Why Real Estate Investment?

Why should you invest in real estate? Well, investing in real estate for profit is one of the most popular approaches to generating additional income in the United States today. In fact, if you pay attention to recent press you will have seen numerous reports about the real estate investment craze that seems to be sweeping the Nation.When done carefully and intelligently, real estate can yield fantastic benefits that can not be achieved through any other type of investment. Here are just a few examples of why real estate investing can be such a powerful wealth generator.1. Real Estate Markets Are Slow to React – Although real estate, like everything else, has ups and downs, it is generally a lot slower to react than the stock market. For example, you won’t get up in the morning and discover that your real estate investment is worth ten or twenty percent less than it was yesterday.2. Leverage. You can borrow money to buy real estate, whereas, generally you can not borrow money to buy stocks. You can control a large dollar value of real estate with a small amount of your own money by using loans and mortgages. The stock market, by law, limits the amount of leverage (margin) you can use to buy stock. There are no such limits with real estate.3. You Can Purchase Real Estate For Less Than Its Market Value. In many cases you can purchase a property for as low as 60 to 70 percent of the market value. When buying stocks, you may be able to find a stock that is considered “under valued” but generally it’s tough to do that on a regular and consistent basis.4. Real Estate Offers A Tremendous Amount Of Tax Advantages Through Depreciation. Real estate basically has two values, the land and the building(s) on the land. For example, if a property is valued at $250,000 and the assessed value of the land is $75,000, the building would be worth $175,000.The government allows real estate investors to depreciate the value of the building in equal parts over its “useful life” which is defined as 27.5 years. So for example, based on the $175,000 building value above, the annual depreciation value would be $6,363.63 ($175,000 divided by 27.5). This means that for tax purposes, the investor would be able to reduce his/her annual income by $6,363.63!Many people find the notion of depreciation to be confusing since it’s not really a loss of money. I recommend you check with a qualified tax professional for more details and how this can benefit you.5. Real Estate Markets Are Insulated Local Markets. For instance, when the stock market falls, it takes down just about everybody and everything involved with it. When home values drop in one city such as New York, generally it does not affect property values in other cities like Boston or Chicago. To protect yourself, you can have a “geographically diversified” portfolio of real estate investments to hedge against these types events.6. You The Investor Can Control The Value. Another aspect of real estate investment is that unlike any other investment, this investment is controlled by the investor. For example, as an investor, you can increase the value of your investment property by making some modifications to the property such as adding a garage or replacing the carpet, etc. With stocks or any other investment, the investor can’t do anything to increase the value of the investment.7. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH). When a market has prices that always “fully reflect” available information, it is called “efficient”. The stock market for example is considered by most to be an efficient market. When you call your broker to purchase or sell a stock, you can be sure of one thing – the price you bought or sold the stock for was indeed the “correct” price for that stock on that day and at that time. Why? Because the existing price for the stock will already incorporate and reflect all relevant available information about the company such as earnings, and other metrics.With real estate, the market is very inefficient. Unlike the stock market, with real estate, the “correct” price discovery mechanism is left to each buyer and seller to figure out on their own. There is the almost always uncertainty as to whether the price offered by the seller is too high or too low. Moreover, there is typically little to no help available from analysts and research agencies (like when dealing with stocks) in this respect. This inefficiency is the very reason why real estate offers such a great investment opportunity to be smart and win! But it requires experience and a sharp eye for good deals and great negotiation skill. This expertise can be developed.If done correctly, real estate is probably one of the smartest investments you could ever make. Hopefully this short rambling has provided you with a fresh perspective of the many benefits of real estate investing. So be smart, continue to learn and above all don’t wait for some magic moment, just get started.To Your Success!Rik Foote
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How To Find A Business for Sale

Are you looking for a business for sale? If so, then you have probably heard all sorts of outrageous claims on-line. Claims such as: “make money without lifting a finger,” “no investment required,” and “make money while you sleep.” While it is true that some businesses can practically run by themselves, this is only achieved after a lot of time and effort has been put into developing a solid base for the company. Do not be fooled by the snake oil salesman that claim that you can have a successful business without putting any time, effort, and money into it. The good news is, though there are many scams and get rich quick schemes out there, there are also many legitimate businesses for sale. The great thing about having so many companies and individuals that have a business for sale, is that you have many choices and options. On the other side of the coin there is a seemingly insurmountable amount of research to get through in order to make the right decision. I can’t tell you exactly which company is right for you because of the simple fact that everyone is different, and what works for me might not work for you. I can however, give you some good insights into what to look for when looking at a business for sale.One more great thing about having so many different businesses for sale out there is that you no longer have to write a business plan, rent a building, find something to sell, and hope that you can gain a client base before you run out of money. While a brick and mortar business is still an incredibly viable option, it is also not the only option for someone who wants to work for themselves. I am referring, of course, to the realm of multi level marketing, and network marketing. These business plans have not only opened up business ownership to ordinary people, but they have made it possible for a person, with no real business knowledge or experience, to take the reigns of their own business and make their own future.So, the number one thing I run into when talking to perspective clients about a business for sale is that many people have been burned by various other “opportunities” and thus they have a bitter taste in their mouths about jumping into something new. So how can you tell between a scam and the real deal? I have set some common sense steps to analysing a new prospective company.1. Make sure that you have what it takes to run your own business, everyone has fantasies of telling their boss to take a hike, but the reality is that running your own business requires a large amount of time management skill, as well as a will to succeed and a work ethic to back it up.2. Money, every business costs money to get started, even if you are promoting affiliate links, unless you are a marketing prodigy you will more than likely be buying some sort of training material to figure out what you are doing. In my personal opinion, a good target number to look for when looking at a business for sale, is 500 dollars or less to get started.3. Product, if a company sells a product nobody wants to buy then how will you sell it? I know this sounds simple and shouldn’t even be mentioned because it is so basic, but it amazes me how many companies ask you to sell something that would be nearly impossible to move. The best kind of company to get involved with is one that either has a corner on a market, or is more advanced than the competition. Again, I know this sounds like it should be the first thing you think of, but it is easy to get caught up in the sales hype of a well crafted landing page.4. Compensation plan, how does the company reimburse its affiliates or representatives? there are many types of compensation plans, as well as many other people who are more qualified to talk about them, so I won’t go in-depth on this.5. Team, what kind of teamwork is present in the company? A good business for sale will stress to its reps just how important teamwork is, to put it simply, a network marketing company will either live or die by how well it fosters a support system within its team. This means that there should be an efficient way for them to train you, preferably a website that has training calls and videos for you to go through rather than sitting on the phone for hours listening to training.6. Public Opinion, how well is the company doing at maintaining its public relations? What is the first thing people do when they hear about something new that they are curious about? Most people these days Google it, that is why, if you’re trying to sell something to someone and they Google it to find reviews, if all they see is negative then it will be very hard to sell regardless of whether or not the product is incredible. With information so easy to come by on the internet these days a company has to spend a lot of time and effort in order to maintain their image or else they might as well pack up their stuff and close their doors. There are two ways I check this, one is to Google it, the second, is to check the company out at bbb.com. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to find information on a business for sale.7. How does the company operate? Many Network marketing companies today focus mainly on internet sales, they utilize social networking heavily for their sales, while others focus more on person to person sales. It is very important that you decide which one you are more comfortable with and make sure that is what the company you are looking at utilizes. If you are computer illiterate and don’t get along with technology at all then person to person might be best for you. I would strongly recommend that anyone that wants to get into network marketing goes with a company that is fully web integrated, believe it or not, there are a lot of companies that still prohibit or make it very difficult to market on-line. This is very important, if you get into a company and get trained in it only to realize that they only allow you to market in certain ways, it can be very hard to be successful.These are just some pointers to help separate the bad from the good, but at the end of the day it all boils down to you. Are you the kind of person who can take charge, schedule, plan, execute that plan, call leads, and most importantly, close a sale? This is the most important part of the whole process, because at the end of the day, your success relies about 75 percent on you and 25 percent on the company you represent.

How to Find a Great Realtor to Run Your Property “Comparables” (Comps)

Establishing value on your property is critical. Skill number one above all other skills to master.

The most important aspects of being a real estate investor is the ability to establish value on houses or properties you are considering buying, wholesaling, or flipping. Irregardless of location, be it California, New York, Houston, or Dallas its a must know skill to learn in time.

But how do you master comping property if you do not have Multiple Listing Service (MLS) access? How can you practice and practice running comps (like I have until you breeze through it), looking at land, comparing variables like year built, location, lot square feet, bed and baths, subdivision and lastly what is the property next too? Is it next to a commercial center, stinky ranch or pig farm or a nice area with a creek or lake? These factors are important to know in learning to master running comps on property.

Before you can become proficient with running comps you need MLS access from a realtor if you are not one already. And this is how you do it. You want to find a realtor you know on a personal level, maybe a friend, friend of the family, or relative. If you don’t have a realtor on hand you need to make friends with one.

This is how you go about making friends and getting MLS access. Drive for dollars and find a vacant, boarded up house ones you want to consider buying or wholesaling. Find two or three, then call a few Realtors up tell them you are real estate buyer or investor and need a good realtor to buy through and run comps.

Start off only giving them a few addresses to comp then a week later give them a few more, meanwhile take them out to coffee get to know them, their likes dislikes, hobbies, etc. Form a relationship with them. A week later give them a few more comps to run, be sure the houses are in your actual buying areas of interest. In other words make sure its real comps of real houses. Its one way to get to know your platinum areas.

Phone your realtor talk to him or her about the houses he or she comped. Make the chat a casual conversation. Ask them if they would like you to refer them (realtor) to the sellers who want to list. Of course the realtor will say yes! Let them know not all sellers you meet are desperate or motivated sellers and some simply need a good realtor to list with.

Then when a seller does not want to sell ask them if they would like to talk to your realtor to see if listing is right for them. Call the Realtor and give them the seller’s name, phone, address, and the condition of the house. This will show the realtor you are serious. No one works for free. Keep track of those referrals maybe the realtor will give you a small finders fee once listed and sold, just don’t ask for one at this point. Your sole goal is MLS access! The gold standard of running comps.

Somewhere in the discussions you are giving them the comps to run, they start to get a bit overwhelmed at the extra work load of running the comps for you. This is what you want. They need to realize in the back of their minds without you mentioning it, they should just give you MLS access.

However, when you feel its a good time tell them you can “save them time buy getting MLS access as an “real estate assistant” or such, just whatever is easier for them” which they can ethically do. This is why, they have real estate assistants who run comps for them, look up properties on the MLS and help out in the office for them.

If you are giving them leads they are going to be more than happy to give you the access you need once you establish trust with them. It is wise to be working about 2-3 Realtors at once to see who is actually a big picture or forward thinker. Do this until they get you the MLS access. Do this until you can speak their language. Do this until you get your MLS access. But stay in touch with the other Realtors, because you never know when you will need them too.

Let this soak in a bit and see if it helps you to get the MLS access you need. Zillow or no other comp service is worth a darn, hey its hard enough to establish value with the MLS as it is. Some Realtors will say they can run the comps but a realtor see’s comps through a different light than the investor. Here is one major difference, WE write the $200,000 check to BUY the house, Realtors only list the house. We better be right-on with our comps! Get it!?! So they see running comps through a different pair of glasses, and this is one of many reasons why you need the actual MLS access yourself.