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Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Luxury Homes: How to Tell If You’re Getting a Fair Price $1 Million a Week: Starting With Quality Leads Don’t Let Clogged Gutters Wreak Havoc on Your Home As people reach retirement, their current house may simply […]

The post Retirees Turning to Custom Homes to Get the Right Space appeared first on RISMedia.

6/22/2017 4:18:49 PM

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: The Most Expensive Home in Hawaii Is Now for Sale How to Showcase Your Property With a Virtual Open House How to Prepare Your Home Before Going on Vacation There are several places in the U.S. where […]

The post 5 Cities Millennials Are Flocking To appeared first on RISMedia.

6/19/2017 2:14:51 PM

Many upper-middle class households with young children are caught between an inability to afford childcare and an inability to sustain on one less income with a stay-at-home parent—a predicament that has a driving force on their housing decisions. According to the Zillow Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR), many upper-middle class households choose to put down roots […]

The post Report: Proximity to Family Drives Housing Decisions for Households With Children appeared first on RISMedia.

6/19/2017 2:08:02 PM

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: Historic Ridgefield, Conn. Estate Sells Before Auction How to Make Your Home Design Pet-Friendly SURVEY: Zillow Instant Offers Creates Industry Firestorm—Take the Survey and Tell Us Where You Stand If you were around during either run of […]

The post 7 Gadgets From ‘The Jetsons’ That Have Become a Reality appeared first on RISMedia.

6/19/2017 1:54:12 PM

First-time homebuyers are shifting housing industry standards when it comes to home design preferences—and, according to the latest Home Design Trends Survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one of the most significant changes is the end of the era of expansive property and square footage. Small, simply, is the new big. “With younger […]

The post Small Is the New Big: Home Size Preference Shrinks appeared first on RISMedia.

6/16/2017 10:01:17 PM

(TNS)—Search on the web for “best time to book airfare” and you’ll find many conflicting answers, all of them completely wrong—and not only are they wrong, but they do a disservice to consumers who fall for this “voodoo” airfare economics. One site gives a “guide” of 47 days before travel, although it admits that there […]

The post No Magic Formula for ‘Best Time to Book Airfare’ appeared first on RISMedia.

6/16/2017 10:00:46 PM

So you’re up for making your home truly state-of-the-art? I’ve got a great list for you. Here are nine gadgets to be on the lookout for: Moen’s U lets you customize the perfect shower before ever stepping in with just a few taps on your smartphone. Smart and Blue’s Hydrao smart showerheads let you instantly control your […]

The post 9 Home Gadgets to Save Energy and Entertain appeared first on RISMedia.

6/8/2017 2:39:03 PM

(TNS)—Tempted by that offer for a new credit card with an interest-free grace period? Don’t succumb to the first attractive zero percent interest credit card offer that comes your way—unless it’s the right card for you. First, come to understand your own motivations. A credit card with a no-interest introductory offer may be a good […]

The post 5 Things to Know About No-Interest Credit Cards appeared first on RISMedia.

6/7/2017 2:44:35 PM

Are you a recent college graduate? Congratulations! You’re about to enter the working world, and, with any luck, you’ll score your dream job right out of the gate. …or, you can at least better your chances. A new ranking by Bankrate.com identifies several cities ideal for career-making moves—and, surprisingly, the Big Apple didn’t make the […]

The post College Grads: Launch Your Career in These Cities appeared first on RISMedia.

6/2/2017 10:00:59 PM

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com: 7 Steps for Stress-Free Spring Cleaning How to Build a High-Performance Real Estate Team Cyndi Lauper Says Sayonara to Stamford Who knew that creamy, verdant avocados could make or break one’s future in real estate? According to […]

The post Avocado: A True Game-Changer for Real Estate appeared first on RISMedia.

5/26/2017 10:04:58 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.