4 Ways Investors Can Help Alleviate the Affordable Housing Crisis (& Make Money)

Here are four ideas on ways real estate investors can help alleviate the affordable housing crisis—and make money in the process. With crowdfunding, the investor can often specifically invest in projects that will bring more affordable housing online. So, even though you may not have the funds to fix and flip a new affordable housing project on your own, with crowdfunding you can be one of several investors who help get the project off the ground. When you invest, you are helping not only individual homeowners but also the community by positively impacting affordable housing in the neighborhood. Housing experts and government officials believe investment in Opportunity Zones will help prompt development of affordable housing. Related: How the Dire Future of the Retail Market Could Solve the Housing Affordability Crisis Projects in Opportunity Zones will be eligible for funding through Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Funds create benefits for both investor and community. Opportunity Funds allow investors to defer federal taxes on any recent capital gains until December 31, 2026, reduce that tax payment by up to 15%, and pay as little as zero taxes on potential profits from an Opportunity Fund if the investment is held for 10 years. Affordable Housing via Fix and Flips and Long-Term Rentals There are direct opportunities for real estate agents, investors, and builders to be more socially conscious and to have a positive impact on affordable housing through regular business dealings. What other investments have you come across that could help create more affordable housing?

5 Questions to Ask When Considering an Investment Partner

Here are the five big questions I like to ask myself before considering working with a new partner. While not all partners are the best of friends, a partnership does mean spending a ridiculous amount of time with another person. Do we agree on the vision? Before working on any venture together, here are some things you’ll want to discuss: How long do we expect this partnership to last? What is the end-goal for the partnership? Even with a shared vision and common goals, multiple captains trying to drive the ship will ultimately be unsuccessful. And while you might assume that the most common issue is that both partners want to lead the charge, in my experience, the more common issue is that neither partner wants the responsibility of taking control. And even with one of the partners taking control, there are going to be plenty of situations where the other partner is driving a specific part of the business and making the bulk of the decisions. I see it all the time—two novice investors, best friends, same background, same vision, looking to partner up to build the next big real estate empire. Next time you’re considering partnering, ask yourself these five questions, and I have a feeling you’ll know what to do.

A 3-Part Plan for Presenting Real Estate as an Investment to Your Spouse

When it comes to investing, the more conservative partner in a marriage has an easier argument: “We’re not putting all our money into some pipe dream!” This, in turn, is why I hear married people ask over and over in my real estate investing Facebook group about how they can get their spouse on board with real estate investing. Real estate investing feels higher risk to people without real estate experience. Then again, compared to stocks, real estate investing is often lower risk! You’re going to need to make an organized, persuasive case for why real estate investing can offer both high returns and low risk. I’m going to use rental investing as the example, but the same principles apply to convincing your spouse to embrace flipping, commercial real estate, land, or any other form of real estate investing. Your spouse is apprehensive about the idea of “spending” and “risking” and “losing” money on a real estate deal. If your spouse simply will not budge on investing any of your joint money, you can always just invest with “your own money” to demonstrate the proof-of-concept. Final Word Spouses can be a pain in the rear, but they can also serve as a voice of reason—and as a second set of eyes on your real estate deals. Run your numbers three times over, by yourself and with your spouse, before pulling the trigger on a real estate deal. The last thing you want is to lose money on your first real estate deal – your spouse will never invest with you again.

3 Reasons Beginners Should Not Flip Houses

Flipping houses can be a great way to make a relatively quick profit, but these projects aren’t for everyone. Wondering if you’re equipped to take on a flip? You absolutely need a solid team when taking on a project of this size, including a top-notch contractor. You can get away with a mediocre handyman for everyday repairs, but not flipping an entire home. Fix and flips are full of surprises; be sure you have enough money to weather the storm (because you will encounter difficulty). You don’t know your market well enough. Don’t get me wrong—there are a million reasons you should be flipping houses. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into and have a solid support system to ensure you’re able to overcome the unexpected. What are some other reasons you shouldn’t flip houses? Weigh in with a comment!

5 Signs It’s Time To Refinance Your Mortgage

You've probably heard that refinancing your mortgage can save you money. You can get a better interest rate Interest rates play a huge role in how much money you pay for your mortgage each month, as well as over the life of the loan. For example, if you put 20% on a $200,000 home with a 30-year loan, at a 4% interest rate, you would pay around $763 per month. That's a difference of $47 per month or $564 per year. Your credit score is higher The interest rate you pay on a loan will be determined by two things: the prime rate and your credit score. For example, a 5/1 ARM comes with a five-year fixed-rate period, after which the rate will readjust every year. At that point, it makes sense to either refinance into a fixed-rate mortgage, which would offer more stability, or another ARM. You need to pay less If you suddenly find yourself needing to pay less on your mortgage, either due to a change in income or added expenses, refinancing can be a good option to help put some money back in your pocket. Depending on when you first took out your mortgage, you may be able to get a much better interest rate in today's market, which will save you significantly. Since the amount that you owe on your home is lower now than it was when you first bought it, you're borrowing less money when you refinance.

Homeowners Who Move the Most May Make the Most

Moving may help homeowners see higher profits from the sale of their property, suggests a new study that links homeowners’ tenure in their homes to price appreciation. Cities where residents live in their homes for the shortest amount of time tend to see more than double the appreciation experienced by homeowners who stay put the longest, a new study from LendingTree finds. The study from LendingTree ranks cities by how long homeowners have lived in their homes. On average, homeowners stay in their homes for about 7 years. Among the top 10 cities on the list, which had an average tenure of 7.46 years, homes appreciated over three years by an average of 12 percent, the study finds. But for the 10 cities where homeowners tended to move most frequently—every 6.63 years, on average—the three-year average appreciation rate was 30 percent. “This suggests that higher housing turnover drives prices upwards, while faster price appreciation could be enticing home owners to sell,” note LendingTree researchers in the study. Here’s a closer look at the cities with the shortest average housing tenure among residents: #48 Austin, Texas Average housing tenure: 6.49 years Median value: $283,600 Three-year home price appreciation: 30% #49 Phoenix Average housing tenure: 6.43 years Median value: $246,900 Three-year home price appreciation: 25% #50 Las Vegas Average housing tenure: 6.36 years Median value: $250,000 Three-year home price appreciation: 32% Here are the cities where people stay in their homes the longest: #1 Pittsburgh Average housing tenure: 7.54 years Median value: $153,300 Three-year home price appreciation: 14% #2 New York Average housing tenure: 7.53 years Median value: $440,900 Three-year home price appreciation: 11% #3 Buffalo, N.Y. Average housing tenure: 7.50 years Median value: $148,900 Three-year home price appreciation: 19%

6 Things First Time Home Buyers Need To Know

You might be able to buy more house than you really need. Rates and fees can vary greatly from lender to lender. However, first-time home buyers can often purchase a home with a down payment of little to nothing. Because expenses like the mortgage, taxes and insurance are just the beginning. How to Save for a Down Payment If you have some idea of what a home that fits your needs may cost, it’s time to get serious about saving for a down payment. The more expensive that home is, the more down payment you will need. In this hypothetical situation, you would likely need to make at least a $300,000 down payment in order to make the purchase work. The lesson here is don’t go buy a new car or make any major purchases on a credit card if you are house shopping. Should you get a 30-year Mortgage? If you are dead set on paying of your mortgage in 15 years (or less) consider getting a 30-year mortgage, but paying like it was a 15-year mortgage.

Boomer Boomtowns: America’s 10 Fastest-Growing Retirement Hot Spots

In fact, nearly 1.2 million people 55 or older relocated out of state last year, the highest number on record. Then we looked at the number of folks ages 55 and up who moved into new metros between 2016 and 2017. Median list price: $275,100 Percentage of residents age 60 and up***: 47% Population: 182,033 Hurricane Charley and its 145-mile-per-hour winds hit Punta Gorda head on in 2004, devastating the community. The city was rebuilt, but with much stricter building codes, to make sure these new homes could withstand high winds. And it's become even more appealing in recent years, with home prices falling in Cape Coral, down 3.5% year over year. Seniors with cash reserves can find places in upscale 55-plus retirement communities like Touchmark at The Ranch, a 44-acre community known for its lodge-style homes. Median list price: $580,100 Percentage of residents age 60 and up: 30.4% Population: 148,750 The historic downtown district of Santa Fe Plaza is packed with unique art galleries, shops, restaurants—and lots of boomers. "We’ve always been seen as a retirement community, but in the last two years, things have really picked up," says Brett Hultberg, a real estate agent in Santa Fe. Median list price: $525,100 Percentage of residents age 60 and up: 38.9% Population: 213,444 The white sandy beaches of Cape Cod (part of the Barnstable Town metro) have long been prized vacation refuges for New Yorkers and Bostonians looking for a getaway. *** We included the percentage of residents 60 and up, instead of 55 and older, because that is how the U.S. Census Bureau groups the ages of residents in metros.

5 Millennial names that tell us where home buying is headed

They were the top five names associated with the fastest levels of home sales growth in 2018. “They are entering that stage of life where it’s more about they must have that house as opposed to it would be nice to have that house,” he explains. “They are really leaning into the fact that qualifying for a mortgage with a good job is not as hard as it used to be,” says Vivas. And that’s what we’re seeing with these Millennials.” Single women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the housing market. The 2018 deed data also reflects women’s impact on homeownership as a whole. Sales associated with female buyer names increased while sales with male names declined, up 1.6% and down 0.1% year-over-year on average respectively. James could be 100 years old or 20 years old, but when you take the data in an aggregate, it’s colorful evidence of how the profile of the home buyer is changing quickly.” Social Security Administration data shows half of Hannahs were born before 1993, and 80% between 1987 and 1997, giving Hannah a high likelihood of being a Millennial buyer. “Before getting my mortgage through Quicken Loans, I made a budget and put money away monthly into a savings account with a long-term plan to buy a home. “I don’t know whether I’ll do that or not, but student loans are a big factor in regards to what type of home I can buy and how much of my income I can use to actually put towards my investment in my home,” she says. That was a requirement.” Though Strasser is still learning the ropes of homeownership, she has no regrets.

Top Ten Things to Look For In A Realtor

With a full-time agent as the No. • Get a tech-savvy agent. That gives other buyers just enough time to get their offer in and possibly take away your shot at that perfect home," De Groot said. The assistant should have knowledge of the pertinent facts related to your transaction. "A full time agent has more than one client. In order to be available for clients every day, an assistant is necessary. For example, a listing appointment could last for three hours and during that time someone could call to discuss an offer on your property. • Get a well-respected agent. Other agents make deals with agents they respect, trust and with whom they enjoy working. The MLS details will show what in fact that agent has sold and when those sales occurred.


Here are 5 myths about Realtors, debunked

As in any industry, the real estate industry has its fair share of stereotypes and myths, but a new report from the National Association of Realtors just debunked some of those myths. Over the past year, NAR reported it saw a 6% jump in memberships, rising from 1.22 million in 2017 to 1.3 million in 2018, according to the organization's 2018 Member Profile survey. “Younger Americans are seeking business opportunities that working in real estate provides, but the overall trend is a slightly older age profile.” The report shows that the number of new entrants to the real estate market is rising as 29% of its members reported having less than two years of experience in real estate, compared to 28% in 2017. However, this does not seem to be the case. According to NAR’s survey, most Realtors work 40 hours per week, a trend that has continued for several years. Uneducated: While it’s true that most states don’t require real estate agents to hold a degree, or at times any college education, the survey shows that the typical Realtor has a bachelor’s degree or attended some college. The survey, however, shows that 72% of Realtors said real estate was their only occupation, a number which jumps to 82% when only looking at agents with 16 or more years of experience. They survey also showed that Realtors with 16 years or more of experience earn an average $78,750 annually. Inexperienced: While real estate is sometimes viewed as a profession that attracts a lot of people, but where most have little experience, the survey showed that a typical Realtor has about 10 years of experience. Technologically behind: It is true, the real estate industry remains significantly behind when it comes to the use of technology.