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One of the big pitfalls of starting a small business, such as real estate investing, is how to protect your personal assets from your business investments, and the other way around. If you buy everything in your personal name, you run the risk of a single lawsuit wiping out not only your investment, but also your personal property. As such, I generally recommend that  all small business owners incorporate their business in some way as to provide maximum reasonable protection for your assets.

There is one good reason to buy property in your own name solely, and that is for a refinance.  If you buy real estate and plan to refinance the property to get cash out, or to pay off a hard money loan, almost all conventional banks will require the property be in your own name.  If you know this is your plan going in, then I recommend you buy the property in your personal name and keep it in your personal name until the refinance takes place. This will leave you exposed to the liability of the security deed, and any consequences of foreclosure or defaulting on the loan, but it is the only way to get the refinance done in the first place.  Buying originally in your own name will save you from troubles with possible seasoning issues down the road.  Even in this instance, I still recommend putting the property into a business entity of some sort after the refinance is complete. Read More→

Whether you are an experienced real estate investor or a beginner, there is an available local resource you might want to check out.

Where can you find investor friendly vendors, professionals, funding sources, contractors, other investors, realtors, lenders, as well as affordable education, local information and great networking with people who understand what you are doing and speak a common language?

You can find all of this and more at a well run investor group. They go by various names. They may be called Landlord groups, Investor associations, Investor clubs, etc.

You will find them on the Internet.  Generally the bigger groups will have a Website and may be on Social Networking Sites. You can do a Google search.  Simply put in your city and the name “REIA” (Real Estate Investor Association” or Alliance), you might also look for “Landlord Associations or Groups”.  You may find them by going to other sites, for example National Real Estate Investor Association (National REIA), etc.

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Do you old time REIA group members remember back when real estate gurus used to attend their local REIA group meetings on a regular basis? Where have all the local real estate gurus gone? Why don’t the real estate gurus attend their local REIA groups anymore as part of the general membership?

Even though Atlanta, Georgia has many local real estate gurus, the only time I ever seem to see them at local REIA group meetings is when they are occasionally invited to come speak and sell a product or service. There are a few notable exceptions, but this seems to be the norm. As far as national real estate gurus go, your average REIA group will parade a new real estate guru before you each and every month at your main REIA group meeting selling a similar, and often more expensive, product or service. As a result, many of these real estate guru’s sales fall far short of their desired sales mark at such REIA groups and they don’t seem to want to attend or speak at REIA groups as much anymore. Read More→

Beware of Contractor ScamsYear after year, home remodeling fraud costs consumers thousands of dollars and considerable stress and aggravation. Another scary thought is that a big part of the people targeted for this type of scam are elderly persons. Contractor fraud is a criminal activity pulled by scam artists on consumers. They tend to prey on senior citizens and singles, taking advantage of their willingness to trust others who sound believable. Sadly, it’s a different world today. It is best to be cautious when seeking workers. Among some fairly obvious tactics, here are some things to watch out for. Read More→

Toxic Terrors That Affect Homes

Posted on September 29, 2010 by

MOLD

Toxic Black MoldMold in houses has become one of the most popular scares in recent years. Although it has been around since before caveman days, our industry is always out to find something new to charge thousands of dollars to correct. Most molds, even black in color are not the toxic poison type of mold that causes illness in people. The temporary fix is to use a 50/50 mix of bleach and water to clean the surface. This does not kill the mold, it just removes the surface visibility and unless you take away the moisture or cause of the mold it will return. For mold remediation of black mold and mold infestation, please refer to my article on mold in your previous issues of REIP magazine. If you have significant mold in sight, one of the brands of product I recommend is Microban. It is highly effective in handling problems associated with mold, fungi, bacteria, germs and so on. You may find it by calling a janitorial supply company from your yellow pages book. Read More→

Seal The Deal With Curb Appeal

Posted on September 29, 2010 by

Curb AppealCurb appeal is one of the most important aspects of any real estate transaction. For me, it is the curb appeal that defines everything about my deal. How much will I offer? How much will it take to rehab the property? How does it compare to the surrounding living conditions? Simply stated, if the curb appeal is not very good, I know that I can buy the property for a discounted price. And that’s what my business is all about. Buying distressed homes and then raising the curb appeal through repairs to the property that not only raise curb appeal, but also the value too. Here are several ways that I use to bring up the value of houses to maximize my profit at resale. Read More→

Safe ActCongress has reacted to the financial meltdown in the housing sector in a number of interesting ways. Very few of them, I feel, are likely to actually deal with the root issues of why the bubble grew so much in the first place. In 2008, the US Congress passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (Also called SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act or simply the SAFE Act).  The main purpose of the act was to restrict the ability to make mortgages to those that are licensed by the state. Georgia incorporated the SAFE act into law in 2010 with an update to the Georgia Residential Mortgage Act (Called GRMA) that can be found in O.C.G.A. 7-1-1000 and following to about 7-1-1018. The changes to the law have significant impact on investors who buy real property in Georgia and sell it using owner financing.

The first and easiest thing to note is that there are no changes when the purchaser is an investor. The law does not attempt to restrict buyers who are also investors. If you are an investor-to-investor seller of property, you need read no further and be glad that this is the case. Read More→

Atlanta REIA is an Atlanta Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, but is not the same as the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, Inc. (GAREIA.ORG). Atlanta REIA is a totally separate Atlanta Georgia Real Estate Investors Association from the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.

Some people ask if we are a Georgia Real Estate Investors Association subgroup or subchapter, but we are NOT. Atlanta REIA is NOT a subgroup or subchapter of the Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, Inc. Atlanta REIA is completely independent from Georgia Real Estate Investors Association and always will be.

Others ask if we are a splinter group of Georgia Real Estate Investors Association, but we are not… not really. While it is true that we formed several REIA groups due to our own personal ambitions, we wish to remain close allies with Georgia Real Estate Investors Association and help the organization and its membership while having the flexibility of doing our own thing. Read More→

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