How to Sell Your Home in a Cooling Real Estate Market

For a long time the real estate market had been booming. Houses were sold quickly, often within days and way above their actual value, and oftentimes regardless of their overall condition. However, now the market has cooled down and houses have been observed being on the market for months. Prices are down compared to the previous years and they are predicted to go down even further. The real estate market has turned from a sellers’ into a buyers’ market. Buyers now have plenty of houses to choose from and time to make a decision based on price and overall condition of the house. In such a type of market, what is the best strategy to sell a house and getting the right price for it?

The most important factor right now is the price. With so many houses on the market, the price has to be right to sell a house quickly. While determining the proper price for your house, you will have to keep in mind, a house priced too high will be on the market longer. The longer it is on the market, the harder it is to sell the house. Buyers just automatically assume there is something wrong with it. As a consequence, a seller will end up lowering the price the longer the house is on the market, sometimes even ending up with a selling price lower than the value of the house and way below what they actually wanted. Conversely, if a house is in the right price range, it will attract more prospective buyers, and the price might be driven up by their bids.


But how do you go about setting the right price to sell your house? A first step is to look around the neighborhood. Houses of similar size, what did they sell for? In order to sell your house, this would be the right price range to start from, because that is what buyers are willing to pay in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, this price might be below the price you might have bought your house for, if you purchased it while the real estate market was still hot. In order to sell the house quickly, you might have to cut your losses and move on.


Your second step in the price determination has to be an objective evaluation of your home. This will be the hardest step, because what you treasure as a fixture of your home, might not be valued by the general market. If you have extras like a hot tub or a pool, you might be able to up your asking price. However, if you have an outdated kitchen that has not been renovated for twenty years, you might have to lower your price. Buyers always factor in potential renovation costs.


Once you have set the price you should spruce up your house for sale. The first impression potential buyers will get of your house is the outside. Curb appeal is very important. Some buyers don’t even check out the inside of the house, if they don’t like what they see on the outside. The assumption is, what looks run down and not taken care of on the outside, will look similarly on the inside. Get your landscaping in order. It should be inviting and show off the house. You might have to trim down or even remove shrubs. Plant some flowers or at least put out some potted ones to create an overall friendlier appearance. Lastly, your house might need a paint job.


Don’t be afraid to tackle some renovations. The right ones pay for themselves and then some, when you sell the house. Painting the house inside and out, putting in new carpet, something like that is easily done. Yes, there are costs involved in doing this, but an updated looking house can command a much higher price, often more than double the cost of the renovation. Extra bathrooms are also a good selling point.


However, even if you don’t want to tackle a renovation project, you should definitely make sure, everything is functioning properly and the house is not damaged. Have an inspector or contractor go over your house in great detail to make sure you know what needs to be fixed. For example, if the A/C or heater does not work, windows don’t easily open, or the house looks in any way neglected or has a hint of potential problems, buyers will shy away from it. Renovations and repairs might delay your quest of selling your house, but it will be worth the time in much greater monetary returns at the time of sale. If you want to sell your house ‘as is’ because you don’t have time for repairs, be prepared to drop your asking price. This can mean a significant drop, depending on the condition of the house.


Lastly, stage your house. It is very important to remove clutter, even excess furniture. The less is in the house the roomier it will look. Rent a storage unit or ask a friend or relative, if you can store some items at their house. Similarly, remove personal mementos from your home. The buyer should see him- or herself living in the home. Family pictures, personal awards and the like can draw away from that. Furthermore, keep your house clean and cleaned up looking at all times. If you have potential buyers come over, your house needs to look spic and span. An unkempt look of the interior of your house translates into bad overall maintenance of the house in the eyes of a potential buyer. Also make sure your house smells fresh by airing it out frequently. You might even want to add some fresh flowers to make it look more inviting.


Proper advertising of your home is also important. Make sure your house is advertised in the local newspapers and online. For the online advertisement, make sure you post plenty of pictures of the outside and inside. Nowadays, a lot of buyers check out houses on the Internet first before making the way out for a closer look at one they might like.

Rural Property: Finding and Purchasing the Ideal Piece of Country Land


Four years ago my husband and I took the plunge and purchased the mountain land we had been dreaming about for years. With careful thought and planning, we are now the proud owners of our retirement homesite. The process was long and tedious, but we knew we couldn’t afford to get it wrong. Although it is only 2.5 acres, it is big enough for the garden I want, but small enough not to be too overwhelming to mow. We have a high flat area for our home, a wonderful spring and a small river that runs through the bottom of the property and are only 4 miles from the Blue Ridge parkway. We chose southwestern Virginia for its mild climate that also allows for the change of seasons.

Please give careful consideration to several important key factors before jumping head first into your dream. Otherwise, it could potentially turn into your worst nightmare. I have covered the top 5 areas you should research before you purchase, or even seriously look into any piece of property.


  1. Location, location, location! IF you already have a really good idea of where you want to buy your rural property, that’s great, but if you don’t, then you really need to get this right. Are you longing for the mountains, prairies, foothills, coastal or maybe even lakefront property? Consider what the area you choose will be like during every season.


If you choose the mountains in a northern climate, can you stand being snowed in for possibly weeks or months? If you head towards the coast are you willing to risk enduring a hurricane? How far do you want to be from “civilization?” Can you access electricity easily, or will you have to have solar power or another alternative? What will the resale value be like if misfortune hits and you are forced to sell? Being within a few hours of a large city increases your real estate pool of potential buyers who may want a summer place within an easy drive.


  1. Acreage: How much land will you need? Buying too much land can almost be as bad as not buying enough. If you are intending to homestead or keep large animals, then obviously you will need much more property than if you are like me, and just want a decent sized garden for personal use. Keep in mind however any future uses you may want to incorporate into your dream property so you don’t run out of room.


  1. Special features: What do you want your property to do for you and how do you intend to use it? What natural resources are a must have on your property? Water, of course is a given, but in what form do want your water to come in? Obviously, at the very least you will need a fresh water source for drinking. This can be a spring or a well, but it is imperative that you find out before purchasing how difficult and expensive getting an adequate well dug will be. Is having a creek, pond or river on the property important to you? How wooded is it, and how expensive and difficult will it be to clear the land for not only a homesite, but a garden? If a wonderful mountain top view is high on your priority list, will it be worth it come winter when the road to your property turns treacherous?


  1. Timing: Just like the stock market, the real estate market rises and falls. If possible, time your hunt during a time when the market has a glut of property and the ball is more in the buyers court. You also need to consider how long it will be before you will be making actual use of the property. OUr property came with an old trailer and cleared land, and because we won’t be moving there for quite some time, we have to maintain some upkeep there, which isn’t easy to do from 6 hours away. We were lucky enough to find a farmer who was willing to bushhog our little piece of paradise for next to nothing several times a year in exchange for the right to hunt deer on our land.


  1. Price: Everybody now seems to have the “I want what I want right now” mindset. You should only be seriously pursuing your land ownership dream if you can truly afford it. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then this isn’t the time for you. IF you are going to be making rent or a mortgage payment along with your land payment, then you better have your financial house in really good order. Ideally, saving up and paying cash would be the optimal way to buy your dream property, but I know realistically, that isn’t going to happen with most people. At the very least, you need to have enough of a down payment available so that if you need to resell your property, you can easily get enough money out of it to cover your loan. Also, as previously stated, don’t buy more land than you need. Lastly, shop around! Don’t fall in love with the first piece of land you see. Get to know the area and what is available in your price range.


Buying your dream property doesn’t have to be out of reach if you do your research, plan carefully and keep realistic expectations.

How to Do Really Well as a Real Estate Brokerage?

Whether it is leasing or selling, a real estate brokerage firm needs three (3) parties to close a real estate agency deal, namely:

1) a client;

2) a customer; and

3) a marketing assistant (sales associate, sales agent, Negotiator or an equivalent name in your country).

Your Client is the party that engages your brokerage firm to represent him to sell, to let-out or to lease his property and is therefore responsible to pay your firm its brokerage/agency fee, commission and/or retainer. In some countries, the clients, by norm, are the property landlords or owners; while in others, the property tenants or buyers – however, in all cases, the Client – by law – is the party that engages and pays the brokerage upon successful “introduction” of a customer for the Client’s property.


Your Customer is the party who uses the services of your firm which has been engaged by the other party known as the Client or the broker’s principal. The customer does not pay you any fee, commission or retainer. However, in most countries, the professional rules of estate agency practice allow the broker to be reimbursed such expenses as may be incurred in serving the customers e.g. transportation charges to see properties and the likes.


The Owner or proprietor of a real estate brokerage firm cannot be personally serving all its firm’s clients and customers all the time. So, the firm must employ trained marketing assistants to assist the brokerage in closing deals. These marketing assistants are designated different names in different countries. In all cases, they assist the brokerage to close deals and are paid commission and/or allowances for doing so.


To do really well, a real estate brokerage firm must be good in two (2) fundamental areas:

1) The leasing  amp; selling skills of its marketing staff;

2) The recruitment, training and retention of good marketing assistants.


And, these two (2) areas require seven (7) core skills:

1) Prospecting – clients, customers and marketing staff;

2) Qualifying them;

3) Preparation to deal with them;

4) Presentation to them;

5) Closing – a real estate deal or a recruitment exercise;

6) After-deal services / Post-recruitment trainings and motivation;

7) Pre-empting and overcoming objections at all the above six (6) stages.


If a real estate brokerage excels in all the above seven (7) core skills, its Clients, Customers and staff will be consistently happy with the firm and its services.


GT TANHALIM (under construction) (Your regular visits to this blog of mine is more than welcome. You may post comments or join as members)

Real Estate on the Internet: Tips for Sellers

In a fast moving world, hours have turn into minutes. The work of months can be done today in week. We are able to pay bills, wash clothes, communicate with people, and cook just by the simple pressing of a button. With real estate, it is not different. Many deals are also closed online.

Most people willing to buy something first search a product online, even if they want to buy it personally. The advantage of this is that they get a general idea of how much it is going to cost and what are the main options. In the case of property search, it is not different. Web portals offering property search are cropping up everywhere. If you are a seller, you should be representing in the most of them.


Getting exposure is a necessary condition to stay on business. Potential clients – for flats, office, or commercial space, it does not matter – are short listing sellers through this means. Newspaper ads were the standard option, but if you as a seller want to avoid them at all, do it. The internet works for selling real estate.


Internet is cost effective; it has a higher return on investment (ROI) than other mediums. It gives you plenty of space to present your property. Not matter what you want to show: pictures, a short movie, floor plans, location maps, or a textual description – the internet gives you this possibility. Your ads will have a longer shell life on a web page than on a local newspaper. Buyer from around the country can see your property. In addition, in the case you are selling some property in upscale places like New York or Miami, consider than wealthy buyer from abroad are also interested in taking a look at this properties.


There are still a couple of tips that I can give you to sell better. First, do not overprice you property. Profit is okay, but do not drive away prospective clients overpricing you real estate. Keeping an unsold property is no business. Second, try to make a first good impression. Take your clients to an apartment or office at the best time of the day and keep everything tidy. Third, if you do not know the legal details, involve a property dealer, keep in mind that he or she should have a real estate agent license. Fourth, avoid hurried deal. Any buyer can smell that you are in a hurry and take advantage of your haste.

Real Estate Marketing Online: Tips for Beginners

If you want to start working as a realtor agent, there are some points you should consider. I’ll tell you about eight tips to be a better fit into the real estate marketing business. Of course, you should know more, but it is probably enough to get you a better footing. These ways will help you get the first leads that can turn into sales.

  1. Buy an appropriate domain. I mean a domain with a name of some hot city on it (Miami, New York, Seattle) and some real estate concept on it: office space, beach houses, countryside, and views. Of course, the keywords should have some relation with the clients you are targeting.


  1. Take a look at SEO (search engine optimization). Study as long as you understand the basic concepts. Do the marketing yourself. Some internet marketing ‘experts’; will offer you a lot of services promising incredible results. Follow the do-it-yourself approach because in this case, you want to be active in business and SEO is a central part of this business. Outsourcing makes no sense in this case.


  1. Make a list of real estate forums. Read them regularly and post any tips that you may know. You will have to cover all aspects: legal problems, agents, finance, mortgage, home improving, etc.


  1. Learn something about making web pages. Even if someone else will do the detail work for you, you will have to know what you want. It is a nice idea to have a database describing properties (with pictures, video, floor plan, maps) and a blog where you can explain the advantages of doing business with you.


  1. Never copy anything from other sites. Be a whitehead professional. You want to enter the field to stay, so start delivering some service of quality.


  1. If you have some money or already earned some money as realtor agent, invest it in an IDX solution (i.e. an Internet Data Exchange). It allows you gathering data of many homes, offices and other real estate properties for sale.


  1. Develop a strict follow up client relationship. Know who called or emailed you. Callers are mostly better buyers. Understand their needs and take care of your clients. Sometimes people start making calls 12 months before making a purchase, so be patient.


  1. Know your properties. Don’t just present real estate, know what is around it: schools, neighborhoods, areas of interest around it.

Real Estate Marketing Tips for Home Sellers and Investors

Implementing real estate marketing strategies is a necessary element of selling properties. It is nearly impossible for buyers to locate realty for sale without some sort of marketing plan in place. Whether trying to sell a private residence, commercial real estate or vacant land, marketing is the key to success.

The first step of real estate marketing is creating a plan. Realty marketing plans allow sellers and investors to establish their target market and recognize needs and buying habits of potential clients.


Retired couples seeking vacation property will have different needs than a newly married couple. Buyers of residential properties will have different needs than real estate investors purchasing commercial property. In order to sell realty it is crucial to know as much information about potential buyers as possible.


A common mistake amongst realty sellers is they focus on their own abilities or successes of their company. An important rule of thumb for any type of marketing is to remove you from the equation. While clients might feel more secure knowing you have 30 years experience or have closed multi-million dollar real estate deals, they really want to know how you can solve their problem or help them obtain what they desire.


Real estate marketing materials should focus on solving problems and overcoming challenges. Begin by composing a list of common problems buyers might face. Once potential problems have been acknowledged, compose a list of how your service solves each problem.


These could include educating buyers about first time home buyer programs or available financing options for buyers that have filed mortgage bankruptcy or previously lost a home to foreclosure. Sellers can build relationships and establish trust by solving problems through real estate marketing materials.


It is also important for sellers and investors to develop follow-up marketing strategies. Few people make important financial decisions based on information provided through a marketing letter or presented on a website.


Once real estate leads are located, sellers should plan on contacting perspective clients at least seven times. Doing so places your marketing message in front of them and generates confidence in the services offered.


Finally, real estate marketing plans should acknowledge various options available to sellers and investors. These might include creating a real estate website; utilizing internet marketing to locate and follow-up with potential buyers; sending out postcards, letters or flyers; advertising via signage, billboards, park benches, or Classifieds ads in real estate publications or local newspapers.


Real estate marketing requires long-term commitment unless you are only selling one property and fortunate enough to quickly locate a buyer. Technology constantly changes, allowing sellers and investors to reach a broad audience.


If you are not technologically savvy or do not possess a flair for words, hire professionals to develop real estate marketing materials. While hiring others can initially cost money, having professionals design marketing collateral can save money in the long run.


The Internet provides a wealth of realty marketing advice. Join real estate clubs, investor forums, or social networks to meet other realty professionals. Ask questions and engage with members to discover additional tricks of the trade. Taking time to network with others can help you find the resources and buyers you need.

5 Small Business Tax Tips to Save Money and Reduce Stress

The following small business tax tips will go a long way in reducing the stress resulting from Uncle Sam’s demands upon your income. Two things cause stress when it comes to taxes. The first is being unprepared when it’s time to organize your paperwork. The second comes when the tax bill is higher than you expected. Three tips will focus on the first issue while the last two tax tips will provide ideas for saving through better write-offs and deductions.

Set up a Good Record Keeping System


There’s nothing worse than having April 15th creeping up on you, finally finding the motivation to get your tax records together and then discovering that once again, your tax records are stuffed inside a shoebox. You open the box and all your receipts and statements fall on the floor in a disorganized mess. Worse, you realize you didn’t bother to save most of your receipts last year.


Save yourself this headache next year by making a commitment to create yourself a quality tax record keeping system immediately. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated.


One simple way to do this is to label twelve folders in your filing cabinet with the names of each month. Place each receipt or statement into the correct month and at tax time you’ll only need to organize each month a bit. It will still be a mess, but it’s a more organized mess. Additionally, you now have a place for receipts, meaning you’re likely to save them.


Review and Organize Once a Month


This is a better way to utilize the previous small business tax tip. If you’ll take a few minutes once a month to review last month’s folder, you’ll save yourself an immense amount of time during tax season. Yes, this takes discipline, but it’s well worth it.


At the end of each month, simply organize your records in chronological order inside your monthly folder. Make an accounting of each area you made purchases in. For example, write down items such as postage, rent, utilities, insurance, gas, mileage, Internet fees, etc. Simply add up the monthly totals for each deductible category and make a note of it.


Can you imagine at tax time already having each month organized and itemized? All you need to do at that point is add up twelve months worth of totals for each category and your expenses are done.


Consider a Credit Card with a Year End Expense Printout


A business credit card that tallies up all your yearly expenses and sends it to you at the end of the year is a wonderful time saver. If you make sure to use this card for all business expenses during the year, your year-end credit card statement has every category broken down and itemized for you.


Arrange Your Business Into an S Corporation


Many professionals offering small business tax tips do an injustice to owners when they neglect to tell them about the benefits of an S corporation. Additionally, many people advise using a C corporation. While you need to consult a qualified tax attorney regarding the proper entity for your business, a C corporation is usually best for a company that sees itself growing quite large and one day going public. Unfortunately, most seminar and Internet advice results in small business owners utilizing a C corporation.


An S corporation is usually the correct way to go for the small business owner. One S corporation tactic that will have you smiling brightly every April is calling some of your personal income “dividends”, rather than “income”. If your accountant or tax attorney hasn’t talked to you about the difference between an S corporation and a C corporation, you may want to find a different person for further small business tax tips.


Invest in Real Estate


While this isn’t for everyone, buying real estate investments will do wonders on your quest for tax savings and may possibly be the most important of all small business tax tips.


Buy and hold real estate allows for you to deduct the mortgage interest that your tenants are actually paying off for you. You also receive additional write-offs for management fees, repairs, utilities, etc. When you factor in the depreciation Uncle Sam allows you to take on your buildings, you can offset your income for substantial tax savings through the purchase of real estate.


If this area is new for you, consider going to a local real estate investment club or seminar to learn more about the wonderful tax benefits real estate can bring you.


By following the above small business tax tips, you should be able to not only avoid the stress involved with your taxes from an organizational outlook, but also reduce the tax bill you’ve become accustomed to paying over the years.

Best Ways to Make a Million Dollars Without Stocks and Real Estate

Want to be a millionaire? Forget about real estate and stocks. There are other ways to get rich.

Run for Vice President


Sarah Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue”, was on the top of the best seller list at the end of November. The Huffington Post website reported that she received an advance of $1.25 million on the book. “Going Rogue” is an autobiography of Palin’s life from the time that her parents moved to Alaska from Idaho when she was one year old to the present.


By being tapped as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008, she gained worldwide fame as the second woman vice-presidential candidate in history. Palin’s intrigue and interesting family has made her famous and she was vetted by HarperCollins to write her story.


Win the Lottery


Most financial advisors and bloggers would cringe at the idea of winning a million dollars in the lottery. Money spent on the lottery should be invested into more secure investments which actually pay dividends.


But who can resist the momentary thrill of imagining that you won the lottery. If you don’t gamble too much, then the lottery is harmless diversion from the dreariness of going to work every day. And you just might win!


Write a Book about Getting Rich


Rhonda Byrnes, the author of “The Secret”, the bestselling book and DVD published in 2006, was down and out in late 2004. She was trying to get over some tragic events in her life when she started work on “The Secret”, which shows how to use the law of attraction to make your life better.


Rhonda Byrnes’ book was a best seller of over two years and she has made $1 million many times over. Another millionaire who writes about how to get rich is Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.


According to Wikipedia, Robert Kiyosaki has written 15 books which have sold over 26 million copies! The main theme of all the book is: How to Get Rich. There is a link to writing about getting rich and actually creating personal wealth.


Invent the Right Website


The founders of Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter have hit the big time. All you have to do to make a million dollars is to invent the web application that no one can live without and you will quickly have $1 million or more.


Some other websites we can’t live without that were invented by one or two people are: Google, Ebay, and Zappos.


If you need some inspiration to make a million dollars, just remember what Victor Hugo said: “Inspiration and genius–one and the same.”

How to Succeed at Real Estate: Making Serious Money

No matter how flexible the seller is, the property is useless to you if the value of it does not support what you are considering buying. For example, there is no point in paying $200,000 for a house in a neighborhood that has houses that sell in the average price range of $60,000-$70,000. The chances of making money in a deal like that where you are paying that much over the typical market value of a piece is very slim.

A business exists solely for the purpose of making money; without making money and being profitable there is no way that, a business will succeed much beyond the infancy stage. My goal is to help you make the most informed decisions possible so that you start the real estate market a step ahead of others who are having to do their own research instead of reading my guide that has all of these tips and suggestions.


Property has several different ways of determining value, different aspects of the value effect the value differently however. Objective and subjective factors both play into effect in the value of the property. Objective factors include how many bedrooms, how much square footage is livable, how many bays the garage has, how many bathrooms, and other factors.


Objective factors directly influence how much you can get from the property in return for what you put into it. Other than the building specifications, that help effect the value of a house, the condition of the property is in is also quite important. A house in poor condition is not worth nearly as much as a house that has been kept in tiptop shape over the years. Water damage, termites and ancient windows can all add up to big remodeling expenses that must be factored into the price of the property to determine how well the value holds up.


Subjective factors tend to be tied closer to the color of the paint, the style of the house and other highly personal things about the property. Some people may discover they only buy houses in which the driveway is on the left, and they dislike those that have right sided driveways. These are all subjective factors; however, it is not the complete list of subjective factors.


There are several methods to use to determine the value of property. These methods are Market Sales Approach, Reproduction Cost Approach, and finally the Net Income Approach. While these sound very complicated and scary, calm down and take comfort in the fact that it is technical terms and not as bad as it could be.


Market Sales Approach is used to determine the value of property based upon comparing it to other pieces of property that have sold in the area that are similar in size and location. For example, this method would state that if 5 houses all in the same neighborhood have been sold within the last few months and all sold for approximately $60,000 that were the same size in square footage and comparable in design and building materials that the property we are considering buying should be worth approximately the same thing. Obviously, such factors as condition of paint, appearance of the yard and other small details can make a huge difference in the actual asking price. Nevertheless, this should give you a guide to go with to help make the informed decisions of a smart investor.


However, if you are looking at purchasing a multi-family unit, this becomes a bit more complicated. To determine the value then, you would have to base the value off of either the selling price per unit, in which the total price of the property is divided by the number of units and then compared to other multi-family units sold recently, or by basing the value based upon square footage of the property. This is obtained by dividing the price of the property by the number of square feet in the property, and then comparing it to other multi-unit properties.


Seemed quite complicated at first, however as you can see it is really quite simple. To use this method you must be willing to put some effort and research into your local real estate market to make an informed decision. Next method to look at is a bit more complicated and does take quite a lot of research and attention to detail. Enter…drum roll please… Reproduction Cost Approach.


As I am sure you can guess, this method focuses on determining the value of property based upon what it would cost to you guess it reproduce it. This means find a comparable piece of property that is empty, as well as determine based off building materials and square footage how much it would cost to completely “clone” the existing property. Once you have arrived at the price to reproduce the property, you need to take some away to account for wear and tear that exists in the course of a lifetime for property, scuffed floors, a small dent in the siding etc. This is not your Reproduction Cost Approach. As you can see this method is much more complicated than the Market Sales Approach. Proceeding on to the final method, we arrive to Net Income Approach.


Net Income Approach simply takes into account the amount of income the property can generate for you. For example, if you have a house that rents for $600 a month, that is $7200 a year. Most investors are looking at a 10% return rate on their investments. This means that for a house of this standard, you do not want to pay more than $72,000 or else your return rate will be lower. As you can see, this method of determining value is of little use to the average homeowner who is purchasing a home for their personal use. However, it is very important to the investor who is looking to make money.


In the next installment, we will cover Cash Flow Analysis, and how to determine if a potential piece of property is good to invest in based upon this analysis. Cash Flow Analysis are very important reports that can tell you a lot about how your investments are doing, and as such important documents deserve their own separate lesson or installment on them. Remember, keep making those calls and taking notes. Now that you have the methods to determine the value of property, you can seriously look at some of the properties you have decided to look at to see if they are financially feasible.

Earn Back Your Retirement Money with Real Estate

Are you a real estate investor? Would you like to learn some little-known secrets to increase your purchasing power using your retirement account? We are all well aware that stocks have tumbled drastically in the last several months, leaving investors with the option of real estate investing to fund their IRAs. If you like the thought of using tax-deferred money to buy property, then the first thing you need to do is find an IRA advisor that does real estate investment. Steer clear of banks and brokerage firms, which are more traditional and conservative with their investments. Instead, find real estate mavericks and learn their tricks. One way you can find such people is by utilizing the Internet. Search for “self-directed IRA” and you will find a plethora of help out there. You will need a custodian to direct your investments, unless you want to control it yourself. You will have to pay a fee for their expertise, of course. They will guide you in which types of land or property to invest in, purchase it with your money, and perhaps even manage the property.

Obviously, in this economy, few people have the available funds to invest in property. One option is to buy an interest in the property along with friends or family members. However, keep in mind that the IRA does not allow investment property to be regarded as “homesteaded property” or office space. You will not get those tax breaks. The penalties for breaking these laws are steep and should be avoided at all costs.


Remember that you may not put your current home into the IRA – you must have your custodian buy it and put it into a trust. Be aware that property bills must be paid from that IRA account, so be sure to keep it well funded. Income generated from the property will also go into that account, and if you sell, any proceeds from the sale will stay in the account. In addition, you may personally contribute cash into your account – up to $4,000 per year for an individual, and up to $40,000 per year for a SEP-IRA (used for a self-employed individual).


Once you reach the age of 59 ½, you may take out your money penalty-free. You can arrange to have the custodian sell the homes for you and give you the money, or keep the properties in the IRA for several more years. You will need to pay income taxes on the property, unless it was held in a Roth IRA (which is pre-taxed money).


The great thing about real estate is that anyone can learn the field, and you don’t need a degree to do it. In America, people are entitled to land ownership! If you read Section 408 of the IRS Code, you will see that there is great flexibility in allowing individuals to invest in land and properties.

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