When Being Too Cheap is a Problem in Investing in Real Estate – Local Records Office

Being cheap when it comes to real estate is not uncommon, many investors want to spend the “minimum” repairing houses to get them out in the market, but I am one of the cheapest people you will ever meet. I drive a 1999 Toyota Corolla with 126,000 miles on it (a car is a depreciating asset, why would I spend a lot of money on one?). A few weeks ago when I was at Disney World I carried around the same bottle of water all week and I brought food into the park to eat for lunch everyday (there was no way I was paying $4.00 for a bottle of water and $7.00 for a hot dog).

Frugal to the Next Level

When I go on dates, which is very rare since I am a workaholic, a “nice” restaurant to me is Ruby Tuesday’s (yes…now you know one of the many reasons I am single.) I mean, if I take a girl to the Cheesecake Factory or the Melting Pot, we better be engaged!

That being said, I believe that one of the only reasons to spend my hard earned money is to make more money. This includes my education and power team. I will never understand how any intelligent person, how anyone who is serious about success (only about 5% of people are truly serious) will not invest in his or her business. I know many folks out there love to “bash” courses and seminars.

I guess these people are a lot smarter than me, because I never would have figured out how to do this business unless I worked with other investors, unless I bought courses and unless I attended seminars. I think the biggest problem that people who “bash” courses have, is that they are not implementers. These are the people who have attended a dozen seminars and who have 50 courses on their bookshelf, however, they have never closed a deal. (Just a quick thought…if you own multiple courses and have never done a deal, take a look in the mirror…. it’s not the courses, it’s you.) Also, any decent course or seminar should have a 100% money back guarantee…so if the product stinks, which some do, just send it back.

Invest in Yourself and Don’t Spend Your Money

Besides investing in your education, you should be investing in your power team. You need a good real estate attorney and accountant on your team. Sometimes I hear of investors who go to Staples and pay $14.95 for generic forms, rather than have a lawyer review a contract and spend a couple hundred bucks (knuckleheads.)

When investing in your education you need to think of the big picture and you need to think of the return on investment that you will get. For example, a few years ago I bought a course on short sales, which I think cost $1,000. I went on to do dozens of short sales and make a lot of money (I don’t do them anymore, because they are a pain in the butt, however, you get the point). So, whenever I invest in my education and in my business, I always want at least a 10:1 return on my money. And of course, I usually get many times that.

Be Smart

Also, when you are in Staples buying your $14.95 contract, think what it will cost you if you get sued over it, or if you lose a $50,000 deal because you didn’t want to spend $300 to have your lawyer review it. This is just like someone not spending $250 for a home inspection, only to find out later they have $10,000 worth of termite damage.

My favorite niche to target is absentee owners and I am always searching for unique ways to boost my rates…so that I get more leads, more deals and make more money. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I got an idea for a “type” of direct mail which I know pulls very well and I wanted to incorporate this type of direct mail to send to absentee owners, pre-foreclosure lists, free and clear lists, etc. This type of direct mail gets very high response rates but costs a lot more to send out. You can send out a regular letter for about .50, whereas this will cost me about $1.50 a letter.

Anyway, there is a marketing expert who is very familiar with the type of direct mail that I want to use. I have been keeping an eye on this guy through his books, websites and marketing emails. So finally, I decided that the best way to launch my new idea was to somehow hire this guy as a consultant. I called his office, told them I wanted to hire him and eventually I had a phone call with him. To get to the point, I am spending on day of consulting with him at a cost of $5,000. When I told my friends and family about this, they all laughed and thought I was nuts (yes, these are the same people who work in a cubicle every day…when it comes to criticism, the people “below” you financially are almost always the negative ones…very rarely will you get criticized by someone who is financially better off than you).

Sometimes It’s Better to Take 1 Step Forward and 2 Steps Back

Yes, $5,000 is A LOT of money. It is about how much I spent on my last car. However, when I think of it with my “business” hat on, I know I will have a very high return on investment. Right now, I specialize in purchasing properties subject-to and selling them on a lease option. My minimum profit is $30,000, but on average around $50,000…so, if this consultant shows me how to use this new type of direct mail and it gets me one more house, then obviously it paid for itself…but of course I will buy many houses with this and get a ridiculous ROI! (also, like I said above, each letter will cost me about $1.50. I could spend a small fortune “testing” this type of mail, or this guy can show me what will work best and save me time and money.)

I know this is a long post, but this is sooooo important to your success as a real estate investor. If you are cheap about investing in your business, then you will have a much more difficult and longer process to making big money in real estate. Another great reason to invest is that it drastically cuts your learning curve…I can only imagine how long it would have taken me to figure out shore sales on my own!

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What Was the Biggest Investment Mistake you Have Ever Made, and What Did You Learn From it?

Emotional Investment in a person who I thought deserved it at that time but didn’t actually.

What I learnt from this experience was that one needs to find ways to love themselves first (I.e. Invest in themselves first) before they think they can love someone else…
Only then we don’t look to complete ourselves when we look for a partner.

When I say love oneself, these are some ways: –

1. Forgive yourself for the mistakes done in the past, or for any stupid things you may have said or done.

2. Accept who you are fully, and understand your faults and limitations so that it wouldn’t be a barrier in doing what you really wish to do.

3. Forgive the ones who have wronged you and those who have hurt you like exes and parents ( if you feel they didn’t raise you right)
Note :- This doesn’t apply to abusers – emotional, sexual or physical.

4. Being grateful for all that you have.

5. Being proud of all your achievements till date & all the plans & dreams you have for your future! 🙂

There are many ways more ofcourse, these are some I could come up with right now.

Thanks for the A2A! 🙂

P.S : In case this was related to Money, I haven’t really made any huge investments till now. Just trying to save some at the moment.

Contracting A Trustworthy Contractor to Get the Job Done by Local Records Office

LOS ANGELES – There are three things every real estate investor needs in their arsenal: money, deals, and a good contractor (there are probably others, but these are key). Good contractors make life much easier. All too often people – myself included – don’t like the idea of hiring or interviewing people; it’s a daunting process.

 

Unfortunately, this can lead to rushing into choosing the first contractor that gives a bid just because it’s easier. We all know – even though we may not admit it out loud – that a little due diligence up front often pays off in the end. Hopefully this article will shed some light for those starting and maybe even some of the experienced investors out there. But, before we start interviewing, take a deep breath and relax – this is fun!

 

Contractors Are the Root of the Real Estate Market

 

Tip #1: Set up interviews for 4-6 contractors; 5 are often the sweet spot. Yes, this will ultimately mean that you have to tell someone they are not getting the job, but that’s okay. It’s business and as long as you keep it that way, you shouldn’t shy away. As a general rule, if you call 4 contractors, 1 will not show up/cancel, 1 will show up but not bid and 2 will give you bids. I don’t mean to insult or bring down contractors with this, but it’s often what we see.

 

The idea behind calling 4-6 is to get 3 bids total. If you get many more than three, it’s too much time and work to compare. Plus, if a contractor knows he’s bidding against 2 others for one job and 6 others for a second job, which one is he more likely to put the time into bidding on?

 

Tip #2: Have a detailed scope of work and provide each contractor with that scope for bidding. It’s really easy to walk into a property and say, “Here’s my project. I want some new lighting here, new kitchen there, some carpet and some paint.” This will only lead to confusion and an impossible comparison of contractors’ bids. Take the time to develop a clear, detailed scope of work.

 

This can be anywhere from 60-120 lines on a spreadsheet, depending on how big the job is. After you’ve developed a relationship with a contractor, then this may get a little more lax, but err on the side of details! Having a detailed, line-by-line scope will ensure that you and each contractor are on the same page both through the bidding and when the work is done.

 

One last note on this point is that contractors will often have their own way for bidding jobs. I understand that may be easy for them, but this is your project and if you want to be able to compare apples to apples, they need to use the scope you give them and price it the same way as everyone else. If you aren’t in control for something as simple as the scope of work, what’s going to happen when you have a difference of opinion on where that wall goes or when something needs to be completed?

 

Being Cheap May Cost You More

 

Tip #3: Cheaper isn’t always better. Don’t be afraid to pay your contractor for good work (you’re welcome contractors…). A good contractor can be worth what he charges. And you also have to consider the nature of the relationship early on. If this is the first job you’ve given a contractor, he’s probably not as keen to give you great pricing until you are able to keep him busy.

 

There are always exceptions to this, as sometimes the lowest bidder will do nice work. That’s great- hold on to them. But I think it’s more often that the lowest bidder gets selected, only to end up either over in time or budget, or even too difficult to work with. Getting references can often help with foreseeing these issues and that leads us to our next Tip.

 

Hire Licensed Contractors ONLY!

 

Tip #4: Make sure your contractor is willing to provide license, insurance, W9, and references. Any contractor that is serious will have each of these things and not shy away from providing them. License and insurance are pretty self-explanatory. You want to make sure your contractor is skilled in what he or she claims and is covered by insurance if there’s an accident.

 

The W9 is so that you aren’t paying his taxes at the end of the year. Equally important- if not most important – is the references. Get at least 3 references for good work and at least one for something that went wrong. Why something that went wrong? Because it is always going to happen- miscommunication, error in ordering, etc. It’s important to know how the issue was resolved. Don’t be afraid to have the contractor show you some of the jobs that they are currently working on.

 

Requirements and Restrictions Are Going to be Necessary

 

Tip #5: The contractor needs to be okay with your contract documents and the requirements in it. A good contractor will be okay with your contract; make sure it’s fair for each side. You may want to include a daily penalty for late work and/or a bonus for early work. Just make sure both sides agree and are happy with it.

 

Tip #6: Follow your gut. This is the last tip I have for you. Sometimes you’ll get to the end of your contractor selection process and the differences are negligible on paper. In this case, go with your gut. How did you feel while talking with them? Doing the walk-through? Go with that little tingle you feel in your gut, it’ll steer you where you need to go.

 

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The Time to Purchase a Home is Now – Local Records Office

“Real estate market has it’s up’s and down’s but knowing when to buy will make you a lot of money” – Local Records Office

 

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA – With interest rates expected to rise later this year; you may be wondering whether you should buy a home at today’s low rates says, Local Records Office. The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.85 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey, about what it was at the end of 2015.

Local Records Office says, “Interest rates, however, should not be the primary factor that determines when you purchase a home.” For most buyers, other factors are much more important. Rather than buy now for fear that rates might suddenly increase, for example, it might be smart to wait so you can save up a bigger down payment.

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE: Interest Rates and Payments on Your Home

“Small changes in interest rates don’t make large changes in your payment,” says Casey Fleming, a writer in Los Angeles, California. Fleming actually believes interest rates may drop further. “Interest rates are not the most important piece.”

If you’re ready to buy a home, 2016 could be a good year. The inventory of homes for sale is likely to rise and fewer flippers are scooping up the best homes with all-cash deals, says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the brokerage Redfin.

 

READ MORE: Biggest Mistakes a Real Estate Agent Makes – Local Records Office

 

Low interest rates are contributing to the higher inventory, she says, because homeowners who are ready to sell their homes and move to a bigger or smaller home, or a new neighborhood, are willing to abandon their low-rate mortgages if they can secure an equally good loan. Plus, home appreciation has slowed, so there is less reason to stay put.

“The payoff to waiting [to sell] is not going to be a lot,” Richardson says. “Right now, it’s the best it’s going to get,” she adds. “Maybe it’s time to rush and sell but not time to rush and buy.”

You Owe More on Your Home is Worth, Local Records Office Services Will Help You VIDEO

For most prospective homebuyers, other factors are likely to be more important than interest rates when they do the math about whether 2016 is the right year to buy.

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE: 2016 is the Year of the Home Buyers

“If you can afford a down payment now and you’re going to be in the home a long period of time, it’s a very attractive time to buy a home,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow. But he cautions buyers against making their decision based on what they’ve heard about imminent interest rate increases. “There’s no need to rush out and beat an interest rate increase. You can walk, not run, to your bank the way interest rates are going.

Interest rates fluctuate and may change countless times between the moment someone decides to buy a home and when they actually close the deal. In fact, they change daily and sometimes more than once a day.

6 Factors That May be More Important Than Interest Rates When Deciding Whether to buy a Home This Year – LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE

Length of time you’ll stay in the home. How long you have to live in a home to make it more economical than renting varies by locality and by the individual home a person is considering buying or renting. “On average, it takes four to seven years to break even on a home, where you’ve got enough appreciation where it can pay you back for the cost of the transaction and cost of ownership,” Fleming says. “If you’re thinking about buying a home, selling it in two years and think it’s going to be cheaper than renting, it’s very unlikely to be.”

Job security. You don’t want to buy a home and then discover you’ll need to relocate to get a new job in six months or, even worse, end up unemployed and unable to make payments. Lenders typically like to see two years of job history, though that isn’t always necessary if you have changed jobs within the same field.

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE — Step-By-Step Mortgage Application Process for New Homeowners VIDEO by Local Records Office

Down payment. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced plans to back loans with down payments as low as 3 percent, while the Federal Housing Administration offers loans with down payments of as little as 3.5 percent. But if you put less than 20 percent down, you have to pay private mortgage insurance every month, which could cost you more than a slightly higher interest rate. “If they’re looking at an FHA mortgage, paying PMI is a lifetime proposition,” Humphries says. With a conventional mortgage, you can ask to have the PMI removed once you have 20 percent equity in your home. That’s not possible with an FHA mortgage.

Emotional readiness. Not everyone is ready to own a home. If your dream is to travel the world, you should do that first. Or, you might not be sure you want to stay in your current city. Plus, homeownership brings additional responsibilities. “Your life changes a great deal when you go from being a renter to an owner,” Fleming says. “When things break, it’s your responsibility to fix them, not the landlord’s.”

 

READ MORE: The Top Real Estate Scams in 2016 – Local Records Office

 

Financial readiness. Before you buy a home, you want to make sure you have good credit, a steady income and some money in the bank beyond what you’ll need for a down payment. You likely will have to pay a year’s worth of homeowner’s insurance and property taxes up front. All homes, even new homes, require maintenance. And you don’t want to be stuck with no reserves if the air conditioner or furnace dies shortly after you move in.

Your local housing market. In some cities, buying a home is significantly cheaper than renting. In others, the calculation is less clear. Macro math aside, you might also discover that you can’t afford a home in a neighborhood you want or the type of home you want is in short supply this year.

To learn more about real estate and Local Records Office go to http://www.Local-Records-Office.com