Real estate seems to be one of those investment classes that is always viable to investors, simply due to the versatility of the asset and the numerous ways you can build a positive ROI. Whether you are selling or leasing, or if you’re buying during an economic shift for an affordable price with the intention to wait until the property prices rise again, there are numerous ways you can capitalize on your real estate investment. For example, in 2019 in the US alone, median home prices went all the way up to $316,000, making it one of the best years for real estate agents and experienced investors.
Now that 2020 is well under way, it’s time to prepare for the new emerging trends and adjust your strategy for the new year, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends you need to get ready for and act on sooner rather than later.
Home prices continue to rise
The growth trend for home prices in the US that has been persevering through 2018 and 2019 seems to the waning, and experts even predict that, while it will continue to rise, the average home price in 2020 will grow by only 2.8%. This means that investors and homebuyers, in general, will be able to take their time selecting the best properties for their needs, without fear of losing out on a good deal and having to overinvest. If you are a seller, you can expect fewer homebuyers to come your way simply because the elevated prices are squeezing them out of the market, however, that also means that affluent buyers will stay in the game.
On the other side, if you are a buyer, you will have to tend to some meticulous financial planning, forecasting, and property research. It’s important that you figure out the monthly mortgage payment according to your budget, and then make sure you stay within that amount. Search for properties that are low on the price list that you can fix up over time and as you build up your financial capabilities.
Accommodating seniors and Gen Z-ers
While the majority of homebuyers are still millennials, it’s important to note that other demographics are jumping into the fray and that real estate professionals need to optimize their offers and portfolios for other types of customers. Namely, 2020 will see a rise in senior buyers as well as Gen Z buyers. With millions of people entering their silver years and millions of young people entering their home-buying years, it’s important to adapt and stage every home according to the unique needs of these generations.
This is the only way to appeal to the modern buyer irrespective of age, as both generations will have very different lifestyle preferences and requirements. When you’re showing a home, you have to appeal to their current and future needs, which means thinking strategically about what seniors need vs what young people might be looking for. Remember to emphasize indoor safety for the senior buyers, and high-tech features for the tech-savvy Gen Z-ers.
The rise of display homes
Now that buyers are taking a more careful and calculated approach to property acquisition, it’s important to note that their decision-making process is evolving as a result. Whether they are looking to buy into a property development project that in its early stages, or if they are looking into plots of land to build their own homes, people are becoming very particular about the architects and builders they work with. In countries where property prices are sky-high, such as Australia, this has already become a major trend.
This is also why the popularity of luxury display homes in Sydney has skyrocketed in recent years, and why it will continue to rise in 2020, as Australian buyers want and need to examine the builder’s capabilities in real life rather than looking at online portfolios, pictures, and case studies. Display homes will become more popular in all high-priced regions of the world, so be sure to prepare for this trend whether you are an investor, an architect, or a buyer.
The neighborhood is not a deciding factor
Surprisingly, the neighborhood where the property resides doesn’t seem to be a deciding factor anymore. Yes, buyers will still research the neighborhood thoroughly, but they will be more inclined to give less-than-ideal neighborhoods a pass if the property is more affordable, or if there are other valuable features that the home can provide. For sellers, this is an opportunity to sell a home in a less popular neighborhood, and for buyers who are working with a limited budget, this is an opportunity to find a new home without breaking the bank.
Technology will fuel market research
Finally, all investors and real estate experts need to invest in technology in order to capitalize on industry trends and market insights this year, and in the years to come. With more and more valuable data flowing around the digital realm, it becomes impossible to conduct predictive analytics manually anymore, which is why you need to integrate AI-driven data analysis into your operation to organize all of that data into actionable reports and create accurate forecasts that will drive your business strategy forward.
In 2020, many trends that have been persisting in the past will stay relevant, but some will bring significant change to the industry that all parties should be aware of. With these insights in mind, go ahead and optimize your processes for the new year and pave the road to success.
Every year in the USA, there are millions of existing homes that are bought and sold. These homes come in all shapes and sizes, as well as in various conditions. While some people want a move-in ready home, others might want a fixer upper.
When many people buy a fixer upper home, they are doing it so they can quickly fix and flip the home. Fixing and flipping a home is buying it for a cheap price, fixing it up quickly and relatively affordably, and then selling it for a profit.
However, fixing and flipping isn’t the only use for a fixer upper. The costs can add up, a lot of work is involved and the time it can take to sell the home can be plentiful. With that in mind, this article is going to look at a few other ways to put your fixer upper to good use.
As an Airbnb
When people used to visit or stay in a new city, they would almost always stay in a hotel. However, in recent years, that has begun to change. A big reason for this is Airbnb. Airbnb allows anyone to rent out their home by night, similar to how a hotel will rent out a room. This often gives customers more bang for their buck, and allows homeowners to make money without doing a thing.
Sure, you will have to keep the place clean, stock it with items and perform a bit of customer service, but that is a small price to pay for what you can make. You will need to fix up your fixer upper to a point where it is livable, but renting it out nightly through Airbnb is significantly less work than completely renovating it and selling it.
As a Vacation Rental
While this will depend largely on where you live, you could also rent your home out as a vacation rental. For example, millions of people travel to California every single year, and they need a place to stay. If your fixer upper home has a good location, it could be perfect as a vacation rental.
You could rent it out weekly or monthly to interested parties, and potentially make thousands of dollars. You will need to update it and ensure it functions well and looks nice, but think of this as an investment than a cost. Sure, selling a house in California can be a good idea and can net you a lot of money, but be sure to consider putting the home up as a vacation rental as well. This could allow you to make a good amount of money, without actually having to lose the asset.
As a Standard Rental Property
Another option instead of fixing up and selling your fixer upper is to fix it out and then rent it out. Being a landlord is indeed some work, but can be incredibly fruitful financially. Depending on the size, location and look of the home, it can be rented out to families, couples, university students or anyone.
Oftentimes, you will essentially be able to get your mortgage paid for if you rent out the home. In some cases, you may even be able to charge more in rent than your mortgage if you include utilities or internet. While you will essentially be breaking even for a little, once the mortgage is paid off, the rent you collect will be nothing but pure profit.
In conclusion, there are many different things you can use a fixer upper for, in addition to simply fixing and flipping it.
As the year 2019 is closing to an end, some people are reminiscing what they have done this year, while others are turning towards the future. If your plan for 2020 is to sell your house and move to another neighborhood or city, you are probably currently deep in thought about how to make get the maximum from your house in terms of the price.
The answer to that question lies in staging, that is, preparing the house in a certain matter to be more pleasing to the potential buyers. The trick is, naturally, not to renovate but to make smaller but effective changes so that their expense is more than covered by the price that you set. So, here are the hottest trends that will attract buyers but without draining your budget.
Two-shade curb appeal
The potential buyers’ first glimpse will be to the exterior of your home, so you would need to work a bit on the curb appeal. One thing that doesn’t change with years is that first impressions matter and an unattractive exterior can lower the general opinion buyers form about the property.
What would fit into the 2020 trends is a two-shade exterior: choose a color that you like, that is, two of its shades (we recommend one to be night watch green) and that would take the estheticism to the next level. As for the walkway pavers, emphasize the color with a stone sealer and when the spring comes, plant flowers of vibrant colors to attract the buyers in swarms.
Add a breath of luxury
An ostentatious interior is not only unappealing to most buyers but it also makes them start pondering over the money they will need to keep it in that state. However, luxurious elements don’t have to be pretentious or expensive because they don’t necessarily include a grand piano in the living room or a spa in the bathroom.
A few subtle elements are enough and placing them at places that are not that obvious would give the house an additional charm. For instance, you can choose affordable plaster ceiling panels for your living room ceiling and be sure that the exquisite ornaments would be the selling feature of the house. They come in different patterns so it will not be difficult to find the one that will fit perfectly into your living room.
Illuminate the space
Most people dislike dark houses and dull brown walls will be enough for them to run away any year, not just in 2020. So, what you want to do is to open the curtains and the windows (if the weather allows you) to let the light into the house. Everything would get an elegant golden hue, while the floral ornaments on the ceiling would seem as if they are in full bloom.
If the buyers can only come after the sunset, don’t worry, the light is still your best friend so you can purchase a few modern lamps that stand on the floor and place others on the table and that would give the house a romantic tone, perfect for couples looking for a place to settle.
Accessorize with unique items
What your house needs to have in 2020 is some statement items: those unique pieces of furniture or decorative elements that dominate the room. It can be an old rocking chair you got on the flea market and repainted or a vintage coffee table that belonged to your grandparents. Old items have the charm your house needs, and the best thing is that you can transform them into something new. Getting that one item doesn’t have to be expensive and it can boost the attractiveness of your house severely.
With 2020 waving at us just around the corner, it is already time to start considering the tactics for staging your house if you wish to sell it swiftly. Luckily, these trends are neither high-priced nor will they take too much time to be put into effect, so with some good marketing, you will sell your house in no time.
Just as a home’s curb appeal and exterior make the initial impression on home buyers, the real estate agent’s car is usually the first thing buyers see when meeting for the first time. If you are a realtor, your car can have a strong impact on your client’s perception of your work and capabilities, but also to your attention to detail and personality. Keeping your business car in the top conditions whether you need it to reach remote properties on time or fill in the papers on the roadshows clients that you’re handling the situation.
For many realtors, the car is an extension of their office, and conversely an extension of their client relation policy. The personality of the car needs to make the client feel safe and comfortable. A sporty Corvette, especially a visibly used one, can give off a shady realtor who’s mainly interested in flipping properties for profit. Instead, look for a car that breathes confidence and success without being pretentious. Perhaps a European mini-van in a high trim level, or a comfy BMW 5-Series estate. Some agents view their cars as mobile billboards, helping to spread the word wherever they go. If the nature of your office calls for driving all day long in the city, you should consider a smaller and more convenient smart car which is comfortable to use in the city rush, but also capable of quickly reaching out-of-town clients.
If your clients are mostly upscale property owners, nothing less than pure luxury, strength, and comfort would convince them that you’re the one for the job. A large sedan like Mercedes Benz S550 as well as several alternatives would be just fine. On the contrary, some agents put a lot of effort into advertising themselves as environmentally conscious entrepreneurs, choosing a Tesla to show their commitment to the latest trends. A Range Rover Sport is the perfect car for an agent who’s mostly handling business clients. It’s roomy, comfortable, and has lots of glass, so clients can better survey the neighborhood they want to invest in. Such a thoroughbred SUV also comes handy in harsh winters, when mobility often means the difference between success and failure.
Keeping it client-friendly
It goes without saying that the car in which you drive the clients around, looking for properties, needs to be spotlessly clean. As a complimentary service, keep some water bottles and a few packs of snacks in the air-conditioned storage if the property hunting draws on. You can equip it with an extra iPad for clients to use, and load it with info on properties you’re listing. You should also consider the comfort of the ride and safety, which means you should keep your tyres in top shape. If the tread depth has worn off past the tread wear indicators, you should replace them with a new set. It shouldn’t set you back a lot, especial now since many online vendors offer promotions on new tyres with cashback and buy 3 get 4 deals. Finally, keep an extra USB free, so clients can charge their phones and turn the radio down so you and the client can talk.
When to replace the car
As a rule of thumb for a business that relies on the direct agent to client contact, you should replace your vehicle every three years. Not only would you be sure that your car will always be reliable, but it also sends a powerful message to your clients – that your business is growing as a result of your professional skills. Also, technology is changing quickly and if you spend a lot of time in your car, you need the latest style and comfort experience for your clients. You shouldn’t splurge on a premium category every time, but having a well-packed quality car is an indicator of your success as a real estate agent.
Pragmatic and secure
Visual impact aside, your vehicle should provide a sense of security, which then translates to you offering reliable services and working in the client’s interest. Driving a car that is known as unsafe can potential let you down in the client’s eyes, telling them that you don’t care about your own safety either. So, make sure to drive a car that not only feels like a tank but has the NCAP ratings to back it up. Besides, the vehicle you drive your clients around needs to be practical, with enough space for clients od all sorts, couples, families even. Driving a practical and functional vehicle indicated dedicated to your business practices and keep the things real.
Not unlike the manicured lawn, freshly painted siding, and replanted flower beds speak of the house and the owners, the realtor’s car speaks volumes about them and the way they run their business. Whether you’re a seasoned agent or a rising star, you need a vehicle that evokes success and professionalism on one side and pragmatism and care for the client on the other.
If you are at the same time excited and terrified at the prospects of purchasing your first house, don’t worry, you are not the only one. This is probably the largest financial venture you will undertake so it is natural to be a bit nervous and to wish to research everything in detail so you can feel comfortable as much as possible. With that in mind, here is a list of certain expenses you need to keep in mind when you are planning the budget for your first home.
Prepare for the down payment
Everyone who has purchased a house, vehicle or other more expensive asset had to prepare for the down payment. It represents a portion of your new house’s price which is paid upfront and it can go up to 20 percent of that sum. For instance, if the house costs $200,000, the down payment would be $40,000 and if you saved up that amount, that means that you would have to acquire another $160,000 through a bank loan or some other financial scheme. Both your savings and the manner you would obtain the rest of the sum is something you need to plan for in advance to make sure you come up with the optimal solution when it comes to monthly installments and the length of the payment period.
Keep in mind the house insurance
Taking out home and contents insurance is a small pre-purchase step which could mean a lot in case something happens. One of the most important features you should pay attention to is the 24/7 assistance, while others that could be of use include temporary accommodation in case the damage is substantial and counseling after a traumatic event. The insurance costs vary varies from property to property, and you can click here for home and contents insurance reviews to get more familiar with the conditions and choose the option which would suit you the most. Some things you need to ensure your new home and belongings against are fire, earthquake, storm, flood, and make sure you read the small print and to know exactly what is covered by the insurance.
Anticipate building inspection costs
Since you are buying a house for the first time, you probably don’t have much experience with assessing the offer and there is a reasonable fear among many people when they start looking for the first property that they might overpay for a place. This is why building inspection is a perfect manner to check the structural soundness so you don’t pay too much for a house that is essentially better to be knocked down and built again. These inspections usually cost up to $600 which is not a big amount, considering that it gives you peace of mind regarding a long-term investment that is much larger.
Don’t forget the moving expenses
In all the commotion regarding finding the perfect place and arranging the finances to purchase it, many people forget about moving. Since your belongings won’t magically appear in your new home, you need to take it very seriously, as well as the incurred expenses. Besides a lot of hard work related to decluttering, organizing items and cleaning the place, you will need packing supplies and a truck or a moving crew to transfer your things to the new place. Also, some people go for moving insurance, just to make sure they are safe if anything gets broken or damaged during a move, which is not impossible, having in mind the amount of (semi)fragile belongings that you might have.
When you think you’ve found your dream house, before saying ‘I do’ to it, sit and think about all the expenses and plan your budget well so you can make sure that you having everything under control. That is the only manner you will be able to truly enjoy your new house and to consider it ‘home sweet home’.
If you think that only affluent individuals invest in real estate, you cannot be farther from the truth. The prospects of potentially hefty earnings attract people of different financial statuses and all walks of life and the best part is – they are all welcome.
Anyone can join the real estate business since there are different ways to join the game and not just how you think big real estate companies operate. To help you find the most suitable method, here are a few simple ways to achieve success in the real estate arena.
Go with a rent-to-own agreement
Rent-to-own is an interesting manner of acquiring a property you like at a more convenient moment. You rent a place and sign an agreement that after a predetermined period of time you will purchase that property. As agreed, a percentage of those monthly installments become a down payment on a mortgage. This is especially suitable for those who need time to improve their credit score so they can use that predetermined period to do that. Other benefits include that you agree on the price at that point so any subsequent rise in the price of real estate properties will not affect your agreement, as well as having the opportunity to get to know the neighborhood and both bad and good sides of the house before you purchase it.
Purchase a vacation rental
Many people dream of owning a property on the seaside so they can rest there during the summer. And even more dream about renting the said vacation property and earning from it. The idea is simple: you purchase a property at a tourist-infected location and rent it. However, you might want a vacation rental at some luxurious destination but that can be costly. So, when choosing the location, you need to account for the potential income in the future and how you would advertise the place. For instance, you might choose a trusted online platform such as Airbnb. You can create a profile, post property pictures and communicate with tourists via this platform and you also need to take into account the service fee which is deducted each time a booking is completed.
Transform a charming fixer-upper and sell it
Perhaps the most traditional real estate investment is purchasing a property under market value, fixing it up and selling it at a higher price, and this process is called flipping houses. However, for somebody who hasn’t got much experience, it can be quite tricky to assess which of the properties is worth investing in since the cost of fixing it might surpass its value. In this case, you might want to consult with an experienced real estate consulting firm because they can help you to make the optimal choice based on customized reports as well as offer legal advice during the purchase procedure. This step by step service might also include performing a detailed property inspection and provide you with various interior design ideas so that your fixer-upper can reach a good price.
Consider real estate investment trusts
To invest in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), you don’t need to purchase a property. REITs are companies that invest the majority of the money into real estate and their profit depends on it. You buy shares at a REIT which means you are not in charge of collecting rent or emergency repairs – you don’t need to have any contact with the tenants whatsoever. As a shareholder, you need to know that the income comes in the form of dividends. This type of investment offers more opportunity for portfolio diversification because any major repair of one of the properties you rent out can be detrimental to your budget. If you find this strategy interesting, you should look into thriving REITs and purchase shares with them.
Test your resourcefulness with wholesaling
This type of real estate investment doesn’t involve that you invest anything or purchase a property which makes it appealing to many. Wholesaling a house means that you are contracting a seller that has an undervalued house on the market and then quickly selling it at a higher price than they asked for it. Your profit comes from the difference in the prices. However, wholesaling demands a lot of patience and different skills because it is neither easy to find sellers who are eager to sell a distressed property nor is it easy to find an interested party quickly. Although it is not for everybody, the end profit can be quite lucrative.
And now that you know that there are many types of real estate investment, it is time to opt for one that suits you and sail on the tides of real estate success!