Best Way To Get Started In Real Estate Investing

When you’re just getting started with a new venture, particularly those that revolve around skilled financial investments such as real estate, you have a tendency to make a lot of errors.

Most people who develop an interest in real estate investment end up looping from one mistake to yet another for years, even after devouring lots of ebooks, videos, and training courses on the subject.

What is the missing link stopping most wannabe real estate investors from attaining financial freedom with real estate investments? Why do some people attain huge success whereas others see not even an iota of success?

Why Ebooks And Courses Only Serve To Confuse You

Some weariless investors have been able to get started on their own and make tons of money, but they are the exception. When you find yourself failing continuously, what you need is a real estate coach.

Electronic books and training courses drag you in different directions, but a real estate coach sets you on the right path to success. You gain substantial information from their experience, and through their training, you are able to focus on a single goal at a time, which is paramount to success.

They can also notice errors you’ve overlooked and guide you on what to do as an alternative. It’s like they’re an instructor, holding your hand and telling you exactly what to carry out. With that kind of help, your chances of success increase significantly.

The Only Real Estate Mentoring Program I Endorse

You’ll discover many real estate mentoring programs on the internet, all with similar claims of helping you become a six-figure realtor in as little time as possible.

All of these programs are obviously expensive, so choosing the best one is of vital importance. Select the wrong one and you’ll likely end up regretting wasting time and money you can’t really get back.

I’m a successful real estate professional, and I got my education from my mentor, Phil Pustejovsky. Phil Pustejovsky owns the Freedom Mentor coaching program – a program that shows you the ropes on the way to achieve financial freedom in real estate. Here are some Freedom Mentor reviews to help you guage the effectiveness of the program.

The Freedom Mentor coaching program is not really a program you can just buy whenever you want. You have to put in an application first, and you’ll only be accepted to the program if your application is accepted.

The very fact that Phil Pustejovsky evaluates applications goes to show how much he wants you to be successful. He’ll solely accept coachable, action-oriented, and positive thinking applicants.

Phil was once an amateur as well. He started from an all-time low and only started to achieve success right after he met his mentor, Tom.

Ever since, he has been able to finalize 10s of millions of dollars worth of deals while netting millions of dollars in profits during the process.

If you believe Phil’s knowledge would have a positive impact on your real estate journey, then you have to give special focus to the following paragraphs as I talk about his Freedom Mentor program in more detail.

Why Freedom Mentor?

By subscribing to the Freedom Mentor coaching program, you’ll gain access to premium tools and resources to assist you close your very first real estate deal.

These include access to a lender list, an instruction/lead-generating software to aid you find deals faster, and a personalized investing strategy.

That’s not everything, though. You’ll also get 3 real-time mentoring calls every month with Freedom Mentor’s coaches, 2 conference calls weekly, and the capability to ask questions and immediately obtain answers from the coaches through an instant messaging platform.

There are two very good attributes of this coaching program which help it stand out from the competition. The first feature is the array of helpful mentors and coaches it includes.

You won’t have access to just Phil Pustejovsky’s coaching once you become a registered member. Freedom Mentor is composed of a team of mentors and coaches directly taught and mentored by Phil.

Such are the coaches you’ll be getting help from. You’ll get access to a combined pool of knowledge and experience from many of the best coaches in the field.

The second attribute that makes this program so remarkably effective at assisting aspiring realtors gain success is its 50/50 split.

This essentially means Phil shares every one of his priceless real estate tricks with you, and you share 50% of the profits from your first couple of deals with him.

Once you’ve closed your first few deals, you can then carry on to become an independent real estate investor, equipped with all the knowledge you’ve acquired from the mentorship program.

If you possess a knack for teaching or mentoring, you can even establish your very own mentoring program and show your students the actions needed for success just like Phil does.

Some of Phil’s previous students are currently running their own mentoring programs after turning into successful real estate investors.

Note: I know the program offering changes from time to time as they continue to fine-tune it and improve it. Nevertheless, this is up to date as of this writing.

Conclusion – Action Takers Desired

The Freedom Mentor coaching program is geared towards folks who are 100% dedicated to becoming successful real estate investors. If you aren’t ready to handle real estate investing just like a business, this specific program may not be for you.

The tools, resources, and mentoring provided in the program are sufficient to set you on the best path to financial freedom.

Considering that you’re sharing your first few profits with Phil, it’s in his benefit to help you succeed, and you possess as much determination to do just that. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement, therefore you almost can’t fail if you invest the energy and time to help make this work.

Generally, the Freedom Mentor program is the most effective means to get started in real estate investing. You’re receiving all the support you need from a professional in the field. There’s really nothing more you need to help make your real estate ambitions come true.

2 Things To Consider Before Home Buying

Not all home sellers are completely truthful about the condition of their property. It is unfortunate that if you were to hire a professional inspector for each viewing, it would get incredibly expensive. Thus, here are a few things that you can spot yourself, telling you to avoid the purchase.

The first thing is that you must get to know the neighborhood. This is of absolute vital importance. Is it a growing community, or is it in decline? If there are many foreclosed homes and businesses, the community is going through tough times. Make sure you visit the area on two different occasions. In doing so, you will also become aware of traffic. Do also come at least once at night, so you can see whether the streets are safe and quiet at night or not. Speak to the police and ask for statistics on local crimes.

You should now look at the property itself and how it was treated. Signs of regular maintenance are hugely important. If it looks run down from the outside, it is likely that the inside isn’t in a much better condition either. Always look at the wiring too. Although you probably won’t be able to identify all of the problems yourself, some red flags are easy to spot. If you spot that outlets are warm or that lights flicker, there is likely to be a wiring problem. Similarly, if you notice that there is a single wall, or just a few walls that have been painted very recently, where others haven’t, the owners may be hiding something. Also inspect the windows. Look at whether the windows have mold or condensation or are hard to open; this could be a sign of expensive problems.It goes without saying that if there are any rooms that the sellers don’t want you to see, you should avoid the property completely. If there have been any structural changes to the original property, you need to check whether these were done in accordance with various building regulations.

At the end of the day, only you can decide whether or not you should purchase a property. Additionally, if you find that there are certain problems, you could use this as a negotiating point to drive the price down. You do have to ask yourself whether that bargain is worth the potential financial hassle you are putting yourself through. Whether you purchase a property as an investment or as a home, it is always going to be a building that somebody will live in, and you need to make sure that the quality of life in that property can be pleasant and enjoyable. It goes without saying that checking the condition of the property itself is very important, but the area it is in must be focused on as well. To check on the actual property, all you really need to do is hire the services of a property inspector. When it comes to the neighborhood, however, you need to have a personal feel, something that cannot be achieved by a check box list.

Comparing Standard Particulars On The Good Reasons To Find Selling a House

Inside Main Criteria When Looking At Selling a House

Many folks are now investing in real estate so in case you are going to sell your house, you must do it today. The only problem is that it’s very tough to sell a house.

You might have seen a lot of articles stating that selling a house is easy or you’ve seen some ads telling you that they can sell your home within a certain amount of time. You may always lower the value of your house since it’s going to be more desirable to the buyers, but this is not a good thing to do.

In the real estate market, the supply outstrips the demand, but there are a lot of techniques on how you may effectively sell your property. We will give some suggestions on the best way to do this successfully.

Focus on Curb Appeal

First impression lasts so your property must have a certain punch when a customer sees it the very first time. You should place yourself in the shoes of a buyer and assess the curb appeal of your house.

Head out of your home and take a look at it to find out its faults. Is it appealing enough to offer a good impression to a potential customer or does it need maintenance that you have always been putting off?

The possible buyers always see the outside of house firsthand and many of them are always paying attention on how their new home would look like in the outside. You must prepare and fix everything.

Enhancements in The house

Making upgrades in your house is a must if you’d like to draw in the customers. You’ll need to improve the interior and outside of the house so it’s going to be appealing to the potential customers. In case you are going to sell your house, you must check anything that needs to be fixed and make upgrades accordingly. However, make sure that you will not over improve because there are enhancements that will not make a huge difference.

Enhancements can certainly enhance the value of the house and its odds to be sold, but you can’t make upgrades that will not pay in the long run. You need to make your research and invest in things that would provide the best return.

Get Rid of Clutter in Your property

Some of you might claim that adding a little more design to your house would make it more appealing, but the truth is that any personal items, collectibles and art works that you have in your house will not help you sell your house.

The best thing that you can do is just eliminate all of them and just leave out the essential furniture to make the rooms larger. The aim here is to enable the buyers to picture themselves living in the house that you’re selling.

Most buyers will start pointing at every part of your property while visualizing what they want to put there if they will buy your house so if there are unnecessary and personal items in the space, it could be difficult for them to visualize what they want.

Put a Reasonable Price

If you’re going to sell a home in Burbank, you should be sure that you’ll put a competitive value for the house. If you put a lower value, it will be the same as leaving money on the table and if you put a high price, the customers will ignore it. When you talk about home buying, the buyers will take a look at similar houses and compare the costs. If it is very costly, they will not buy it.

You should keep in mind that most of the buyers are relying on home financing so they won’t really look at a house that is very costly. If the value is low, you may sell your home faster, but your investments will not be given back to you.

Look For A Real Estate Agent

You’re making a huge mistake if you believe that you may sell your house on your own. If you’re not a professional real estate agent, it’s going to be difficult since you do not have the experience and knowledge to do it. If you plan to do this on your own, there is a possibility that your home will not be sold or you won’t obtain a good deal. You may most likely get fortunate and obtain a great deal for your house, but you can’t rely on luck when you are selling a property because this is a huge amount of money. You must hire an agent and let them do everything for you. You will undoubtedly need to pay them, but this is better than getting a bad deal as you do not know anything.

Before you do anything else, you have to be sure that you understand how to sell your home successfully. The real estate industry is really complicated so you need to know how it works before selling your property.

Need To Learn About Real Estate Quickly? Read On

Have you heard stories of people making lots of money off of real estate investments? You might have seen information on television concerning the money to be made with real estate. If you want to make more money without working more hours, try investing in real estate. Below you will find useful tips to help you get started in real estate investing.

If you want to start investing in real estate, think about the amount of time you have available for managing properties. It can be time consuming to deal with tenants. Get a management company to do the dirty work for you.

Location is key when searching for an investment property. There are other important aspects to be aware of, but those are physical and can be altered or upgraded at any time. You want to pay close attention to other properties in that area and see if the house prices have been inflating or deflating. Before buying a property, learn about the neighborhood and any development plans for the area.

Stay with categories in which you are comfortable. You will find more success by focusing on a single market segment, as opposed to taking on varied projects. Whether you’re buying and selling homes, only working with starters, or dealing in properties that cost low in the down payment department, stick with the things you are familiar with.

If you want to invest in real estate, you have to be committed to the process. Sacrifice other activities for the time being. Ditch the poker night or softball league that you go to in order to become a better investor.

Interact with others who invest in real estate. It’s important to reach out to others and get advice from those more experienced than yourself. If you have friends who invest in real estate, that’s even better. The internet is an invaluable source for finding others. Attend some meetings and join some forums.

Take a good hard look at the neighborhood before investing in property there. Good neighborhoods will get you a better return than rundown ones. Location is probably the primary factor in property value, even more than what’s on the property itself.

Know the basics of real estate before you spend money. If you don’t use caution, you could lose money. The money you spend on research is the smartest investment you can make.

The rent you collect should cover just about all of the mortgage you pay. This will help you get moving in the right direction. Little is worse than paying money out of pocket for your rent each month due to not having a monthly payment from the tenant to cover it.

Do your research prior to investing in real estate. Check out the government website. You may find documents on future aspects of city planning. These can really affect the value of your property. If the city is growing, it’s a good place to invest.

Practice good bookkeeping. It’s easy to neglect the bookkeeping end of it, especially at the beginning. There are many things you must worry about. Keeping clean books is very important, however. You will surely save yourself a lot of headache in the future if you have solid bookkeeping habits.

Analyze the neighborhood before making a purchase. Location is everything when it comes to investment properties and it is even more important to know the zoning laws and whether or not the property has any special attributes. Speak with neighbors to figure out if you can get the property rented out shortly after you purchase it.

Be careful not to totally leverage yourself during a real estate deal. You need to make smart business decisions which leaves you with reserve cash within your portfolio so that you can handle any unexpected expenses. You will get burned if you do not do this.

Never go into an investment with the all-in mentality as you will need a financial cushion in the bank when things go awry. Making an investment in real estate sometimes equates to lots of cash being tied up indefinitely, and you may not see returns for many years. Be sure that you can handle this without causing financial problems for yourself in daily life.

You are likely to experience ups and downs. You must not be discourage by these lulls in the market. Persistence will pay off. Continue learning in order to experience financial freedom.

Be careful about buying a home that needs fixing. You may feel like you’re getting a great deal at the time, but if you spend a lot money fixing it up, you’ll spend more in the long run. Buy properties that will only require minor touches. The best thing you could do is acquire a property that comes complete with good renters already there.

Look at the economy in the area before buying a home. Property prices are lowered by the scarcity of good jobs and high levels of unemployment. This minimizes your chances of getting a good return on your investment. A more robust city will increase property values.

Is the value of property increasing? Are there tons of vacancies in rental properties? Think about these things when you decide what to do with property. When flipping properties, it makes sense to buy low, and when renting property you need to be sure you don’t set wild expectations because you never know when the place will be vacant.

Before purchasing a rental property, it pays to get a good understanding of what the local rents are going for in the area. To be able to get the rent you want, but to also make sure that you have a tenant for it, you must know what other rental properties are going for in the local community. Potential tenants will be less interested in your property, making you need to wait longer to start earning money.

Those around you, including loved ones, close friends and even fellow employees at your day job, might discourage you from investing in real estate. It’s best to ignore them, learn on your own, and make your own wise decisions. An exception to this is someone who has money and knows how to handle it.

Learn the market’s lingo. You should always sound like you are a professional. If your seller thinks you are new to this, then they may try to take you for a ride on the price. Your expertise and how you talk can work out well for you. Sounding professional will help you in negotiations.

Investing in real estate is probably the best way to generate a good income these days. The thing to remember is how important understanding the tricks of the trade is to any beginning. By applying the tips in this article, you can get started in a lucrative career in real estate investing.

Finding Success By Investing In The Real Estate Market

Investing in real estate can be scary for some people. You should be educated with the right information. After you get your bearings, you’ll find it very lucrative. Take a look at the suggestions offered here to set you on the right path. Once you know what you’re doing, you’ll be comfortable making decisions.

Do not purchase anything that has not been inspected by an unbiased professional. Also, never use an inspector offered by the seller. Always use a neutral party, or a trusted person.

Go with an area you’re familiar with. If you really focus on a specific segment it’s much easier to be successful with investing. Work with a niche you are familiar with, whether you are trying to flip houses, purchase starter home or buy properties that require low down payments.

When buying real estate as an investment, it’s good practice to have a dependable and affordable handyman working for you. If you don’t, you’ll end up spending a fortune on various home repair specialists. A handyman that’s good should be able to handle any emergency a tenant has after hours.

Never assume that property values are always going to rise. This assumption is dangerous in this market and any individual property. It is much safer to invest in property that is already producing an income. Property value appreciation will help you invest in future properties.

When buying real estate as an investment, it’s good practice to have a dependable and affordable handyman working for you. If not, you will find all your positive cash flow eaten up by exorbitant repair expenses. A great handyman is helpful in emergencies that could occur after hours.

Don’t purchase real estate that is in a less than desirable neighborhood. Focus on the area of the home you are interested in. Research it. Great deals aren’t enough in a seedy neighborhood. It can be hard to sell this kind of home and this type of home could be vandalized easily.

You must consider location when you look at real estate. You might be looking at a fabulous home that isn’t worth much due to the neighborhood it is in. Think about the location and the possible potential.

You may want to consider a company that specializes in managing properties. Doing so does eat into your profit margin, but there are advantages to this expense. This company will handle repairs and screen potential renters. This frees up time to look for more properties.

You can diversify your portfolio by buying real estate in other countries, states, and areas, but you should also consider looking into those in your local area. You know your area the best. You should at least start out local.

Your investments should never tap into your emergency funds. Understand that when you invest in real estate, your money may not be readily available. This is a state of affairs that could go on for a number of years. You do not want your investment property to put your personal life in a pinch.

Check the economic forecast of the county where you would like to purchase real estate. Property prices will stay low as long as unemployment rates stay high. This minimizes your chances of getting a good return on your investment. A vibrant city will increase your investment pretty quickly.

Think about taking your business further by getting properties for businesses instead of getting only residential places. Properties that are businesses can help you get rentals in the long term, and you can make a lot off of them. You can even get a small strip mall or a complex for a business, and this presents a lot of options when you decide to invest in properties.

If you want to purchase several properties close together in time, try to find ones that are near each other. You will be able to save gas this way as you visit your properties. You can also develop some expertise in the local market for real estate.

Figure out what type of building you can maintain with ease. Real estate investing is more than buying property. After that, you have to consider maintaining and improving the property for good resale. One-story homes are easier to work on than two-story homes. Don’t take on more than you know you can tackle.

Never leverage yourself out completely when trying to get that next real estate deal underway. Always make sure you have reserve cash in case something happens that you do not expect. If you fly by the seat of your pants with no capital on hand, you will eventually crash and burn.

Do your research about local regulations and laws in the area you plan to invest in. Local regulations can vary from place to place, so it is important to know these rules ahead of time. Contact officials in order to be completely compliant and aware of important information before you lay down any money.

Don’t go for properties that have prices that are too low or high. This will generally not be a good investment. If you want to buy cheap property, you’ll probably spend a lot on renovations. Your best bet is to look for moderately priced, solid properties that are neither too fancy nor too run down.

Be wary of investments that seem super high or super low in price. You will not make a decent profit if you put too much into your investment. Buying a cheap property is likely to eat up money in repairs to make it ready for the market. The best plan is to buy quality properties at moderate prices, so don’t look for either the fancy or the run down.

Know the marketplace’s lingo. You must be able to talk the talk. If the seller sees that you are a novice, he may take advantage of you. Use the lingo you learn, as well as your knowledge, to give you an advantage. If you sound and seem professional, you will be able to negotiate better.

People that you’re involved with in your personal life may not want you to get into real estate. Do not pay attention to them, rather do all you can to acquire knowledge about the subject to help you make wise money choices. However, you may want to listen to those with successful experience in the market.

You can try predicting when you will sell a house, but you will not be right all the time. Be aware of this when assessing your risk when purchasing a property. Will there be an initial cash layout or will it be financed? What interest rate will you have to pay? Will you be renting before you sell?

Real estate is a great place to start investing. Review your options and think of the choices that will suit you best. It is a better choice than a savings account. Keep these great tips in mind and get started to earn a higher income.

Misconceptions About Selling a Home

You may think by listing high you can always accept a lower offer, but if you do, you’ll miss the buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. Offers may not even come in, because interested buyers are scared off by the price and won’t bother to look. By the time the listing price is corrected, you will have lost a large group of potential buyers. Your real estate agent will offer you a comparable market analysis. This is a document that compares your home to other similar homes in your area, with the goal of helping you to accurately assess your home’s true market value.

Minor repairs make your house more marketable, allowing you to maximize your return (or minimize loss) on the sale. By and large, buyers are looking for an inviting home in move-in condition. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. You save nothing by putting off these items, and you may likely slow the sale of your home.

Buyers won’t go inside of the home if the outside of your home does not appeal to them. Many buyers drive by a home before deciding whether or not to look inside. Your home’s exterior will have less than a minute to make a good first impression. Spruce up the lawn, trim shrubs and trees, and weed the garden. Clear the walkways and driveways of leaves and other debris. Repair gutters and eaves, touch up the exterior paint and repair or resurface cracked driveways and sidewalks. Place potted flowers out front, hang a wreath on the door and put out a pleasing welcome mat for added curb appeal.

Buyers have will leave right away if the house doesn’t look like it could be theirs. Remember that most buyers are looking for an inviting home in move-in condition. Spending a few thousand dollars for the right work on your home before you sell it, usually translates into a higher selling price and shorter marketing time. Your real estate agent will consult with you about the repairs and replacements that will benefit you most.

If you get carried away with repairs and replacements to your home, you may end up over-improving the house. At some point, improvements that you make to your home can exceed what is customary for comparable homes in your area. As a rule of thumb, if your improvements push your home’s value higher than 20% above average neighboring home values, don’t expect to recoup the entire amount of improvements. Your real estate agent can advise you as to the scope of projects you might consider in preparing your house for sale.

You might consider offering seller financing, paying some of the buyer’s closing costs, including a one-year home warranty, or other buyer incentives. Your real estate agent, who has professional knowledge of local market activity, can help you decide what incentives, if any, to offer.

For more reading, try Common Misconceptions About Selling a Home; and, Biggest Misconceptions When Selling Your Home.

Maybe You Should Sell During Off-Season

When it comes to real estate, the ideal time to sell your home often falls in the spring months. After all, many people during the winter months or are too busy with the holidays to think about purchasing a new home. But listing your house for sale around the holidays has its benefits. You will be dealing with serious buyers who are ready to pull the trigger.

Studies have shown that homes listed during the holidays can sell faster than homes in the spring can, and they can also command more money. In the spring, inventory usually picks up, but during the holidays, the options are more limited, meaning a homeowner can ask for more money.

Anyone who is shopping for a new home around during the holidays are more than likely going to be serious buyer. This is because people who aren’t serious about purchasing a home quickly, are not spending Christmas Eve looking at a house, they will be with their friends and family. Chances are, the buyer will not be wasting your time for kicks.

Homeowners who put their home up during winter have a great advantage. They can give their home the “homey” vibe that appeals so much to buyers. They can put lights up, have a fire lit, and have the home smelling of pine needles. Homebuyers are also more likely to be emotional during winter months, which will add a little to impulsivity.

It is usually at the end of the year when a person is notified they will be getting a job transfer. These people need homes fast so that they can begin the new year with a place to live.

During Christmas, for example neighborhoods are decorated with lights. Wreaths may be placed on lamp poles up and down the streets; this season is a major advantage, because the neighborhood will look and feel different. A buyer may feel more open to the idea of a specific neighborhood that they may have initially avoided.

If a home closes on Christmas Eve, a homebuyer can deduct the mortgage interest, property taxes and interest costs of the loan. The tax deductions can be significant and could prompt a home buyer to move during the holidays.

Selling During the Holidays is Not All Bad

Staging Tips for Selling During the Holidays

How to Win a House With Multiple Offers

Homes can be listed for sale and receive multiple offers within hours. Here are some ways to get the competitive edge that will help you win the home you want.

Great Strategies for Winning a Bidding War

Strong Financing: A seller is more likely to choose your offer when it has solid financing. You can pay all cash and waive all contingencies; however, if that is not for you then consider other strategies:

• Get pre-approved for a loan to prove your finances are solid.
• Work with a local lender or one preferred by the listing agent to gain an advantage.
• Get underwriter approval for an extra sign of strength as a buyer.
• Opt for conventional financing.
• Increase your earnest money amount.
• Ask your lender to call the listing agent and testify that your money is good.
• If the Appraisal comes in low and the lender balks, offer to borrow less to keep the deal together.

Present an offer thats hard to turn down: Matching what the seller desires in price, terms, and closing timeline will speak loudly when you make an offer. Your agent can help you find out which terms matter, including:

• Offer at list or, if the list price is low, offer at a price based on comparables.
• Shorten contingency periods or waive them altogether.
• Be flexible about the closing date, if that will win you an advantage.
• During negotiation, think carefully before renegotiating price or credits after an inspection (the seller might opt for the back-up offer).

3. Go the extra mile: Price and terms are one thing but you may be surprised to learn they don’t always win. When selling a foreclosure, banks sometimes choose the first offer that comes in; however, a homeowner might be swayed by a more personal touch.

• Move quickly to get the offer completed, so your agent can submit it by the offer deadline.
• Submit the offer fast so it’s on top of the stack or, if time allows, have your agent deliver it in person.
• Summarize key offer terms and highlight the ones that matter in a term sheet.
• Write a cover letter about yourself (with photos) and what you love about the home.
• Include a photocopy of the earnest money check to show you’re serious.
• Conclude with your agent’s deal history to show the escrow process will go off without a hitch.

Be fast, but don’t make decisions on a whim: Being prepared and having answers ahead of time means you’re ready to act fast with a quick decision or counter offer; it will also keep you from making an offer you might regret later. If you get out-bid, you want to be confident in the knowledge that you pushed to your limits but that the other buyer ultimately paid a price that doesn’t make sense for you.

• Consider what each price step-up should be in an escalation clause.
• Know the home’s condition, current market value, and the maximum you can afford so you
know when it is in your best interest to walk away.
• Search for homes priced below your max so you can comfortably counter.

Keep learning: Remember, almost no one wins the first time out and each multiple offer situation can be different. If you take what you learn from a loss, you can add it to your bag of tricks for the next time.

Check out this article on 7 Tips to Help a Buyer Win in a Multiple Offer Situation and this contrast video, Handling Multiple Offers From the Sellers Perspective.

Fixer-Upper: To Buy or Not To Buy?

Should You Purchase a Fixer-Upper Home?

Perhaps its a deal that seems silly to pass up. Perhaps it is a hobby; many people truly enjoy restoring a property its original condition and architectural details. Buying a house that needs to basically be gutted is something you really should take a hard look at. You think, “oh I know its a big deal, but I’m ready.” However, theres more to it than that. Here are questions you should be asking.

-What are the huge hidden expenses? Maybe the roof needs to be replaced, the insulation throughout the whole home needs to be ripped out, the house is leaning more to one side, the plumbing throughout the whole house must be re-done.
-What things can we simply not do ourselves?
-What sort of things can we do with little experience and little cash?
-What are the other serious problems with the home that the realtor might have left out?

You’ve Got to Find a Great Inspector
Be sure when you look for an inspector, that you look for someone who knows about houses that are however many years old. Most inspectors know how to inspect newer homes which are usually considered 1-35 years. Then get references and talk to people he’s worked for. If he’s not willing to give you references, then move on. When you find an inspector, follow them around. In cases when you are selling your home, it is a general rule of thumb that you should leave him alone and let him do his job. But, when buying a house, you should definitely hover. Generally, you’ve got to look at the following areas:

. Structure – Will it stand up
. Membrane – Roof, cladding – Will it keep water out and heat in.
. Foundation – is the basement dry? does it have cracks.
. Electrical – Enough power, and properly wired.
. Plumbing – Leaks and pressure.
. Heating – Primarily this is the age and type of the furnace.
. Doors and Windows – These cost more than you think, so get an estimate before buying.

The next important detail is Architecture. Are the rooms of appropriate size or is the floor plan easily convertible to something you can live with and enjoy. Here is the money you can’t avoid spending in this category.

. Roofing – This needs to be replaced every 20 to 30 years. It can range from a re-shingling to a full wood and insulation replacement.
. Furnace – Again, 20-30 year replacement.
. Electrical – IF you’re hunting for a bargain, you’ll probably need electrical work. Most of it is easy and you can DIY if you know what you’re doing.

Check out this great video on How to Reshingle a Roof and this article on, 7 Warning Signs You Need a New Roof.

Four Signs of a Bad Landscaping Firm

Four Signs of a Bad Landscaping Firm

In many cases, if you are in the market for a particular type of service, it’s too easy to get caught up in trying to figure out the hallmarks of a good firm.  It’s too easy to focus on the proactive aspect and this might actually blind you.  In many cases, it’s easier to see the bad side of a particular service provider instead of trying to imagine the good side.

Too many homeowners pick out the wrong landscaping firm because they read into the firm qualities they are looking for when those qualities don’t exist.  This kind of bias is ever present and can cause you quite a pretty penny when it comes to reworks and getting the landscape design or landscaping work you had done by one firm redone by another firm.

In many cases, it’s easier to spot the signs of a bad landscaping firm than really getting down to business and looking under the hood to find the good signs of a competent firm.  Keep your eyes peeled on the following four signs:

Fast and loose with bonding and licensing requirements

If the State requires certain bonding and licensing requirements, and the company that you are thinking of doing business with either operates on an expired license or keeps telling you they will get around to it, you might want to stay away.  If they can’t even step up to the play in regards to minimum State requirements, what makes you think that they would dot their eyes and cross their tease as far as your landscaping needs are concerned?

You don’t need to roll the dice with such an outfit.  They might have a great reputation but this is your hard-earned dollars we’re talking about.

Random staff

You know that you are dealing with a fly-by-night or fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants outfit when the people that they have don’t last long.  They basically random people coming in and out or going all jobs for them, they might not be enough of a reservoir of a battle-tested talent.  These people might not have enough solid years of experience to truly do a good job with your particular landscaping needs.  You don’t want to find out the hard way.

If you’re in doubt regarding this particular firm’s staff experience, you might want to leave firm off your list.

Fly-by-the-seat-of-your pants planning

If the account representative for the landscaping firm visits your place or your work and the person won’t commit anything to writing or basically just beating around the bush or talking in generalities, you might want to find another landscaping firm.

First of all, nobody has the time in the world to beat around the bush.  Second, you know you’re dealing with an unprofessional company when they don’t give you written proposals.  It doesn’t really take a genius or much time to come up with something that is properly documented.  If they can’t even step up to that play, why should you expect that they would have a high attention to details as far as your landscaping needs are concerned?

You find out about stuff at the last minute.

If you are trying to get a deal with a particular deal with a firm and they keep changing the terms or you find out about certain details regarding your landscaping job at the last minute, these are red flags that the firm you are dealing with might be too unprofessional for your particular needs.

Find the Best Landscaper – Angie’s List

25 Biggest Landscaping Mistakes – HGTV

13 Things Your Landscaper Won’t Tell You – Reader’s Digest