Wednesday, August 26, 2009
What is the market for your home? Who would be the best agent to help you market your home? What are the positives and negative of my neighborhood that buyers will be looking at?
Understanding the buyer market and who might be a good fit for your home will help ensure that you highlight the most vital features. There are so many different kinds of buyers that might consider your home: single first-time, working couple, family, retirees or empty nesters, and a growing buyer market are women who purchase homes without spouse/partner.
Before putting your home on the market, you should take time to search for the best agent to handle your transaction. The agent can help you better understand which buyers are most likely going to be interested in your home. If there is a concern that needs addressing, an eyesore in the neighborhood or a foreclosure that’s been sitting on the block for several months; don’t be afraid to talk about it. The potential buyers are aware that it’s there (if they do their homework).
Even though you may have lived in your neighborhood for years, taking the time to drive or walk around it is a good idea. But this time do it with the same viewpoint you had when you were originally considering buying your home. It can really be a very different view. If you’re objective, you’ll see both the key selling points of the neighborhood as well as the things that may deter buyers. Seeing it all is beneficial because that’s exactly what potential buyers will see.
Making your home ready for your specific buyer market will help you not waste time marketing it to uninterested buyers. The house needs to be spotless, have great curb appeal, and evoke a warm and welcoming feeling with a few amenities. However, it is important to understand that in this economic era the home must also be basic enough to be affordable.
Milicki & Associates
Real Estate Specialists
110 Evans Mill Drive Suite 103
Dallas, GA 30157
Monday, August 24, 2009
Is The Housing Market On The Mend?
By way of several home sales reports and other economic data, (see home price appreciation report below) clear signals are being sent that the recent rout in home sales has diminished for a majority of the country . Sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in the month of June, the National Association of Realtors reported. The marketplace has not seen this period of expansion in almost 5 years.
Home sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million last month Sales were up in all four regions of the country.
Demonstrating how the housing market is a big part of the economy's "barometer", the Dow Jones Average reached above 9,000 for the first time since early January.
In an informal and unscientific poll, Home Actions surveyed Realtors as to their perception of the turn around. Clearly, they reported, many consumers who were sitting on the fence are now engaged in the house hunting process. Low mortgage rates, combined with affordable home prices and government assistance create a nice environment.
Link NRA report
If you're thinking about buying your first real estate investment, there's good news. There are lots of good deals out there. But even if a deal looks to good to resist, you need to be sure you have a firm understanding of the two significant elements that determine profitability: cash flow and return on investment (ROI). Otherwise, it's very easy to misjudge just how profitable the property will be.
Expenses vs. Revenues
Cash flow is extremely important because it dictates whether the investment will cost you out-of-pocket money or put money back in your pocket on a monthly basis. To determine monthly cash flow, you must consider all expenses related to the property and then subtract this from the revenue being generated.
Finding the obvious expenses is pretty easy, but you may have to do some digging to uncover the not-so-obvious expenses. These line items are real and can significantly impact your monthly cash flow, so don’t leave anything out. They can include:
- Replacement equipment
- Tenant Repairs
- Payment Deliquencies
After you subtract all expenses from the revenue, you’ll know whether you’ll be making money or paying money. You may ask yourself: Why would I involve myself in an investment that is going to cost me out-of-pocket money? This brings us to the next important variable when evaluating your real estate investment decision: return on investment (ROI).
What Is ROI, Anyway?
First, the technical definition: the rate of return based on an initial investment that generates a cash annuity for a specified time period. Now, in plain English: ROI is basically the money going out (including your initial investment) banked against the cash flow that the property will generate in a given amount of time. This creates a net cash flow stream, and your return percent is calculated off of this figure.
Keep in mind that when compiling these cash flows, you must include all expenses related to the property, and the revenue stream must include all monetary benefits derived from it as well. ROI is heavily determined by the initial investment, because that is most likely the largest cash outlay related to the investment. All other variables held constant within the same scenario dictate that the bigger the down payment, the less return you will have on the investment.
So a new question emerges: If my return is less, why would I put a larger amount down? You must consider the trade-off between the amount of the down payment and the monthly cash flow. The more you put down, the more likely you are to have a positive cash flow — the investment paying you dividends. There is a fine balance between cash flow and ROI. Depending on your current and future financial goals, you can determine the best scenario that suits your needs. In order to attain this balance, you must have the knowledge and skills to determine the best scenario.
Whether your goal is to generate an annuity stream, prepare for retirement or create a college fund, real estate investments can be an excellent place for your money, if you do it right. With interest rates at record lows, profitable inventory and opportunities throughout the nation, it may be time for you to invest in property.
By Chris Lombardi May 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
The Fed forecast predicts that real gross domestic product will grow by 3.2 percent in 2010 after a decline of 1.8 percent this year.
The 2010 recovery is likely to be driven by spending on residential properties, as well as an increase in industrial production, says William Strauss, senior economist at the Chicago Fed.
Housing starts were projected to fall to 530,000 units in 2009 from 900,000 in 2008, and to rebound to 740,000 in 2010.
Source: Reuters News, Krasny (06/08/2009)