Have You Considered Investing In Real Estate?

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Have you ever considered buying a property as an investment? The property market is not reserved for experts and millionaires – you too could use it to make the most of your hard-earned savings.

A lot of people only buy a house as a family home and find paying off their mortgage before they reach retirement a big financial burden. Sound like you? However, buying a house as an investment (not living in it and instead renting it out) can make you a lot of money. In fact, it’s been shown that property outperforms other investments such as stocks, shares and savings accounts to bring you a nice fat profit in the long-term.

Yet somehow we’re all too cautious about hopping on the property investment train. Why? There are a few common apprehensions, questions and ‘buts’ people have when first looking at property, but there are good answers to all of them. So, before the words ‘finance’, ‘invest’ and ‘mortgage’ turn you off, have a read of the below to get clued in on what property investment can do for you and your piggy bank

But I don’t have the money to invest in property!

It’s a common misconception that you need to have all the cash up front. US banks may lend up to 75% of the property purchase price for investors, so for a $250,000 purchase (the average housing price in Lewisville according to Zillow) the total capital you need is $62,500. IRA’s and 401K’s are ways to get the down payment.

But I don’t want to take out another mortgage!

Before you panic about taking out a second mortgage, remember that the tenants who will be renting at your property will be paying off the mortgage for you, and that taking out a mortgage to pay for your investment means making more money.

But isn’t it risky?

As with all investments, there are low-risk and high-risk options.

But how can I make money from my investment if all my pennies are tied up in the property?

1) The increase in the property’s value over time. A well-chosen property and market will see the value of your investment jump up significantly over the course of five-to-ten years. You can then choose to resell at that higher price, keep it for longer to increase profits further or pass on the investment to your children.

2) The rent your tenants will pay you. This can cover the mortgage and/or provide you with an additional regular income – remember, rents will also increase over time as the area you invest in becomes more popular.

But I don’t want to be a landlord!

You don’t have to be! There are property management companies that exist to take that responsibility off of your hands. They can handle everything, from decorating and tenanting to taxes and reselling, and you’ll still be able to make a healthy profit.

When you’re ready to learn more or if you’re already clued in and want some more in-depth market advice, contact Jim Trump & Associates today! (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

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DO NOT DELAY!! Move Up To The Home Of Your Dreams!

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates are still below 5%.

However, sellers should realize that waiting to make the move while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can buy will decrease.

Here is a chart detailing this point:

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U.S. City Growth Is Slowing, But Suburbs Are Still Booming!

While cities are still outpacing suburbs, the gap is closing

The United States’ biggest cities grew more slowly last year as suburban areas population closed the gap, according to figures released by the U.S. Census on Thursday, suggesting that city-dwelling Americans may be looking to the suburbs again. While city growth overall is still outpacing the suburbs, the gap between the two is shrinking after several post-recession years in which downtowns and older urban cores around the U.S. saw significant population increases.

“The slowing growth in these urban cores and the increasing gains in the suburbs may be the first indication of a return to more traditional patterns of city-suburban growth,” said University of New Hampshire demographer Ken Johnson.

Of the 51 largest metropolitan regions in the U.S. in 2013, just 18 of them saw faster growth in cities than suburbs in 2013, compared with 25 in 2012.

The new Census figures show significant growth in suburban areas in the South and West. Almost all of the fastest-growing cities with a population of 50,000 or more were suburbs of major cities like Dallas, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Nashville and Houston.

Texas suburbs saw the largest growth between 2012 and 2013, especially in areas around Austin, a city millennials have moved to in recent years for its tech jobs and cultural opportunities. The U.S.’s fastest growing city is San Marcos, whose population grew 8% in 2013. Cedar Park and Georgetown were also in the top seven fastest-growing cities, and all three Texas cities surround Austin.

“What you’re seeing, particularly outside of the northeast, is the growth of the ‘boomburbs,’” says Andy Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College. “But you still have substantial growth in the cities. Both are happening.”

Many of the nation’s biggest cities still saw the largest population increases, led by New York City, which added 61,440 people and remained the country’s largest with a population of 8.4 million. Houston, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Phoenix made up the top five in terms of population increases. One curious outlier was Chicago, the nation’s third-largest. Its population in 2013 grew by just 5,900, or 0.2%, to 2,719,000. That was smaller than the 8,600 it gained in 2012. In Chicago’s suburban Cook County, population growth was stable, and it increased in the city’s outer suburbs. Johnson points to Chicago as possibly suggesting an end to rapid city gains over suburban growth.

Historically, Americans have moved from downtown city cores to suburbs as they got older, had children and needed more space. Suburbs grew three times as fast as cities from 2000 to 2010, according to an analysis by William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. But the recession quickly reversed that as many older Americans felt frozen in place and decided to stay put, temporarily halting that city-to-suburbs flow. At the same time, those in their 20s and 30s have flocked to downtowns in that same period, often lured by jobs and the ease of commuting in an urban area.

Since the recession, city growth has largely outpaced suburban growth. From 2011 to 2012, city populations increased by 1.13% while suburbs increased by 0.95%, according to Frey. The new Census numbers show cities growing 1.02% and suburbs growing 0.96%.

But Frey says the U.S. is a long way off from the kind of suburban sprawl it witnessed throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Many of those living in cities have likely decided to stay put for good, Frey says, or are still financially unable to move or buy a house.

“We may never see that kind of suburbanization again,” he says.

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Why You Should Sell Your House NOW!!

School is back in session, the holidays are right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house.  But with inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family.

Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now! As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future. Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference). The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important. 

For professional real estate service, contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

 

10 Simple Steps to Losing Your House!

Open New Lines of Credit

Lenders must adhere to strict debt-to-income ratio requirements.  If you add a new car payment or credit card payment to the mix after you have been pre-approved, you debt-to-income ratios may now be too high to qualify for the proposed housing payment.

Run Up Balances on Current Credit Cards

Even if you don’t open new lines of credit, charging a substantial amount on a current card will raise the minimum monthly payment on that card your lender is using for financing. Again, this could throw your debt-to-income ratios completely out of whack!

Spend Down Payment Funds

Even if your lender verified down payment funds prior to your pre-approval, if your balance decreases to less than what you will need at closing and your lender requires new bank statements, this could cause a major delay in your closing date.  If you’re closing on a short sale with a hard deadline, you could end up losing the house if you cannot close in time and aren’t able to obtain an extension.

Lose or Switch Jobs 

Not much explanation needed here. If your qualifying income is no longer coming in every month, closing on your house isn’t going to happen unless you have a co-borrower who can carry the payment on his or her own.

Make a Late Payment on Your Credit Report

If your credit score is barely meeting the minimum threshold, one late payment could knock you out of the qualifying range.  If your credit score expires before closing and your lender needs to re-pull credit, then you would be in trouble if this has happened to you.

Failure to Communicate Alimony or Child Support to Your Lender

This information is important and will affect the amount for which you qualify. If it comes up too late in the process, there’s a chance you could lose the house, so please share this information with your lender, even if he or she doesn’t ask.

Failure in Communicating That You Are in the Market for a Condo

If you are purchasing a condo, the lender must factor in condo association dues, which can be very pricey. If your lender isn’t factoring a cushion for this into your pre-approval, you may find out that your debt-to-income ratios are too high once you are already under contract.

Getting a 10 Minute Pre-approval

Yes, I know you are busy, but getting a pre-approval shouldn’t be a 10 minute process with some online lender that you heard about on the radio.  Obtaining a mortgage loan is very complicated and your lender should spend time interviewing you, learning about your employment history, and reviewing the standard documents required for a mortgage pre-approval.  Just because you are supposed to receive court-ordered child support doesn’t automatically make that money qualifying income.  A lender must be able to show a history of receiving these payments on time, if not; the underwriter will not allow your lender to use the income.

Failure to Communicate an Employment Gap 

A lender should ask for your two-year work history upfront, and, if a large employment gap arises that your lender was unaware of, you could have issues if you don’t have a good letter of explanation.

Failure to Submit Lender-Required Documentation

Your lender may ask you for documentation several times throughout the process–in order to make sure he or she can submit your story to underwriting in a timely matter and close you on time. They aren’t doing this to be spiteful! You must be available via phone and email to respond to these requests in a timely manner.  If you aren’t, your loan won’t make it to final approval, and you will not be able to close on your home.

How Do You Make Sure This Doesn’t Happen To You? 

How can you be sure you won’t sabotage your own chances of closing on your dream home? Make sure you speak with a mortgage advisor who is knowledgeable, skilled, and thorough enough to make sure you’re not scaring underwriters away with your credit history, bank statements, and employment history.  A skilled loan officer will not conduct a 10 minute pre-approval or send you out to search for home without explaining closing costs and how to get to the closing table with ease. I have lenders that I work with that I trust implicitly, and will give you their information in order to streamline the lending process.

For professional real estate service, contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

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The “Secret” Short Cut To Selling Your Home

All Home Sellers want a fast sale. Many seek a Short Cut to give them the edge. Many soon learn there is a “Right” way and a “Wrong” way to listing their home. There is a secret though and simply put, there is no short cuts when selling a home. There is a simple recipe that can lead to success which is listing with the best local agent who will guide you through each step of the selling process.

Price the home correctly from the start. Your agent should have a proven marketing program to reach the most potential buyers. The agent should be available to answer calls and questions. They should communicate with you during the selling process. There is no short cut for hard work. There is no short cut for a good agent and hard work getting results.

Click here for Flower Mound area Homes for Sale by clicking here.  

What is a Home Buyer or Seller to do? Having the best Listing Agent or the best Buyer’s Agent is one of the best ways to be assured you are being taken care of when buying or selling a home.

The hard truth is that Buying or Selling a Flower Mound home can go as good as the agent you hire.

If you are buying or selling a Flower Mound home, you need an agent who will work with you, look out for you and guide you through each step of the Buying and Selling process. Buyers and Sellers should know that they have a choice of agents. Use your choice to hire the BEST agent in your area, and know that bigger is not better.

I have put together a simple recipe for both Home Buyers and Sellers. Follow this along with pricing your home right, and the result can be a SOLD SIGN in your front yard.

THE TOP TIPS TO FIND A “GREAT” REAL ESTATE AGENT

LEARN THIS ONE FACT: One should know that All Agents are not created equal and every buyer or seller should take the time to hire the BEST, not just the biggest, agent or company. It is important to Hire the BEST Agent. In FM that could be me.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT AGENT: As a Buyer OR Seller in this market you need every advantage you can to get your home sold. It starts with choosing the right agent.

  1. Ask for a Full time agent whose sole job is to sell homes.
  2. Ask for a Full service agent who will guide you through each step of the selling process. Discount brokers often equal discount services.
  3. Ask for a Local agent who knows your neighborhood and is readily available when you need them. Out of town agents can leave you high and dry in your time of need.
  4. Asking for a well experienced Listing Agent can give you the advantages you need when selling your home. Not all agents are created equal. Choose only the best.

HOME BUYERS SHOULD START BY:  Getting a FREE PRE-QUALIFICATION with a local and trusted lender. They will look at your credit and financial picture and let you know what type of mortgage you may qualify for and what your interest rate and monthly payment may be.

HOME SELLERS SHOULD START BY: Getting a FREE MARKET ANALYSIS. Learn what your property is worth in today’s market along with how long it may take to sell. If you are ready to sell now, learn what you should ask for it, how much offers may come in for and what the approximate selling price should be. Flower Mound Home owners should contact me now.

IN SUMMARY

The key to having a successful purchase or sale can increase simply by choosing a better agent. The secret is that All Agents are not created equal and every buyer or seller should take the time to hire the BEST not just the biggest. I leave you with a now infamous philosophy, which is simple: To provide more personal and professional service to guide my clients through each step of the buying or selling process.

It does not take magic to turn your “For Sale” sign into a “Sold” sign. It takes a full time Local Agent who specializes in listing homes like yours.

If you are thinking of buying a Home please contact me. Get a free pre-qualification along with some of the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE through each step of the Buying Prices.

I STRIVE TO PROVIDE THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICE THROUGHOUT EACH STEP OF THE LISTING AND SELLING PROCESS!!!

For professional real estate services, contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

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Who You Hire To Represent You Makes All Of The Difference!

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We wait for an offer to come in on a listing and my seller gets excited with the mention of an incoming bid. THEN I see the contract and it is poorly written, missing important addenda, wrong dates and mistakes…

What do we do?

Personally I have ‘graded’ these “F Offers” many times by going over it line by line with the Buyer’s Agent, at their convenience, of course. Most times it is taken with the right intention and I have to make sure that I am being very careful with my tone. My dialogue goes something like this;

“I want to make sure I am presenting your offer correctly,” I say, “may I ask you a few questions just for my own clarification?”

Then I proceed to point out a few items.

“Did you mean for any of the dates to correspond? Are you aware that this closing date falls on a Sunday? You didn’t send the pre-qualification letter or input the earnest money amount…will you tell me where I can find these two items, because they are not where are supposed to be? How many days are you requesting for your Option Period, your financing contingency? Did you mean to add the “AS IS” with no inspections addendum? Are you asking for 50% in closing costs or was that a typo? I am confused!You have waived the right to an appraisal on an FHA loan??Is there proof of funds with this cash offer?I think we are missing signatures on several pages and the other three addenda are blank. Please note the seller’s name and address are not correct and the county and zip code are missing. The loan approval date comes after the closing date…were you looking at another month on the calendar?”

You get the idea. Not all offers come in perfectly written, not even close!

As a listing agent, I need to get the offer presented even if it means having to re-write the entire offer! Hopefully, I can get the Buyers’ Agent to make the necessary changes, because they need to be made BEFORE I present the seller. I can’t fault the buyers because they didn’t realize that their agent is a part-timer with no training! Everyone must realize that the One To Four Contract is indeed that, a contract! If you hire an inexperienced agent, you can find yourself in trouble! 

Most listing agents would reject the offer over and over until it was complete; however, I go over each of the points with the buyer’s agent to see if I understand what the buyer wants. If we can agree that his/her buyer wants to buy and my seller wants to sell and the price and terms are worked out….as professionals we can correct or rewrite the contract offer.

Let’s not be so high up that we cannot help less trained, less competent, less motivated, less experienced and even overworked/ stressed agents, write that perfect contract so the buyer and the seller can do just that, buy and sell!

Houses do sell houses. Don’t let the agent kill the deal. 

For professional real estate services, please contact The North Texas Home Hunter at (214) 609-7123 or jtrump@kw.com

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