Investing: then and now

In 2012 I’d predicted a real once per generation buying opportunity. Now I have the spreadsheets from client deals to back it up. Further, take a peak at this:

Anibal-Group-LLC-Realty-Net-Worth-A-look-back-at-investment-advice

So, after you re-read the old article from 2012 here:

Let me recommend a quick read here:


Then I invite you to sit down and chat about your portfolio/ homes/ vacation residence/ elder care and college town houses.Anibal-Group-LLC-Florida-Realty-101-I-Think-Its-Time

 


Meet & Discuss Further Share Your Buy Wish List



 

New tax law – new strategies.

  • Standard deduction – way up.Anibal-Group-LLC-Florida-Realty-101-I-Think-Its-Time
  • Itemized deductions – far less valuable.
  • Misc employee exps – gone.
  • State/local & property taxes capped at $10k total.
  • Planning point: move expenses to other places or eliminate them because they have less/no value.

  • LLC’s, S-Corps, Partnerships enjoy new 20% deduction.
  • Planning point: How you hold your property investments can have a big effect

Extra Reading:


Meet & Discuss Further Share Your Buy Wish List



‘Pocket Listings’ Who loves `em/ who hates `em & why?

Isn’t everything done best via the MLS? Lets look.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-for-sale-appliances-architecture-ceiling-chairs

Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Buy Wish List


Loves `em:

  1. Often seller(s) who want a highly controlled, minimally invasive, & best outcome approach to the selling process… a “rifle style”.
  2. The agent/broker who wants to take the time, target the marketing, minimize interference without publishing so much history and pricing data that it works to the buyers, not yours (the seller’s), favor.

Hates `em:

  1. The websites that sell ‘buyer leads’, they need to control the data. (Zillow/ Trulia/ Estately/ Redfin…)
  2. The buyer or buyers agent that wants as much control over the seller and their ‘story’ as possible.
  3. The ‘nosey neighbors’.
  4. The friends that want to know know more about you!
  5. A less than scrupulous agent that wants to put your house on ‘the tour’. In reality your home is a stop on the way to the one they want you to write an offer on.
  6. These are NOT real & qualified buyers of interest. They like the “shotgun style”

Perhaps look at it this way: Do you prefer thousands of curious lookers, or the highest thousands of $’s?

Related articles?

More about Selling ?

Like to talk further ?



 

Selling a house? vs. Online dating.

Selling a house ? Its about 1 buyer, not ‘# of hits’, not ‘# of showings’.

Meet & Discuss Further

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35 yrs as a Realtor/ Broker, always as an independent, not a franchise. Why?

Those ‘online dating’ sites make you wonder what you are getting.

  • Wow, lots of lookers! Are they potential/ qualified buyers or just ‘photo surfers’?
  • Ya, lots of dates – aka: showings. But again ready to act buyers … or just neighbors getting decorating ideas or agents using your house to compare against the one they plan on showing after yours?

Franchises are fine. They have a place. But my clients find when they ask for “Mr/Ms Top Producer”, they really get a group of less experienced ‘specialists’ & ‘processors’, etc. lacking a global vision. Marketing ? Those producers do have their systems, yet are they customized enough to make you feel you are getting:

  • All the data you need to make a big decision?
  • ‘Drill down’ marketing that will bring out the ones that really truly want your place (and will pay for it)?
  • ‘Property Specific’ (not plug-n-play/ off the shelf):
    • Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that takes more than a few minutes. Most Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-Sell-CMA-Valuation-Analysis-PUBLICare very over-simplified in methods AND accuracy? See my Zillow reviews.
    • Pre-listing ‘to do’ list?
    • Custom made mailers?
    • Website that shows your property ONLY without distracting ‘click-aways’?
    • Web advertising using specific demographics & interests unique to your offering?
    • Videos of not only your property but also the area leading to your home?
    • ‘Adwords’ on different search and social platforms?
  • Your very own portal space – feedback and doc’s area to enjoy (or ignore) 24/7.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-YourSpace247 seller

Summary: Make sure your selling agent/ broker can get past the ‘plug into’ format. Quick-n-easy tools are great for the new agent – often simplistic/ standardized. Are they best for you? Remember what you need. A buyer – 1 buyer to be exact.

Are the 1000 hits and 25 showings qualified and interested? or curiosity seekers? It is the ‘drilling down’ on that 1 unique buyer to get the best price with the least interference, at least in my approach!



‘Short Sale’

Short sale? – buyers beware!!

Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Wish List


  • easy,
  • quick,
  • predictable,
  • a sure possibility of condition of property or title history, etc.
  • NOT 

In fact, here are some excerpts from a Anibal-Group-LLCs-RealtyNetWorth-Handyman-Short-Sale-old-housedisclosure for buyers. I think it says it best:


‘…. If you will be frustrated beyond the savings of a short sale, then consider buying a home not under short sale. In other words, be prepared to be frustrated during the attempted approval period…’

KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY A SHORT SALE

  • Buyer and seller are advised that to a degree, all short sales are unique. Every transaction will be assigned to a loss mitigation specialist who will proceed based upon the current and ever changing needs and goals of the lender. What works with one short sale rarely is the same on the next.
  • Buyer and buyer’s agent acknowledge that because we handle multiple transactions, in order to best serve everyone buyer/ buyer’s agent will receive a link to a communications site for updates on the short sale process. Calls made to the office/ agent(s) will most likely not be acknowledged if updates are already posted. Extra calls, texts, & emails do nothing to further the process.
  • Once lender receives short sale offer documents, the lender may need minimum 40-60 days to approve. After approval, the sale must close at lenders approved time frame, often 30-45 calendar days, but may run 2 weeks to 12 months. It is common to receive no updates, no contact, and no calls from the lender.
  • Any ‘seller’ funds are usually paid to lender. The seller will receive no cash except for a HAFA short. The seller will bring no additional cash for any closing costs, buyer’s appraisal or home warranty.
  • Buyer home warranty is recommended by this office, your agent, and the broker, and may be purchased prior to close. The seller may not maintain the property.
  • Should buyer purchase a professional home inspection (highly recommended), the seller will not agree to any requested repairs. Many lenders are going to require certain repairs as a condition for loans, costs will be borne by buyer.
  • Buyer must communicate to seller through buyer’s real estate agent only as a courtesy to all involved parties.
  • Please acknowledge the above _________________

More reading:


 

 



Your Bigger Picture, and ‘Life Changes’

What does that tag line ‘Your Bigger Picture’ on our business card mean exactly? It includes taking a larger perspective on your home sale, first home purchase, vacation home or relocation, and your investment rentals & flips.Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-Lake-Shannon-duck-in-water-1.1

You see, there is indeed a ‘bigger picture’. After this many years in the business I’ve accumulated many stories – good & not so much – of considering a broader point of view. Its not all money. Its not all ‘I want’. Being such a large and potentially emotionally loaded transaction, I really like to mix in some ‘heart to heart’ moments should they possibly help. And really, a caring ear and some outside eyes that have ‘been there/ done that’ may save some heartache later, and hopefully bring some rewards of great ‘future memories’ yet to be made.

The holidays can bring heavy hearts for some. If not you, I still encourage you to make yourself a bit more informed so you might have a bit of empathy to pass along. Hence, I’m posting up an article that has nothing to do with real estate, and yet, many will need to sell and move at a time of ‘change’ such as passing of a loved one. If that’s you or a friend or family member, rest assured I’ll be as patient as possible, and give extra care through the ordeal of a move. Blessings!



When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong.

 



 

Assisting with the sale of an Elderly / Retired Person’s home.

When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong. So much more are the concerns and emotions as the years go by and we have been in one location longer.

Great care needs to be given in how and who assists in the orchestration of relocating those in our circles of great value, that being a mom, dad, neighbor, aunt, uncle, or dear older friend. You should be ready to give acknowledgement to:

  • Someones increasing physical &/or mental fragility.
  • Their great reluctance to surrender not only the home but so many personal treasured items that may need to be sorted through, sold, donated, or lovingly adopted by others.

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“The house was a symbol of her independence. She was extremely frightened to let it go,” one person said in helping a senior with her real estate transaction.

Nearly 40 % owners over 65 haven’t moved in over 30 years. “For an older person, a home represents their life story.” its been said. Think of holiday gatherings, dinners, or a wall of photos.

There is destination/ relocation planning, tax considerations, seasonal timing to avoid bad weather, coordination of helpers, the list goes on. This is a time to pick a real estate professional with a skill set that fits the situation, think compassion, some experiences with older persons – perhaps an immediate family member(s), and related wisdom is of extra benefit if not sometimes crucial. e.g.:

  • In our office one of my assistants is a retired hospice care nurse – has worked with challenging situation involving medical needs and interaction with the children.
  • My 96 year old mother was recently relocated to a elder care residence after being independent at a Florida condo for many years. We needed to coordinate 3 children in 3 states to assist in the challenging process.
  • We’ve assisted many clients & their family with referrals regarding estate planning, and income tax planning/ filings.

Here are a few suggestions for the children of seniors who want to assist their parents in making a smooth move:

 

  • Show sensitivity when helping seniors sort through their possessions.
  • Be careful before committing to the sale of your parents’ extra belongings. Instead, your parents might prefer to donate their extra belongings to a charity they respect, such as the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
  • Consider showcasing certain select items at your parents’ next home. The display can also serve to jog fading memories or to spur conversations with visitors.


Buying a house site unseen. Would you?

Yes, I’ve helped folks buy ‘site unseen’. This article is condensed but has some of the basics.



Online photos aren’t enough!
Here’s my ‘must do’ list:

  1. Use a local buyer agent that is on retainer/ agreement with you, not just the seller side.
    • I’d advise using a broker that will give you a referral from a client that used said broker more than once!
  2. Go ‘live’ on your walk thru. Interactive, voice/ video, tour in real time with your agent (broker) ‘on the ground’.
  3. Have an inspector give you feedback. Again, best if your broker/agent is live.
  4. Get your trades person that may do upgrades after purchase to give you pre-offer insights in the same way.
  5. Solicit immediate and local area videos – real time again is great. Good to do this during a busy weekend evening.
  6. View map from above. LOOK for train tracks, land fills, factories, freeways, etc etc…. look look look.
  7. Call: local utility for ‘estimate of usage’ for an idea of how weather tight the home is.


Value: Assessed, Market, ‘Zillow’, Taxable

That’s an ‘uuugly house’. It was my 2nd investment & I was a 20 y.o. junior in college. It was also the highest ROI realty investment I ever had!


Market Value = house specific, current, based mainly on aesthetic appeal (new kitchen, Anibal-Affiliates-Realty_NetWorth_3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-bwonderful yard, location, etc.)

Assessed Value = neighborhood average, historical (old), based mainly on exterior mechanics (size/ age).


Now that we have that established, lets proceed.

Whether helping a seller set a price or helping a buyer write an offer, they want to know my opinion. “So how much it the place ‘worth’?”

  • A seller always picks a number that is highest – e.g.: ‘Well such n such says my house is worth $bla bla bla’.
  • A buyer always picks the lowest number (surprise) – e.g. ‘Well this says its only worth $yada yada.’

Opinion? Not so much, I prefer to provide information. With me & numbers I’ll give you various methods I use & crunch the numbers on YourSpace – YOU choose the value. My accounting & finance degree and nurture of broker fathers background with an economics masters has dictated this style as my preferred approach.


Back to definitions:

  1. Assessed =
    • neighborhood average,
    • historical (old),
    • based mainly on exterior mechanics (size/ age).
    • The assessor used a complicated ‘multiple regression analysis’ to take all properties with in the ‘taxing unit’ and give approximate values to the ‘components’ of homes.
      • i.e.: bathroom #1 is worth $2000, bath #2 an extra $600, #3…$250, etc.
      • 1000 s/f = $XX per s/f, 1001-1500 is worth $X per s/f
      • New roof = $XX less $X for each year its been there
  2. Market =
    • house specific,
    • current,
    • based mainly on aesthetic appeal (new kitchen, wonderful yard, location, etc.)
    • This
  3. , ‘Zillow’ = a computer model spits out this often ‘train wreck’ of a combination of #1 &2.
    • I’ve seen Zillow ‘values’ of $165000 for a home listed at $80k. I’ve seen the opposite, which can confuse a buyer obviously. I’ve seen another house go from ‘Zestimates’ of $183k to $93k to ‘Unknown’ all in the same year that I listed and sold said home for $150k ?? Figure that one out.
    • After all, ‘Zillow’ never walked the neighborhood, or smelled the basement, or saw the standing water in the spring time.
  4. Taxable = as it says. Forget using this number as a value. Your only concern here is if its too high, then you need to protest it.
  5. Bigger Picture RealtyNetWorth Value ? = Have you every booked a flight online? IntegrationCapNotice it says ‘save money by being flexible with travel dates’, yes? If your timing, tax situation, stage of life, & non-financial intangibles aren’t being considered, you may well need a better qualified ‘resource(s)’.

So whats a wise person to do?

The model I use for buyers and sellers is a spreadsheet approach that uses input from both the assessment – which considers the interaction of house basics, and current market sell prices from ‘as close as possible like-kind’ homes. To use one aspect without the other is a huge absence of a critical treasure of data.



When to hold a rental, when to flip a house.

You invest in property. You’re approaching it as either a residence, retreat, rehab, or Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-LakeShannon-why-I-sell-lakefront-young-couple-at-sunsetrental. But which came first, the property or the label? And more importantly, why did you choose one over another?

With such a substantial investment, I hope you have an idea of how you are evaluating on the way in based on your plan for use/ resale/ or rental afterward. So many clients start out with the “well this happened along our path one day so we just…” approach. Maybe o.k. for a garage sale find. But this randomized thinking potentially leaves dollars on the table and years of your life wasted.

Example:

  1. Customer wanted to sell a unit. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “Well, it was a great deal so we bought it. then we rented it out”. ( A great deal for what ?)
  2. Customer wanted to have a unit inspected. “Why are you interested in this house?” I asked. “Well, I heard rental property is a good idea.” I asked, “Why?” …. he said “I don’t know.”
  3. Customer had a rental. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “My friend called me and asked if I wanted to buy it.” So I asked, “do you have other rentals and why do you want this one”. He said, “no, first one, we want others”.

None of these folks had a strategy. They stumbled into their situation. In each case, I sat with them, started ‘at the top’, looked for customer strengths/ weaknesses/ and ideal goals.

  1. For customer #1, I said “so you want rentals?” Actually, it had never been profitable as a rental. They sold it for a profit, but the title choice drove up their tax burden. Further, had they made some specific improvements, the profit would have been better. They sold to a hustler by owner, but fortunately we took a better strategy going forward.
  2. For the 2nd scenario client, I tried to not completely make fun of the poor choice of home he wanted to – and almost did had he not called me – buy. Instead, I showed him only 1 more property. We spent an extra 60 minutes of his time, got a house in a better location, less money, newer, better heat/electric + 2 car garage, 2 decks and shed. That property more than doubled in value in a matter of months, and has had only 1 tenant in the 4 yrs. he’s owned it, bringing a good profit from rent and appreciation. The other property – still a mess and not worth much at all.
  3. In situation #3, we sat down and looked at how there is no profit from holding. Further, because of his skills, he’s better suited to rehab than to hold a loosing investment. All profit available on his held house will come from moving it, not holding it. Timing the sale will be the extra expertise I offer.

So the basic questions will still be, what do you have:

  • More or less skills.
  • More or less time.
  • More or less funds.
  • More need for current income (you are in a lower tax bracket), or more need for future (retirement) income, (you are probably in a higher tax bracket).

Based on these answers, there are very specific properties, areas, price ranges, and portfolio management styles (e.g.: you/ us) you’d be better suited for.  Decision time

I meet w/ clients a minimum of 1x/ year. This is a great time for a no-cost initial meeting to chat about what your real estate ideas are. Contact me via the feedback form to set a time & day !


In the meantime, I’m inserting text from an earlier post of mine:


In the early 80’s I picked up a very honest yet motivational ‘how to’ book on real estate investment. In my senior year of college I was set to invest. I actually drove to NJ, looked up as many of these homes as I could, took pictures, and tried to take notes in my then ignorance. After reading the book I bought a shack for $17500, w/ $1000 down, gutted the kitchen and bath, and placed into service what was one of my most successful investments to date.

I’ve used these & other techniques I gleaned from my broker/investor dad, and have shared them with clients for 3 decades.

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It comes down to humble work, patience, time value of money, and good mentors – I had my dad ! I keep a few copies of the book for clients I work with. Let me know if you’d like one.