Why You Need To Use A Realtor

Buying or selling a home requires a lot of forward thinking. Yes, we can do most things online now, but it is still recommended to work with a real and good realtor. Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts when it comes to choosing one.

First, you need to look into your realtor’s experience. Usually, those with the most experience are also the best ones. If you find someone who was operating before the financial crisis and is still in business today, you are on to a really good one. Next, make sure that the experience they have is relevant to your own needs. For instance, the needs of a first time buyer are very different from the needs of a national property developer. The second thing you need to know if how much of an expert they are in terms of the geography and demographics you require. For instance, if you want to purchase a farm, you need someone who has the right contacts to look into the condition of the land, previous production methods and the homestead itself. If, on the other hand, you want to purchase a listed building or a historic property, you will need someone that has a very different type of experience.

Besides experience, you also need to look into reputation. Unfortunately, a lot of realtors have a very poor reputation. Thankfully, there are also a number of tools that you can use to find the good ones. The Better Business Bureau website is one really good tool to tell you how well they have operated in the past. You can also use social media to your advantage. The strength of social media lies in the fact that it is very hard to censor. Make sure you also speak to people you know and find out whether they have an opinion on the matter. Do make sure, however, that you look into any complaints you here and how these apply to you, and whether the realtor has been able to resolve them satisfactorily.

The information above has been designed to help you choose a good realtor. Their role is to make sure you find the property of your dreams. Hence, make sure you only work with a realtor that you believe has your best interests at heart.

The Benefits Of Working With A Realtor

There is lots to think about if you want to buy or sell a home. Although it is now possible to do everything online, it is still better to find a good realtor to work with. Hence, let’s take a look at a few of the things to be aware of when choosing your realtor.

First of all, always ask for recommendations. However, you need to look for more as well. Take the time do a lot of research. Your realtor should also be experienced in your needs. You shouldn’t look for someone that sells apartment blocks if you are looking for a beach house. Do make sure you actually speak to a realtor you are considering. Ask how they will represent you, what they cost, whether they have references and so on. You also need to talk about your expectations. They must understand your needs. Last but not least, make sure that your realtor is someone you like. The reality is that you will struggle to trust someone who you don’t like. The last thing is that you need to find someone that is very experienced. Most of us would like to help people to get their foot in the door and climb the professional ladder, but it can be hard to trust someone inexperienced when you are talking about thousands of dollars.

If you are looking at making a property purchase, you shouldn’t work with the seller’s realtor who is already involved in the sale. By law, the realtor will have to pass on any information you give to the seller as well. In the same manner, if you want to sell, you shouldn’t work with your potential buyer’s realtor either. You should work with someone that represents just you. Start by asking people you know whether they can refer you to a realtor. Another place to look for a good realtor is the NAR (National Association of Realtors. Finding a NAR realtor means that you are guaranteed to be represented ethically and professionally. Don’t choose the first and only realtor you speak to, however, but look around at a few different ones first. Make sure they have a great understanding of your needs, so they an start making suggestions too. These conversations can help you determine just how much a realtor knows about a specific neighborhood, house prices and so on. If you want to sell your home, find out how the realtor has done in the past. Do they usually sell under, on or over the original asking price?

With the above two tips, you should be able to find the realtor who best represents your needs. Whether you want to buy or sell, you should always work with a realtor. One of the things they are most aware of is whether it is a buyers’ or sellers’ market and this is vital in terms of being able to pay as little as possible for a property, or to

How To Choose A Realtor

It isn’t as easy as it may seem to buy or sell a home. We live in a digital age where almost everything is completed online, but do still choose to work with a realtor. Let’s review a few things to know about picking a realtor.

Make sure you find out whether anyone can personally recommend a realtor. However, do make sure you look deeper as well. Hence, you need to do your research. You must ensure that you find a realtor that specializes in your field of interest. If you have a $200,000 budget, for instance, then you shouldn’t work with a realtor that sells $2 million properties. Always take the time to actually speak in person to a realtor you may choose. Ask how they will represent you, what they cost, whether they have references and so on. Also discuss your expectations with your realtor. They must understand your needs. Finally, you need to actually like your realtor. The reality is that you will struggle to trust someone who you don’t like. Last but not least, try to work with the realtor with the most experience. Although you might want to help out someone who is just starting in the world of real estate, would you really trust them with the thousands and thousands of dollars involved in these transactions?

You must also avoid a few things. Firstly, don’t pick anyone who is your friend or a family member. This would cause a significant conflict of interest, meaning you will struggle to have an honest business relationship. Also, your relationship could be tainted if things don’t work out. Also don’t work with a realtor who is also representing the other party. Never be afraid of moving away from your current realtor and finding a different one either. If you do decide to go elsewhere, however, do so in a respectful manner. Don’t tell your realtors that you will definitely sign up with them unless you actually intend to do so. Always honestly tell them at which stage you are. After all, you expect honesty from your realtor as well.

Hopefully, the above tips will help you to find the best realtor to represent you. Make sure you never buy or sell a property without working with a realtor. One of the most important things they will be able to help you with is identifying the best time to buy or sell, and this information could save or make you a lot of money.

Thinking About Investing Your Money In Real Estate? Use These Helpful Tips

If you want to do well with real estate, you have to learn what you can about how to invest your money. Many people fail at real estate investing because they never learned the right way to invest. Fortunately, this article has some great information to help you get started. Continue ahead to benefit from these great ideas.

You reputation is undeniably one of your best assets, and you need to protect it. Abide by what you say, and do not lie to possible clients. That way, everyone in town will know that you can be trusted.

Go with an area you’re familiar with. If you really focus on a specific segment it’s much easier to be successful with investing. Work with a niche you are familiar with, whether you are trying to flip houses, purchase starter home or buy properties that require low down payments.

Don’t invest in property that has not been personally inspected by a third-party or neutral professional. Sellers can offer to pay for the inspection, but that gives them the right to use a favorable inspector. Get a report from someone that is neutral.

Find people with similar minds and learn things from them. So many people wish to become involved with real estate investments. You can probably find a business group dedicated to real estate investing in your town. If you cannot find a location near you, simply look online for forums and communities. Mix and mingle, learning from similar people.

When renting out your investment property, take great care in selecting tenants. The individual should be able to pay both the first months rent and a deposit ahead of time. If they can’t get that kind of money together at the start, then odds are good that they are not going to stay current on rent. Keep looking for a better tenant.

Always evaluate the neighborhood as a whole before you invest in any property there. Some neighborhoods are obviously a better value than others. Location is always a high priority, even higher than the properties themselves.

Try to invest in the very best areas you can afford, for best results in your real estate project. You increase the potential resale value of your initial investment. Also, look for easily maintained properties.

It is wise to have a capable handyman who charges reasonable prices available if you’re buying investment property. If you don’t, your profits may be sucked up by repair costs. A trustworthy handyman who is available after hours, is essential in case of emergency issues that may arise.

Broaden your horizons and consider investing in properties for businesses, instead of only homes. Business properties offer you the potential for long term rentals, and they can be quite lucrative investments. Business parks or strip malls are great options. This allows you multiple options for your investment dollars.

Become educated on real estate investing basics before spending money on properties. This will put you in the best position to make money. Taking time to learn all you can about it can help you stay protected.

Ensure that you get your investment back, plus a little profit, too. This will give you a great profit in the end. Make the necessary changes that are needed, and always ask for more than what you’ve paid.

It is wise to not let your investment properties demand too much of your management time. Time is money. Don’t waste it. Really take some time to see who you will be renting to. Try to only invest in properties that have demonstrated histories of reputable and responsible tenants.

Location is a big part of real estate. If the property is not great but, the location is, it may be worth the work to fix it or demolish it and replace with a completely new structure. Think hard about location, and never fail to consider the potential that exists.

Start slowly with a single property. You may want to start big, but don’t bite off more than you can deal with. Instead, you should begin by getting a single property and then give yourself time to figure out how to invest well. You will find yourself in a better situation to then invest in additional properties.

Think about the type of building you can maintain easily. There is more to investing than simply finding a great property. After that, you have to consider maintaining and improving the property for good resale. For example, a single story home is easier to take care of than a huge multi-family property. Be sure to only take on what you can handle.

If your rental property has vacancies, be sure that you have money to cover your mortgage every month while you are waiting for a renter. Keeping money back for this type of thing will help you be at ease because you’ll have the mortgage covered while waiting for new renters.

Are home values increasing where you live? Do you see vacancies where the places are being rented? Depending on what you plan on doing with the property, you need to concern yourself with these two questions. You will want to buy cheap and not set your expectations too high.

Those around you, including loved ones, close friends and even fellow employees at your day job, might discourage you from investing in real estate. You should largely ignore them as long as you are willing to do the hard work and learn. However, you may want to listen to those with successful experience in the market.

Folks in your life may attempt to dissuade you from investing in real estate. Rather than listen to others, you can research the subject and make your own informed decision. The exception are people with more money than you and better ideas on how to use it.

You may have to sacrifice to ensure success. You may have a dream for a renovation of the house you want to flip, but prices can get out of hand quick. In order to be successful, you may have to make some sacrifices. Be prepared to compromise and to give up some of your small goals in pursuit of your larger ones.

You can try predicting when you will sell a house, but you will not be right all the time. Be aware of this when assessing your risk when purchasing a property. Will there be an initial cash layout or will it be financed? What interest rate will you have to pay? Will you be renting before you sell?

As you have read, investing in real estate can serve you well if you follow good advice. Read these tips again, as needed, so you can make the most money. Pass the information along to others, so they too can join in on being successful real estate investors.

Billy the Kid’s Hideout for Sale in New Mexico

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Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty – Santa FeThe 1878 adobe home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is for sale for less than $600,000.

Here’s a listing you don’t see every day: Billy the Kid’s former New Mexico hideout is for sale at $545,000.

The adobe house, nestled in the Bonito River Valley in historic Lincoln County, is a bona fide piece of Old West history and lore. It’s where Billy the Kid — thief, gunfighter, participant in the Lincoln County range wars — hid in a kitchen flour barrel and later under a bed to avoid capture by soldiers from nearby Fort Stanton.

Part of the property was once owned by Sheriff Pat Garrett, who eventually caught, killed and immortalized Billy (originally from New York City) in the biography, “The Authentic Life of Billy, the Kid.”

The house for sale, built in 1878, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of only three historic homes remaining in private ownership in Lincoln, where others are owned by state and federal governments.

The 4,505-square-foot house on .84 acres features:

  • Three bedrooms, two baths
  • 12-foot coved ceilings
  • 22-inch thick adobe walls
  • Kiva fireplace with arched firebox
  • Zoning for business or residential use.

It’s listed by Mary Joy Ford of Sotheby’s International.


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Crazy Connecticut Colonial Has Lighthouse and Tugboat

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ZillowThe four-bedroom West Haven home has a lighthouse and a tugboat, but it lies about a mile from Long Island Sound.

If you agree with Jacques Cousteau, that the sea “holds one in its net of wonder forever,” you’ll love this crazy Connecticut colonial home with a lighthouse and tugboat attached. Price: $425,000.

This is not an historical, working lighthouse. Rather, it’s a lightless replica that a West Haven couple attached to their 3,184-square-foot colonial so they could gaze at Long Island Sound about a mile away. The couple loved the seafaring theme so much, they later added a restored tugboat to the project, which they use as a recreation area.

“Considering the price, it’s not a bad deal,” said listing agent Lucy Morgan. “You’re getting a four-bedroom, three-bath home with great light for painters, artists, and people who just want to look at the water.”

The first two floors of the lighthouse — which has its own elevator — are attached to the colonial, adding a sunroom on each level. Then, when the house ends, the lighthouse elevator continues to the fourth level, where a spiral staircase leads to a catwalk with water views.

A ground floor deck leads to the tugboat, which features a wet bar and a spiral staircase climbing to a re-created captain’s deck with a ship’s wheel — as if there were anywhere to steer the landlocked boat.

The property is famous in West Haven, where gawkers routinely knock on the door and ask to ride to the top of the lighthouse, Morgan said.


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House of the Day: Michigan Victorian With Lighthouse

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Home for sale in Bellevue
ZillowThis Bellevue Island home with three bedrooms is on the market at $415,000.

By Emily Heffter

The lakeside community of Lake Orion was a popular weekend getaway for the wealthy of Detroit in 1900, when this Victorian home was built. In its heyday, Bellevue Island had an amusement park with an old wooden roller coaster.

Now the quiet community about an hour outside of Detroit is known more for its great school district.

The sellers raised two daughters in the three-bedroom, two-bath home while restoring its unique features and have it on the market at $415,000.

“They brought it back to life over the last 20 years,” said Leslie Mihalak, the RE/MAX listing agent.

Most notable are the home’s two copper-topped towers: A five-story working lighthouse on the lakefront side serves as a hidden fort, accessible via ladder from one of the bedrooms. On the land side of the house, a second tower looks like a windmill.

The owners painted the original cedar shake siding a raspberry color, and the bottom of the house is constructed of fieldstone. Inside, the home is modernized with an updated kitchen, granite countertops and wood floors. There are beautiful views of the lake, two docks and a patio.


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House of the Day: Ivy-Covered ‘Castle’ in The Hamptons

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exterior of southhampton's castle
Zillow“The Castle” in Southhampton, New York, would stand out even if it didn’t have a turret.

By Emily Heffter

The upscale village of Southampton, New York, is an oceanfront enclave of shake-sided beach mansions and 1920s stucco homes. So this red-brick historic home for sale at $4.3 million would stand out, even if it didn’t have a turret. Locally known as “the castle,” this 1911 home at 143 Herrick Road, Southampton, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The home’s owner, William Sofield, is a world-class designer who bought the home for $830,000 in 1999 and restored it carefully. He updated all the systems but decorated the interior in the arts-and-crafts style of the home’s era. There is no stainless steel or white marble in the kitchen — he instead used white, retro appliances.

The home is on the small side for the area — less than 3,000 square feet — and is covered in ivy, so that it just peeks out of surrounding greenery. There are two bedroom suites on the main level. In the turret, the master bedroom has a free-standing soaking tub.

The gazebo poolhouse is perhaps the home’s most distinctive feature, with carved windows and doors. The 0.43-acre property is landscaped with gardens and brick walkways, with a heated gunite pool.

Harald Grant of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing.


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Traits Every Real Estate Landlord Should Have

1120478080_zuBoR-X3Many people with an extra property think about renting it out and becoming a landlord. However, there are many personalities that just are not cut out for that kind of work. Being a good landlord, without being a pushover is must, and many people just don’t have what it takes. The following are personality traits that ultimately make a successful landlord, and these traits should be kept in mind whenever thinking about going down the road of rentals. These traits and skills can always be honed, however, so those wanting to get good can do so, especially if they really need the income a rental property can generate.

Many landlords have learned to be decisive. They have either learned through hard experiences, from other people’s experiences published on blogs like FreedomMentors.com, or they have seemingly just been born with this trait. Either way, if something comes up, such as a broken window, the landlord needs to act immediately, taking method of damage and how much it will cost into consideration. This is just a small example, but when it comes to running a rental property, the landlord must be quick with decisions to keep tenants and themselves happy, as well as keeping the rental property in top shape.
Financial stability is freeing, especially when landlords can enjoy it while renting out their properties. Things can go awry, however, so a trait all landlords must have is the ability to roll with the punches of financial volatility. One or two months can bring peace, financial well-being, and enjoyment, and the next month can bring ongoing repairs or expenses that no landlord really has no control over. Collecting rent from tenants should never be a landlord’s only job, especially when starting out, but should be looked at as a fluctuating presence. Having a stash set aside for eventual problems, should they arise, is a great way to ensure that a landlord won’t break under financial stress.

Landlords who have become successful at what they do have honed their skills to detect and call their tenants out on nonsense and excuses. Why are they late on rent? Oh, their cat died and they had to spend a ton of money for extravagant pet funeral services? Yeah, right. A successful landlord (read Reach150.com) will be able to spot falsities, as well as being able to come to terms with the fact that money changes people in crazy ways. The lack of funds or a sloppy excuse as to why the walls are busted can put a damper on any landlord’s day, but a truly successful landlord will spot it all from a mile away.

The number one trait all landlords must have is patience. This skill can be developed over time, but generally, if a person is naturally an impatient person, being a landlord isn’t the job for them. Among the excuses, the stress of repairs and paperwork, and sometimes the nasty eviction processes, there is the need for patience. If a landlord can’t be patient, they’ll pull their hair out trying to run their rentals.

With all this being said, taking on the role of landlord isn’t a bad gig. Real estate markets are fluctuating so much that having a rental can mean the difference between making the mortgage payment or not. Any aspiring landlord’s best bet is to discuss their options with a real estate attorney, and maybe a Real Estate Investing Mentor, as well as utilizing these skills before the screening process, and after moving in the new tenants. One of the real estate coaches I recommend is Peter Harris. Another is Phil Pustejovsky (more about him at freedom mentor reviews).

Room of the Day: Warming to a Contemporary Family Space

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By Jeannie Matteucci

Photos by Paul Dyer

Family rooms are where you go to relax, play or visit with friends. But when you have a contemporary home, it can be challenging to create that level of warmth and comfort. That was the situation facing designer SoYoung Mack, who wanted to give the family in this San Francisco home an inviting place in which to gather while still respecting the sleek lines and architecture of the renovated home. She struck the right balance with a soothing color palette of browns, neutrals and slate blue that mix with flexible modern furnishings and Asian artifacts.

Contemporary Family Room by Mill Valley Interior Designers & Decorators SoYoung Mack Design, Assoc. AIA

The homeowners, a professional couple with two school-age sons, wanted a flexible room where the boys could play and the family could watch TV, enjoy the fireplace and visit with friends.

The new contemporary family room was part of a larger renovation that included a 1,200-square-foot addition to this former Mediterranean-style home, which previously felt chopped up and dark. Mack raised the ceiling and removed walls to create a well-lit, loft-like family room that opened to the kitchen and breakfast area.

Cabinetry: walnut with espresso finish, custom, OnViu; wood veneers: FSC-certified curly koa, Exotic Hardwoods; flooring: hand-scraped walnut, Restoration Timber; shades: Conrad, Kneedler Fauchere

Since the goal was to keep things versatile, the designer chose furnishings that were light and easy to move around (like the faux-leather box ottomans that are soft and kid friendly, and the pair of light blue swivel chairs). The inviting brown sofa is deep and comfortable, finished in a practical, soft, synthetic textured material with a slight sheen. A large area rug adds warmth to the wood floors.

A library window seat with built-in shelves on both sides at the far end of the family room features a padded bench and plenty of pillows for comfort. It’s a cozy spot in a space that feels very open and airy.

Wall-mounted lights: Tech Lighting; window seat pillows (with Galbrath and Paul fabric) and window seat bench (with Bart Halpen fabric): Graziella Interiors; ottomans: custom, Lisa Kampmeyer Upholstery; rug: custom, Sloan Miyasato; sofa: Design Within Reach; swivel chairs: Italian, Khrome Studios; gong: Chinese antique, Sloan Miyasato

Light blue panels of tempered and frosted glass separate the family room from the adjacent stairwell. “It provides a nice backdrop for the main seating sofa,” says Mack. “It’s really a buffer, a space break and a beautiful sculptural element in this family room.”

This photo also shows the proximity of the kitchen (on the right side of the photo), and the good flow that encourages interaction between the spaces.

Family room wall paint: Tapestry Beige; stairwell paint: Knoxville Gray, both by Benjamin Moore; Poltec FJ-Piper Pendants: Policelli Lighting

The glass gas fireplace with a two-story slate wall picks up the tones used in the room’s color palette. The flat-screen TV above was recessed into the wall so it didn’t disrupt the flow of the structure. An operable bronze door on the left hides electrical work and components.

Fireplace tile: Indian multicolor slate, Etheguren Slate; vessels: Brazilian terra-cotta, Living Green; TV: Samsung

A skylight ceiling adds natural light, while a bronze Buddha presides over everything. The Buddha sits on a two-tone dark brown and blue platform that doubles as the core of the stairwell.

Buddha: Living Green; tile mural on wall: Ann Sacks

See more Rooms of the Day


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