5 Ways to Begin Investing In Real Estate with Little or No Money

Lots of folks believe this to enter the world of property; you require plenty of money. But it doesn’t imply that a person with less or no cash can’t begin a real estate company. In This article we have covered the full topic of – how to do real estate business with no money?

The first thing required to initiate a real estate company (or any business, really) is the ideal mindset. You will need to work out creative and innovative ways of getting financing for your real estate deal, especially when you’ve got no funds to spend.

A business is successful once you earn profit by selling your goods or services. This is true for the real estate business, also. The best thing about the property sector is that everyone can start this business with the wish to sell the property and earn high returns.

So, how can you begin a real estate company with zero capital? How can you organize financing to back up your real-estate deal?

If these questions are running through your head, then we have got helpful answers for you.

How to Make Money in Real Estate Without a License

Real estate is an exciting business. I have met a few of the most driven and enthusiastic individuals, lots of whom are currently lifelong buddies. It keeps you on your feet! When most folks consider transitioning to a career in real estate, but the first thing that comes to mind is becoming a certified realtor. With all the licensing and education requirements, however, that may seem quite daunting. Many don’t understand that you may work in real estate without a license in most countries. In actuality, a quick scan of the internet job boards shows the assortment of opportunities.

How to Start a Real Estate Business with No Money

Here Are Five Powerful ways to start a property dealing Company (How to do real estate business with no money) with zero Cash in your pocket, Plans you can learn from and apply in other businesses as well:

1. Buy a House as a Main Home

You can buy a house to live in with a zero money down VA or USDA loan, remain there for at least one year, then move out and turn the house into a rental home. Do not forget that equity building through property investing also contains the houses where you live. Additionally, the down payment and credit rating requirements for a primary residence are always less strict compared to investment property. Living on your insignificant farms first is an excellent way to avoid the more rigorous lender rules for property investment properties.

2. Purchase a Duplex, and Reside in 1 Unit while You Rent Out another One

Did you know that you could fund a two-unit duplex using an FHA loan? You reside in one unit and rent out the other property for additional cash. Along with the reduced down payment requirement, the best thing about this property investing strategy is the lease you derive from the opposite side of this duplex will most likely play a significant part of your mortgage!

3. Create a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) on Your Primary Residence or another Investment Property. 

For those who have a large quantity of equity on your primary residence or another property rental property. Many banks will provide you with a HELOC, which you can then use for property investing. A normal HELOC will make a line of money in hand for around 70-80% of the instant equity in your currently owned land.

However, the HELOC can also be utilized as a zero-down mortgage to fund a rental property.

The HELOC interest rate is generally the prime rate and 1 or 2%, which now puts them around 5 percent. But the principal benefit of the HELOC is that it usually does not have any closing costs, and you’ll be able to close quickly with only a Drive-By evaluation on your premises. Some banks won’t charge you for this particular examination.

By way of instance, if the interest is $300, you can simply pay that minimum amount, or pay extra money each month to repay the principal. This permits you to make your mortgage under your terms.

Assuming the prime rate stays stable, the total amount of interest will fall as you pay down the principal monthly.

4. Ask the Seller to Pay your Closing Costs.

On many property transactions, the property seller is willing to cover buyer closing costs to incentivize a sale. However, the trade-off will most likely have to supply the full asking price or close to it. This is reasonable, so long as your lease is enough to cover all your expenses and give you little monthly cash flow. However, at full asking price in the event, the lender quotes you an entire mortgage payment (including insurance and taxes ). Which is equal to or higher than the lease you can reasonably cost, search for another deal.

5. Utilize a Bank that Pays Closing Costs or Supplies a Rebate on your Down Payment.

In combination with Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Advantage program, Quicken Loans has just promoted a 1% down payment option on single-family houses for owner-occupied properties. The buyer puts up 1 percent, and Quicken Loans provides a grant for another 2% needed. A 680 credit rating and a debt-to-income ratio of 45 percent or less will be required.

Sometimes the interest rate is slightly higher to get this deal, but some lenders are currently advertising. They’ll pay closing costs without increasing interest rates. Check with a site such as bankrate.com or do a Google search for a listing of those companies.

Whichever of these methods you opt to use, the most crucial point to bear in mind is that investing in real estate with very little money is a superb way to build wealth. It is among the very few investment approaches where you can begin without large quantities of cash. One never knows when particular property programs will come and go. So make sure to benefit from these ideas while they’re still around.

Is real estate an excellent way to earn money in 2020?

Real estate is best regarded as a long-term investment – it pays off best when held through the years. You can purchase property in 2020, but you would want to hold onto it for 20–30 years for the best results. Suppose you can find sellers that will sell their property for you at a substantial discount below market value. In that case, you can create a whole lot of cash in a couple of weeks through wholesaling or flipping. But finding people who will sell the property to you for 10–20 percent or more below market value is a whole lot tougher than finding quality properties that will appreciate and supply decent cash flow over the longer term.

How to Start Investing in Real Estate with Little Money

For many people, the term “investing” conjures up images of men in suits, tracking the exchange of tens of thousands of dollars on a stock ticker.

I am here to tell you: You do not have to be the Wolf of Wall Street to begin investing. It’s okay if you are more of a mouse of Main Street. Even if you just have a few bucks to spare, your money will grow with compound interest.

The key to building wealth is developing good habits–such as regularly putting money away each month. Replace the barista-made cappuccinos for coffee in your home, and you may already be saving more than $50 per month.

As soon as you have a little cash to play, you may begin to invest.

It’s just as straightforward. Having a robo-advisor or savings account, you can make your money work as you play. With a stock trading program, you can play a little money and learn valuable investing lessons simultaneously. Exactly like Halloween costumes, investing comes in several diverse forms. It should not be a scary word.

With so many diverse choices, investing for novices is more straightforward and more uncomplicated than ever before.

Conclusion

Property coping is a very profitable business. Use the ways mentioned above to enter this line of business even when you don’t have cash. But, do not forget that entry is simply the first step on the ladder of success. How your company grows and succeeds is mainly based on your hard work and your ability to recognize opportunities and take action accordingly.

Ready to begin taking advantage of the current opportunities in the housing market?

Whether you are new to investing or have closed a few bargains. Our new online property course will cover everything you will need to know to help you start real estate investing. Professional investor than Merrill explains the very best property plans to help get you on the path towards a better financial future.

About the author: My name is King kentus i blog at komback.com and i am the CEO of the said website.

Renting vs Buying: What to Consider

Buying a house is the pinnacle of success—or, at least it used to be. It seems as though more and more people are abandoning the popular dream of homeownership and setting their sights on financial accomplishments that are more realistically attainable, like luxury vehicles, designer watches, and worldly travels.

That’s not to say purchasing a property is entirely off the table, though. There are plenty of affordable properties under 20k that you could buy without sending yourself into debt for several decades. There are two sides to every coin, but ultimately, there’s no single “correct” answer—it all comes down to your personal priorities. If you’re debating renting vs buying, consider these points to help you decide which option suits you best.

What’s on your time horizon?

If you’re thinking about buying a house, make sure to consider your timeline in two to 10 years from now. Will you be in the same city? Have the same job? Are you ready to settle down?

The people who like to rent are usually those that value flexibility and mobility; they don’t want to be tied down to a 15- or 30-year mortgage that locks them into one location. Of course, life happens and plans can always change, but if you have to sell your home shortly after buying it in order to move to a new city or place your child in a better school district, for example, you could lose money on your initial investment.

Bottom line: Purchasing a home is an investment in your future, but it’s a long play that will require you to live in the same place for at least two years. Just like any investment, there’s risk involved should the real estate market crash and you owe more on the property than what it’s worth.

How is your credit looking?

You’ll need a positive credit history whether you’re applying to rent or buy a house, but it’s much more important in the case of the latter. Most of the time, homeowners rely on financing to purchase a property; it’s pretty rare for someone to have a few hundred thousand sitting around in cash that they can use to complete the sale in one fell swoop.

Lenders will look at several things when reviewing your mortgage loan application, including your age and income, but credit history is one of the most important qualifiers. Not only do you need a strong credit score to finance a house, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to increase your score as high as possible in order to receive low rates.

A good number demonstrates less perceived risk, so the lender will be likelier to charge less interest on top of the principal balance—saving you a significant amount of money in total borrowing costs in the long run.

Bottom line: If you’ve missed a few bill payments in the past and are sitting on mismanaged debt, you should clean up your credit history before trying to buy a home.

Do you have money saved up?

One of the biggest differentiators between renters and buyers is the money they have saved up in the bank. Even with approved financing, you’ll need to place a sizable down payment—or, the portion of the purchase price that you pay upfront in cash—to show the lender you’re invested in the property and likely to repay the loan.

Many people think they need a down payment of at least 20% of the total price in order to buy a home, but that conventional wisdom doesn’t apply much today. While it’s true that a 20% down payment can help you avoid private mortgage insurance and save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, this barrier to entry is pretty steep for first-time buyers.

You can buy a home with anywhere between 5-15% down upfront, and there are also down payment assistance programs that can help you come up with the cash. Renting will also require a down payment, security deposit, and money on-hand for application fees, but these costs are usually cheaper than a mortgage and its affiliated costs.

What many people fail to realize, though, is that every rent payment they make likely goes toward paying off the landlord’s mortgage, and the price comparison isn’t that far apart. For example, if rent costs a thousand per month, a mortgage payment might be only 15% more. Rather than throwing that money down the drain on rent, those funds could be better applied to building your own wealth in home equity and increasing your net worth. You could also look into rent-to-buy homes in your area that can help you achieve the best of both worlds.

Bottom line: You’ll need to budget and save up for a home, which often leads people to stick with rent that’s easier to afford while keeping up with the cost of living—but putting in the work can pay off tenfold if you apply the cost of rent toward a tangible asset that you eventually own over time.

Are you financially responsible?

When you buy a home, the hard work doesn’t end once you get the keys in your hand. There are a lot of ongoing costs that you’ll need to keep up with, such as property taxes and maintenance repairs. And, whereas a renter could simply call up the property manager to fix a leaking sink, that responsibility will fall on you to repair yourself—unless you prefer to pay someone to do it for you.

Bottom line: If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of property maintenance and the ongoing costs of homeownership, it might be better to rent so you know exactly how much money to budget every month.

Do you have competing goals?

Finally, check in with your financial goals to see if there are competing priorities. Let’s say you just graduated from college; would you rather pay off your student loans or invest in the real estate market? Do you need a down payment to purchase a new vehicle?

Bottom line: It can be challenging to pay off debt or save money when owning a home, so consider your financial goals and decide what to accomplish first.

By keeping these thoughts in mind as you compare renting vs buying, you’ll be more likely to make the right decision for your financial future.

Samantha Rupp

Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.

How and Where to Invest in Real Estate: The 4 Best Ways to Profit

It’s not a secret that real estate can yield bigger profits than most businesses, but did you know that you can earn in this market even if you don’t sell a house?

If you have ever experienced having a landlord, there’s a good chance that you have observed how challenging it is for them to field calls from tenants all day about overflowing toilets or giant bugs. But while it may not seem like the most glamorous job, being a real estate investor can be quite lucrative.

Aside from renting out a place, there are plenty of ways that you can get a significant return on investment in real estate. The only problem is that not all investors understand how they can do so, or even know which investments can get them a significant ROI.

If you’re new to the trade, this article is for you. Read on to learn the four best ways to profit by investing in real estate.

1.   Buy a rental property

This is probably the most straightforward method of becoming a real estate investor. ‘Investment property’ refers to any commercial or residential property to be rented out to tenants without any additional fixing or flipping.

When you own a rental property, you don’t just get what you paid for, but you also build wealth-generating income. Add to that equity appreciation and the leverage you have with real estate, and you have yourself a solid investment.

Still, it is worth noting that owning a piece of rental property may not be for everyone. When looking for houses or apartments for sale, you have to make sure that you consider your interests, lifestyle, and the potential drawbacks, including:

●      Time commitment

Owning a property and renting it out to tenants requires time, even with the help of a property management agency. Make sure that you can accommodate this in your schedule. Otherwise, it would be best to try something else.

●      Cost barriers

Another major concern most investors have about a rental property is the cost of buying one. If you’re taking out a loan for it, many lenders require a minimum of 25 percent down payment for an investment property loan. Thus, it would be better to consider undertaking this type of real estate venture if you have reserves worth several months’ expenses.

●      Uncertainty of yield

Although many rental properties provide a continuous source of income for many (especially if you pick an apartment in a highly desirable location, like a Business Bay property in Dubai, for example), it isn’t a 100% done deal. Vacancies can happen, and things may break. Although there is great potential in this sort of investment overall, there are considerable short-term risks.

2.   Invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Real estate investment trusts or REITs allow investors to put in their money and let it grow without actual, physical real estate.

Although usually compared to mutual funds, REITs are actual commercial real estate properties like retail spaces, office buildings, apartments, and hotels that yield income through leasing. The revenue gathered through these properties is divided amongst the REIT holders – also called ‘trustees’ – in the form of a dividend, which they can automatically reinvest to allow it to grow further.

But while REITs are an excellent way to invest in real estate for people without the time to handle rental properties, they can also be complex and varied. Some of these are traded on an exchange the same way stocks are, but others aren’t publicly traded. This means that the kind of REIT you invest in is a huge factor in how big a risk you’re taking when engaging in this form of real estate investment.

3.   Purchase a vacation rental

Vacation rentals are quite different from the rental property mentioned previously. While the latter involves having long-term tenants, vacation rentals are only occupied by tenants on occasion.

One of the perks of having this type of investment property is that you can use it as your second home when it is vacant. It would also be easier to finance vacation rentals compared to long-term rental properties, particularly if your lender considers it your second home as it means you don’t need to use the rental income to qualify for the loan.

Moreover, these properties usually bring in higher rental income per day compared to long-term rentals.

But, like other investment options, vacation rentals also have some disadvantages.

For one, marketing and managing this type of rental property requires more involvement on your part compared to those leased out long term. Because of this, the cost of property management is a bit higher, with many property managers expecting to get paid 25% of the total rent. This is more than twice the 10% standard for long-term rentals.

4.   Fix and flip real estate

If you’re a fan of real estate TV shows, then you’re probably familiar with the term ‘fix and flip’ or the act of ‘flipping houses’. Fixing and flipping a property means that you buy a home for the sole purpose of refurbishing it and selling it quickly for a profit.

This particular investment option can be quite a lucrative option in real estate, especially if everything proceeds as planned. After all, what better way to earn some cash than by buying an underpriced home, showing it little love through inexpensive renovation, and reselling it for a higher price?

However, this strategy is a little bit harder to accomplish in reality compared to how they present it on TV. First, it comes with a higher risk as the maths behind flipping properties means you have to be very accurate in your estimated cost of repairs. That alone is a challenge in itself.

Plus, flipping homes is a job that requires not only your attention but a lot of time as well. This means that if you’re a passive investor, you should consider another investment option.

Remember that fix-and-flip investments can be quite daunting, even for the most experienced professionals. In fact, even the people you see doing this on TV require a team of four people or more, with varying expertise in real estate marketing, civil engineering, interior design, and others.

There are also some rules you must know about before deciding to jump into the fix-and-flip bandwagon:

  • You make money when you buy, not when you sell. Stick to the 70 percent rule; the acquisition, repair, and holding costs shouldn’t exceed 70 percent of the amount you expect to sell it for.
  • Time is equivalent to money in this trade. Dragging your feet during repairs and selling can destroy your profit margins.

Invest wisely in property

Property investment has a high potential of helping you build your wealth. When done right, you can even make it your main source of income.

Still, it would be best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Invest wisely by choosing the right kind of real estate investment among those listed in this article.

Author: Damac Properties

5 Smart Tips to Renovate Your House and Make it More Expensive

If you are trying to sell a house and make the most of it, you better make sure to turn your property into a super-attractive home. Let us be straight about it and tell you that it’s not an easy job – at least not in most cases – but it definitely pays off to renovate your house and make it more expensive.

You’ve probably brainstormed hundreds of possibilities, but do you know the most productive house repair tricks? If you don’t know where to start, check out five smart tips to enhance your real estate and sell it for the maximum price possible.

1.     Take Care of Street Appeal

Humans are visual beings who judge other people and things almost instantly. According to reports, it takes a person only seven seconds to form the first impression. In other words, your house may have only a few seconds to impress potential buyers.

How can you help prospects fall in love with your property? The answer lies in street appeal. You can improve it using many different tricks, with the most popular being:

  • Mowing the lawn to make clear yard lines
  • Cutting the trees to make them look neat and clean
  • Replacing lanterns and other outdoor lights
  • Repainting the front fence

2.     Free Up Some Room

Do you know what really impresses house buyers? It is a place with enough room to add personal stuff and make it feel like home. This is exactly why we recommend freeing up some space before the next prospect pays you a visit.

You can do it by removing personal things from the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Take out your family photos, souvenirs, and all other items that might interfere with the visitor’s experience. The bottom line is that you need to depersonalize the property and let your guests imagine what they would do with it.

Keep in mind that this trick applies to all properties, from small downtown houses to 30a home real estate.

3.     Consider Kitchen Upgrades

A kitchen is almost always the central point of every house. Everything revolves around this room, so you might as well consider completing a few kitchen upgrades.

A tip that proved to be useful is to introduce natural light to the kitchen. If you have nothing but a small window, think about replacing it with a much larger window. Of course, there are lots of minor solutions to think about here such as refurbishing the floor or replacing worktops.

Any idea that can make a new chef more comfortable is welcome.

4.     Beware of Details

You probably know that the devil is in the details, a proverb that perfectly suits the real estate business. If you want to get the highest price for your house, you need to pay attention to the smallest features that are easy to repair but make a huge impact on buyers’ decisions. This is what we are talking about:

  • Wall cracks that make your house look old
  • Dust and dirt in lower corners and spider web in the upper corners
  • Broken flooring elements
  • Faucet leakages
  • Malfunctioning door handles
  • Any other broken or dysfunctional elements

5.     Think about Energy Efficiency

House owners who make their property energy-efficient can impress potential buyers and convince them to complete the purchase. Details such as wall insulations and double-glazing windows can look great in the eyes of a typical client for two distinct reasons – financial and environmental. Of course, it will also make the price of your home skyrocket.

Up to You

House renovation goes a long way, especially if you need to repair a lot of interior elements. However, you can speed up the process if you focus on the essential improvements only. In this post, we showed you five smart tips to renovate your house and make it more expensive. Can you renovate your place like this?

AUTHOR BIO

Leon Collier is a content creator at several thesis writing services in Edinburgh. Apart from working at the essay writing service UK, Leon is a blogger who specializes in business, real estate, and finance. When not writing, you can find him behind a book or playing tabletop games with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12 Follow him on Twitter @LeonCollier12

Image:

Photo by Roelf Bruinsma on Unsplash

Everything You Need to Know About Rent to Own Homes

Sometimes, mortgage is not the best option for you right now. This is when rent to own homes can be a perfect way to gain home ownership in a non-conventional way.

Kitchen,luxury home,construction,real estate,free pictures - free ...

Rent to own homes are a popular concept these days because it gives people an opportunity to come a step closer to their dream home.

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about rent to own properties to help you make an informed decision.

What are rent to own homes?

Rent to own homes are lease options that give you a choice between buying the property or a requirement to buy it at some point in the future. The rental payments paid towards these homes include rent and funds that partially contribute towards a down payment in the future. If your credit scores are not up to the mark or you do not have the finances to pay for the down payment right now, then you can use this opportunity to hold the property till you do.

How to find a rent to own home?

Rent to own home is not usually find on the listings because they only happen under very specific conditions, such as:

  • When the owner is unable to sell the property even though it has been on the market for a while. In this case, they may list the property as rental with a rent to own option.
  • If the tenant is happy in their home, but the landlord wants to put it on the market, then the tenant may request them to have a rent to own agreement.
  • If a certain property has been on the market for a while, then a home buyer may approach the seller with a rent to own offer.

If you are trying to Find Rent To Own In Edmonton, then you can either start looking at rental listings that come with this option or a sale listing that has been around for a while.

How does it work?

Here is how the rent to own homes work:

  1. You sign an agreement with either of the two options: There are two types of agreements for someone who wants rent to own homes – a) a lease agreement with an option to buy which gives you the right to buy the home at end of your lease but it is not an obligation. But be prepared to lose all the money you paid for the rent; b) lease with purchase agreement makes you legally obligated to buy the property at the end of your lease. However, before you sign up for this contract, make sure you have a home inspection done. You may also want to get pre-approved mortgage to ensure that you will qualify for a loan when the time comes. 
  2. The purchase price is decided by you and the landlord: The purchase price of the property is negotiable and set up front. Traditionally, this price is determined by the real estate agents who negotiate on your behalf. However, agents rarely every get involved with rent to own home transactions because they have no way of getting paid until the home sale concludes. Therefore, you must do all the research and legwork before discussing prices with the landlord.
  3. You have to pay an option fee: While this fee is negotiable, it is mandatory as well. The option fee can be anything between 1-5% of the purchase value that needs to be paid up front. It is one-time and non-refundable fee that gives you the option to buy at an agreed upon price in the future.
  4. You decide the duration of rental term: At the end of your rental, you should be in a sound financial position to buy the home. The rental agreement can be anything from one to three years, depending on how long you need to sort your finances and be ready to qualify for a mortgage. 
  5. Maintenance roles should be defined: Since rent to own homes are a unique situation, the tenant and the landlord are both obligated to maintain the property and keep in good shape until the ownership is transferred. So, be sure to iron out these details in advance.
  6. Your monthly payments cover down payment and rent: You can discuss with your landlord to define these monthly payments that are usually 25% to 30% above the market rent. This additional payment is applied towards your future down payment.

Whether you are in a rent to own home situation or a regular rental, keep an eye on your finances to make yourself eligible for a mortgage down the road.

Author: Eernesto T Felder

How to Save Money When You Own a Home

Owning a home is a smart investment that allows you to build wealth and equity for yourself. It gives you the freedom to live and decorate how you want on your own property, a far cry from the typical rental experience. That said, it can also be financially demanding in a variety of ways, some of which you may not find out about until after you close escrow. In order to maintain your financial stability, you may be searching for ways to reduce your homeownership costs. To figure out how you can reduce your expenses, we must first look at some of the most troublesome areas in your homeowner’s budget. 

Some of the largest expenses of homeownership include:

  • Mortgage payments (and mortgage insurance): Mortgage payments are based on the cost of the home, your credit score, income, type of home loan you have, and more. According to the latest U.S. Housing Survey, the median mortgage payment is $1,100. 
  • Property taxes: Property taxes are required for state and local taxes. Property tax is based on the value of your home and is determined by an assessor. These taxes are used to fund programs and services within the city or county you live in. Property taxes can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: The need for maintenance and repairs is an inevitable aspect of homeownership. While some may be on the cheaper side (insulating the attic), others can throw a wrench in your monthly budget (pipes bursting). According to Discover, you should plan on setting aside 1% of your home’s value per year to go towards repairs.
  • Utilities: From keeping your house cool during summer to enjoying hot showers after a long day, not to mention having the family stream all day, utilities can add up. Combined, utilities can cost upwards of $300 per month.
  • Homeowners association fees: In some communities, HOA fees are required in order to help maintain the operations and aesthetics on behalf of residents. According to Investopedia, these can average around $200 a month, but can be as high as $700 per month. 

Whether you are a new homeowner or have had your family home long enough to have raised your children in it, saving money in any way you can, can lessen the burden of homeownership substantially. While it might seem difficult—let’s face it there are many costs of homeownership that aren’t so flexible (HOA fees and repairs)—there are a variety of ways to save money when you own a home, starting with these 3 tips. 

#1: Refinance or Pay Off Your Mortgage

Mortgage payments are likely one of the biggest expenses in your monthly budget. Depending on your mortgage terms, you may be able to save money by refinancing. If you are in a better financial position when you refinance (like having a significantly higher credit score), you can qualify for a lower interest rate. Lowering your interest rate can save your substantially over the lifetime of your mortgage.

However, if a lower mortgage payment isn’t sufficient to help with your financial situation, you may also want to consider a reverse mortgage. Reverse mortgages, like those offered by GoodLife, are loans available to senior homeowners who need to supplement their retirement income. If you fall into this category, this type of loan may allow you to pay off your current mortgage, so you can eliminate it from monthly expenses.

#2: Reduce Your Property Tax Bill

While property taxes can vary significantly by state, and even sometimes by county, they are still a notable cost that virtually every homeowner has to pay. According to WalletHub, the average property tax bill in the U.S. is $2,279. For some homeowners, like those who live in states like New Jersey or Connecticut, property taxes are more than double the average.

Whether you live in a state with high property tax rates or considerably lower property taxes, you can benefit by finding ways to save when tax season arrives. There are several ways you can save on your property tax bill: 

  1. Exemptions: Exemptions can apply to a certain group of individuals, such as senior citizens, or a percentage of the property. For example, some states exempt a portion of the home’s value from taxes. 
  2. Deductions: Deductions are a tax benefit that reduces your taxable income, and in turn, lowers your total tax bill. Some common tax deductions homeowners qualify for include mortgage interest and insurance, property taxes paid (on your home, land, or a rental property), and home equity loan interest.
  3. Credits: Credits are a tax benefit that directly reduces your tax bill. There are a variety of tax credits that may apply to property owners such as energy efficiency credits and local tax credits. 

If you’re unsure of whether you qualify for one of these tax savings methods, you may want to speak to a tax professional who can help you make that determination. 

To avoid large increases in your tax bill, make sure to do research before making additions or upgrades to your home. For example, adding a pool or expanding the size of your home may increase the value of your home, meaning higher property taxes.

#3: Make Your Home More Sustainable

According to Move.org, the average cost of utilities for U.S. homeowners is $398.24. This includes: 

  • $110.76 for electricity
  • $72.10 for natural gas 
  • $70.39 for water
  • $14 for trash and recycling
  • $85 for cable TV
  • $60 for internet

If you’re looking for long-term ways to save money as a homeowner, making your household more sustainable may be an effective way to cut down on your bills (now and in the future). From lighting and appliances, to more eco-friendly materials, you can use sustainable alternatives to save money and reduce  your household’s carbon footprint at the same time. 

While it might be hard to see how this would be an effective way to save money on your home when you’re making a substantial financial investment, the savings you’ll see over time is well worth the trade-off. And, with more and more of these solutions available, the more affordable options there are. If you don’t have the money to invest in making these changes on-hand, there are special types of loans that can be used to make updating your home possible. 

Some examples of ways to create an eco-friendly home include:

  • Installing solar panels
  • Switching to a low-flow toilet and faucets 
  • Using a smart thermostat
  • Upgrading your insulation 
  • Adding ceiling fans 
  • Updating lighting fixtures with energy-efficient bulbs

If you’re not sure where to start in your home, determine what utilities are costing you the most and start by taking steps to integrate more energy-efficient solutions in your home.

Start Saving

While it might seem like a lot of effort, even implementing one of these strategies can have a big impact on your budget. Finding ways to cut down on your expenses in these three areas can also help you start a fund for the inevitable repairs and maintenance over the years, college savings, or retirement planning. Whether you are simply trying to live a more frugal lifestyle or have specific savings goals, navigating the expenses that accompany homeownership can help you make the most of your investment.

Author Bio

Alexis Maness has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. As a professional content writer, she has over five years of experience and is a contributing writer for several San Diego magazines. Alexis specializes in topics related to business, marketing, finance, and hospitality and tourism.

Pandemic House Hunting: What To Do

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, most industries slowly (or abruptly – depending on the industry) came to a grinding halt. Adjustments for the new normal had to be made for businesses deemed essential. Meanwhile, more frivolous ones have no choice but to wait until everything blows over.

How is real estate faring while all of this is going on? Are people looking for a new home going to have to shelve their future until further notice? The good news is that there are practical ways to adjust to this situation without compromising your health and others’.

Do shelter-in-place research

Like most businesses, real estate all over the world has turned to digital means to keep going during lockdowns and quarantines. Now is the actually best time to do your “home” work.

While you are sheltering-in-place, go online and do some research.

  • Bookmark reliable real estate sites, blogs, forums, and social media pages.
  • Use choice keywords to narrow down your search for the following factors:
    • Locations – Google Maps is a great tool for scouting locations.
    • Neighborhood – Areavibes.com is a good way to check the safety of the neighborhood.
    • Dimensions
    • Price range
    • Proximity to schools and businesses
    • Amenities
    • Yelp rating
    • and other factors to help you determine the best possible candidates for your future home.
  • Lookup reputable Property Managers to help you fine-tune your search and provide a pre-approval list.

Go on virtual house tours

Plenty of real estate agencies currently feature virtual house tours using creatively edited videos and slideshows to highlight the properties’ best assets. This is when you can fill in your research with visuals and see if everything is a good fit for what you’re looking for.

These properties are ones where you can go on a virtual tour, and end up getting a good idea of their important aspects:

  • A house tour that offers a 3D walkthrough experience where you can navigate the interiors with ease (like you are in an actual showing).
  • Properties that allow 360° virtual tours so you can “see” all the corners and areas typically not show on traditional slideshows and picture galleries.
  • A virtual tour or “unboxing” of new properties where a presenter does the touring and describes the look and feel of each room and amenities for you.
  • Home and property tours that also give visual information while you “tour”, as if an agent is walking and explaining things right there beside you.

Does the house have the kind of curb appeal you want? Is the layout making the most of the property’s floor plan and dimensions? Is the neighborhood quiet, clean, and offering the kind of convenience you need? Are there unexpected features like sophisticated finishes, natural lighting, a garden, and other factors that other properties do not have? You can go on as many virtual house tours as your heart desires to look for that perfect house (and all its amenities) today.

Avoid red flags

Here is a section on what not to do. Since it has become easy to window-shop for properties with a few clicks, it has also become easy to get scammed by shady real estate agents hard-selling iffy properties. So as not to get conned, consider the following red flags and do your best to investigate (or avoid them altogether):

  • There is no video tour or even enough pictures to give you a clear idea of how the property looks and feels like.
  • If there are pictures or a slideshow, the dimensions are exaggerated or warped.
  • The location leaves much to be desired – such as near busy, noisy roads or somewhere with an unsavory reputation.
  • It has recently been renovated after a disaster – and is back on the market right away.
  • The house has been listed for sale for quite some time (and nobody seems to be interested).
  • The price tag seems too good to be true.

Consult with a reputable Property Manager

A Property Manager can help you fine-tune the research and home tours you have done so far. They are professionals who are well-versed in the language of real estate and all of its requirements. They can help you come up with a list of what to accomplish prior to the actual viewing and purchasing of your future home.

Look for a Property Manager with experience in crisis situations and have exhibited adaptability in seemingly unforeseen circumstances. Those are the best ones who will have your back no matter what. They can help you with controlling costs and negotiating contracts to your favor. And given the current situation, they will insist on safety and health protocols for everyone involved – and not jeopardize it with haphazardly thrown-together site viewing and hard selling.

Fortunately, everything can be found with just a series of clicks. You can look up Property Managers with impressive portfolios and impeccable reputations with just a few keywords and reviews. Now more than ever, the Internet is your best tool for preliminary house-hunting. Use it freely to your advantage.

Bio: Elisha Finman is an experienced RE executive proficient in operations, finances and team building. His track record includes managing a portfolio of New York City multifamily residential buildings. Skilled in all areas of RE management including setting rents, leases, collections and legal, evictions, violations hpd-dob-ecb, building maintenance and instituting cost savings and efficiency measures.

How to Find Cheap Land for Sale in Texas

You are making a wise decision if you are planning to find cheap land for sale in Texas because buying a property in the other states can break the bank. If you see the estimated value of the combined areas in the United States, the total will be around 23 trillion dollars. 

If you will look for land in Texas, the average value per acre is only around 7,500 dollars. The agricultural property is one of the reasons for its reasonable price, which makes Texas one of the ideal places to look for cheap lands.

Why Buying Land in Texas Is More Practical

There are a few reasons why buying land in Texas is more practical. The most obvious is that most areas in Texas are agricultural. Moreover, here is why purchasing an estate in Texas is the right choice, especially if you will use it for agricultural purposes.

  • Local government is less strict on controlling the state’s real estate development.
  • Agricultural lands provide a massive amount of reduction in annual taxes.
  • Financing companies are willing to lend to farmers and landowners.
  • You can be eligible for the Federal income tax Schedule F.

As you can see, if you will use the land for farming, wildlife conservation, and timberland, you can save a great deal in Texas.

How to Find a Cheap Land

Now that you know that Texas offers a better deal than with any other estates, you can lower the price more if you know how to buy one at a lower price.

Aside from paying for the land, you also need to consider the other variables like tax receipts and land surveying. Most often, the new owner pays for tax receipts. You also need a service of a land surveyor to ensure that you are getting the exact land measurement for the price you paid.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The common types of properties that are cheap are the property, foreclosed, and government-owned. The only con is that it is not easy to find these properties on your own. You need to contact a bank to ask for foreclosed properties or ask help from mediators like land brokers, auctions, and realtors.

Sometimes, you can find the best deal on e-commerce websites like e-Bay and Craigslist.

The best way to acquire the lowest price is to buy a land that is away from the city and establishments offering essential goods, such as grocery stores, schools, and gas stations. Next is to find the owner and haggle directly. If you are lucky, you can come across the owners who are willing to bargain for a low price to get rid of the property.

As you can see, it is not difficult to find cheap land for sale in Texas.

Author: Kelsey Mickens

Who Likes To Rent

The letting industry is booming. The average rent across the UK rose by 2.5% in September 2019 when compared to the same month a year previously. If you’re comparing letting agent fees, landlords are also seeing favourable prices due to the influx of online letting agent offerings.

Increasing average rent and lower letting agent fees are however being offset with tax break cuts & tenant fee bans. So, while there are ever changing variables being faced by landlords, renters are pushing forward unfazed.

It’s clear that in the long term, buying your own property/investing in a buy to let will put you in a better position financially. Aside from those that can’t afford the infamous property deposit, there are those that actually choose to rent.

In this article we look at some of the people that choose to be renters, as opposed to renting due to limited financial options.

The Bachelor

Picture the young, career driven and smart individual (male or female!), enjoying life and exploring where they want to end up in the future.

Rather than buying a long-term property, say a 3 bedroom in the outskirts of London, they may decide they want to rent a modern apartment close to the city.

Now these types of property can be valued in the £1,000,000’s! While the bachelor may not have the financial backing at this stage, their lifestyle may not yet suit a property that’s further out away from the city nightlife.

Schools

Parents consider nearby schools as a high priority when deciding where to live.

The best schools are in the most prominent areas, where the houses come at a premium. In addition, parents already located in the region are unlikely to move, lowering supply of houses in that particular area and therefore adding to the price premium.

Parents are willing to pay premium rents in these areas. The extra rental cost can be judged as offsetting costs that would have occurred in putting their child(ren) into a costly private school.

The Renting Landlord

Commonly, a landlord has a property that for various reasons, they don’t want to live in. It could be too close to parents, too far from work or not big enough.

When not wanting to sell, an option is to let out the property, while renting in a property more suitable to themselves.

This allows them to live in a suitable property, while still reaping the rewards of rental income.

Vitally, if you’re one of these individuals looking for a letting agent for your property, you can use Rentround when comparing letting agent fees & performance to get yourself the best deal.

The Divorcee

Sadly, divorce is a part of life.

During or straight after a divorce, the former husband or wife will have a period of instability in their lives. They may be using the opportunity to think about moving to the city or looking to stay near what used to be their family home to stay in close proximity to their children.

During this period, a rental property would be suitable vs. committing to buying a property.

The Contractor

Rather than being a permanent employee with a regular job, the contractor is set up under a private limited company. The person may move from company to company when their contract expires. The benefit of this type of working is high day rates and pre IR35, lower tax vs. a permanent employee.

As a new contract is taken on, the location may vary drastically compared to the contractor’s previous location.

Therefore, renting makes sense in this situation, in comparison to constantly buying & selling or living in hotels.

“I’ll get married soon”

Some people are in long term relationships or single and have their fingers crossed of finding someone soon with the aim to get married. With this mindset and possibility, buying a property as a married couple makes sense.

A couple is likely to have a larger deposit and making it a joint decision on which property to buy, makes the moving in transition easier.

The Speculator

These savvy individuals may be predicting a future down turn in the market. So instead of buying while the price is high, they decide to pay rent up until a potential crash hits prices. The individual can then buy a property at a better price, increasing their profit substantially.

In addition, after a crash it’s common to see interest rates cut and tax subsidies from the government, to re-stimulate the economy as per the 2008 crash fallout. This adds to the benefit of buying after a crash.

However, predicting a crash isn’t easy. If you get it wrong, you could see yourself on the wrong side of property price increases.

All in all, there are many reasons why people prefer to rent as opposed to buying a property. Financially, yes the favour is usually in buying a property. However, for personal, family & work-related reasons, renting provides the flexibility that is often required in people lifestyles. 

About the author: Raj Dosanjh is the founder of letting agent comparison site Rentround. Wearing many hats, Raj also runs a consultancy in the banking industry and his own martial arts club.

Change Orders and Cost Control-All That You Need to Know

When it comes to the completion of construction projects, change orders happen to be one of the major sources of frustration for contractors. At the same time, they have a far-reaching impact on the project scope, cost and timelines, yet it is something that cannot be avoided. However, having a proper change order management system in place enables teams to mitigate the disruptions in costs and schedules. But effective change order management remains a crucial pain point for a majority of construction companies.

Thankfully, big and small firms alike have realised the value of effective project management and cost control software solutions in construction, which have the potential to steer change management in the right direction. But before we talk about these solutions, it is vital to understand the costs associated with change orders in the first place.

Calculating the actual cost of change orders

Even before you start working on project cost control strategies in the face of change orders, it is vital to grasp their actual impact. Apart from the quantified costs, change orders also result in a significant loss of productivity. There is a lot more that exists below the surface. Let us explain the true cost of change orders as segmentation of direct, indirect and consequential costs.

Direct Costs: As the name implies, these are the costs directly influenced by the change order. Typically, this includes labour, equipment, material and other expenses related to the change. Apart from these costs, less obvious expenses such as the cost of the structure redesign, expenses of extra set up and clean up and cost of communication with engineers and crew specifically for implementing the order also come in this category.

Indirect Costs: Essentially, indirect costs include overheads. They may be a fixed or variable part of the project, based on the accounting practices followed by the business. When indirect costs are calculated as a percentage of the overall job, they tend to rise.

Consequential Costs: These are the costs associated with the timing of the change order. It is common for these orders to slow down the efficiency, which can result in consequential expenses that are hard to quantify. This can happen due to factors such as reassigning supervision, diluting labour power and more.

Cost Control with a Digital Solution

Considering the myriad of costs associated with change orders, managing them can be more challenging than you may think. Handling them manually can take a lot of work, right from budgeting for the change to tracking costs, analysing them and preparing reports that are to be passed on to the stakeholders. Apart from the complexity of the manual cost control operations, the chances of error run high when you have to record, access and process information across multiple spreadsheets. To handle such scenarios effectively, a project cost control software solution can prove beneficial as it automates the entire lifecycle and provides actionable insights to take the right steps for monitoring the change order-related costs.

Project managers should look for a holistic project management software solution that not only facilitates cost control but also encompasses other aspects such as ordering supplies, planning deliveries and scheduling labour. One that enables real-time updates in project information is a plus because it will keep the stakeholders informed about cost deviations at all stages.

About the author: The author is a construction project manager with Zepth.com and has a flair for writing as well. Since She has a rich experience in working on construction projects of diverse sizes and scales, he likes sharing them as articles on leading blogs and online platforms.