Investing in Multifamily Real Estate: Top 5 Tips to Get You Started

Multifamily real estate is typically a diversification option for versed investors, and not a first-timer’s leap of faith. You need knowledge, expertise, and the negotiation skills to match the level of competitiveness in this industry, but it also makes for a wonderful choice in case you’re already familiar with real estate investing in general, and you’d like to enrich your portfolio further. This profitable choice can bring you a stable source of income, and it can serve as a stable, long-term investment that you can ultimately sell if such a need ever arises.

However, no matter how experienced you might be in other forms of real estate investing, jumping into this versatile field takes some research and adjustments. Let’s go over a few handy tips you can use on your own journey in order to make the most of this lovely opportunity!

Deciding on the location

Not all multifamily properties are created equal. In fact, among many factors that will affect their overall value and desirability in the eyes of your future tenants, one of the main deal-breakers can be the location. Since your target buyers and renters are families, you should consider features that will appeal to such an audience. Is there a reputable school in the vicinity? How about a playground? Are there safety measures in the neighborhood, such as regular patrol and security surveillance?

There are all kinds of conditions that might inspire a family to feel welcome in that particular location, so it’s vital to do your homework. That way, you can pick a location that will elicit offers before the ink dries on your investment contract.

Managing the management

Unlike one-person units and other real estate options that don’t focus on families, working with multifamily real estate properties requires quite a bit of legal knowledge and managerial skills. Whether you decide to be the key manager of the entire property you invest in, or you choose to hire a property manager, the decision is entirely yours. What matters most is that you have a solid base and that you fulfill all of your legal obligations.

One of those responsibilities includes obtaining the initial maintenance schedule for your property so as to compile the most relevant data on how you take care of your property. That means you need to follow the prescribed legal rules and meet your local government’s expectations when it comes to property maintenance in order to avoid financial and other penalties. If you alone cannot handle the burden of multifamily real estate management, make sure to work with an expert who can take over a portion of those chores.

Land on the right financing solution

A common issue even among versed investors is obtaining the right sum of money to purchase the property you find the most lucrative. These massive investments require a stable financing solution so that you can have that much-needed initial capital for this venture. Direct lenders are considered a safe and reliable option while partnering up with other investors is another viable opportunity especially if you already have trusted partners in the business.

Increase the value of your investment

Who said that being an investor is a dull occupation? On the contrary, if you choose to invest in multifamily real estate, you’ll need your creativity and imagination so that you can amplify the value of the properties you purchase. From increasing functionality of the space and installing a ground source heat pump, all the way to beautifying the exterior with finer design solutions, even the smallest of changes can lead to a major surge in value.

Sometimes, you’ll be able to find properties in a pristine location, but in desperate need of a thorough restoration or remodeling in order for them to be rentable. Make sure that this is an investment that is in line with your budget, and you’ll have a diamond in the rough in your hands, ready to become a prime spot for families after spruce.

Plan your tenant strategy

Finally, never invest in a property without preparing a strategy for your tenants. With the right policies in your hands and clearly defined procedures, you’ll be able to attract the right people to your property in no time.

Multifamily investing is a perfect opportunity to diversify your portfolio, and an exciting way to grow your community. Use these tips, and turn this endeavor into a streamlined journey towards purchasing your first multifamily property!

What The Purchase Offer Contains

Lately, I have been getting asked many questions about what it takes to buy a home and how to start the process.  So, today, I thought I would write on what exactly an “offer” is comprised of.  This year, the California Realtor Association has re-vamped the “offer” form, also know as the “Residential Purchase Agreement.”  I thought it would be particularly helpful to go over some of the key components and aspects an offer to purchase a property.

In real estate, oral contracts are not legally binding. If you wish to bid on a property, you must make a formal, written offer or proposal.  Your Crestico sales professional is experienced with the offer/counter-offer process, and will know which of a variety of standard proposal forms are suitable for your area. Once written, your Sales Professional will present your offer to the seller. (In some cases, this is all handled by the respective parties’ lawyers.) We have provided the basic information needed during this critical phase here.

What the Offer Contains – Your written proposal may include, but is not limited to, the property’s address and legal description, sale price, terms, earnest money, expiration date of the offer, prorating (adjustments) of utility bills, real estate taxes, insurance, contingencies, repairs and any other terms that you deem important.

Earnest money – Earnest money is a deposit given when making an offer. It demonstrates sincerity—“earnestness”—on the buyer’s part. If the offer is accepted, it becomes part of the down payment. If not, it is usually returned.

Contingencies – A contingency means that the purchase is subject to certain events occurring, such as the buyer’s loan being approved, or the property passing the termite inspection. If the contingencies aren’t met, the offer is void.

Response – If the seller accepts the offer, and signs an acceptance, you have a deal. If not, you are free to walk away, and cannot be held liable for the contract. The seller may make you a counter-offer, and you are free to accept it or not, or make your own counter-offer. Only when an offer is accepted and signed by both parties is the contract binding.

Withdrawing an offer – In most cases you can withdraw your offer up to the point when it is accepted. If you do wish to cancel the offer, it’s a good idea to consult with a real estate lawyer. You don’t want to lose your deposit, or be sued for damages perceived by the seller.

Mitra Karimi
Crestico, Inc.
[email protected]

How Does Your Real Estate Agent Get Paid Commission?

Real Estate is an industry thought by many to be highly lucrative and high-paying.  But have you ever wondered HOW exactly your agent will be paid? You are often approached by agents trying to convince you to list your home with them, or allow them to show you some nice homes to buy.  Read more to find out how your agent will be compensated and from where.   As a prospective homebuyer, it would be in your best interest to understand this compensation process.

The standard compensation structure for Real Estate Agents is that he/she will be paid commission, based on the selling price of the property you are interested in.  While commission rates are not standardized, the process in which they are disbursed is consistent.  When a seller signs a listing agreement, that contract is with a brokerage firm. All fees must pass through that brokerage firm. Typically, the seller’s and the buyer’s agent will be paid by the listing broker after the transaction closes.  When a property is listed for sale, the seller’s contract spells out the commission rate that will be awarded to a buyer’s agent.

Often, many people often try to avoid using real estate professionals so that they may avoid paying commission fees.  However, I would warn against this because of some of the potential pitfalls.  Unrepresented sellers (for-sale-by-owner properties) often do not have enough information about how to price the home, and sometimes try to raise the price instead of paying a real estate commission.  Also, as an unrepresented buyer, it will be much more challenging and difficult for you to determine if the asking price is reasonable and whether or not you are overpaying. Real estate agents have developed insights that go well beyond simply evaluating data through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). And if you are overpaying, it will create further complications in securing financing, because of potential lender requirements.

Real estate professionals play a vital role in helping you achieve the dream of owning your own home.  Beginning with helping you tour and select properties and then guiding you during the negotiation phase and finally seeing it through inspections, financing and closing, the services your Agent will provide you are priceless. This is especially true in today’s market, where alternative buying opportunities, including short sales and REOs make it even more difficult to navigate the choppy waters of the home buying market alone.