Buying V/S Renting Homes | Real Estate Blog

buy homes in phoenix azBuying versus renting is an age old debate. Proponents on both sides of the spectrum will argue till their blue in the face (and you’re red in the face!) to convince you. But right or wrong, this is an issue that everyone needs to face at some point in their lives.

So what’s at stake and what should you be looking for as a homeowner/potential homeowner/perpetual renter? Here are some tips to help make your decision a little easier (though also harder):

1) If there are savings to be had from buying, they’re shrinking. Over seven years it’s about 6% more expensive to buy than it was last year.

2) Buying means broker’s commissions, legal fees, closing costs, etc. Renting usually involves insurance and agent commissions.

3) Buying usually means staying put for a while, though that’s mainly true in more rural areas than high traffic areas like New York.

4) Mortgage rates are pretty good right now so buying seems promising, though that could change in the coming years.

5) Rising home prices can mean a nice payoff for buying . . . or encourage renting if you’re pushing off your purchase right now.

These tips are just the “tip” of the iceberg when it comes to this debate. In the end you need to be happy where you are and let the money come in second. So find your slice of happiness and make it your own . . . at least for now.

Tips for Home Renovations

One important thing you’ve got to consider when showing a house to a prospective investor (or when you are the investor) is maintenance. Even if you’re getting a “bargain” you might owe more in the end. So here are some good ideas for you to keep in mind.

1) You don’t need to sacrifice design to keep costs down. You might think you can’t get a natural wood or stone look if you want something durable. But these days there are plenty of man-made options that look great and won’t break the bank.

2) Cement siding is great. Paint jobs last far longer on these surfaces and they look amazing.

3) Plastic trim is the next big thing. Don’t worry about durability – pound for pound this stuff can outlast even the toughest wood.

4) Quartz countertops instead of granite. They come in more shades, clean easily, and seal great.

These kinds of small adjustments when renovating can save thousands of dollars over the course of the year. I’ll keep looking out for great tips like these for you to share.

Send me your tips so we can all work better.

Want to know – Where is the MONEY?

pwb123If you aren’t a millionaire (yet) but you’d like to at least live near some, I’m happy to tell you that there’s a thoroughly useless report that may help you. It’s the “Where do all the millionaires live?” report. So if you want to pick up stake and get close to money, here’s the list for you.

Some of the top ones are Maryland with 7.7% millionaires. I’m assuming that’s from all the politicians and lobbyists. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Another top spot is New Hampshire at 6.48% of the general population. With all those sprawling estates in the mountains it might be hard to get anywhere near them.

Moving out West we’ve got California with 6.04%. It’s a large state so I think you’ll find the concentration higher in one really specific spot, if you catch my drift.

Gracing the North you can see 5.74% in Washington and 5.56% in Minnesota. I guess they can afford to stay out of the cold.

Here’s where I think you can learn a good lesson. No one thinks living “close” to a millionaire does any good. Quite the opposite. You need to look for opportunity wherever you can, on fresh ground. Look around you can you’ll see it. Don’t go chasing the people who have money – chase the money!

Hottest and Coldest! Real Estate Market Trends

realestate12If you want to know where the money goes in this kind of real estate market, you need to look in two places: the best and the worst. It’s that simple … and that complicated.

Basically, you can find great deals in a sure market. Find the most popular areas and make a sure fire offer. The hottest neighborhoods in terms of popularity were just released so you’ll know where to start looking. Cities like San Francisco, Phoenix, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Seattle all show signs of being very promising.

Or you can find the cities with the worst luck. You’ll also find deals there too. You might have trouble of a different kind than in the popular places but the payout can be huge.

Really it’s a question of your perspective. Glass half full or glass half empty? Do you see challenges or do you see opportunities? Look around you and try to figure out what it is you see. And how you see it. I never stop looking at what I’m doing. Wherever I am I’m always trying to spot the best deal, find the best future for investors and homeowners, and do my part to pull this economy up.

I trust you can do the same too.

Predictions 2014 – Real Estate Trends

phoenix real estate blogDoom and Gloom are in the air as we approach 2014. Just kidding, it’s all happiness and sunshine ahead.

Don’t believe that one either?

Ok, the truth is it’s a mixture of both, as in any good year. We’ll have some ups and we’ll have some downs but in the end things should be looking up. Some of the doom-seekers are saying 2014 will see a decline in homeownership and a tightening of the consumer belt in the economy. Some hope-seekers expect unemployment to continue to drop and the rise in home values to encourage growth in the industry.

Like I said, there’s going to be arguments on both sides. But I think the most important thing to consider before you begin the New Year is this:

Define your goals and how to achieve them.

That’s harder than it sounds but there’s nothing more important. If you don’t know where you want to be at the end of the year how do you know what to do at the start of it.

Set a plan, find a mentor, raise your expectations, and make positive changes in your life. If you can do those things I expect you’ll look back on 2013 as just a stepping stone to a brighter future.

Happy New Year everyone!

Home Price Rise Out West | 2013 Year Update

Home Price RiseAs we end off the year we get a whole flood of stats from all corners of the industry. Everyone is trying to be the first to come out with some huge surprise for 2013. And then there are some basic facts that really get to the heart of the real estate investing business. Here’s one.

Where are the healthiest markets in the country?

Apparently they’re all out West!

7 of the top 10 are west of the Rockies! How insane is that?

Though honorable mention goes to New York, Boston and Pittsburgh for making a decent showing. Still you can’t deny the incredible drawing power of the great West!

We’ve seen home values rise by double digits consistently across the West with San Jose showing a high of 19.6%. That’s a pretty wicked rise for a city hit so hard.

This has benefits across the industry as underwater mortgages drop, foreclosures slow down, and unemployment numbers go down. We’re definitely finishing off 2013 with a healthier industry than we started it with.

We wish you all a happy New Year and a ton of success in your investments. Keep on plugging away and getting educated – it’s going to totally make your 2014!

Home Price Gains Continue

increase1September proved a lot of experts wrong and it looks like the trend shows no signs of slowing down. “Experts” have been predicting for the last few quarters that home prices are going to see their gains slow down and stop altogether before the end of the year. But as we are seeing growth is happening.

September saw a 12% gain in home prices. This is the 19th straight month with improving prices. Nevada, California, and Arizona showed string growth and even down-and-out places like Georgia and Michigan saw decent gains.

It’s important to always keep “expert” advice in perspective. They’re kind of like weathermen – they look at historical models, listen to the news, and try to predict what’s going to happen. Usually they embarrass themselves and give us all a good laugh, but it’s always informative.

Remember, don’t bet the bank, but also don’t be afraid to take chances. If there’s an opportunity in front of you make sure you sink your teeth into it soon. Growth won’t last forever, but you’ve still got plenty of opportunities to leave your mark.

One in Five Loans to be Disqualified by CFPB?

phoenix homesThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – CFPB.

Useless? Maybe.

Waste of money? Possibly.

Keeping busy? Definitely.

For instance, they’ve written a whole guide book for the “Qualified Mortgage” that’s supposed to keep folks like you and me from being taken advantage of. It’s meant to make sure the banks play by fair rules and stick to safe lending practices.

Some of the biggest things they want prevent are loans with high fee levels (more than 3%) and APRs.

If you look at what they’re targeting and then take a quick look at the loans available on the market today, you’ll see that almost one fifth of today’s loans will be disqualified next year.

So what’s going to mean for the typical homeowner? Banks are cashing in now on tough lending practices and are hoping they can get a bunch in before they’re shut down.

Is this really the kind of economy we want to see? And is the CFPB going to show up like the gun-slinging sheriff and make it all better? Hard to believe.

But I’ll give them some time to prove themselves. If you run into any of their rules impacting your loans please leave your story here.

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