Fix and flip also know as ‘renovate to sell‘ ventures are top of mind for many entrepreneurs, but this professional endeavor isn’t as easy or clear-cut as many television programs would have you believe. Fixing up an old, dilapidated house and turning it into a dream residence is much more difficult than one might anticipate—and doesn’t always offer the profits promised by the numerous “overnight successes” you’ve probably seen in your research. That’s not to say that pursuing a career in home flipping is a pipe dream—it just takes a great deal of determination, plenty of elbow grease, and a tiny bit of luck. Consider these fix and flip dos and don’ts before you head out to purchase that fixer upper.
Fix and Flip Dos
Do: Buy the Right Home
Picking the right property is a crucial part of the process, and can make or break your success in the home flipping industry. Your first priority: location. Consider the neighborhood, crime rates, proximity to amenities and public transportation, school district—will this appeal to your target buyer? Also assess the physical characteristics of the rehab property; the ideal fix and flip home is similar in size or bigger than other homes in the area, but not overly big—buyers won’t buy a mansion if it’s surrounded by shacks. Avoid buying a home sight unseen during an auction, at least for your first fix and flip venture, because even experienced flippers can be taken aback by the challenge of a sight unseen property purchase.
Do: Hire a Professional to Tackle Repair Work
Demolition sounds fun, but there’s more to a fix and flip than taking a sledgehammer to the wall. Find a trusted contractor before touring any property; this individual can help you estimate the cost of repairs immediately—before you’ve invested hundreds of thousands into a fix and flip home. You may also want to hire vacant property services before people move in as well to make sure that the furniture is protected and kept in the correct places
Do: Hire Stagers to Make the Place Look Its Best
Once the house is ready for viewing, make sure you hire an experienced and reliable stager to ‘dress your home’ with furniture and knick knacks. Staged homes typically sell at a much faster rate than vacant homes. This small investment could see you pulling in thousands more and selling your home faster—a must when it comes to fix and flip ventures.
Do: Price Your Home Correctly
You’ve put in the work and you’re proud of the transformation you’ve seen in your very first fix and flip. Don’t let all that work go to waste by pricing your listing too high or too low. Do your research to figure out the sweet spot for your fixer upper. You lose money every day the home is left on the market, so price it competitively and get it sold in a jiffy.
Fix and Flip Don’ts
Don’t: Forgo the Right Financing Methods
The promise of profits isn’t airtight, and you need to consider that as you search for a property to purchase. To get started on a fix and flip, you need cash up front. If you don’t have the personal capital to put forward, you’ll likely need to pursue funding through alternative means—as traditional lenders and banks aren’t apt to give a loan to an inexperienced flipper (or an experienced one for that matter). Depending on where you live, you may consider private lending. New York flippers might have to pursue financing from Rochester hard money lenders, while a California flipper may choose to request money from an angel investor.
Don’t: Blow Your Budget Out of the Gate
You’ve purchased the house, assembled the team, and you’re ready to get started—don’t blow your budget on the first day in the wake of your enthusiasm. Stick to your budget by moving quickly but efficiently. Find coupons, shop for material deals, and set aside some money in the case of an emergency.
Don’t: Buy Every Finish Under the Sun
Not every home needs marble countertops and bidets in the bathroom—and not every homeowner is willing to pay for such luxury finishes. Know the neighborhood, consider your target buyer, and pick finishes sparingly.
Making your mark on the fix and flip industry isn’t easy, but these dos and don’ts can have you on your way.
Toughest Rentals Rules, Landlords on Notice
Just when Kiwi (New Zealand) landlords were coming to terms with tougher measures, the government has announced even stricter regulations. After passing the Healthy Homes Guarantee, ministers have enforced a series of stipulations, which are likely to make landlording more challenging than ever before.
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act
What does it mean for landlords and tenants?
Private landlords in New Zealand have been given a deadline to ensure their properties meet the standards set out by the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act. This set of guidelines relates to minimum standards for heating, insulation, moisture control, ventilation, and drainage.
Landlords have until July 2021 to make sure their properties are compliant. NZHousing
What rental properties must have
The Healthy Homes Guarantee Act states that rental homes must have:
- Heating systems that can warm the main living areas to a minimum of 18°
- Floor and ceiling insulation that meets the 2008 Building and Code
- Kitchens and bathrooms with extractor fans
- A ground moisture barrier to prevent damp
- Suitable drainage and guttering
- Anti-draft measures
On the surface, the measures appear to hit landlords and benefit tenants, but the added costs of running rental properties will be passed on to tenants.
Moderate weekly increases are already in force, but landlords are facing additional costs, which could spiral into the thousands over the course of the next few years. When prices go up, this usually means one thing: tenants pay more.
While many landlords were considering weekly increases as a viable option for covering elevated fees, a new rule change is set to throw a spanner in the works. It has been announced that rent changes will only be permitted once a year. So, where does this leave Kiwi landlords, and are they facing a raw deal in comparison to property owners in other countries?
How does New Zealand stack up?
New Zealand is not the only country making changes to try and improve living standards and rental conditions. In the UK, the US, and Australia, there have been policy changes, which are designed to enforce a minimum standard.
Renting is becoming increasingly popular, and in many cases, people are signing long-term contracts, or even opting to rent for life.
Australia – Rental Properties Measures
To cater for the evolving market and emerging trends, Australian policymakers have introduced a raft of measures that will undoubtedly enhance life as a tenant. Landlords in Victoria, for example, will only be able to refuse pets through a tribunal, and tenants will have the right to make cosmetic changes, for example, hanging shelves, without written consent.
Fee changes, if applicable, will also be approved once a year, rather than every 6 months. Private rental properties will also be required to satisfy standards related to security, privacy, insulation, and energy efficiency. Any tenant that moves into a home that doesn’t comply has the right to order urgent repairs or modifications.
United Kingdom – New Rental Homes Regulations
In the UK, new regulations could pave the way for minimum terms of 3 years and the abolition of tenancy fees. Landlords will also be required to ensure their properties meet eco-friendly criteria that are designed to boost energy efficiency and save tenants money.
The majority of measures across the board are focused on heating and insulation. There’s no doubt that tenants in all countries will benefit from improved systems and advanced technology, but there is always a cost to bear when policies change.
By increasing running costs for landlords, there’s a risk that tenants will end up paying more, making renting less accessible and affordable. There’s also a very strong possibility of landlords selling up. While this may provide opportunities for first-time buyers, it could also contribute to a lack of affordable housing for those who are not in a position to buy.
Further misery for Kiwi landlords?
Many private property owners in New Zealand are people who have invested in bricks and mortar as a means of boosting their income on a long-term basis. Most have a small number of properties, rather than an extensive portfolio, and the consensus is that they won’t be able to continue to profit from renting out their properties as a result of the new healthy homes measures.
When life already seemed to be getting tougher by the day for those landlords, another potential hurdle was revealed. A decision on capital gains tax is imminent. At best, this will represent an extension of current ring-fencing rules, but there’s a risk the announcement will create much wider-ranging problems for landlords.
Being a landlord is undoubtedly tougher and more expensive than ever before. Recent changes in New Zealand reflect trends in other countries, but this won’t provide a huge amount of comfort for Kiwi landlords facing higher costs and an ever-growing list of demands and requirements.
How Do Trees Affect Your Property Value?
Sometimes when we have money available to invest in our property, we are not sure or stuck on which areas of the house we should prioritize for investment in order to raise the property’s value. Trees are one investment many people tend to overlook. They can either add to your property value or reduce its value.
In this guide, we will look at arguably the most overlooked subject when it comes to adding value to your home and preventing trees from causing problems that may reduce the value of your home.
Topics we will touch on include:
- Checking that your trees are healthy
- Challenges homeowners have with neighbours and trees on boundaries
- Avoiding possible structural damage caused by tree roots
- How trees can block sunlight to key areas in your garden
When it comes to adding value to your property, trees can really make a difference and the investment is not as much as other more obvious home investment opportunities such as putting in new windows or refitting your kitchen. We will look at the choices you have and refer you to some guides and stories of people that have managed to add a reasonable amount of value to their property simply by hiring an arborist.
By the time you have finished reading this article, you should be able to understand how you can take advantage of using a tree service provider so when you come to sell the house the return on investment will be well worth your while.
1. Check Your Trees Are Healthy
Tree health is very important because if you don’t notice a tree is dying, then an appraiser coming to value your home most likely will. Tree removal will go down as work that needs doing on the house. In this case, a dying tree will need removing and as such the maximum cost of removal will be taken into consideration. That cost will be subtracted from the value of your home.
Another point worth making here is that you should have a qualified tree surgeon come into your home and certify that all your trees are in good health. It is additional paperwork that shows an expert arborist has assessed the trees in your garden and confirms they are in good health.
A healthy tree could be worth up to $10,000, so it worth getting a tree surgeon to come in and appraise your trees in your garden.
Take a look at this blog explaining how trees increase property value.
2. Challenges homeowners have with neighbours and trees on boundaries
Some people may have an issue with your tree growing into their garden – especially if the tree often sheds its dead leaves. There are ways to solve this issue. You can continuously cut/prune the tree yourself or hire an arborist to prune the true in such a way that the branches do not stretch into your neighbour’s garden.
Another big challenge is if you have a tree that is spreading its roots into your neighbour’s garden. Worst still the roots could be causing structural damage to your neighbour’s wall, driveway, or even their house. We will go into the subject of tree roots and structural damage in the next section.
Lastly, if your tree grows to high or thick, you may receive complaints from your neighbours because the tree could be blocking their sunlight. We will also look deeper into this issue in a later section.
You can read more about neighbours and overhanging branches here.
3. Avoiding possible structural damage caused by tree roots
One of the issues with trees is the unseen structural damage they can cause says Nicolas Ford of Canopy Trees. The damage could be to the property foundation, plumbing works, garden paths as well as other garden infrastructure. For this reason, you should consider seeking the advice of an arborist in order to make sure your trees have not caused any damage you may not know about.
If you come to sell the house in the future and there are trees near to the building, you can be sure that someone is going to ask to have the roots checked to make sure that they have not caused any damage. Should the inspector find that there has been damage caused or that there is potential for a tree to cause damage, this can severely reduce the market value of your property.
The reason trees can have a negative effect on your property value is down to the cost of tree removal, disposal, and the landscaping in the area where the tree was removed.
4. How trees can block sunlight to key areas in your garden
There are both positives and negatives to trees blocking sunlight in your garden. On the positive side you can plant the right type of trees to give certain areas of your garden shade on hot sunny days. People that plant trees with this strategy in mind do so usually because they have quite an open garden with not much to get in the way of the sun.
In addition to this, there could be windows in your house that the sun shines through and makes some rooms in the house unbearably hot. The only option is usually to put a blind or curtains there, but if the room only has this one window, then it will always remain dark. A strategically places tree will allow you to let the light in but block the hot rays from the sun overheating the room.
Over to the negative points and trees can also be a burden on the amount of sunlight coming into your garden. Some of the main issues you will come across with trees is disputes and complaints from neighbours about trees blocking sunlight and reducing the value of their home because your trees are negatively affecting their garden light.
If your house is the one having its sunlight blocked by your neighbour’s tree, then check out this blog here about neighbour’s tree blocking sunlight.
Where Do You Begin?
It is always hard to know where to begin when it comes to investing in trees. This is understandable and you are not alone because not many people are qualified when it comes to how trees grow or where to properly plant trees.
The best place to begin your research is online. As you can see from this guide, there are plenty of links to information provided by professionals on their websites to help you understand more about what it is you are hoping to achieve by investing money in your house.
Look for companies that offer ‘free no obligation quotes and design plans’. This will give you the opportunity to ask for 2 or 3 quotes so you can get an idea of the best price you can get the job done for. Make sure you use arborist companies that have good feedback. Even better than this, if you have friends that have had similar work done to their property, then go and take a look at the workmanship first-hand for yourself.
Expert-Approved Tips When Investing In Real Estate
Investing in real estate can be very rewarding. However, it can equally be a traumatic experience if you go in blindly. These tips will hopefully act as a guiding light as you navigate your way through this interesting venture.
1. Have a Plan
Create a business plan to gauge your successes and failures. A business plan also helps you handle the unpredictability of the real estate market. Include the following elements in your plan:
- Your goal: Set a goal that is suited to your finances and interests.
- Strategy: Find a strategy that will drive you towards your goal.
- Procedure: How you handle day-to-day activities or long term events. This can include things like how you manage your time, how you spend petty cash, how you handle revenue/windfalls etc.
Planning also makes you an attractive prospect to private investors who may want a stake in your business.
2. Acquire Information
Staying informed goes twofold:
- Learning as a newbie.
- Keeping yourself informed when you become more experienced.
As you enter the real estate industry, sponge on all the information you can from podcasts, books, blogs, videos, you name it. As a newbie, advices like these 5 real estate investing tips can really help out. Get recommendations of the appropriate learning material from the experts.
Once you strike out and become a market player, keep updating your information reserves with ongoing market trends. Watch news touching on the industry and observe how experts are reacting to it. Socialize with other investors to get the latest relevant news. Which brings us to the next point.
3. Build relationships with other Investors
Even when you establish yourself and achieve a level of success in the real estate investment arena, you still need the input of other investors (and even the process of establishing yourself you would have needed them anyway). For example, they might have information that you are not privy to and having an alliance with them will grant you access to it. As you build a network or business relationships in general, the key things to focus on are:
- Find people who align with your investment strategy
- Offer them some value back and not merely expecting the exchange to go one-way. For example, you can share your insights with them as they share theirs with you.
There are multiple avenues where you can find other like-minded real estate investors. Social media is one platform where you can source connections to build your network. Facebook groups and relevant forums can be particularly helpful in this regard. A reliable social circle can propel you to greater heights.
4. Overestimate Your budget allocations
Budgetary projections in real estate have time and again proven to be mere pointers. Things tend to not go as planned when it comes to budgeting in this industry. Overruns and delays are rampant in construction and you must cater for them to avoid crashing. A good number of experts will actually tell you to double your estimations to be on the safe side and avoid getting blindsided.
5. Find Mentors
Learning the ins and outs of the market on the fly is a good way to gather experience but having someone who will guide you is important. A mentor will shave off inordinate amounts of time off your learning curve. They can also help you avoid potentially catastrophic pitfalls and help you expand your circle. Just ensure that you make it worthwhile for them by following their advice and giving value to them in return in some way.
There are more things you need to take care of as you try your hand at real estate investing. Hopefully, these tips will set you on your way to a fruitful venture. Give it time and you will be a success.
Lemon in the Driveway? 4 Things That Will Trash Your Home’s Value
When it’s time to sell your home, there are a few factors that will determine what you’ll get. Property value, market value, and much more.
But what determines your property’s value?
There are many things that can help, or hinder, the value of your home. Some things you can control, other’s you cannot. To find out what makes property value decrease, keep reading.
What Makes Property Value Decrease?
Whether selling or thinking about investing, you should know what decreases home value. Here is a list of things for which to look.
1. Your Neighborhood
The state of your neighborhood isn’t yours to control, and that makes things difficult. It doesn’t seem fair that your home value could hinge on what others do with theirs. But, it’s an unfortunate truth.
If your neighbors have trashy yards, or if the HOA doesn’t enforce standards, it can look bad for everyone. Before buying a new home, take a drive around to look at the homes. You should also talk with the HOA and find out how strict they are.
2. Your Curb Appeal
What hurts property value most? Your curb appeal plays a large part, and it’s something you can control.
Curb appeal can hinder value through a few different ways:
- Your yard– weeds, yellow grass, and dirt patches
- Your paint– peeling paint or a bad color
- House siding– mold growing on siding
- Your Roof– missing shingles, wrong shingle type or color
- Your vehicle– chipped paint, non-working car, car parts
These things might cost money to fix, but they’ll be worth it. Fix up your yard, paint your house, and protect your paint job on the car. It might not seem like it, but these are factors in how people perceive how you’ve treated the property.
3. The Interior
When you get an appraisal, they’ll look at every nook to value your home. Any water damage, cracks, or foundation issues are recorded. But the interior paint jobs and installations will be too.
Before getting an appraisal, make sure you remove all mold and water damage. Also, check the faucets, the hoses, and appliances to make sure everything is in working order. Remember that everything counts when it comes to valuing your home.
4. The Surrounding Market
When it comes to the value of your home, the value of other people’s homes factors in. The market value around you is a direct reflection of how much you can expect to get.
If you’re able to put in an extreme amount of work, it can raise the percentage. But, in most cases, your home won’t exceed the area in which it’s selling. That’s something you should often keep in mind before buying.
More About Selling Property
Knowing what makes property value decrease gives you an edge. You’ll know what to look for, and it can put you ahead of other homeowners looking to sell. It’s all about being wise to what contributes to property value.
Want more advice on selling your property? Here are some remodeling ideas to help your home’s value.
Marketing Tips for New Landlords
Acquiring a rental property and getting through the legalities is only the start of becoming a landlord.
If you’re going to turn a profit on your investment property one of the next, most tedious tasks of all are finding the right tenants to occupy the unit.
Sure, there are thousands of renters in the area looking for the perfect place to call home, but getting them interested in your place goes beyond putting a for sale sign in the window.
If you’re going to attract reputable, long-term tenants who will treat your property with respect, pay rent in a timely fashion, and make the property investment experience as smooth as possible, you’re going to need to draw them in. Here’s how:
Get Your Property in Check
Tenants are looking for a place to reside that will create the most convenient for them.
Though they’re not legally responsible for the maintenance and repairs that homeowners are required to cover, they don’t want to move into a location where there are a lot of issues.
Before you can attract tenants to your rental property, you need to make sure it is in check. This not only means making sure that it passes city inspection standards and is up to code but making changes such as those listed below to appeal to your target renters:
If the appliances on the premises are still in pretty good condition, make sure that they are serviced.
Have the vents cleaned and filters changed on the HVAC system, clean and change filters on the refrigerator, clean and maintain the oven and stove, and have the hot water heater serviced.
Clean the property
No one wants to move into a unit that they have to do a deep clean on before they can unpack and get comfortable. So, have the premises cleaned thoroughly from the inside out.
Clean carpets, wash walls, declutter cabinets, mop, vacuum, and whatever else needs to be done to make sure the rental property is move-in ready.
The outside of the house matters just as much as the inside. A property that looks unkempt from the outside won’t interest the quality tenants. Tend to exterior maintenance regularly to avoid the small jobs becoming full replacement at a much greater cost. Keep the roof maintained, gutters cleaned, and regularly check the cladding.
Depending on who your ideal tenant is, consider landscaping, but first check sites that offer tips like Nature’s Seed blog. Adding the right amount of low maintenance greenery, and maybe a deck and some outdoor lighting can entice the tenant you want in your property.
Price it Just Right
The rental market is very competitive as more individuals move away from homeownership for the convenience of renting.
That being said, your rental rates need to be attractive to prospective tenants while also being lucrative for you.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your rental unit:
Consider what needs to be covered
There are a few things you’ll want the tenant rent to cover to prevent your asset from becoming a liability. This includes the mortgage (if necessary), maintenance, repairs, and small profit.
To price your rental unit, first take a look at other properties in the area that are the same structure as your own. Pricing just below theirs gives you an advantage.
Are there conveniences a tenant might get with renting from you as opposed to another property? Did you upgrade the kitchen? Do they get a better view? Are they closer to public transportation or tourist attractions?
Finding the Right Platform
Now that your property is up to par (both structurally and aesthetically) and you’ve decided on an attractive price, the next step to marketing your rental property is finding the right platforms to reach your ideal tenants.
Draft a detailed property description along with key benefits and tons of pictures then decide where you’ll post.
Here are a few suggestions:
Free classified sites such as Craigslist
Rental sites like Trulia, Zillow, or Apartments.com
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
If you’re going to find the perfect long-term tenants for your new rental property you’ll have to work hard. In order to draw in reputable renters, you must have a property that is intact, aesthetically appealing, convenient, and priced efficiently.
Once you have that, it’s all about finding the right platforms to reach your audience. Hopefully, these tips will put you just a bit closer to finding a resident that will treat your property with care for years to come.
Property Sector Predictions For 2019
With 2019 now in full swing, it’s safe to say that things are already shaping up to take a dramatic turn in the property sector. Those changes will affect everyone from homeowners and tenants to landlords and property investors. As such, staying on top of the challenge is vital.
When it comes to predictions – here’s what to expect from the property sector in 2019, at home and abroad.
People Will Be Happy To Rent
Changes to government legislation in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand (among other countries) are due to put tenants in a far better position than ever before.
While this will force landlords and property investors to alter their approach, it will also bring a sense of long term stability.
Longer Tenancy Agreements
In Germany, where more people rent (circa 90% in Berlin) tenancy agreements are very long by our standards, with a minimum term of two years and some stretching to 30 years! The periodic tenancy is prolific in our neck of the woods however change is in the wind.
Other countries have taken notice and law changes include the removal of short-term agreements, giving tenants the opportunity to stay for three years without landlords selling up (UK). Expect longer tenancies to be a discussion elsewhere like in Australia and New Zealand.
Another reason people will be happy renting is the inclusion of favourable pet clauses and allowing them to have pets regardless of landlord wishes (Victoria). While this action horrifies Landlords, it’s most likely to popular in cat loving New Zealand where per capita cat ownership is the highest.
Improved Living Standards
A number of other reforms will improve living standards while protecting their living status. Most landlords are discerning enough to make sure their rental properties are indeed habitable no matter what the climate. However there are horror stories in the media that rightly shame uncaring landlords for their appalling rental properties.
When combined with suggestions that house price may fall in some places due to Brexit and the political landscape, renting will sound more appealing than ever. For landlords, the initial work may come as a shock, but it should produce a fairly stable investment down the line.
New Build Properties Will Feel Extra Appealing
The demand for housing is growing. When combined with the fact that tenants will seek mid-term stability, they will want safe and comfortable housing.
Many will see the new types of property like co-living micro flats and new builds as the perfect solution, and this extra demand can work wonders for investors, and the entire market as old building are remodelled and new developments funded.
For new investors, help to buy schemes are often geared towards new housing too, which can provide an even greater financial incentive.
While London may be a little less attractive, investors may also find that multi-property investments become far more attractive as only a percentage will need to be occupied to break even. The use of interest-only mortgages for this purpose may soar.
Newer properties are shown to sell more quickly than older ones while owners will also require less repair work once the transition from landlord to seller arrives. So, for the long-term as well as the short-term investment, new builds can become the norm.
Uncertainty Will Create Opportunities
This year is certain to be an exciting one, wherever you reside. Political and economic developments will no doubt take their toll on property prices and costs like maintenance, insurance, rates etc.
Political and Economic Developments
Would you want to predict the outcome of Brexit and how that’s going to change the housing market? It’s anybody’s guess right now.
Some experts forecast economic downturn and widespread losses, while others predict a more positive outcome with real estate prices rising, so it’s really quite impossible to say exactly what’s coming.
Price falls could give investors the perfect chance to expand and diversify their portfolios, particularly as most experts feel that prices will climb in 2020 and beyond irrespective of what happens over the next 12 months.
So in the immediate term we could be looking at anything up to 5% either way. It’s the homeowners whom need to be more aware of price fluctuations especially if their equity in the property is 10% or less.
Reducing debt is always a good focus for homeowners, especially those on fixed incomes and large mortgages.
Uncertainties in other countries, combined with exchange rates, should also bring opportunities in foreign markets. Many investors may be best served by diversifying their portfolios in this manner, at least until the domestic market has settled.
One way or another, those that capitalise on the possibilities in the right manner should see fantastic returns.
- Buy2 years ago
3 Great Settings For Your New Home
- Investment2 weeks ago
Toughest Rentals Rules, Landlords on Notice
- Legal9 months ago
How to Deal with Tree-Related Neighbour Disputes in Australia
- Renovation2 weeks ago
Built to Last: What Type of Roof Material is Best for Your Property?
- Finance1 month ago
Stamp Duty: How Does It Work?
- Management2 weeks ago
Top Resources to Develop Your Real Estate Knowledge
- Technology2 months ago
The Future Is Now: 9 of 2019’s Most Spectacular Home Automation Upgrades
- Buy2 weeks ago
Top Reasons to Move to Texas
- Technology2 weeks ago
6 New Apps Tackling The Home Automation Market
- Investment2 months ago
Property Sector Predictions For 2019