Monthly Archives: September 2016

The Right Rental Property

Deciding to get involved with investing in a rental property is an important decision and finding the right property for your efforts can make the difference between a profitable, successful career in rental properties and a discouraging experience that leaves you unwilling to continue on. No matter if you are looking at a rental property purchase for the first time or the 50th time, there are some key things to consider when searching out a good deal.

More Than Just The Rent
Money plays into your investment in a variety of ways, making an impact beyond simply what kind of rent payments you will be receiving. Knowing what kind of cash flow will be available through rent payments is important, but so is knowing what kind of cash you are going to put up for needed improvements or routine maintenance to the building. Whoever is selling the rental property is doing so for a reason, so make sure that high maintenance costs isn’t one of them.

The value of surrounding real estate, rental or not, can influence the kind of activity you receive at your rental property. In areas of expensive homes, rental properties will often pull in higher rental amounts even if the property isn’t up to those standards. Consumers that have their heart set on a particular area may turn to renting in the face of expensive home prices that would yield unaffordable mortgage payments.

Other rental properties in the area of course also play in to your cash flow situation and purchasing a rental property operating with rent payments below what the area is worth are great targets. Sometimes rental property owners get set in their ways with rent and avoid raising rent to scare off customers. Knowing that you can later raise a rent after purchasing a rental property is a great way to get an early jump on profitability.

Who Are You Buying From?
Understanding why someone is selling a rental property will go a long way towards understanding whether or not it is a good investment. Property owners that live far from their rental properties often get fed up with managing a property so far away and sell out of convenience. These types of sellers offer great opportunities as they are often more willing to deal in order to be rid of the obligation that they have grown tired of.

Additionally, the history of the property often reflects the history of the property owner. If you are dealing with a stable seller with a history of good rental ownership, it is probably that the property has been kept up to date with adequate repairs and improvements when necessary. Ask for all improvement records available on the property to look for a history of care taken with the property. Those that have been taken care of well will be less likely to cause headaches later.

What Does The Code Say?
Older buildings are more likely to have issues with building and fire codes. Do research not only into the age of a particular property but also into the history of updates done in regards to building and fire codes. Has anyone ever been out to inspect the property to ensure that is up to code with various local statutes? As soon as you sign on the dotted line, those obligations become yours so investigating just what issues may arise will save you from uncovering code surprises down the road.

Rental properties can be fulfilling, profitable investment opportunities, but selecting the right rental property for you is perhaps the most important step of the process. Protect yourself by asking some key questions about the property and its owner and you will avoid the pitfalls that beset many real estate investors out there.

Existing home sales increase to fastest pace

Existing home sales started out fast in 2017, reaching a recent cyclical high and increasing to the fastest pace in nearly a decade, according to the new report from theNational Association of Realtors.

Total existing home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.3% in January to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.69 million. This is up from 5.51 million sales in December, and up 3.8% from last year’s 5.48 million, marking the highest rate since February 2007’s 5.79 million.

“With the exception of an unusually harsh and wintry December, existing home sales have now strongly beat expectations in four out of the past five months, as buyers took advantage of slightly better weather and slightly lower mortgage interest rates in January,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said.

These sales gain signals resilience among consumers even in a rising interest rate environment, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” Yun said. “Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions.”

Home prices continue to rise for all housing types, hitting $228,900 in January. This is up 7.1% from last year and the fastest price increase since last January. It also marks the 59th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

“While strong price gains are positive for owners of homes, and help to reduce the number of homeowners who owe more on their mortgage than the market value of their home, it is a negative for affordability.” Nationwide Chief Economist David Berson said. “We have concerns that continued supply constraints in the housing market will allow outsized house price gains again in 2017, especially hurting potential first-time homebuyers.”

But as home prices increase, housing inventory remains down 7.1% from last year’s 1.82 million, marking the 20th consecutive month of annual declines. However, inventory increased 2.4% from December to 1.69 million in January. Inventory remains at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from December.

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range,” Yun said.

Game-changing Real Estate Technology Makes its Way to Dallas

Just weeks after bringing their technology to Realtors in Michigan, Remine announced its partnership with the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems to bring the game-changing technology to Dallas.

Remine will now be available to more than 30,000 Multiple-Listing Service subscribers in the Dallas area.

“Remine complements our existing MLS systems by adding a beautiful visualization of all our data,” NTREIS CEO John Holley said. “An incredible feature is their ability to reconnect with past clients, and see their propensity to sell. And then even if you’ve lost their contact info, Remine can update it.”

Realtors can search a property and see the location on a map, instead of in a list format. Remine also allows for other functions such as seeing the previous sales price, if the owner lives in the property and how long the homeowner owned a home, and therefore how much equity they could have built up.

Realtors can also see the RPI score, or the score that rates how likely the homeowner is to sell their home, Remine explained to HousingWire. The homes are given a score from one to 100, with higher scores indicating higher likelihood of the homeowner wanting to sell their home.

“Remine will be deeply integrated with the existing front end system to create a seamless experience,” Remine CEO Leo Pareja said. “We’ve designed Remine to meet the unique needs of real estate professionals; we look forward to delivering our core functionality to the community in North Texas.”

Remine also recently announced its expansion into Alaska MLS and Greater El Paso Association of Realtors.

This expansion into the Dallas and El Paso markets comes at a time when the real estate market in Texas is hotter than ever. A new report from the Texas Association of Realtors showed it was another record-setting year for Texas real estate, as home sale and home prices both hit all-time highs.