Disney Visitors Choose House Rentals Over Hotels

Families flocking to Central Florida are finding that it pays to rent a house instead of a room.

More than a half-dozen home rental firms are flourishing in the Disney-centric area that stretches from Kissimmee to Davenport and includes such towns as Lake Buena Vista and Celebration.

All-Star Vacation Homes, operating out of an office in a mall off U.S. 192, offers homes of all sizes and descriptions, some of them in gated communities that provide better security than most hotels. All come equipped with screened-in pools, multiple bedrooms, large kitchens, and enough TV viewing rooms that multiple families won’t fight over what to watch.

Guests Enjoy the Sounds of Silence

Instead of doors slamming all night — a virtual guarantee at a hotel, motel, or even a country inn — the only sounds that invade the ears of guests are the cacophony of birds and animals.

One home, in the gated Windsor Hills development, sleeps 10 people comfortably. It includes four large rooms, two master medrooms, a game room, WiFi, pool, Jacuzzi, barbecue, and even a home theater with eight movie-house seats and a large viewing screen.


 

Priced at $35 per person per night, the house provides more bang for the book than any hotel room — plus proximity to Disney World, Universal Studios, MGM, Sea World, International Drive, and the Orlando Convention Center. Highway access is good too, with I-4 stretching diagonally across the state between Tampa and Melbourne (Cape Canaveral area).

Company Offers Family-Friendly Properties

Properties offered by All-Star Vacation Homes are located in the family-friendly Windsor Hills Resort, where the clubhouse amenities include a built-in movie theater and oversized pool, and Formosa Gardens Estates, where homes have up to seven bedrooms and can accommodate 8-16 guests.

Windsor Hills and Windsor Palm Resorts homes have luxury condos and spacious town homes with private lounge pools.

All-Star Vacation Homes also offers options at Vista Cay Resort, a condominium community on Universal Boulevard, adjacent to the convention center on International Drive, and Lighthouse Key, a blend of villa-style vacation homes four miles from the hubbub of Disney, and Reunion Resort, six miles from the omnipresent Mouse.

Discounted Attraction Tickets Are Also Available

Discounted tickets to area attractions, as well as rental cars, are available through the rental office. Patrons can even arrange to import a chef for an evening of home cooking and service; the cost is similar to taking a family out to dinner but eliminates the all-too-common problem of lengthy waits.

According to Steve Trover, chief executive officer of All-Star Vacation Homes, “People always feel they have to get out of their hotel room. But our guests don’t have that problem. They can stay in their homes and relax as long as they want to.”

Trover, who has created and developed nine different businesses over the past 18 years, has been improving the services of All-Star Vacation Homes since founding the firm 11 years ago.

USA Vacation Homes Also Provides Luxury Rentals

At USA Vacation Homes, owner An Flamand also maintains a hands-on managerial role. Based on U.S. 27 in suburban Davenport, just beyond Kissimmee, the popular company provides luxury homes-away-from-home plus a litany of customer-friendly services.

USA Vacation Homes features privately-owned guest homes that are personally inspected before winning a spot on the company’s rental roster. The firm also checks the house before each guest’s arrival and turns on both the air-conditioning and the lights.

Pool heat costs extra and there’s no maid service, although special arrangements can be made, but many guests are startled by the size, comfort, and cleanliness of their rental homes. One New Jersey couple found their vacation home larger and quieter than their place up north.

Guests Warm to Orlando Climate

Most visitors find paying for pool heat is not an issue, especially during the hot months from March through October. Pools usually warm to a daytime temperature of between 70-80 degrees, according to a spokesman for USA Vacation Homes.

Greater Orlando is chilly in the morning and the evening but warm and often humid after the sun rises. Afternoon thunderstorms are always possible.

Like its competitors, USA Vacation Homes maintains a website that allows prospective visitors to pick the perfect match for their family size and budget.

Because USA Vacation Homes and All-Star Vacation Homes have parlayed their success into a major travel trend: renting a house beats renting a room.

Both companies say they are expanding and may soon reach into South Florida and beyond.

GET A MORTGAGE WITH NOT SO PERFECT CREDIT

Some people believe that if they have had credit problems in the past, they will not be able to qualify for a mortgage. Some people believe that if they have had credit problems in the past, they have no choice but to get a high interest rate mortgage in order to buy a home. While there is some truth to both statements, there are also many misconceptions lumped into them.

 

Mortgages can be categorized into a couple of categories. There are the A Paper lenders and the B through E Paper lenders (commonly called B/C for short.) A Paper lenders or mainstream lenders make loans to the good credit borrowers. B/C Paper lenders or subprime lenders make loans to the rest of the population. A mainstream mortgage is considered the lowest risk mortgage, while a subprime mortgage is a higher risk mortgage. Mainstream mortgages have the lowest interest rates, while Subprime mortgages have the higher interest rates.

There are many issues with a person’s credit history that can be tolerated by mainstream mortgage lenders. However, there are credit issues that won’t fit with mainstream lenders and when this is the case, the options for the consumer become slimmer. However, before you decide not to pursue a mortgage or before you decide to pursue a high interest rate mortgage, get the facts.

KNOW WHAT’S ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT
The first thing you should do is get yourself a copy of your credit report. There are three different credit reporting bureaus and they can all have different information. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to get a copy of each of them. You can request a copy from each bureau through the mail or there are many different web sites that you can visit and download your report. There is normally a fee with all of these options.

Equifax 1-800-685-1111
Cost: $8.00
** One copy is FREE if you have been denied credit, employment or benefits due to your credit and can be requested over the phone.**

Experian 1-800-682-7654
Cost: $8.00
** One FREE copy per year (can be requested over the phone)**

Trans Union Corp. 1-800-888-4213
Cost: $8.00
** One copy is FREE if you have been denied credit, employment or benefits due to your credit and can be requested over the phone.**

All of the credit report links in my LINKS section provide the service of credit reports on-line. Also many of the rate shopping sections provide this service (pretty much through the same links I’ve provided.)

CREDIT PROBLEMS AND THEIR AFFECTS ON MY MORTGAGE APPLICATION

Get Approval for the Best IVA Mortgage: Successfully Applying for a Mortgage with an IVA

The following is a guest post from Houston, Texas real estate developer and entrepreneur Tracy Suttles.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a way of eliminating unsecured debt over a five year period. An IVA mortgage is a specialist bad credit mortgage loan. Defaulting on credit agreements will mean that the cost of borrowing will be more expensive. This may mean that an existing variable rate mortgage is more affordable, but this can be accurately assessed through the services of a bad credit mortgage broker.

Why Apply for an IVA Mortgage?

  • There is a clause in the agreement that states that the insolvent will need to apply for a mortgage with an IVA at the end of year four. Subject to affordability, it is necessary to raise up to 75% of all available home equity to contribute to the Individual Voluntary Arrangement.
  • Once released from the agreement, a bad credit home mortgage loan could help to reduce home mortgage payments. The likelihood of this increases several years after being discharged.
  • An IVA mortgage can help to raise equity for a foreign holiday, home improvements or a new car.

A Minimum of 75% Home Equity

Although getting a mortgage with an IVA is more difficult, it is a lot easier if the applicant has sufficient home equity. Most Insolvency Practitioners expect their client to get a loan for up to 75% of the available equity because this is the maximum amount that most banks will lend. This figure was established because it protects lender interest in the event of repossession or negative equity.

Affordable IVA Mortgage Payments

The new bad credit mortgage loan must not affect the applicant’s ability to pay their Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). If a year 4 mortgage with an IVA will make repayments more difficult for the insolvent, the Insolvency Practitioner (IP) – subject to approval – may be prepared to reduce the amount of equity that needs to be raised. Affordability is fundamental the individual’s future ability to remain solvent.

Credit Score Rating

Whilst someone who is in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) won’t have a good credit score, it is important to check the credit report for errors and get any issues corrected. Don’t make too many applications for credit as each search will show for a period of not less than 12 months. Also, be sure to register on the electoral roll as this will almost always lead to a decline.

An IVA mortgage could be fundamentally important to the Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). It can also help to reduce home mortgage payments several years after being discharged because credit score ratings will start to improve over time. It is worthwhile consulting a bad credit mortgage broker because they are better placed to identify the most competitive deal.

Lowest Fixed Rate Mortgage Helps Families Budget: Low Mortgage Payments with a Fixed Interest Mortgage Deal

Once a base rate tracker or fixed mortgage deal comes to an end, the rate switches to Standard Variable Rate (SVR). This is typically 2% above the Bank of England base rate, possibly a lot higher. It is the right time to search the market for a better offer as there will be no early redemption penalty. Lenders charge a fee for redeeming the loan too early in order to recover their costs. Over the life of the loan, it will be necessary to get a remortgage several times to ensure that the best fixed mortgage deal is always in place.

Short vs Long Fixed Interest Mortgages

The lowest fixed rate mortgage involves paying a set rate of interest and low mortgage payments for the next x years. No matter whether rates rise of fall, the repayment made by the homeowner will remain exactly the same. The longer the fixed term, the higher the APR will be. This is because it is more difficult for financial institutions to determine the direction rates will head in. They charge slightly more in an attempt to hedge the risk posed by a sudden change of direction due to inflationary pressure.

Lowest Fixed Rate Mortgage Means Lower Monthly Repayments

Whilst a base rate tracker is advantageous when rates are low or falling due to economic contraction, a fixed interest mortgage allows a homeowner to lock-in at a certain level before monetary policy changes. Whilst there is always an element of guesswork involved as nobody can accurately predict the future, there are strong indicators that can help. It is possible to make low mortgage payments for the next few years before re-assessing at the end of the loan term.

Reduce Repayments Further with a Fixed Interest Only Mortgage

Although it will be necessary to sell the property or repay the capital at some point, just paying the interest leads to lower monthly repayments. Combined with a fixed interest mortgage, the cost of borrowing is likely to be lower than renting. This provides an opportunity for first time home buyers to get on the property ladder. It may also be useful to switch to an interest only deal if finances are stretched due to a lack of bonuses or an overtime freeze. Homeowners regularly switch between the two to improve affordability.


A Fixed Mortgage Deal Helps with Budgeting

A low rate mortgage not only improves affordability, but it helps fixed income families and first time buyers to budget more effectively. A sudden change in the direction of interest rates, particularly if the correction happens quickly, can lead to affordability issues. This has a number of negative repercussions, including repossession. The lowest fixed rate mortgage provides homeowners with the certainty that, no matter what the Bank of England’s current policy is, repayments will stay the same.

Families can Help with Home Ownership: Monetary Gifts, Guarantees or Joint Borrowings can be Beneficial

The following post is a guest post from Houston, Texas area real estate developer and entrepreneur Tracy Suttles. Tracy can be best contacted for questions, comments and concerns on Twitter at @tracydsuttles.

Often living on a single income and paying day-to-day expenses such as rent, school fees and medical costs leave a family’s disposable income significantly lower than is desired. Therefore, it can be very difficult for families to save the funds required for a deposit to buy a home of their own.

Caring relatives can provide the necessary support for family members looking for ways to invest in a property.

Family Assistance Can be in Many Different Ways

Monetary Gift- Relatives always spend money on gifts at various times of the year such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and Easter. These can add up to a substantial amount of money over a few years. So if they wish to help the family, they could make a ‘one-off’ monetary gift to cover all presents for all members of the family, for a chosen number of years.

Family Guarantee- A parent or a sibling could simply ‘guarantee’ the loan. This process does not involve the guarantor making a monetary contribution. However, it is important to seek legal advice prior to undertaking this course of action.

Co-Applicants- A family member, relative or even a close friend can be a part-owner of the property as well as a joint-borrower. This process is a little more complicated because it involves working out future financial commitments.

  • Who is responsible for the standard outgoings such as rates?
  • Is there a payment from the person occupying the house to the person who is not resident in the property?
  • How is the maintenance costs shared?
  • What happens if one person wants to sell the property?

What are the Complications of a Guarantee or Co-Borrowing?

It is all very well to be altruistic and wish to help family members. However, care should be taken to put safeguards in place to protect the finances of the people involved and, more importantly, the relationship.

There is nothing more soul destroying than family members falling out over financial matters. It can have far reaching effects with other family members taking sides according to who they think is right or wrong. A simple precaution would be to establish a formal written agreement which sets out each person’s rights, commitments and liabilities.

Advantages of Property Ownership

  • Paying rent does not help in the process of wealth creation. However, paying a mortgage will eventually lead to property ownership and capital gains.
  • Living in an own home is more stable. A landlord can always give notice to vacate a rental property.
  • An owner-occupied home can be styled to suit the personality of the people living in the home and will give the people a sense of pride and individuality.

Relatives who can assist family members to take that first step towards home ownership will be making a very useful contribution. The decision as to the type of assistance will depend on the individual circumstances.

Financing Is Key to House Flipping: A Good Mortgage Broker on Your Team Adds Thousands to Your Profit

One of the keys to success in flipping houses is buying right. As one adage goes, “You make money when you buy, not when you sell.” The point being that if you pay too much for a home to begin with, it’s that much harder to profit on the sale.

Most of the time when a good deal comes on the market, you’re going to have competitors trying to buy it as well. All other things being equal, whoever offers to pay the most wins.

But all other things are not always equal. One of the competitors may be a professional real estate investor with a track record of closing purchases on time within two or three weeks of opening escrow.

If the seller is in need of a fast sale and the other potential buyers don’t look strong, the seller could accept a lower offer in exchange for the confidence the sale will go through on time. You can be assured the pros will use this to their advantage during negotiations. When you’re buying, you want to be that pro.

In other cases, opportunities may come up that haven’t yet been publicized. If you find one and can make a qualified offer quickly, you may not even have any competition driving the price up.

The key to acting quickly is having a good mortgage broker on your team. And by the way, if you’re going to be active flipping houses, you’ll have a team of people you work with on a regular basis, your mortgage broker being one.

Having your very own mortgage broker provides you with several advantages. First, you’ll be prequalified with your broker who can rapidly provide you with a Certificate of Loan Pre-Approval (or similar document) to submit with your offer to purchase. Ordinary buyers you’re competing against will likely not be able to demonstrate their financial strength so quickly and confidently.

If you do have the financial qualifications, it’s not difficult to attract a mortgage broker to your team. Most mortgage brokers’ clients don’t represent frequent business since the average homeowner buys a house only once every five to seven years. If you’re potentially taking out home loans on flipper houses once or twice a year or more, you’re a very valuable client. A good broker will strive to earn your repeat business by finding you the most favorable terms available and being sure your loan is funded quickly.

With access to numerous lenders, a good broker can take advantage of special terms a particular lender may be offering that can be advantageous to whatever situation you’re facing on a particular property. Minimum down payments, lower points and fees, preferred rates, interest only or deferred loan payments (and certainly low-or-no prepayment penalties) are among many loan features the broker can shop for you. Finding you the most cost-effective loan for your purchase helps build more profit in your deal.

Good brokers are also motivated to use their connections to be sure funding your loan receives top priority from the lender. This builds your reputation as a pro and reduces your headaches in getting the deal closed.

How do you find a good mortgage broker? References. Real estate agents often have worked with many brokers and possibly with other real estate investors. If you ask around and start hearing the same name come up several times, you may have found the right person for your team.

Next is establishing a relationship. Ideally, you’ll do this a month or more before you anticipate making an offer on a property so that you and the broker have a chance to research and become comfortable with one another. You’ll be interested in contacting references from lenders and other investor clients, and the broker will want to verify your credit history and financials.

If you’re both comfortable proceeding, how each of you performs in the other’s eyes during the first few transactions will pretty much define your relationship. Hopefully, you’ll find a winner and can focus on building the rest of your team, and profiting from your ventures.

How to Buy Foreclosures

Home mortgage foreclosures have been filed at record rates over the course of the past couple of years. Moreover, experts in the industry nearly universally agree that home mortgage foreclosures will continue well into the immediate future. This means that there are many opportunities to buy foreclosed homes in most locations. A foreclosed home can provide profitable investment property opportunities, or it can become a personal residence. Here are some important tips and pointers to consider when buying a foreclosed home today.

Keep Abreast of the News for Foreclosures

The first thing to keep in mind when buying foreclosed homes is that it is necessary to pay attention to the news. Stay constantly aware of properties that are heading into foreclosure. Knowing about these properties early may be the key to getting them because they may not be on the market long. The eagerness of sellers and lenders to get a deal quickly closed can lead to a quick buy.

In order to accomplish this task, a variety of tools are available to assist in locating foreclosed homes. For example, working offline, the legal notices in the newspaper can be monitored. Going online, however, nationwide foreclosure listings can be found at such places as HUD, the Department of the Treasury (IRS foreclosures), and Fannie Mae. Some auction houses will sell many houses in foreclosure each day. Large bank websites will also have a number of bank foreclosure listings.

It is also a good idea to develop relationships with staff members of the county court clerk’s office (where foreclosure actions are filed). In addition, be sure to meet and make friends with various professionals in the real estate industry (such as mortgage lenders and brokers, real estate agents and brokers, attorneys, appraisers and so forth) that can provide frequent updates on what is taking place in the area in regard to foreclosures.

Get Foreclosure Financing in Order – Immediately

For those who are serious about investing in foreclosed real estate, it is absolutely imperative to get financing in order immediately. Make sure that there is a financing commitment from an appropriate lender in advance of any efforts to purchase foreclosed real estate.

When appearing at an auction or sale, it will be necessary to have not only the cash or cash equivalent for the initial down payment, but buyers must also be able to show that they have the financing necessary to consummate the sale at the time of closing. This requires ensuring that financing is available up front.

Perform Due Diligence on Foreclosed Homes

When it comes to knowing what is needed to buy a foreclosed property, do not underestimate the importance of “doing due diligence.” Just because money is being saved on the purchase of real estate through the foreclosure process doesn’t mean that steps should be neglected that are associated with any other real estate sale such as inspections, appraisals and so forth. Following these steps will help ensure that the real estate property is all that it is claimed to be, and can help ensure that a larger profit is made if it is to be flipped.

Many people who own properties about to go into a foreclosure status simply stop maintaining their residences. In a worst case scenario, some homeowners actually cause intentional damage to their properties out of anger towards the lender. In either event, potential buyers must know the actual status of the property beforehand so that it is known exactly what is being purchased.

Selling a Home in a Slow Real Estate Market: Top 5 Things to Get the Home Sold

While the real estate market in the United States has gone through its ups and downs, there are some rock solid fundamentals that will always be effective in selling a home.

Set a Good Price

It’s THE most important thing. Don’t be your own worst enemy and get greedy. Wishing for a certain price doesn’t sell the home. The market is what it is.

“Every home has a price,” explains Joseph Ho, a commercial and residential real estate agent of 25 years. “The hard part is finding that price, and for the seller to accept what that price is. The biggest mistake sellers make in an adjusting market is that they price (their home) according to what the market was, not what it is.”

Hire a Good Realtor

Hiring a good professional real estate agent will take care of everything on this list. They will tell you what a good price is, how they’ll market it, how to increase curb appeal and what type of staging is needed.

“Agents are held to a higher standard,” proclaims Sue Brodie, Prudential NW Realty’s VP and Managing Broker. “Hiring a Realtor connects you instantly to a network of other agents who have buyers. Hiring a good Realtor will get the home exposed to potentially thousands of people who are looking to buy.”

Ho adds,” There are people out there looking for the ‘For Sale By Owner’ homes, those people are looking for a steal and you will get low balled. First off the bat, (money) is coming off the top. It’s not worth it.”

Exposure/Marketing

Exposure/marketing is everything and works hand in hand with hiring an agent. The more the property is seen, the better chance to sell the home. People have to know the house is on the market, and the realtor does exactly that.

“The most important thing is getting the home exposed to qualified (lender approved) buyers,” suggests Ho. “That’s what the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) does, it’s not a public site. It gets the homes connected with other realtors who have qualified buyers.”

Brodie adds, “The power of the group in the MLS is extreme exposure. There’s nothing better.”

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is much like window shopping. If the home looks good when driving by, people will go in and look at it. If it doesn’t, it wastes everyone’s time and the buyers don’t even get out of the car.

“It’s the lipstick on the pig,” explains Brodie. “Curb appeal is very much like the first impression. It makes them want to go in.”

“It also tells something about the seller,” suggests Ann Hilario, a fine homes specialist in the Seattle area. “If there’s good curb appeal, in the buyers’ eyes, the home was well maintained.”

Professionally Stage the Home

Staging is good salesmanship where the home doesn’t look empty. A professional staging company will give the home the extra edge by organizing nice furniture and decorations, adding the wow factor.

“You’re making a particular product better than the rest,” explains Brodie. ”Good enough is no longer good enough. Professional staging will help you work the house.”

Hilario also adds, “You can’t ignore that your house needs help sometimes.”

Real Estate Investment Disposal: Wide Range of Exit Strategies Available to Real Estate Investors

Without proper planning, investors who have improved, maintained, and even filled their properties with good tenants risk selling those assets for less than true value or paying capital gains taxes that could have been deferred. After an investor has determined that there are valid reasons to dispose of property, the next decision is how to effectuate the sale.

Outright Sale and Lease/Options

In an outright sale, an investor transfers title to property in exchange for payment without keeping any interest in the property. The buyer either pays all cash or makes a cash down payment and finances the balance of the purchase price with funds from a mortgage lender. If the investor has carefully considered the expenses, such as a real estate commission or unexpected repairs, and tax consequences – the local realty transfer tax and federal and state capital gains taxes – of an outright sale, this is the most expedient way to dispose of property.

For some investors, a short-term lease with the option to purchase may be more in keeping with their real estate investment plans. In such an arrangement, an “optionee” pays the owner for an option (also referred to as a down payment) to buy the property at a later date and then pays monthly rent for the duration of the lease. The owner and the optionee decide how much of the monthly rent is to be credited toward the purchase price. When exercising the purchase option, the optionee pays the balance of the purchase price with a conventional loan or other funds. The owner retains full ownership of (and tax responsibility for) the property until title passes to the optionee.

The lease/option is ideal for individuals who want to buy property but do not immediately qualify for a conventional mortgage because of inadequate income or what the lender deems to be a poor credit history. The lease/option transaction can save the seller the commission that a real estate agent would earn on an outright sale.

Installment Sales

At times, a real estate investment plan is best served by the gradual sale of a residential property and the transfer of maintenance, insurance, and tax responsibilities to a qualified buyer. In this type of transaction, the investor is both the seller and a lender who takes back a mortgage on the property being sold. Because the U.S. tax laws consider this an installment sale, the seller can defer payment of the capital gains tax while receiving monthly payments akin to rent but without the usual landlord burdens.

At the same time, the buyer gains title to the property without all the paperwork and fees associated with a conventional mortgage loan; this often allows the seller to ask for a higher purchase price. The interest rate and the length of the mortgage term determine the monthly payment amounts. For investors amenable to installment sales, this can be an astute way to attract buyers in a tough lending environment. The downside to an installment sale is that the seller will have to go through foreclosure procedures if the buyer defaults under the terms of the purchase agreement.

Due Diligence Is Always Paramount

Many investors have successfully engaged in more creative and risky exit strategies than the ones described above. Regardless of the disposal method chosen, investor-owners must never neglect their due diligence. Among other things, this means verifying that a buyer has the funds to purchase a property outright or to make monthly rental or mortgage payments to the owner.

There are other factors to consider. For example, if the owner is disposing of a multi-unit residential property and a prospective buyer lives far away, is inexperienced as a landlord, and has no plan for managing the property, the owner may decide that the risk of default on an installment sale would be too high.

Eight Steps to Becoming a Real Estate Investor: Well-Informed Investors Can Thrive Even in Shaky Economy

As prices for real estate continue to stagnate and even plummet throughout the United States, properties that even a year ago were out of reach for many are now sitting on the market with more reasonable prices. This new accessibility to property is enough to convince some individuals that now is the time to try their hand at investing in real estate.

Nonetheless, jumping into real estate investing on a whim or a hunch without proper preparation is a surefire way to fail. Fortunately, many sources are available for boning up on the basics. There are numerous books, CDs, and DVDs on real estate investment, and many of these are in local libraries. In addition, when the words “real estate investing” are typed into any search engine, millions of Web sites turn up.

Learning Real Estate Investing Basics

It takes a while to wade through this available information. In the end, it becomes evident that there are eight basic steps for increasing the chances for success in real estate investing:

  1. Understand the components of return on investment, including cash flow and appreciation
  2. Write an real estate investment plan that specifies financial goals and timetables for reaching them
  3. Carefully choose the form in which to own property (as an individual, a partnership, corporation, etc.)
  4. Turn to real estate agents, attorneys, tax advisers, and other professionals for expert guidance
  5. Study the target areas in which to buy property
  6. Line up affordable financing
  7. Avoid overpaying for real estate
  8. Manage the property diligently

These steps merely outline what is involved in becoming a real estate investor; there are many factors within each step. Absorbing and understanding all this information is not as daunting as it may appear. No special course work or degree is necessary to understand the principles involved, particularly if the novice investor lines up a team of professional advisors. As with anything new, there is a learning curve to real estate investment. Patience is necessary; any short cuts can lead to disastrous decisions.

Yet, studying is not enough and over-caution can be paralyzing. This is why it is essential to get out there and buy – it is the only true way to learn the business of real estate investing.

Real Estate Buyer’s Comfort Level Trumps Economic Outlook

Although the economic outlook and real estate markets remain uncertain, this should not deter individuals from investing in real estate. As Rhonda Duffy, broker of Duffy Realty of Atlanta, wrote in an e-mail to this reporter, “The timing and outcome of a purchase … have more to do with the specifics of the property and the motives of the buyers and sellers than they do with any macro economy or market-driven issues.”

According to Duffy, in most cases, the determinative factor for when and how to best acquire property is the comfort level of the buyer, “which encompasses his or her financial and personal criteria.” Thus, she observed, “Like in most things, everything comes down to how it affects ‘me.’”

Just make sure that “me” is armed with adequate and reliable information.

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