Friday, October 16, 2009


Top 12 Tips for Buying an Investment Property

Here is what you need to think about:.

1.Location, location, location. Invest in the best location you can afford. It will determine the kind of tenants you will attract and how much rent you can charge. A property in a desirable location (good school systems) will also appreciate more over time and be less apt to go down in market price as much as other properties might.

2.Don’t go overboard when fixing up an investment property. You don’t have to have d granite countertops and stainless appliances. Renters are happy with homes that are in good condition. That means the walls have a fresh coat of paint and the carpet is clean with no spots.

3. Today's Real Estate is "to Buy and To Hold" for at least five to ten years. You’ll face considerably more risk with a shorter time frame. Although your rental will almost certainly appreciate over the next 20 years.

4. Think long term. For most small investors, long-term ownership makes the most sense. You’ll have plenty of time to ride out any swings in the market, and your rental income will be a nice supplement to your day job. Historically, real estate has been an excellent investment, always appreciating a few points over the rate of inflation.

5. Be prepared to have cash on hand. Buying a non-owner occupied property requires at least 25-30% down.

6. Calculate the cost of ownership. This includes all the expenses of owning and managing an investment property, not just mortgage payments. Common expenses include property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance, vacancies, and repairs.

7. Look for a property for what it can be, not what it is. Buyers with a little imagination can look past the cracked paint and overgrown landscaping and get a great deal.

8. Hire and pay skilled workers to do your renovations. Start collecting recommendations for electricians, plumbers, painters, and contractors.

9. Always screen your tenants. Run a credit check and call old landlords. Ask if they paid the rent on time, what condition the property was when they left, and if they caused any problems with the neighbors.

10.Read up on your rights as a landlord. Learn about the eviction process and other potential issues so you can do things right, saving time and money.

11.Single family homes with 3 to 4 bedrooms are your best for rentals. Try to buy in a neighborhood that has an association. You will find that tenants will try the best they can to match what the neighborhood looks like.

12.Enjoy the advantages of your investment property. When managed correctly, investment properties are a great source of passive income—now, and when you retire. Take advantage of amazing tax benefits to make your investment pay off.

Sharon Evans


RE/MAX Town & Country

Direct # 404-663-1669


Sunday, October 4, 2009


In 3 years, market will likely be governed by local issues, not credit crisis. Americans have not seen a boring housing market since the last millennium. You know -the average, ordinary kind of market where supply just about matches demand, prices are steady, and real estate ceases to be a topic of daily conversation. Instead, we've had six years of upside craziness followed by three years of downside terror. Now we're in a tug-of-war between those who think we've finally found a bottom and those who are convinced that the overhang of unsold homes is going to push prices considerably lower.

By 2012 we may finally get back to blissful boredom. With any luck, three years should be long enough for the U.S. economy to recover and for the nation's housing inventory to shrink to more normal levels. At that point, housing will return to its old ways, with prices governed not by national mood swings and global credit crises but by local issues ranging from zoning to immigration to job growth.

Prices? While they're likely to keep falling a while longer under the weight of foreclosures, the market is definitely closer to the bottom than the top. "We expect prices to drop for another year and then stabilize before starting to rise with incomes," says Standard & Poor's chief economist David Wyss. Moody's predicts the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, maintained by data specialist Fiserv, will fall about 16 percent this year before regaining ground. Based on the National Association of Realtors national median home price of $180,000 for the fourth quarter of 2008, that would mean a median of $152,000 at the end of 2009 and then a rebound to $179,000 by the end of 2012.

Do remember! Everything is local to your area.