Category Archives: Real Estate

Tips on improving your Credit Score

Tips on improving your Credit Score

Key to having a great credit score is to make your payments on time, esp credit cards.

Your biggest ally (healer) is TIME! Time heals all with credit scores but you need to make payments on time and above the minimum balance.

Ways to improve your credit score:

  • Get a credit card and have it link to a bill like a cell phone and/or gas bill, and only use that credit card to pay that one bill. Set up automatic payments so that the monthly bill will automatically charge your credit card on file. Don’t use the card for anything else lock the credit card away in a lock box or desk. Every month as you making payments your score is going up. – Don’t abuse those credit card keep those balances low
  • Debit cards from your bank that you use with a pin number do not count towards your credit score because this money is coming directly out of checking out and no line of credit is giving to you. So debit cards do not help to improve your credit score.
  • Try to get another credit card and repeat the process this time use a different bill like car insurance and gas, and think of this credit card as vehicle only use. Gas / Car Insurance / Repairs – you will need a minimum of three credit cards.
  • If you have a family member with a great credit score and is welling to add you to their account and the family member can hold on to the credit card to be on the safe side to make sure the card is not being miss used.
  • When you are about to buy a house do not make a large purchase like a car, because now the bank has to redo your file, and now you bought a car that has no credit history, no payments, and is a full balance, another thing to remember once the car loan is paid off the account will close and the payment history will close with it, and over time the credit score will drop. So that is why it’s a good idea to have three credit cards on file.
  • How do companies fix my credit score? They sent out 100’s of letter asking to prove that discrepancy on the account and if they can’t prove it by responding to all 100 letters than they have to remove the discrepancy on your account and they process repeats, sometimes this take months to work.
  • Mortgage Companies take the middle of the three credit scores from the credit bureaus = (Equifax, Experian, TnasUnion) // Car Loan Companies usually only go with just two bureaus and use the better of the two.
  • Don’t forget to check your credit score by getting your free credit report

Advice on Real Estate Investments – Rental Properties

Advice on Real Estate Investments – Rental Properties

  • Don’t  use your address on your checks always use your Po Box on your checks and any other information papers. Same goes with section 8 ask them to use your PO BOX for your mailing address and not your home. The reasons you want to use your address is because you want to keep your address private and you don’t want an angry tenant showing up because of a dispute or deposit refund.
  • When something breaks always replace it with an item  that last the longest, don’t  just buy the cheapest, use the replacement parts that last the longest.
  • When choosing a paint find something that is a neutral color like a tan not too light and not too dark, a color that can go with everything. Once you have that color picked out stick with it for all your rooms and all your other houses, this will make it so much easier when you have to touch up when tenants move out, repairs, and keeping track of what paint you used. For the Kitchen and Bathrooms use a semi-gloss paint and for the Bedrooms and the rest of the house use a satin paint. Do not use flat or egg shell they just get dirty too fast and these types of paints love dirty hands. Buy some Rubbermaid bins to store all your paint supplies and to help keep it in one place to find, items: paint brush, rollers, rags, paint pans, drop cloth, lid opener, and also get a rubber hammer and when you seal the lid of the paint can make sure you cover the lid with a rag so the paint don’t splatter everywhere.
  • Your biggest repairs will more than likely be plumbing and a/c units for the south and heating in northern areas. So make sure you have good people on standby for these repairs. Over time you will notice that these repairs are NOT too hard to fix yourself. So plumbing if you need to start saving money on repairs start buying the tools that are plumbing related and store them in a toolbox or bin that is plumber tools related, and plumbing supplies as well. Buy a book on plumbing and start learning plus this will help you with any repairs at your house. For the a/c and heating part somethings is easy to do and somethings you just need a professional to take care of. One of the easiest things to check is if the fuse is bad or breaker. Also don’t forget the a/c drainage line to make sure it’s clear.
  • Use the “Keep” app from Google this is a very useful app and it stays sync with your other devices. Make a list of the things you have to do or things you have to buy at the hardware store. It can store notes, pic, and a to do list. Even  use it as a grocery list and you can check off the products as you put them in your cart.
  • Use Google Voice as your main contact number instead of your cell phone number, later on you can give them your cell phone number once they signed a lease agreement. Google voice let’s you forward the number to a different  phone or multiple  phones. When you answer your phone from Voice you can hear the person leave a voice mail and you can hit a number to start talking in case it’s important. Another great option is that you can have the incoming number come up on your cell phone as your google voice number and you will know right away what the number is about and the purpose.
  • For bank loan purposes keep your property P&L (overview) up to date. This is needed for loans and is helpful guide for you. It shows the price you purchased the property, loan balance, and value of the porperty. Has all the insurance and taxes listed for each property you want a copy of it send me an email.
  • Here are some websites to use to find rental properties Realtor.com  shows almost every property listed on MLS / HudHomeStore.com wait for properties to be listed ready for investors, select investor from the drop down menu. / Homepath.com is the official foreclosure website owned by Fannie Mae. Some properties are not even listed on other sites, and they have a section for investors.
  • When you first buy a property that is vacant make sure you have someone at the house when they turn on the water, sometimes this is hard to time but try to have a list of things to do so you can wait for water dept. If not try to shut off major items like the hot water line or if possible shut off the water at the water intake line into the house, but sometimes the water department turns that back on, usually they shut off the line when the water keeps flowing then they shut off the line and let you do the repairs but sometimes they leave it on and it does happen.

Advice on fixing up rental properties.

This section is for rental properties but trust me you can use this advice on your on home, plus this will help you out if something happens at your house you will have the experience to deal with the situation.

When getting new carpet  installed  take the time to throw  away the carpet yourself. Even if you have  to  cut it up and place it in a few garbage  cans, when I had my carpet installed  labor was a great deal price of carpet was great and the materials, but since  I already had carpet in my house  they charged my a disposal  fee which cost around $900 so this was less than 40% of the total bill, next time I will dispose of the carpet  myself.

Some people hate negotiations or negotiate  on repair jobs, or asking for quotes one thing to do, is have repairmen come out at the same time as the other repair person so they will know  that they better give a great price the first time, and if you like the person but not the price you can ask if you can do  it  for this  price you will beat the other  bid and you have the job.

Ways to create Income

Ways to create Income

  • Dividend Stocks – Stocks that pay dividends, good companies that are know for giving out dividends, also take a look at REIT’s and MLP’s – make a diverse portfolio of stocks mix it up quarterly and monthly. High Risk and Low risk = (don’t put all your eggs in one basket)
  • Real Estate – rental properties, single family houses, multi-units, even being a realtor on the side can create income.
  • Land – if you own the rights to the land you can rent out the land to someone weather for hunting, farming, or if someone wanted to build on your land.
  • Ads on Blogs, websites, = check out adsense from Google easy way to get started.
  • YouTube – does the camera gravitate to you? Then try out YouTube some people get a nice check in the mail.
  • Side Business – pretty handy at making things, have a creative mind – try making a product to sell to people and online.
  • Online – drop-shipping, private label products, Affiliates programs
  • Ebooks – have a something to say, a story to tell?

Always keep investing! Take Action

Looking for more advice, tips, and information than check out the rest of my blog.

To REIT Or Not to REIT

To REIT Or Not to REIT

Evan Cooper

Oct 22, 2015

In a yield-hungry world, there’s no denying that the dividends offered by real estate investment trusts can be mouth-watering. Two of our Best Dividend Stocks — Digital Realty Trust (DLR ) and W.P. Carey (WPC ) — are REITs, yielding 4.7% and 6.1%, respectively, which is above the 4.4% average REIT dividend at the end of September, according to the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. The high return of these investments begs the big question: is this a good time to buy REITs?

No Longer an Alternative

For many years, REITs were considered an “alternative,” in that while investors were purchasing equities, they were actually taking a stake in real property of one kind or another (apartment buildings, offices, shopping centers, storage facilities, etc.), the performance of which typically was not correlated to equity price movements. But the price performance of REITs during recent market downdrafts laid that notion to rest, and now it seems that most asset classes move in tandem. So if REITs aren’t really alternatives, what are they? Due to their legal status as tax-advantaged pass-through entities, at least 90% of a REIT’s income must be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends. This means that REITs can be a very attractive income vehicle. For investors who want safe, reliable income, the challenge therefore is finding REITs that are on solid financial footing and not likely to cut their dividend — and buying them at a reasonable price.


Value Gap

Since REITs must borrow money to expand (they can’t retain earnings due to their advantaged tax status), fears of rising interest rates have pushed REIT shares lower over the past year. The values are so low, in fact, that they are out of sync with the value of the properties underlying the shares. REITs are currently trading at about a 15% to 20% discount to those values, says Michael Knott at Green Street Advisors in a recent story in the New York Times. That discount is one of the widest in at least two decades. To boost their share price, many REIT operators are planning to engage in stock buyback programs, which means they’ll be increasing their leverage. For many REITs, this won’t be a problem; for others it could make for too much vulnerability if real estate prices and/or rents should soften. Janet Morrissey, a long-time REIT expert and author of the Times article, suggests that the best REIT picks are those that trade at discounts of at least 20%, have under 40% leverage, have investment-grade ratings and plan to fund the buybacks through property sales rather than borrowing.


What’s Your Rate Outlook?

For investors interested in REITs who have done their homework — including finding those REITs that meet the above criteria — the big uncertainty remains the interest rate picture. If you believe interest rates are headed higher, then maybe it pays to be cautious and stay away. In such an environment, REITs stuck with high debt and properties whose value will decline if rates go up could very well cut their dividend and suffer share-price erosion. But if you believe interest rates will stay low or maybe go even lower, and that the current pricing of REITs reflects the threat of higher rates, this may be a good time to cautiously add good quality REIT shares to your portfolio. Find a complete list of REITs here. Image courtesy of renjith krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My tips on Rental Properties, real estate

When you first acquire a property get the lights, gas, and water turned on asap. Sometimes it takes a week or so to turn on. Have a plumber to make sure everything is up to code and nothing is wrong with the gas and water. Have an electrician look to see if anything is a hazard and up to code. Let them know you are doing this because you want everything OK. Not because the lights have been off for more than 6 months – depending on your state.
Always prepare for the next tenants, weather lease agreements, repairs, paint colors, upgrades, and anything else that you can think of. Always have the mind set of what needs to be done for the next tenants. As your experience grows, you will know better for next time.
Keep the same pattern going for taxes always keep up with taxes so when it comes to tax time, you have everything prepare. Keep an excel file with all the repairs and expenses you have on a property one tab for one property and another tab for the second property.
Keep a notebook for tips, PW / ID, you will need this for your accounts with the gas, energy, and water companies. Also a folder on your PC called real estate. Within the Real Estate folder on your PC have another folder called PICS and have a folder for each property and take pictures of everything, (the good, the bad, the ugly) take pics of repairs, take pics of the tenants life styles if they are clean, trashy, whatever. The pics will come in handy when you list the property for rent, and if you had to look back at a repair, take pics of the parts add them to your collection.
Get a PO BOX, have your PO box on your checks, business cards, and if possible make sure section 8 is using your PO box for paperwork. If not they will have your personal address on the tenants paperwork.

Tips for a Home Loan – Mortage

Here are some tips for getting a Home Loan – Mortgage.

Since the mortgage crash around 2006 – things have gotten harder to get a mortgage. Bad loans giving to people that couldn’t afford the home to begin with. Fraud on the loan docs as well didn’t help, appraisals coming in higher than real value, Mortage Brokers doing creative paperwork, and so on. Trust me it’s easier to get a loan on a car than a house. But the dream of owning a home is still out there:

Prepare to be asked alot of question, I mean a lot of question and paperwork needs to be copied and sent over to them. They are going to want all your personal information and paperwork to back it up like Credit Score, Down Payment, 2 years of taxes, Check Stubs, W-2, Driver License, Bank Statements, you might even need to get letters from your bank with a checking account and/or savings. Then if you are married then you can repeat this process for two, if she is going to be on the Mortgage as well.
If you have a scanner at the house with internet connection you will save a lot of time and headaches.
You can start saving and naming these files to your PC to save you some time later on.

Start getting everything ready now and keeping it all together so the process will be easier. As your bank statements come in and check stubs, start saving them in a safe place. When you do your taxes start putting your taxes in a special folder with your W-2 as well.

Credit Score – Start looking over your credit score and credit report, do you notice anything wrong or even missing? Hopefully your score is over 700 and also make sure you have 3 lines of credit on your account. This will build your credit as well. If something is wrong take the step now to fix it, do your research. TIP: if you getting a car DON’T not till you have the house first.

Down Payment – some banks want 10% others want 5% depending on the bank/lender and your file.
If you are buying a house for $100,000 then you have to put 10% down then you need $10,000 in cash for the down payment.  If you have to borrow this money then a few more question are asked.

Always get a second quote try a well known local bank and then a well known lender of home loans. Try your bank with your checking account as well. They can give you an idea of interest rate, and closing cost. Take notes and don’t be affraid to ask questions.