Real Estate: What You Need To Know

People generally get confused with the term real state and real estate Business. Real estate itself is not related to business as it represents a property of land and building that too, including the natural sources, such as flora, fauna, crops, parks, pools etc. that are immovable and lies in the property’s premises. Whereas real estate business is the profession of selling, buying or renting these properties.

Real Estate Agents

It’s a tough task to match the needs of buyer and property sellers, as buyer may not get his dream property and at the same time the seller also may not get the price of his wish. To establish a good connection between buyer and seller and to find the right buyer for a seller and vice versa, Real Estate Agents can be hired that are easily available in the market. Real estate brokers or agents are the ones, who acts as an intermediate between property buyer and seller and tries his level best to match their demands. Buyers for buying and property owner for renting or selling their property get in contact with the agent. The agent listens to their demands and try hard to fulfill them, for a property sold or rented in his supervision, the agent charges some percent of the price of that property from both the parties, i.e. the owner and the buyer. Agents use websites to promote the sale of properties, often work at nights and weekends busy in showing properties to buyers.

Things you should know about Real Estate Agents

Although agents are such a bliss to those who are struggling to get a property or a price of their interest, but we have to be wise when it comes to choosing an agent. Agents are not bound to show you best properties or tell you all the things they know, they might get greedy sometime and show you properties that are going to profit them more than you. On the other hand, for property owners they might end up, leaving you with paying guest that can trouble you in future, in fact, as the general goal of an agent is to sell the property as soon as possible, they may excite you and ask you to sell your property at comparatively lower prices than that you expected, and would be getting after some days. It’s better recommended to choose your agent and the other party to buy or sell wisely, after taking your time, and not to get excited on every other offer you get.

New Real Estate Business Mediums in market

Now-a-days many online sites and applications have been developed to remove the work of agents. Both the parties contact with each other directly and choose the deals of their interest. Though, this move has increased the transparency between both the parties, but because of being fully online, may result in misleading each other. That’s why it is highly recommended to see the property in person before booking it. As the thing that seems to be good and satisfying online can be completely opposite from that what you will be getting in real.



Source by Shalini Madhav

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Real Estate Investing Opportunity: How to Locate a Property to Buy

Are you looking for a profitable commercial real estate investing opportunity? Below are some helpful tips for locating a commercial property to buy.

Before you start your search, you need to decide on your desired property type. Determine the size, type and the location of the commercial property you are looking to purchase. It is possible that you may be looking for a multi-tenant office building instead of a small single-user office building. In such cases, make sure you are clear on these distinctions before you start your search.

Once you have the type of property clearly in mind, there are a number of sources you can use to locate that property:

Internet

The internet is a great platform to use to locate a real estate investing opportunity. There are several commercial real estate industry sites that give you detailed descriptions of properties offered for sale, as well as videos and other statistics that can be a helpful complement to your search. In addition, there are websites that are hosted by professional commercial real estate agents that will show listings of commercial properties for sale.

Another good source to use on the internet is to connect with user groups and real estate forums that can help you in your hunt.

The only downside to the internet is that it can be restrictive, especially if you are looking for a local commercial property. Most local areas do not have a multiple commercial listing service for commercial properties like the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for residential properties so listed properties are not readily available to research.

Networks

Networking is another good technique used for finding properties. All you have to do is to visit your local real estate investment group and discuss your needs, clearly indicating the specifics of the type of property you are looking for as well as the financial requirements.

The same approach is valid at Chamber of Commerce meetings. You can also join groups of apartment owners, building owners, and associations of shopping center owners.

Professional Commercial Realtors

Last but not least, you can seek the assistance of professional commercial realtors. Good commercial realtors can be a great helping hand in your hunt for commercial properties. Not only will they provide you assistance but they will also help you in locating the most suitable property for your specific investment plans.

Sellers typically are represented by brokers and it is in your best interest as the buyer to have your own professional representation in any transactions you enter into. If you are worried about the realtor fee – it is usually paid by the seller and, therefore, you do not have to bear any expense.

In summary, homework is important if you wish to find a commercial property that suits your requirements. So do your homework and get the professional advice of a commercial real estate broker who will look after your best interests.

There are a lot of financially lucrative real estate investing opportunities in the marketplace. Good luck with your hunt!



Source by David Earl Morgan

Real Estate Property Management

One of the biggest decisions you will make as a landlord is whether you should hire a property management company or not. Many landlords manage properties on their own or with the help of an employee, such as a resident manager. Sometimes it happens that landlords need more help when property issues are complicated. This is when landlords need to seek the help of real estate property management companies.

Real estate property management companies can be a huge asset to your company but they don’t come cheap. They deal directly with prospects and tenants, saving you time and worry over marketing your rentals, collecting rent, handling maintenance and repair issues, responding to tenant complaints, and even pursuing evictions. A good property management company brings its know-how and experience to your property and gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your investment is in good hands.

A real estate management business is an independent contractor and this helps you avoid the hassles of being an employer. Along with the benefits, hiring a real estate property management company also comes with a drawback of being an expensive one. If you are living far from your rental property, it will be difficult for you to handle property issues from afar. Most of the landlords look forward to finding good tenants to maintain their property in good and attractive condition.

On the contrary, there are few landlords who look at their property purely as an investment and are not interested in lending them to any tenants. In this case, the best option is to hire a real estate property management to handle the property and manage the related issues. Even if you enjoy hands-on management, you will run out of time to concentrate on the growth of your business which will put you in a situation to hire help for your property. Hiring help of a real estate property management company is an attractive option if you can afford the fees for the same. While interviewing management companies, expect to hear quotes ranging between 5% and 10% of what you collect in rent revenue.

Trying to choose a property agent can be daunting, after all you need someone with experience, energy and a passion to succeed! Perhaps even more importantly, someone who will talk to you and honestly discuss how the real estate industry can work successfully for you. In real estate, it’s about service – and that’s what gets results!



Source by Stanley Samuels

Property Taxes Vs Real Estates Taxes – What’s the Difference

If you are new to the world of real estate, you might be a bit confused by all of the taxes that get assessed. To many people, the words ‘property taxes’ and ‘real estate taxes’ sound like they are the same, but there are some significant differences. Let’s take a look at them.

Real estate taxes are taxes based on the property’s assessed value. They are assessed on privately owned properties and funds are collected by local governments. Real estate taxes are the ones we often hear about that fund schools and pay for road repairs.

Property taxes have two sub-categories. There are certainly real property taxes that are real estate taxes, but there are also personal property taxes. Think of real property as something that cannot be moved. These are things like the house, an external garage, a storage building, or a barn.

Personal property is defined as things that can be moved, like furniture. These taxes are sometimes called excise taxes. Your car is also personal property. Believe it or not, but that licensing fee you pay for your car is a type of personal property tax. If you have a business that repairs items or sells merchandise, that inventory is personal property. In many cases, you are exempt from taxes on the first $50,000 or $100,000 of inventory, depending on your state.

If you own an RV, this is counted as personal property because it can be moved, even though you might be living in one full time. If it is sitting on land you own, you might have to pay real estate taxes on that land, but not in combination with the RV.

So what is the assessed value that these taxes are based on? Each local government has a department that looks at what the value of a property really is. They look at the structure and the land value itself. Sometimes they calculate these values separately and sometimes they are looked at together. The assessment rate is a lower percentage of the assessed value. For many areas, the assessment rate is 70% – 80%, which then reduces the value of the house, and therefore the amount that the tax rate is calculated against.

It should be noted that HOA or condo association fees are not the same as real estate or property taxes. Those fees go directly to the association to cover costs of common area repairs and maintenance.

Personal property taxes are assessed as a percentage of the value of the item. Each state and county will have their own regulations on how they calculate personal property taxes. Also, each state as well as the federal government allows for a tax deduction on personal income tax forms for real estate taxes that have been paid in a given year.

There are also exemptions that certain homeowners might qualify for that help reduce the tax burden. These exemptions are often for wounded military, the disabled, and the elderly.

Hopefully this has helped clear up the differences between property taxes and real estate taxes. Though they sometimes do overlap, they are also quite different. It just depends on what the item is that is being taxed.



Source by Bill Len

Real Estate Investing and Property Management in West Chester PA

Residential property management in West Chester, PA involves serving two different rental communities.

The first community includes students who attend West Chester University. As certain geographic areas of West Chester do not allow student rentals, it is very important that you make sure what part of town your investment property is located. Student housing is very time consuming for property managers and requires extra man hours to serve their needs. For example, with student housing we get calls to change light bulbs, remove snow or ice, clean rooms and many other requests that we typically do not get from non-student tenants. As an investor you want to make sure that you have a property management company in West Chester, PA lined up to handle these issues or be prepared to handle them yourself.

Also, with student housing you will get a lot of turnover and most students stay one year and move out. So be sure to plan high tenant turnover when considering investing here.

The second community in West Chester, PA is non-students. This may include individuals that live in this very popular community or in some cases people that work at West Chester University. These types of tenants tend to be more mature and easier to manage the properties in which they reside. Additionally, they tend to pay rent on time and do not need nearly as mush maintenance or attention. As an investor this may be the better option, but these types of investment properties tend to cost more per unit.

The good news is non-students may live in your investment property for many years and reduce your vacant time.

West Chester, PA is a very popular community with lots of shops and restaurants in the downtown section. West Chester, PA is also the home of QVC, one of the largest employers in the area.

This town continues to be a very hot market for both sales and rentals. The average sales price for home as of November 2018 is $414,100. The average sales price is up 3.4% over the last year. The rental market is also seeing nice price appreciation. The average rental is $2,242 per month and is up 1.5% over the last month. This compares to the average rental in Philadelphia of $1,581 and nationally of $1,449. Given the strong popularity and strong employment in the area I would suggest this a great place for real estate investors to look for investment properties and above average returns.



Source by Mike Lautensack

Real Estate and the AMT: Rental Or Investment Property

The Alternative Minimum Tax is a very important consideration for taxpayers who own real estate because just about every tax rule applying to real estate is different for the AMT than it is for the Regular Tax. This article on Real Estate and the AMT will address those situations where the individual holds the real estate as an investment, typically as rental property. The differences in tax treatment between the Regular Tax and the AMT can be significant.

Interest expense

Interest paid on the mortgage taken out to acquire the property is fully deductible, both for the Regular Tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. Unlike itemized deductions that allow a tax benefit for what amounts to personal expenses, the tax law generally allows all deductions a taxpayer has to make in the pursuit of business income. Thus, the limitations discussed in the previous article on home mortgage interest do not apply.

If, however, the equity in the rental property is used as security for an additional loan – a second mortgage, for example – then the taxpayer must look to how the proceeds of that loan are used to determine interest deductibility. If the proceeds are used for a car loan or to finance a child’s education, for example, then the interest is nondeductible personal interest. If the proceeds are used to improve the rental property, the interest is deductible.

Suggestion – it is best that taxpayers keep personal borrowings separate from business borrowings. Mixing the two creates recordkeeping challenges and can result in disputes with the IRS.

Property taxes

Property taxes paid on rental or investment property are allowed in full both for Regular Tax purposes as well as for the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Planning idea – if you have an opportunity to pay your property tax bill either this year or next, pay it in a year when you have enough income from the property so as not to generate a rental loss. This strategy can help avoid triggering the passive activity loss limitations described below.

Example – in Florida property tax bills are mailed in October, and are payable under the following discount schedule: November – 4%, December – 3%, January – 2%, February – 1%. If you have a loss from the property in 2010 but expect to generate income in 2011, do not pay your bill in November or December – forgoing that small discount could help you avoid the loss-limitation rules.

Depreciation

Depreciation is allowed for property held for investment. The portion of the cost allocable to land is not depreciable, but for the building itself and the furniture, appliances, carpeting, etc. a depreciation deduction may be taken.

Real property (this is the legal definition of the house or other building) held for rental/investment may only be depreciated for Regular Tax purposes under the “straight-line” method, over a useful life of 27.5 years. Thus, a property with $275,000 allocated to the building would be depreciated at the rate of $10,000 per year.

Personal property (this is the legal definition of things such as furniture, appliances, carpeting and the like) may be depreciated for Regular Tax purposes under an “accelerated” method over a useful life of five years. An accelerated method allows a larger depreciation deduction in the early years, in recognition of an obsolescence or decline-in-value factor that you see in new property (cars are a good example).

For purposes of the AMT, however, personal property may be depreciated only by using a straight-line method. Thus, an AMT item will be generated in the early years if the accelerated method is used.

Planning idea – for personal property consider electing the straight-line method for Regular Tax purposes. While giving up a little tax benefit from the greater depreciation in the early years, it could mean avoiding paying the AMT.

Active/passive investment rules and the “at-risk” rules

A taxpayer who is not “active” in managing investment property may not use losses from rental property to offset other income such as salaries and wages, dividends, interest, capital gains, etc. Instead, these losses are deferred until the taxpayer either sells the property or generates passive income from this or other passive investment sources.

The at-risk rules similarly deny using these types of losses to the extent the taxpayer has acquired the investment with borrowed money and does not have personal liability on the debt.

Planning idea

If these loss limitations apply, consider the planning ideas mentioned above to minimize the losses being generated each year. They are not doing you any good anyway.

Sale of the property

Several different AMT issues can arise on the sale of rental/investment property. One is that your gain or loss may be different for the AMT than it is for Regular Tax purposes. This would be caused if different depreciation methods were used. For example, if the personal property was depreciated using an accelerated method for Regular Tax purposes, then the basis in that property when calculating gain or loss on sale would be different because the straight-line method had to be used for Alternative Minimum Tax purposes.

Gain on the sale of investment property generally is capital gain, although a portion may be treated as ordinary income depending on the accelerated depreciation method was used. Capital gains in and of themselves are not an AMT item, but nonetheless they can result in AMT being paid. This is because the AMT exemption amount is phased out for taxpayers at certain income levels, so this additional income can have the result of reducing the exemption which in turn increases taxable income for purposes of the Alternative Minimum Tax.



Source by George Bauernfeind

Realty Vs Real Estate Vs Real Property

Realty and personal property terms have often been confused as to what they exactly mean. Here we will clear that right up for you. We will look at the terms personal property, realty, land, real estate, and lastly real property.

Let’s begin with personal property. Personal property also known as chattel is everything that is not real property. Example couches, TVs things of this nature. Emblements pronounced (M-blee-ments) are things like crops, apples, oranges, and berries. Emblements are also personal property. So when you go to sell your house, flip, or wholesale deal, you sell or transfer ownership by a bill of sale with personal property.

Realty.

Realty is the broad definition for land, real estate, and real property.

Land

Land is everything mother nature gave to us like whats below the ground, above the ground and the airspace. Also called subsurface (underground), surface (the dirt) and airspace. So when you buy land that’s what you get, keep in mind our government owns a lot of our air space.

Real Estate

Real estate is defined as land plus its man made improvements added to it. You know things like fences, houses, and driveways. So when you buy real estate this is what you can expect to be getting.

Real property

Real property is land, real estate, and what’s call the bundle of rights. The bundle of rights consist of five rights, the right to possess, control, enjoy, exclude, and lastly dispose. So basically you can possess, take control, enjoy, exclude others, and then dispose of your real property as you wish as long as you do not break state and federal laws.

Lastly there are two other types of property we should mention.

Fixture

Fixture is personal property which has been attached realty and by that now is considered real property. So you would ask yourself upon selling to determine value “did you attach it to make it permanent?” The exceptions to this rule are the garage door opener and door key, these are not considered fixtures.

Trade Fixtures

Trade fixtures are those fixtures installed by say a commercial tenant or can be the property of the commercial tenant.

I hope this clears up some misconceptions about personal property, realty, land and real estate and now fixtures and trade fixtures!



Source by Bill Guerra

Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of “right of ways” to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a “must have” trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for “family friendly” or “residential friendly” commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for “mover upper” homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces with combined commercial and residential areas. In particular, you can often get block grants to help with the financing on projects like this, and there are programs from HUD that can help out a great deal with “urban renovations”.

Another source to investigate is the demographics in your area. Look at the US Census figures (and local county figures) for median age, and median birth rate per capita. You want to invest in areas where the population is growing already. High skews in the ’40s and ’50s indicate that you’ve got a bunch of people who are going to retire soon, and retirees are highly prone to selling properties off. Places to watch carefully are most of the urban parts of California, and great swaths of the rural Midwest, where demographic trends have been changing entire towns since the 1950s as the country’s population has shifted to urban areas.

If there’s a local planning council, or urban development council, make it a point to get the minutes of all the meetings from the past year. The city council offices will have them on file as a matter of public record. Also try to get into the next range of meetings as an observer. Discuss with the city and county managers where they see housing and construction trends moving. What you’re looking for is real estate that will be desirable in two to three years; look at road planning atlases, and look for all the data you can find. Also look for real estate that will be scenic – lake front property is as close to a guaranteed bet as you can get in real estate investing, particularly if there’s a lake that’s at the “far end” of a development axis. Likewise, if there’s land that the city council is looking to acquire for parks, buying the adjacent lots now means you’ll be able to sell them later.

Lastly, talk to the professionals in your communities. Talk to architects who can tell you if they’re busy or not. Maintain professional contacts with engineers, bankers and attorneys. They will usually know about projects well before the general public. Also make a habit of reading the local newspaper’s business section. Often times, the first clue that a business may move in to your area is buried at the bottom of a column on page 8.

Using the guidelines suggested above will help you to find “sleeper” raw land properties. These “sleeper” properties are perfect for the buy low, sell high strategy used by successful commercial real estate investors.



Source by Tony J Seruga

The Hows and the Whys of Opting for a Home Improvement Loan

Lately, the number of people looking to improve their residences through several home improvement projects have seen a rise. Analyzing this change in trend, several banks and financial institutions have come up with a new financing scheme called home improvement loans. These loans can be availed of upon your outstanding home loan amount to carry out the necessary modifications to your residences.

Here Are Some Of The Major Benefits That A Home Enhancement Loan Can Offer You

Enhance your Property’s Outlook

Haven’t you always wanted to improve the way your house looks? Adding an elegant wooden flooring, some textured painting, and improve the lighting are some of the common home renovation requests. Using a home improvement loan you can do all that and more!

Increase the Market Value of Your Property

The improvement you make in your home increases the value of your property in the real estate market. Also, financial institutions are likely to extend you a home improvement loan for the exact same reason as they consider this a win-win situation.

Say, for instance, you have a house worth Rs.50 lakh in the market. If you choose to improve your home by adding a modular kitchen or an extra guest bedroom among others, the price of the property will certainly rise.

Is Personal Loan for Home Renovation a Good Option?

A personal loan usually comes with high-interest rates; much higher than the rates of traditional home improvement loans offered by a majority of the banks. But there are plenty of benefits associated with a personal loan, for instance, no collateral, easy approval, and higher loan amount. So, evaluate your requirements and choose a loan that best suits you.

How Can One Avail Loan for Home Renovation?

Availing of a home improvement loan is fairly easy if you already have an outstanding loan with a financial institution. New loan seekers, however, will have to go through the application procedure from scratch.

To get a loan sanctioned, you’ll need to submit an estimate on the amount you’d require to complete the renovation. The lenders will evaluate the costs you’ve mentioned, along with the value of your property, and your repayment capacity before sanctioning the loan against your name.

While summing it up, one can say that a home improvement loan is a homeowner’s next best friend as it comes with cheaper interest rates when compared to that of a personal loan. So, plan ahead and make a carefully weighed decision before applying for one.



Source by Arwind Sharma Ramesh

DIY Home Improvement Tips

Are you interested in DIY home improvement tips? Maybe you are already actively improving your home all by yourself. Either way, there is always something to learn about home improvement, and advice or tips to gain for doing it yourself. DIY home improvement tips can come from all over; the key is to keep your eyes and ears open, and also know where to look or who to talk to.

If you have access to the Internet, and prefer to do or learn things from the comfort of your own home, then you probably want to hop online to research the subject of DIY-home improvement. Online you will be able to find numerous websites and site links that will aid and guide you in the art of home improvement. For just about every project you have in mind, inside of your home and outside, you will be able to find detailed DIY home improvement tips and ideas.

If you are a different type of learner who needs a person-to-person consultation, then that is easy to do as well. Simply visit businesses in your local area that specialize in things related to home improvement, like a hardware store, or a nursery if it’s outdoor work you are planning. At these types of businesses you’ll be able to find someone to talk with, like an employee that works in or with the specific department that relates to the project at hand. Most likely you are going to have to visit these types of businesses anyway to purchase the necessary supplies, tools, and materials to carry out your project. They will be able to consult with you, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Another suggestion would be to visit your local library or bookstore to check out or buy books or magazines specifically about or with some content concerning do-it-yourself home improvement. There are plenty of books and guides on the subject.

If you’re a hands-on learner, then do some research in your local area on instructional workshops and classes on DIY home improvement that you could attend. This is the best way to get some basic or more detailed DIY home improvement tips, as well as all the newest ideas that experts have been developing.

There is certainly no shortage of resources for helping anyone learn how to do their own home improving.



Source by Rebecka Whitlock