A changing market is not a novelty in real estate. Every seasoned realtor knows that the real estate industry can evolve anytime and one cannot be certain of what comes next. Recessions and booms happen in cycles and sometimes unexpectedly. But the business should still go on by taking advantage of every opportunity that you get. A set of best practices and disciplined strategy will help you achieve success in any situation.
Here are some ways to get hold of the best properties regardless of the market changes.
The best approach to be successful in the real estate business is to adopt a data-backed and conservative approach. Remember to restrain yourself from basing your decisions on assumptions and best-case scenarios.
Focus on your target market and devise plans accordingly. This starts with understanding your target market. Do your research. Learn about the neighborhood, the market values, possible appreciation rates, demographics, interested sellers, then mortgage rates, and everything relevant to purchasing a property in that neighborhood.
Once you have your data ready, analyze it against your budget, and fix a number of properties that you want to buy.
Never go beyond your means to acquire a property. If you buy a house, make sure to figure out the interest rates, down payments, renovation costs, marketing costs involved. Then fix a price that will work within your budget.
One other thing you have to consider before fixing the number of properties in the management effort involved. If you have little experience in renting out a restaurant, you may find it difficult to manage and get the best possible profits out of it. Work within your specializations to fix the number of properties you can manage at a time.
We all know the best properties in our locality. They will be located in a promising neighborhood, and have well-connected transportation facilities. They will have access to many amenities and will have the best quality construction.
But the reality is that such properties are also the most expensive. While they may have the best appreciation rates and attract more tenants, they may not fall into your budget.
When you see such properties, you may be enticed to take a risk and go beyond your budget. But that would be a mistake. Your best buys need not be the best property in the neighborhood but it has to be the best property you can find in your budget.
Here are some tips to keep your investments within your budget:
Even older houses around a nice neighborhood can earn you decent profits compared to a big duplex in the main area. Look for easy to manage properties in nice neighborhoods as these tend to get sold out faster.
If you are new to the real estate business, try to work with one property at a time. Do not overburden yourself and work with safer and easy to sell properties that require less investment. This means profits might be lesser but chances of incurring a loss will be very low.
Flipping refers to the real estate technique where the realtor buys a property for short term and resells. When you flip, you will have to resell the property as quickly as you can. The longer it takes, the more difficult it becomes to sell and make some profit.
Flipping requires greater skill than buying a property for a long term purpose. But it is a good way to acquire short term cash flow. The easiest way to flip is to buy properties at a highly discounted rate and resell it to other investors.
Short term profits from flipping have another disadvantage. They are taxed at a higher rate and thus, further cut down on your profits. The same investment made on a long term purchase and sale will give out higher profits. Long term projects are also easier to handle for Realtors lacking in experience and reselling skills.
So, a good practice would be to buy houses that produce long term cash flow.
Understand how leverage works and use it to your advantage. For instance, for moderately priced houses, you can even borrow 100% of the purchasing money. In these cases, if the property value drops, the lender will also have a problem. Sometimes you could even get a second chance at renegotiating the price.
As the housing market is much stable compared to stocks, lenders are ready to lend a high percentage of the purchase price.
If you really want to play it safe all the time, remember to buy one door at a time. Experienced realtors know this very well. Buying one house at a time is safer because it’s easy to manage and is much safer than investing in multiple purchases. Even if you were to buy at a peak period and would be left with depreciating property, buying one at a time would help mitigate any losses.
Take safe options when you invest in real estate. Do not seek thrill with your money. It takes a good amount of time to make big money in real estate.
Long term investments may be slow but more efficient. Selling two houses over two years can fetch higher profits than selling 6 houses in the same year. Short term resells will have to be made at discounted prices as time is of the essence. This affects your earning capacities.
For maximum profits, sell slowly. And invest only in properties that can be worth more in the future. If you get hold of an income-producing and appreciating property, you can hold it as long as you need it until you get a good offer.
Try to buy from sellers who have larger equities. They will be more willing to lower the prices if you ask. They can also afford to finance the sale
Set your minimum profit before you make the deal. Never go below this matting value. It can be something of an approximation like, I won’t do a rehab deal if I don’t make at least $45,000. I won’t do a wholesale deal unless I make at least $10,000.
Consider your risks and costs involved when you set this minimum profit value. This figure will make it easier for you to make price negotiations.
Debts or loans should be dealt with carefully. While they provide you with initial capital to boost your business, the risks sometimes could overwhelm you. Here are some things you need to be well versed in to reduce the risks associated with loans.
Make sure you understand all the terms and negotiate on the terms that you consider are unfavorable for you.
Short terms loans are riskier compared to long term loans. They have to be paid off quickly and requires larger cash flow. The risk of defaulting is also high in short term loans as payments will be higher. Lower payments are safer and prepayment facilities could help you pay off your loans faster even with long term loans.
Choose to go with lower payments at least for the first few years if the loan term. It also provides an opportunity to negotiate on payments later than sooner.
Collateral is the security you pledge for your loan. The main factors of your collateral that help reduce risk are:
Invest in properties that can fetch decent money if auctioned off in case of a foreclosure. A well maintained, well-built house in a good location can get a better value than a dry land or a difficult to manage the property.
Similarly, properties that are capable of producing steady income via tenancy and have a good appreciation rate will also fetch higher values in case of liquidation.
Lower interest rates are always better but sometimes interest rates depend on the loan terms. Short term loans have lower interest rates compared to long term loans. Seek a balance and find the answer to how long you will have to keep the loan. Study the real estate stats on market values and choose the cheaper option available to you.
The legal obligations to pay back a loan form the liability associated with it. This is usually documented with the help of two agreements called a promissory note and a security agreement. Read both the documents carefully, understand your obligations, and negotiate on the terms before you sign them.
One best way to finance your purchase is to ask the seller itself or an investor to finance it. These dealings could help you borrow faster, have fewer costs compared to banks and you can also close your loans faster as well.
Real estate takes a lot of smart work to fetch the profits you desire. And the best way to be smart about your investment in a changing market is by getting the best available properties and making the right calculated decisions on how you invest your money. Be conservative, cautious, and make safe investments to ride the game without any losses.