According to a study published on CNBC by Diana Olick, Idahoans gained 21,000 on average in 12 months last year. The national average was 15,000 which was the highest since 2013.
According to a study published on CNBC by Diana Olick, Idahoans gained 21,000 on average in 12 months last year. The national average was 15,000 which was the highest since 2013.
I have removed an earlier blog on this topic as it is impossible to discuss the design, layout and types of plants ideal for our region and for improving curb appeal without showing images that demonstrate it. Unfortunately due to copyright concerns, I can only discuss this privately and not on a blog. If you wish to learn more about what you can do this spring to improve your landscape’s beauty without adding to your water bill, please feel free to submit a comment below with your email address and I will follow up with you.
The above image is from the EPA’s photo gallery of water smart landscape designs. If this interests you, I’d encourage you to visit their site and explore the photos of xeriscapes in the Northwest.
In this digital day and age when business is largely conducted over the cybersphere, we are capable of transactions our forefathers could not have completed with the ease we can today, but this convenience comes at a cost, one which the Bown’s of Utah understand only too well.
Cyber thieves have learned new ways to find out who is buying a home and enough related information that they can trick Buyers into wiring money to them instead of the Title or Escrow company overseeing the purchase of their home-to-be.
As Jotham Sederstrom from Inman noted:
“Acell and Anne Bown of Payson, Utah, were gunning to close the deal on a new home in the small town of Mona by Dec. 22 when they received an email purportedly sent by their agent, Carrie Butterfield of Intermountain Properties. But the email — one letter off from Butterfield’s authentic account — was a hoax, directing the couple to wire $91,000 as a down payment, immediately.
The email also directed the Bowns not to contact Butterfield because she would be tied up in meetings all day, according to a report from local CBS affiliate KUTV 2 in Salt Lake City.
‘The message from our agent said ‘I will be in a workshop all day, so don’t try to call me,’ ‘ Anne Bown told CBS. ‘We were so eager to get everything done in a hurry so we could move.’ ‘ “
The truth was revealed at the time of closing when they discovered they still owed $91,000.
While this type of cyber theft is occurring more often where Buyers are tricked into wiring money to another account and not the Title or Escrow company, there are ways to assure you are not a victim of such theft.
Here are 3 steps you can take to make sure you don’t fall prey to such schemes:
With a little preparation and clear communication before any changes occur, buyers and sellers can greatly minimize the chances that they fall victim to one of these schemes. In the age of the internet, we have conveniences our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, and so long as we stay in contact with key players in a transaction as large as buying a home, we can enjoy those conveniences without the potential headaches. This I am sure that both Acell and Anne Bown of Utah would much agree with.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has published a new study on buying and selling patterns in America and here is another infographic sharing in simple terms what it shows for our region….
On a personal note about how our area plays into these fast facts, I’d say our local median income is lower and buying demand is steady despite the lower than normal inventory.
If you’d like to know more about our local market activity and whether this is a good time to consider buying or selling, feel free to contact me to learn more.
Turn on the television or scroll through Facebook and chances are, you’ll see at least one advertisement for a group or “guru” who promises to teach you how to “get rich quick” through real estate investing. The truth is, much of what they’re selling are high-risk tactics that aren’t a good fit for the average investor. However, there is a way to make steady, predictable, low-risk income through real estate investing. In this blog post, I’ll examine the tried-and-true tactics that can be used to increase your income, pay off debt … even fund your retirement!
WHY INVEST IN REAL ESTATE?
One of the basic principles of real estate investment lies in this fact: everyone needs a place to live. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer Expenditures Survey, housing is typically an American’s largest expense.1
But there are other reasons why real estate is a great investment choice, and I’ve outlined the top five below:
Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. History has proven that over an extended period of time, the value of real estate continues to rise. That doesn’t mean recessions won’t occur. The real estate market is cyclical, and market ups and downs are natural. In fact, the U.S. housing market took a sharp downturn in 2008, and many properties took several years to recover their value. However, in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, which tracks U.S. residential real estate prices, released its latest results on August 29 with the headline “National Home Price Index Rises Again to All Time High.”2
While no investment is without risk, real estate has proven again and again to be a solid choice to invest your money over the long term.
Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. As inflation rises, prices go up. This means the money you have in your bank account is essentially worth less because your purchasing power has decreased.
Luckily, real estate prices also rise when inflation increases. That means any money you have invested in real estate will rise with (or often exceed) the rate of inflation. Therefore, real estate is a smart place to put your money to guard against inflation.
One of the big benefits of investing in real estate over the stock market is its ability to provide a fairly steady and predictable monthly cash flow. That is, if you choose to rent out your investment property to a tenant, you can expect to receive a rent payment each month.
If you’ve invested wisely, the rent payment should cover the debt obligation you may have on the property (i.e. mortgage), as well as any repairs and maintenance that are needed. Ideally, the monthly rental income would be great enough to leave you a little extra cash each month, as well. You could use that extra money to pay off the mortgage faster, cover your own household expenses, or save for another investment property.Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase, until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.
As the owner, you will also benefit from the property’s appreciation when it comes time to sell. This can be a great way to save for retirement or even fund a child’s college education. Purchase a property when the child is young, and with a little discipline, it can be paid off by the time they are ready to go to college. You can sell it for a lump sum, or use the monthly income to pay their tuition and expenses.
One of the unique features that sets real estate apart from other asset classes is the ability to leverage your investment. Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment.
For example, if you purchase an investment property for $100,000, you might put 10% down ($10,000) and borrow the remaining $90,000 in the form of a mortgage.
Even though you’ve only invested $10,000 at this point, you have the ability to earn a profit on the entire $100,000 investment. So, if the property appreciates to $120,000 – a 20% increase over the purchase price – you still only have to pay the bank back the original $90,000 (plus interest) … and you get to keep the $20,000 profit.
That means you made $20,000 off of a $10,000 investment, essentially doubling your money, even though the market only went up by 20%! That’s the power of leverage.
One of the top reasons to invest in real estate is the tax benefit. There are numerous ways a real estate investment can save you money each year on taxes:
When you record your income from a rental property on your annual tax return, you get to deduct any expenses associated with the investment. This includes interest paid on the mortgage, maintenance, repairs and improvements, but it also includes something called depreciation.
Depreciation is the theoretical loss your property suffers each year due to aging. While it’s true that as a home ages it will structurally need repairs and systems will eventually need to be replaced, I’ve also learned in this post that the value of real estate appreciates over time. So getting to claim a “loss” on your investment that is actually gaining in value makes real estate an appealing investment choice.
Serial Home Selling
Even if you’re not interested in owning a rental property, other types of real estate investments offer tax advantages, as well. Generally, when you own an investment property you pay a capital gains tax on any profits you make when you sell the property.
However, when you sell your principal residence, you are exempt from paying taxes on capital gains (up to $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) only requires that you live in the house for two of the previous five years. That means you can purchase an investment property, live in it while you remodel it, and then sell it for a tax-free profit two years later. This can be a great way to get started in real estate investing.
Section 1031 Exchanges
In addition to profiting off of your personal residence tax free, it is possible to sell an investment property tax free if you do it through a 1031 Exchange. If structured properly, the IRS Tax Code enables an investor to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds in a new property while deferring all capital gains taxes.
Tax-Deferred Retirement Account
It’s a common misconception that you can only purchase financial instruments (i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.) through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k). In actuality, the IRS allows individuals to invest retirement funds in real estate and other alternative types of investments, as well. By purchasing your investment property through an IRA, you can take advantage of all of the tax savings these accounts offer.
Be sure to consult a tax professional regarding all tax matters related to your real estate investments. If structured correctly, the profits you earn on your real estate investments can be largely shielded from tax liability. Just another reason to choose real estate as your preferred investment vehicle.
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS
While there are numerous ways to invest in real estate, I’m going to focus on three primary ways average investors earn money through real estate. I touched on several of these already in the previous section.
HGTV has countless “reality” shows featuring property flippers who make this investment strategy look easy. Commonly referred to as a “Fix and Flip,” investors purchase a property with the intention of remodeling it in a short period of time, with the hope of selling it quickly for a profit.
This is a higher-risk tactic, and one for which many of the real estate “gurus” I talked about earlier claim to have the magic formula. They promise huge profits in a short amount of time. But investors need to understand the risks involved, and be prepared financially to cover additional expenses that may arise.
Luckily, an experienced real estate agent can help you identify properties that may be good candidates for this type of investment strategy… and help you avoid some of the pitfalls that could derail your plans.
One of the more conservative choices for investing in real estate is to purchase a rental property. The appeal of a rental property is that you can generate cash flow to cover the expenses, while taking advantage of the property’s long-term appreciation in value, and the tax benefits of investing in real estate. It’s a win-win, and a great way for first-time investors to get started.
And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, rents for primary residences have increased 21.9 percent between 2007 and 2015 as demand for rental units continues to grow.1
With the huge movement toward a “sharing economy,” platforms that facilitate short-term rentals, like Airbnb and HomeAway, are booming. Their popularity has spurred a growing trend toward dual-purpose vacation homes, which owners use themselves part of the year, and rent out the remainder of the time. There are also a growing number of investors purchasing single-family homes for the sole purpose of leasing them on these sites.
Short-term rentals offer several benefits over traditional rentals, which many investors find attractive, including flexibility and higher profit margins. However, the most profitable properties are strategically located near popular tourist destinations. You’ll need an experienced real estate professional to help you identify the right property if you want to be successful in this highly-competitive market.
DOES REAL ESTATE INVESTING SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?
I’ve all heard stories, or maybe even know someone, who struck it rich with a well-timed real estate purchase. However, just like any investment strategy, a high potential for earnings often goes hand-in-hand with an increase in risk. Still, there’s substantial evidence that a well-executed real estate investment can be one of the best choices for your money.
Purchasing a home to remodel and resell can be highly profitable, as long as you have a trusted team in place to complete the remodel quickly and within budget … and the financial means to carry the property for a few extra months if delays occur.
Or, if you buy a house for appreciation and cash flow, you can ride through the market ups and downs without stress because you know your property value is bound to increase over time, and your expenses are covered by your rental income.
In either scenario, make sure you’re working with a real estate agent who has knowledge of the investment market and can guide you through the process. While no investment is without risk, a conservative and well-planned investment in real estate can supplement your income and set you up for future financial security.
If you are considering an investment in real estate, please contact me to set up a free consultation. I have experience working with all types of investors and can help you determine the best strategy to meet your investment goals.
Before I called Idaho home, mention of this Northwestern state would dredge up images of flat plains and potatoes. Those of you who live, natives or people who moved here, know there is so much more to Idaho than potatoes and the below info-graphic from my Idaho Real Estate Association rather succinctly captures why Idaho is a great place to live. I think they missed three other key attractions…. Can you guess what’s missing??
… in my humble opinion, they should have had pinpoints for skiing, national parks, and lakes. Is there another you think was missed? Which one(s)? Feel free to add it under comments.
I wanted to share this blog I read on Keeping Current Matters as the questions below are a good way to assess the competency of an agent or broker. As we all know, years in a business does not always translate to best in business.
Also, I’d suggest two more questions specific to if you are planning on listing your home that would quickly separate the wheat from the shaft, questions, I’ll happily answer in person and encourage you to ask of my competition. Just give me a call and we can set up a consultation about what you can get in this market for your home and how I can help you do that using marketing strategies better than other agents.
|Whether you are selling or buying a home, the real estate agent you hire is critical to guaranteeing your family makes the right decision. Most agents can walk you through the process and explain the industry ‘lingo,’ but you should expect so much more than that.
The housing crisis made everyone aware that truly understanding the real estate market is more complicated than it seems. Today, there are many questions your real estate agent must be able to answer to ensure your family is making the right decision. Here are just a few:
When you are interviewing an agent to represent your family in your next real estate transaction, make sure they can intelligently answer all your questions, while simply and effectively explaining what is happening in the current housing market.
Keeping Current Matters 5018 Express Drive South Suite 204 Ronkonkoma, New York 11779 United States
The current trends are all about utilizing rich color, maximizing texture and creating comfortable interiors you can’t wait to relax in. Use these trends to get inspired to makeover your home’s interiors and create spaces you love that also appeal to your personal style. Remember though, if you plan to sell in the next few years, you may want to avoid doing anything dramatic and instead incorporate small changes that would appeal to buyers.
WHY ARE THESE TRENDS GAINING POPULARITY?
The underlying theme of these trends is creating a home environment you love, one that appeals to your emotions and feels like a retreat from the stresses of the world. Although the home is a place where you can relax and spend time with loved ones, work expectations are beginning to blur the line between work and home. Even if people
don’t work from home specifically, many are stretching their work hours into their evenings and weekends to complete projects.
It’s no wonder the Nordic concept of hygge (most often pronounced “hoo-gah”) has become a hot trend. A centuries-old concept, incorporating hygge in the home means creating simple and comfortable spaces that make you feel cozy and safe and appeal
to your senses.1 The emphasis is on simplicity and fostering positive experiences, whether you’re spending time with family, reading a good book or catching up on work emails.
WARM AND BOLD COLORS.
Whether you want to play with a bold color or stick with neutrals, one thing is clear—paint is the foundation of a great design. Painting your interiors has a return on investment of about 75 percent and is a relatively inexpensive project to complete, costing between $25 to $100 to paint an entire room.2 If you’re thinking of refreshing your home’s interiors with a coat of paint, popular colors include warm taupe, fresh green and dark tones. These colors are popular choices because they evoke feelings of warmth and coziness when you walk into a room.
If you’re interested in adding more drama to a room, include bold, dark
colors. Dark shades add color and sophistication to any space. Plum
and dark gray pair well with pale blues, warm whites, and light gray.
Lux materials create a space in which you can’t wait to kick off your shoes and relax at the end of the day. The Danes use a mixture of materials and pattern as a way of adding character and interest, however the overall look still needs to adhere to a color palette to
prevent it from looking distracting.
Natural materials and textures allow you to maximize the comfort of the bedroom, living room or family room. Wood accents give rooms an earthy feel. Incorporate rustic wood sculptures, trays and furniture into your space.
If natural elements aren’t your style, but you want to add more visual interest to your room, try mixing patterns. If you’re worried about going overboard and making your room look “busy,” focus your mix in one area of the room. For example, add throw pillows in a variety of patterns to your sofa.
According to a recent study from the American Psychological Association, people are more stressed than ever, with 24 percent of adults reporting they’re experiencing “extreme stress”.3 Top sources of stress include work and money. By incorporating small changes, like making your house more energy efficient, you can start to lower your bills and get back to relaxing and enjoying life like the Danish do (who consistently top the polls as the happiest people).
Save money on your energy bills by sealing the “envelope” of your home, which includes the windows and doors, walls, floor and roof. The better insulated your home is, the less heat will escape and the lower your energy bill (and stress level) will be. The most heat loss occurs through the walls of the home: up to 35 percent of heat loss, to be exact.4 Ceramic insulating paint is a space-inspired coating of paint mixed with ceramic compounds and applied to interior or exterior surfaces. It seals your walls and
prevents heat from escaping, which means reduced energy bills all year long.
THE FUNCTIONAL HOME OFFICE.
Since more people are working remotely than ever, home offices are becoming more popular. Even if you don’t plan on working from home, a home office gives you a place to pay bills, work on personal projects, plan your family’s schedule and more. Home offices tend to be multi-functional, serving as a guest room when family and friends visit, and have the potential to meet other needs that arise.
The key idea behind hygge is to enjoy the environment around you and for each room to be a sanctuary to sink into at any given moment. Your home office is no exception! Maximize your productivity, efficiency and focus by painting the walls shades of green or blue.5 If space is an issue, create a nook by installing docking and tech cabinets that are big enough to store a printer and other small office equipment and files without taking over the room.
SPLURGING ON KITCHEN RENOVATIONS.
The kitchen is often the busiest, most hectic room in the house and one of the top renovation projects with a high return on investment.7 We do more than cook meals there; it’s where homework is done, bills are paid, weeks are planned and more.
Kitchen remodels consistently show a respectable return on investment. According to the 2017 Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling magazine, a minor kitchen remodel touts an 80.2 percent return on investment.8
What does a “minor kitchen renovation” entail? In addition to replacing the fronts of your cabinets and drawers, it also includes replacing out-of-date appliances and fixtures. You may also consider replacing countertops. Quartz and quartzite are becoming more
common as are other green laminate options, including ones that mimic stone, wood and concrete. Other hot kitchen trends include incorporating sustainable materials like bamboo into your countertops and floors and water filtration systems.
Want to improve the look and feel of your home’s interior? Are you thinking of upgrading to a home that better fits your changing needs?
Call me. I’d love to help you achieve all of your home-related dreams.
1. Time, Hygge, the Nordic Trend That Could Help You Survive 2016
2. Quality Smith
3. Department of Energy
4. American Psychological Association, 2015 Stress in America
5. Entrepreneur, How the Color of Your Office Impacts Productivity
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics
8. Remodeling Magazine, 2017