Do I Need A Real Estate Investing Course?

Taking a real estate investing course will introduce lots of helpful information needed in today’s market. Most investors find that their motivation and desire to succeed is all the help needed. However, there are some that may need additional guidance with their projects. The real goal is understanding the basics of real estate investing (REI). These basics are essential to being successful in this business.

For starters, here are a few things that an investors course will teach:

Negotiations: As you begin investing, you will find that negotiation is a major aspect of these investments. In terms of time, negotiation may seem like a small part of an extensive process, but the rewards resulting from negotiation can be quite financially rewarding. Learning to negotiate through courses will prove beneficial during your endeavors with investing.

Using Trusts: Trusts involve companies that channel real estate transactions with investors in a way that is more profitable. By using trusts, you can operate with less taxes while protecting your assets in the event of a dispute. If you are a new investor, trusts may seem like an undesirable and unnecessary investment tool, but the effective form of protection offered by this system can easily prove worthwhile.

Managing Your Real Estate Investment: Owning a real estate investment can be a financial burden, and can be a headache even more so if you are uninformed about how to manage your investment. When managing a property, you are essentially operating a home-based business. The overall nature of real estate investing requires investors to incorporate proper management techniques in order to be successful. REI courses provide a detailed outlook on management, an unrivaled perspective that can only be given from experts who have managed real properties.

How To Buy and Sell: REI courses will provide worthwhile education about buying and selling properties, such as information on financing your purchase or tips for finding the best deals. If you are a beginner, it will be difficult for you to access this information without the help of an experienced source. Since this stage is the first in finding good investments, it is important that you learn these tips about buying and selling before you actually get started.

General Tips & Information: There are many insignificant aspects of real estate investments that can actually be very important when conducting business. REI courses contain information that, while trivial, can be just as important to success in the long run. These courses serve as a source for information that is often times unobtainable elsewhere.

All in all, the resulting advantages of consulting with REI courses are countless. The knowledge you learn will advance your success both directly and indirectly, as each piece of information will help you to acquire useful techniques while simultaneously gaining valuable experience in investing. Investors of all calibers will find that REI investing courses are a more than worthwhile tool in your real estate business.

The Process Of Turning REO Properties Into Homes

Buying a new home is an uphill task. Prospective home owners have to make a lot of sacrifice in order to secure the home of their dreams. They have to toil and seek the best possible financial avenues to finance their prospects. There are home owners who have built their homes from scratch. These have also had to bear the brunt of the high cost of building their homes. There are options and deals that can secure you and your family a home. There are ‘real estate owned’ apartments that can be bought by individual. These REO Properties can provide a cheap source of family homes.

In order to secure your family a REO apartment, a lot of investment has to be made. The investment is usually in form of time and money. You also have to exercise your patience since the process of acquiring a building in a bank’s REO portfolio is very daunting. Furthermore, these deals require consistent efforts on the part of the prospective home owner. They have to consistently look for the information that would lead them to a home of their dreams.

Landing on deals and information regarding REO Properties is not easy. It demands that the prospective buyer be in constant communication with banks and other financial institutions that have property that has been possessed from foreclosure. They need to make phone calls and even write emails in order for them to know what to expect. These expectations may be dictated by the bank or insurance firm in question. It is usually the lender that provides all the information regarding the property that is about to be disposed of.

Another alternative is to be in constant touch with firms that are appointed by the banks and mortgage firms to conduct the sale of the property. These firms have all the information concerning each property they handle with them. The information may also be matched with the exact requirements of the buyer’s dream house. Through such liaisons, the buyers may be able to reserve any of the REO Properties that may fit their requirements. You can get information about the firm that a bank uses regularly uses to manage the sale of their REO portfolio.

Local banks and REO management firms can provide with information of the REO Properties that are in their portfolio. All one has to do is to establish contacts with the banks and the property management firms that are handling the REO portfolio of the banks. It would also be helpful if a prospective buyer made regular visits to the banks’ REO departments in order to check whether there has been any property up for sale. These departments will in turn give proper advice to the buyer in order to help them make sober decisions. These are the same departments that advice other investors too. Therefore, as you seek to realize your dream, the REO apartment of your dream would be a real investment within a very short time. All one needs is reliable information.

Apartment Rental Tips – Choosing a Neighborhood in Los Angeles

Los Angeles living is exciting, fast-paced, and exceedingly diverse. Life in one part of the city can be a striking contrast, bearing no resemblance to life elsewhere in LA. The apartment rental process can be one that is fraught with difficulty, if only due to the huge number of choices available. When you start the apartment rental process in Los Angeles, you’ll quickly get overwhelmed because there are well over 100 distinct, named neighborhoods in the city. Which ones are hot? Which ones are dangerous? Which are kid friendly, and which have the best nightlife? Apartment rental is stressful enough in Los Angeles, so we’re going to bring you our picks for the best neighborhoods in LA for apartment rental today.

Venice Beach. If beach living is the life for you, look no farther than Venice Beach. Life here is affordable, diversified, and colorful. It’s clear when you visit Venice Beach that the free spirit that attracted so many artists of yesteryear, including Doors frontman Jim Morrison, survives today. Life in Venice Beach is populated by street performers, wandering musicians, craft vendors, and of course the hip bohemians who make Venice Beach their home. Variety is the spice of life here.

Westwood. Westwood is home to UCLA, so it features plenty of students, with the requisite affordable student housing, bars, and nightlife. Life in Westwood is fast and happening, but if you’re young and looking for a place you can truly unwind, and don’t mind fighting for parking, then Westwood may be the place for you.

Silver Lake. Silver Lake is a young, hip neighborhood characterized by organic cafes, dive bars, artsy boutiques, coffee shops, and easy-going, friendly, trendy people. Its proximity to downtown, Hollywood, and other great night spots around the city makes this an ideal spot for someone who likes to keep all of their options open.

Los Feliz. Once a mecca for the artists and indie crowd, Los Feliz has evolved into an upscale neighborhood attracting trendy residents looking for a quiet place to call home and retreat from the bustle of the city. The Los Angeles apartment rental prices are understandably rising as the neighborhood improves, but it’s still possible to find affordable digs in Los Feliz.

Midtown. A true melting pot of the city, Midtown is home to wealthy city-dwellers, working-class families, students, and more. Home to Koreatown, this centrally located hub is a great place to live if you always want to be connected to the action, but be warned, being centrally located means being in the middle of the city’s infamous traffic congestion, so plan accordingly.

Preventive Snow Removal Tips

Snow removal is one of the many services you must provide to your tenants in exchange for rent. Snow removal is also a necessary preventive measure to reduce risk and liability from slips and falls by not just your tenant, but their family, friends, and other visitors to the property. Prevention begins at the front door, and ends anywhere anyone could possibly walk, slip, or fall.

How and When to Protect Your Property

You should have your snow removed every day before you or your tenants go to work. Ice should be removed on an hourly basis if needed, especially if there is a rainstorm. If you use a contractor, frequent talks with them to determine the best times to visit your property are recommended.

Mark the date and time you did snow removal at your property. Also have your contractor do the same. If you are sued for a slip and fall, you can use the dates and times the property was serviced as a defense with your homeowner’s policy.

Some homeowners think that shoveling a path through the sidewalk is sufficient. Not only is it not sufficient, but also one snowstorm after snowstorm will make shoveling harder to complete. The snow not shoveled will be packed down, and heavy. Also, you will find it hard to find someplace to put the snow. A good path clearing should be at least 42 inches wide. Designate yard or driveway space in anticipation of a big winter of snow.

When there is a blizzard, it could snow day and night. You will want your snow removed so your tenants can go to work in the morning to avoid slip and fall suits. Also, research your city ordinances about required snow removal. In Boston, Massachusetts, landlords must remove the snow and slush from their sidewalks within 3 hours of a storm, or they will be fined every day of non-compliance.

Make sure the path to the trash cans or dumpster is cleared. If not, people will not put their trash there any more. When it snows, they will leave it at the nearest convenience to the trash cans.

If your commercial tenants have a lease stating they are responsible for their own snow removal, take a ride and see if they are doing it properly. If not, send them a warning letter, with a specific deadline for lease compliance.

Again, check your local ordinances on snow removal. Some cities charge a substantial fine for shoveling your snow on the street or your neighbor’s sidewalk area.

Hire Someone Else to Shovel the Snow

Your back is killing you, your legs feel like jelly, and your head is throbbing from a head cold. I think that is when it is time to call it a day. A shovel full of snow could average 7 lbs., not including the weight of the shovel. Add to that the exertion of throwing the snow over your head into the front yard.

Do you have any form of asthma or bronchitis? If there is one snowstorm after another, and you have a full time job, why are you out there shoveling snow and throwing down ice melt? Hire a company whose job it is to make sure your sidewalk and driveway is always clear when you leave for and come home from work. It’s a tax deductible property expense.

When you hire a snow removal company, the liability is on them. Make sure the company has liability insurance. Give clear directions as to when you want the snow removed from your property. Talk about what to do if it rains, and the sidewalk freezes over.

This is a high-risk time for people to fall on your property. Protect your investment by having someone remove snow and ice, regardless of when it snows or rains. You can still go by yourself and throw down some salt and sand.

If your back goes out, you are sick, or have to stay at work for overtime, having a contractor will save you the aggravation of doing it yourself. Also, your contractor can hire people to do this work even if one of his employees take sick.

If you live on the property, have your contractor shovel out your car, too. Again, why shovel and sand your property in your business suit before you have to go to work?

Consideration

1. Fire Hydrants – A large snowstorm will cover what could be a life saving device. Remember to clear your fire hydrants, and instruct your snow contractor to do the same.

2. Wheelchair Accessibility, the Disabled and the Elderly – Winter is especially difficult on disabled people, the elderly and those who have to go to work using a wheel chair. Give them enough clearance to navigate your sidewalks with ease. Don’t just shovel a path – shovel the entire sidewalk. If your property is next to the end of the sidewalk, shovel the handicap ramp.

3. Plant Life – Do not plant flowers or shrubs where you plan to dump your snow for the winter. The sand and salt from the street mixed with the snow will kill your plants. I have found that bulb plants can survive. Yet, if you have an extended snow season that goes through April, your tulips may start to come up while snow and ice is still on the ground. Better to strategically plant your flowers and bulbs where you do not intend to dump snow and ice during the winter.

4. Rock Salt vs. Ice Melt – Rock salt, which contains water, will only melt snow and ice up to the freezing temperature. Rock salt also has a corrosive nature, and will wear out the cement on brick stairs. Ice melt is a bit more expensive, but is better long term as a preventive protection. Ice melt is better for indoor carpeting.

Use sand to give people some traction on icy areas. Sawdust is really messy when tracked inside your apartment.

5. Maintenance – Keep your snow blower tuned up after every snowstorm. It will increase its longevity. Do not store gasoline in your house.

6. Before shoveling or plowing, spray some WD-40 oil on the shovel or snow plow blades. It will help make the snow slip off the blades quickly, and prevent ice from forming on the blade and shovel.

Maintain your snow removal efforts in a preventive manner to reduce risks and liability. You will also find that consistent and considerate snow removal management will give your property a good reputation.

8 Tips to Help You Look For Your Desired Apartment

When you are looking for an apartment, you may want to consider a few important amenities, such as public transportation, in-unit dryer/washer and so on. What you need to do is check out more than one apartment before you decide on one. Since renting an apartment costs a good deal of money, make sure you make this decision after doing your homework. Given below are a few tips that can make your search easier.

1. Set a Budget

Don’t ignore the rental price when you see an apartment that features a big living room, amazing window views and the right location. So, it’s important that you decide on a budget prior to starting your search.

What you need to do is find out what you can afford. For this purpose, you should consider other expenses, such as social activities, gym membership, utilities and groceries.

2. Consider the season

In summer, the rental price may be higher than winter. So, it’s important that you take this factor into account when making a decision. If you are on a budget, we suggest that you look for an apartment in winter months, such as February, March, and December. During these months, the demand is low. So, you can get a better accommodation for a lower price.

3. Make a short list

Although it’s a good idea to visit each place on your list, it can waste a lot of time. There is another time-saving method of achieving the same purpose. You can search for your desired place on the Internet. You can make a short list of apartments and then visit each in person based on your schedule.

4. Get Organized

When looking at several options, it may be hard for you to organize the details, such as contact details, deposit amount, rental rates and other amenities. So, it’s a good idea to put together a spreadsheet.

5. Go See an Apartment with Your Roommate

If you are going to move with a roommate, make sure you take them with you to see a place. This will save you a lot of time. After seeing the house, you can discuss it together, which will make the decision process easier for you.

6. Consider the Public Transportation

When looking for a place, you should consider its proximity to the most important thing: public transportation. This can help you save money on maintenance, car insurance and gas, thus making it easier for you to collect money to pay the monthly rent.

7. Ask About Discounts

Based on the type of residence you want to rent, you may want to benefit from move-in discounts as well. For instance, if you sign up for a year or so, you may get to stay in the apartment for free for the first month.

8. Find out About the Average Energy Costs

Make sure ask about the average energy costs for the apartment. After all, you don’t want to pay half of your salary to cover your energy expenses.

In short, make sure you consider these tips when looking for your desired apartment.