Ellen’s Real Funny Estate Tips for Investors in Property
– I love real estate, and I think people know that. I love to buy houses, I like to sell houses. When I order a drink, I’d like it to be on the house. And– [laughter] I always want to know what houses are out there, so I’m always looking at the real estate listings. But you have to know how to read them, because they use these secret codes, and they put in things that seem positive, and they’re not, so since I know a few things about homes, and as the creator of HGTV’s “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” Mondays at 9:00– [cheers and applause] Oh, thank you. Oh, thank you.
I thought I would point out a few things to watch for when you’re buying a house. Let’s look at the first one right here. This one says “two-bedroom, two-bath condo with potential.” [laughter] You gotta look out for that word “potential,” because “potential” means that the yellow mold could potentially grow into black mold. [laughter] Let’s see the next one. “One of a kind, two bedrooms, five-bath house.” Okay, “one of a kind” is another red flag. The builder never made another one, because he’s in prison.
Okay? [laughter] He’s been sued, and he can’t make another one. And my–what I would look at, who needs a two-bedroom house with five bathrooms? [laughter] I don’t think you need a house, you need a doctor, that’s what I think. [laughter] You don’t need that many bathrooms. There’s two people in there. Here’s another one. “Cozy studio apartment.” Okay, “cozy”… means “teeny, teeny, teeny, tiny, tiny… teeny, teeny, tiny.” If you are the person that prefers to sit in the middle seat on an airplane, this is for you. [laughter] That’s what that place is going to be like.
And here’s something that seems good: “Three-bedroom, two-bath house. Seller is motivated.” “Seller is motivated” means this house is currently on fire. [laughter] He wants to sell quickly. [laughter] All right, and very quickly: “classic” means “old,” “retro” means “old,” “original” means “old,” “good bones,” “old bones,” [laughter] “newer” means “about to be old.” [laughter] The “er” on the end. And I hope that helps you if you’re looking for a house. And right now I’m going to use my good bones for this dance..
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10 Real Estate Tips To Help You Find Profitable Investment Properties
If you really want the best deals in investment properties, you have to increase your odds by finding more deals. Who is more likely to get a cheap apartment building, an investor that looks through the MLS listings and calls it a day, or the one that uses ten resources? Here are the ten:
2. Use the internet. Go to a search engine and enter the type of real estate you are looking for, along with the city you want to invest in. You never know what you might find.
3. Drive around looking for “For Sale By Owner” signs. Owners often don’t want to pay to keep the ad in the paper every week, so you won’t see all properties there.
4. Find abandoned properties. That’s a pretty clear sign that the owner doesn’t want to deal with the property. He might sell cheap.
5. Find old “For Rent” ads. Call if they are a few weeks old. Landlords are often ready to sell, especially if the haven’t yet rented the units out.
6. Talk to bankers. You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.
7. Offer someone a finder’s fee. There are people that always seem to hear about the good deals. Have such people coming to you.
8. Eviction notices. If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can get the information at the courthouse, it can be useful. A landlord who just went through the process of evicting tenants is a likely seller.
9. Old FSBO ads. If you call on two-month-old “For sale By Owner” ads, and they haven’t sold, they may be ready to deal. Owners often give up the effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out!
10. Put an ad in the paper. “Looking for investment properties to buy,” might be sufficient to generate a few calls.
Use of Demographic Reports to Help Decide Where to Make Profitable Real Estate Investments
Demographics and population trends influence almost every decision people make in modern life, from business planning to healthcare provisions, from education needs to fashion and style. Age, ethnicity, gender, income, mobility, employment, geography and other demographic factors determine the shape of our society.
Real estate is no less affected by the ebbs and flows of demographic trends, particularly income, aging, family situations and employment. Use the available data to guide your real estate decisions and you will make better real estate investment decisions.
Consider a real estate broker, whose livelihood depends on people changing homes. Economic mobility is a key determinant in the future of his business, as is the economic health of the region.
“I look to see how fast the economy is growing, and how many jobs are likely to be created as a result, to determine the resources my business will need over the next five years,” says Terry Denoux, a Bend, Oregon, real estate broker.
Development planning relies even more on demographic data to determine priorities. The average age of the population is a major factor in the type of housing that will be required over the next couple decades.
“A young population in an area will require more single family homes with multiple bedrooms and plenty of space for children to run,” explains Wendy Cobrda of Catosphere, a demographic data reporting company. “On the other hand, an aging population will need more hospitals, more medical clinics, more housing that requires minimal maintenance.”
For investors, the stakes are just as high. Investing in commercial real estate, for example requires the ability to forecast where there will be a growing population, and/or where the population’s average income will be increasing.
In fact, commercial property investment requires a deeper understanding of demographic data; it is not just the population trends that need to be considered, but the demographics of the competition. And even those cannot follow a set formula.
For instance, an entrepreneur looking to set up a new car dealership needs to consider where established dealerships are located and set up shop nearby. Car buyers wanting to compare similar models need to visit several dealerships, so they need to be close to one another.
On the other hand, an entrepreneur looking to set up a new hardware store, should look for an area under-served by the competition or where new residential developments will be opening up. Hardware shoppers can compare brands of similar tools within the same store, so ease of access takes on a greater importance.
On the topic of ease-of-access, road traffic patterns can also make or break an investment, especially near busy intersections in competitive markets. The demographics of traffic can add to the complexity of making a commercial real estate investment.
Understanding where to invest in retail properties is one of the main reasons that demographic mapping is such a popular service, Wendy Cobrda explains. “To visually see the movement of people and their spending dollars helps businesses ‘see’ where they should open their next store.”
Demographic data plays a role in vacation rental real estate, too. “Do you buy vacation rental properties, or do you sell the ones you have now?” asks Steve Curtis, owner of FabVillas, a website listing vacation rental properties in Florida. “Well, that depends on how much disposable income people have for vacations and, more importantly, on the age of the population. A younger person is more likely to backpack through Europe, and stay at a hostel. An older person in more interested in comfort and privacy, which is what vacation rental properties offer.”
It also depends on where populations are growing more, as well as where the affluence is growing. If an economic boom is happening in England and France, but not in the USA and Canada, a vacation rental in Spain might prove more useful than on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
“Business planning is just a shot in the dark without solid market data,” explains Ms. Cobrda. “Demographic data reports and maps help businesses project market activity into the future, helping to avoid such catastrophes as building stores with no customers or storing a few million dollars of inventory that nobody wants.”
Given the high stakes of real estate investment, whether in residential, commercial or vacation rental properties, demographic data reports and market segmentation data are even more important.