Design a House that Fits In With Your Future Home Needs

You should imagine your new home for the many years of future living to come. A home that, over the years, will continue to support your changing lifestyle. Convenience has become an important objective for many new-home buyers wanting their homes to continue fitting their changing needs. You’ll be more satisfied with your new home by planning for your future needs.

Homeowners who decide on staying in place should include the principles of universal design into their home. Universal design is the design of products and environments all people appreciate to the greatest extent possible. This may help you avoid the tedious chore of having to remodel in the future.

Do The Homework

The Construction drawings for your home are the blueprint detailing your home and how it is built.  That is what your builder and subcontractor will use throughout the process of building your home. It’s important to spend some time going over the plans before you finish making all your selections. You need to get a full picture of what your space will be like, making sure everything is specified as you want it. Ask what all the little symbols mean. Study the floor plan and think about how you will use each room so that changes and modifications you want can be done during construction.  It will save you valuable time and money.

You may not be able to change some things in the plans, but ask, and you’ll know what to expect once construction begins. If the company has been around long, they have probably helped dozens of people through the process and know about all the pitfalls.

Plan for Future Needs – First-Floor Living
If you build a two-story home make sure that you have a bedroom, bath, kitchen and living on the first floor. More than 35 percent of new homes have master suites on the first floor, a 15-percent increase over a decade ago. That allows those with aching backs or knees to be able to avoid the stairs.

Take A Look Around – What are You looking at?
What’s the view?  Would you have panoramic, vast, exciting, serene, or something in between?  It’s a real opportunity to choose what your views might be. When looking at homes where you plan to stay put in, be sure to look outside the four walls of the house itself and check out the topography of the site.  Can you visit a neighbor without getting in your car? Are there wide sidewalks that encourage walking? Is there an easy grade throughout the development? Is public transit located nearby in case you are not able to drive?

Don’t Sacrifice Comfort, Convenience, or Lifestyle
“Everyone wants to live in a place that looks first-class, whether they’re 35 or 85,” says Matthew Anderson, of Anderson Family Real Estate.

Even grab bars in the shower have evolved, from the institutional looking devices found in the handicapped stalls in public bathrooms, to fixtures that better match the décor of your home. It’s possible to build a house that’s, both, functional and enjoyable while still being beautiful.

Active adults, having worked all their lives, are starting retirement now and feel they’re buying their dream home. They want the best of quality and convenience and don’t want to sacrifice anything.

People should consider how their lives are progressing and where they see themselves in years to come, and then make accommodations for that.

All of this can be an involved process which is best addressed with a knowledgeable Broker. My clients appreciate my candid advice and I would be happy to offer you my assistance. Please visit or call us at 917-952-7364

The Right Advice for Purchasing Nice

First-time homebuyersIf you’re fresh at purchasing real estate, you might want to read this over and then recruit the help of reputable real estate agents. Professionals have resources you don’t, including computer software that allows one to effectively search all MLS listings. The MLS tools available to professionals are more detailed than those accessible by the average individual and are able to advise you with greater accuracy and insight. Many first-time home buyers don’t take the time to get prequalified. They also often don’t take the time to shop around to find the best mortgage for their particular situation. It’s important to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand the home loan process completely.

Getting pre-approved gives the buyer a chance to find out how much home they can afford. A competent loan officer will tell the buyer not only the principal and interest payments per month, but also the estimated taxes, insurance, and mortgage insurance monthly amounts. This gives the borrower a true number to work with in order to decide their comfort zone when looking at potential properties. Also, sellers will be more interested in negotiating with you, and accepting you as their purchaser, if you’re working with a good RE agent, and if you’ve already been preapproved for a mortgage loan. If you are not preapproved, it can lengthen the timeline of the purchasing process and can result in additional costs.

Before buying a home, get an inspector to examine it. You don’t want to have a home that needs tons of renovating. Not only will this cost a lot, you might need to change your living situation until it’s fixed.

One simple way to start the entire real estate buying process is to get organized. You should have a notebook full of the information you get from newspapers, friends, online, and also from your agent. This will avoid confusion and make it easier for you to compare different offerings. Remember that your offer is very unlikely to be the only one on the table, so make a good offer. Do what you can to ensure it’s appealing to a seller.

If you are looking to purchase some of or all of a building in order to open a business, make sure it is in a good neighborhood. When you open a business that is located in a poor neighborhood, most likely you will not have a large pool of customers. Real estate agents will be able to advise you as to the best places to open a business. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your present needs, but you should also think about reselling the home before you buy. The average first-time buyer expects to stay in a home for around 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Factor maintenance and repair costs into your buying budget, because even brand-new homes will require some work. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

When deciding on an agent, it is important to have a list of questions already planned out. You will want to know how many homes were sold during the previous year, as well as the number in your target area. The agent should be prepared to answer all of these questions in a professional manner. It’s absolutely vital that you find a real estate professional who understands your goals and who is ready and able to guide you through the home buying process.
If you’ve made an offer for a house that seller didn’t take, don’t be discouraged, since you might find a better home. See if they might offer to cover closing costs or necessary repairs prior to you moving in.

Request a checklist from your Realtor to put yourself in the best position before buying. There are many Realtors that have a checklist like this already prepared. It covers the entire home-buying process, from choosing a house to getting a loan. Using this checklist can help you make sure that you have completed everything in time to close the sale.

Buying real estate isn’t as difficult as it might seem. You need to take some time to educate yourself and ask lots of questions. If you use these tips, then you’ll be able to make a wise decision on your next real estate purchase. Harriet RobertsonCall me to make your home buying easier ( 917-952-7364 ).
Thanks,   Harriet

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ADDRESSING DEED FRAUD AND ABUSE – BROOKLYN TOWN HALL

Brookly Town Hall Meeeting

4 Ways to Tap Into Your Full Investment Potential

Are you ready to grow your wealth and watch your portfolio expand like you never thought possible? While real estate has traditionally been treated as a boring, slow-moving diversifier and stabilizer for portfolios, it can actually do incredible things for you if you know how to tap into your full investment potential. With these tips, you can efficiently and effectively take the steps necessary to gain more wealth and more earning power with your real estate investment portfolio.

Become an Excellent Communicator

Whether you’re working with an investment expert to perfect your portfolio or you’ve hired a realtor to help you find the best fix-and-flip houses, communication is key in the world of real estate investing. The clearer and more succinct you can be when communicating what you want and need, the more effectively others can work for you to help you achieve it.

Never Underestimate the Power of Networking

Next, use those communication skills to your advantage by networking with people in the real estate industry. You want to get to know brokers, contractors, real estate agents, financial advisors, other investors, and anyone who may have a new perspective or lead on the best investments for your portfolio. You never know when you might encounter a new investing partner, so always take advantage of opportunities to do some networking.

Always Follow Up

Of course, just meeting and greeting people in the real estate industry won’t get you very far if you don’t follow up with them later. Whenever you collect business cards at an event or whenever you meet someone by chance who works in real estate investing, be sure to follow up with a brief, professional email or call within 24 hours. You don’t want them to forget who you are and wonder why you’re emailing them, so always be prompt. Then, after that initial email, be sure to foster and build the relationship so that you create a true connection, not just another name in your phone.

Get Social

Beyond in-person interactions, get online and create an active social media presence for yourself as an investor. Whether or not you create specific pages for your investing ventures, you should be active on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, showing that you are a serious investor with a head for business.

On that note, be very aware of how you present yourself online and in person. Post only professional and appropriate pictures and content. Avoid volatile political debates, and don’t make comments that could make people question your character. You want people to find you on social media, and you want them to see you as someone they’d like to work with, whether in an investment deal or in another venture.

When you do these four things, you’ll create a reputation for yourself as a savvy investor with great people skills. You’ll be approachable, and you’ll have the connections you need to get leads on Harriet Robertsonthe very best investments in your niche.

Give us a call for more information, Thanks, Harriet

Video BrooklynnyBPO

One of New York’s Premiere Real Estate Companies

Brooklynnybpo.com LLC has been in the real estate services business in the New York City, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island real estate markets for many successful years and will be here for many more. This longevity and confidence comes from our real estate services to a great many buyers and sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps us productive and successful.

Having Market Jitters With the Stock Market?

jitters-stock Historically, the stock market will generate positive returns for investors over the long-term, with “long-term” being defined by 10+ years. If you’re confident in your portfolio allocation, one bad month shouldn’t cause you to change course.

It’s only natural for investors to wonder if they are over-allocated in equities after a large stock market drop. After the bull market of the last six years, many investors have become accustomed to a steadily rising market. For newer investors, in particular, this may be their first opportunity to assess their risk tolerance in a falling market. Investors who have a 90%+ asset allocation in equities are likely a little bit uneasy at the moment.

Real Estate as an Alternative Asset
If you’re an investor over-allocated in equities and looking for an alternative, we suggest that you consider real estate. Let’s be clear – real estate investing carries its own risks. No form of investing is risk-free, and generally the greater the potential returns, the greater the potential risk of loss. This goes in the stock market, in real estate, and everywhere else.

2012-housing-market-forecast-Real estate investing, though, offers features that investors who are concerned about stock market volatility might be attracted to. While there obviously can be downturns, real estate (or more precisely, the land underneath a property) is generally an appreciating asset. Even when the real estate market suffers a downturn, housing values will not plunge 5% in 5 minutes. The stock market is subject to high-frequency trading, which has only exacerbated the volatility of the market. These “flash” crashes and recoveries usually have nothing to do with the strength of the underlying businesses, which can be frustrating for more conservative investors. Real estate valuations are generally much more tied to the fundamentals of a property and market.

The Advantages of a  Self-Directed IRA LLC
Tax Advantages: With the Self-Directed IRA LLC, you have all the tax advantages of traditional IRAs, as well as tax deferral and tax-free gains. All income and gains generated by your IRA investment will flow back to your IRA tax-free. By using a Self-Directed IRA to make investments, the IRA owner is able to defer taxes on any investment returns, thus, allowing the IRA owner to benefit from tax-free growth. Instead of paying tax on the Self-Directed IRA returns of an investment, the tax is paid only at a later date when a distribution is taken, leaving the investment to grow tax-free without interruption.

With the Self-Directed IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate, private business entities, tax liens, precious metals and commercial paper tax-free!

Investment Options: With the Self-Directed IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate, private business entities, tax liens, precious metals and commercial paper tax-free!

Diversification: With the Self-Directed IRA LLC, you can invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate, allowing you to diversify and better protect your retirement portfolio.

Checkbook-Control: With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, you have even more advantages, including what’s called Checkbook-Control. As manager of the Self-Directed IRA LLC you will have the ability to make IRA investments without seeking the consent of a custodian. Instead, all decisions are truly yours.

Access: With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, you will have direct access to your IRA funds allowing you to make an investment quickly and efficiently. There is no need to obtain approvals from your custodian or deal with time delays in awaiting approval from your custodian or pay any review fees.

Speed: With a Self-Directed IRA LLC, when you find an investment that you want to make with your IRA funds, simply write a check or wire the funds straight from your Self-Directed IRA LLC bank account to make the investment. The Self-Directed IRA LLC allows you to eliminate the delays associated with an IRA custodian, letting you act quickly when the right investment opportunity presents itself.

Lower fees: Another advantage to a Self-Directed IRA LLC account is that you can save a lot of money on custodian fees. With the Self-Directed IRA LLC structure, you will not be required to seek custodian investments when making IRA investments allowing you to eliminate custodian transaction fees and account valuation fees.

Limited Liability: By using a Self-Directed IRA LLC with “Checkbook Control, your IRA will benefit from the limited liability protection afforded by using an LLC. By using an LLC, all your IRA assets held outside the LLC will be shielded from attack. This is especially important in the case of IRA real estate investments where many state statutes impose an extended statute of limitation for claims arising from defects in the design or construction of improvements to real estate.

Asset & Creditor Protection: By using a Self-Directed IRA LLC, the IRA holder’s IRA will be protected for up to $1 million in the case of personal bankruptcy. Also, most states will shield a Self-Directed IRA from creditors’ attack against the IRA holder outside of bankruptcy. Therefore, by using a Self-Directed IRA LLC, the IRA will generally be protected against creditor attack against the IRA holder.

REIT Correlation with Equities
This is another advantage that real estate crowdfunding (and other forms of direct real estate investing) has over publicly traded REITs. Large REITs such as General Growth were not immune from yesterday’s selloff. As we’ve previously mentioned, the stock performance of REITs correlated with the stock market nearly 80% of the time from 2007 to 2013, up from 47% between 1980 through 2006. REITs certainly have their positives, but it’s hard for them to act as a diversifier in one’s portfolio when 80% of their price correlates to the broader stock market.

Of course, the real estate market is not unaffected by broader market trends, and no one can predict if this stock market drop will be a blip or the start of a longer bear market. Commercial Property Executive notes that “even institutional investors have been known to up their allocations in real estate in the face of a weakened stock market,” and speculates that commercial real estate and larger residential properties will benefit while the single-family market will suffer. We won’t hazard a guess as to what the market will do.

even institutional investors have been known to up their allocations in real estate in the face of a weakened stock market

We will say, though, that if you’re finding that you’re over-allocated in the equities market, you should consider real estate as an alternative.

Real estate may provide your portfolio with a buffer to allow you to weather the falling stock market, and can help you weather the storm until a bull market returns.

Thanks,  Harriet

 

4 Reasons Why Home Sellers Need an Agent

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There is an old saying that goes, ‘no one has your best interest at heart except you’.  Even though that is most often the case, real estate transactions don’t have to be like that.

Buyers always have the opportunity to sign what is called a buyer’s agency agreement, which tells you what services the agent provides. It’s ideal to work directly with a real estate agent who can provide plenty of information they usually wouldn’t be able to give to other home sellers. Questions about your school district, details about the neighborhood, and property details will all be at your disposal with this arrangement. Your buyer’s agent has a duty to have your best interest at heart, doing everything possible to provide you quality service while making sure all your questions get answered. You will come out on top.

The more information you have from a reliable source will give you a better home buying experience. Whether you’re a first-time or last time buyer, you want to know you’re getting a deal, and you will be safe, secure, and happy with the property of your choice. All the more reason to do some homework and choose an agent that has the qualities you are looking for.

Here are four reasons why buyers require their own agent while seeking to purchase their new home.   

Market Know-how
No one knows your local real estate market better than an agent! They are beating the streets to investigate the existing and new inventory.  They have knowledge of school districts in your area, information about upcoming construction in your local, and have an abundance of other information readily available to them. They’ve reviewed the neighborhoods, know which homes are likely to sell fast and those that may require some care to get under contract.

While you may glean a few tidbits of information from the large real estate sites, there is nothing better than going over the facts and figures with an agent who has seen the house and can tell you the finer points about the property. Trust their market knowledge, and ability to discern what you need, to parlay that into a viable home viewing list.

Help with Hazards
Properties conceptSome buyers are very perceptive, and pay much attention to detail to see what exactly it is that they’re buying. When some walk into a home, they are so excited that they fail to recognize some of the shortcomings of the home that could end up being deal breakers. It is understandable that you’re excited and wants to get to the house that is the one for you but beware of rushing because you may miss some of the finer points of the property.

Maybe the roof is missing a few shingles. Perhaps the structure is a bit off. How is the curb appeal when you’re looking at the home from the outside? Your agent should be vigilant in spotting any imperfections or potential issues long before you cross the threshold.  And, an agent worth their salt will be pointing out all the intangibles, drawbacks and solutions so that you can focus on the particulars of importance to you.

Negotiation Power
Negotiation power is one of the likeliest areas in real estate where not having your own agent can end up costing you a lot of money. Unless you are skilled at revealing which property imperfections or home inspection issues equate to a lower price, or know when the timing is right to ask for additional  assistance, it is best to let a skilled agent manage this for you.

Final Thoughts
A buyer’s agent wants to help you get a great deal, close quickly and be happy with both their services and your new home. The better job they do for you, the more likely you are to refer them to your local sphere of friends and utilize their services again when you decide it is time to sell your home.

Harriet RobertsonThere is no better option when buying a home than utilizing your own buyer’s agent. Do your homework, choose a great agent to represent you, and begin the journey towards owning your own home. It’s that simple. Happy house hunting buyers!

Thanks,
Harriet

 

 

Is It a Good Deal?

How to Determine if Buying an Investment Property is Good for You.

20160525-share-kcmWhether you are new to real estate investing or you are a veteran investor, sometimes real estate deals are just not as cut-and-dried as you would hope. You find a property on the MLS; it looks like a great deal, but you’re not entirely certain. You research the area, and you can see that it’s in a growth cycle and that it has a number of amenities nearby. You research the property itself and find that it’s set at a fair market price, but it’s been sitting on the market for some time. And when you look closer at the area, you see that there are still a large number of vacant properties in the neighborhood. Should you buy?

On the one hand, if your research is correct and the area is growing, you will likely see increased rental rates in the coming months and years. If the property is in good shape, you shouldn’t have to sink too much capital into repairs and renovations, and you should begin to see a return on your investment fairly quickly.

On the other hand, though, if there are still a lot of vacancies in the area, you may have a significant amount of competition for tenants, especially in the first few months. You could have a difficult time finding people to live there, which could wreak havoc on your plans, at least for the short term. Then is where it pays to hire an expert for property consulting.

What Does a Property Consultant Do?

Properties conceptWhen you enlist expert property consulting assistance, your specialist will put their knowledge and industry skills to work for you to determine whether a particular investment property is right for you. They will look at the market in the area, conduct a full inspection of the property, research comps (comparably priced properties), look at market trends, and assess secure property management costs, as well.

When they finish with their assessment, your consultant will assist you in determining your investment goals because your goals have a lot of bearing on whether or not you should buy the property. For example, if you plan on flipping the property as quickly as possible, you’ll have very different investment goals for it than if you intend to use it as a long-term rental property. Understanding your intentions for the property and for your investment portfolio will help your consultant come to an informed decision about the property.

Why Not Just Ask the Selling Agent?

home_sweet_home_shutterstock_112951720-300x200When you’re looking at a property for sale in your area, you’ll no doubt have plenty of time to chat with the seller’s real estate agent. This person will likely have a good working knowledge of the market, the area, and the property itself, but they’re not the best choice for advice on how much the property can rent or sell for. While realtors are generally honest people with good intentions, they also have a vested interest in the sale of their properties. An independent consultant or one who works for a real estate investment group has a stake in helping you purchase a property that will work for you, your needs, and your goals.

Assistance Finding the Right Properties for You

Furthermore, many reputable, secure asset management firms offer assistance with finding the best properties for their clients and members, including consulting services like these. These experts will not only assist you with houses and other properties that you’ve found yourself, but they may also be able to help you by scouting out potential investment properties in the area that match your goals.

Harriet RobertsonIf you want a fair, honest, and expert answer on whether or not you should buy a particular property, or if you want help finding the right property for your investment needs, talk with my real estate investment firm. Enlist our help with property consultations and advice, and you’ll be making a good decision.

Thanks,
Harriet

Brooklyn Brownstones are Moving Fast

Brooklyn Brownstone townhouses

Over the course of the next week or so we will be discovering and discussing what are Brooklyn Brownstones, their history, who owns them and their value. There are many brownstones throughout numerous New York City neighborhoods, especially in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of

Park Slope, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant. The Manhattan neighborhood of the Upper West Side, too, retains many brownstones.

Sandstone with a reddish brown color caused by the dissolved iron oxide in the rock, is called brownstone. It was very easy to mine and carve and became very popular in the 19th century. New York and Boston both have a large number of brownstone homes that were built in the form of terrace or row houses with raised entrances. Harlem, Park Slope, and Brooklyn all have large numbers of such homes in varying condition. Brooklyn Brownstones are highly desired.

It is believed that in the late 1800’s Irish Catholics started to appear in Brooklyn, mainly Sunset Park and were soon followed by Polish immigrants. They found jobs nearby in Green-Wood Cemetery and Park Slope’s Ansonia Clock Factory. (photo credit: Brownstone Awaiting A Wrecking Ball, NYC 1959, by Dmitri Kessel, from the Brownstone Revival Coalition)
The Scandinavians began working as shipbuilders. In 1916 they joined together to build ‘apartments’.

Row house developers started using ‘brownstone’ as their material of choice. Brownstone was very easy to excavate and easy to work with as they could ‘form’ or carve it to fit their needs.

Post war the Brooklyn Brownstones were built for influential members of ‘high society’. Condos came into the picture and neighborhoods began to grow. There are hundreds of Brownstone homes enjoyed by families today.

Can you imagine living in a building with so much rich history? Made with love, sweat and I am sure blood and tears, these are some of the most beautiful homes, condos and apartments around.

You can find Brownstones in all areas of New York including NYC, they are also prevalent in New Jersey as most of the stone was mined there.

Brooklyn Brownstones have always been an excellent investment and never stayed in the listings very long. I also noticed how much higher the prices had began to rise. As a Realtor/Broker I am always invested in all areas of real estate but in my own home town I could not believe the phenomenon that was happening. This is the 3rd and final in our Brooklyn Brownstone series.

I began asking around and doing property searches to see why these famous Brownstones were flying off the market and much to my surprise they were being highly sought after by foreign investors, yes foreign investors. I found this really informative article giving the scoop on this hot market topic and I would like to share it with you,  Foreign investors ‘buying up all the brownstones in Brooklyn and pushing prices even higher’

Follow us to learn who desires these properties the most!  Or call me and lets find you one.

Consider It Sold

sold-anotherYes, you can consider it sold!
Whether you’re a home owner selling to relocate or a bank holding a repossession we can help!

When working with banks and asset companies we offer our unparalleled service beginning with eviction, when needed, and securing the location. We have the property cleaned, yards mowed, repairs done as required, coordinate inspection services, winterize, advertise and market to buyers, give reports, and be there through the closing.

Home owners can be assured we will handle your real estate transaction as if we were selling our own home.
We will perform a comparative market analysis for fair market value. We will walk you through all the steps and offer you resources to answer any questions you may have. We will help you market your property and navigate the paperwork including closing the deal.Harriet Robertson

Are you ready to develop a trusting relationship? Great, give me a call!

Buying Commercial Property

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The process of buying a commercial property involves a significant investment of time, money, and energy.

After an exhaustive search that finally produces the perfect property, a buyer now may be faced with difficult negotiations: Your perfect property may attract more than one offer, and you will need a strategy to deal with these competing offers.

Here are five tips for making your offer stand out in a competitive situation:

Price: It’s human nature to look at the final price when you’re considering making an offer to purchase, and it is particularly difficult when you really want that property. In a competitive environment, your ability to negotiate is limited, and you need put your best foot forward.

This may mean offering or exceeding the asking price to ensure that your offer is the most desirable. As well, you may need to consider writing an offer without a financing clause; this shows the seller that you’ve done your due diligence and have already obtained the necessary capital.

Deposit: The deposit amount shows the level of intent you have to purchase the property. A larger deposit demonstrates that you have a greater intent to follow through on the sale process; the seller will appreciate the seriousness of your offer if you can make a larger deposit than your competitors.

Conditions: When you’re not in a competitive situation, you can go to town on conditions – the seller may not have a choice of accepting them. But when you are competing against multiple offers, consider making a firm offer without conditions.

Conditions add a level of uncertainty for sellers, so by minimizing them you remove any potential for uncertainty, and that will make your offer more seller-friendly.

If you do want to include multiple conditions in your offer, your commercial real estate agent will help you decide how to present them for best results.

You might, for example, consider grouping multiple conditions into a single clause. But be guided in this by your agent, who has years of experience in presenting purchase offers.

Time Frames: The seller would likely prefer a shorter conditional period, and you can differentiate your offer by mirroring the seller’s desires. You can shorten the time frame by conducting a bit of ground work prior to submitting your offer; ask your lawyer to conduct a title search on the property. Knowing about any liens and easements ahead of time can help strengthen your offer.

If you are unable to determine the seller’s preferred closing date, your real estate agent will likely advise the seller that you’re willing to negotiate key time frames.

Decisiveness: In a competitive situation, indecision can sink your offer. Going in, you will need to know what your bottom line is and where you can flexible. You also need to know which areas of the offer you are not willing to bend on.

Harriet RobertsonYour ability to make decisions quickly under pressure will play a huge part in the successful presentation of your offer.  Ask an agent or broker for help, you’ll find them well worth it.  Thanks for your attention and happy investing.

Recognizing Inefficiencies in Your Real Estate Marketplace

20160525-share-kcmOne of the first things that intrigued me about real estate was the unique opportunities that are available to outperform the market.  In the stock exchange, it’s nearly impossible to pick consistently winning stocks, though there are whole industries who will tell you otherwise. Over the long run, very few manage to outperform market averages. That is due, primarily, to the combination of fees and lack of skill and judgment.  All in all, it boils down to the fact that the stock market values are unpredictable, volatile, and emotional, but efficiently reflect the immediate value of the asset.

Warren Buffet said, “I’d be a bum on the street with a tin cup if the markets were efficient.” What he means is that he seeks underpriced stocks, ones worth more than the market values them. Market inefficiency doesn’t apply to only stocks. If you become adept at recognizing inefficiencies in a marketplace, you can position yourself to take advantage of those inefficiencies and prosper.

The real estate market is considered an inefficient market, in which prices are set solely by the meeting of the minds of the seller and the buyer, who make decisions based solely on their particular circumstances, and having little if anything to do with the market at large.  This makes the value in real estate very much a moving target.  Often enough, that the property you just bought for $90,000 could be worth $125,000, or it might only be worth $75,000, in which case you paid too much.

Confounding any assessment of the value is that different economic factors hit different locations differently.   Since the economic news will have different effects on a property in State A as opposed to State B, and it becomes difficult to determine an effect on any given property, and the various neighborhoods within each town, and the streets in each neighborhood – it quickly becomes overwhelming!

Another major inefficiency is the lack of information in the debt market.  Lenders and investors rely heavily on relationships for opportunity spotting (aka “deal flow”) and asset understanding.  On the other side of the deal, asset owners have limited options for capital often going with broker-fed funding options rather than seeking multiple lenders and letting them compete.   With access to deal flow and capital in the hands of a few, the market is naturally opaque and one-sided.  Commercial real estate brokers depend on 3rd party data service providers to continually update data on tenants and property owners. This information is in continual flux and as such isn’t feasible for an in-house solution.

Harriet Robertson“In short, change in supply and demand are going on all the time, however, due to the vast size of market participants not understanding the effects of that change – or even that change took place in a particular area. The people who do realize that values have changed will be in a position to take advantage of and in a position to exploit inefficiencies in the market”.