The Importance Of A Good Real Estate Investing Guide

It’s no surprise that the foreclosure market is at an all time high as it seems that more and more properties continue to face home foreclosure. Because of this increased volume over the past few years and the resulting opportunities the need for a real estate investing guide in foreclosures is tremendous.

Short sales are starting to be more and more attractive when purchasing a foreclosure because there are offered huge discounts. Any real estate investing guide admits that the market has been taken to a new level as there are more and more investment opportunities popping up everywhere. Thus, it is very important to have the correct knowledge and the best real estate investment guide when such opportunities present themselves. That is why we created a special foreclosure list providing step-by-step information to guide you when buying foreclosure properties.

The investing process contains three steps, such as pre-foreclosure, foreclosure auction, and bank owned properties REO. Each of these steps in the investing process can be extremely profitable in case you understand every different stage and use creative investing techniques. This real estate investing guide has the purpose to prompt your attention on the importance of successfully find foreclosures in each stage, creatively finance them, and finally profiting from each deal. You need to be aware of the bank foreclosures, real estate short sales and many more others. The greatest thing about the real estate investment guide is that the strategies presented can be used anywhere in the U.S. A.

There is no doubt that investing in pre-foreclosures with short sales has never been a better deal. Anyone interested in real estate investing should be introduced to a creative technique known as the real estate short sale. Short sales make it possible for the real estate investor to discount the loan from the lender. This technique should be very well studied in case you want to be competitive on today’s market.

The real estate auction is also called the foreclosure auction and can be quite a rewarding thing for those that do their homework good. There are great investment opportunities that offer discounts as much as .50 on the dollar. If you buy foreclosure at such an auction, you must know the steps involved in order to have a good experience.

Bank owned properties are generally called REO’s (real estate owned) and they are one of the most common foreclosure investment practices today. These properties are actually homes, which have gone through the foreclosure auction and as there were no bids, they have eventually become a bank owned property. Make sure you search for this in your real estate investing guide if you want to be on top of the real estate market.

The real estate investing laws for are different in every state and in a continuous changing process. It is important to note that when you begin to invest in real estate foreclosures you need to understand the real estate laws and procedures applying in your area.

Thus, if you are ready to make money you definitely need to consult a real estate investing guide that will teach you about the proven systems used by professional investors to invest in real estate foreclosures. Whether you are buying a foreclosure for yourself or as an investment, the information provided in the guide will definitely help.

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.

What Is the Best Real Estate Website Design?

Aiming for the best real estate website design is what every realtor should aim for. Building a real estate website is not enough, it should be well-designed in a manner that will bring you profit as what you are aiming for in the first place. The best real estate website design will give you an edge over your competitors because you’ve designed a website that will help your visitors find what they need easily. People that go through your website should have a great user experience, this way they will not leave your website unless they found what they need and they are done with their purpose.

Best Real Estate Website Design Elements and Integrated Features

Clear Navigation Bar – Design your website in a way that the navigation bar is easily captured by your audience. This helps them find what they are looking for. They can easily learn about your business by going to your “about us page”. People can quickly decide which property to buy once they easily found all the information they needed. Of course, your navigation bar should be placed at the top of your website. Exception the rule is your landing page. Your landing page shouldn’t have a navigation bar to make your audience focus on the information you want them to see.

Virtual Tours – It will be great if you have integrated your website with a high-definition virtual tour. The images and videos that show the whole property and its neighborhood thrilled the buyers. It is nice to show your visitors around without bringing them to the actual place. It will save you time and money. You can get more page views with this feature and leave visitors satisfied. You can ask a professional help to do this for you.

Lead Capture Form – No one can deny the importance of lead capture form in every real estate website. Unlike other niche, real estate website visitors want to subscribe to a newsletter because they want to be notified from time to time on a new listing until they have found what they are searching for, so come on and design a lead capture form that will lead your visitors to sign up. It should be attractive enough to catch your leads attention. The wordings should be carefully chosen. You shouldn’t just simply tell them to sign up here, click here or go here. You should at least explain what they are getting if they do so. It will also be handy to have a telephone number inclusion optional in your form. Always test your form so that you are not missing any leads.

In short, the best real estate website design has the elements and the features integrated therein that makes the life of the prospective buyers easier in choosing a home. A well designed website also helps you and saves you a lot of time and money convincing your leads to get the property because the property will speak for itself with the help of your easy to navigate real estate website.

The Best Real Estate Website to Use

With thousands of Real Estate websites out there, finding the right one can be challenging. Do a search on Google and you get hit with the most popular Real Estate websites, like Zillow, Trulia, and Refine. Once you get past the first page even the less popular sites now have the same home search features. So how does a home owner or home buyer to know what site is best. Before you choose you first need to understand a little more about how they all started and what they really are.

For many years if you were in the market to buy a home you had to go to the local Real Estate office in the area you wanted to buy a home in and ask to see a list of homes for sale. This list was a print out of the homes for sale from the local Multiple Listing service (MLS). The list gave you basic information about the homes and some marketing remarks. You scanned through it and then asked for an agent to show you the homes you thought you might like.

This was great for Real Estate agents because as harbors of this information, the buyers had to come to them. It also gave the agent a chance to show the homes that the agent themselves were listing first. For the buyer this wasn’t so good. It was hard for the buyer to tell if the agent was there to represent them or the seller and if they wanted to look at homes in more than one town they may have to go to other Real Estate offices to see list from other MLS’s. These lists could also be out of date and when you did find the home of your dreams it may already be sold. This process could take a long time and be stressful for even the most seasoned buyer.

Fast forward a decade or two and some important changes have happened. The MLS went digital and consolidated into larger MLS companies that covered even larger areas. Here in Western Washington we now use The North West Multiple Listing service (NWMLS) and it covers all but two counties; Clark and Clallam. In the 90’s the internet brought the first Real Estate websites. Most of these showed the homes listed by the agent/agencies that owned the website and were not updated very often. Some of the bigger Real Estate agencies, the ones that had the money and resources, started building home searches tools using data directly from the MLS. Now, for the first time, buyers do not have to talk to an agent to find homes for sale and can get even more information (pictures, schools, map locations and up to date status).

Nowadays the price of producing these high quality websites has come down to the point where the average agent with the right skills can build their own. We now see an explosion of Real Estate websites and it seems most of them have home search features. This leaves buyers confused on which website to use.

Now that buyers can get information from just about any Real Estate website, what should they know before picking one? First, here in Washington State any licensed agent can show you and represent you on any home listed on the MLS no matter what website you find it on. Most of these websites have a mobile application or are mobile friendly. While most buyers begin their home search on the internet what they don’t understand is that that website you use to look at homes is a lead generation tool for the agent. The buyer is trading their contact information for the use of the website.

This is not a bad thing. If you really want to buy a home then you will need your questions answered, help finding financing, an agent to open doors for you, someone who understand the paperwork and can help you with the negotiations, and a trusted agent to look out for you in the closing process. That can only happen when you talk to an agent. Which agent you get is the important part. And that’s where finding the right website comes in to play. The buyer should use these websites to find out more about the agent they might want to represent them. Finding out more about the agent before getting involved with an agent is the key to achieving your goals of buying or selling a home.

What you should be looking for is what the agent’s experience is in Real Estate? Do they work full time as a licensed Real Estate agent? What is their closing success rate? Do they guarantee their services? What do past clients have to say about the agent’s service? These questions can sometimes be found on the agent’s website but if not you should ask on the first contact with an agent. Now that you know how they started and what they are, how do you choose the right website for you? First, let’s talk about the differences in these websites. We can break it down to four types.

The first type is the big non brokerage sites like Zillow, Homes.com, Realtor.com and Trulia. These sites don’t have agents working in the field. What they do is sell the leads that register on their site to agents who hope to convert the lead into a customer. These website have worked hard to make sure home buyers find their site first. They have added a lot of nice tools that estimate home values or mortgage calculators and all the information they can get on just about every home in the US and some other countries. They get most of this information from public record and what some home owners may give them. The down side to these sites is that the information they used can be out of date or inaccurate. Take the home values for example, because they get the sold data (what homes in the same neighborhood sold for) from public records not the local MLS their numbers can be behind the market trends. In the world of Real Estate we only look back to the last six months to help us determine the value of a home. While the sale price of a home may go in the public record right at closing, it can take months to filter through the system before these websites can encompass it into their data and that will throw their numbers off. There is also a question about like kind homes. When a Real Estate agent or appraiser does a comparable market analysis (CMA) of a home’s value, they look for homes just like the subject home (the home that is being valued) same size, same bedrooms, same baths, same size property, same neighborhood and same condition. This can be a bit of an art and the question is can a computer do as good a job as an agent? This can leave home buyers and home sellers confused about the true value of a home.

I would like to take this opportunity to weigh in on home values. In a free market, like ours here in the US, the true value of a home is exactly “the highest price a buyer is willing to pay and the least amount a seller is willing to take” for any property. It is only when a property is sold that the true market price can be set and everyone else, Real Estate Agent, Appraisers, County Assessors and any website, is only making an estimate or guess.

The second type of Real Estate websites are the big and medium size brokerages like Re/Max, Windermere, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, RedFin and ZipRealty. These companies have multiple brokerages in many locations throughout the US. These Real Estate companies have agents who work for the brokerages directly, usually as independent contractors. Leads or potential customers who register on their sites are assigned out to the individual agent or sometimes sold depending on the companies polices. These companies take a large part on the agent’s commission or pay, with some of them taking 60% or more. This means the agent has to work harder to convert as many leads to customers as possible just to make enough money to stay in business. Sometimes these agents take on more than they can reasonably handle leading to poor customer service or a higher transaction failure rate. Some of these companies give the buyer a rebate. This rebate comes out of the agent’s commission and can make it even harder for agents to provide good service to their customers. I have heard a lot of complaints about agents that disappeared once a contract is signed or agents that refuse to show homes to buyers that are looking at homes in the lower end of the market yet they still want to write up the contract and get paid a commission.

The third type of Real Estate website is the small or independent brokerages. These companies are usually owned and operated by seasoned agents who have the skill and knowledge to build a good quality website and provide good service to buyers and sellers alike. You will find the same home search tools and email notifications as on the big sites and because these sites serve local communities, many times these sites have more information about the areas they serve and consumers can read more about the agents that they may want to use in buying or selling their homes. These companies can have one or more agents working together as a team or as independent agents and usually have a higher successful closing rate. What makes these sites the best choice for home buyers or sellers is the agents that come with them.

The fourth type of Real Estate website is the independent agent website. These websites are built by the individual agent or a third party on behalf of the agent. They can be as good as any of the bigger commercial sites depending on the skill, time and money an agent is willing to put into it. These agents can be very good agents yet most of them are little more than one page public resumes put out by agents hoping to attract buyers or sellers to the agent it is promoting.

So in considering a Real Estate website, buyers and sellers should keep in mind that a website is not going to help you buy or sell your home, it’s the Real Estate agent. The website is a way of seeking out the right agent to do the job. Think of it this way, since you can get the homes information from just about every website now what value are you getting from a website? The value is in the service you get from an agent who may save you time, money and keep you from the heartache of a bad deal or bad service.

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.