Don’t look now, but the long-anticipated secular rise in interest rates may be upon us. A close look at mortgage rates shows a decided uptick as we head into the summer months. That means good news for savers, but bad news for borrowers – and a significant headwind ahead for home prices. Yes, rates are still at the sub-4 percent level. That is, absurdly low by historical standards. But rates are now at the highest point they’ve been for over a year.
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Read more about Flipping Houses and Rising Mortgage Rates
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you know the first commandment of the flippin’ insider: Buy at a discount. This is good advice because it preserves your options: If you can buy at a discount, you not only have every advantage going into a flip, but you’ll have a much easier time renting it out for more than you are paying out in mortgage, interest, maintenance and taxes. It’s simply much easier to create a cash-flow positive property
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Read more about Flipping vs. Renting
If there’s one thing I learned from being a military officer for over 20 years, it’s this: Double-check everything. There is an old military adage that “soldiers do well only those things that the commander checks.” To which I will add a new maxim, apparently from Benjamin Franklin: “It is true that experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.” So let’s learn from the experiences of Mr. Justin Pierce, who has generously shared the difficult lessons of his first real estate flip
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Read more about Tips for House Flippers
Any experienced fly fisherman will tell you: You have to figure out what lures are making the fish bite. Fish are fickle, and their preferences can change from week to week and day to day. Fortunately, the tastes of the average homebuyer are a little more stable. As a real estate investor, you want to deal in the fat part of the bell curve in your market.
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Read more about What Homebuyers Want
Real estate flippers operate businesses. But as a group, flippers are notoriously undisciplined about doing so. I would wager that outside of low-rent stockbrokers and part-time scented candlestick saleswomen, flippers have the worst market analysis disciplines and the sorriest set of books you’ll ever see. (Fess up in the comments if this is you, or share the tips you’ve developed if it isn’t!) The lack of discipline and organization is particularly damaging when you consider
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Read more about The SWOT Analysis
I live in South Florida – the closest thing to “ground zero” for the real estate mess. When I drive around, I hear the radio ads all the time: “South Florida is the best place in the country for real estate investors right now! We’re looking for a few good people to make substantial profit on every trade, without using any of your own money!” They then announce a seminar at a local hotel, “free if you sign up now, seating is limited!” Let me tell you – Florida is famous for seminar marketing – and we have no
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Read more about Traveling Seminars
For the first time in what seems like half a decade, housing inventories are down. Way down. In fact, according to reporting by the New York Times, citing the National Association of Realtors®, the number of homes currently for sale is the lowest it’s been since 1999. A surge in demand for single-family homes – fueled by rock-bottom interest rates on
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Read more about Flipping Properties in a Buyer’s Market
Some people begin flipping properties for side money. Other people get pushed into it because of a job loss or other life-changing circumstance. In some cases, the temptation to raid a 401(k) or other retirement account is very strong. After all, for many workers, their 401(k) is the largest asset they have. It’s a ready source of capital – sort of. And when jobs are
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Read more about Using a 401(k) to Flip Houses
Ask anyone who’s been in real estate for a while. They’ll tell you: They spend a bunch of time working with a buyer. They’ve identified their needs and wants, carted them around town, blown a couple of high-payoff Saturdays, and found a place they like – only to find they can’t qualify for a mortgage. That wastes agents’ time, it wastes your time, and
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Read more about Prequalifying Your Buyers
After the mortgage bubble popped, financial institutions around the world were rushing pell-mell into a “risk-off” posture. That portion of institutional investment portfolios devoted to slow and steady money – a portion that was largely made available for home lending – went to Treasuries and other low-risk sovereign debt instead. At one point investors
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Read more about Getting a Loan