Category Archives: Market Trends

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

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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.

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”. 

Strategizing Real Estate Investments?

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 No doubt, you already know there are many ways to invest in real estate, but how do you know if you’ve chosen the strategy that will work best for you? Different strategies have various levels of involvement, some being quite active while others are quite passive. Consider this when you decide which properties to invest in, and consider which strategies are well suited for your finances, now and in the future.

 

Cash Flow Properties

The first type of real estate investment is what most people consider to be something like a single-family rental property, which will bring in a monthly cash flow that increases your income. This type of property can be purchased in a couple of different ways, depending on the amount of time you can invest and how much capital you can afford for your initial investment.

Foreclosed Properties

Investors, with more time and less capital, tend to opt for purchasing distressed properties in short sales, or at foreclosure auctions. Then they renovate the properties, rent them, and operate as their own property managers. This will more assuredly result in higher returns, though it involves more risk (may need a lot more work than you bargained for). It requires extra time and work.

Turnkey Rentals

Many smart real estate investors put more capital into their initial investment for turnkey properties; move-in ready with no need for renovations. These properties frequently come with property management services, and some come with tenants in place. While you’ll spend more up front for one of these properties, you are pretty much guaranteed a positive cash flow immediately, and more consistently.

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

If you’re looking for a real estate investment strategy that’s completely hands-free and passive, you may want to consider investing with a REIT. When you do this, you will not literally purchase a property or a piece of property, but rather you’ll buy stock in the trust. The trust will then invest your funds – combined with other investors’ funds – to acquire bigger investment properties, such as condominiums or retail spaces. By owning shares in a REIT, you’ll accumulate returns.

These are a few of the more conventional real estate investment strategies you can use.

For further information and help with these or any other real estate investment, contact us!  Thanks, Harriet Robertson

Harriet Robertson,NRBA,CDPE,NAREB,AREAAimageaa.

 



Harriet’s Go-Green Advice

 


eco-friendly-06There is so much talk of global warming, too much waste and unbridled energy consumption. We all want to do something, right?

It starts right at home and it needs to continue. We are offering you ways to Go Green to Save Green.

Budgets are strained and families find themselves struggling but all the while want to teach their children how to conserve and preserve. Start by doing these small and inexpensive changes around your home and lifestyle.

  •         Use cloth napkins and eliminate 40+ rolls of paper towels
  • Switch to cloth diapers, do you know it can take 200 years to decompose depending on the manufacturer
  • Collect rainwater and use it to water gardens and indoor plants
  • Lower the temperature of your hot water heater
  • Hang your clothes on an outdoor line to air dry, you can then tumble on a short air only cycle for wrinkle removal
  • Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot
  • Fix leaky faucets, easy DIY project that saves money and conserves water (your landlord will appreciate it too) Install low-flow replacements available everywhere.
  • Stop unsolicited mail. Junk mail can pile quickly both in the home and in the landfill. Be sure to destroy your name and address.
  • Turn your computer completely off at night
  • Unplug all those phone and iPod chargers, they do use energy as long as they are plugged in the outlet
  • Walk or ride your bike when available
  • Drive the speed limit
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Buy inexpensive reusable drinking bottles instead of plastic bottles of water. We throw away 50 billion water bottles each year (shame)
  • Opt to take your own cloth bag to the grocers and eliminate plastic bag waste. They take forever to decompose.
  • Make a compost bin, less than $20 and easy to make
  • Change filters regularly & clean duct system
  • Insulate, insulate, insulate
  • Use sustainable materials for new floors such as bamboo
  • Your next appliance purchase should be energy efficient. Read up
  • Install programmable thermostats
  • My biggest Go Green is to do a home energy audit. You can lose massive mounts of heat or air conditioning around doors, windows, light switches, in the attic and in the basement. Well worth every dime now and later.
  • Plant trees for shade around your home and they add beauty

Harriet Robertson
We all know there is so much more we could be doing that we could make a very long list. Of course we can’t do it all at once but try just one thing and then another until it becomes a habit to be greener.

Recycle my friends, recycle!

Path to Financial Freedom, Hedgerow maze leading to a dollar symbol

How to Start Investing in Real Estate – 3 Top Ways to Invest

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Investing in real estate is one of the best decisions you can make for your portfolio, but you probably already know that. Do you know, though, that you have numerous options and opportunities to invest in real estate in Dallas and all across the United States?

Different types of investments are better suited to different investors and their goals for their careers and their portfolios. Whether you want entirely passive income or you are interested in having at least a semi-active part in your investment, there is an investment opportunity out there for you.

Investing with a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

Perhaps the most passive form of real estate investment available today, when you invest with an REIT, you will not take direct ownership of the property you invest in. Rather, you’ll buy shares of the REIT itself, which will be worth a percentage of the development or developments that it invests in. You will then see returns based on your investment – usually dispersed on a quarterly basis.

Investing with an REIT looks and feels very much like playing the stock market, as you’ll simply be buying shares in the REIT and you can sell your shares whenever you like. Depending on the REIT, the buy-in rate is also fairly low, making it an attractive option for new investors. REIT shares are not eligible for 1031 exchanges, though, so you will be responsible for paying capital gains taxes when you sell.

Properties concept

Turnkey Rental Properties

Another hands-free option is to purchase a turnkey rental property. This kind of property will be move-in ready, and it will usually come with property management. Some properties even have tenants already living in them, so you can begin getting monthly or quarterly cash flow immediately.

Because these properties are often single-family homes, your income from the property will depend on having tenants living in it. A gap in tenancy can result in a significant loss of income, but a good property management company will work hard to retain tenants and to replace them quickly when necessary. Also, because you will directly own the property, when you sell it will be eligible for a 1031 exchange, which means you can defer paying your capital gains tax on the property if you purchase another investment property within a certain amount of time.

Crowdfunding Real Estate

The newest type of real estate investing around, real estate crowdfunding platforms were only open to people who qualified as accredited investors until recently. Because accreditation only reflected net worth and/or annual income, though, it was not the best indicator of a good investor, and as of last year, with the passing of Title III of the JOBS Act, now anyone with the funds can invest in real estate crowdfunding.

Like investing with an REIT, real estate crowdfunding is a form of equity investing, so you will not take direct ownership, and you may not perform a 1031 exchange if you sell your equity. However, this form of investing allows you to spread your investment capital over as many crowdfunded developments as you want, choosing exactly how much to invest in each.

Please call me to further discuss any and all of these options! Thanks   harriet

What 5 New Things Do Millennial Home Buyers Do?

New Millennials are getting into the home buying market

It seems like yesterday millennials were all kids in braces who had barely made it out of middle school and into high school, yet today they’re young adults in their twenties and early thirties. In fact, not only are millennials growing up, but they’re also entering the home buying arena in a significant way.

They’re the Largest Group of Buyers on the Market

First, as of last year, millennials made up 35% of home buyers in the United States, which represented a 3% increase over 2014. Not only that, but for the past three years, millennials have been the largest demographic of home buyers in the country, and that trend doesn’t look to be fading out any time soon.

Over Half of Them Start Their Home Searches Online

An estimated 56% of Millennials go online when they begin their search for a home of their own. Some start by looking online for properties in their area and price range, while others look for information on real estate and the buying process to help them understand what to expect when they find a house and make an offer.

They’re Moving to the Suburbs

While many young people talk about never leaving the city centers where they work and play, we’ve seen significant number increases in millennials buying homes outside of those city centers. Not only that, but it looks as though millennials are starting to prefer the suburbs, as the number of young home buyers in central urban areas went from 21% to 17% two years ago.

They’re Not Afraid to Ask for Financial Help

While not all millennials have parents with excess cash lying around, young home buyers today aren’t afraid to get some help from family or friends. According to one study, 23% of buyers in this demographic have used a financial gift to help make the down payment on their first home.

A Lot of Them Are Waiting Longer to Buy

While millennials constitute the largest group of home buyers in the country, not all of them are buying houses right now. In fact, a lot of young professionals are waiting to buy their first homes until they are in their thirties, which is good news for real estate investors holding attractive rental properties.

Right now, millennials are the group to watch, Though they’re moving to new cities for work, they’re not afraid to buy houses in the suburbs. They make up the largest buying demographic in the country, but they’re also a significant fraction of the rental market.

Sources:

http://blog.remax.com/five-things-to-know-millennials-and-home-buying-1726599648.html

http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-millennial-home-buyers

http://www.realtytoday.com/articles/57536/20151201/real-estate-tips-things-that-real-estate-industry-should-know-about-millennials.htm

 

Small Lenders Gaining Power

The ‘big guy’ mortgage lenders are getting a reality check. When the economy went sour a few years ago their names were associated with some of the biggest crashes in this decade. The ‘small guys’ became a bright spot in the home buyers eyes. The independent lending companies maintained their reputation and their personal service didn’t hurt them either. Continue reading

Brooklyn Real Estate

BBPO logo smallOur experienced team keeps a watchful eye on market trends for negotiating power to get you a great deal on your perfect home. There are many variables which cause the market to flow up and down. Right now, interest rates are fantastic, the market has plenty of homes for you to choose from, and it is a great time to get settled before school starts.

More than 6,000 homes are available right now so there is a great pool to choose from. Not in the market to buy yet? That is OK as we also have plenty of apartments and other properties available for rent. Only you know whats best for your situation and we are standing by to help.

Give us a call and a team member will be happy to assist. With more than 30 years in the New York real estate industry, our knowledge and connections will take you #homesweethome.

 

Brooklyn Housing Market Today

clear camera 253 (Small)Whether you are buying, selling or investing in residential property it is always a smart choice to check out what the Brooklyn Housing Market is doing today or better yet, for the last quarter. I use several sources to seek  out my information but for an individual a really great place to go is Trulia.

According to Trulia, the average price per square foot in Brooklyn is about $581 which is up 9% percent from last year. The average price for a home is around $600,000.  Trulia does an awesome job of breaking it down by neighborhood. Take a moment to check out the housing market. When you are done, cruise over to my website and see all of the properties I have for sale. I also have apartments for rent and I am happy to help you locate exactly what you want.

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Spring Home Buying Season

small_R_blue_jpgAccording to realtor.com® The spring home buying season is off to a stronger start than at this time last year, with modest price increases and a spike in inventory, according to realtor.com’s National Housing Trend Report for March. 

The number of properties for sale on realtor.com® in March rose 9.5% above March 2013 levels, to 1,841,844 units, according to the report. The median list price of $199,900 was 5.3% higher than in March of last year, and the median age of inventory increased 22.9% above the year-ago figures, to 102 days on the market, the report’s data showed.

Informative full story 

Mortgage Interest Rates Reduced

Mortgage Interest Rates were reduced this week from 4.37% to 4.32% edging 30 year mortgage rates to near record lows again. The reduction will certainly stir up home buyers.

Home sales have fell slightly, especially in the North and  Northeast, but due mostly to intense winter weather. A lack of available homes in several areas also account for falling home sales.

Spring is here and weather is clearing, this coupled with the reduction in mortgage interest rates will bring a renewed spirit to home buyers and I see a big jump in home sales.

Brooklynnybpo.com currently lists 1,859 homes for sale in New York, a place that has been hit both by bad weather and a slow recovery from Hurricane Sandy. You can find exactly what you are looking for, I am here if you need assistance.