Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Buying Real Estate For The First Time

Buying a home for the very first time is both exciting and terrifying in spite of its numerous advantages such as value appreciation, tax breaks, and deductible depreciation costs etcetera.

(there is a free ebook: 101 Tips For Selling Your House,for you to download, from a link at the bottom of this page).

Despite the advantages there are also vulnerabilities and risks that you have to contend with during the acquisition process. You can manage these risks and lessen the stressful process by observing the following guidelines.

Seek the help of a mortgage broker or mortgage specialist to help you determine your budget, secure a pre-approval for your mortgage and to have him assist you in the home acquisition process.

As soon as you have done the above, most especially getting a pre-approval for your mortgage loan, you can then start the process of searching for your dream home. As soon as you have a short list of homes that interest you, get in touch with a real
estate agent. Having a buyer's agent costs you nothing since it is the seller who pays all the fees. But if the owner is selling on his own, then the situation becomes better for you as the price of the home would be lesser than if there was a real estate broker involved.

Make sure that the location of the property meets your needs and specifications.

Make sure you get a disclosure statement from the buyer or the real estate broker.

Do not allow yourself to be pressured by the real estate broker or seller.

Before you ask to view the short-listed properties, conduct your own research to identify any problems or issues that might impact the acquisition and the amount of your offer.

As soon as you have decided on one particular property, visit the neighborhood during night time as well.

Interview the neighbors regarding schools in the district, playgrounds, and other amenities.

Find out the property value taxes in the neighborhood and inquire about neighborhood association fees if any.

With the assistance of a lawyer, make a formal offer, give a deposit and outline all of the conditions and terms of your offer.

Provide the owner a copy of your pre-approval to signify the seriousness of your intent in buying the property.

Request all necessary documentation from the owner including title clearance within a specified number of days so as not to prolong the buying process.

It normally takes 30 to 90 days from the date of offer to complete a home acquisition deal but it is very important that all terms and conditions and guidelines between you and the seller are taken cared of as early as possible.

It is always best to educate yourself when buying real estate and not simply rely on the real estate broker, the owner or somebody else to provide you with the necessary information. This makes the home buying process much more exciting!

About The Author: Download 101 Free House Selling Secrets Here-with resale rights:

How To Find Good Real Estate To Invest In

Generally, real estate investments are categorized as low risk investments with potentially high yields on your capital.

However, some people have a common misconception regarding real estate investing – that it is an easy business and that you do not need to do to do anything.

The truth however is that real estate investing actually requires you to put in effort if you are serious about making money. It takes patience, a keen feeling for the market pulse and research to find the property that you can invest on and later on sell for profit.

With the dot com boom in all aspects of our lives and businesses, the internet is the first place where people start looking for real estate properties for sale.

Searching for properties on the internet is definitely easier and straightforward; you can even specify your search to filter out only those that meet the criteria you specify. Sometimes, there are also images and floor plans included in the listing.

However, what if you are not that proficient in using the powers of the World Wide Web for your benefit?

There are other resources that are still available and which have been around for a long time, even before the dot com revolution. There are several newspapers dedicated to real estate and even local community papers have their own classifieds for real estate.

Going to open houses is another good way of getting to see dozens of real estate for sale properties in a short period of time.

Investor groups are also another rich source of real estate for sale information.

Real estate brokers are one the most popular information resource for real estate for sale. They usually provide information about various real estate for sale and at the same time also assist in getting the deal finalized and closed.

However, one of the best ways to look for real estate is the multiple listing services (MLS).

The MLS is published regularly by state real estate boards and getting your hands on a MLS book as soon as it is out will surely give you an edge in getting good deals.

You can also check out for a complete list of property listings by state.

You can also get good deals on real estate by attending public auctions, bank foreclosures, Federal Housing Authority and Veterans Administration foreclosures and distress sales.

But considering that all of these resources are now also available online, you should put in an effort into getting familiar with using the computer and navigating the World Wide Web.

About The Author: Download 101 Free House Selling Secrets Here-with resale rights:

Selling Your Home: Making Your Home Accessible And A Pleasant Showing Experience

A lot of people ask for advice on how to sell their homes. There is the standard good advice... You can hire a professional stager to make your home be on the level of a model home. You can retile you bathroom or install granite in your kitchen to have a little more upgrades than the one down the street for sale.

You can do all kinds of things on the level of presentation. One thing I think most people overlook is making your home accessible and making the showing experience a pleasant one.

First, try to be inviting to everyone who calls on the house. It is definitely inconvenient for people to be romping through your daily lives, but it is unfortunately part of selling a home. When someone calls to see the home, say something like: "Sure, we were heading to the park, so feel free to look around."

Basically, you just want them to feel like they are not bothering you. This just helps set the mood of the home being inviting instead of starting off the showing with a feeling of intrusion.

Another thing is to try to leave when potential Buyers are being shown the home. Buyers just do not feel comfortable if someone is there, and they usually rush through the home without spending some time looking at where their furniture will go or how big the closets are. In addition, if you have dogs or animals that would be distracting during the showing experience (i.e. barking or jumping), try to take them with you, or if you are at work, keep them in the backyard. Basically, let the Buyer concentrate on your home.

Also, don't give a personal tour of your home. It is hard to resist since you know the most about your home and want to share that with potential Buyers, but when it comes down to it, you want people to daydream about the overall home being theirs, not concentrate on sink faucets. You want the people to become interested in your home on a personal level, thinking of how they will go about their daily lives in your home rather than notice every detail. Noticing every detail will come later.

Also, ask your listing agent to list your house with the easiest showing instructions so that your home is accessible without much effort. Sometimes Sellers will need to make appointments due to certain situations like the elderly or newborns. But if possible, have the Buyers phone / leave a message and head to the home. Our MLS system calls it "Call 1st - Go". This makes it possible for anyone to come by, even if they were just driving by and admiring the home. You may not get much notice, but it allows these sudden-interest people to come in, and the more people that come through will give you more a chance sell it.

Talking about short notice, try to keep your home as clean as possible at all times. Many Buyers will say that they can imagine beyond a mess, but most cannot. Messy homes end up being distracting from what the home is offering. It is definitely hard to keep a model home look while trying to live in it, but it helps sell the home. And if you keep it consistently clean, then when a Buyer ends up wanting to come with short notice, you will be ready.

Also, do not use combo locks, if possible. Phoning for the combination is an extra step that may prevent the showing if the person with the combo is not available. Most MLS systems have electronic lockboxes available, which make access easy and have the added plus of logging in each agent that comes. Of course, if electronic lockboxes are not available in your area then combo locks are a good alternative to trying to arrange appointments.

The last thing is to never say no to someone requesting a showing. It can definitely be hard to prepare when someone wants to see your home, especially when you have little notice. This again is where being prepared and tidy at all times is helpful. Have a game plan prepared, especially if you have kids or animals. Many people decide to take their dog on a walk because it us a quick exit and lets the Buyers have a little time in the home to look around.

In summary, you want as many people looking at your home as possible and the showing experience to be as comfortable for the Buyers as possible. So, try to make the showing access as easy as possible and keep distractions (like animals, messiness, & even yourself) to a minimum.

About The Author: Escapeso Austin Real Estate is a team of Austin Real Estate Agents. Their site allows users to search the Austin MLS.

Foreclosure Home Remodeling

There are many foreclosure home remodeling projects being undertaken everyday by professional contractors. These repair teams specialize in turning a foreclosed home into a resalable real estate commodity within 45 days of repossession or closing. Many foreclosure home remodeling projects are cosmetic and can be finished well before the 45 day deadline.

Other foreclosure home remodeling areas are more difficult to finish and will take almost all of the allocated time to complete. The foreclosed home may have been neglected for a long period of time, and rodents may have entered the home and chewed holes through walls, woodwork and attic spaces. The items that will need to be replaced, and the repairs that must be accomplished, must be determined before foreclosure home remodeling efforts can even begin.

Professional contractors have a good idea of what damage has been done by viewing each area of the home. They realize the materials that are behind the walls, and how many rolls of insulation are in each wall space. A foreclosure home remodeling project might include repairs to the ceiling areas due to water leaks. If the roof is leaking, then shingles will need to be added to the list of supplies that will be needed to complete the foreclosed home remodeling project on time.

Buckled flooring will definitely require further investigation because this is an indication of structural damage that extends to the support system under the home. The cement slab may be cracked by broken pipes, or the land might have shifted underneath the home from recent storms and a poor drainage system. This type of foreclosure home remodeling problem might delay the home from being listed on the market at all.

Home building contractors do not worry very much about peeling paint and dirt and grime. These are easy fixes for me, and this fix will allow a foreclosure home remodeling project to proceed as planned. Walls can be resurfaced if they are rough and unsightly and the white wall finish will make these walls look brand new after a few coats of paint. A foreclosure home remodeling project can require plumbing skills too. If the piping system in the home is broken, then there is going to be accumulated water somewhere under the home. Broken pipes have to be repaired before a home is placed on the market for sale.

Some of the foreclosure home remodeling projects - are very simple, and some are quite costly. In some cases, the cost of repairs will liquidate, the cash that the owners hope to make on the property, and cost of them more to repair than they will ever be able to recoup. In these cases, it is better to stop the foreclosure home remodeling project and tear the building down and start fresh.

The materials that are used to build the new home might not have as many outstanding features as it would normally have, such as Jacuzzi bath and marbled countertops in the kitchen, but the investors have to cut costs at every turn to recoup the monies they have lost. The new home is like to sell quickly if an attractive price is listed, and it will definitely sell because people love buying brand new homes. The new owners can start their own remodeling projects when they settle in to their new home.

About The Author: Jena Luthovski writes about

Virgin Islands Real Estate

The Virgin Islands is located in the Caribbean Sea. Virgin Islands is an archipelago situated in the Leeward Islands. The islands are separated into two parts: the British Virgin Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

The great characteristic about the country is the long stretch of coastline that surrounds its islands. When you want to invest on a resort near the beach, a Virgin Islands real estate property is the best option for you. The unexploited beauty of
the beaches in the country provides elegance that other beaches in the world cannot offer. The white sand dunes glisten under the heat of the sun and are an attraction among tourists who look for beaches with breathtaking beauty.

Wider real estate options

The Virgin Islands real estate property investment is getting worldwide popularity. There is a growing demand for villas, townhouses, apartments, and all sorts of residential as well as commercial properties in the country.

A prospective Virginia Islands real estate investor will be delighted to discover the endless choices of attractive real estate properties available in Virginia Islands. One will be sure to have something worth every money spent. One may choose from properties ranging from private and luxurious villas to breathtakingly relaxing residential coastal residences. Investors look into a lot of reasons when putting their money into a business venture.

They could be looking for some place to invest in and sell later, a place to spend the retirement years, or a grand holiday vacation home. Regardless of the reason, investing on a Virginia Islands real estate is sure to give you a big smile in the face.

Profitable potential

Several investors are discovering the profitable potential of an investment in the islands. Investors have been purchasing Virgin Islands real estate properties to put up homes, apartment complexes, condominiums, or resorts in the beach areas of the islands. There has also been an increasing demand for properties to accommodate commercial establishments in the country. The growing popularity of the region die to real estate investments is enough guarantee that profit is just within arm's reach.

Factors to consider

•Purpose should be the primary factor considered when availing of a Virginia Islands real estate property. Are you looking for some place to spend your retirement years or are you deciding on buying a holiday home for the family to enjoy?
•Quality. Does the property live up to your standards? Does it use first-class materials that will stand the test of time? Are its features compatible with the interior design you intend to put up inside it?
•Location. Is it near the church or supermarket or bank? Is the beach just a walking distance away? Is the airport anywhere near?
•Price. Will you still have enough after purchasing a Virginia Islands real estate property? Is it worth spending your lifetime savings on?

To come up with a good decision in purchasing a Virginia Islands real estate property, seek help from a professional real estate agent. With a solid experience in the word of real estate investing, he can surely give you valuable advice on your investment plans.

About The Author: Seth Willis Jr. is the webmaster for and a savvy real estate investor. His focus for Planet Pads is to allow users to showcase their real estate from all over the world .Users can browse properties , rentals , vacation homes and commercial properties from every corner of the globe.

What Makes For A Good Beach Rental Property?

South Padre Island is one of the few coastal communities in the U.S. in which rental revenue can still come even close to cash-flowing a rental property. In most areas the property values have risen far above what the rental prospects can sustain. Most smart investors know that the real reward is in the appreciation of the property rather than the seasonal income it may produce. However, the rewards of rental can certainly offset the costs of owning a vacation property. Some properties are superior performers and return an average of 10% of the purchase price. While others are geared to a more specific renter and don't do as well. Every buyer must choose a property that they will enjoy owning and using sometimes. But, there are some similar characteristics among the best rentals. I have spent some time examining what works and have come up with these best bet models.

1. Multiple bedrooms. The difference between a hotel and a good rental condo is number of bedrooms. Families and groups who vacation together save money and enjoy a group vacation in 3 or more bedroom properties. They also enjoy multiple condos rented together or a multi-family building.

2. Beach over bay. The bayside has a specific market group but in general, lucrative summer renters want to be as close to the beach as possible.

3. Beach houses. A classic beach house is still a good rental. People who have been visiting Padre for years still envision the perfect island vacation in a beach house with a big balcony and a grill outback. They also enjoy the idea of a private island oasis without the hassle of secured parking and front desks.

4. Amenities. Complexes like Saida perform well because of all their resort quality amenities. Families enjoy the spacious pools and grounds. It gives all members of the group an activity.

5. Beach Décor. Most properties are now marketed online. Your property has to look outstanding in 300 pixels or less. Beach Décor in bright island colors wins every time.

6. Quality. The rental market is becoming more competitive. The days of "good enough for rental" are done. Remodeled bathrooms, updated kitchens and units in good repair get the repeat business.

These concepts may be basic aspects of rental marketing but, its easy to lose sight of the ultimate rental goal. Consider your target market group when looking to purchase a rental property or when preparing your own rental property for success.

About The Author: Wendy Hauschildt is a Licensed Realtor® with Coastal Properties GMAC Real Estate, a weekly columnist with the Island Breeze Newspaper, and director of real estate Marketing. She lives and works on South Padre Island at the tropical tip of Texas. Visit for more info.