Consumer | RISMedia

(TNS)—For millennials who are ready to become homeowners, finding an affordable house in a great community can be challenging. With housing inventory historically low, real estate in major metro areas is at a premium. It’s no surprise, then, that young buyers are moving to the suburbs, according to the 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational […]

The post 5 Great Cities for Millennial Homebuyers appeared first on RISMedia.

3/11/2018 11:02:38 AM

Consumer confidence leapt in February, posting a 130.8 reading in the latest Consumer Confidence Index® from The Conference Board. The Expectations reading of the Index rose to 109.7, while the Present Situation reading rose to 162.4. January’s reading was 124.3. “Consumer confidence improved to its highest level since 2000 (Nov. 2000, 132.6) after a modest […]

The post Consumer Confidence Leaps appeared first on RISMedia.

3/5/2018 3:04:11 PM

(TNS)—Wait, what? You didn’t file your income tax return yet, but, suddenly, somehow, you spotted a bunch of money in your bank account from a refund? Seriously? Believe it or not, criminals are using real bank accounts in a fast-spreading scam that could gain more traction as we move into prime refund season, according to […]

The post Tax Scammers Use Refund Ruse appeared first on RISMedia.

3/5/2018 3:03:26 PM

In 2017, multiple regions were severely impacted by natural disasters—and the real estate industry has been affected by them all. But one event which often occurs across the U.S. has largely been out of the limelight. Sinkhole activity typically occurs in areas of Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. […]

The post Sinkholes: Avoiding Collapsed Transactions appeared first on RISMedia.

3/4/2018 12:06:47 PM

Since Amazon announced its search for a second headquarters site, experts have speculated on what city will become home to HQ2. In January, the company narrowed down its selections to 20. The area Amazon chooses can expect its economy to surge, and, in the housing market, an influx of new residents. According to experts recently […]

The post HQ2: How the Experts Think Amazon’s Decision Will Shake Out appeared first on RISMedia.

3/1/2018 3:38:14 PM

Is blockchain the future of real estate transactions? So far, only a few contracts have closed through Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency; however, with offerings being introduced, that could quickly change. Aperture Real Estate Ventures, a real estate technology and investment firm based in Los Angeles, Calif., claims it has launched the first-ever real […]

The post Property Coin: Crypto Investors Looking to Fix and Flip appeared first on RISMedia.

2/28/2018 3:18:45 PM

The stock market has been on a volatile patch after plunging nearly 1,600 points at the beginning of February—and, while stable now, consumers and investors are watching closely. With many public pension plans tied to stocks, the incoming retirement community is hoping for a full recovery to recoup losses. Many public pensions have already reported […]

The post Volatile Market Threatens Retirement Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia.

2/26/2018 2:57:16 PM

This year’s tax season is bringing to light taxpayer confusion surrounding The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which could impact homeowners in next year’s tax filing. The IRS is taking steps to clarify what the new provisions mean for the real estate industry and homeowners. One of the most misunderstood provisions in the […]

The post IRS Clarifies Home Equity Loan Tax Deductions Under New Law appeared first on RISMedia.

2/25/2018 12:05:28 PM

(TNS)—World events are conspiring to make it more expensive for you to borrow money to buy a house. Mortgage rates have increased for five consecutive weeks, according to Bankrate data, bringing interest on a 30-year fixed rate loan to 4.44 percent—the highest level in 11 months—while home prices continue to rise due to a lack […]

The post Why Your Mortgage Is Getting More Expensive appeared first on RISMedia.

2/21/2018 2:48:48 PM

(TNS)—Your day burns brightly on both ends. You prod your kids out of bed at daybreak, get them dressed, fed and off to school. You drive to work, endure meetings, colleagues, power lunches, memos and strategy sessions, only to return home through gridlocked traffic just as the sun sets, beg your kids to eat dinner, […]

The post Survey Finds Hidden Costs of Homeownership appeared first on RISMedia.

2/19/2018 3:04:35 PM

10 Biggest Home-Buying Mistakes

David Weekley, CEO of Houston-based David Weekley Homes, is one of the country's largest home builders and also the author of a new book, How to Buy a Home Without Getting Hammered.


Based on 25 years of home-building experience for 30,000 people, Weekley offers these 10 biggest mistakes in home buying:

Not doing your homework. Knowledge is power. Tremendous information is available on the Internet. There is no excuse for entering the market unprepared.

Trying to make a shrewd investment. People need to buy based on what fits their family. Don't try to guess what will happen to the market.

Choosing a poor location. Even within a neighborhood, location matters. Is it on the busiest street? Is there a shopping center out the back window?

Overlooking an inferior floor plan for an attractive exterior. It may have gorgeous curb appeal, but you don't live on the lawn. No matter how attractive the exterior, you need a livable home.

Overlooking how the house will function for your family. How do you really live? Do you really need a formal dining room and living room? Would you be happier with an eat-in kitchen and a great room and a den to use as a home office? The house only needs to fit one family -- yours.

Not having the home properly inspected in a resale.This is not the time for surprises. Get an inspection from a qualified, respected professional.



Not checking out the builder's reputation on a new home.Talk to three or four people who live in the builder's homes and see what they have to say. If one builder did all the houses in a neighborhood, talk to the residents and get their input. It's also a great way to see what your neighbors would be like.

Not getting what you want because you're impatient. This is a big decision. You need time. Impatient decisions can lead to mistakes.

Waiting for a better market and interest rates. Warren Buffett says the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.

Not buying at all. If you can afford a home and you don't make that purchase, you'll lose the benefit of tax deductions, building home equity and the appreciation in value.

Top 7 Tips for New Real Estate Investors

By Eric Bramlett

As a real estate broker, I meet plenty of people at dinner parties who, when the subject comes up, mention that they are real estate investors. The conversation will go on for a bit, and I typically classify the person in question as either a true investor, or a real estate "investor."

True investors typically have a number of transactions under their belt, realize that they're still learning, and are open to any insight I can provide - and I am always open to their insight. The real estate "investor" typically has never actually taken the leap and bought a property purely for investment, doesn't realize the difficulties of real estate investment, and proceeds to overwhelm me with their "expert knowledge." What they should do, is listen.

1. It's not as easy as it looks on TV

"Flip This House" is a fantastic television program - that's about as realistic for the average investor as "Sponge Bob Square Pants." The problem with TV real estate investment programs is that they downplay the work involved, and accentuate the money made by the investors. "Flip This House" will show you a tidy $150,000 profit wrapped up in a 30 minute episode. What they're not showing you is the work done to find the property under market value, build the industry relationships necessary to tackle a sizeable project, the skills necessary to manage that project, and the market knowledge to accurately predict that properties final sales price. Bottom line is: investing is hard. It can be, however, very lucrative.

2. Walk before you run.

So many "investors" decide one day that it's time for them to make millions in the market, and begin looking for that perfect flip, or perfect rental property - with a hefty price tag. Would you walk out of your door today to run a marathon without training? Absolutely not! Investing is very similar. There are MANY mistakes you can make, and one big mistake can turn an investment sour. The best way to minimize your risk is to start out small, and reduce your variable costs. If you're buying an income producing property, purchase one that's already rented out - preferably to long term tenants. That way, you can do research on a tenant's credit worthiness BEFORE you've taken the leap and bought the property. You'll also know exactly how much cash flow your new property will generate. If you're buying a rehabilitation project, it's often the carrying costs that can overwhelm a new investor. If, at all possible, buy your rehab project as your home - that way you can take your time without paying the consequences. If that's not possible, then build in PLENTY of carrying costs - around 6 months worth. Once you have a few investments under your built, you'll be able to accurately predict your variable costs, keep them lower, and make more profit.

3. For Long Term Wealth - It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint.

Many new "investors" come to me with the business model of "buying old houses and fixing them up." This seems to be the easiest way to make money, but it's not. Flipping houses takes skill, foresight, market knowledge, and market resources. Furthermore, flipping houses is hard work, and results in quick profits. Unless you take advantage of 1031 exchange, flipping houses results in short term capital gains. The true path to long-term wealth lies in income producing properties. Purchase an income property in a market you think will appreciate, hire a property management company, and forget about it. Let the check come in the mail once a month - this "mailbox money" will turn into your best friend. After you've let the property rent for 3, 5, even 7 years, check its value and you should be pleasantly surprised! The key here is that you didn't have to put in very much work - you merely found a great property in an appreciating market, and let a passive investment earn big returns.

4. Use a Realtor You Trust - And Don't Go After Their Commission.

Author Robert Kyosaki says, "Corporations have boards of directors. You should have one, too." Good Realtors earn a sizeable income - and they're worth every penny. The keyword here is "Good" because the real estate industry is like any other - there are plenty of bad agents. Don't hire any agent that crosses your path; Make sure and interview plenty of Realtors and find one that works with investors, and personally invests. When you find your "Realtor Advisor" don't go after their commission. Any good Realtor will have plenty of clients and you want to make sure that you're not playing second fiddle to them.

5. Put Together a Business Plan, And Stick To It

The only time you can't POSSIBLY lose money is before you invest it. That's why putting together a solid business plan is the smartest action step you can take. Decide the type of property you plan to buy, what it will cost to purchase it, what it will cost you to hold the property, and how much income the process will produce for you. Most investors have a "formula" for buying properties - develop, borrow, or steal one. Write EVERYTHING down on paper and analyze every possible expense. Plan for the worst and anticipate how you will avoid the worst. Once you've put together your business plan and investing "formula" - Stick to it!!! Execution is key to successful investing.

6. When You See Something That Looks Good - Take Action!

I've worked with many investors that have excellent business plans, and great formulae, but who refuse to pull the trigger on something that looks good. There are MANY ways to back out of a contract, and if you hesitate when you see a good deal - another investor will already have tied the property up in their contract. In Texas , you typically pay $100 for a 10 day option period. You have 10 days to terminate the contract for ANY reason. In my opinion, not losing a good deal is well worth tying up MANY questionable deals at $100 a pop.

7. Try And Talk Yourself Out of the Deal

After you've put together your business plan and contracted a property, you need to look at every negative aspect of the property. Plan for the worst and hope for the best! Oftentimes, planning for the worst involves walking away from the transaction. After you've invested the time finding the property and the money to contract and inspect the property, you might feel emotionally invested. However, don't let these feelings get in the way of making a smart financial decision. If you look at every possible negative that can happen in the transaction and you will still make a profit, then go for it. You can always minimize the negative variables. However, if the worst does happen, you will still have all the clothes on your back. No matter how hard it is, if it looks like you COULD lose money, walk away.

There's big money in real estate investment, and there's the potential for big losses, as well. Someone giving themselves the title of "investor" far from makes them an actual investor. Before you take the plunge, talk to plenty of educated investors with experience, and follow these simple steps.