Real Estate Investing

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Days on the Market

Number of days on the market is the ‘other number’ to look at.

days on the market

When looking at comparable properties to see how much to list your property for rent, you not only have to look at the listing price, but also the number of days the property has been listed.  A property listed for $1500 per month and sitting vacant for a year is worth $0 that year.  The same property listed for $1000 per month and leased after one week is worth $12,000 that year.  The rental rate is not determined by what you think it should rent for or the exorbitant rates listed for similar properties.

The rental rate is how much the new tenant agrees to pay when they sign the lease and put down the deposit.  Nothing else.

Recently, we had a new buyer believe they could get higher rent then what we were getting.  The $900 per month didn’t seem like enough when there are similar properties listed in the neighborhood for $1200 – $1400 per month.  But if you look at the other number, number of days on the market, those properties had been listed for 9 months to over a year.

I’d rather have the $900 per month and my $10,800 per year, than $0.  Vacancy kills real estate investments.

Look online to get a ballpark range of what to list your property for.  Start on the high end and then lower it every few days until you are getting enough phone calls.  In this ‘owners’ market for rentals, there will be plenty of leads once you get the right price point.

For expert property management in North Tampa, Florida contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management

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It’s Not You, It’s Not Your Home, It’s Your Real Estate Agent

pile of cash

See this pile of cash? It doesn’t belong to you and you know why? Your realtor is being unrealistic and greedy about your property.

We have a client who is interested in a townhome in a particular area. We have one in this neighborhood and know without a doubt the competition is over-priced. Rentals sit 6-months, 8-months, 1-year or longer vacant. Why? Your rental is over-priced. Period.

I called a realtor to ask about a rental that has been listed and vacant for 6 months to see if the owner was flexible in the price. I told her that I had a great client interested in the home, but wanted to pay a more reasonable rent for the unit. With disgust, I was told that the building covered all utilities which was included in the rent. I told her I knew that was not true because we have the exact same property in the neighborhood. Well not the same. Our is updated and upgraded. She then back-peddled and said well the owner wants to rent it furnished only. On the MLS listing, it states “furnished, but will consider unfurnished.” So the ad was misleading or the realtor was a liar.

I asked again about the price. I stated about the home being listed for 6 months and sitting vacant. Is the owner flexible? Again, I was given the run-around. Never once did she say she would present an offer to the owner.

Can this realtor read minds? I can’t. As property managers, we present all offers to owners. Ultimately the decision lies with you, the owner. You should decide whether to reject or accept an offer. Not a realtor.

I believe putting the owner in the driver-seat is what gives us so many happy clients and great reviews.

I never asked what the commission would be on the property. I never wanted a commission. I wanted to find a home that met my client’s needs.

Did this realtor ever stop and think, “my client has been losing thousands of dollars because his home is sitting vacant?” No. She heard reduced price, saw her commission drop and never consulted the owner. Would the owner accept a lower offer? We will never know because he will never be asked.

My client never saw the property or put an offer in. Why? A realtor discouraged an amazing tenant from a property that needed a renter.

So, this pile of cash continues to sit untouched.

For honest, reliable property management in Pasco, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties, Florida, We Manage Your Investment.

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Real Estate Wins in Tampa Bay

Real Estate Wins

Real Estate Wins

So you have $100K.  What do you do with it?

You could put it in a money market savings account with an average return of 0.30% APY.  After one year you will have earned $300.

You could put it on a CD with an average return of 0.50% APY.  After one year you will have earned $500.

For an IRA, you are still looking at 0.50% APY.  After one year you will have earned $500, but withdraw it early and you will be taxed heavily.

You could buy gold as the commercials will tell you, but gold has doubled in price over the last 2 years and this isn’t 2009.

You could give it to your broker to invest, but the stock market is turbulent and if you are getting a 4-5% return, you are doing better than 95% of investors.  After a great year in the stock market, you will have earned $4,000 – $5,000.

But if you take your $100K and buy a bank owned property.  Let’s say you find a 3 bedroom house in a decent neighborhood and negotiate with the bank for $90K.  You spend another $10K on closing costs and fixing the place up.  You can then rent it for $1200 per month.  In this example, you don’t have a mortgage, since you had $100K to start with, so you only pay taxes and homeowner’s insurance.  Say your taxes for the $90K home are $2000 per year and insurance is $1000 per year.  Your monthly expenses are $250 per month.  Your gross income is $1200.  Your net income is $950.  After one year you will have earned $11,400 for an 11% return on your $100K.  Where else are you going to get that kind of return?

Real Estate also has the advantage of tax breaks through paying a mortgage or deducting expenses on the property.  Appreciation is a thing of the past, but if you buy under market conditions and have the cash flow to hold it for 10 or more years, you will make money when you sell it.

Even in the Great Recession, Real Estate still wins.

For expert property management and real estate services in Tampa, Lutz and Land O’ Lakes, Florida, contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management

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Tampa Investment Property Returns

Tampa Investment Property Returns

Tampa Investment Property Returns

During the peak of the housing boom in 2004-2006, many investors were diving into properties that they knew would not generate a positive cash flow.  Taking a monthly loss on a property was no big deal when they could sell the property three months later and make $30K. The few flippers’ who timed the market right, made a killing, and the rest got killed.

When you buy a property today, it is important to calculate your Tampa Investment Property Returns. You are not building equity only through appreciation, and the property values are going down faster than you can pay the mortgage principal balance. The tough lesson learned from the housing bust is that the cash flow analysis should be the determining factor in purchasing real estate.  The analysis tells you if the property will generate income for you (asset) or cost you money (liability).

If you want to be a real estate investor, you must focus on acquiring assets that generate a passive income.   If you are making money each month, then it does not really matter if the market goes up or down.

In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of when he wanted to buy his first rental property. His ‘rich’ dad refused to invest with him because the property did not generate at least $100 per month of income.  Kiyosaki thought that the property was a good buy because he could eventually raise the rent, the property would appreciate, or other factors would work in his favor, but his ‘rich’ dad knew better.  He knew that things do not always work out the way you plan them and that you make your money when you buy a property, not when you sell.

As a beginning real estate investor, I told my real estate agent that I would not buy anything that did not generate at least $100 in monthly cash flow, but would buy anything that would.  We were able to find 3 properties where the numbers worked out, and I was soon generating a passive income.  When the properties doubled in value two years later, it was a good bonus, now that they have gone back to the value that I originally bought them for, they are still a good investment and continue to generate income.

It is essential that you do a cash flow analysis of any property you are going to buy.  Make sure you talk to a rental manager to determine what the rental rate is for the property and what they think it will be in the future. Factor in EVERY COST of owning the property: mortgage, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, flood insurance, homeowners association dues, maintenance, vacancy, for rent advertising, property management fees, and unexpected emergencies. If you are still generating, at least, $100 per month, then go for it.

Wounds in real estate are usually deep and take a long time to heal.  But if you learn from your mistakes, it can become the valuable experience that will make you a savvy investor.

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Florida leads House Flipping

Florida leads House Flipping

Recent Data from RealtyTrac shows an increase in year over year house flipping.  This is when an investor buys a property and then sells it less than one year later.  The investor usually has to do at least some cosmetic improvements and is likely to make a profit from the sale.

With the increase in flipping, Florida cities dominate the list of the top areas for home flipping.  Florida had record numbers of foreclosures and houses are still not keeping up with demand, so the statistics make sense that there would be an increase.  However, house flipping also reached a peak right before housing crashed in 2008-2009.  Many investors took substantial losses on speculative home flips.

However, house flipping also reached a peak right before housing crashed in 2008-2009.  Many investors took substantial losses on speculative home flips. The current list is showing 25- 50% year over year increases in home flipping in these cities.   To be successful in house flipping, you need to do an effective analysis on what the costs will be for you to purchase, renovate and hold the property and then know what the market will support for a sales price.  Generally a real estate investor is expecting to make at least 25% profit before they take on a house flipping venture.

Before investing you should talk to a local, Lutz, FL real estate and property management company to advise you on purchasing, managing and selling your investment property.

Here are the Florida cities mentioned in the list.

17. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida

 15. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida

14. Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Florida

11. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Florida

9. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida

8. Ocala, Florida

4. Homosassa Springs, Florida

3. Jacksonville, Florida

1. Lakeland-Winter Haven, Florida

tamap reo management
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Tampa REO Management

Tampa REO Management

Relevé Real Estate and Property Management is now your resource for asset management in Tampa and Land O’ Lakes, Florida.  We are teaming with mortgage servicers to provide professional real estate owned or REO management and property preservation.

Services:

  • Property Management
  • REO Disposition
  • Complete Eviction Services
  • Appraisal Review
  • Title Issue Resolution
  • Property Inspections
  • Consulting
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Escrow Tracking

Wikipedia defines real estate owned as the Real estate owned or REO is a term used in the United States to describe a class of property owned by a lender—typically a bank, government agency, or government loan insurer—after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction.[1] A foreclosing beneficiary will typically set the opening bid at a foreclosure auction for at least the outstanding loan amount. If there are no bidders that are interested, then the beneficiary will legally repossess the property. This is commonly the case when the amount owed on the home is higher than the current market value of this foreclosure property, such as with a high loan-to-value mortgage following a real estate bubble. As soon as the beneficiary repossesses the property it is listed on their books as REO and categorized as an asset (non-performing asset).

As soon as a property goes into a distressed status (the borrower/homeowner misses mortgage payments) the beneficiary will want to determine the amount of equity that the property has. A popular method to determine the equity is to obtain a Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) or order an appraisal. Based on the amount of equity that is determined from the BPO, the bank will decide whether to allow a short sale (if requested by the homeowner). If no short sale is requested by the home owner, the beneficiary will continue the foreclosure process. If the beneficiary is unable to sell the property through a short sale or at a foreclosure auction it will now become an REO property.

After a repossession from which the property becomes classified as REO, the beneficiary will go through the process of trying to sell the property on its own or obtain the service of an REO Asset Manager. The beneficiary will remove the liens and other debts on the home and try to resell it to the public, either through future auctions, direct marketing through a real estate broker or by itself. The asset manager may also try to contact REO realtors that specialize in certain ZIP codes to help sell this bank owned property. Real estate investors will often purchase these properties because of discounts offered to compensate for the condition of the property.

Many larger banks and government institutions have REO/asset management departments that field bids and offers, oversee upkeep, and handle sales. Some REO properties on the open market will be listed in MLS by the broker who performed the BPO.

Contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management for REO Management in Lutz & Land O’ Lakes, Florida.

tampa reo management

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5 Reasons to Hire a Property Manager

Hire a Property Manager.  The top 5 reasons on why a professional property management company will benefit you.

Hire a Property Manager

1. Rent Collection and Depositing – not getting the rent check just one month can kill your return on investment. Having to constantly remind tenants that their rent is due or late can be a real pain. A good property manager will have systems in place to effectively collect rent online, charge late fees and maintain on-time payments, notices and evictions.

2. Rates for Rent – A good property management company knows the area they are managing. They know how much your property can be rented for and can keep the vacancy rates and advertising costs as low as possible.

3. Securing Tenants– finding good tenants can be very time-consuming. A property manager can take care of securing all background checks, credit reports, employment verification, and verifications of rent and showing the property. By hiring a property manager, you will not have to deal with tenant disputes, conflict resolution and emergency maintenance.

4. Professional Network. Property managers develop relationships with professionals in related fields, such as maintenance workers, tradesmen, vendors, suppliers and contractors that you do not have. Because of the bulk of business that a property manager gives these professionals, they can provide quality work at a discount.

5. Time – Enjoying your life while just having the rents deposited into your bank account is probably why you got into real estate investing. Real estate income is not passive if you are spending all your time maintaining the property, handling tenants and keeping the books. A Property Manager is an investment, not an expense, you want to own your own time.

Contact Relevé Real Estate for full-service property management in Lutz, Land O’ Lakes and Odessa, Florida.

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How to Find Great Tenants

Find Great Tenants

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how to find great tenants. Over the years I have refined many techniques to develop a solid system to find good tenants frequently, without our clients spending any money on advertising. This is accomplished through leveraging technology to create and distribute great “for rent” ads.

Here is what I suggest:

  • Take great pictures– Use a good digital camera, make sure everything is well lit and highlight any special features. Make sure all turnover maintenance, landscaping and cleaning is done beforehand. Don’t take pictures when it is raining or overcast, these never come out good. Pick a bright, sunny day to make the property show well.
  • Write great ad copy – Include the basic information, features, special offers, and contact information. Highlight any amenities and services included such as pest control or pool and lawn maintenance. Detail nearby schools, parks and entertainment. Use descriptive, delightful words, have a clear reason for why the property is special and a “call to action” for the future tenant to be able to quickly schedule a viewing. The title of your listing should highlight any special offers and should also be “search engine friendly” by using keyword phrases in the title. If a common local search phrase in Google is “ Lutz houses for rent” your title should say -Beautiful Lutz House for Rent (First 1/2 month free!).
  • Create a great ad- you can take your photos and copy over to Postlets where you can create a clean and professional ad. It is free and easy to use.
  • Target your marketProspective tenants are looking online to find their next residence, they are no longer taking the time to drive around neighborhoods or check the local newspaper classifieds. To rent most of our properties all we have needed is a good ad on CraigsList. This should be the cornerstone of your advertising, but also focus on where your prospective tenants are. Do your research, most cities have their own directories such as BradentonRent. If you are trying to rent a student property, list on student housing websites, if you are have a vacation rental, list it on vacation websites, etc.
  • Distribute it – Although most sites do not get much traffic, you will increase your chances of being found on search engines. Postlets will submit your listings to several sites including Craigslist (most popular), Google Products (makes your listing easy to find by submitting directly to the dominant search engine), Front Door, Oodle and more. Here is a list of some other sites I have found useful:stumblehere – addstoall.com – metrowny.com – adpost.com – usfreeads.com – highlandclassifieds.com – kijiji – backpage – sonicexpressmail.com – bluehint.com
  • Update frequently– Post new versions every Friday evening as this will keep your listings at the top of websites and capitalize on the heavy weekend traffic. If you are not getting many calls, sometimes small changes to your ad can make a big difference.
  • Follow up with prospects and schedule viewings quickly- Make it convenient for prospective tenants to view the property and have all paperwork ready to get the application process started.
  • Be flexible– review all offers and be willing to negotiate, in most cases you will make more money annually by renting out the property for $50 less than what you wanted, rather than have it sit vacant for a month.
  • Thorough ScreeningThe standard in the business is to at least do a credit check, background check, verification of employment (VOE) and verification of rent (VOR, if applicable). This will allow you to see their payment history for debts, if there are any criminal records, the ability to pay the rent and their pay history with previous landlords. Thorough screening enables owners and landlords to make educated decisions about who they lease the property to.
  • Set expectations– Educate your new tenants on their responsibilities. Make sure they have a clear understanding of the terms of the lease and how to handle payments and maintenance requests.

For more expert real estate agents contact Relevé Real Estate and Property Management, no strings attached.

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5 Reasons to Avoid a Property Manager

5 Reasons to Avoid a Property Manager

5 Reasons to Avoid a Property Manager

The life of a real estate investor is about creating a passive income and stream and achieving financial independence. If you are managing your own real estate portfolio, you have just created a job for yourself.

When purchasing an investment property, you should factor in an 8-10% monthly management fee, as well as room for unexpected maintenance. Having a great property manager is a sound investment in achieving your goals and owning your time. Although, hiring a bad property manager, can make things very bad, very fast. To help protect your goals and your investment, avoid these property management red flags:

1. No References. Property Management has traditionally been a referral based business and the manager should have strong relationships within the local community. They should be able to provide references from tenants, owners, local organizations or vendors.

2. Unavailable. A property manager’s responsibilities are 24/7. There are problems that will arise at your property on nights, weekends and holidays that will need attention. Make sure your property manager approaches their services this way.

3. Conduct. The property manager should be able to convey confidence in the value of his services, and be professional. If the manager is not professional with you, they probably will not be with your tenants and vendors.

4. Successful Experience. Rather than having many years of experience, look at the amount of successful experience a property manager has. They should be able to give examples of their processes and how they are going to deliver the services they promised. It is important that they can change rapidly with the rental markets, technology and regulations.

5. Sales Pressure. If a property manager is forcing you into making a quick decision or seems desperate for your business, these are signs of running. A good property manager will give you time to collect references, get quotes from competitors and will work with you to determine if the relationship is a good fit.

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Land O Lakes Rental Value

Land O Lakes Rental Value

Land O Lakes Rental Value.  Determining how much you should rent your investment property for is important.  In today’s real estate market, there are a lot of properties listed for rent, so finding comparables is not a problem.

The first thing you should do is determine how much you need to rent the property for to have a good cashflow (add up all of the costs associated, taxes, insurance, association dues, maintenance, property management fees, mortgage).  You want to know where you stand compared to the current market rental rate.  You want your property to generate income for you and be an asset, not a liability.

Next, go to craigslist or do a Google search for the street name + “for rent”.  This should direct you to several comparable properties.  You should look for properties with the same amount of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage.  Some may have pools, be on the water or several acres of land, these rates should be adjusted up or down compared to your property.  Find four or five comparables and then take the average of them.  This gives you a ballpark range for what is reasonable in the area.

Then compare the average rent to the amount you need in order to get a cashflow on the property.Set your rate at what is going to give you the maximum amount of return on investment possible, while still being competitive with the nearby properties.

In today’s market, you definitely need to be in the same range as the comparables.  There is too much supply on the market and your property will not get any attention unless it is priced reasonably.

Once you have your rental rate set, add $25.  This will give you some room to negotiate a solid lease.  Find out your Land O’ Lakes Rental Value by contacting Relevé Real Estate.