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Why Real Estate Investing Makes (Dollars and) Sense


Turn on the television or scroll through Facebook, and chances are you’ll see at least one advertisement for a group or “guru” who promises to teach you how to “get rich quick” through real estate investing. The truth is, much of what they’re selling are high-risk tactics that aren’t a good fit for the average investor. However, there is a way to make steady, predictable, low-risk income through real estate investing. In this blog post, we’ll examine the tried-and-true tactics that can be used to increase your income, pay off debt … even fund your retirement!

WHY INVEST IN REAL ESTATE?

One of the basic principles of real estate investment lies in this fact: everyone needs a place to live. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Expenditures Survey, housing is typically an American’s largest expense.1

But there are other reasons why real estate is a great investment choice, and we’ve outlined the top five below:

1. Appreciation

Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. History has proven that over an extended period of time, the value of real estate continues to rise. That doesn’t mean recessions won’t occur. The real estate market is cyclical, and market ups and downs are natural. In fact, the U.S. housing market took a sharp downturn in 2008, and many properties took several years to recover their value. However, in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which tracks U.S. residential real estate prices, released its latest results on August 29 with the headline “National Home Price Index Rises Again to All Time High.”2

Source: ZeroHedge3

While no investment is without risk, real estate has proven again and again to be a solid choice to invest your money over the long term.

2. Hedge Against Inflation

Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. As inflation rises, prices go up. This means the money you have in your bank account is essentially worth less because your purchasing power has decreased.

Luckily, real estate prices also rise when inflation increases. That means any money you have invested in real estate will rise with (or often exceed) the rate of inflation. Therefore, real estate is a smart place to put your money to guard against inflation.

3. Cash Flow

One of the big benefits of investing in real estate over the stock market is its ability to provide a fairly steady and predictable monthly cash flow. That is, if you choose to rent out your investment property to a tenant, you can expect to receive a rent payment each month.

If you’ve invested wisely, the rent payment should cover the debt obligation you may have on the property (i.e. mortgage), as well as any repairs and maintenance that are needed. Ideally, the monthly rental income would be great enough to leave you a little extra cash each month, as well. You could use that extra money to pay off the mortgage faster, cover your own household expenses, or save for another investment property.

Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase, until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.

As the owner, you will also benefit from the property’s appreciation when it comes time to sell. This can be a great way to save for retirement or even fund a child’s or grandchild’s college education. Purchase a property when the child is young, and with a little discipline, it can be paid off by the time they are ready to go to college. You can sell it for a lump sum, or use the monthly income to pay their tuition and expenses.

4. Leverage

One of the unique features that sets real estate apart from other asset classes is the ability to leverage your investment. Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment.

For example, if you purchase an investment property for $100,000, you might put 10% down ($10,000) and borrow the remaining $90,000 in the form of a mortgage.

Even though you’ve only invested $10,000 at this point, you have the ability to earn a profit on the entire $100,000 investment. So, if the property appreciates to $120,000 – a 20% increase over the purchase price – you still only have to pay the bank back the original $90,000 (plus interest) … and you get to keep the $20,000 profit.

That means you made $20,000 off of a $10,000 investment, essentially doubling your money, even though the market only went up by 20%! That’s the power of leverage.

5. Tax Advantages

One of the top reasons to invest in real estate is the tax benefit. There are numerous ways a real estate investment can save you money each year on taxes:

Depreciation

When you record your income from a rental property on your annual tax return, you get to deduct any expenses associated with the investment. This includes interest paid on the mortgage, maintenance, repairs and improvements, but it also includes something called depreciation.

Depreciation is the theoretical loss your property suffers each year due to aging. While it’s true that as a home ages it will structurally need repairs and systems will eventually need to be replaced, we’ve also learned in this post that the value of real estate appreciates over time. So getting to claim a “loss” on your investment that is actually gaining in value makes real estate an appealing investment choice.

Serial Home Selling

Even if you’re not interested in owning a rental property, other types of real estate investments offer tax advantages, as well. Generally, when you own an investment property you pay a capital gains tax on any profits you make when you sell the property.

However, when you sell your principal residence, you are exempt from paying taxes on capital gains (up to $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only requires that you live in the house for two of the previous five years. That means you can purchase an investment property, live in it while you remodel it, and then sell it for a tax-free profit two years later. This can be a great way to get started in real estate investing.

Section 1031 Exchanges

In addition to profiting off of your personal residence tax free, it is possible to sell an investment property tax free if you do it through a 1031 Exchange. If structured properly, the IRS Tax Code enables an investor to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds in a new property while deferring all capital gains taxes.

Tax-Deferred Retirement Account

It’s a common misconception that you can only purchase financial instruments (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.) through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k). In actuality, the IRS allows individuals to invest retirement funds in real estate and other alternative types of investments, as well. By purchasing your investment property through an IRA, you can take advantage of all of the tax savings these accounts offer.

Be sure to consult a tax professional regarding all tax matters related to your real estate investments. If structured correctly, the profits you earn on your real estate investments can be largely shielded from tax liability. Just another reason to choose real estate as your preferred investment vehicle.

TYPES OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS

While there are numerous ways to invest in real estate, we’re going to focus on three primary ways average investors earn money through real estate. We touched on several of these already in the previous section.

1. Remodel and Resell

HGTV has countless “reality” shows featuring property flippers who make this investment strategy look easy. Commonly referred to as a “Fix and Flip,” investors purchase a property with the intention of remodeling it in a short period of time, with the hope of selling it quickly for a profit.

This is a higher-risk tactic, and one for which many of the real estate “gurus” we talked about earlier claim to have the magic formula. They promise huge profits in a short amount of time. But investors need to understand the risks involved, and be prepared financially to cover additional expenses that may arise.

Luckily, an experienced real estate agent can help you identify properties that may be good candidates for this type of investment strategy… and help you avoid some of the pitfalls that could derail your plans.

2. Traditional Rental

One of the more conservative choices for investing in real estate is to purchase a rental property. The appeal of a rental property is that you can generate cash flow to cover the expenses, while taking advantage of the property’s long-term appreciation in value, and the tax benefits of investing in real estate. It’s a win-win, and a great way for first-time investors to get started.

And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, rents for primary residences have increased 21.9 percent between 2007 and 2015 as demand for rental units continues to grow.1

3. Short-term Rental

With the huge movement toward a “sharing economy,” platforms that facilitate short-term rentals, like Airbnb and HomeAway, are booming. Their popularity has spurred a growing trend toward dual-purpose vacation homes, which owners use themselves part of the year, and rent out the remainder of the time. There are also a growing number of investors purchasing single-family homes for the sole purpose of leasing them on these sites.

Short-term rentals offer several benefits over traditional rentals, which many investors find attractive, including flexibility and higher profit margins. However, the most profitable properties are strategically located near popular tourist destinations. You’ll need an experienced real estate professional to help you identify the right property if you want to be successful in this highly-competitive market.

DOES REAL ESTATE INVESTING SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

We’ve all heard stories, or maybe even know someone, who struck it rich with a well-timed real estate purchase. However, just like any investment strategy, a high potential for earnings often goes hand-in-hand with an increase in risk. Still, there’s substantial evidence that a well-executed real estate investment can be one of the best choices for your money.

Purchasing a home to remodel and resell can be highly profitable, as long as you have a trusted team in place to complete the remodel quickly and within budget … and the financial means to carry the property for a few extra months if delays occur.

Or, if you buy a house for appreciation and cash flow, you can ride through the market ups and downs without stress because you know your property value is bound to increase over time, and your expenses are covered by your rental income.

In either scenario, make sure you’re working with a real estate agent who has knowledge of the investment market and can guide you through the process. While no investment is without risk, a conservative and well-planned investment in real estate can supplement your income and set you up for future financial security.

If you are considering an investment in real estate, please contact us to set up a free consultation. We have experience working with all types of investors and can help you determine the best strategy to meet your investment goals.

Our areas of specialization include Sarasota real estate, Osprey real estate, Nokomis real estate and Venice real estate. 

Give Beverly and John a call at 941-321-3916.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey Annual Report  – https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2015/home.htm

S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release –
https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/574349_cshomeprice-release-0829.pdf?force_download=true

Durden, T. (2016 November 29). US Home Prices Rise Above July 2006 Levels, Hit New Record High [blog post] ZeroHedge  –
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-29/us-home-prices-rise-above-july-2006-levels-hit-new-record-hig
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April 17, 2017

I’m a REDM! What That Means for You

Imagine this: you own a home, and you’re getting ready to make a move. To guide you through that complicated process, you decide to work with a real estate agent, and you expect that agent to… what?

According to a survey of recent home sellers by the National Association of Realtors, the number one expectation people had of their agent was for them to “help the seller market their home to potential buyers.”

“Marketing the home” is the process by which agents advertise that the property is for sale, and the point is to bring enough attention to your home to ensure that you get the best deal possible.

Unfortunately, many agents simply follow the same tired, insufficient formula: they will place a “For Sale” sign in your yard, they’ll update your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with your property’s information, then they’ll sit back and wait. We often call that the “old” 3 Ps. Place sign, Put in MLS and Pray

In today’s Digital Age, that method won’t cut it. Whereas before we could assume that the majority of home-buyers would be guided to their new homes by buyer’s agents, more and more are finding the homes they end up purchasing online, by themselves — 51% of them as of last year, in fact. This means that we now need to find ways to get in front of the consumer directly.

This is why I’ve committed to earning my Real Estate Digital Marketer Certification®. This intensive course taught me how to promote real estate using the latest digital strategies and tactics so that I can help you get as much money as possible for the sale of your home, in the time-frame that works best for you.

What Can You Expect From a REDM® Agent?

By becoming a REDM®, I’ve learned an entirely new way of marketing real estate. Though of course that will still include putting a sign in your yard and putting your home in their MLS, I can now promise you so much more.

So I like to say we have added to the “old” 3 Ps. Our Digital Marketing Plans include Pricing, Preparation, Professional Photography and a Pre-launch Campaign.

For example, one of the latest and greatest marketing avenues is Facebook. Over a billion people log into Facebook daily and spend an average of 20 minutes on the site once there. That’s a huge audience! The REDM® Certification course gave me extensive practice finding the potential buyers in our area in that crowd and creating advertisements designed specifically to spark their interest in your home.

Another incredibly effective marketing method is online video. Think about your own experience looking at homes online. Despite the number and quality of available photos of the property, sometimes the home still had a different impression in person… for better or for worse. Filming a video of the home and hosting it online is a meaningful way to engage home-buyers who are genuinely interested in your property.

But beyond how to use these specific tools — and perhaps even more importantly — the REDM® course taught me the core principles of marketing and how to apply them across various online marketing and advertising platforms. That means that I’m ready for whatever curveballs our market throws at us and can promote your home online, print, or otherwise.

Curious to see what all we can do to sell your home? Just ask to see our Property Marketing Plan! We’d love to show you how everything I’ve learned can benefit you.

Choose Joy,

Beverly

Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

Great curb appeal not only makes your home the star of the neighborhood, it can also improve its value and help you sell it for more. Whether you’re thinking of listing your home or just want to make your home the envy of your neighbors, here are several ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.

  1. Make your home’s exterior look like new.

For many potential buyers, the condition of the exterior of a home can offer clues to the condition of the interior. The first place to start when boosting curb appeal is the exterior of your house.

Paint. Paint is the best way to make your home appear newer. While you can paint your home yourself, if it’s large or more than one story, consider hiring a professional. Painting is a fairly inexpensive improvement with between 60 to 100 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your exterior. Over time, weather and the elements can make your home’s exterior appear dull and dirty. Use a pressure washer to clean stains, spider webs and accumulated dirt and grime, or use a soft cloth and a household cleaner to get into those small nooks and spaces. If you have a block home with stucco, consider a fresh coat of high quality paint. If you have siding and  need to replace the siding, you’ll enjoy a 77 percent return on investment.1

Paint or replace garage doors. If your garage doors are in good condition, give them a new coat of paint. If they’re beginning to show their age, consider replacing them. Not only are new garage doors more energy efficient and better insulated than older models, they also have a 91.5 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your fence. Replace rotted or worn posts and panels and freshen it up with a coat of paint. If you have a hedge that serves as your property’s border, keep it trimmed and in good shape.

  1. Pay attention to the small details.

The small details tie your home’s exterior together and help it stand out from others in the neighborhood.

Paint front door, trim and shutters. This inexpensive improvement adds brightness to a home, whether you choose a bold color, a neutral tone or classic white.

Install new door fixtures and be sure they match in style and finish and complement the style of your home.

Update your house numbers. Make sure potential buyers and guests can find your home. If the numbers have faded or need an update, replace them. If choosing a metallic finish, make sure it matches the finish of your exterior light fixtures.

  1. Tend to your driveway and lawn.

Well-landscaped homes may sell for between 5.5% and 12.7% more than other similar homes and studies show it may also add up to 28 percent to your home’s overall value.5

Place a border along your driveway or walkway made of brick, stone, pavers or another hardscape element to add visual interest to a plain driveway.

Maintain your green space. If you have grass, a well-maintained, green lawn makes your home look inviting and picturesque. However, in many parts of the country, water conservation is becoming more important. Xeriscaped landscapes incorporate drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in warm, dry climates, such as lavender, sage, wisteria and agave, with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch. Xeriscaping has a cost savings of 36 cents per square foot annually through reduced irrigation and maintenance costs.3 Additionally, these landscapes are virtually maintenance free, which makes it an attractive option for busy buyers.

Include trees and shrubs to create texture and add interest to your landscape. Planting a few types of trees and shrubs of varying heights, widths and flowering times boosts your home’s curb appeal year-round.

  1. Make it feel inviting.

It’s no secret that emotions play a role in a person’s decision to purchase a home. Stage the outside of your home to evoke warm feelings.

Stage your porch or lanai. If you have a front porch or rear lanai, make it feel more inviting by including seating, such as a chair or loveseat, an outdoor rug and a small table. If space is an issue, incorporate small decorative touches, such as a festive wreath or potted plant.

Hang flower boxes on your front porch railings and/or below your windows. If you don’t want to affix flower boxes to your home, purchase nice planters and containers and place them around your porch or on your front steps.

Choose flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year for year-round appeal. For example, bulbs not only bloom all spring, they also multiply and come up every year. Perennials often flower for most of the year and will prevent you from having to replant them every year.

If you don’t have a green thumb, choose low maintenance plants and flowers. Flowers such as lavender, rosemary, and zinnias are a few low-maintenance and drought-tolerant options.

  1. Boost Your Online “Curb Appeal.”

For those interested in selling, it’s important to know the effect online curb appeal has on a home. The better impression your home gives online, the more likely buyers will want to see it in person. Here’s how to get your home ready for its listing debut.

Stage your home. Staging shows your home in its best light and helps potential buyers picture themselves living there.

Hire a professional to take photos. A photographer has the skills and equipment to shoot your home in the best light and make it look its best.

Include a short video tour of the home. Videos are becoming a popular way to give buyers a glimpse of the home before they step foot in it.

Before you start a home project, keep these four things in mind:

  1. Why are you renovating? In other words, is your intention to update your home and get it show-ready or do you want to sell it for more money? Don’t fall into the trap of undertaking major renovations that may not pay off when you sell. If your home is in good shape, a few inexpensive updates may be enough to make your home attractive to buyers.
  2. The style of the neighborhood. Whenever you renovate your home, make sure the project fits with the style of the neighborhood and rules of the homeowner association. For example, an HOA may limit the choice and number of trees you can plant on your property. Similarly, a tall hedge border may not fit in in a neighborhood of low, picket fences.
  3. Permits. If you’re planning an extensive exterior renovation, you may need a permit from your municipality or other authority.
  4. Budget. A budget keeps your project’s costs and scope in check. Make a list of the improvements you’d like to make, set a realistic budget and stick to it. If you’d like advice on improvements you can make to boost your home’s curb appeal, give us a call.

Are you thinking of boosting your home’s curb appeal or renovating your home before you list? Do you want help making your home more appealing to potential buyers online and in-person? Give us a call at 941-321-3916 and we’ll help you present your home in its best light.

 

Sources: 1. Remodeling, 2016 Cost vs Value Report

  1. Realtor Mag, September 22, 2016
  2. REALTOR.com
  3. Houzz, Houzz & Home-U.S., June 2016
  4. Houselogic.com

 

Just Sold – Gorgeous Rivendell Home – Osprey FL

Just Sold Home in Rivendell

 

We are so delighted for our very happy clients. We brought the buyers to 922 Eagle Isle Ct. in Rivendell in Osprey FL.

This home with over 2700 square feet boasts 3 bedrooms plus a den, 3 baths and a 3 car garage. The huge 60′ x 50′ lanai with heated pool and spa  has a gorgeous, private view. The chef’s kitchen, wood floors, and many upgrades throughout made this an easy choice for our clients.

We met our clients initially via a seasonal rental home that we own in Nokomis. As we got to know them, we let them know that we are Realtors. We conducted our Initial Interview via FaceTime so we could find out what was important to them and we then began our search. They were out of the area and their house was sold so even though we explored new construction with them, the timing just wasn’t working out.

We showed them the Woodlands at Rivendell via FaceTime and we all agreed that it was a wonderful fit. Then we focused on the “right home” and we found it!

Just Sold Home Rivendell Osprey FL

Happy Clients in Rivendell

 

The Woodlands at Rivendell

The Woodlands at Rivendell was carefully planned to highlight and blend with its natural surroundings. There are 400-acres of beautiful lakes, preserves and open spaces.

Just Sold Home in The Woodlands at Rivendell

Welcome to The Woodlands at Rivendell

Rivendell is also adjacent to the popular Pine View School, a public school, that is a highly acclaimed educational facility for intellectually gifted students grades 2 through 12.

Oscar Scherer State Park, is located just south of the community and viewable from many homes. You will love the proximity to this fabulous 1400 acre wild Florida State Park, perfect for nature lovers.

Close by Rivendell is access to the wonderful Legacy Trail. Bicyclists and walkers enjoy the Legacy Trail which runs from Sarasota to Venice Florida. To see our video and for more information, see  The Woodlands at Rivendell

When you are ready to make a move, give us a call so we can help find the right home at the right time and the right place for you.

 

 

 

Find Osprey Homes for Sale

Beautiful Home in Osprey Florida

Discover Osprey and homes for sale in Osprey on the gorgeous gulf coast of Florida.

Here is some information on Osprey that we hope will be valuable to you. Osprey Florida is located north of Venice Florida and south of Sarasota Florida. The recreational attractions of Oscar Scherer State Park and Historic Spanish Point enable this area to preserve its natural beauty.

The Legacy Trail has several access points from Osprey. Whether you like shopping in the unique stores of the downtown Venice Avenue district or prefer golfing, boating, fishing, or just lying on the beach you will find that Osprey is very convenienly located and that the nearby areas offer a little bit of everything.

We’ve done the research for you and here’s what you need to know about Osprey.
Osprey, is located in Sarasota County, Florida. Osprey is home to 6,169 (as of July 1, 2016) people and is a suburban community. The median household income is $74,804. The average household income is $113,835. 63% of residents of Osprey are married and 19% are families with children.

Half the residents in Osprey commute just 20 minutes or less to work, with 37% of working residents holding white collar jobs and 63% residents holding blue collar jobs. The median age of homes is 14 years. Many retired and what we happily call ‘Sno-birds’ call Osprey home.

In Osprey, 76% of homes are owned, 18% are rented, and 6% are not occupied. Last year, 342 Osprey properties were sold and the median sale price of a home was $424.552. The average home value is $503,736.

The primary coordinate point for Osprey is located at latitude 27.1904 and longitude -82.4757 in Sarasota County. The formal boundaries for Osprey encompass a land area of 5.23 sq. miles and a water area of 0.84 sq. miles. Sarasota County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5).

The elevation is 16 feet. Weather is a mix of ‘perfect’ to ‘almost perfect’. Temperature averages for January is 54* for low and 73* for high. July average is 72* low and 91* for high. The rainy season is June to September averaging 7 inches monthly. Average annual snowfall is “0”!

Historically, Osprey is a secret treasure of an adventurous past. With an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida prehistory, a wonderful attraction is Historic Spanish Point. On the National Register of Historic Places, Spanish Point has a museum referred to as one of the largest intact actively preserved archaeological sites of the prehistoric period on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Historic Spanish Point Osprey FL

Historic Spanish Point Osprey FL

The rich heritage of human habitation at Historic Spanish Point entered a new phase in 1867 when John Greene Webb and his family from Utica, New York, established a homestead on the shores of Little Sarasota Bay. Florida owes its success to people like John Webb and his intrepid family, who braved heat, humidity, insects, illness, fires, and risk of hurricanes to settle and build up the Gulf Coast region.

In 1910, Bertha Palmer made her first impact on Sarasota history and on the Spanish Point homestead. The Chicago socialite and widow of Potter Palmer came to Sarasota to establish a Winter estate. The Webb homestead was part of the land she chose for her 350-acre estate, which she named “Osprey Point.” She preserved the pioneer buildings and connected them with lavish formal gardens and lawns.

Three of the gardens of Mrs. Potter Palmer – the Sunken Garden, Duchene Lawn, and Jungle Walk – are enjoyed by visitors today. The classical styled Pergola overlooking Little Sarasota Bay was restored in the 1980s and is the site of wedding ceremonies and living history drama performances.

Oscar Scherer State Park has a large acreage of scrubby flatwoods and is one of the best places in southwest Florida to view Florida scrub-jays, an imperiled species found only in Florida. The birds are abundant in this 1,381-acre park. In addition to viewing wildlife, an array of other land-based and water-based recreational activities awaits you. There is always something to do at Oscar Scherer State Park.

The park provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, bicycling, camping and wildlife viewing. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along South Creek, a tidal stream, which flows to a nearby bay. Fifteen miles of trails provide solitude, beauty, challenge and a healthy adventure for everyone.

The park also has access to the Legacy Trail; a paved rails to trails; suitable for walking, biking, jogging, or rollerblading which runs from Venice, Florida to Sarasota, Florida passing through Osprey’s Oscar Scherer State Park.

Sarasota County schools are consistently rated amongst the top in the state. Osprey is the home of Pine View School – a highly acclaimed public school for intellectually gifted students.

Discover Osprey homes for sale – Osprey is blessed with natural beauty and we would love to help you find your piece of our paradise. Osprey homes for sale will include condos, single family homes and maintenance free homes. We have exclusive gated golf communities, waterfront homes, and homes with water access.

Choose the lifestyle that fits you – you can be as active as you choose. Give us a call and we will make it happen for you.