When you're selling a home, the first impression that a buyer receives of the property is the view from the sidewalk. If your curb appeal is lacking, a potential homebuyer might not even want to look inside. However, there are several things that you can do to maximize the curb appeal of any home.
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. Choose neutral colors that can appeal to the most substantial number of homebuyers. For the best result, use two or three coordinating colors. If using two colors, chose one for the walls and one for the trim and doors. If using three colors, use the third color on the front door and garage doors.
Old, worn, or cracked windows immediately downgrade the look of your home. Homebuyers know they'll need to replace them soon after purchase for a better look and to provide more insulation from the elements. If you've already replaced the windows with new ones, nicely painted to match the house, you'll create an excellent first impression with potential buyers.
To make the outside of your home look like new, you'll need to install a quality front door and update the garage doors. Upgraded entries will also provide better security for potential homebuyers. Paint the doors the same color as your house trim, or you can take a chance with a bolder color if there's an interest for that in your area. You can even include lighting above your garage doors, making the property brighter and more secure for when someone arrives home after dark.
Nobody likes to see a rusty, weather-worn, porch light. Invest in a new design that matches the style of your home. Outdoor porch lighting makes it easier to unlock the door at night. Often, a house that's dark on the outside looks gloomy and uninviting. Illuminating the front door and porch will make the home appear more welcoming and filled with warmth.
Illuminate the pathway to your front door with lights to further create a friendly and homey atmosphere. It's a good idea to add lights to a flower bed or in front of individual trees and shrubbery too. Potential homebuyers will often cruise a neighborhood at night to check out the look of the houses, the traffic, and make sure it's not too noisy after everyone's home for the day. Lights in your yard will create a fabulous and appealing look.
Make sure the walkway to your front door is not cracked or chipped. A damaged path makes a home look less expensive. Update the design with custom stone for a lovely appearance that all buyers will appreciate. Such a pathway will give the impression of elegance and will add more value to your property. When you add lights on either side, your home will stand out.
Whether you have a single, two-car, or three-car garage, the drive leading up to your garage is a significant feature outside your home, just because it takes up so much room. With the amount of space it occupies, you'll want it to look its best with no cracks, stains, or other defects. It doesn't do much good making the outside of your home look beautiful if the concrete appears as if it's falling apart. So, when necessary, invest a little money to make the driveway look fresh and new.
You don't want to overpower the look of your home with too many shrubs. Nor do you want to compromise safety by providing places for burglars to hide. To optimize the look and security, choose a few small green or colorful shrubs to add texture and depth. Short shrubs are less stressful to care for, won't obstruct the windows, and won't provide hiding places for people or stray animals. Place them in the front of your home with plenty of space between each one. If the area looks too barren, then plant some flowers for a pop of color.
Curb appeal is an important aspect when trying to make a great first impression on today's homebuyers. If you need extra funds for renovating a home, please contact us today. Our loan programs can provide you with next day funding, so you can start your renovations fast and sell your house quicker.
When you're flipping a house on a tight budget, you'll want to use your money in areas where you'll get the most significant return. One of the most critical areas to home-buyers these days is the kitchen. A great kitchen will impress a buyer and sell the home quicker. To ensure that you get the best results possible, make sure that you're using your money wisely when upgrading this space.
Buyers are looking for upgraded flooring in their kitchen and usually won't settle for anything less. They want something not only gorgeous but durable, so that it will last for years to come. Investing a little extra on a good-quality tile will impress most people who are looking for a home. Choosing beige, white, or gray-colored tile with a minimal pattern will work with most decors. Wood is another excellent flooring choice. If the expense of hardwood is too much, opt for a high-quality laminate that looks like hardwood.
You'll also want new, clean-looking walls in the kitchen. Fresh paint makes any room look fabulous. Keep the color neutral to allow the home-buyer to add any accent colors that they choose when decorating. Neutral colors will also make the area look more spacious than a darker shade. Be sure the surface of the walls are properly prepared and cleaned before applying paint for the best result. If you want a design with additional flair, consider selecting one area to accent with a deeper-looking color of the same hue used on the rest of the walls.
Here's where you can save some money if the existing cabinetry is still in decent shape. Instead of entirely replacing the cabinets, just paint the ones that you already have. Also, add new hardware to give the cabinetry an updated look. White or light gray are colors that work well, especially in contemporary homes. For ultra-modern houses, dark gray and even black have become trendy colors of choice. Knobs and handles in brushed nickel will look fabulous or match the color of the hardware to coordinate with the shade of the cabinets.
Families, nowadays, need a pantry that provides convenient storage options. A floor-to-ceiling pantry with maximum shelving works best. However, even if space only exists for a small pantry such as in an island or along a narrow strip in a corner, it's worth the effort of putting one somewhere in the kitchen. If you want the pantry to stand out a little from the rest of the cabinetry, you can use a different type of wood or paint it a contrasting color from the rest of the cabinets and add distinctive-looking hardware.
A good-sized island has become a prominent selling point in homes. Families use islands for preparation space, eating, setting out food when entertaining, doing homework or office work, crafting, and many other things. You'll want to include the most significant island that the kitchen will accommodate without it overpowering the space or making it hard to move around. Select a gorgeous granite or quartz counter-top for the best return on your investment, even if you've opted for a less expensive material for the rest of your counter-tops.
Since the kitchen is one of the most used areas of a home, you'll want to put the maximum effort into presenting the best impression possible. So if you're flipping a house and need extra cash for some improvements and a remodel, please contact us today. Our loan programs contain no hidden fees, and we can provide you with next day funding, so you're able to get started on your renovations as soon as possible.
Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to flip a shabby property into a profitable investment opportunity. Last time, we talked about the two ways to buy investment property based on whether you're looking to get renters in immediately or make a bigger profit from your investment. While you can look for move-in ready homes, if you're willing to do a few renovations and redecorating, you great low-cost opportunities and 'flip' them into income-generating rental properties.
Flipping as Part of the Real Estate Ecosystem
Earlier we used the term 'flip' to refer to renovations. This is a concept that can be incredibly profitable to get familiar with if you're thinking about jumping into investment property. Flipping is a very important part of the real estate ecosystem in which hard-working opportunists take on homes that have fallen below modern livability standard due to age, vacancy, and disrepair. Through strategic renovations, upgrades, and redecoration, the homes are restored back into cozy residences and sold at a profit, for a cost that exceeds both the original buy price and the costs of renovation. This is not only lucrative for the flippers, it's also a great service as it restores neighborhood eyesores and puts homes back on the market for families that wouldn't have had the time or resources to renovate before moving in.
Flipping To Your Own Investment Purposes
Professional flippers who do this sort of thing all the time tend to take on one house at a time in a seemingly endless stream of buying, renovating, selling, and using the profits as a downpayment to buy their next project. Of course, no one said that you have to do it the traditional way. Many investment property owners who have some interior decorating vision and aren't afraid of a little hard work (or hiring contractors) can take advantage of the same kind of opportunities but, instead of selling, you can use the renovated property for your own purposes. The reasons to do it this way are incredibly clear, all you have to do is look at the math.
Take a three bedroom house in a good neighborhood as an example. Let's say that in this neighborhood, a move-in ready home of this size would cost about $250,000 and rent for about one percent of that per month at $2,500. Normally a 30-year mortgage and insurance would soak up about $1,500 leaving you with a cool grand every month extra. Even putting some of that aside for annual maintenance, that's pretty nice.
Now let's say that this three bedroom home is actually a fixer-upper. The wall paper is peeling, the kitchen tile is chipped and dated, and the yard is completely overgrown but the structure, roof, and foundation of the house are still in good shape. The owner knows the property is shabby and has slashed the costs to $190,000 to get the house off their hands fast. Not only will you be saving 60 grand to start with, but your mortgage payments will lower to about $1,100 a month. This means that even if you somehow manage to spend the full $60,000 you saved on the price of the house on repairs, then charge $2,500 a month for rent, you're still making 400 more a month than you would have otherwise, and that's for the lifetime of the property.
If you have the time and vision to take on a flip-worthy property, the financial benefits are clear for anyone who cares to do the calculations. You have everything to gain by doing yourself and the real estate industry a favor bringing a shabby, outdated home back to a condition where any family or individual would be happy and proud to live there. Make sure you get a complete official inspection of the property before purchase to make sure that the structure is solid enough to work with. For more tips on flipping shabby properties or advice on how to finance your renovation endeavors, contact us today!
For most people, the idea of "getting into the real estate game" seems laughable. We have this idea that real estate is a hard market to get into. It feels as though it takes a lot of wheeling and dealing to succeed at or that only multi-millionaires can actually afford the expenses. Luckily, this is a misunderstanding. While it's true that trying to buy and sell hotels and mansions maybe a little bit outside of your price range and free time, the truth is that it's actually incredibly easy to get your foot in the door of modest residential real estate properties and to start building a variety of passive income sources. Once you start thinking in terms of buying up little houses and using them as rental homes or Airbnb listings, the budget and time demand becomes a lot more reasonable. If you can see yourself enjoying the life of a casual local landlord making friends, doing repairs for, and swapping recipes with tenants who aren't that different from your own family, then investment property is a great way to put your current savings toward long-term passive income.
Two Ways to Buy Investment Property
When an individual, family, or business buys real estate to make money off of, this is known as 'investment property'. Since property values almost invariably go up with the housing demand of a growing population, this is an incredibly popular form of investment that is generally more stable than trying to play the stock market. There are two primary ways to select investment property to buy. You should pick your selection method based on your combination of budget, opportunism and the amount of time, and effort you want to put into making the house profitable.
Buying Move-In Ready Property
Your first option is to buy a home that is already completely updated, in good repair, and is essentially "move-in ready". This means is that if you're very clever, you can have a renter moving in and paying full rental price within one or two months of closing the deal. This option is often how some people choose their first investment property in order to ease their way into the responsibilities of being a landlord. While rent should more than cover the mortgage payments, you will still need to calculate for annual maintenance to keep the home nice and protect your property values. However, this is all you'll need to worry about in terms of repairs or upkeep.
Buying 'Flip' Property
The second option is to find a fixer-upper with good bones. You might be wondering why you would want buy a shabby house as an investment property. The answer is because when an owner has to sell a home that is not move-in ready, they often have to accept a significant slash in prices. This usually happens when a homeowner doesn't have the funds to fix the place up or would rather get the property off their hands than bother to repair it for the full market value. If you're willing to take on repairs and a few minor renovations, what you'll be looking for is a home that has a larger discount than the cost to repair. This gives you the perfect investment opportunity to 'flip' to yourself, buying low, repairing, and renting high, thus getting the best possible ratio of investment to returns.
This is only the first half of our two-part article! Join us next week for the second half where we'll talk about why flipping is part of the real estate ecosystem and how to choose a home to flip into your own rental property. For more information about financing a flip, contact us today!
Whenever you're getting any sort of loan, it's important to look like a good investment. Bank mortgages require a lot of paperwork and work through a long checklist of factors that help them evaluate whether they should give you a loan. Even getting a car loan involves a credit check and some substantiation that you can pay the loan back. But a private mortgage loan has fewer constraints. The W2 requirement that limits self-employed real investors doesn't always apply, and a cyclical income history will be evaluated instead of just dismissed. But private loan companies still look at financial factors to evaluate the riskiness of loan. One of the main considerations is the LTV, or loan to value, ratio.
What is a loan to value ratio?
Mortgage loans involve a lot of numbers. The loan rate percentage is one of the numbers you might use to evaluate whether a certain loan fits into your business plan. You might also look at the length of the loan and the APR. Loan providers look at two numbers in particular: the amount of money you wish to borrow, and the value of what the loan will help you do or purchase.
For a mortgage loan, the LTV ratio is the amount of the loan compared to the selling price of the house. If you have to put 3% down on a $200,000 house, then you have a $6,000 down payment and the remainder of the purchase price, at $194,000, will need a loan. You will have an LTV ratio of 194,000 to 200,000, or 97%.
If you're using one private lender when you first buy the house, then finding the LTV is simple. It's simply 100% minus the down payment percentage. But if you need a loan halfway through your ownership of the house, you're refinancing a rental property, or you need a loan to finance the improvements, the math can get a little bit trickier. However, regardless of the loan's purpose, a low LTV is the best way to get a loan at a great rate.
What are the benefits of a low LTV ratio?
Because both the ATV and the amount of the mortgage loan are high, you will probably need a great deal of substantiation to prove to the loaner that you are worth the risk. This can include anything from an established history of profitable real estate investment to a high value of personal assets. You have to find a way to prove to the loan company that you will pay the loan back. That's why private loans are so advantageous: they are more flexible and don't have a required checklist that rules you in or out of a loan.
Having a low LTV removes the need for a lot of that substantiation. A low LTV in a general housing market generally means a smaller loan. The loan company is putting less of their money at risk. More importantly, the loan is low compared to the overall value of the property. That means you had the capital on hand to pay a large down payment or otherwise cover a large portion of the property. That means you are responsible with money, have plenty of capital, or both.
You can have a low LTV ratio with everything from undeveloped land to multi-family housing to high-end houses. The overall amount of the loan is a significant factor in deciding your rate and making a final decision. Don't underestimate the importance of a low LTV and a plan. Go to Center Street Lending for more tips to get started with your next flip.