Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/18/2021

Photo by Photo Mix via Pixabay

For many investors, purchasing a property to rent out just makes sense. But finding properties that'll help you meet your long-term goals can be tricky. Whether you're considering a turnkey property or a property to rehab and rent yourself, keeping these tips in mind will help you weed out low-performers while you're hunting for a solid investment.

Tip 1: Run the Numbers 

For experienced investors, this is probably a no-brainer. For beginners, it's a smart reminder. When you're seriously considering any property, you need a solid expectation of the expenses associated with the property:

  • How much your mortgage will cost 
  • How much you'll pay in property tax and insurance 
  • Fees charged by a property management firm, if applicable 
  • HOA fees, if applicable 
  • Vacancy and repair costs 

Compare those numbers with the amount you can expect to receive in rental income each month. Ideally, you'll receive more each month than you'll be spending on the property. In some cases, a property might be worth purchasing even if you aren't going to pocket money each month. That comes down to your long-term goals and the market where you live. 

Tip 2: Buy in A Market You Know 

Though sometimes the best markets are far from home, and we'll the last to discourage investors from looking outside their own county, it's vital to understand the area. Some examples: 

  • College alumni might choose to buy near their alma mater
  • Retired or active duty military might choose to buy an investment property near a military base
  • Nurses might purchase an investment property catering to short-term nurses near their hospital 

If you're able to land an investment property in an area that caters to your niche, you'll already have valuable insight and an "in" when it comes to renting it out and understanding the real estate market in the area. Use your insight to give you an edge. 

Tip 3: Consider a Small Multi-Unit Property 

By purchasing a duplex, triplex, or quad you can live in, you can take advantage of an FHA mortgage--with its low down payment and interest rates--and secure a primary residence as well as a rental property (or two, or three). Although this type of investment can require more hassle, more tenant screenings, and more time in managing tenants and repairs, it can be a solid place to begin an investment portfolio. 




Tags: investing   finance   Rentals  
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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/11/2021

Image by Alessandro Lonati from Shutterstock 

The benefits of having an outdoor heater cannot be over-emphasized as it significantly impacts the amount of time you spend enjoying your outdoor space during colder weather. There are critical factors to consider when choosing the right outdoor heater.

The Location of The Outdoor Heater

To determine which type of outdoor heating you need, first, decide where you plan to use the heater. Will it be stationary or moved around your property? With this information in hand, you can choose the outdoor heating that best suits your expectations and your criteria.

For example, if you want an outdoor heater installed on the terrace of your garden, patio, gazebo, or other fixed places and dont plan to move it often, consider opting for an inline gas patio heater. If you like the flames of a gas unit but need it to be portable, opt for a freestanding LP unit. These are heavier and more stable.

If you are looking for a light, space-saving, easily transportable and CO2-free outdoor heating system, then choosing an electric patio heater, an electric heating parasol or a fire pit is best.

The Power of Outdoor Heating

It is crucial to consider the power source of the outdoor heater and its manufacturing material. Be aware that outdoor gas heaters generally produce more heat than electric heaters but are slower in rising in temperature. On the other hand, electric outdoor heaters heat up nearly instantly. For materials, choose stainless steel if you live near the sea or in the mountains to protect against corrosion. Also, note that vertical heat tends to provide more comfort than horizontal units.

Radiation of Outdoor Heating

Different outdoor heaters have a specific range or heating area for which they. Let the surface or area you want to heat influence the choice of your outdoor heating: small garden furniture, dining terrace, large garden furniture, and so forth. For example, an outdoor gas heater is more suitable if the area to be heated is large. Guarantee your outdoor enjoyment by having a professional review your needs to see if a permanent installation (gas or electric) or a mobile option will better meet your needs.

Always remember to protect your outdoor heater from moisture, dust, rain, or ice. Visit your local patio or outdoor living specialty store to explore your options. If outdoor living is important to you, make sure to let your agent know so that homes with exterior entertainment space take priority in your viewing schedule.





Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 1/4/2021

There is no reason to stress about the home selling journey. In fact, there are many things you can do to enjoy a quick, seamless property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the home selling journey.

1. Enhance Your House's Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is a key part of the house selling process. If your residence boasts amazing curb appeal, you may be able to speed up the home selling cycle.

To enhance your house's curb appeal, you may want to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn maintenance tasks. Also, it may be beneficial to fix any cracked or damaged siding and conduct other home exterior repairs to bolster your house's appearance.

If you require assistance with home exterior projects, you may want to reach out to professional contractors too. That way, you can receive expert support as you upgrade your home's curb appeal.

2. Eliminate Clutter

For those who have a large assortment of items that are longer needed, there may be no time like the present to get rid of these items. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to prospective buyers.

If you are in a rush to eliminate clutter, you can host a yard sale or sell excess items online. Or, you may want to donate excess items to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.

In addition, if there are items you want to keep but store outside your house, you can rent a storage unit. With a storage unit at your disposal, you can secure a broad array of items until your residence sells.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent can help you navigate the home selling cycle and will go the extra mile to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly sell your house. As such, if you work with a real estate agent, you can achieve the best-possible results throughout the home selling journey.

Usually, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your house selling goals and help you plan accordingly. Once a home selling strategy is in place, you and a real estate agent can work to put this plan into action. Then, you and a real estate agent can work together to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.

As you proceed along the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to provide plenty of assistance. Therefore, if you are unsure about how to price your residence, a real estate agent will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price. On the other hand, if you are uncertain about whether to accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can help you make an informed decision.

Ready to enjoy a quick and easy home selling experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can navigate the home selling journey like a pro.




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/28/2020

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

It sounds like it should make things easier -- selling your home to a friend or family member should be a breeze for both parties -- but in reality, a home sale can disrupt your relationship if you don't go about it the right way. With the exception of parent to child transfers (and even some of those have issues) real estate transactions with family can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent strife and ensure that both parties get what they need from the process and that the relationship stays intact or even improves. Here's what to know when you sell your home to a friend or family member. 

Don't Attempt to DIY your Home Sale

For Sale by Owner transactions are already tricky, but if you try to navigate not only the purchase price, conditions and transfer of ownership on your own, you could end up in a family feud that lasts long after the sale is done. Working with an agent ensures you have an objective third party and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While they won't be your referee or babysitter, these skilled negotiators can make sure everyone walks away happy, with the relationship intact. 

Get Objective Opinions

Use fair market value to determine the houses selling price, and be willing to make concessions. When you have an objective agent help determine the right price, you can be sure it is fair to both parties and that everyone's needs are met. Simply trying to work it out on your own can result in  sale that leads to resentment and trouble later, if the home ends up being worth less (or more) than you expected. A professional appraisal done by someone who is a stranger to all involved can help set the right price. 

Hire an Inspector

With an eye for home conditions and the ability to detect even minor issues, this valuable team member is even more important during a friendly real estate transaction. You won't have to rely on your own knowledge or on your family member to let you know what needs work. Your inspection report will reveal everything you should know to strike the right bargain -- and let you know what you are getting into. Going into the transaction fully informed prevents unhappy, relationship-damaging discoveries later. 

Work with an Agent for a Trouble Free Sale

Of all the ideas above, insulating yourself by working with an agent will help you the most. This ensures that any conflict can be absorbed by a third party and that questions can be answered objectively. Whether you both use the same agent or you each have your own, that objectivity can go a long way towards ensuring a successful transaction that delights both sides of the table. Get in touch today to discover how easy selling your home to someone you already know can be and for help navigating this sometimes tricky process. 




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Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 12/21/2020

Buying a home is a life-changing event. As such, the decision to purchase a residence should not be taken lightly.

For homebuyers, it is paramount to get as much help as possible so you can discover a terrific house at a price that matches your budget. With support from an expert real estate agent, you should have no trouble acquiring a residence that meets or surpasses your expectations.

But what does it take to find the right real estate agent to assist you during your search for the perfect home? Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know.

1. Ask Family Members and Friends for Guidance

If a family member or friend recently bought a home, he or she may be able to provide real estate agent recommendations. Family members and friends are trusted sources, and their real estate agent recommendations may help you speed up the process of finding your dream house.

Your neighbors also may be able to real estate agent suggestions. They should be able to provide details about what it was like to work with a particular real estate agent so you can plan accordingly.

Of course, you should still perform plenty of research into a real estate professional's background and expertise before you hire this individual. Be diligent during your search for a real estate agent, and you can employ a real estate professional who will go the extra mile to help you discover a great house.

2. Search the Web

A simple web search of a real estate agent's name may enable you to learn a lot about this individual. In fact, a web search often provides a great way to find out about local real estate agents quickly.

Although a web search may help you examine a variety of real estate agents in your city or town, it is essential to fully evaluate a real estate professional's credentials.

If possible, search for client feedback about a real estate agent. This may help you determine whether to move forward with a particular real estate agent or shy away from this housing market professional altogether.

3. Meet Directly with Several Real Estate Agents

When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, nothing beats a one-on-one meeting.

Set up meetings with several local real estate agents. By doing so, you can get a better idea about whether a real estate agent can help you accomplish your homebuying goals.

It often helps to make a list of questions to ask a real estate agent before you meet with him or her. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision.

If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this professional. Remember, the sooner you start working with an expert real estate agent, the sooner you may be able to purchase your dream house.

Use these tips, and you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.




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