Tips On Picking “Sleeper” Real Estate Property

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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.

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Source by Tony J Seruga

DIY Home Improvement Tips

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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.

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Source by Rebecka Whitlock

Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

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Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don’t need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern d├ęcor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you’re done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What’s next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven’t already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits instead of carpeting. Tiled floors are also fairly acceptable. If you think this improvement would bring you higher profits, make the investment without delay.

HVAC Replacement: Today new energy-efficient HVAC systems are being introduced to the market that incur a one-time cost and help you save huge amounts of money on utility bills. You can add a unique selling feature to your house by making this replacement part of your home improvement strategy.

What’s really worth repairing?

Remember that not all things are worth repairing; some need to be thrown out and others need to be replaced. This is a good principle to follow when staging a home.

Inspect every aspect of your home and then come up with a plan within your budget to bring a fresh crisp look to your home. You may want to replace outdated appliances in the kitchen with new modern models. Repairing old appliances is not an option. If your budget doesn’t allow an appliance upgrade, simply give the ones you use a color-boost to improve their appearance.

If you already have wooden floors installed at home, look for scratches and be prepared for some refinishing. Wooden floors are highly desirable, even if they are old and worn. Give them a little lift-up to make them more attractive and appealing.

Nowadays energy-efficiency has found its way into many of our systems including the windows. Home buyers look for the latest windows and other systems that are designed as energy-efficient since they provide a number of economical, health and environmental benefits. Replace your old windows for new energy-efficient windows to improve the value of your home.

If your bathroom floors are tiled, look for any flaws or cracks especially if the tiles are white or light-colored. These types of flaws are hard to conceal even if you arrange everything else very neatly. So, before investing in other bathroom accessories replace a cracked floor tile.

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Source by Trish Pappano

Top 8 Home Improvement Tips

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When it comes to home improvement, you have a lot of things to do, such as upgrading fixtures, adding on your existing square footage and so and so forth. No matter what improvements you have on your mind, you can use the following tips throughout the process.

1) Look at the Condition of Your Home

First of all, you need to have a good idea of the existing condition of your home. This will help you come up with some bright ideas that you can implement. You can make a wish list by walking through your home.

2) Get inspiration

For inspiration, you can check out local magazines, color swatches and your local paint stores. Don’t just think that it is a waste of time. As a matter of fact, spending a good deal of time for planning is a great idea.

3) Set your budget

Don’t worry if you are on a budget. You can spend a few months in order to plan your budget and then set a budget. As a matter of fact, planning your budget ahead of time can save you a good deal of money.

4) Ask for help

You can make your home improvement project inexpensive and easier by asking your friends and family members for help. So, you should not waste your time and ask for help instead. You have no idea how helpful they can be for your project.

5) Seek out permits

If your project requires plumbing, electricity and structural that may include permits, you should get them ready beforehand. You can hire a general contractor if you have no idea what permits you need to get.

6) Be flexible

For instance, if you want to get your project completed in 2 months, you may want to be flexible and extend the deadline to a few more days. The same applies to the resources and budget as well. This will save you a lot of headache later on.

7) Talk to Your partner

In the start, you should talk to your partner about the project. Make sure he or she knows the roles they have to perform. Next, you should allow them to do what they want to do. You don’t have to assign duties. The fact of the matter is that this will take the pressure off of both of you.

8) Use safety precautions

Like any project, you have to use some safety precautions in order to make sure you and your home don’t get hurt or damaged. All you have to do is follow the instructional manuals on each tool you use throughout the project. Aside from this, you may want to use tutorials and advice from the rental store for help prior to starting the project.

So, we suggest that you follow these tips while planning your project and working on it. As a matter of fact, if you get inspiration and tips beforehand, working on the home improvement project will be a lot easier for you. All you have to do is bear patience and keep moving.

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Source by Shalini Madhav

Top 7 Home Improvement Tips You Should Know

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Do you have a condo or an apartment? If you have one, you need some home improvement tips. These tips will help you maintain your home or apartment saving you some real cash in the long run. Aside from this, it will also increase the value of your home. Read on some of our tips for improving your home.

Tackle the Important Projects

Some home repair projects are urgent. If you do them in time, you can prevent a lot of damage. But if you ignore these projects, you may end up paying a huge sum to fix the damages later on. Therefore, don’t wait for the winter to approach and get these projects done as soon as possible.

Consider Professionals

Even if you love doing DIY projects, not all home repair projects should be done by you. Some repair jobs are better left to professionals. You have to be in your limits. If you are a beginner, you should start small. If a project needs the expertise of a professional, hire a professional.

Hone Your Skills

Whether you are going to work on a small or big project, you can learn some good home repair skills. You can make use of some good resources and start off from some projects. With the passage of time, you will be able to handle bigger tasks as well.

Find Inspiration

If you want inspiration for your home repair tasks, you can head to Pinterest. Over there you can find a lot of profiles showcasing project photos along with cost estimates. This will give you a pretty good idea of how you should go about handling these chores.

Get the Tools

You can’t do all your home improvement tasks with your hands. You need to have some essential tools at your disposal. They will help you with both minor and major tasks. For instance, for plumbing jobs, you need some essential plumbing tools in your tool box. So, you should invest in some common repair tools.

Choose the Right Contractor

Finding a good contractor is as important as finding a good doctor. In other words, you may want to hire only a reliable contractor or handyman. Hiring an inexperienced professional can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Save Money

If you save money on one project, you can spend it on another. What you need to know is to decide on the project that you can save some cash on. For instance, you can spend a bit more on items that can’t be replaced so easily, such as your bathtub. On the other hand, you can spend a bit less on the faucet. Another good idea is to head for a reuse center to save some cash on appliances and other stuff.

So, if you follow these simple home repair tips, you can get the projects done more easily while saving some cash. Remember: never try to do a project that you know will cost you thousands of dollars if done the wrong way. In this case, you had better look for a good professional.

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Source by Joseph Celeste