10 Tips for Successful Real Estate Investing in 2017

Profits can always be made with the right balance of discipline during a real estate market slowdown, stagnation or depression. This article shows you the top ten tips that real estate investors apply to ensure success from their investments.

1.  Slow and Steady

Take the necessary time to learn about potential investment properties. Peruse the MLS, speak with realtors that are keen in the area you are interested in, research the comparable properties and prioritize making friends with a realtor that specializes in income properties. Spending time on research can keep you informed and ready for lucrative investment opportunities.

2.  Everything is Negotiable

Remember the age-old adage: “Everything’s negotiable?”  Well, there’s truth in that. Successful negotiating means being assertive enough to go after the deal you want, but insistent enough to always be willing to walk away from the negotiations that aren’t giving you those “warm fuzzies.” Make that sweetheart of a offer that the seller(s) look for in order to secure your deal. If it’s attractive to you, make it just as attractive to the seller and you will seal the deal!

3.  Never Stop Learning

Investment strategies, especially in real estate are ever-changing. Market trends go up and down like a seesaw on steroids. The best way to stay ahead of the game, or at least in the game, is by staying up to date on the newest and latest tactics.

4.  Discipline!

Carve out your budget. And stick to it. No matter what, a strict budget is top of the list in investing. Carefully set your parameters, do the math, research the market and set your budget in stone. Stick to properties that meet your budget and don’t compromise your budget to meet your needs.

5.  Consistent Progressive Cash Flow is the Goal

Despite anyone’s best efforts, an upbeat market can take a downturn just as it did in 2007-2008, leaving an investor drowning in depreciated real estate. In this case, while a loss is inevitable, you can minimize your loss and avoid financial ruins by focusing on investing in properties that maintain a confident cash flow monthly. Optimistic or positive cash flow does not rely on rent income or market values to increase. From the start of a potential deal, if the numbers don’t add up, start subtracting by removing your interest and funds from the table. Invest elsewhere.

6.  Make it Count

Starting off, be discriminative. Until your real estate investment portfolio grows, it may not be practical to purchase the distressed property in the historic area of town. You need time to gain a steady and positive cash flow on your investments. Less is not always more when starting out in real estate investing. That first property might cost a little more than what you imagined.

7.  In the Beginning, One is More than Enough

In the beginning, choose a category of investing and test it for a year.  For example, do you want to flip real estate and sell it? Or would you rather prefer renovating and renting? Once you have mastered that area with expertise, then start looking to take on another.

8.  Don’t Try to Boil the Ocean

Start small. It’s literally an ocean out there and one wrong decision could cause you to drown before you even start to swim. You may even want to start with your primary residence and rent a portion of it in order to get some capital flowing.

9.  Follow the Money

Follow the money trail. If there is a property in an area that can generate cash flow, you should jump on it like bears to honey! Whether your investment volume is big or small, get into sound investing and build your real estate dynasty one property at a time.

10.  Don’t be Shy when it Comes to Taking on New Challenges

If you are already in the real estate investment game, expand your horizon and broaden your territory by taking on new and different investment opportunities. Minimize the risks, but without making any hasty investment decisions. And by all means, go for something new.

The executive team at  RealtyeVest leads a group of expert analysts who acquire, manage, negotiate and purchase real estate acquisitions.

Built on a foundation of complete transparency, honesty and accountability, RealtyeVest delivers results to maintain a steady leading edge in real estate investing that yields profitable results.

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6 Ways to Finance Your Real Estate Projects

So you found the perfect house flipping deal that you have been reading so much about. It’s exactly the kind of real estate deal you see on HGTV. You’ve called your realtor, toured the property, your neighbor who’s a contractor worked up a renovation estimate, you’ve looked at comparable properties and convinced yourself you have found the needle in the haystack. The perfect deal. Let’s look at some important factors before deciding how to finance your real estate investment.

Create A Strict Budget

The first thing you need to do is work up a strict budget. This is not something to draw out on the back of a napkin. Your potential real estate investors want to see that the investment follows a strict budget. A couple factors to consider when creating a strict budget for your new investment property are as follows.

• Closing & carry costs – insurance, utilities, interest, title insurance, survey, etc.

• Sales costs – commissions, home warranty, transfer stamps, etc. (usually they total about 8 percent).

Once you know your budget and you have made an offer and the seller accepted subject to financing, where will the capital come from?

Where Will the Capital Come From?

Will you use your own resources or will you be leveraging all or part of the project? If you’ve done your numbers, the more you finance the greater the return on every dollar you invest out-of-pocket. This example demonstrates the difference between using your own capital and financing:

Using Your Own Cash
Purchase Price: $100,000
Renovation Costs: $50,000
Cash Out Of Pocket: $150,000
Sales Price: $200,000
Profit Amount: $50,000
Return On Investment (ROI): 33%

Using 70% Financing
Purchase Price: $100,000
Renovation Costs: $50,000
Costs of Financing: $10,000
Cash Out Of Pocket: $55,000
Sales Price: $200,000
Profit Amount: $40,000
Return On Investment (ROI): 73%

In this example, while financing your project lowers your total profits, it increase your profit margin tremendously and, with only a fraction of cash invested, you are able to avoid locking your assets into individual projects and spread them across more investments.

Leveraging Your Assets

Even though you may have the ability to pay cash for your project that doesn’t mean you should. As shown in the example above, leveraging your assets increases your return on investment (ROI) and gives you the ability to spread your money and fund multiple projects, while lowering your risks.

Get Financing for Your Real Estate Investments

Traditional Lenders

Banks and credit unions are on the top of the traditional lender list. Traditional lenders typically carry the best rates available but be prepared for a proctology exam. Most traditional lenders require a credit score of 680 or more, full documentation of income and debts, full appraisal and inspection reports, background check, significant “skin-in-the-game” (down-payment) and upfront fees for underwriting the deal. The process can be painful, slow, and repetitive. But, if you have your ducks in a row and are willing to put in the effort, this could be a cost-effective strategy for you.

Seller Financing

This is an ideal scenario since very little documentation is required and it is a quick part of the negotiations. But be wary, because some sellers will offer financing only on the condition of a quick sale. This quick sale may hamper your “due diligence” by forcing a close before you can adequately perform recommended inspections. Sellers are less likely to accept this alternative unless they are either looking for an income stream, subject to taxation on the sale or simply hoping you default.

Hard Money

hard money lender

Get the most from your real estate investments

Hard money is a loan that is issued by private lenders. These loans are normally asset-backed loans that are short term and lent against the After Rehab Value (ARV). These are loan instruments that real estate investors can use to finance a quick fix and flip deal. But beware, quick and easy is not necessarily the best solution.

Hard money loans are not only expensive, but short term. You should expect fees going in and coming out as well as rates to be near usury.  Hard money loan terms are short, so don’t miss a payment or you risk losing the property. There are a lot of solid Hard Money lenders available, but you need to spend considerable time underwriting the issuers.

Family And Friends 

Approaching friends and family is also easy, and they need less convincing than other moneylenders. Have your plan together or, better yet, some portfolio to show and you should have little resistance building to your capital stack.

Keep in mind that family members tend to come with their own sets of complications, whereas with friends or associates, these kinds of emotional issues tend not to occur. Just know that whenever family is involved in business, things can get complicated.

Partners

Partnerships can be a great way to get started investing in real estate. Typically, a person might go to a private investor to get funding in exchange for doing the labor and management in preparation for the resale. You will end up splitting the profits in half, sometimes even more but it is a quick way to build momentum when investing in real estate.

On the upside, this type of partnership isn’t necessary to draw up any formal agreement as you can work on a deal-by-deal basis. But, on the downside you are likely to lose some of the decision making and control over renovation and deal making.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a relatively new alternative to creative financing real estate acquisitions. The SEC passed a law in 2012, which opened the floodgates for open solicitation of investment opportunities as long as the investors qualify as an accredited investor. With crowdfunding, you can expect competitive rates, underwriting and unbelievable fast turn-around time.

Real estate crowdfunding companies sprung up overnight to raise capital through online portals for investors. Because of this rapid influx of real estate crowdfunding businesses, it is necessary to exercise caution as a majority of these companies are run by technology entrepreneurs and not industry experts. Real estate professionals have the experience and knowledge to properly advise when an investment deal will be viable and worthy to investors.

Finding a company with years of real estate experience that understands the intricacies of finance, development, asset management and acquisitions is very important to successfully financing your real estate endeavors. RealtyeVest has a team of real estate professionals that will assist you in raising capital and leverage your assets to increase ROI for each property you find.

So, if you are a real estate developer interested in leveraging your assets or raising capital for your real estate investment properties, register with RealtyeVest to learn more about becoming a sponsor today.

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6 Reasons for a Passive Real Estate Investment

1. AVOID INFLATION

Inflation and Appreciation

Cash is considered by many experts in the field to be the safest asset. Your earnings won’t lose value if it’s in a safety deposit box at your local bank, or hidden under a mattress. However, your capital actually does lose value each year, particularly if you don’t invest it. It’s the result of this perpetual issue called inflation. Average annualized inflation for 2016 was 1.3%. Meaning, if you sat on your cash that whole time its purchasing power would decline by that amount each year. This is one reason why people choose to invest in the first place.


Average annualized inflation for 2016 was 1.3%


2. ACTIVE INVESTING VS. PASSIVE INVESTING

There are many ways to choose a real estate investment and they generally can be divided into two categories: active or passive.

Active Investing

An example of active investing is the buying of real estate properties, fixing them up and selling them, or acquiring apartment buildings and managing the tenants. While this strategy can be lucrative, it can also be time and labor intensive. Many potential investors are ill-equipped, or simply do not want to take on these burdens. This is where choosing a passive real estate investment comes in.

Real estate property values tend to increase, which allows owners to increase the rent for their buildings. This protects investors against inflation.

Passive Investing

With passive investing, rather than purchasing a property that needs a lot of work, you provide the funding for real estate companies to purchase larger commercial properties for which they maintain. Crowdfunding allows various ways for you to invest in real estate on a passive basis. You can contribute to a loan, which entitles you to a fixed, regular interest payment. Or, you can provide the equity to own a small piece of the investment.

3. THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

Real estate accounts for a substantial part of wealth creation in the world.  It encompasses a wide array of property types, including apartment buildings, office buildings, the strip mall that houses your favorite restaurant and the hotel you frequent on the Florida coast. Real estate has long been a means by which some investors have generated cash flow and built value for the future. Thanks to changes in the regulatory landscape and the emergence of crowdfunding, passive real estate investments are now more accessible than ever before.

Become a Passive Investor

Signup and view our real estate investment marketplace!

Diversification

Many investors allocate their money across a number of different asset classes including cash, stocks and bonds. Some of those monies could be very liquid, like cash and stocks, while others are less liquid, such as investments in private funds. Adding real estate can further diversify your investment portfolio. The benefit of diversification is that you don’t have all of your eggs in one basket.

diversifying your real investment portfolio

Spread your investments across multiple real estate industries

4. DETERMINING THE RIGHT INVESTMENT TYPE

Determine the type of investment that is right for you by understanding your investment horizon and your risk aversion.

Timing

If you are considering investing in real estate, you need to be comfortable with the investment horizons. This is the length of time that an investor expects to hold a security or a portfolio. While stocks and other exchange-traded instruments are generally viewed to be liquid and can be exited at any time, private real estate investments are illiquid. This means the asset cannot easily be sold or exchanged for cash without a substantial loss in value. Most RealtyeVest investments are estimated to last two years.

Risk – Debt vs Equity

Like with the time horizon of an investment, you need to understand and be comfortable with the risks of the investment. There are two main types of real estate crowdfunding investing: debt and equity.

Debt: When making a debt real estate investment, the investor is in the position of a lender. Investors receive a fixed rate of return that is determined by the interest rate on the loan, which is secured by the property itself. Debt investments place the investor at the bottom of the capital stack, which gives the investor priority when claiming a payout from the property.


Some Other Risks: 1.) Vacancies  2.) Unexpected Maintenance  3.) Decline in Property Values


Equity: In terms of investments, equity is the appreciation of the value of a property over a given period of time. In some cases, the investor participates in this increased value. An equity investment generally does not have any collateral, such as with a secured loan, and therefore pays a higher rate of return.

Become a Passive Investor

Signup and view our real estate investment marketplace!

5. REDUCING RISK WHEN INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE

Beware of Too Much Leverage

One of the most important metrics in real estate investing is the loan-to-value ratio (LTV). Banks typically will not loan more than 80% of the value on a residential home. In the event home prices drop, maintaining a limit on LTV gives lenders a cushion if they need to foreclose on a property. Look to invest with sponsors who have enough invested in their own deals to weather unforeseen changes in the economy or in the property that would cause the property to drop in value. To help keep our member’s investments secure, RealtyeVest.com does not support any investments with a LTV greater than 75% on its platform.

Check on Reputations

As mentioned earlier, you want to be comfortable with the investment. Look for information about the sponsor’s (aka real estate developer/entrepreneur) background and previous projects. Check the property types, the history and successes of their current portfolio and make sure that they have been fully vetted for any legal issues.

Seek Diversification

Investors tend to appropriate their capital across many different asset classes including cash, stocks and bonds. Some of this capital could be liquid, such as cash and/or stocks, while others are less liquid, such as private fund investments. Adding real estate might further diversify your investment portfolio.

6. THE BENEFITS OF PASSIVE INVESTING

when to invest in real estate

How to start investing in real estate

With passive investing, nearly all the administrative functions are handled by other people. Unlike active investing — where you must find investment properties, monitor the property and deal with tenants, toilets and trash — the passive investor works with a partner and allows them to do the dirty work. While there is a fee for this service, there is also a promise that you will never get a broken toilet call at 3 a.m.

Additionally, due to crowdfunding, individual, smaller investors can now participate in much larger passive commercial investments, so your $10,000 investment could conceivably contribute to the acquisition of a $20 million building.

If you’re interested in passive real estate investing, the first step is to find the right partner. At RealtyeVest, we offer access to pre-vetted real estate investments. We conduct the due diligence on hundreds of properties and focus that energy by closely examining investments that have already been reviewed by our active real estate investors or sponsors. We also give you access to a personal investor dashboard so you can watch how your money grows.

With RealtyeVest, you have the resources, guidance and opportunity to become more invested in the real estate market. Now, you can take control and become a real estate investor!

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IHT Realty: One Man’s Plan to Grow Affordable Housing by Crowdfunding

IHT Realty Crowdfunding has rebranded itself as RealtyeVest.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 21, 2017 — Park Place Communities (PPC) is taking a major step toward growing the stock of affordable homes in the United States.

PPC, a national real estate investment company that specializes in affordable housing, is seeking $1 million in capital to facilitate a large-scale affordable home project.

The company plans to take existing mobile homes, renovate them and sell them to qualified buyers using five-year amortized mortgages. The buyer will make monthly payments for five years at 12 percent.

“This allows buyers to purchase the mobile home for about the same monthly cost of renting,” said CEO Andrew Lanoie of Park Place Communities.

IHT Realty Crowdfunding, a real estate company that helps sponsors raise capital for their acquisitions, will be assisting PPC in securing funds as it looks to expand its operations and acquire an additional 15,000 to 20,000 mobile homes over the next few years.

“There is a huge demand for affordable housing right now and there are not enough parks to fill that void,” Lanoie said. Right now, there are roughly 50,000 affordable housing parks in the United States.

And with housing costs projected to rise by 5.4 percent from July 2016 to July 2017 — according to a study by CoreLogic Home Price Index — mobile homes are becoming a practical alternative.

“As the wage gap in the United States widens, there has been a shift towards lower paying jobs, which leads to an increase in demand for affordable housing,” Lanoie said.

According to the most recent report by the Social Security Administration, 36 percent of U.S. wage earners make less than $20,000 per year and 50 percent earn less than $30,000 per year.

“With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, 47 percent of which don’t have any retirement savings,  affordable houses are their last opportunity of home ownership,” said CEO Dan Summers of IHT Realty Crowdfunding.

PPC, a national Top 100 owner-operator of mobile home parks, currently owns 13 affordable housing parks in eight states with nearly 1,000 total homepads.

The company is looking for a $1 million mortgage pool to issue fixed-rate mortgages to buyers. It is offering a debt investment opportunity secured by a first lien, which is also backed by a corporate guarantee with a 10 percent interest rate paid to investors.

The first step will be to renovate more than 125 units, Lanoie said.

Contrary to popular belief, mobile homes are not really mobile. It costs over $3,000 for a resident to move their home out of a park, Lanoie said, which is the reason 98 percent of mobile homes will remain in the same location.

“Mobile home parks are one of the most stable and predictable investments during a recession and recovery,” Lanoie said.

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company that offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on residential, multifamily and on-trend properties across the United States.

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The Best Self Directed IRAs for Real Estate Investing

Today, real estate is considered one of the most popular forms of investing in with a self-directed IRA. This is because it is a simple way for investors to grow their personal wealth and diversify their portfolios.

But when it comes to your retirement plan there are hundreds of self-directed IRA companies to choose from and making a decision can be difficult to say the least.

It’s best to think of an IRA as a trust and the custodian as a trustee, so when making an investment the trustee is the one who actually carries out the transaction.

Important Rules to Know  

First, it is important to know that your IRA is the owner of the property so the title of the asset must be in the name of the IRA administrator.

Second, you’re not allowed to invest in a property for personal use. This means that the real estate you’re purchasing using your IRA is for investment purposes only. In addition, you must be careful you are not doing business with “disqualified parties,” such as your spouse or family members.

Third, since the sdIRA is the owner of the property it must pay the bills and collect the income. For instance, if the investment is in a rental property than all rental income should return to your IRA account. Also, any bill payments including property taxes or renovations must be paid with the cash in your IRA.

How to Start Investing in Real Estate 

  1. You’ll need to set up a self-directed IRA account with one of the companies listed below we have provided a short self-directed IRA review for each of the custodians.
  2. Fund the account by either making a contribution, transfer or rolling over your funds from an old 401k, 403b or pension plan.
  3. Select the real estate investment you want to purchase and one of the companies will guide you through the process.

Best Self Directed IRA Companies 

Advanta IRA Review

Advanta IRA is a self-directed IRA retirement plan custodian serving clients nationwide. Advanta provides their clients exceptional personal service, experience and knowledge that is paramount in administrating self-directed IRAs.  Advanta IRA allows their clients to take full control of their investment retirement plan as well as provided education on using their retirement plan to grow wealth through providing helpful webinars, alternative investments and support.  Advanta has been providing self-directed IRA services for over 20 years.

CamaPlan IRA Review

A CamaPlan self-directed IRA account is the faster, safer way to true financial freedom. Grow your wealth and secure your future by deciding what types of investments you want to hold in your individual account.  Camaplan IRA provides exceptional service to its clients while allowing Self-directed IRA holders the freedom to grow their retirement plans as they see fit. CamaPlan considers itself in a “unique position of being a nimble, responsive player among the larger financial firms that are beginning to enter the self-directed IRA market.”

NuView IRA Review

NuView IRA joins several organizations to better service the community, including investor clubs, professional associations for attorneys and tax planners and the Better Business Bureau. NuView IRA has over 10 years of experience managing self-directed IRA accounts.  They are highly recognized among the industry leaders of self-directed IRA custodians.

New Direction IRA Review

New Direction is a trusted provider of Custodial and Administrative services for traditional and Roth IRAs, HSAs and other tax advantaged plans. Physical custody and administrative oversight in provided by Mainstar, in Kansas. The office of the State Bank Commissioners of Kansas regulates Mainstar and its oversight extends to New Direction’s accounts. New Direction IRA custodian is a growing company.  They have managed millions of dollars in their client’s assets, and are eager to help clients find new and exciting opportunities to invest their self-directed IRA

As you can see, any of these provides would be a good choice if you choose to start investing in real estate using a self-directed IRA account.  Defining the best self-directed IRA custodian would be a hard task unless you signed up and starting investing.  Before you select any of the above IRA custodian, be sure to get them to disclose their fee of service.

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The Real Price of Tesla Solar Shingles Is Through the Roof

Tesla Solar Shingles

Tesla’s announcement to start selling its long-awaited solar roofing system was met with mixed reviews last week when the automaker published a cost comparison blog on its website.

The news of the announcement follows the 2016 merger between Tesla and SolarCity — one of the largest solar energy companies in the United States — and further implements Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a future defined by carbon-free energy.

In the blog post, Tesla said the new solar roofing system will cost $21.85 per square foot for an average American home — roughly 2,500 square feet.

While the product might be pricier than a traditional roof ($4.00-$7.00 per square feet,) it will ultimately pay for itself in reduced electric bills — a process Tesla says will take about 30 years to realize.

And if that isn’t enough, in reality, the price might nearly be twice that amount.

The Real Costs

The true cost, according to the blog, will be about $42 per square feet for solar tiles and $11 per square feet for non-solar tiles. Although Tesla recommends at least 50 percent of solar coverage to meet your home’s energy needs, the automaker factored in only 35 percent of the roof being covered with solar tiles when determining the average price.

Tesla even published a cost calculator for customers to price out their own roof with coverage of up to 70 percent of solar tiles.

tesla solar shingles

The price was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar, in order to generate $53,500 worth of electricity, which according to Consumer Reports would make a solar roof more affordable than an asphalt shingle roof.

Regardless of the percent of coverage, costs will vary significantly depending on customer choice and the size of the roof.  But one thing is for sure, the installation before factoring in the cost of energy will be much higher than a conventional roof.

Energy Wave

Fifty years ago, the idea of building eco-friendly modular homes, using energy-efficient products, renewable materials and solar panels was impractical. Today, the momentum is with renewable energy, and because of proven tax benefits, more developers are opting to build energy-efficient homes and facilities.

For example, this assisted living facility in Carriere, Miss. will be developed as a “Green” building, which will significantly reduce its monthly utility costs.

This is all part of the global shift designed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, eliminate pollution and promote green energy alternatives. So, even though solar roofing isn’t cheaper than other current options, it may be a practical alternative for some energy conscious consumers.

The Bottom Line

But here’s the bottom line: although the installation includes materials and the removal of your old roof, taxes, fees and additional construction costs such as skylight replacements and structural upgrades are not included.

Even if someone decides to purchase Tesla’s Solar Roofing, most Americans live in their homes for less than a decade before selling. This means the majority of homeowners who purchase the new product will have relocated long before the investment pays for itself.

This feature is made possible by using two types of glass tile, solar tile and non-solar tile. Both appear the same from street level.

It’ll be interesting to see how much success the automaker has selling to different markets, with a price tag that can range from $30,000 to upwards of a $100,000 per installation.

I guess the market niche for Tesla’s solar roof product is that it turns sunlight into electricity, while maintaining the appearance of a traditional shingled roof. Nowadays, some solar panels cost less than $3 per watt for installation, and can pay-off in more than half the time (7-10 years) than the projection for a Tesla solar shingles roof.

Made with tempered glass, this product, unfortunately, will likely be limited to the more affluent suburb market.

So far, other companies have had little success incorporating solar technology into roofing tiles or shingles. As for the bigger picture, it remains questionable if the automaker’s newest gimmick will appeal to consumers as much as its vehicles do.

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