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Some would say home flipping, in which a buyer resells a property quickly for a profit, is on the decline as U.S. residential price gains slow and foreclosures dwindle. The exception are those individuals who know a valuation first approach to real estate is key to buying right. REIAComps.com insure you have a complete feeling of confidence and sense of control over all the deals you intend to flip.

In the second quarter of this year, almost 31,000 single-family houses were flipped, representing a solid percentage of U.S. home sales. These are quite consistent with data from earlier last year and not much different from the second three months of 2012, when prices bottomed after the crash. Remember we define a flip as a property sold within 12 months of purchase.

Real estate investors who are using REIAComps.com are making stronger profits and finding better opportunities for deals even after a two-year surge in property values that’s now slowing. The median existing-home price climbed 4.9 percent in July from a year earlier, compared with a 13.1 percent jump in the same month of 2013. Distressed homes still account for their share of sales going back to 2008. Read More→

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Recent indicators clearly show home values in nearly half of the country’s largest metro areas will not reach their pre-recession peak levels again for another three years or more. The data I have been seeing using REIAComps during the first half of this year are proof the recovery is still very much in its middle stages.

Nationally, home values remain double digit percentages below their 2007 peak. Looking ahead, U.S. home values are expected to rise through the early part of 2015. Really though, It will take another 3+ years for national home values to recover their pre-recession levels, assuming a steady rate of appreciation. And this is not every where. Las Vegas will take another decade.

For those of you already connected to REIAComps, the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. These new statistic add power and knowledge to your tool belt. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of houses as they come to market, against other less reliable sources continues to be a no brainer. Read More→

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Really good real estate investors know and rely on valuation of their deals as the key to success and profits. The economic slump that richer countries have suffered during the past seven years can be blamed on a runaway housing bubble that started right here in the U.S. All the market areas covered by REIAComps, insure when pricing changes happen you are not caught off guard. 

When it comes to the tic of the housing bubble, there were other issues like poor oversight of the broader financial system which led to the crash. But without the real estate bubble, there would likely have been no financial crisis.

Which is why the fact that similar-looking bubbles inflating in countries from Canada to the U.K. have economists worried that there might be other catalysts of future crises laying wait for us in the weeds.

Last week, in a Forbes article, IMF economist Min Zhu published an article called “Era of Benign Neglect of House Price Booms is Over,” in which he sounded the alarm over rising global home prices. Zhu explains how he determines whether home prices in a particular country are overpriced.  Read More→

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The Reverse Mortgage (RM) market has had massive growth in the last decade. This phenomenon makes ripe a great opportunity for investor success as Americans live longer.

Basically a RM it is a product to help seniors finance their retirement in an age of longer lifespans, long-term stagnant wages and fewer younger workers to fund public and private retirement programs. An RM is similar to a refinance but different in that a monthly payment from the overall principle is paid monthly like an annuity.

Frankly, a significant group of older Americans just don’t have enough to retire. Thus, an RM is a product that needs to exist. We as investors come in when the family member who has to sell the house to cover the principle which was utilized up to the time the family member passes away. Believe it or not, this is literally happening today.

For those of you already connected to REIAComps , the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Add these new Reverse Mortgage deals to your tool belt and it gets even sweeter. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of houses as they come to market, against other less reliable sources continues to be a no brainer. Read More→

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How to Add Value to a House

Posted on April 4, 2014 by

As if there isn’t enough to do, real estate investor, contractor, business owner, host to my video blog and busy husband, father and grandfather, I’m adding new books to my list of activities.

Finding the time to write has been challenging with a wife in graduate school, five children and two grandchildren to keep up with. I figure my next full book will take me a good year to write.

For those of you already connected to REIAComps , the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of houses as they come to market, against other less reliable sources is a no brainer.

But back to the book, the title I am thinking of is something like “How to Add Value to a House, which will represent responses to repeated questions I’ve had over the years and is more of a “what to and why to” rather than a “how to”.

It will talk about the specific renovations you should target; it talks about why some areas of a house are valued more than other areas. It will actually be about how to maximize the potential of any house you are renovating. Read More→

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7 Mistakes Investors Make

Posted on February 28, 2014 by

There is money to be made in real estate, but you need to think about real estate investing as the business it is. Allow me to share some common mistakes that beginning and even seasoned investors should avoid.

For those of you connected to REIAComps, the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of houses as they come to market, against the recent sold comparables, will provide you a solid position to “make your profit when you buy”.

  1. Getting emotionally involved. This is the biggest and most common mistake beginning investors make. Emotions and business do not mix well.
  2. Paying too much. To make money investing, you have to find a good deal. Look for properties that need a little fixing up. Your goal is to find a distressed property that you can purchase at 60- 70 percent of other sold comparables. REIAComps makes that part of your investing business much easier.
  3. Ignoring schools. Good schools attract good renters. Conversely, only the most desperate renters are willing to subject their children to failing schools. Read More→
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When you know the best pockets or market areas around the U.S. to find discounted real estate, you are half way home. All that is left is evaluating the inventory for maximum profit. For those of you connected to REIAComps , the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of “Shadow Inventory” houses as they come to market, against the recent sold comparables, will provide you a solid position to “make your profit when you buy”.

First, let’s define “Shadow Inventory”. The general definition goes like this; the current stock of properties in the shadow inventory, also known as pending supply, by calculating the number of properties that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or held as REO by mortgage servicers, but not currently listed on multiple listing services MLS’s.

CoreLogic released its November National Foreclosure Report with a supplement featuring quarterly shadow inventory data as of October 2013. According to CoreLogic analysis there were 46,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in November 2013, down from 64,000 in November 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 29 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 8.3 percent, from 50,000 in October 2013. Read More→

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Selling an investment property can be a very challenging process. One of the preliminary considerations in selling the property is what price you should ask. Evaluating the prices of comparable houses in the neighborhood may sometimes solve this problem. However, for those of you connected to REIAComps , the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Using REIAComps to investigate the prices of houses, which are comparable to your deal, that have recently been sold will provide you a solid value to set the sales price.

Now there are several methods by which you can discover prices of comparable houses in your market area. The first, most costly, but probably reliable method is by hiring a professional home appraiser to conduct an appraisal of the property. Professional appraisers typically evaluate your home and similar homes in the same geographic area and provide you with a report stating the price of your house and comparing its features with other houses that have recently sold in the area. The challenge is these appraised values don’t typically represent the savvy needed for an investor like you. You need not just what a home might sell for, but what you should acquire the dwelling for in the first place. You always want to “make your profit when you buy”.  Read More→

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You Can Rely on Assessed Value

Posted on November 26, 2013 by

As a trainer of appraisers for nearly 15 years, to those who hold private and public roles, one thing is certain, local assessor offices around the country make relying on their values rough on investors. However, for those of you connected to REIAComps, the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. The stuff going on in places like Clark County, NV or even your own area won’t shake you.

Most municipalities across the country use a formula tied to market value for assessing residential property taxes. In many parts of the country some form of non-disclosure is the norm. Thus, relying on assessed value is a second option.

However, when the decision to reduce the assessed value of a property from $19.5 million to $2,500 was decided by the State Equalization Board in NV, you can just imagine the problem this caused. The use of any assessed values to develop an offer price or ARV is literally eroded. There goes any hope of making a good offer to buy or sell. Read More→

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As a regular writer for the Atlanta REIA and Tampa REIA, I look forward to sharing with readers current, timely concepts and ideas regarding the valuation of real estate in many markets. Perhaps even better than sharing in these articles, is knowing REIAComps helps to quickly see how the location of your market impacts the profit of a deal year to year and in some cases, month to month.

Each month, I will share facts on local real estate statistics, market trends and provide useful tips for buyers and sellers. Additionally, I sometimes will discuss the lending process, real estate appraisals and other topics residential real estate investors can benefit from.

Now, in most cases nearly all investors are familiar with the “age old rule” concerning real estate: “Location, location, location.” Many times, the high importance of location is overlooked when examining broader national or even regional real estate trends.

In your own market, property values and selling trends will frequently differ vastly between counties, subdivisions, school districts and neighborhoods. Often there is a huge difference in home values between streets within even assumed stable neighborhoods. To prove out this point, consider the three-mile radius around your very own home. Note the variables impacting its value either positively or negatively. Some examples include the home’s proximity to traffic congestion, a school, amenities, places of worship or a busy commercial district. Read More→

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Though recent signs have pointed to a lessening of the ongoing housing inventory crunch, many markets in the Atlanta metro area are still experiencing shortages of homes for sale. With consistent reports of inventory overall declining in the metro area, we found some bright spots. Using REIAComps helps to quickly see the number of sales and the best prices to buy year over year.

By looking at REIAComps valuation data, we were able to identify the top five markets experiencing unique growth making them the easiest metro Atlanta markets to crack.

5) Locust Grove: The City of Locust Grove derived its name from a grove of locust trees that could be seen throughout the town. Locust Grove was a major rail distribution center for cotton, peaches, and other farm products. In 1870, the first store was built and since that time many new businesses have moved to Locust Grove and is the reason for it being a warm market and easy to crack.

4) Griffin: Downtown Griffin is the historical, cultural, and government center of Spalding County. Griffin offers citizens and visitors the pace and charm of small town living with convenient access to the heart of the South, located only 40 miles south of Atlanta. Recently, downtown Griffin features retail and restaurant attractions as well as commercial office space and residential units for citizens and visitors interested in experiencing a live/work/play environment. These convertible spaces are ripe for investment and redevelopment. Read More→

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Okay, the media in general is touting the US economy is doing better than it has over the last bunch of quarters. People across the country are working again. Typically this news leads people to feel better about the overall economy. More directly, this has translated to a recovery in the real estate market.

Signs show home values are coming up from the lows of 2008-2011. It is easy to keep track of values using REIAComps. Sales in many markets have been increasing and there a good volume of houses to choose from and lastly the number of folks looking to buy are up.

These previously mentioned factors are good for people who purchased at the height in 2004-2007. This was the time period when negative equity was born. Upside down mortgages became common place far too often. Read More→

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