when it comes to cashing in big on short sales. It is always important to know who the investor is on the loan, and I’m not referring to who is servicing the loan and collecting the Sellers payments. There is an investor behind the scenes. Also, find out the type of loan, ie: private, conventional, FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and whether there is private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance (MI) on the loan. Knowing all these facts allow you to negotiate based on the percent of value each one of the Investors and/or Private Mortgage Insurance Companies on the Loan will accept on a short sale.
I found this new information to be very interesting and should not be taken lightly when negotiating on a short sale. Many Sellers are behind on their monthly payments which include principal, interest, taxes and hazard insurance. When the Sellers make their payments, the taxes and insurance monthly payment is placed into an escrow account to pay the taxes and hazard insurance when they become due. When there is not enough money in the Sellers escrow account to pay taxes, the Lender will pay them. However, when there is not enough money in the Sellers escrow account to pay the hazard insurance policy, the Lender still pays it, but it becomes Mortgage Forced Insurance. This is in place only for the protection of the Lender, not the Sellers, and normally costs 2 to 3 times more than normal Hazard Insurance. Read More >>
It was March 12th, 1982, when I had a decision to make, and it didn't seem like a very big one. You see, there was a seminar coming to town called “How to Buy Real Estate with No Money Down,” and it caught my attention because I certainly had none and didn’t want to continue doing what I had been doing for most of my life. I believe I saw the commercial on television, and after about the third time it aired I got to thinking about it and said, “Well, gosh, what have I got to lose. I know it's a scam, I know they're full of crap, but I might as well go down and check it out. Maybe there is something there, maybe I can find a way to get out of this mechanic job and make a little money for a change that lasts more than 15 minutes.”
Now, this was not an easy decision because I was going to miss my favorite television show “Dallas” with J.R. Ewing. For me to miss J.R. in order to go to the seminar was a big, big deal. We laugh about it now, but it wasn't so funny back then because J.R. was the guy that gave me hope. He's the first exposure I had to see what it was like to be very rich. I couldn't really see myself as J.R. at that time, but I certainly wanted to be like him. I'm not sure I wanted to be as mean as he was. Of course, some people will say I am. I certainly wanted to have his money and his power. Read More >>
Recently I was having a discussion with a friend of mine discussing some of the different ways to create wealth not only from real estate but other forms of investing that can give huge returns. We talked about the usual ways of making money buying real estate and we also talked about other ways of creating income without having to do any physical work for the money. Of course when you are a real estate investor your first thought is usually either about, buying foreclosure properties, wholesaling properties, fixing and selling houses at retail prices, and also buying long term income properties.
One subject I have never talked about before that I think is an important part of every real estate investors portfolio of investing opportunities is to also own paper assets for income. From this point forward we will refer to paper assets simply as "Paper". So what are paper assets? Paper assets come in many different forms. Some different paper assets come in the form of property tax certificates, land contract paper, contract for deed paper and promissory notes secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust paper. It is my belief that every real estate investor should be diversified and have several different income streams to help them build the wealth they desire. Read More >>
Have you been in real estate for 6 months, or have you really been in real estate for 1 month? Because if you’re really in real estate, you’ve made a deal by now, maybe several.
Here’s the truth: If you’re not making offers, if you’re not making deals, you’re not in real estate…yet.
Are you making the mistake of preparing and then doing nothing? Listen, if you’re prepared, then you have the education. You’ve paid a lot of money to take courses, you’ve read the books, and you’ve watched the videos. You understand that buying real estate is not rocket science. You understand that making an offer is not difficult. You have a power team: a contractor, an attorney, a survey company, and a real estate agent.
But you just don’t seem to be able to get one deal done.
What will it take for you to make a deal?
How can you overcome this fear and lethargy? Read More >>
Over the years investors have always wanted to know which way they should go. Buy a house cheap, fix it up and rent it out. Over time collect the cash flow, keep some and use a portion to pay the house off. It’s the oldest and truest way to build wealth and a secure retirement.
Then there are those who are seriously focused on making some money now. They either want to “Wholesale” a house doing nothing to it all or the alternative option may be to acquire, renovate and sell for a really good profit and do it again. This method doesn’t build wealth but you can make some potential steady income.
Truly good real estate investors know the valuation of their deals is key to insuring success and protecting projected profits. To effectively determine if a deal is a rental building wealth or flip to make some much needed cash, you have to analyze a deal fully. All the market areas covered by REIAComps.com, insure you easily know which way an investor should go. Read More >>
If you are blessed and fortunate enough to have lived on this planet for a while, there eventually comes a time when you start to notice the same thing that countless ancestors of ours have noticed over the eons... The undeniable fact that, sorry! You're getting old.
The first signs of this sad truth probably reveal themselves to you in a very subtle fashion... An extra ache when you wake up in the morning; Recuperating from injuries takes longer than it used to; Or it could be a grey hair or an extra wrinkle in your smile. As my (older) brother always likes to tell me, “getting old is not for the faint of heart.”
Such subtle signs are a painful reminder of our own mortality. They can either make you sad or remind you that you may only have a certain amount of time left on this spinning blue rock we call home.
If you like movies, you know you're getting old when the actors you grew up watching & admiring start showing their age... or die. (Even though Tom Cruise & Keanu Reeves are immortal. They never age!) Read More >>
As a real estate investor you must always adjust to new market trends, rules and regulations. Recently, as any good investor should know, the industry has been having to make some changes due to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. These changes have and will continue to affect any person closing a property involving an owner occupant loan.
Investors that renovate properties to sell will need to add at least an extra month or two of carrying costs. Why? Well, while not going into too much detail, all HUDs will need to be approved by the buyer and underwriter at least 3 days before closing. In reality, this will mean that the delay may be as many as 6 days because we all know how long underwriting can take. Some investors may not know this, because it is normally not enforced, but currently buyers are supposed to receive a HUD 2 days prior to closing. However, the norm for most closings is having a HUD prepared the day or evening before or the morning of the closing. I have even witnessed some buyers and sellers not receive a HUD until minutes before closing. This way of doing business will soon be gone and I for one like this part of the change. Originally the changes were to be enforced in August but the enforcement date was changed to October 3rd. Therefore, make sure your lenders and title companies are ready for these changes and do not delay your closing any more than needed. Read More >>
If you’re like most people, you’ve been wondering all along when we were going to discuss all the awful things you’re imagining might happen to you as a wholesaler. And I have no desire to sugar-coat things for you, but the truth is most of the things you’re imagining are extremely rare, and easily overcome. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about such fears:
What happens if I can’t find a buyer for a property I have under contract?
If you can’t find a buyer, one of three things has happened:
As you’re probably already aware, any of these 3 failures is unlikely to harm YOU, if you exercised the recommended inspection clause. You’ll simply void the contract under that clause, or renegotiate for a lower price or more time, or in a worst case scenario, let the seller keep any earnest money as per the liquidated damages clause.
In the first case, you might try renegotiating the contract price or option price—you’ll know what to re-offer after you’ve shown the property to 4-5 people. In the other two cases, if you’re certain that you’ve created a good deal, you might consider paying the seller an additional, non-refundable option fee or deposit to extend the period of the contingency and closing. A third possibility is to buy the property yourself, although that is outside the scope of this course. Remember, as long as you have a liquidated damages clause, you’ll lose only your earnest money; if the property is controlled via an option to buy, you’ll only lose your option fee for not closing. But don’t make it a habit.
In any case, it’s important, as an ethical wholesaler, that you let the seller know as soon as possible that something has gone awry, and that you won’t be closing as promised. Read More >>
“The secret to multitasking is that it isn't actually multitasking. It's just extreme focus and organization.” ~ Joss Whedon
Have you ever watched a really good store manager while she works? It’s incredible! She can handle two or three customers at once, answer the phone three times while she’s at it, and approve a couple check transactions at the same time. And when you compliment her on her talent, she just shrugs and says, “I’m a multitasker.”
A few years ago, businesses were all about multitasking. Employers wanted people who could multitask. With life moving faster all the time, all of us have learned to do it to some extent. But experts now believe that multitasking isn’t really all that productive or efficient. For a lot of us, multitasking just means we do a bunch of things at once, but we don’t do any of them very well. I don’t know about you, but I’ll never be able to do what that store manager does.
So it turns out that it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. But this doesn’t fit too well with modern life. Between home, work, school, church, and hockey, it’s a wonder we ever get anything done at all.
Luckily, I don’t have to multitask anymore, because my cellphone does it for me. I can hardly remember anymore what life was like before I had an iPhone. I used to say that having a cellphone was a good idea, but not an absolute necessity. Well, it’s sure a necessity now. Read More >>
The rental business can be very lucrative for the real estate investor. It can also be a pain in the neck. The trick to an effective rental business is the management. We have many rentals as a part of our real estate investment business and we have always said that managing tenants is like raising another set of children unless you do it correctly.
The first thing you should do is to decide if you are going to manage your properties yourself or if you are going to have someone else do it for you. There are ways to automate these systems either way and I will discuss both. You just need to choose the system that works the best for your own needs.
You can use a property management company and run your rental business pretty much hands-off. Just remember that there are costs involved in doing it this way and you don’t have as much control. If you do choose to work with a property management company check references before doing so. In the beginning, keep a closer tab on what’s going on with your properties. Some property management companies are definitely better than others and some will take better care of your properties than others.
When using a property management company who is going to place tenants in your properties, make sure they are using a reputable tenant check company and make sure you look at the applications and tenant check reports of prospective tenants before they are placed in your property until you are sure that you and the management company are “on the same page” regarding the tenant requirements you want for your properties. Make sure your property management company understands your personal parameters when placing tenants in your properties. Read More >>
You may have heard the news that the real estate market is improving throughout the USA. While in some areas, the market improvement is steady, some markets are just hot! An interesting observation we have noticed is that private sellers in particular hear the news on Fox, CNN, CBS, etc. and immediately think their property is worth what it was in 2007 at the peak. The idea of gradual appreciation seems to escape a significant number of them as it seems at every corner everyone is saying sell! Even banks are selling REO’s at or near full retail value…before rehab!
In the midst of this, you may be hearing the phrase ‘limited inventory’ or ‘fierce competition’. And depending on your market, there is probably some truth to this. More agents are coming back on the scene. Real Estate gurus are selling Wholesale courses like M&M’s at the grocery store about how easy it is to be rich tomorrow. They all have some kind of ‘secret’ message to get deals flowing in to everyone. However, if you sell it to everyone, how is it a secret at that point?
So what is a wholesaler to do? Read More >>
It's probably one of your favorite QuickBooks activities. Be sure you understand the mechanics of recording payments.
There are numerous ways to prioritize your workday. Do the most difficult things first. Get important phone calls out of the way. Respond to various emails.
But it's likely that one activity takes precedence when you see that it needs to be done: recording payments. While you're probably very careful with this process, it's critical that your actions here are accurate. If they're not, you could either lose money that you've earned or anger tenants by requesting payments they’ve already made.
QuickBooks comes with some helpful pre-defined payment types; however, you also have the flexibility to edit that list and add new types. To see your list, open the Lists menu and select Customer & Vendor Profile Lists, then Payment Method List. This window opens: Read More >>
Improper goal setting can really hurt your business. Proper goal setting can make you rich. This is a concept that I see most new investors and real estate business owners learn the hard way. If you don’t know how to set proper goals for yourself then you are very unlikely to obtain any goal. In this article I will help you to learn the art of goal setting.
Whenever I begin mentoring a new student or business client I always start by having them submit their goals. I am actually more interested to see how this person sets goals more than the goals themselves. Most people will set goals based on what they want with little knowledge of what it takes to accomplish those goals. Understanding the requirements of the goals we set will greatly help us achieve them.
I follow a similar process for goal setting that the U.S. military follows. It’s called “Backward Planning Process”. Basically I decide where I want to be. What is my end goal? Once I know exactly where I am trying to go, I work backwards from that point. For example if I want to buy an apartment complex I start working backward with questions like this... Read More >>
My students always ask me “How many letters do we have to mail in order to get a deal?” Before I answer, I want to state that the #1 reason a Seller sells their house for less is because they are motivated. An unmotivated Seller will not take less for their house, as they are not in a hurry to sell. Let me clarify the situations that make a Seller motivated:
I’ve been in a few businesses in my life, still have a few and probably will until I check into the nursing home, and maybe even after.
When comparing buying and selling houses to other businesses, the contrast is so big, sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if all small business owners were exposed to my training before they opened their businesses.
Let’s take a look and compare to my restaurant.
You can start real estate immediately with no money, no credit and no risk and expect to make a profit within the first month or two.
The restaurant required several months looking for a location I had to build out. Then, I signed a long lease with a $7,500 deposit (albeit non-recourse). Then it took 10 months and several hundred thousand dollars to get it opened and a massive amount of my time. As to the profit…it’s been a serious negative and will take many more months to break even. Then we’ll discuss a profit, maybe.
Your real estate business has no employees, only a virtual assistant or two. That means no payroll alligator to suck you dry and no employees to manage or account for and no regulations strangling the life out of your business. Read More >>
All good real estate investors know the valuation of their deals is key to insuring success and projected profits. Since late 2013 transactions in numerous market areas have seen strong sales activity. But what to do when transactions start to slow? All the market areas covered by REIComps, insure when sales changes happen you are not caught off guard.
Last week, we began seeing a number of Support Tickets asking the question, “My retail sale properties aren’t getting multiple offers any more. What am I doing wrong? Equally, we have seen tickets which ask, “Several of our current units for sale in the same area where they have sold in less than two weeks aren’t getting showings”.
Truly, essentially these are the same question, but we had to dig deeper from a valuation perspective. Remember, when we “buy right” typically we can drive the market selling slightly lower. Or in some cases due to sound acquisition, an investor is able to improve a dwelling insuring that buyers can’t wait to make an offer. Read More >>
How many times does your phone need to ring to make a deal? Well, the more rings you have, the more possibilities there are, right? But here is the catch: you don’t want just any calls. You want quality calls. It doesn’t matter how many calls you get if they aren’t ones that are going to lead to getting paid.
You may have heard real estate gurus telling you how to get that phone to ring. But I can show you how to get the phone to ring so that when you answer, you’ll have a potential good deal on the other end.
First, quality calls will decrease your overhead. I typically spend $1000 per closing on marketing. In the past, I bought the latest in high tech products which were supposed to send me 10 leads per day. The problem was that, while the leads were plentiful, the number that actually worked was less than I wanted.
You see, I want to make the time that I spend worth it. I want sellers who call me so ready to sell that I can barely finish saying, “Hi, this is Russ. How may I help you?” And I want them to say, ” I heard you were the best in the Atlanta area, you pay a fair price, you are respectful, and you do what you say you are going to do. I don’t care what you offer me, I will take it because I know you will be fair. I know you can close in 30 days. I trust you.”
How can YOU get these kinds of calls? I’m about to tell you. Read More >>
This month I believe what I will be sharing with you can be very important to you financially as well as to build your financial freedom faster and easier. Last month I questioned why all of the so-called Guru’s are pitching how everyone should be wholesaling properties to build wealth. From my own experience as I said last month, if all you do is wholesale deals you have a job. This month I want to explain what I have experienced over the years doing this type of deal and what I have learned that keeps my buyers clamoring for more deals on a continual basis. The reason I decided to write about this subject is because without the practical knowledge of how to structure your wholesale deals, it is going to be more difficult to pass those deals along to other investors. I hope this information will open your eyes to the real world and what it takes to be more profitable.
Last month I left off by saying, if you always pay too much for the properties you wholesale, the seasoned investors aren’t going to be interested in the properties you find and you will be forced to sell or assign the purchase agreement to other people who don’t know what they should pay. This is because those people don’t really understand how to figure the numbers and once they do figure out they paid too much, it only stands to reason that they won’t want to buy more properties from you. Once word gets out you are asking too much and it will be assumed you don’t know what you are doing and investors will avoid you like the plague. Everyone wants to make an adequate profit from every deal they do or they won’t do the deal. You must realize that there are other ways to profit from real estate other than being a wholesaler. Read More >>