Real Estate Investment Articles

A website with thousands of real estate investor subscribers commissioned me to write some basic real estate investing articles.  I wrote a short series, and an excerpt from a credit article follows:

Credit History and the Successful Real Estate Investor

Real estate investing is a business. No matter what your goals, property types, or investing strategies, investing in real estate is a game of numbers. It’s return on investment, and your profitability in the business will involve one or more of these factors:

  • buying right;
  • efficient and cost effective renovation and improvements;
  • effective management;
  • proven marketing and rental techniques; and/or
  • selling right.

We didn’t start with “buying right” without good reason. All of the rest of the items on the list can enhance your return on investment, but they’ll be playing catch-up if you didn’t make the best deal on the front end.

Too many new real estate investors place all their efforts into finding and negotiating the best price. Buying below market is quite important, but a real estate investor can give back much of the price advantage in the financing. Unless flipping a property very quickly, the financing costs of holding properties are eating away at total return from the day the deal closes.

Reverse Mortgage and FHA Loan Articles

A regular client sends requests for articles monthly. Most are on mortgages, financing, the FHA and reverse mortgages. Here are a couple of excerpts of the latest:

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

Homeowners are familiar with how a normal mortgage works. If you own a home, you have likely paid monthly payments on a mortgage, or more than one in your lifetime. The characteristics of the normal type mortgage include:

· You pay a monthly payment.

· The lender takes out interest and some is applied to your growing equity.

· Your equity builds up over time as you continue your payments.

· Your payoff amount to fully end the mortgage goes down over time.

· If you sell, you normally would pay off the balance on the loan, leaving your equity minus selling expenses.

Now there’s a new mortgage out there called the “Reverse Mortgage.” We’re going to turn the normal mortgage on its head and you get paid instead of the lender. It’s a mortgage whose time has come with the maturing of the Baby Boomer generation, and its characteristics include:

FHA Loans – Multiple Solutions to Mortgage Needs

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages made by qualified lenders to people purchasing or refinancing a home of their own. Lenders can expand home loans to many more individuals because they can rely on the FHA insurance in case of a default. Of course, there are minimum requirements, but there are also several different types of loans that make home ownership available to many. Let’s look at the types of loans, and the situations in which they apply.

FHA Fixed Rate Mortgage (Section 203b) – This mortgage provides funds for either purchase or refinance of one to four family housing units. The fixed rate feature means that the interest rate remains stable at the initial rate throughout the loan period.

· Down payments can be lower than conventional mortgages, sometimes as low as 3% of the appraised value of the home.

· Many of the closing costs related to a mortgage loan can be financed in this type of FHA loan. That even includes the initial loan insurance premium.

By limiting fees that lenders can charge for certain items and services, the FHA fixed

Movie Scripts for Realtor Web Sites

If you go to http://www.movoxo.com, you’ll find some movie previews at the Realtor Videos tab.  I was hired to write the scripts for some of these videos.  There was some editing after I delivered the text, and their people placed all the images.

If you need scripting for videos or speeches, I’m here to help.  I can provide scripting from formal through educational to light and fun on topics related to my experience in:

  • Real Estate
  • Construction
  • HVAC Contracting
  • Internet Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Adwords and Yahoo Marketing
  • Web Site Design
  • Blogs and Blogging
  • WordPress
  • Technology Solutions
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurial Topics

Consumer Home Sale Articles

One client who would never divulge their company, nor where they intended to use the 100+ pages of web material I wrote for them, wanted extensive detail to instruct homeowners in every facet of the home sale process.

I wrote about everything from choosing a Realtor to preparation of the home, marketing, contracts, negotiations, and closing.  Here’s one short excerpt:

Condition and Home Preparation

Selling your home can be an exciting and profitable process. Or it can be disappointing when you see the bottom line on the settlement statement at closing. You have some control over that bottom line. Selling a home is a competitive process. There are other homes out there, possibly even on your street, that want those buyers as much as you do. If you can make your home more desireable than others around you, it’s possible to generate better offers or possibly even competition among buyers.

Marketing, web sites, and advertisement is important. But they won’t help a bit if buyers arrive and are turned off by the condition of your home. Consider the preparation for sale a three step process:

  • The Plan – Gather information and compare your home to the competition.
  • The Inspection – You or professionals determine what the problems are.
  • Getting it Done – Get repairs and improvements done well and economically.

Real Estate Investing Articles for Print and Web

Dean Graziosi, a real estate investment guru,  has been working with investors for many years.  He has multiple books and websites with detailed information about buying and selling real estate as an investment.  I have written some background articles for his organization.  I don’t know where they ended up, but here are some excerpts:

It’s Not About Motivation – It’s Mindset and Knowledge

Most of us know someone who just seems to be successful, no matter what they try to do.They can start a business and make it grow into something bigger than themselves, realizing wealth along the way.These same people can hit a snag, or a large setback can befall them.Perhaps their business even fails completely.Then, a little while later, they have bounced back.Another successful enterprise is up and running, and they’re financially well-off again.

One might assume that they’re just lucky, or perhaps they have been to numerous motivational seminars on being successful in business.The problem with motivation for motivation’s sake is that it works for a tiny minority of seminar attendees, and the rest try and fail yet again.Why is that?Dean Graziosi, the author of Totally Fulfilled doesn’t want to pump you up with pure motivation.These successful people, even after previous failures in business, are that way because their mindset simply will not accept any other outcome.And it isn’t about being motivated as much as it is about confidence and knowledge.

Real Estate Investment – Don’t Discount the Simple Solutions

When real estate was appreciating at a rapid rate everywhere, investment gurus popped up almost daily.And, this being America, there seems to be a need to come up with a newer and better mousetrap to prove value.The problem comes when the fundamentals of investment are ignored or replaced by so-called sophisticated strategies that multiply risk to achieve dubious rewards.

The funny thing is, now that appreciation has stopped or dramatically slowed in many markets, the gurus still keep popping up.And, the better and newer methods some are pushing are just new packaging on old ideas that didn’t work in the first place.Sometimes getting back to the simple is the solution.

An investment story that illustrates complexity and risk is a very true experience of a stock market options trader.He studied options trading and read books until he knew more than most stock brokers.There wasn’t a sophisticated strategy that he hadn’t used multiple times….though results weren’t always as planned.One day, one of his market tracking software packages produced an alert on a well known bank stock.There was a heavy spike in the purchase of options, possibly indicating something in the wind for this stock.

Technology Articles for Realtors

Agent Direct News, a print publication with more than 100,000 Realtor subscribers, also has a subscription only online version of their articles.  I am a regular monthly contributor to this newspaper.  Articles are around 800 words and are intended to help Realtors to embrace new technology and use it to help them be more successful.

Here’s a link to one of the article’s text.

E-Marketing – Email or Blog

Realtor Magazine, with a circulation of more than 1.2 million Realtor readers, asked me to do an article for both print and online concerning the decision of whether to use email and newsletters or a blog for real estate marketing and ongoing client communication.

I have extensive experience doing both, and tried to present a balanced analysis, though I am very much in favor of the blogging method, with an email newsletter created from the blog’s posts.

Here’s the link to the story.

Technology and Real Estate – Intranets for Real Estate

With a circulation of more than 1.2 million readers, Realtor Magazine is quite careful in their editorial acceptance and writing policy. I am gratified to have been asked to contribute two articles to their Tech@Work feature column in the past. One is the use of an intranet in the management of a real estate brokerage.

Here’s the link to the online version.

Consumer Real Estate Articles for Realtor Sites

A Canadian consulting and web design company hired me to do 1000 word articles for the websites of their Realtor clients. As they resell these articles, I cannot place links or content here, as I’m not sure where they ended up. Titles were as follows:

Here are some titles and excerpts:

Why Buyers Need a Real Estate Professional

With the Internet providing huge amounts of information about homes listed for sale, it is easy to get the idea that an enterprising person can go it alone in locating and purchasing a home. Let’s work our way through some information and situations and see what a buyer will encounter in the real estate market.

The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. There are not only a great number of sites with home listings, some of them even offer valuation estimates and comparisons. What could be the problem with this information glut? Briefly, there is just too much, and much of it cannot be verified for accuracy.

· A real estate professional will help you to weed through the massive data available out there.

· Your real estate professional will have access to some resources not available to you.

· Sold property data is just one small piece of the valuation puzzle.

· Experience in the local market adds invaluable insight into hard numbers from a computer.

How Do Real Estate Pros Price a Listing?

A very accurate saying is that “Any home will sell once you get the price right.” Of course, this is usually said from the perspective of dropping a price until it’s too attractive to pass up. Actually, the accurate pricing of your home prior to listing is as much an art as it is a science.

The Science:

Computers have helped a lot in the data and science aspects of pricing homes for sale. The real estate professional looks at many data sets in the process, including:

· Records of recent sales in the neighborhood or area.

· Currently listed comparable homes.

· Historical trends in price appreciation.

· Feature comparisons for mechanical value adjustments for differences.