Making the Transition from Renter to Homeowner

Wherever you read about the benefits of buying a home, it’s almost only ever described as a being ‘better’ than renting. However, while this is true in most cases, it does not mean it’s the perfect solution for everyone. There is a lot to think about, from finances through to hiring attorneys, and the truth is that sometimes buying a home can lead to disaster. Here are the key concepts you need to consider if you want to make the transition from renter to a homeowner as smooth as possible. 

Comparing the money

First of all, it’s worth thinking carefully about how much you pay for rent and how much you will pay for your mortgage. In most cases, due to the rising costs of rent, a mortgage will be cheaper. But it isn’t necessarily the case. A mortgage loan officer can help, of course, as can a financial adviser. But just because you can afford to pay a monthly rental fee, doesn’t mean you will be eligible for a similar mortgage rate. Ultimately, the decision will be made by your mortgage advisor on your income and your credit rating.

Check your credit

Before you start looking into buying a home, check your credit rating. It is one of the primary things that mortgage providers will use to determine your mortgage eligibility. Some lenders are more flexible than others, although you may find you end up paying more in interest. Again, check your figures and make sure you can afford the payments.

Understand your responsibilities

One of the biggest shocks to the system of becoming a homeowner is that everything is down to you. If anything goes wrong with your heating system, you have to pay – there is no relying on a landlord. It catches many new homeowners out, so preempt any situation and ensure that you are building up an emergency fund.

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Insure everything

Another way of reducing the costs of emergencies is to use insurance. Understanding homeowners insurance is the first step. You should also insure your critical household functions – it will lessen the impact of any nasty surprises. It will also allow you to plan a lot better, and work out your fixed monthly costs. Of course, these extra expenses will soon add up, so you need to consider them to your total outgoings when comparing rental rates.

Furnishing your home

Another cost to think about is furnishing your home. Again, it’s important to include this in your home buying budget – especially if you currently live in a furnished property. Beds, storage, cupboards can all cost a small fortune. Plus, of course, you may need some money for doing renovations. It’s rare to buy a home that is just perfect for your needs. Often, you might want to refresh a tired looking bathroom or kitchen. Unless you are happy to make do for a while, it’s something you will need to save up a significant amount of money.

As you can see, there are plenty of things to think about when making the transition from renter to homeowner. In most cases, it will be worth it – but make those financial checks beforehand to ensure you can afford it.

 

Make Big League Winnings in Real Estate Development

Most people seem to think of real estate first when they think of investments. Perhaps that’s because real estate investment is one of the strongest forms of investment out there! It’s certainly one of the most attractive forms of investment, and it’s easy to see why. For a lot of people, it seems like a fairly simply thing. You find a property you think has great prospects, check out the viability of the neighborhood and the surrounding amenities, then you invest. Then you wait around for a few years and bam, you sell that property for a tasty profit.

Of course, things aren’t quite that easy. But still, that doesn’t seem like enough of a challenge for some adventurous investors – nor does it seem like the best way to make big bucks off the property market. Well, those intrepid investors may be onto something, because real estate development is something that could definitely see sky-high profits.

Successful real estate developers are among the wealthiest people on the planet; some of those ultra-wealthy real estate developers are among the most famous people around, and at least one of them is the current President of the United States. So there’s definitely a real thrilling element to this endeavor – but how do you get it right?

We’re going to take a quick look at some of the most essential things you need to consider if you’re thinking about getting into real estate development.

Research

Real estate investment and real estate development are two completely different beasts! Don’t go jumping into this without deepening your knowledge about investment, construction, business law, property types – among other things. There are loads of books out there dedicated to this subject, and it’s recommended you pick up a few of them. You should also consider doing some research into the beginnings of many successful real estate developers. This is useful, though remember that the real estate business has changed quite a lot since many of the biggest names got started in their business pursuits.

The type of real estate development

So you’re confident that you want to get into real estate development. But what type of development are you going to work on, exactly? Some people who are interested in this endeavor haven’t quite gotten as far as this in their thoughts; if you’re one of them, it’s time to look through the options!

Residential real estate is the most obvious type here. If you’re interested in this, then you need to know what type of housing is most popular in the area you’re scouting. If you’re in a city, then you’re probably going to want to look into condos – a series of apartments in the same building. Most people in the city are there for work, but don’t want to spend a lot on an entire house. Fewer people are buying homes these days, so this is worth keeping in mind even if you’re not so close to big cities.
Commercial real estate can be the easiest when it comes to design, but you also need to consider what kind of businesses you want to attract to the property. Standard offices will be fairly simple, but even then you need to make sure there’s actually demand from viable businesses for this kind of real estate in the area you’re interested in.

Working the land

So you think you’ve found a nice bit of land for some real estate development. But are you absolutely certain? These things are fairly difficult to tell with the naked eye. Just because someone is trying to sell you a piece of land as perfect for real estate development, you have to ask yourself a question: why hasn’t anyone developed real estate here, yet?

It could just be that you were lucky enough to stumble upon a prime piece of land that others hadn’t even considered. But don’t just assume this. Before you start buying land, get the land in question surveyed. You need to ensure that the ground is safe to work on, or that it’s level, or – if it isn’t level – if it can be leveled.

You may also want to look into landscaping to ensure that the land is ready for construction. Unless you’ve been hiding a landscaping degree (and a truckload of resources) from us, we’d advise you to work with professional landscapers. Bear in mind the type of land you’re dealing with, because this will determine what kind of landscapers you should be working with. Places in the southwest of the United States, for example, may require the expertise of desert climate landscape design.

Thinking business

You may only want to take this task on as a solo venture, something that doesn’t have any brand attached to it. In this sense, though it’s a daunting task, you want to keep things as fluid as possible, without many formalities surrounding things. You may only ever be planning to build this one development instead of continuing to make more afterwards.

But if you’re interested in developing real estate, you might not want to take this route. There are a lot of legal and financial difficulties you could get into that would be made more complex or even threatening to your personal life if you pursue the endeavor in this way. Your best bet might actually be to form a business entity for the project. You may think this would complicate things further, or even constrict what you can achieve. But the opposite might turn out to be true.

For one thing, forming a business will help secure your name to the properties you’re developing. It will also greatly reduce the risk you’re taking on. As you must know by now, real estate development is a big and risky investment! What if something goes wrong? There could be a turn in the market, or a natural disaster could cause devastation to the project. If you didn’t have the business liability protections and other insurance assets protecting you, the damages would hit your personal finances in a very big way. Tax breaks, strong insurance, limited liability, and a bunch of other protective means will prevent losses being quite so devastating if you form a business. It will also make marketing easier – and you’re going to need that to attract people to your properties!

Outsourcing Companies: 3 Steps To Making The Right Choice

We’ve discussed before how outsourcing can be good for your business, so today, we’re going to examine the process of finding the right company to outsource to. While outsourcing can be beneficial, its full potential is only realized if you work with a company who is capable of performing the work at hand to the best standard possible.

The first step

To find the right company to meet your business’ needs, you will first need to define a specific requirement and then match this with a specific type of service provider. For example:

  • If you need your website to rise through the Google rankings, you’ll be looking for an SEO expert.
  • If you need to ensure your business’ technology is always in good order, you’ll be looking for a managed service provider.
  • If you require assistance in managing your payroll, you will be looking for a bookkeeper or accountancy firm.

Ask for recommendations

Primarily, seek recommendations from fellow business owners. You can do this online via forums, or you can attend a local networking event. With the latter, there’s no guarantee someone who runs a company that meets your specific needs will be present, but someone who knows of a good company almost certainly will be.

Ideally, you’re looking for three company names that you are then going to research in more detail.

Check how much each company talks about you

There is a tendency for service providers to use any meetings you have with them and their website copy to talk about themselves. It’s understandable that this happens; after all, they’re trying to ‘sell’ you the idea of their company, so they will want to talk about their reputation, previous successes, and how their company is preferable to others.

However, this sales spin isn’t useful to you as a client. What you need to know is what the service provider can offer to you; how their specific service is going to benefit your business. All good providers will focus primarily on their benefit to you as a client; managed IT providers such as Red Key Solutions go to great lengths to focus on how their service can help to grow your business; SEO providers should emphasize the benefits of improved SERPs in terms of converting sales; and accountants should seek to continually center the way that improved financial management can help you to reach your business goals.

If a company neglects to mention how they can help your business, instead focusing on their abilities, it’s a bad sign – and could even suggest they have to talk about themselves, as the benefits of their service are not immediately apparent otherwise.

Final thoughts

It is also worth noting that in addition to the steps above, at least some of your decision-making will be instinctive. Some people may try to argue this is problematic, but this isn’t actually the case. Gut instinct is important in life, and provided there are no obvious red flags about the company in question, there’s no harm in trusting it. If you like a company and like the idea of working with them, that’s a very good sign indeed.

Hopefully, the considerations above should help you to find the outsourcing provider your business needs – good luck!