Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Spring Cleaning Can Be Fun?

Nobody looks forward to cleaning the house, but we all know it is essential after a long winter, especially if you are planning to list and sell using a professional Realtor®. But by getting the whole family involved and building fun into every step, you can make spring cleaning a lot faster and less painful.

Here are a few tips to make the process enjoyable, easy and more profitable:

    Have a plan. Make a list of everything that needs to get done and include smaller, age-appropriate jobs for children. Start by removing clutter, put things back in their proper place, then start a deep clean. Home buyers are turned off by clutter and "stuff" packed into closets and other storage areas (including the garage), so tidying up and freeing space ensures your home looks great and is well presented.

    Turn up the music. Nothing makes time go by faster than loud motivational music. Get everyone moving to the beat or dancing their way to a tidier place. And when getting the house ready to show, change the tune to something more serene and calming. Buyers prefer to view homes with some background sounds or music.

    Make a game of it. Go skating for dust bunnies, wax on - wax off your windows, Play expiration date detective to clean out the fridge, Alphabetize the spice drawer, hold a sock-matching race. You get the idea... The more fun you make it, the longer the attention span will be for everyone helping.

    Reward for work well done. Stock up on little prizes like granola, chocolate bars, juice boxes or something special and recognize when work gets done (even if it isn't to your high standard). This is a great incentive to help keep the house in tip top shape for showings and open houses too.

What can you do with all the extra stuff you need to get rid of? A garage sale is ideal and can be a way to promote your home for sale by bringing attention to it. Several places in town welcome donations including the Salvation Army, Waste Wise/Re-use It Stores and perhaps local Thrift Shops, and may even pick up what you are offering them. Call them for more details.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Six Reasons Why You Must Choose Kenai Real Estate

If you happen to be the kind of person who likes outdoor adventures or perhaps you are simply looking for a change of environment, why not invest in Kenai real estate? Moving to Kenai, Alaska and even simply investing in a home in that particular area does have its rewards, and let us take a more in depth look at these advantages:

• Very Low Taxes

Alaska is among the states with the least expensive taxes, plus the fact that there isn't any state-wide sales tax within this state.

• Less Congested

Based on City-Data.com, the inhabitants of Kenai in 2009 was at 7,945. With a land area of 29.9 square miles as per the US Census Bureau, it means a great deal of elbow room between you and your neighbors. This likewise suggests significantly less road traffic and drive times are going to be a good deal shorter as compared to living in populous cities like New York City for example.

• A Lot of Things to do for Everyone

There are several fun-based activities and destinations to check out in Kenai that will most definitely keep you and your family occupied. Go doing some fishing on the Kenai River, climbing along the Kenai Mountains, and view the historic sights in the Old Town. The weekend is bound to be full of adventures for the entire family in Kenai.

• Loads of Outdoor Adventures

In case you are the kind of person who really enjoys outdoor adventures, you will find plenty of activities to do in Kenai. For people who are who like the game of golf, get ready to be mesmerized by the Kenai Golf Course which features tree lined narrow fairways. Additionally you can go walking around the Skyline and experience the great sights on the way, and write your name on the guestbook for hikers who have successfully hiked Skyline.

• Different Destinations to Eat In

Lots of people think that there aren't a whole lot of fun activities in Kenai since it is cold more often than not, but that is far from the truth. In terms of dining, Kenai boasts of lots of restaurants which offer Italian delicacies as well as other different varieties of dishes, combined with old time faves such as Subway, Carl's Jr., Pizza Hut, Arby's, and McDonald's.

• The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

When you've been a resident of Alaska for over a whole year as well as meet the criteria, you will actually be given a check yearly coming from the tax returns coming from oil sales and profits and that is typically approximately nine hundred dollars for each and every member of the family and it usually given in October. Just perfect for holiday shopping!

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to Have a Great Real Estate Referral Business As a Realtor?

The problem is that there are a lot of realtors who are not aware of the things that will help him succeed in the business, and this is the reason why most of them would simply look for other income streams. One of the best things that you can do is to look for people who can refer people who will be buying a property. Read on to find out how you can get better results from your word-of-mouth marketing.

When trying to get better results from your referrals, you need to make sure that you are going to provide your clients with the best service that they can expect from a realtor. If you are going to do this, you don't have to worry about giving them with anything in exchange. All you have to do is to make sure that they will get the best service from you, and they would be willing to share their experience to other people who are within their network.

Establishing yourself as an expert should not be that hard if you are going to provide them with great services. In fact, the options that you can use to get more referrals as a realtor won't be affective if they can't expect to get great services. So if you would like to make more money as a realtor, the first thing that you need to think of is how you can improve the services that you are already offering.

You can also offer incentives to other people if the person that they referred, bought a property from you. This will not only help you make your word-of-mouth more effective, but will also encourage other people to promote your business without, you, doing the hard part. However, as mentioned earlier, this method won't be very effective if you won't be offering a good service that gives better value for money.

There are other ways on how you can get more referrals as a realtor, but you need to focus first on improving your services. How can you expect a person to promote your service if he didn't get anything that is good from you? How will they be able to say positive things about you, as a realtor, if the services that they got from you are all negative?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dreams to Reality in the Dominican Republic

Being fair-skinned, lying on a sun bed in full sun on a beach or by a pool leaves me hot, lobster-colored, sore and bored. Now, by comparison, a sun lounger in the shade on the terrace of a villa with ocean views, a long, cold drink, possibly a cuba libre, and a good book or a gallop along a semi-deserted beach have much greater appeal!

Coming from northern climes, many of us are no doubt used to the physical discomfort of resembling a Michelin man as we bundle up in multi-layers of protective clothing. How much more comfortable it is, however, to slip on minimal clothes to go about our daily business with never a shiver to be felt!

Over the years I had never felt the urge to settle in any of the many sunny places I have visited. I first came to this magical island of the Dominican Republic in 1995. It was November. The Mediterranean can be chilly at that time of year. I have never felt the pull of Florida or the Canaries. I like to be able to get out and about without restrictions and without the oppressiveness of a concrete jungle. Cuba had come to mind as a possibility. My travel agent recommended the Dominican Republic instead, adding a 20% discount to the overall attraction of Caribbean warmth and culture. I was ill-prepared with what was to follow: an ongoing love affair with the country, the nation, the way of life, the vibrant music, the splendid scenery and beaches and not to mention, of course, the climate! They say we get at least as much rain as a Welsh mountain sheep, but the difference is that it is warm. Nor did I imagine that I would find myself purchasing real estate or living in Sosua or at least close to Sosua for most of the year!

It took seventeen visits for me to decide that it would be cheaper to stay than to keep flying back and forth, but it is not a decision I regret! I had come here apparently by chance, yet I have never looked back despite the challenges of being a foreigner living in the Dominican Republic. After so many visits and residing here for nearly 9 years, I can still say I am never bored. There are always new places to visit, places of natural beauty, cottage industries, festivals and so on. There is a multitude of water sports and, for the aficionado, horse activities. For the socially conscious, there is always a need in the mission field to help children, the poor and animals. Personally I have found my calling helping street children and abandoned, neglected and abused horses, but I can also choose to watch the dawn over the ocean or the mountains whilst having a breakfast of yoghurt and fresh fruit on the terrace or I can appreciate the sunset as I dine on something elaborate at an upmarket restaurant.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tips for Purchasing Real Estate With Existing Tenants

Do you want to know some useful tips for purchasing real estate with existing tenants? The basis of large commercial properties' purchase is that they have to be rented so that the lender will have to finance the property. Even though the most satisfying feature of purchasing leased rentals is that it provides an immediate cash flow to the buyer, sometimes it can be tricky to purchase rental properties with tenants. Nevertheless, there are more significant details to assess about every applicant especially if you have six units or even less. So what are some of the most important tips for purchasing real estate with existing tenants?

Firstly, you have to assess the worth of the tenant, basically the duration they have been in their unit as well as how regular their rent have been late.

Secondly, the tenants who don't pay their rent can prove to be a big problem for landlords since the actions of the court and legislations have completely over-favored the tenant without regard to the rights of the landlord. Consequently, most landlords can suffer the lost income from rentals, legal assistance cost and the trial hassle.

Thirdly, new owner will have to honor leases commonly referred to as sweetheart deals. These leases can be lower than the rates of the market and for longer periods of time. In this case the cash flow that is expected by the buyer from the normal increases in rent is no longer guaranteed. Another thing is that you should not assume that the HUD-section 8 amount of rentals will be the same always. In several areas, these amounts have been reduced, more members of a family permitted to stay in less rooms and the number of vouchers for payments of tenants are being decreased. For any units that you may consider buying, you can assume on the present market rents to get a boost in the profits in case you get section 8 tenants.

The lender who foreclosed will always evict the tenants in case the property is coming out of a foreclosure. However, in case there are tenants or the process of acquisition of the property is by short sale, the recent federal and even some state legislations needs ninety notices of eviction for these tenants. This implies that their rent will not be probably paid to the new tenant for a period of 90 days or more.

The rental property will always sell based on the rental income. Therefore it is imprudent to buy expecting increases in rentals. If you want to buy a similar property in a one mile radius, you can check the rents by inquiring from the tenants in the other properties but not their landlords. A monthly $200 difference is a rental income that can be able to reduce the net profit of a buyer on a duplex by $4800 yearly as well as on a six complex $14,400 of the net profit each year.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tips and Tricks for Getting Involved With Short Sales

Short sale investing is important as it will allow you to purchase homes a price which is below average with a promise of high returns as well as quick profit. Currently, investing interests have increased due to the volume of distressed homes available in the market. Buyers currently have more choices available when it comes to price range, properties and terms for investment. The choice for investing is attractive as it will work for both parties involved. Buyers will benefit from the low prices of these investments while sellers will be able to dispose of mortgages that they can't afford and begin on a clean slate. On the other hand, lenders can eliminate loans that are non-performing without necessarily going through the complete foreclosure process, which can prove to be more expensive and much longer than traditional sales.

So what are the tips and tricks for getting involved with short sales?

Finding a decent real estate agent is the first step in short sale investing. The best direction is locating an agent that has had experience with this type transactions because a short sale could be more complicated than a usual real estate deal. Many sellers are often drawn into short sales without full understanding of their implications. Therefore, unless you are a legal or real estate expert, you will need to get an assistance of a more skillful person. It is important that you work with individuals who have experience in investing in short sale and who have a good knowledge of the market to provide you with a factual, practical advice. The agent can be able to assist you in finding more potential properties, planning your investments better and even help you in negotiating each sale to guarantee the best results that you desire. Even if the kind of help you get is expensive, it is not comparable to making a mistake in a high risk field such as short selling.

Another tip is that you don't need to put your hopes on one property only. Continue to aggressively look for several properties and keep your choices open. Buyers should stay optimistic as the most appropriate property will eventually come along. Having many offers out at any time which have good contingencies is absolutely risk-free and legal in most areas. It is also important to keep in mind that short sales are not timely at all times; though the process of making a bid on the 'approved short sale' could be quicker. The 'approved short sale' always has a price that has already been accepted by bank because probably another buyer who is interested made a bid that was accepted, but never bought the property finally. These kind of sales are among the most highly desirable.

Whenever you get an approval, you have to close on time since there is no leniency when it comes to the closing escrow date in short sales. However, if at all there is any matter that could stop you from closing in time; you will need to make a request for extension immediately. Requests made on time are likely to be granted by banks but never assume it will simply happen.