Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Real Estate Investment: Top 3 Perks

Imagine this scenario: the bills are paid, the groceries are safely tucked away in the fridge, the car is in good order, and you find yourself with a tidy sum that you’d like to save for a rainy day. But rather than place that money in a typical 401k contribution or deposit in a savings account, why not put your money into something real? Enter real estate investment, a surprisingly-profitable method of securing your funds for the future that’s both efficient and fun! Whether you’re a long-time investor or just getting started, let the experts at RE/MAX Plus use our decades of experience to show you why real estate investment is right for you!

  • Cash flow

 Perhaps THE biggest perk to real estate investment is the steady stream of income that comes from renting out your property. Savvy real estate owners reap a monthly profit even after any maintenance and mortgage fees are paid. The income itself is often much more stable and predictable than playing with personal portfolios and the constant rise-and-fall of the stock market. With the profit received from real estate, many property owners reinvest into making improvements and repairs to their own home or use that income to further their private investments elsewhere. Bottom line: it’s your money, you decide!

  • Tangible Assets

Whether short or long-term investment is your goal, owning real estate gets its best value from being a tangible asset. This means that unlike stocks, CD’s, and other investment opportunities, your actions as the owner can have a direct influence on just how much your property is worth. Putting a new roof on a home or upgrading a kitchen/bathroom can add thousands of dollars to the property value. Re-tenanting a building or adding a secondary service such as in-house laundry hookups can justify an increase in rental charges and improve income performance. Compared to other investments, you have a greater degree of control over performance and value than any other type of investment.

 

  • Taxes, Inflation Hedges, and Equity

Besides the income and control gained as a real estate investor, the perks of tax breaks, inflation hedging, and general equity are extremely valuable. The cash flow you receive from rental charges is not subject to a self-employment tax, mortgage interest, or property taxes; investment properties are all considered write-offs. Plus, with a fixed-rate mortgage, monthly payments remain the same even as inflation increases, protecting your investment’s value. Finally, as the mortgage is paid off, equity is created, which can be used as collateral to fund your retirement, buy another property or even pay for college tuition! The benefits are endless!

RE/MAX Myth Buster

Nicki ThompsonA Colorado top producer discovers that rumors don’t match the reality of RE/MAX

By Keith Miller

Nicki Thompson sums up her decision to join RE/MAX with one word: harmony. “I’ve found harmony in my life at RE/MAX,” says the top-producing agent with RE/MAX Alliance in Arvada, Colo., near Denver.

“I’m in a very good place. I’m content, but never complacent.”

A former Coldwell Banker agent, Thompson says her career has blossomed since joining RE/MAX in 2008. Last year, she reached Platinum Club status after two years in the 100 Percent Club.

At the same time, she has more time to spend with her family and get involved in the community. Thompson is an active member of her local chamber of commerce and has chaired the Arvada Young Professionals group. She’s even found more time for her favorite activities: swimming, competing in triathlons and having fun with her three children.

It wasn’t always this way. At Coldwell Banker for six years, Thompson began feeling like she had reached her peak. She worked long hours, and although she was a top producer in her office, she felt constrained.

“I was a big fish in a little pond,” Thompson says. “I reached a place in my career where I wanted to be challenged.”

Thompson often sat across from RE/MAX agents at the closing table. They appeared happy and very productive. She began considering RE/MAX herself. Then the voices of doubt would come, as she recalled the cautionary tales she heard around the office: “RE/MAX doesn’t offer any support,” “You’re on your own at RE/MAX,” and “So long to education.”

So what ultimately tipped the scales? How did Thompson know RE/MAX was the right choice?

She researched and ultimately debunked the RE/MAX myths.

myth 1

There’s no education.

nicki busted

After she made the switch, Thompson discovered a world of education. She regularly takes advantage of RE/MAX University programming and earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation right after joining the network.

“The reality turned out to be much different than what I had thought,” she says. “The amount of available education was one of the biggest surprises for me.”

myth 2

You’ll be on your own.

nicki busted“My concern that I was leaving a family atmosphere and would be by myself ended up being completely unwarranted,” she says. “Once I joined RE/MAX, I was amazed at the support and culture of teamwork and mentorship.”

Now, as a more experienced agent, Thompson thoroughly enjoys sharing her own wisdom with others.

“It’s not just a receiving relationship; you have to give as well,” she says. “I know numbers and analytics, and enjoy sharing that expertise. It creates a very collaborative and empowering work environment for everyone.”

myth 3

The fees are prohibitive.

nicki bustedThis myth was crushed with a spreadsheet. As a numbers and statistics enthusiast, Thompson tallied her potential income with RE/MAX and saw the stark difference for herself.

“This one was easy,” she says. “The numbers made sense from the get-go. It was overcoming the other concerns that initially made me more hesitant to change.”

myth 4

There will be no time for yourself.

bustedWhen Thompson worked with RE/MAX agents at closings, she got the sense this was far from true. Her RE/MAX Broker/Manager, Phil Shell, made a statement that ultimately tipped the scales for her to join.

He told her, “Don’t let your business run you; you run your business.”

With RE/MAX, Thompson found the work-life balance she was looking for.

“When I walk in the house, my phone is off and my attention is on my family,” she says. “I’m able to leave my business at the office.”

MORE GOOD MOVES

These experienced Associates can definitely relate to Nicki Thompson’s journey. Here’s why they recently joined RE/MAX.

I wanted to be part of a highly recognizable, global brand with a local presence. The office I joined is centrally located in an up-and-coming resort town, and the brand presence of RE/MAX provides a huge advantage. My Broker/Owners and the office staff provide everything I need to be more effective.

– MARY BETH BUCKLES, RE/MAX SIGNATURE SERVICES, DANA POINT, CALIF. (JOINED 2013)

The RE/MAX brand is powerful. There’s a sense of pride and name recognition that was absent when I worked for smaller companies. After 20 years in real estate, I was very confident in my knowledge, but I’ve been blown away by all that I’ve learned through RE/MAX courses and education – and particularly how much is offered through RE/MAX University.

– DARLIN GUTTERIDGE, RE/MAX MOSAIC PROPERTIES, GILBERT, ARIZ. (JOINED 2012)

I’ve been very impressed with the strategic, administrative and transactional support. I’ve also been surprised by the corporate support. In one instance, I called asking for materials for The RE/MAX Collection. They delivered a package the next day, and I was able to use everything in a presentation. I ended up getting the listing. I should have joined RE/MAX sooner!

– NATALIE VIZIR, RE/MAX SIGNATURE SERVICES, DANA POINT, CALIF. (JOINED 2013)

My Broker/Owner’s marketing expertise and real estate knowledge are incredible assets. I love that I can truly be an independent contractor in charge of my own destiny and success. I can achieve this with the support and opportunities for growth through REMAX University and Mainstreet. The RE/MAX Design Center gives me countless ways to make my listings stand out and wow clients. There’s no other real estate company that offers anything close.

– NANCY BENARD, RE/MAX ULTIMATE PROFESSIONALS, SHOREWOOD, ILL. (JOINED 2012)

We wanted to take full advantage of the recovering market and evaluated several companies. By joining RE/MAX, we affiliated with the strongest horse in the race. RE/MAX has proven to be the most powerful and easily recognizable brand in real estate – and the most dominant in our local market. When we told our clients about our move to RE/MAX, they were very pleased, and liked knowing how much more exposure their listings would receive.

– GERRY FRASER AND GEORGE PATRIDGE, RE/MAX KELOWNA, KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA (JOINED 2013)

Can A Monkey Sell Real Estate?

By Anthony James

Recently, I heard a local REALTOR® make this statement over the radio: “Even a monkey could sell real estate in this market.” As a professional in the industry with over 11 years of experience, I get it. I understand the message this REALTOR® was trying to convey: The market is hot and homes are selling quickly. However, I don’t think a monkey could do our job.

Surviving the downturn of the local California real estate market and pressing forward in my career has helped me understand the true meaning of being a broker/manager. When the game changed in 2007, many REALTORS® were left to either sink or swim. This was the defining moment in a REALTOR®’s career. During this time, the monkeys were definitely scratching their heads and eating bananas while the real professionals rose to the challenge and figured out a way to claw through one of the toughest real estate markets our nation had ever seen.

And don’t just take my word for it, let the numbers speak for themselves: According to the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the amount of people entering our industry has substantially slowed. In 2007, California issued about 44,000 salesperson licenses—a relatively high number—but only 11,434 salesperson licenses were issued in 2012.  If the business of selling homes could be taken care of by a monkey, why is this number dropping at such an alarming rate? Wouldn’t everyone want to get in on the act?

Further, the misconceptions about our industry happen in mainstream media too. The  lives of typical REALTORS® are hardly as glamorous as they seem on reality TV shows like “Million Dollar Listing.” The average real estate agent is earning less than $38,000 per year and it makes my stomach turn to see our industry misrepresented on television. The truth is, we work long and hard for our money and sometimes go weeks without a paycheck. Let’s recognize the reality and not attempt to minimize the importance of our role and what we do as professionals.

But the other issue I take with the “monkey” statement has to do with its source. As a community of REALTORS®, we must always be aware of what we are saying and how we are portraying ourselves to the public. Making a statement that a monkey could do our jobs gives off the worst possible perception of how valuable we really are to our clients. I can assure you that no monkey would be able to complete the hundreds of short sales and REO transactions I’ve been involved with in the past 11 years. If I would’ve asked a monkey to help me figure out how to close the 10-month short sale with delinquent taxes, liens, HOA dues, back child support, a seller who left the country, property damage, and three loans at three different banks, I know the monkey would have no answer.

Today, I want to challenge us to rise up as a community of young professionals and be extremely aware of the statements we put into our markets and give to local media. As the tide turns and the market continues its recovery, please press forward with a level of character, dignity, and integrity that shows our clients how essential we are to the success of their real estate needs. Our jobs are challenging enough and the last thing we need is to be compared to an animal by one of our own. Rest assured, this ain’t no monkey business—and you can quote me on that!

Anthony James is a Broker Associate and Regional Manager at RE/MAX Gold in Northern California.  He’s been a REALTOR® for over 11 years and now helps hire and train agents for the 21 offices he manages.  Connect with James at www.facebook.com/SacHomeMarket or ajames@remax.net.

Housing Issues to Watch in 2013

By Nick Timiraos

Home prices finally hit a bottom in 2012, well ahead of many predictions that called for continued price drops this year.

Prices were up 6% from one year ago in October, according to CoreLogic CLGX +1.51%, putting them on track for their best year since 2005. Housing starts, which hit

a bottom three years ago, ramped up to their highest level in four years. Sales of new homes are running around 20% of last year’s levels, while existing home sales are up around 10%. Continued declines in homes listed for sale—particularly foreclosures—explain much of the improving price picture.

So will 2013 be the year of recovery or relapse? Evidence points more strongly to a continued rebound, albeit one that still has considerable headwinds and that varies from one market to another. This week, we’ll offer five areas of focus for 2013.

Don’t fear the shadow. For years, housing analysts have warned that a glut of delinquent mortgages—a so-called “shadow” inventory of eventual foreclosures—would overwhelm housing markets. That hasn’t happened.

On a national basis, the shadow inventory is still there, but it is slowly getting smaller. The number of homes that were 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure fell to around 3 million in October, down by more than 430,000 this year and nearly 1.3 million from the peak in 2010, according to Barclays Capital. Normally, there’s a “shadow” of around 800,000, which means the excess shadow supply stands at around 2.2 million.

Banks have slowed down their foreclosure processes and while those could ramp up in 2013, they’re unlikely to lead to a deluge of supply. Also, big declines in new construction over the past few years have pushed the current housing demand, however muted, towards absorbing the excess supply of foreclosed homes.

The shadow inventory is often discussed as a national phenomenon, but it isn’t really national anymore. States where banks have struggled to meet court-administered foreclosure processes have a significantly higher share of unresolved bad debt: around 5.9% of mortgages are in foreclosure in those judicial states, compared with fewer than 2% in nonjudicial states, according to Lender Processing Services.

Many housing markets “will swallow what foreclosures come to the market whole because we’re seeing inventory shortages develop, acutely,” says Jeffrey Otteau, president of appraisal firm Otteau Valuation Group in East Brunswick, N.J.

In New Jersey, which has the second highest foreclosure rate in the country, the bigger problem is that many foreclosures are concentrated in certain communities, particularly inner-city and rural areas. “Those markets are going to take it on the chin,” he says.

Last month, a national report listed Rochester as one of the top major real estate markets to experience growth in home prices in 2011. The latest update of that report forecasts the market here will remain stable in 2012.

ClearCapital.com Inc., a California-based provider of real estate and investment data for major financial groups, Monday released its final Home Data Index Report year-over-year for 2011 as well its forecast for 2012.

The report examines the country’s overall real estate market stability in terms of home prices. The report shows a national decrease of 2.1 percent for 2011.

The report ranks Rochester fourth among major metro markets with a 2011 observed year-over-year home price increase of 4.7 percent. Rochester ranked behind Dayton, Ohio; Orlando, Fla.; and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach, Fla., markets.

Clear Capital’s 2012 Forecast predicts a national increase in home prices of 0.2 percent. After a solid year, the report forecasts the Rochester market will remain stable with a slight decrease of 0.2 percent. The report predicts Rochester will end 2012 ranked 26th among major metro markets, the highest ranking market in New York.

The Home Data Index Report takes into account factors, including local economic conditions and real estate owned saturation, which accounts for properties that are in the possession of a lender as a result of foreclosure or forfeiture.