The Best Real Estate Strategy You’ve Never Heard Of – Landbanking

I’ve been investing in real estate since the early ’80s. I’ve done rentals, rehabs, some wholesaling, and some lease options. I’ve done rent-to-owns and raised and repaid over a half million dollars in private capital to fuel my efforts.

And I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way…

I’ve learned that real estate investing is a lot of work, with no shortage of pitfalls, and that rentals aren’t nearly as passive as I thought they’d be. In short, real estate investing can be a real mine field and navigating through it takes considerable time, knowledge and resources.

At least I thought it did.

In 2006 I was researching pre-construction condos and condo conversions when I stumbled onto LandBanking.

Landbanking? I thought I knew all about real estate — but I’d never heard of this before. So my antennae went up and I began learning all I could about LandBanking.

What is it? Well, it has nothing to do with safe-deposit boxes full of sod. And, it isn’t new, though the term may be. In fact, the basic LandBanking strategy is as old as civilization and private property rights. It’s as proven a strategy as any real estate strategy can be. In a nutshell, the strategy is to locate land in the path of near future development, buy it, then wait for development to approach and developers to offer you a whole lot more for the land than you paid for it.

If the metropolitan area where you live has been growing, I’m sure you’ve seen this in practice. Farmers typically will sell some or all of their fields to developers who will then build commercial or residential units on the land.

So what makes this the best real estate investment strategy? Three things the tremendous appreciation potential, the absence of all the hassles and headaches normally associated with real estate investing and the ability to go it alone or partner with experienced professionals.

If you have the interest, time and financial resources to find these valuable land parcels and negotiate their price, it would be hard to find a better or safer investment for your money. Some of the wealthiest throughout history have used Landbanking to start or grow their wealth. Today, Donald Trump owns one of the last large undeveloped land parcels in Manhattan – 100 acres along the Hudson River between 59th and 72nd streets. Bob Hope owned thousands of acres near Palm Springs, Phoenix and Malibu and 10,000 acres in San Fernando valley when it was little more than orange groves. Howard Hughes also held large amounts of land in or near Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

If you think those opportunities are gone, think again. Until the US population starts to decrease, or the amount of land starts to increase (hope you’re not holding your breath for either of those), the law of supply and demand will continue to push land prices ever higher. With few exceptions, most metropolitan areas in the country have been growing. And that means the land around them is becoming more valuable.

If you like the idea and the potential of LandBanking, but lack the time or financial resources, you can still participate by partnering with a professional. This is where the hassle-free part comes in. There are companies in the US that specialize in acquiring tracts of land for LandBanking and share the opportunity with would-be LandBankers who lack the time and financial resources to go it alone.

Instead of needing countless hours and millions of dollars to LandBank independently, you can become a LandBanker with a couple hours of due diligence and a few thousand dollars. Not much more time or effort than investing in a mutual fund. No searching out quality land (that’s already done), no negotiating (already done), no tedious and complicated closings (a few simple and straightforward documents), no tenants, no contractors. In short, no headaches and no hassles – just the ability to passively and affordably become a LandBanker and claim your share of LandBanking wealth.

LandBanking offers one of the lowest risk, highest return investments available. Click below to find out more about LandBanking in general and one company in particular you can partner with.

Stages Of A Real Estate Market

The stages of a real estate market are most often recognized only after the fact. Even when all the historical data confirms that a downturn is in progress, most speculators won’t stop gambling. Real estate speculators call themselves investors because they believe they are taking calculated and controllable risks when purchasing homes.

In the mid to late 1990’s real estate investing was virgin territory because it was easy to use formulas of 60% to 70% of Fair Market Value minus repair costs to determine an offering price for a seller. The “chant” was “Get as many properties under contract because they can only go higher!” In the earlier years, buying properties cheaply enough allowed them to be rented and they supported themselves while the investor simply collected checks. In only three years, a groundswell of speculation led to frenzied buying. Families looking for a home to live in got caught up in the buying panic because of the scarcity of homes for sale. The market quickly and efficiently climbed with the help of lending institutions who were offering low interest rates, 100% financing, with no proof of the buyer’s income. Almost no other speculative opportunity in history caught on as fast because of real estate investors needing little or no money down and ease of loan qualification for “retail buyers”.

Even when many of the potential borrowers had credit issues and minimal down payments, the lenders created more lenient loan requirements. The number of single family homes that were owned by investors rose from 2.5% in 1995 to almost 29% by the end of 2006. Effectively, these investors took away at least 26.5% of available single family homes with the intent of selling them at higher prices to retail home buyers.

Here is a summary of the stages of a real estate cycle:

Stage #1 This is where supply closely equals demand and home prices fluctuate between +/- 3% per year and prices are basically stable over a five year period.

Stage #2 Here demand out-strips supply, or a “sellers’ market” develops because of fewer homes on the market. This can be created by investor speculation.

Stage #3 – Here demand far out-strips supply with resulting large annual price increases. Homes now offer new speculators more attractive yields than stocks and money market instruments. More so called “investors” begin buying multiple properties with expectations of selling for huge profits because of the low down payments required for mortgages or using creative financing. The market begins to feed on itself as homeowners begin to rush to take profits.

Stage #4 As home prices become unaffordable, interest rates increase making financing costs too expensive for homeowners to purchase, and investors have inventory that can’t be sold. Seemingly everyone tries to sell and the market readjusts to former market conditions by pulling back as much as 30% to 60% of peak values as the market begins to stabilize for 3 8 years.

Summary – Based on the current market conditions and continuing available data, the real estate market is well into Stage #4. There is no way to determine how long this swing will last but historically they have lasted for 6 to 15 years. This stage offers huge opportunities for real estate investors and homeowners alike that want to purchase homes either for living in for 5 years+ for homeowners, or for “flipping” for investors. Both homeowners and investors looking to buy a property need to be very selective about how much they pay for a property, the amount of costs to rehab it, how they will be financing it, how long they intend to stay in it, the carrying costs, other properties currently listed on the MLS, and neighborhood conditions. Unfortunately, retail buyers who wait to get the lowest possible price often wind up paying higher mortgage rates which offsets the cost savings by waiting, especially when you include their cost to rent, and the interest tax-deduction that they lose by not owning. Investors will have to buy low and sell low, while the retail buyer has become “king of the mountain” in picking the best possible home for the lowest price.

Real Estate Agents: Who Are They Working For

Many investors today have been looking in different areas to invest in. The majority of time you have to find a new real estate agent in that target area that will fit your needs.

Every time I drive by a house there is a for sale sign with a real estate agents information on front. I have tried to call these agents numerous times to check out these properties. Real estate agents usually respond within about a week. I can understand they are very busy and have to find time. Lately I have been getting responses back after three weeks. That is plain ridiculous and at that point they should have not called back at all. When you are talking to an agent if you are polite they will usually tell you why it took them so long to call you back. The main reason is the overwhelming number of bank owned properties. It is getting to the point that real estate agents have minimal time to deal with their clients at all. The banks require so much leg work many agents don’t have time to sell. They only have time to list and watch the bank owned properties they control.

A real estate broker friend of mine has a small office where she is the only agent. She has over fifty bank owned properties that she is listing. She had to hire three people just to manage all of them besides working sixteen hour days herself. The worst part is that she has barely sold anything.

It is getting to the point that these real estate offices just keep on getting a larger and larger inventory of listings without selling anything. It almost seems like they like to accumulate the darn things.

These banks are putting such a burden on these real estate agents. They should at least listen to the agents so they could move the properties. Of course, they don’t listen and they overprice everything. Over pricing is bad enough but not willing to negotiate is just plain wrong.

I really don’t understand why these agents are working so hard for these banks with very little compensation. I guess it is the only way to survive in this game.

I give some credit to these agents they are working really hard to stay alive. You can now see who is a real real estate agent not just some one chasing the dollars.

There are still a lot of great realtors out there today willing to help you, but it is getting hard to find. It is not their fault they are so busy. People are only capable of so much.

I would not blame the realtors to much if you are trying to put offers in. They are stuck between you and the banks. Just keep on trying and if you are intent someone will give you the time of day. I am not trying to say all realtors do not call you back. I’m really just saying that they are very busy and have no time.

First Time Home Buyer’s Guide To Real Estate

“When you set out to buy your first home, you certainly want to buy a piece of real estate that you can consider to be home” and not just an investment. At the same time, the best real estate purchase is one that can fill both of these roles. Therefore, when you begin the search for your home, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to make the best purchase possible. These include:

Location
House size
Lot specifications

By considering these three areas carefully, you will be more likely to make a real estate purchase that will make you happy for years to come.

Considering the Location

Everyone has heard that location is the most important aspect of real estate and for good reason. After all, if the real estate you buy is in a poor location, you are not likely to be happy living there and you will have a difficult time selling the property later.

When considering a piece of real estate, you want to look into the crime statistics in the area. Just looking up the numbers for the area is not enough, however, as this does not paint a clear picture of the specific neighborhood you are considering. Find out as much as you can about your neighbors before moving in as living next door to the wrong people can make your life miserable and can significantly decrease your property value.

You can learn more about your neighbors by driving through the neighborhood at night on a couple different occasions. You can also ask your local police station to provide you with a list of all of the calls they received within a one mile radius of the home over the past two years. This list will tell you when the calls where made, where the police were dispatched, and why they were called in the first place.

Considering the Size of the Home

The size of the house you are looking to buy is another important consideration. Obviously, the houses in the neighborhood will vary somewhat is size, but most should be pretty similar. When it comes to resell value, you don’t want to buy the largest home in the neighborhood. Similarly, if the homes around the one you are looking to buy are smaller than yours, your home most likely will not appreciate in value as quickly. At the same time, purchasing a home that is smaller than the other properties in the neighborhood will help to increase its value faster.

Of course, you need to purchase a home that is large enough for you and your family. Therefore, you will have to weigh your needs against the potential resale value of the home when making your decision.

Considering the Lot

Although most of the value of your real estate purchase will be tied up in the actual home, you certainly want to consider the lot as well. Don’t worry too much if the lot does not have a great deal of landscaping done to it. You can add your own landscaping later, which will give the value of the home a nice boost. More importantly, you want to select a lot that is not overly crowded, oddly shaped, or situated in a strange position. All of these factors can make it more difficult for you to sell the home later.

When you buy a house, you definitely want to get a place you can call home.” At the same time, you want to shop smart and purchase a piece of real estate that will increase in value and serve as a wise investment as well.”

Hiring A Top Real Estate Agent The Key To A Good Sell

So you’ve decided to sell. Or buy. Either way, purchasing a new home is without doubt an important milestone in your life. If you are going to take this step, why not be smart about it and contact the top real estate agents available in your area? Selling or buying on your own is not out of fashion, but quite a risky and unwise process, from several points of view. A top real estate agent will, undoubtedly, guide you to make a good decision.

There are more ways to determine whether the expert you’ve chosen to help you is indeed a top real estate agent or not. You should probably inspect his negotiation skills before thinking of his other qualities. He needs to be a pro at whatever can get you a better price and better features for your transaction. The top real estate agents will be masters in the art of compromise and won’t even blink when they are all caught up in a battle” for their clients. Dedication and honesty towards you, the client, are also crucial.

In case you’re selling your home, you definitely need to begin seeing things from the perspective of the buyer. The top real estate agents will help you do this. You need to figure out what would motivate people to move into that house or that particular neighborhood, if there are any special facilities closely related to the area your house is located in and what kind of people would be interested in it. There are dozens of factors to think about when selling and tempting a certain targeted clientele, but as said, a top real estate agent can assist you in getting the best price for your property.

You also need to remember that getting your house evaluated is an essential stage in the selling process. You do, of course, need to test those which you consider to be the top real estate agents in the area by studying their offers and deciding which one of them charges less, but is also fit for the job. Be very careful with small details. A top real estate agent will most likely be punctual or at least come up with a valid reason for being otherwise. Keep in mind that you have to impress your house has to be tidy and looking squeaky clean before your agent even arrives. Think of him as a potential buyer you need him as interested as possible in what you have to offer in order for him to be enthusiastic with future buyers.

Needless to mention, information is the key. Before even taking any action, you definitely need to know everything about the procedure itself, plus the other prices offered for similar property in your area and so on and so forth. Use the Internet to your advantage not only regarding the real estate market, but regarding your agent as well – especially the services he is ready to offer. You need to be inquiring about the experience he’s had so far and if he’s got a team of experts ready to make the transactions as smooth as possible.

Finally, you have to be looking out for those few special touches that can greatly increase what people are ready to pay for your house. They’re likely to prefer a home with major improvements, rather than buy a basic one and take care of everything by themselves. The improvements have to be made professionally to save the clients a lot of time and effort spent for fixing things up. So try to take advantage and exploit these tips in your favor as much as you possibly can. If you really do have a top real estate agent, he will know how to sell your house if you have a patio or a well maintained garage. He will underline the qualities your property has in order to attract as many buyers as possible and sell for a high price.