Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of “right of ways” to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a “must have” trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for “family friendly” or “residential friendly” commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for “mover upper” homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces …

Due Diligence for Real Estate Investing – An Overview

Due diligence drives the land development transaction because it supplies you with information you will need about a whole range of issues. These can include details about the zoning, location of public utility lines, soil classifications and prior subdivisions of the property. This need for information arises in your very first contact with the land parcel and continues as long as you are pursuing it or are involved with it by contract. In fact, your need to know different things about the property exists until you: (a) decide not to buy it; (b) put it under contract and subsequently bail out of the deal; or (c) sell the land or assign the contract to someone else.

While location may be the most important characteristic of a real estate parcel, thorough due diligence is critical to determining if the potential land development deal is viable. The information you obtain through your investigation is focused on your bottom-line question: do I want to buy this land parcel?

When you're doing your research, you should remember a couple of basic principles. Effective, thorough investigation usually must be hand's on. It will be time consuming to do and there are usually no short cuts. For every piece of data, there is a primary source. The primary source is likeliest to be the most accurate and current source of information. For instance, the primary source for real estate documents that are recorded (such as deeds, liens, easements, mortgages and subdivision plans) is the actual record of filings maintained by the applicable governmental department as well as the documents themselves that show the recording information on them. These are usually kept at the courthouse for the county in which the property is located.

Your local government or municipality is the primary source for zoning, subdivision and other ordinances because they originate and enact these local laws. The governmental body (local, county or otherwise) that is empowered to issue land development approvals is the source if you need to verify what conditions and restrictions may have been imposed when the parcel was subdivided. FEMA is the primary source for flood mapping and information because it is the repository and publisher of this data.

You might wonder if you could save time by doing the research online. After all, why should you go look at the actual document if you can obtain the information by using a database? The short answer is that you can't be sure that what you're getting online is accurate and up to date. In short, databases are great tools as long as you remember that they should never be used as a substitute for hands-on research at the primary source.

At best, these online collections of data (including those maintained by governmental agencies or departments) are secondary or tertiary sources, not primary ones. (The governmental database, however, may be the next best thing to the primary source depending on the manner in which it was created and the frequency with which it is …

Locating Unclaimed Abandoned Property and Financial Assets in Israel Finding & Locating Real Estate

In Israel, thousands of assets totaling approximately 15 billion Israeli Shekels currently remain unclaimed. These unclaimed assets include land, developed real estate, bank accounts, stocks and bonds.

“Abandoned property” is defined in section 1 of the Law as an asset in respect of which no one is entitled and able to be treated as owners, or an asset whose owner is unknown.

Naturally, the need for claiming, finding such property, assets, lands by their rightful heirs arises. The process of locating lost, abandoned or unclaimed assets in Israel requires, among other things, a very competent, diligent Israeli attorney with depth understanding as well as a proper investigation to trace those lands & assets. How to find and locating a lost or abandoned property in Israel? This article discusses this matter.

The first step is to gather any relevant data including family tree and or any ID number in order to start the due diligence and genealogical evidence to track the property, estate in the Israeli Land Registry Offices “The Tabu”, Minhal or Hevra Meshakenet. We will learn the name of the current or historic landowner as well as his Israeli ID number or American/any passport. The information held by the Israeli TABU is considered highly credible and sensitive, and it is part of the Israeli land database.

Second step is to check: 1) managing the abandoned assets for the benefit of the private owner/s and 2) releasing the assets to those entitled to them after getting a Israeli probate court order, or where beneficiaries can not be located, transfer the property to the State of Israel until the right heirs will be found.

We handle various types of abandoned assets in Israel, including real estate, lands, personal property, funds and bank accounts. By law, an “abandoned property” in Israel is defined as an asset in which its owner or manager cannot be found or is unknown, and can be released only by a probate process and a court order that will determine the right heirs, and now owners of the Israeli land or any financial asset in Israel.

The Israeli government concludes its management of the property in one of three main actions. Firstly, it can release the asset to the person who is the lawful owner again by a Israeli probate court order. Alternatively, it can transfer the asset to the State of Israel. Thirdly and lastly it can transfer the asset to The Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets, if appropriate.

We will discuss in detail the first aforementioned action – negotiation with The TABU over unclaimed property. In this case, the person claiming a right to the property must prove to the satisfaction of the Israeli Administrator General that he is the legal owner of the asset. In this process, the Israeli Administrator General will act very carefully to ensure that it has received sufficient information regarding the applicant’s rights and a probate court order that proofs the person are the legal heir. Then, …

Real Estate Appraisals – Get Yourself Prepared For Knowing the Value of Your Home

The collapse of the economy began with a reality wind blowing against the sub-prime mortgage house of cards. We are all living with the results of over aggressive lending practices and over active government intervention. With all these friends who needs any enemies?

As the market realigns, property valuations have plummeted. Some of you may even be "upside down" on your mortgages. Do you buy? Do you sell? Do you ride out the tsunami? This series will go through all the major questions that we normally encounter in determining the value of a property. What are the drivers? What are the inhibitors? What you need to know to get the best value.

What is Property valuation / real estate appraisal?

The purpose of property valuation is to provide a current market based value for a property in comparison to others in its immediate vicinity. So an appraisal is time, location and geography specific. It is a comparative value – not an absolute. Second, real estate appraisals are broken into two broad categories – residential and commercial. For the purposes of these papers we will be discussing strictly residential appraisals. Residential real estate appraisers are licensed by their respective states and have different levels of license levels based on the value of loan for the property. They have to take classes and pass certification tests to gain and maintain their license status. They are also usually bounded by county because of the way Multiple Listing Services (MLS) keep and sell their records. So a good appraiser really knows their geography and what to look for.

Why does it cost so much?

Real estate appraisers are traditionally independent contractors / business people – no appraisals = no money. So while you are paying a relatively standard one time fee (eg, $ 400) they have to make sure they get as many appraisals in as they can to make any profit at all. How's that? After all they've got your $ 400. An appraiser has to cover all out of pocket expenses the same as any business person (education, health insurance, MLS fees, liability fees, business insurance, state fees – the list goes on). In addition a good appraiser may spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours in preparation (looking for comparables, etc.), have a 45 minute or more drive time to location, 2 hours driving comparables and taking pictures and then another 1 -3 hours writing the report and then if the bank wants more info or kicks anything back they have to invest the time to answer questions, etc.

Also, is they get your request from another appraiser or from one of these new rip off government created middlemen called AMCs – they may have to split the fee. These are all just the costs of doing business. So when someone stops by for 30 to 60 minutes with a tape measure know that it's the tip of the iceberg and you're getting a good deal.

Do I own the appraisal?

How The Overall Economy Impacts Real Estate?

Many of us, who are involved, on a daily basis, with the many nuances of real estate, get so involved with buying, selling, marketing, and promoting homes, and making/ giving listing presentation, we often ignore, the many economic factors and other conditions, which impact the real estate market. Some of these factors are local, in nature, while others may be national or international/ global. Some are actual, while others are perceived (for example, belief in their job security, negative possibilities because of some action taken by government, etc). With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly consider, examine, review, and discuss, how the overall economy impacts the real estate/ housing markets.

1. Mortgage/ interest rates: When the Federal Reserve announces they are raising, planning to, or considering raising rates, in most instances, mortgage rates follow. About 2 years ago, we witnessed historically low mortgage rates, and today, while, from an historic perspective, they are still relatively low, they are about one percent higher, than they were, at the low. When mortgage rates are low, many buyers qualify for a higher price, and thus, we often witness a rice in home prices. As they rise, generally, prices, and, especially, the rate of increase, slows.

2. Taxes: When local real estate taxes are comparatively low, the effect on monthly carrying charges, is a positive, for the housing market. When they rise, they cause homeowners, to have to pay more monthly. Some houses, neighborhoods, regions, counties, etc, have lower taxes than others, so when one region abruptly raises rates, that local market is hurt, and certain surrounding areas benefit. In addition, in higher tax areas, such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Massachusetts, Illinois, California, last year’s tax legislation, may have potential longer – term ramifications, on the housing market. That inclusion, known as State and Local Taxes, or SALT, limited/ capped the federal tax deduction, permitted, for state and local taxes, to a total of $10,000. Since many houses in these regions, have much higher taxes, and, several of these areas, also have state and/ or regional taxes, these caps, have the potential, to harm the real estate market, especially, if, they increase, any more.

3. Jobs: Do people perceive, they have job security? Is the job market, strong, or relatively weak? Are incomes increasing? The more confident, and comfortable, qualified potential buyers, are, the stronger the market.

4. Overall economy, and world news: For example, if the present, partial government shutdown, continues, for a substantial period, many workers, industries, and small businesses, especially, will be negatively impacted! There seems to be lots of fears, doubts, and insecurities, about safety, etc. The more confident, the public is, the better off, usually, is the real estate market.

These items are just the tip of the factors, which have an impact on the housing market. Beware, prepare, and plan accordingly.

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Looking Ahead To 2019: What Factors Should Real Estate Examine?

Anyone, who, either, as a professional, or, simply, a curious observer, watches the real estate markets, and possibilities, must take a close look at the possible factors, which might impact, what might be trends in the housing market, as well as the overall economy. Beware, there are no guarantees, but, simply probabilities, or best guesses (also called, educated guesses)! After more than a decade as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, in the State of New York, I believe, the more educated and aware, a potential buyer might be, the better his chances. That’s why I have been using my trademarked slogan, for many years, I’ll always tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear. (TM)

1. Interest rates and mortgage rates/ terms: Most economists are forecasting a gradual, moderate rise, in interest rates, and the Federal Reserve, has stated, its intentions to raise rates, twice during 2019. Most believe these will be, relatively minor increases, and, with present mortgage rates, relatively low (from a historic perspective), the overall result will probably be, fewer qualified buyers, slightly higher monthly payments, and probably, a slower rate of price increases (especially in terms of the pace). When rates rise, potential buyers often shop for slightly less house.

2. SALT: In the tax legislation, passed, at the end of 2017, there is a cap placed, on the amount of State and Local Taxes, known as SALT, which remain tax – deductible. In higher tax states, such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, etc, this becomes significant, in terms of selling a house, especially if it is, in the higher price range. Potential buyers might consider, home ownership, as less beneficial, from a tax standpoint, and, this might, hinder the perceived value, and desirability, of purchasing certain types of homes.

3. Uncertainties: No one knows for sure, how long, the present, partial government shutdown, might last, and continue, but, at present, the opposing sides, appear far apart, and not close to a meeting – of – the – minds! Uncertainty is the enemy of nearly every financial market! Will the Stock Market continue on its present downward spiral? Will the changing political climate, be a positive or negative influence? How will consumer confidence be, during 2019? Will potential buyers perceive, job security, which encourages, especially, new buyers, to seek a home, of their own?

An educated consumer, who pays close attention, and is aware, and prepares, normally, is most successful. What are your real estate plans, for 2019?

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