Real Estate Technology: A Look Into The Future

Compared to other industries, there aren’t many tools on the market to help buy, sell or rent property. Take the automotive industry, there are hundreds of apps, platforms and startups vying for the same market. Perhaps it’s because a home is the largest purchase for many people, or because of how much of buying and selling process requires government documentation.

But that’s changing, and the landscape of that PropTech change is exciting not only for buyers, but for agents, sellers and everyone in real estate. There are monumental changes that need to be made, but things are well on their way. Last years I spent looked at over 2,450 properties on Craigslist, viewed 30 in person and selected one after 3 solid months. It was like having a second job. It was terrible. [Read more…]

TERRAZAS MIAMI CONDOMINIUM: THE ULTIMATE IN CONTEMPORARY LUXURY

If you are looking for a contemporary home in Miami, you should consider including Terrazas Miami on your list as a must see, this stunning condominium built in 2010 has a prominent location at 1861 NW South River Drive on the prestigious Miami River, it is composed by two towers and features 324 flawless units.

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You can choose from lofts to 3-bedroom residences with spacious floor plans ranging in size from 686 to 1,554 square feet. The River Tower has 27 floors featuring 10 units per floor, and the Park Tower has 21 floors featuring 7 units per floor. This condominium was designed by the well-known architectural firm Shapiro & Associates.

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The chic residences at Terrazas Miami feature designer finishes, gourmet kitchens, stylish bathrooms, ample bedrooms, elegant open living spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, walk-in closets, and wide private terraces that provide breathtaking views of the city skyline and the river.

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The prominent location of this two-tower condominium puts residents near to important places such Coral Gables, the largest employment centers in Miami, The Civic Center, Downtown Miami and the Brickell Financial District.

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This 10-acre gated community is pet friendly and offers high-standard services including assigned covered parking with controlled access, fast elevators, technology advanced fine alarm system and private individual storage.

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Terrazas Miami also provides world-class amenities for residents and guests including, a 20,000 sq. ft. elevated pool deck offering panoramic views of the river and the city skyline; 78-foot-long swimming pool with private cabanas; specialty hydrotherapy hot tub; sauna; BBQ grill areas; gathering space; indoor and outdoor lounge areas; state-of-the-art fitness center; and fully-equipped business center.

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All in all, this condo is suitable for the most demanding tastes, keep an eye on it and reserve your unit as soon as possible, it’s definitely a worthy investment.

Installing vinyl windows: Hire a PRO or Save Money and DIY?

When thinking of windows installation a lot of people want to save money and install them by themselves, other people always prefer to use professional help in such issues. Who is right?

Well, here are no right and wrong because both types have some advantages and disadvantages. If you are going to go with a home improvement expert, then perhaps try someone like Griffin Contracting, who can provide you with everything you need to create exactly what you want. But this article will shed some light upon this tricky issue.

If you choose do-it-yourself type of windows installation everything will depend on how much home improvement experience you have in general. Many people err that vinyl windows installation is a very easy process, but experts in windows installation all warn that vinyl has its hidden rocks. So the advise is as follows: if you are absolutely self-confident then you can always perform vinyl windows installation with no help, but if you have the smallest feeling of doubt, then ask experts for some consultation or simply hire them to avoid any further problems of the wrong installed windows.

The issue of professional help with windows installation is a little bit harder. If in DIY experience you only need to care about the windows choice and then everything depends on you, then in professional installation process you have a couple of more things to think about. Before hiring professionals you need to read their reviews and references, check their real job results and all in all hire a very good contractor. Here, in fact, the most important step is to hire a professional and then only check how he or she performs the duties. The disadvantage is that you need to spend some more time on hiring a professional, but a great advantage is your confidence that the installation is done properly and will serve you for many years!

The information was presented by American Choice Windows in Atlanta.

Want to get more details of both options? Check out the infographic below!

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Budgets and Bottom Lines: A First-Time Home Buyer’s Checklist

So you want to buy a home. Most people don’t know where to start, even though they have a vague or general idea of the process. Here’s a checklist that will guarantee that you don’t miss a thing.

Check Your Credit First

Before you do anything, you should check your credit first. Annualcreditreport.com allows you to pull a free credit report once per year. If you find anything that doesn’t seem right, you can either dispute it or ask your lender to do Rapid Rescore on your report. That should clear up any mistakes that other creditors have made and reported.

Make a List of Essentials and Dealbreakers

There are lots of great tips out there for homeowners, but little advice on how to actually figure out how to make a good decision on a home.

Here’s the secret: Make a list of essentials and dealbreakers for your new home. That’s it. This is a pure value play, meaning, you have to really introspect and think about what you value most in a home.

For example, what are the things you absolutely must have for your new house – a pool? A nice back yard? Close proximity to a school? What about dealbreakers? Living in the city or in the country – which do you prefer? What must you have, and what things will you not tolerate?

Make sure your list is detailed – the more, the better. This makes choosing a home much easier.

Work With a Real Estate Broker Who Understands Your Needs

Work with a real estate broker who understands your needs, and is experienced with the type of home you want in the neighborhood you’re looking in. For example, let’s say you really want a Cape Cod-style home. Does your broker know what these are (really)? Has he or she been to Cape Cod and seen how those beach homes are constructed?

How much does he know about them? What about the neighborhood? Is he knowledgeable about the people who live there now as well as the history of it and how it’s changed over time?

While there are no guarantees that it won’t change in the future, it’s nice to know what the history is so that you have a general idea about what you’re moving into.

Another example would be if you were looking for a more modern or contemporary home. Does the real estate agent know anything about Frank Lloyd Wright or any of his students? Does he understand modern architecture? Does he know where these types of homes are built and can he tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of these homes?

These are things you want to know before you commit to a broker or agent.

Get a Lawyer

Regardless of how knowledgeable an agent is, he’s no lawyer. Hire one to look over all of your legal contracts, including the real estate contract. She should be able to tell you about any discrepancies or provisions that favor the seller or may pose a problem for you during or after the transaction.

Save, Save, Save

Start saving money. If you can’t put at least 20 percent down, you’ll likely have to buy mortgage lenders insurance, which protects the lender (not you) in the event that you default on the loan. The insurance makes up the shortfall, but the premiums for this insurance can be substantial.

Get Your Loan Documents Around

Documents like proof of income or previous on-time rent payments are required before a lender will give you any money. This includes any income you receive from rental properties or investments. You may also need to provide child support documents if you receive child support and you want to count this as income. Ditto for alimony.

How To Choose The Right Mortgage

Choosing the right mortgage isn’t as easy as it sounds. While many people choose fixed rate loans, the history of variable rate loans shows that, historically, these loans have usually outperformed fixed rates. In other words, historically, it’s been cheaper during most decades, to service a variable rate mortgage. That doesn’t mean that’s how it will always be going forward, but it’s something to consider.

You should feel comfortable about the rate you’re paying and, at the end of the day, it’s really about the monthly payment and the total of all payments you’ll be making. The lower, the better – the less interest, the better.

Secure Financing

Get prequalified before you start making offers on a home. Every real estate agent and home seller will expect this.

Make an Offer

Make an offer you think is reasonable through your real estate professional. Let them negotiate it from there.

Get a Survey Done

Have a home survey or inspection done to find any potential problems with the home, like repairs that need to be done. These can be used as leverage during negotiations.

Close It

Closing the deal is the last step, and one where a surprising number of people drop the ball. By this stage, you’ve hopefully not found any serious problems with the home, you’ve got the rate you wanted from the lender, and you’ve done a title search to verify that there are no other claims on the property. If you haven’t done these things, square them away.

Once that’s done, sign all of the paperwork, shake hands with the seller, and get the keys. You’re ready to move in.

Lucas Coleman works as a real estate agent. He likes to write about his experiences. You can find his articles mainly on real estate and financial websites.

Trend That Home Builders Profit From, Big Time!

By profession, the home builders have that magic wand of turning the dreams of people into reality…in fact, the home builders cater to the realty business to turn the fascinating reveries of the millions into reality… They are updated with the trends and well versed with human instincts and the trapeze of emotional crest and trough which makes them a pro in showcasing the property in a very alluring way. But to be very honest …no lunch is complimentary…no services are free and everything has a cost to it and youScreen Shot 2015-01-13 at 10.42.14 AM need to pay for it…it’s just the package which they offer which may appear lucrative with discounts, but all the costs are actually included in it

Pre – launch of the projects

The magnanimity of the developers is determined by the number of apartments sold by him on the day of launch. Now a days, the branded developers like Chordia group Property in Pune would go for a pre – launch of the properties with alluring discounts to ensure that the movement of the inventory. Pre – launch runs for a limited time with attractive discounts. Through this the developers sell the under constructed apartment by calculating the future value of the project and they definitely keeps a good margin on each sale…

Exotic launch of the projects

Since the launch of every real estate project is like flaunting of status for them to ensure good buyers, they really make it look big… For example, to draw the attention of the buyers who are looking for new projects in Pune, they ensure that the launch happens in an outlandish way with all the media and press people around to cover the event. Even some developers opt for celebrity endorsements too for infusing a feel good factor…but, definitely all these has a profit statement to it and yes…the buyers actually incur it…

Amenities and Life Style Quotient of the Property

A property offering you a good life style amenities like swimming pool, gymnasium, jogging track etc. definitely gets marketed at a higher price and now people don’t mind to pay the extra premium for an enhanced life – style. Even the locational advantage adds to it too…

Branded Properties

This is one of the trump cards, played by the developers. For instance, a branded property always promises better returns and the trustworthiness which has been earned by any brands can actually make them augment  the gap between the revenue and the super revenue margins. Associating with the brands is also an attainment of self – actualization of all the buyers irrespective of the fact that whether it is a first or second home

Everyone dreams to wake up in the lap of extravagance with the shimmer of opulence and surrounded by angels and fairies to pamper with morning tea and treat delicious breakfast…Well this is an extreme feeling, but trust me, the one who has bought his own house he really feels the same and treat himself/herself as King/Queen…and come may be any developer…everyone instill this feeling into the buyer…and that’s the Big Time for both the sides…and it’s a win – win situations…

Risks and Costs of Having a Short-Term Rental

It seems like I keep hearing more and more about Airbnb and other short-term rental websites. More and more people seem to be listing their apartments and houses on these short-term rental websites in order to make some cash.

Some people are even buying homes to specifically place on these websites too.

Even though this market seems to be growing very quickly, it doesn’t mean there are no risks. Below are a few risks and costs you may want to think about before you decide to rent out your real estate for a short-term period.

Risks and Costs of Having a Short-Term RentalAdvertising.

Since this is a short-term rental, you will have to advertise the property if you would like people to stay in it, of course.

You may use one of the many websites out there such as Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO, and so on.

You may even place ads on other websites so that potential customers can find you.

All of this costs money!

Property management fee.

There is usually a lot more work to do with a short-term rental. This is because with a long-term rental, you usually just sign papers, give the person the keys, and collect a monthly rent payment.

However, with a short-term rental, you may be giving the keys to a new person every few days, the property will need to be checked, it will need to be cleaned, items will need to be replaced (such as toilet paper and soap), and so on.

This can add up to a lot more work and a lot more time. Because of this, many people with short-term rentals end up hiring someone to manage the property for them. If you do this, you will have to pay a fee to the person who manages your property.

Competition can be fierce.

One major risk with having a short-term rental is that you don’t know if the rental will be vacant or not. You may have a high vacancy rate because of a lot of competition in the area as well.

You have to think – you are competing with other short-term rentals and any hotels in the area as well.

There may be laws stating you cannot rent on the short-term.

Many cities are starting to fight short-term rentals. They may be placing new laws restricting any rental for less than 30 days which may ruin your short-term rental plan.

Are you interested in owning a short-term rental? Why or why not?

 

Image via Flickr by su-may

How to Maximise Savings as a Home-owner: Preparing for a Sudden Decline in the Real Estate Market

According to financial power house nationwide, the London property market is starting to decline as part of ‘the natural process of correction’. It is a well-known fact that property prices have reached unmanageable levels in London, forcing demand to fall away and prices to tumble as a result. Given that London offers sets the trend for other regions to follow, this is likely to become a nationwide issue in the months ahead. For home and flat owners in the UK, this means that there is a pressing need to adopt a frugal approach to spending and create a financial safety net should their home lose value.

How to Change your Attitude to Money as a Home-owner

With this in mind, what practical steps can you take to change your philosophy and prioritize financial savings as a home-owners? Consider the following: –

1. Develop a Clear Understanding of your Financial Circumstances

For apartment owners who may have additional debts, a vast amount outstanding on their mortgage or negative equity, the potential housing crisis in causing considerable concern. In order to be fully prepared, however, it is important that you develop a clear understanding of your financial circumstances and adopt a proactive approach when looking to make firm future plans. While this requires a certain amount of courage, this arduous process can help you to cope with financial crisis and any issues that envelop the real estate market in Britain.

2. Become a Stickler for Detail

When it comes to making financial decisions, even the smallest details can have a considerable impact.

It is therefore your duty to adopt a more considered approach to your personal finances, and ensure that each decision is taken with a broad scope of information in mind. In terms of savings, your first step should be to evaluate the best national banks, and compare the types of account and individual interest rates that they offer. Home and apartment owners can also strive to minimize property insurance costs, by partnering with a forward thinking and flexible provider such as Internet Insurance Services Ltd and looking to combine products within a single, customized policy.

3. Adopt a Long Term Savings Outlook

Technological advancement has ensured that everyday tasks and activities can be performed quicker than ever, and while this has been largely beneficial it has also created an element of impatience among young adults. Such a short term outlook is not suited to cultivating savings, however, as it is necessary for you to consider your future while establishing a genuine motivation to retain as much of your hard earned capital as possible. This is especially true for property owners, as real estate investment represents a long-term commitment that may only deliver a return when the time comes to execute a sale. Keep this in mind at all times, and always execute decisions with your long-term future in mind.

 

Long-Term or Short-Term Rentals For Your Real Estate?

One day, I would like to get into real estate investing. We have a house of our own, but we live in it so we aren’t making any money from it. One debate that we are currently having is whether or not we should have a long-term rental or a short-term rental (such as a vacation rental). There are positives and negatives for both, and I will be discussing those below.

Long-Term or Short-Term Rentals For Your Real Estate?Long-term PRO: With a long-term rental, there is more stability.

Stability can be argued against almost anything, but for the most part, a long-term rental will have more stability because the same person will be renting it for a long time. This is opposed to a short-term rental where a person may only rent for a few days, a week, or MAYBE one month.

With a long-term rental, there is less likely of a chance for the rental to be vacant because you will have a contract with a renter for usually 6 months or more.

Short-term PRO: You may be able to make more money.

You can usually charge a higher price because everything is determined per day or per week. A $2,000 a month rental for a long-term renter may make you $300 a day for a short-term renter.

Long-term PRO: Less time is needed with a long-term rental.

With a long-term rental, you won’t have to have someone check on the property as often in most cases. This is because with a short-term rental, you will need someone to clean up after each stay, someone will have to give this person the keys and show them the place each time, and so on.

Short-term PRO: If the property is not being used, you can use it.

Short-term rentals provide a lot of flexibility. If there is a vacant slot in your rental, then you may be able to use it as a vacation home for yourself as well.

Long-term CON: If you have a bad tenant, you are stuck with them.

Bad tenants seem to make up a lot of the real estate industry, or at least most people talk more about the bad than the good. If you have a bad tenant in a long-term rental, you are stuck with them for a long time.

Short-term CON: There are a lot of other vacation rentals out there.

Vacation rentals are a booming industry right now. More and more people are renting out short-term properties and their vacation homes, which means that in some areas competition can be quite stiff.

If you are interested in real estate investing, are you looking for a long-term rental or a short-term one?

 

Image via Flickr by kansasphoto

Should You Get Into Rental Real Estate?

Something that I have been wanting to get into is rental real estate. It isn’t for everyone though, and I have been debating it for years and I’m still not sure. If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it!

I have heard of people who love having rental real estate and it has really helped them grow their income, but I also know of people who have left the rental real estate market because they had a lot of bad luck.

Here are things that you may want to think about before you get into rental real estate:

Should You Get Into Rental Real Estate?Are you handy around the house?

If you plan on getting into rental real estate, then it can really be beneficial to know how to repair things around a home.

You can also save a lot of money this way because you won’t have to hire out for anything that goes wrong, and with rental real estate many things can go wrong. The house will age and things will just break, or you may have a bad renter who breaks things (don’t assume that they will pay for the damage).

Can your income cover a bad rental month?

It’s always nice to think that rental real estate will make you rich, but that is rarely the case. What if you had a bad month where the monthly rent only covers the repairs that you have to make? What if you have no renters or your renter doesn’t pay?

You still have to pay the mortgage payment each month, so you will want to make sure that you have enough saved just in case you have a bad rental month.

Do you want it to be passive?

Even though having rental real estate is a lot of the time called “passive income,” for the most part it usually is not. Unless you have a property management company manage your rental real estate, there can actually be a lot of work required, especially if you do not have good renters.

There are a lot of things that go into having a rental home – you may have a bad renter or you may have a good renter, something might break in the house that you will need to repair ASAP, and so on.

If you want it to be more passive, then you will probably have to fork out more money in the beginning and while you own it. You will need a good property management company, you will have to find great renters, and you will need a house that won’t need a lot of repairs.

Do you plan on getting into the rental real estate market? Why or why not?

 

How To Find The Best Rental

Getting into rental real estate can be a tough decision. However, if you are looking for a way to add passive income to your income each month, then rental real estate may be for you if you are prepared for it.

Here are tips to find a home to rent to others:

What will the location be?

Are you looking for a home right next door to you? I have heard of people buying multiple homes in a row to make things easier on them. They can then collect rent and check up on their rentals very easily, as everything is closer together.

How To Find The Best RentalOr, do you not care about how close the rental home is to you? I know of someone who rented a home out even though they lived around 45 miles away. They had to hire a property management company because they knew that they wouldn’t have time to fix things if something were to go wrong since they lived kind of far away.

Look for the best rental home for potential tenants, not yourself.

Many people make this mistake. Just because you like something, it does not mean that renters will. You need to figure out what renters in your area want and how you can meet their needs.

Does the neighborhood allow renters? 

Some neighborhoods do not allow renters at all, and there is just no fighting that. Before you buy a home to rent out, you should know the rules and laws of where you are buying. If the neighborhood that you buy in does allow for renters, then you may want to check out cheap landlord insurance from CIA just in case anything does happen from the renters causing damage to the property.

Does the home need a lot of work? 

You may find a GREAT deal on a rental home, but what if it needs a lot of work? Usually local government is much more strict on homes that are being rented than homes where the owner will actually be living in. You will probably have an inspector come to make sure that the home is live-able. Do you have enough cash so that the house will pass inspections? Or will it fail immediately?

Are you interested in getting into rental real estate? What tips do you have?