Monthly Archives: June 2015

Real Estate – Financial Considerations

Whether you are an individual, and/ or family, considering purchasing a house, for your personal needs, etc, or looking, to invest in real estate, either as an owner, partner, etc, it’s important, to ensure, you have your, so – called, financial, ducks – in – a row! This means, the process must begin, with fully considering, as many, relevant fiscal/ financial issues, concerns, ramifications, etc, as possible and foreseeable, in order to make this, the best possible, least stressful, most financially astute decision, possible. With that in mind, this article will attempt to consider, review, and discuss, some of the items to review, and consider, at the onset, of the process.

1. Home, of one’s own: Since, for nearly everyone, our family home, represents, our single, biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to proceed, wisely? What are some of the most relevant considerations? Many, merely, consider, the down – payment, but that is only the most obvious one! Other significant considerations should include: a) Reserves for repairs and maintenance; b) Reserves for renovations; c) Reserves for contingencies/ emergencies; d) Approximately 9 months reserve, in case of loss of employment; e) Knowing monthly payment is affordable, for you, and will not make you house – rich, but otherwise, overly stressed, etc. Take a close look at your monthly income, and create a responsible, realistic budget, which guides you towards wise handling of your personal finances.

2. Multi – family house – investment: Wise investing in a multi – family house, for investment purposes, can be a smart move, but unless, one does so, based on logic, and smart investment approaches, can become stressful, and angst – producing. Use the 6% – rule, which means, you must seek, at least that rate of return on your investment, net (not merely gross). To do so, reduce your projected revenues by your forecasted expenditures, including real estate taxes, utilities, escrow, insurance, and other costs. Always, realistically forecast reserves for repairs, renovations, etc. What sense does it make to invest in a multi – family, house, and assume the risks and responsibilities, unless it will make financial sense? Do this, up – front, so you do not over – pay! Forecast projected rents, conservatively, and expenses, from a worst – case scenario! Assume vacancies, and thus, only assume rents for 10, of the 12 months, in your projections, and assumptions.

3. Investing in an REIT: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), are publicly traded, investment vehicles, where others manage, usually a larger project, and you are solely, an investor. Carefully examine, and review, the financials of these, to clearly realize, whether they are smart, for you! Proceed wisely, not emotionally!

The previous 3 items, are just, a few of the ways, individuals invest in real estate. Whatever your personal circumstances, proceed wisely and carefully, and be, as certain as possible, it’s right, for you!

Why Do You Want To Buy A House?

There is no such thing, as a one – size – fits – all reason, or set of reasons, individuals decide, and/ or desire, to buy, a home, of their own. Some do it, because of family needs, others may want to own pets, etc, and others, decide it makes more financial sense to own (than continue renting), and/ or want to live, somewhere, where they might put, their personal seal, on the accommodations, or seek a specific lot of land, etc. These are just, a few of the reasons, but to ensure, one purchases, when it serves their best – interests, and does so, intelligently, and in a focused manner, prospective homeowners should clearly know their personal reasons, thoroughly, and in a somewhat, objective way.

1. Can you afford owning?: Owning a house of your own, requires accepting a far greater degree of personal and financial responsibility, than renting. Renters don’t have to worry about most maintenance items, especially major expenses, etc, but that, all, changes, when one owns. Start by thoroughly considering your present finances, including savings, earnings, debt, and preparedness. Will you qualify for an affordable mortgage? Have you saved, and accumulated significant reserves, in order to be prepared, and ready, for any foreseeable possibility? Wise homeowners put together reserves for repairs, renovations, upgrades, and maintenance, etc, in addition to possessing a mortgage reserve, of approximately 6 – 9 months, equivalence. Since, for most, the value of your house, represents your single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to proceed wisely, and in a focused way?

2. Area/ neighborhood: When you rent, your lease is for a finite period, so it is rather easy, and straight – forward, to relocate to another locale, if you discover you, either don’t like the particular area, neighborhood, region, or house, or if your life circumstances, change, such as employment, etc. Obviously, since selling a house, is a little more complicated, timely, and less predictable, this should be one consideration, before proceeding.

3. Really want to own a pet or pets: Only a minority of rentals, permit individuals to own pets, and, even, then, must be clearly specified, and is often limited. For true pet lovers, who simply don’t want to be without a beloved pet, it might be one reason to purchase a house.

4. How much land do you want/ need? Some love having a larger lot, either for flowers, gardens, etc. Others want to have place for patios, pools, or convenient places for their pets, to roam. However, others do not want that type of responsibility, and/ or can’t afford to maintain these (Isn’t that one reason, some prefer condominiums?). While some want large lots, others seek somewhat less. Know thy self!

5. Mortgages: Most home buyers purchase houses, with the aid, of a mortgage loan. One consideration is how much you qualify for, and perhaps, equally important, is how much you will feel comfortable paying. Remember, your payment includes principal, interest, real estate taxes (and other escrow items including insurance, etc). Don’t become, house – rich, and life – poor!

Before buying your home, fully consider your needs, desires, wants, and means, and proceed, wisely, and in a way, where ownership will be a pleasure, rather than a stress! Will you proceed wisely, or impulsively?

What Most Home Buyers Seek?

Why do people purchase a home, of their own, and does it correspond with, why they should? Before you commit, to investing, in what, for most, is their single, biggest, financial asset, it’s important to focus on what you actually seek, need, and hope to achieve, by buying a house! Open – your eyes, and consider, what you might need, to make this, one of the best personal decisions, and serves the best interests of you, and your family! With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and represents, and why it should make a difference, for you.

1. Price and costs: While most want to live, in the nicest house, they can. and proudly, show – it – off, to their friends and family, what good is buying a home, if it makes your life, more stressful, etc? Objectively, and introspectively, consider, the impact of reducing your other assets, because of the amount of your down – payment. Will this create stress? How much are the monthly carrying charges, and can you, not only afford it, but do so, within your personal comfort zone? Do you have the necessary reserves, for contingencies, including; short – term employment gaps; necessary repairs; desirable renovations and/ or alterations, etc? Don’t become, house – rich, but hurt yourself, in terms of stress, etc!

2. Size and features: How many rooms do you need, and how does compare with what you want? What are your present needs, in terms of size and number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc, and what do you anticipate in the short – term, and longer – term future? Are you ready, willing and able to maintain, and care for, whatever house, you purchase? Will you personally do the work, or will you hire someone else to do so, and if you will, how will that impact your overall budgeting, etc? Don’t overlook what most homeowners state, are the most important areas of a house, including the kitchen area, bedrooms (size and number), and bathrooms (number, location, etc)!

3. Intentions: Are you planning to stay, at the specific location, short – term, or the longer – run? Know what you seek, and plan accordingly. If you are buying, for now, and willing to move, when your needs, change, consider resale value, and emphasize present needs. Otherwise, look at the bigger picture!

4. Comfort zone: Know what makes you comfortable and happy, and do what’s best for you. People differ, and so, don’t try to Keep up with the Jones’, but, rather, do, what makes you happy, comfortable, and meets your personal needs, goals, and priorities!

A wise, aware home buyer, is, generally, the individual, happiest, with their decisions! Be prepared, and proceed accordingly, and smartly!

What Makes It Your DREAM House?

Owning a home, of our own, is, often, considered, one of the key, essential components, of the American Dream. However, it is wise, to know, yourself, your needs, goals, priorities, financial capabilities, present and future purposes and intentions, etc, in order to ensure, this is a positive, wonderful experience, rather than a recurring nightmare! Each of us, have individual differences, preferences, objectives, and economic/ financial considerations and capabilities. Since this is so essential, to happy ownership, this article will attempt to briefly consider, review, discuss, and examine, using the mnemonic approach, some of what, might make a particular house, your DREAM home.

1. Determine; decide; delve deeply; dreams: Before beginning your quest, and/ or search, carefully, review, and determine, what are the most essential parts of your dreams of owning a house, of your own, and deciding, why you want to do so. Don’t minimize your efforts, and what you, personally, are seeking, but, rather, take the time, and make the effort, to delve deeply, and thoroughly, into, both, your present needs, and how, your future, will be, served, living in a specific residence!

2. Relevant; reliable; reside: It’s only right, for you, if your decision, is, truly, relevant, to your personal needs, and desires! Don’t be hasty, but look for a house, which, is reliable, in terms of providing, the environment you seek and desire! Evaluate as many factors, as possible, to ensure, you choose, the house, you wish to reside, in!

3. Environment; energy consideration; enrich: What will make this living environment, the right one, for you? Will it serve, to positively, enrich your life, both now, and into the future? Consider carefully, considerations regarding the energy – efficiency of the particular house, so, it does not become an excessive burden, and/ or stress. We are happiest, when we enjoy, where we lives, and feel it enriches, our experiences!

4. Area; affordable; access; appliances; attitude: Look closely at the area, where the house, is located, and, whether it provides quality access, to items, such as, certain services, convenient transportation, quality school system, safety, etc. Are the present appliances, those, which will best serve your needs, or will you need to replace them, soon? Can you afford this house, including mortgage interest and principal, real estate taxes, utilities, and other costs, associated, with home ownership? Is it affordable, for you, and will you be comfortable, with these?

5. Motivating; mortgage; maintenance; morale: You’ll only be happy, when living somewhere motivates you, in a positive, morale – building way! Can you qualify for, and feel comfortable with the needed mortgage? Will you create reserves, and prepare for the associated costs, of maintaining this home?

Delve deeply, to ensure your DREAM home, does not become, a living, nightmare! The more prepared one is, the happier, he will be, in the long – term!

Will You PLAN To Own A Home?

Before you go through the time, effort, etc, of seeking, and searching, for a home, of your own, it requires a lot of preparation, objective introspection, and discipline, in order to end up, with the house, of your needs, and, hopefully, dreams. Will you be ready, willing, and able, to PLAN, to buy your home, in a way, which will make sense, in terms of your needs (financial, present and projected future needs), and personal comfort zone, so this experience goes through, in as comfortable, stress – free, manner, as possible? With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, and review, using the mnemonic approach, some of essential components, of making this work best, for you.

1. Priorities; personality; personal; prepared: Begin the process, in as prepared, a way, as possible! Every individual has personal needs, and priorities, so, know, yours, and prepare accordingly. Consider how, and whether, a particular house, and area, is a good – match, for your personality. Know your finances, and don’t become, house- rich and happiness – poor!

2. Listen; learn; lessons; lessen: Wouldn’t you want to lessen any potential anxieties, and effectively learn the basic lessons, etc, which might make you happy and satisfied? Smart potential homeowners proceed to effectively listen and learn, from every conversation, and experience, in order to become happier, less anxious, prepared owners!

3. Attitude; attention; ask; answer: The happiest buyers always pay keen attention, to every aspect of the potential new property, from the grounds, house – itself, neighborhood, specific block, areas strengths and weaknesses, etc. They proceed with a positive, can – do, attitude, focused on making things work, best, for them! It’s important to ask as many questions as necessary, and patiently, wait, for you, to receive the answers, sought, and needed.

4. Neighborhood; nearby; niceties; What might be the strengths and weaknesses of the particular neighborhood, in terms of conveniences, shopping, transportation, schools, safety, etc? Drive around the specific block, the immediate surrounding area, and the overall area. Does the area, and the property, possess the niceties, you, and your family, need and require?

Before one goes through all the effort, and commits, to the time, strains, stresses, etc, of the real estate transaction process, doesn’t it make sense, to consider the procedure, seriously, and PLAN, in order to get the best results, for you? When one plans and examines, he becomes a happier homeowner!

Home Buying: Prepare To Be CREDIT – Worthy

Since the vast majority of homeowners, especially, of first – time ones, use a mortgage, as a major component, in having the necessary funds, needed to purchase a particular property, common sense should indicate, it’s essential to ensure your CREDIT is of a quality, which makes you credit – worthy, and capable of qualifying, for the necessary financing. Buying a house, is a complex, complicated, important process, which, for most people, represents, not only a place to live, but their single – biggest, financial asset. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, and review, using the mnemonic approach, why this matters, and some things to consider.

1. Cash on hand; creative; consider: Buying a house requires having a considerable amount of cash, on hand, even when you use a mortgage. This includes, monies needed for a down – payment, closing costs, necessary reserves, and generally, at least 6 months, monthly payment, is required by many lending institutions. Home buyers should have the creativity and vision, to consider whether a particular property is right for you, and whether the bones, of the house, make it a smart decision.

2. Reserves; reside; region; right for you: Do you have the necessary reserves needed, both as a requirement of the lender, as well as for repairs, renovations, etc? Will it be a place, you wish, to reside? Always consider, after looking at the pros and cons, whether a particular house, is right, for you!

3. Exist; excellence; energy: Will a particular property, enhance your focus on doing more than, merely, existing, and, rather, seeking whatever you consider, to be, the utmost excellence? The right house should energize your existence!

4. Delve deeply; discover; deduce: Begin the process, by delving deeply, into your financial picture. Acquire your free copy of your Credit Report, and check for any detrimental areas, etc, and fix them, prior to beginning your search. Discover as much, relevant information, as possible, and seek, to deduce, what might be needed, to make you more credit – worthy!

5. Image; imagination; incentives; insights: For most, their personal self – image, directs them to a particular house. You need the imagination, to balance what is, with the possibilities, and potential. Examine which lending institutions, might be offering incentives, and whether, you qualify, or what you must do! It’s your personal insights, which make the biggest difference!

6. Timely: Is this the right time, to buy a house? Are you prepared, emotionally, and financially? Are mortgage interest rates, favorable, and are all your personal finances, prepared, and set – up, for the better? Once you discover the home, for you, will you be ready, willing and able, to take, well – considered, timely action?

Consider you CREDIT, and do all you can, to enhance your credit rating. If you want to purchase a house, it’s important, to begin, prepared and ready.

Is There A Perfect Time, To Buy, A House?

As someone, who has been a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, for over a decade, as well as having, also, had a considerable degree of experience, in financial sales and advising, as a financial planner, and Registered Representative, Supervisor, Manager, and executive, I have often, been asked, when/ if, there is a perfect time, to buy. Whether this is related to buying stocks, bonds, or other investments, or buying a home, the attempt to market – time, has rarely worked, consistently. While, with other investment, a disciplined approach, works best, in most cases, in buying a house, the best approach, is probably, proceeding, in a well – considered, introspective, objective manner, and honestly knowing and understanding your personal needs, goals, priorities, comfort zone, and personal finances. With that in mind, this article will attempt to review, consider, and briefly discuss, how, although, there is no perfect time, it is wise to consider, when it’s best, for you.

1. Personal needs, goals, priorities: Why do you want to buy a house? What about a particular house, attracts you? How many bedrooms do you need, and how many would you prefer, and why? How about bathrooms? What do you seek in your kitchen, and why, and what do you actually, need? Are you able to look past the staging, etc, to determine the difference between quality, and perceptions?

2. Comfort zone: Sit back, and look, objectively, and introspectively, so you know, why you want a house, what you can afford, and what amount of monthly payment, might conform with your personal comfort zone. You don’t want to end up, house – rich, and unable to proceed, with less stress, etc! A wise home buyer, finds a house, which exceeds his needs, meets some of his wants/ dreams, and does so, without excess stress, tension, and/ or, hassle!

3. Personal finances: Do you know, what you can afford? Many factors should be considered, including, down – payment, reserve for items such as contingencies, repairs, renovations, utilities, etc. Simply because you have the down – payment, and qualify for a mortgage, doesn’t necessarily mean, you will be well – served, by the financial necessities of home ownership! Know yourself!

4. When matters!: Certain factors are extremely important. What are the present mortgage interest rates, and how large, a mortgage will you need? Understand, small changes in these rates, matter! What about supply, and demand? Don’t purchase something, you aren’t satisfied with, either to Keep up with the Joneses, or to take advantage of the present market, because if you do, you might be disappointed, in the long – run!

Be a smart home buyer. It’s not about trying to buy at the perfect time, but finding what you need, not over – paying, discovering something, you’re pleased with, and being able to afford it!

Overcoming The FEAR of Buying A First Home

We often discuss, many of the challenges, of buying, a home, of own’s own, especially, for the first – time! Obviously, it’s essential to begin with one’s needs, goals, and priorities, as well as perception, and future needs, and considerations, Then, one must prepare, effectively, for a wide variety of financial considerations, so as, to avoid becoming, house – rich, but overly stressed, etc! Things, such, as a potential home’s area, location, neighborhood/ neighbors, actual block, schools, transportation, and other conveniences, must be factored in. However, once, one does all these things, it’s also important/ essential, to do all, he can, to overcome the FEAR, of buying a first – home. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, why this is so relevant, and essential to consider, and address, realistically.

1. Future; fruition; facts: Since, for most, their house, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, a potential home buyer, should identify, and understand, all the relevant facts, and factors? Be careful, not to merely, focus on the obvious, such as staging, colors, etc, but, whether, the bones, of the house, are good, and it has the potential to effectively serve your needs, etc, not only today, but into the future. Once, you’ve found what you seek, proceed, with a strategy, to bring the transaction, to a desirable, fruition!

2. Excellence; energy; emphasis: How might you place, your emphasis, to properly, position, yourself, in order to determine, you opt for, a house, based on excellence? Does the specific home, enhance you, and energize you, and never overlook, the all – important, energy – efficiency?

3. Attitude; attention: The true attitude of a potential buyer, often, becomes the determining factor, and difference, between, proactively, finding the right home, for you, and your needs, and letting your fears, and uncertainties, dominate! Only when an individual, proceeds, with the utmost attention, and focuses, on what’s best, for his specific priorities, needs, and concerns, will he handle this process, smartly and effectively!

4. Realistic; rationale; reasons; region: It serves little purpose to begin this process, and journey, unless/ until, he proceeds, in a realistic manner, knowing his needs, goals, priorities, and perceptions, as well as his true, financial limitations and abilities. He must understand his personal rationale, and reasons, to buy, a specific property! Never under – estimate, the region, and specific characteristics, of where you seek, to move!

If you hope to buy a home, of your own, emphasize reasons, and rationale, and overcome any personal FEARS. A happy homeowner balances his priorities, perceptions, and personal comfort zone!

Why Will You BUY A Home?

Although, we consider, owning a home, of one’s own, to be a major component of the so – called, American Dream, few consider, why it is, and whether, it is relevant, to their personal dreams, needs, and best – interests! Before anyone should begin the process, the first thing, to do, should be, to realistically, consider, their personal reasons, and why, they want to BUY a house. This should be a realistic, thorough, process, which includes, many relevant factors, including, but not limited to, their personal needs, goals, priorities, and perceptions, financial capabilities, family issues, employment factors, transportation considerations, safety, schools, and how, one house, might benefit them, to a greater degree than others. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Best; better; benefits; beliefs; bringing: Where we live, often, depends, on what, it seems to be, bringing, to us! Our personal beliefs, are a significant factor, and, thus, we must consider, if living somewhere, might make our existence, better, and happier/ more satisfying! Isn’t the goal, of most of us, to do, whatever, we can, to become, the best, we can possibly become? The essential combination of thoroughly considering our true needs, and the best way, to address them, must be one of the keys, to whether, we should buy, a home, of our own! Never forget to realistically, consider, factors, such as affordability, self – image, schools. safety, and whatever, your personal priorities and perceptions, might be!

2. Useful; unique; uses; urge; usual/ unusual: Buying a home, must serve, both, your usual, as well as unusual, needs, goals, and priorities! What urges, might, doing so, address, and meet? When considering, one potential house, versus another, what unique characteristics, and/ or attributes, are most important to you, and why? How will you use/ utilize your home, and why will doing so, be helpful, meaningful, and useful?

3. You; your: How will a home, of your dreams, meet, and/ or, exceed, your personal needs, and expectations? How will you make, your residence, your own? Why will doing so, benefit you, in a realistic, viable, relevant manner? Before making any decision, it’s important to seriously consider, how. your dream house, might make your life, more self – satisfying, and happier?

Before making the decision, and commitment, to BUY, a home, of your own, will you consider, your personal reasons, and why, you believe, it’s a good decision, for you! Are you up to the task, of doing so?

The Risks Of Trying To Market – Time, The Housing Market

After more than a decade, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have observed, and listened to, many potential buyers and sellers, who seemed to believe, they had the knowledge and expertise to market – time, the real estate market, and, if buying, purchase at the lower – end, while, if selling, do so, at or near, the height of the real estate market. Just as, in nearly every other financial market, doing so, is nearly impossible, and, often, quite risky. We often witness market fluctuations, and this article will attempt to briefly examine, and consider, some of the relevant considerations, and aspects, involved.

1. This past year or so: In the past year, or so, we’ve witnessed, the price of real estate, in many markets, escalate, exponentially, in a short – period of time. For example, one of the houses, I listed, and represented, not only sold, at nearly 15% over asking price, but there were 22 qualified offers, by the end of the first weekend. We all remember, that, often, in the years before, having to re – price, and adjust listing prices, to get a house sold. Up – markets, often, arise, because of a confluence of factors, such as supply, and demand, low mortgage rates, and the perceptions of improving overall economic and employment conditions. However, prices rose, so quickly, now that mortgage rates have risen slightly, and more houses are listed, we are now, in a somewhat, normal, real estate market. Those who were represented by knowledgable real estate agents, were prepared for the eventualities, and, avoided the danger, of pricing a house, too high. In normal, or weaker markets (e.g. buyer markets), home sellers get the best results, when they price, their houses, properly, from the start!

2. Knowing and understanding the different types of real estate markets: There are three, basic types, of real estate markets: (1) sellers; (2) buyers; and; (3) normal. A sellers’ market is when there are more buyers than sellers, a buyers market is when there are considerably more houses, available, than sellers, and a normal market is when, conditions are somewhat, in – between. Low mortgage interest rates, and optimistic perceptions (regarding the overall economy), often introduce higher prices, and a sellers’ market. When the market becomes over – heated, and prices rise, too quickly, eventually, it cools and dampens enthusiasm, and brings forth a different mindset, and set of conditions. Of course, there’s often, many gradations, in – between.

3. Potential dangers: Buyers who believe, they know – it – all, often offer too low, offers, which not only are refused, but the seller, often considers the offer, insulting, and won’t negotiate. Greedy home sellers, often, over – price their houses, and lose their opportunities of selling their homes.

The best way to consider pricing, is to evaluate the comparative market conditions, and either, price a house, to sell, and/ or, know what you seek, and offer an appropriate price, based on your financial capabilities and abilities, and what’s best for you! The wisest approach is to avoid gimmicks, and/ or simplistic rules and pursuits.