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Due to soaring costs in regular-day living, rapidly increasing population, and concerns about the environment, the “dream house” is not anymore as big as it used to be. Americans have always dreamt of a big house with everything they ever wanted, but today, it seems that it would just add up to the big expenses. Generally, a bigger house would require a higher maintenance, more costs, and of course, furniture and equipment to fill it up with. Home-makers are now creating much smaller houses but with better architectural designs to make up for the space. An efficient small house with everything you need is much better than vice versa.



Marketing yourself and your real estate business needs to be a daily activity. Just think of it as getting to know as many people as possible so that you can do business with them.

Social networking is one of the best ways to attract new people. Sites such as Facebook, Ning and even MySpace can give you access to people you may never have met otherwise. Also look at Craigslist as a place to connect with new clients and prospects. I was at a party during the holidays where the people there had all been found through ads placed on Craigslist during 2007. The hosts of the party were my neighbors, a younger couple who have only been in real estate for two years. It was truly amazing. Make this year the year you start a blog, if you don’t have one already. Just posting twice a week can make a huge difference in how many people find you. Even if you don’t feel like you’re a writer, give blogging a try and see what happens.

Look for opportunities to connect with people in your community through service organizations. I belong to my local Rotary Club and Elks Lodge and make business contacts through the members there on a regular basis. These are loyal people who do what they say they will do. It is such a pleasure doing business with them.

These are just a few of the ways to use marketing in your real estate business. I invite you to find out more about how you can promote yourself and your business.

Oct
15

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Take good pictures. Make sure your photographs are clear and paint your home in a good light, so to speak. Don�t post too many photos, just enough to show your homes� best aspects.

Highlight your house�s historical and architectural features. Mention interesting talking points about your home. Some buyers are become more attracted to homes with a story or a unique architectural feature.

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The Real Estate Industry as we all have read and continually hear about on TV is done. So what does a real estate agent / mortgage broker due during these recession periods the industry has? There are very few JOBS (journey of the broke) out there that can compensate any individual like real estate has the past 7 years. There is always a solution to any issue, and the correct path for many of these individuals will be to become part of the home based business.

You are asking why Home-Based? Well this industry has created more millionaires in shorter time than any other. Many of us are not out to make a million dollars, but we are out to create a new life for ourselves with a stream of income paying us every month,year, decade. The home based industry is the only one that can compensate a person just like real estate has the last few years and the numbers continue to grow daily. For any real estate professional out there looking for a TURN-KEY opportunity with immediate income look no further home base is here.

Now I want you to think, possibly 3-4 years ago when money was rolling in steady with Real Estate, I am sure many of you were approached by a Network Marketer offering you an opportunity to build a business once get paid forever. Think about it, if you would have joined that opportunity 3-4 years ago now you would not be scrambling to make money every month now, it would be a TRUE income stream month in month out.

Home Base does not fluctuate based on underwriting rules, banks, its a very simple business model that can be duplicated over and over again. Many worked for a BROKER who received compensation from your efforts, now its YOUR turn to become the broker and override a team of sales people.

Have The Best Day Of Your Life!

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A real estate agent should be conscious of his personal safety when he is conducting business with a client. He should make sure he observes certain precautionary measures prior to an open house or an ocular inspection of a house with the client.

Before showing the property, the agent should first arrange a meeting in his office with the client so he (agent) can gather as much personal information as possible and make a discreet evaluation on the client’s character. The agent should also make it a standard operating procedure to have a photocopy of the client’s driver’s license for identification and file purposes.

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Looking for and settling on a house has always been a big decision.  This is a big investment so this is not something to be taken lightly.  There are many things to consider when looking for a house.  Certainly a lot of these considerations have to do with budget.  But there are some things to consider apart from how capable you are financially.  Considering where you want to live is something that should take top priority in your list of things to look for in a desirable home.

If you are single or living with someone or married, there are certain neighborhoods you may want to be a part of.  Perhaps an area with folks of the same make-up as you would be interesting socially.  If you have children however, consider looking for a neighborhood that is kid-friendly.  There are lots of places with great play grounds, near good schools, peaceful, clean, and have a community that is kid-centered.

Whichever kind of neighborhood you want to live in, seriously taking this into consideration should be a step when deciding on a home.

Washington politicians are busy discussing on how they would attack the problems of mortgage and how to aid the troubled homeowners. A bill made by Representative Barney Frank was passed by the House. This bill would allow the Federal Housing Administration in insuring new mortgages for those who are risking a foreclosure. A committee in the Senate would probably create a similar proposal, but the final legislation may not be exactly the same. Still, the house provides a sense of how their program could be effective once enforced. There would be certain factors which would be considered in order to qualify for the program.

by: Vii



Once you have chosen your dream home, the most important thing is to ensure a smooth closing. Most home buyers and sellers count on their Real Estate Professional to guide them through this process. As an escrow professional, I know home buyers and sellers are often nervous about the process. If a Realtor wants to truly market themselves as an expert in their field, they should learn the settlement procedures inside and out.

A knowledgeable real estate agent must be familiar with the mortgage lending process, even if they are primarily working with sellers. The sellers will become reliant upon the buyers mortgage lender to ensure timely closing and disbursement of funds. If the Real Estate Agent is going to represent buyers, this is vital to ensure a smooth closing. Most of the larger lenders will offer seminars to help inform Real Estate Agents on typical lending practices.

Another important part of the settlement process is the title insurance or lien search. The Realtor must be prepared to explain to their client the ins and outs if a defect on title were to arise. The Agent must also be familiar with the typical charges associated with searching and insuring a clear title. These cost vary from state to state, and the responsibility of the buyer or seller to pay for these charges also vary by region.

Lastly, it is an absolute necessity for the Realtor to be knowledgeable of the HUD-1 settlement statement. This document explains to the client in detail all the charges associated with the transaction. The HUD-1 will provide the buyer and seller with their bottom line. An informed Real Estate Agent will be able to catch any mistakes or incorrect charges to their client. Knowing what is being charged and why is vital to provide excellent representation of the buyer or seller in the transaction.

The settlement process can be overwhelming to a buyer or seller, especially if this is their first or second transaction. The client has obtained a Real Estate Agent to guide them through the purchase or sale of the property. Representing the client is so much more than showing them properties or putting up a sign and finding a buyer for their property. If a Realtor can properly inform their client of each step towards the settlement and disbursement of the transaction, they are truly representing them.

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Quite ironically, while there are plenty of homeless people out there, in the United States, there are millions of unoccupied homes. This situation was brought about when wrong assumptions by speculators created a false demand thereby causing builders to construct more houses than what the market actually needed.

Based on the circumstances it appears there is no need to build anymore homes until such time that the existing “surplus” has been absorbed. The good thing now is that there is a significant decline in construction in America which should clearly continue till the time when vacant houses are filled up.



As the media reminds us on an almost daily basis, many sectors of the real estate market are in the midst of one of worst adjustments since the Great Depression. This is evidenced by the most recent California Association of Realtors (CAR) publication on existing home sales which reported a price decline in the median selling price of 35.3% from a year earlier. During the worst 12 month period during the Great Depression U.S. housing prices fell by a less dramatic 10.5%. For investors with high tolerance for risk, it may now be time to embrace the timeless proverb “buy low – sell high” and start sifting through the wreckage for bargains. And while bargains exist, they are not available universally across all locations or property types. Investors must know where to look, have proper guidance and understand the proper methods for valuation. The sectors with the most opportunity are single family residential properties (SFRs) in class B or B-minus locations of suburbs outside major metropolitan areas. Properties in many metropolitan markets have adjusted very little, while towns in extended metropolitan areas (MSAs) have deteriorated acutely.

Using the San Francisco MSA as an example, CAR statistics released for June 2008 indicate a year over year decline of 4.3% for San Francisco proper. Comparatively, the median selling price in Vallejo, California, a suburb about 30 miles outside of San Francisco, has decreased a much more dramatic 37.3% year over year. Vallejo is still accessible to San Francisco via public transportation including frequent commuter bus routes, Ferry access, casual car-pool access and BART access from the Richmond, California station. Furthermore the statistics do not fully reflect the willingness of banks and distressed sellers to negotiate on a case by case basis in these markets. As an example, one of our investors is currently purchasing a SFR in Vallejo for $104,500. In this instance the property is being acquired for a 65% discount relative to the implied valuation on June of 2007 (based on comparable sales from First American Title Company). Although this 65% discount is tantalizing it should not be a deciding factor in the decision to purchase the property.

Using a discount to market value approach is a fools approach to valuation at this point in the current environment, because it assumes that historical prices were rational. A discount to market value won’t pay the mortgage and it does not ensure that the home will be affordable to prospective buyers when an investor is ready to sell. Investors should alternatively use an income approach or an affordability approach to valuation.

For example, consider the Vallejo property discussed previously. From an income approach (assuming a 30% down-payment), the cash on cash return is about 11.6% per year and the cap rate is 9.54%. From an income standpoint this is an attractive cash yield. It handily exceeds the national average money market rate of 2.99% annual percentage rate and the 2.90% average dividend yield for S&P 500 non-zero dividend stocks. This additional return offers substantial compensation for the additional risk and management responsibilities required for this investment.

From an affordability standpoint the medium household income in the zip code is $50,030 per year. Most lender underwriting guidelines consider that 28-33% of household income is an allowable limit for housing related expenses (rent or mortgage plus taxes and insurance). Using this guideline as a benchmark, the average household in this zip code can afford $15,000 per year ($1,250 per month) toward housing related expenses. The mortgage payment for the Vallejo property will be approximately $550 plus monthly expenses of $200 (taxes, insurance, and repairs/maintenance) which is comfortably below the affordability implied limit of $1,250 per month. Assuming a 90% loan to purchase price and a 7.0% fixed rate mortgage, this property could be purchase by the median household for up to $182,000. This represents a 70% premium to the purchase price of $104,500. As a cautionary note, valuation based on affordability won’t guide market values until the mortgage market returns historical underwriting guidelines. Further details of this transaction are posted on our website http://www.unitedinvestors.com >> education center >> sample property.