3 Simple Steps to Work Less While Getting More Accomplished

In the few hours I worked today, I accomplished more than most accomplish in a week (including offering on a new real estate deal to add to my portfolio). If you truly want to work less and accomplish more, it can be done IF you are willing to work hard and work deep. When are you going to accomplish your “deep work?” If you don’t know, it probably won’t get done. Once I’ve accomplished my most important tasks, I am able to then focus on my “shallow work,” such as responding to emails and participating in business meetings. Of course, mornings are not the only time to get your deep work done. In Deep Work, Newport explains that working deep doesn’t happen naturally—but we need to train our brains to go deep. But each day you practice doing deep work, the easier that deep work will become. It is training my brain while at the grocery store waiting in line to enjoy the sights around me. So make it your goal this week to define your deep work, schedule that time, and and then re-train your brain to enjoy the deep work. Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks, and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

Average U.S. home has gained $55k in value since housing bust

Furthermore, the average U.S. home is now worth $55,200 more than it was at the bottom of the housing bust. On the other hand, The Sand States (California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada), excluding California, have yet to fully recover from the disproportionate impact the housing bust had on them. Meanwhile, the median home price in San Jose is $615,000, three times the value that was lost. During the recession, San Francisco homes lost $225,000 in value, but now, homes have gained 91.7 percent of their value back from the December 2012 crisis low, bringing the median home value to $435,700. Los Angeles and San Diego have experienced relatively strong recoveries with homes gaining back 64.5 and 62.6 percent of their value from the crisis low, respectively. Meanwhile, Zillow classifies Denver as an outlier that didn’t experience much of a housing bust, since home values only fell 9 percent. But Denver median home values have climbed to $379,500 — 61 percent higher than the highest value reached during the mid-2000s bubble. “A decade after the financial crisis, the scars of the housing bust are still with us,” said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas in a press release. “The gap between the metros with the strongest and weakest housing market recoveries is as wide as it has ever been.” “The California Bay Area’s housing recovery stands out when compared to other markets that saw similar home value appreciation because it has more than regained all of its lost value,” Terrazas added. “Strong, high-paying job markets and persistently limited inventory sent prices skyrocketing, leading to the Bay Area having the most valuable housing markets in the country.” See the rest of the list here.

Buying a Remodeled Home? 5 Signs It’s a Smart Move—or a Spectacular Flop

That said, after nearly a year of living in my house, I (mostly) love it. The major systems are in working order Whether you’re looking for your first home or you’re a seasoned pro, it's easy to get dazzled by brand-new finishes, flooring, and the smell of new paint. But kitchens are expensive to remodel—and if the job was DIY, there's a strong chance that corners were cut. From there, check the backsplash. Finally, take a good look at the appliances. If you’re viewing a full kitchen remodel that seems to have pulled out the stops on high-end finishes, the appliances should match. (I lived in my house for five months before I realized the guest bathroom shower tiles weren’t level.) According to Bill, the shut-off valves, supply lines, and P-traps should generally be replaced during a major remodel. The finishes are pristine “Better attention to detail on the finishes is typically a good indicator on how much the contractor cared about the project as a whole,” Bill says. Finally, get the house blessed by your real estate agent before you make an offer.

The Multifamily Sector is Overheated—So I’m Turning to THIS Profitable Niche Instead

But I will say that we are looking at off-market deals, too, and most of them are just as overpriced as the marketed deals.) I’ve been studying Warren Buffett, and I’m writing a book on applying his wisdom to the real estate arena. We still believe in multifamily. But multifamily opportunities are few and far between at the time of this writing. We’ve located a profitable, risk-averse asset class. And we’ve vetted a team that has been operating in this asset class for decades. I wanted the opportunity to talk with several investors who have invested with the company for a number of full cycles (buy, operate, refinance, sell). My firm just partnered with quite a few of our investors to invest almost $3 million in one of their projects Wait… what about our multifamily investors? I know that many of our investors are focused specifically on multifamily, and that’s OK. We are still looking for multifamily deals every week. If you’ve been “storing up cash” for your next investment, you may want to consider checking out self-storage, too.

Property taxes on single-family homes increase 6% in 2017

The analysis, which looked at property taxes on more than 86 million single-family homes, shows that property taxes totaled $293.4 billion across the U.S. in 2017. This is up 6% from $277.7 billion in 2016 and an average $3,399 per home – an effective tax rate of 1.17%. The average property tax per home increased 3% in 2017, up from the average $3,296 per single-family home in 2016, the report showed. The map below shows the highest tax rates were the highest in Texas, the Northeast and some central northern states. Click to Enlarge The states with the highest effective property tax rates were New Jersey with 2.28%, Illinois with 2.22%, Vermont with 2.19%, Texas with 2.15% and New Hampshire with 2.06%. Dallas saw the fastest increase in 2017 as it rose 11%. Another Texas metro, Houston, also saw a significant increase at 10%, followed by Los Angeles with 7%, San Francisco with 6% and Seattle with 6%. “Across California, it's not the percentage of property tax increase that is as concerning to consumers, as it is the net effect to cash flow, especially for an aging population on fixed incomes,” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate, which covers Southern California. “This erosion of disposable income for many homeowners coupled with an aging housing inventory stock in need of repair across many areas of the state puts some homeowners in a difficult position where they have ample housing equity on paper but aren’t able to realize home value gains until a future sale of the property.” And tax rates aside, obviously homeowners in states with higher home values will pay a higher dollar amount in taxes. Counties with the highest average property taxes were all in the New York metro area, led by Westchester County at $17,179 per year, followed by Rockland County with $12,924, Essex County with $11,878, Bergen Country with $11,585 and Nassau County with $11,415.

Delinquency rates fall to pre-housing crisis levels: CoreLogic

The number of homeowners failing to make mortgage payments has dipped to levels unseen since before the 2008 housing crisis. Nationwide, only 4.1 percent of homeowners were delinquent on their mortgage in December, according to CoreLogic’s latest Loan Performance Insights report released Tuesday. Down from 5.3 percent in December 2017, the latest rate is the lowest since January 2000. Yearlong delinquency rates, which have been falling steadily since the start of 2018, have not been this low since early 2006 – just before the housing and financial crisis of 2008-2009. Foreclosures, in which property is seized due to an owner’s inability to pay, fell to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent the year before. “Our latest home equity report found that the average homeowner saw a $9,700 increase in their equity during 2018,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a prepared statement. “With additional ‘skin in the game,’ rising equity reduces the chances of a foreclosure, helping to push the foreclosure rate down to its lowest level since at least 2000.” All stages of the delinquency process have been seeing drops over the past 12 months — but serious delinquencies, in which mortgage payments are overdue by more than 90 days, saw the biggest drop, from 2.1 percent in December 2017 to 1.5 percent this year. A strong job market and low unemployment rates continue to spell good news for homeowners for what will likely be months to come – even as the frequent rate of natural disasters puts homeowners in some parts of the country at risk of falling behind on payments, said Frank Martell, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. “On a national basis, income and home-price growth continue to support strong loan performance,” said Martell. “Although things look good across most of the nation, areas that were impacted by hurricanes and other natural hazards are experiencing a sharp increase in the numbers of mortgages moving into 60-day delinquency or worse.”

Can IRA Assets Be Used To Purchase Real Estate?

Question: We are interested in buying investment property? However, if your IRA owns the investment property, you cannot take advantage of any such tax benefits. Talk with your advisers about other investments that may be available for your IRA. Question: I have a friend who owns his home outright. He is in financial difficulty but refuses to look into a reverse mortgage because an attorney friend of his told him to stay away from reverse mortgages. Over the years, I have often written that a reverse mortgage should be the last resort; see if you can get a new loan or refinance your existing mortgage before looking at a reverse. You have to know the facts before you can get this kind of loan. Question: I am an owner in a six-unit townhouse fee simple (a building where the owner pays for some exterior maintenance) with $200 annual assessment complex. Last year, we decided to have the complex painted. Was the out-of- state owner advised of the vote?

Cheap House Improvements Under $500 That Will Increase the Value

Before you begin your house improvements... We'll offer this pre-project tip that will make your life a lot easier: declutter. Make a splash in the bathroom The bathroom is one of the most visited rooms in your home, and just a few changes can make it one of the most functional and stylish rooms as well. “If it is concrete, that surface can be cleaned up and painted. Throw an inexpensive area rug down, and the room will be updated immediately.” Tiling is another budget-friendly flooring update for your kitchen or bathroom. “Porcelain and stone are very inexpensive,” says Alan Zielinski, owner and president of Better Kitchens in Niles, IL, who adds that linoleum floors are also very cost-effective, and come in several styles. Customize your cabinets Another inexpensive bathroom and kitchen update to tackle? So, what color should you paint them? Add architectural details You can use wainscoting, shiplap, and crown molding to add craftsmanship to your home. “Adding inexpensive new lighting fixtures in areas with a lot of visibility in the house can have a large impact on a home’s value,” says Shayanfekr. “I would say paint is the No.

Where Did All the Homes Go? A Historic Shortage, and Cities It’s Hitting Hardest

Then we calculated the drop in total square footage in each market. We did that by multiplying the drop in total homes in each metro by the average square footage of homes in those areas. We excluded metros in which fewer than 50% of the listings on realtor.com didn't include square footage. And finally, we limited our ranking to one metro per state. Sacramento, CA Median list price: $453,000 Decrease in inventory: -55.1% Drop in square footage on the market: 10,409,000 Sacramento burst onto the national scene a few years ago as more folks priced out of the San Francisco Bay Area found a cheaper alternative about two hours northeast. But that means the number of homes on the market is way down. Median list price: $337,100 Decrease in inventory: -41.3% Drop in square footage on the market:12,688,000 Last year, Kristen Schwartz, 49, and her husband traveled from San Francisco to Minneapolis, where their oldest son was in graduate school. The drop in inventory here is equivalent to losing more than four Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons buildings, a 1.1 million-square-foot building in the city. Median list price: $311,500 Decrease in inventory: -36.8% Drop in square footage on the market: 4,192,000 The job market in the capital of Virginia is on a tear, and so are home prices—up 7% in August year over year, after a 9% jump the year prior. The amount of lost inventory in Richmond is equivalent to more than eight James Monroe Buildings, the tallest building in the city.

5 Great Cities for Millennial Homebuyers

Great cities for millennial homebuyers: Lancaster, Pa. Columbus, Ohio Garner, N.C. Petersburg, Fla. West Des Moines, Iowa. It’s also home to an established arts community and a network of independently owned businesses. There were 200 new housing units built in Lancaster in 2017. Columbus, Ohio Population: 860,090 Median value of housing: $131,800 You can own a home in Columbus without breaking the bank. There are also miles of bike trails and thousands of acres of parkland to hike. For people who work in any of these areas, Garner offers more affordable housing than some of the other nearby communities. St. Petersburg, Fla. Population: 260,999 Median value of housing: $154,800 St. Petersburg has rejuvenated its downtown, which is home to a mixture of business offices, residential property, restaurants and entertainment. West Des Moines, Iowa Population: 64,560 Median value of housing: $195,500 West Des Moines borders Des Moines to the west, about eight miles from Des Moines International Airport. It’s affordable for them to do that here.” Finance and insurance companies, including Wells Fargo, Farm Bureau and Athene, are located in West Des Moines. Small businesses also make up a large part of West Des Moines’ economy, adding to the 2,800 businesses in the city, according to the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.


Best Tech Cities for Real Estate Investing: An Analysis of 6...

Tech. Tech. Tech. Those six cities are Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Phoenix, Austin, and Portland. All and all, Denver appears to be a strong tech market with good indicators on investing. Salt Lake City Salt Lake City is strong on six of the 10 tech investment metrics, showcasing well in the following categories: rent-to-income, taxes, insurance value, unemployment, population growth, and an educated population. Those are both negatives, but I still love Salt Lake City for its real estate potential. It also has incredible population growth (second only to Salt Lake City) and strong appreciation. Phoenix definitely does not have enough going for it as an investment, much less a tech investment. And all metrics are not created equal, so we really care about unemployment, crime, population growth and tech growth—all of which are strong for both Denver and Austin.