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Importance of Real Estate Valuation and the Different Methods of Valuation

Real estate valuation is important as it allows you to determine the value of a particular interest in a property on a certain occasion for a specific purpose. Market value is described as the projected amount for a property which should be exchanged on the date of valuation between two willing parties, namely the buyer and the seller, in an arm’s length transaction after proper marketing, with proficient, cautious action and not under pressure. In this transaction, both parties do not have a special relationship with each other which might affect the determination of the property’s price.

There are many different methods to valuate one’s property. In fact, there are five. One of them would be to use the comparison method. It involves analyzing the recent transactions of similar properties, as compared to your property, which is available on the market between your property and other similar property. It is usually used when there are sufficient recent transactions going on, enabling us to indicate the value of the property.
Adjustments will also have to be made on the value due to certain factors, such as the expenditures made after the purchase, the location and the physical characteristics.

Income method is one of the other methods which use comparison to estimate the value of your property, except this time we would be comparing the rentals of similar properties. This method involves the estimation of the present worth as compared to the future, depending on any future benefits there might be. Future benefits might include amenities like shopping centres, supermarkets and new MRT stations.

Another method would be the cost method. It is based on the theory that people will not give more for an old building than it would cost to build a replacement property providing similar function and utility. It is usually used to valuate properties with little or no market transactions such as schools and churches.

Other method would be the profit method. It is used for the valuation of properties with trading potential and there is no existing recent market rent for similar properties. First, we can obtain the amount of profit by deducting purchases from the estimated amount of the company’s earnings, which is divided into 2 parts, for the tenant and the landlord. Using the tenant’s profits, we will be able to find out the capital value of the property.

The last method would be the residual method. It is usually used to valuate properties which are undeveloped, have buildings that would-be upgraded or have no economic value, and awaits demolition and replacement. The value which can be obtained by deducting the expenses from the estimated value of the property after development is the residual value.
Among the five methods, the first three are the more commonly used ones. Using these methods, you will be able to estimate a value for your existing property.

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Investment Property Profits Quadrupled With Great Tenants

For renting out individual rooms the usual thinking on the subject goes to a rental population of students, seniors and the mentally and physically challenged. I say think outside the box – it’s a great time to be unconventional and observe your rental properties cash flow like never before. On average a $1,000 a month in net cash flow per dwelling unit.
Our preferred tenant will not fit into any of the above-mentioned categories.

We have found that the renters we work with – ex-offenders of soft crime – can be less of a hassle and less expensive than those most people think of when renting out individual rooms. With anyone on parole or probation, finding a place to live is often challenging at best and forces men and women into shelters where they are apt to experience the same issues that got them into trouble in the first place. Those who want to make a change and make their lives work are in need of clean affordable housing that reinforces their goals.

Every tenant comes in knowing that in order to take advantage of this opportunity a set of “House Rules” must be agreed to. They are a set of living requirements handed down by most States Department of Corrections, as part of the individual’s parole or probation agreement. They are not impossible to follow and they keep your house safe and healthy.

Who enforces them? The individuals themselves and their parole or probation officers. Former offenders don’t want to violate the conditions of their parole/probation requirements and if the House Rules are not being maintained there is always someone waiting to take the room. This is just one of the reasons why this tenant population is so wonderful to have as renters.

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Real Estate Investing – Why Hiring A Property Management Company Is Right

When I first began investing in real estate, I was counseled over and over again from other investors about managing my own property. The benefits of saving the fees and earning the tax write-offs as well as being firmly in control of who was occupying my property. It all sounded so great and their words seemed to be filled with years of wisdom. But I have never been one to look or wisdom from those who are determined to trade one wasted minute for another. I wanted the wisdom of business minds and those who built wealth and didn’t trade their most precious commodity: Time, for a few dollars. So if you find yourself wondering if you should hire a property management company to manage your growing portfolio, I can give you a resounding YES!

Deciding to build wealth through owning real estate seems to be an easy decision for many. Others struggle with the idea of owning property for long periods of time and sometimes fixate on the negative stories they have heard and the endless what-if scenarios. I can promise you, those scenarios will always be there and you may experience some of them over time.

However, the benefits of owning real estate and using it as a vehicle to build wealth, far out weigh the negatives of what may happen.
Once you have decided that building a portfolio is your wealth building choice, then do not spend too much time fretting over whether or not to manage the properties yourself. If there is a decision to make, meaning you are purchasing investment property near you, I will give you one thought to ponder. Are you interested in building wealth or developing a second job? Time is your most precious asset and it can be used to improve every aspect of your life or it can be used managing your properties. I prefer to leave the latter to the experts and spend my time earning for my family and playing with my family.

For just a moment I would like you to consider the benefits of using a professional property management company. Many property management companies have spent their development and management hours building systems and processes specifically designed to create an efficient flow. From occupancy to management to legal issues, the company will have the processes in place to handle your properties. Those efficiencies are what lead to increased revenue for an investor, less strain on the investors time, a reduction in costs incurred by the investor just to name a few.

Revenue can actually be increased even after management fees by reducing the number of days a property sits on the market waiting to be occupied. A quality management company will already have applicants ready to rent properties and process to begin marketing a property immediately. By increasing the number of days a property stays rented, the company is increasing the revenue for the investor.

By being able to give up the stress of having to do everything from marketing a property, fielding calls form interested tenants, showing the property to tenants and even taking care of maintenance while the property is both occupied and vacant, an owner can win their time back. With more time to do what you do best whether its spend time earning for your family or spending quality time playing, an investor reduces the stress and worry when they hire a management company.

Finally, costs can be greatly reduced by using a management company. Simply in terms of having policies in place and a procedure for tenants to report issues or make requests, a management company can quickly answer and decipher which calls are important and necessary and which are issues to be handled by the tenant. As property owners doing our own management, the tendency has always been to keep the tenant happy for of having to repeat the rental process and we often spend money on unnecessary expenses.

There are many landlords who will advise to keep overhead small in order to keep it all. In other words, spend as little of your hard-earned rent as possible and do as much work as possible. In my book, building a portfolio of investment properties is a logical way to build wealth and provide for my future. In my present, I am providing for my family by working diligently and smart. If you are considering managing your own portfolio, I would simply ask you to consider the value of your time. And use your time where it will give you the best return. And if it is not in managing your properties, then let that go and hire the best property management company you can find. The gains you make will be huge!

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A Closer Look on Investment Property Foreclosures

What does the term foreclosure mean? Foreclosure is actually the legal proceeding in which a lender (or a mortgagee) gets a court order terminating the borrower’s (mortgagor’s) equitable right of property redemption. Usually, the court order is obtained when the mortgagor fails to pay the loan he or she made to the mortgagee.

The process of foreclosure is usually done by a bank or a secured creditor repossessing or selling the property after the owner has failed to comply with the mortgage agreement.

Investment property foreclosures, to quite a lot of investors, is a great way to get into the real estate business. Both newbies and seasoned professionals can make a lot of money through buying a foreclosure property. But like other endeavors, you should know some details about foreclosure investment business first before you get started. Your investment will only go a long way if you know how you can make the most money possible on every transaction.

Foreclosure investment isn’t something hard to get into if you know some foreclosure information and if you follow the basic game rules. First, define a foreclosed property. A foreclosed property is a property of a person (usually a former mortgagee) because the past owner did not pay his or her mortgage. This means that the mortgagee will have to sell this foreclosure investment property in order to recover any losses.

Investment property foreclosures can deliver huge profits to some. This is why it is quite attractive. There are three ways to buy foreclosures:

1. Buying pre-foreclosure – This is when you buy a property before it goes to auction. The homeowner occupant may be in default on a loan and decides to sell the property to pay for the borrowed money and possibly get some cash to start with too. There may be some risks included in buying a pre-foreclosure property like shouldering big utility bills and some liens that the seller “forgot” to mention. The seller may also be desperate in disposing off his or her property and lies about the real condition of the house and the neighborhood.

2. Buying at the foreclosure auction – This is pretty much the same as any auction. You bid for the property and whoever gives the highest bid wins. There are lots of ways on how to find foreclosures for auction. One of the most popular is by finding one online. However, one downside of buying from an auction is you will not have a real estate agent to guide you through the process. You will have no warranty of any kind which means you have no idea whether liens or loans are still on the property.

3. Buying from the lender after foreclosure — This is also called real estate owned (REOs) or Repos (for “respossessions”). This process is considered pretty safe since REOs are quite similar to buying from a regular sale. Depending on the state, if you find problems after buying a property, you may be able to sue to the former mortgagor who sold you the property and have things fixed with them paying part, if not the whole cost.

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Investing 101 – What Makes Property a Smart Investment?

One of the main questions that every new investor should ask themselves is, “What characteristics make a particular property a worthwhile investment?” In most cases, the answer given by new investors is a simple one – they do not want to lose their investment.

Naturally, they want it to be worth more in a few years than the amount they invest. While these are all laudable goals, there is no amount of gazing into the proverbial crystal ball that can guarantee they will be achieved. The best bet for every investor is to maintain some perspective about the entire process.

One of the first things to think about is the amount of profit you would require each month from your rental property investment before you would consider the investment a success. Some might cite an amount as low as $100, while others would look for a return of $500 or more. That answer helps you to determine how long you need to hold the property to realize your desired return on the investment – a couple years, or more? With the current rent-friendly economy, investors are finding that profits of $300-400 a month are very feasible, with calculations based on the amount of collectible rent minus the costs of the property.

When you attempt to calculate the profitability of your investment property, don’t forget to include all of your costs. You should include expenses like taxes, homeowner’s dues, repair costs, and the principal and interest for the financed property. In addition, it is important to factor in the cost of any manager’s salary unless you plan to answer maintenance calls at 4 in the morning. Most investors prefer to hire a building superintendent to take those calls and perform the necessary maintenance.

In other words, calculating whether you will have a good investment with a certain property requires you to find out what the market can bear for rental charges, and then weighing that against the amount of your investment purchase and repairs.

Of course, you want to ensure that you do not set your rental cost too high, or you’ll have an empty unit. Obviously, empty rental spaces earn no income. After calculating the costs and benefits for a given property, you should only buy if the income to be had outweighs the expenses. If it does, secure your financing, decide your spending limit, and go get your investment property!

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How to Sell Your Investment Property Quickly

To sell a house quickly you simply need to price it right, market it and make buying it as appealing as possible to buyers and Realtors alike.

Here are eight strategies for selling investment properties quickly:

1) Price the home below the competition.
Price is the single biggest factor in how quickly a house sells. As a real estate investor, you need to move houses quickly. And a low price is the simplest and most effective way to create interest in a property – and get offers. Don’t get attached to making huge profits on every deal. It’s much better make deals quickly, and to close more deals as a result.

2) Market, market, market!
If you are using a Realtor to sell a house you are getting great visibility on the RMLS, and this is still the most effective advertising for a property. However, since the majority of properties for sale are listed on the RMLS, additional marketing can be the difference between a quick sale and six months with no offers. For example? Put ads on free websites. Consider a letter to neighbors telling them about the property. Have a party at the house to create some buzz and interest. In short, be creative and apply strategies to get maximum exposure and build excitement.

3) Remove personal items that distract buyers.
While this isn’t usually a big issue for investment properties, try to remove all items that are unusual or attract attention to themselves. Buyers are often distracted by items with lots of personality. This makes it harder for them to focus on the house itself, and less likely they will make an offer.

4) Stage the house.
As a real estate investor, you are probably good at visualizing how homes could be arranged, even when they are empty. The couch will go under that window. The TV will look great in that corner. And a nice antique table will really make the entry feel inviting. But buyers often have a hard time imaging this for themselves. Staging a house with furniture and decorations in key areas can help buyers envision living there. This makes them feel more emotionally connected, and more likely to make an offer.

5) Decorate with neutral colors.
Painting and decorating with neutral colors will make the house desirable to the largest pool of buyers. Yes, some people will like a pink bathroom or a bright red kitchen. But the group that likes it will be much smaller than the group that hates it. Play the odds and go with neutral colors.

6) Get a professional whole-house inspection.
Consider paying for a professional inspection before you put a house on the market. This will help speed the negotiating process by clearly defining the house’s condition. In addition, an inspection sends a signal to buyers that you are professional, trustworthy and prepared to close the deal quickly.

7) Sweeten the pot for Realtors try their darndest to represent their client’s interests. But, Realtors are human and they want to make money. Offering extra incentives encourages Realtors to work just a bit harder to sell your property. Consider increasing commission by a half point to the buyer’s agent. An extra half percent commission will only cost you $1000 on a $200,000 property. That’s a bargain if it helps get the house sold months faster. Or, try including a bonus if the house closes by a certain date. Sufficient incentives make Realtors want to sell your house over others that are similar.

8) Sweeten the pot for Realtors, buyers can be swayed by incentives. Consider paying closing costs or offering additional monetary incentives like painting or carpet allowances. Or, install high-end appliances and offer to leave them. Buyers are often strapped for cash, and anything you can do to ease this burden makes your house more desirable.

The basics are easy to implement.

Really, the basic strategies to sell an investment property quickly aren’t very complicated. Price the house below the competition. Take extra steps to market the house. Remove items that will distract buyers, and paint and decorate with neutral colors.

Stage the house with some furniture and decorations. And finally, offer incentives to the buyer and Realtor. Implement all of these steps and your property will sell much faster.

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What You Should Look at When Buying Property

It is to my great amazement that when I look at the planning which people do before buying property, you often find they do more planning when it comes to organizing a holiday than they do before buying property. Now if you ask me this makes no sense what so ever.

To be able to successfully see buying property as a form of asset investment and a vehicle to drive you down the road to financial freedom, you need to be sure that the investment which you are making is the correct one and one which is sustainable in any financial conditions.

I am a firm believer that one should firstly invest in yourself so as to know that you have the ability through obtaining the correct knowledge to make any investment the best possible one which you can and that you will not have to give it up and loose money the moment that financial conditions change.

Here are a few things which you should take the time to be sure to understand before you decide to make property investment decisions which might come back to haunt you should you choose not to:

1. Invest in yourself – Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to make it a viable investment.

2. Do property research – Be sure that you find the correct property for your investment by doing the required research on any prospective properties so that you know what it is that you are buying and how its history and environment might affect your investment.

3. Evaluate the property structure – There is no point in investing in something which is likely to fall to pieces any day soon. When buying property, realize that it is a long term investment and thus the structure which you are buying should be solid.

4. Eradicate personal emotion – Do not buy property when your decision is purely fueled by emotion, rather look at the facts first and then allow your investment decision be based on what you know rather than what you feel.

5. Understand the financial implications – Many people choose to start buying property while things are going well financially, be sure to use one of the many investment analysis tools which are available to be sure that you have allowed financially for the worst case scenario, when choosing which of these tools to use, be sure that the one you select will have reliable results no matter what the market conditions as then you will know that you will not be caught in a financial predicament when the market turns.

Use these words of advice so as to be able to avoid having to make the same mistakes as other have before you, I always say that it is better to learn from the mistakes of others and not have to repeat them than to have to try to learn them all over for yourself.

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How to Find a Reliable Property Maintenance Company for Your Investment Property

Your home is not called an investment for nothing. Besides giving you roof over your head, it gives you plenty of money. You can have it on lease or you can sell it. And as lot’s value increases over time, so does that of your home. But there’s one thing that may eventually decrease its importance and value: lack of proper maintenance.

Potential home owners do not want to deal with improperly maintained home. Though you may sell it at a very low price, they know they are going to spend more repairing it. Besides being costly, these homes also take a lot of their time and effort, something eager owners frown upon.

Maintaining a home, however, also takes up a lot of your time and effort. It is therefore a good idea if you simply look for a property maintenance company. This is a firm that is responsible for anything related to renovations, from roofs to plumbing and electrical systems. There is nothing else you have to do but to present your plan.

To find one you can work closely, here are some tips:

1. Make sure the business is licensed. The last thing you want to happen is to get scammed. The business must be properly registered in your state. If they offer services such as plumbing and electrical setup and repair, the contractors should be able to present their respective certifications.

2. They must complete the renovation in your preferred time. This is the good thing with a property maintenance firm. They already have a strong team that can work on several renovation projects all at the same time. This then speeds up the work, and you can enjoy your almost-brand-new home in less than a month. Nevertheless, some jobs may be too complicated for them, so you also have to be real about your time line.

3. The company should exhibit expertise and high level of skill. It is not enough they know what to do. They must be able to do things properly. This is one of the reasons why you should choose those companies that have been in the business for years. They have encountered almost every problem you can think of and have found the most ideal solutions.

They can already spot potential issues before they get out of hand. They can also provide you with great suggestions to improve your home or save on costs.

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How To Evaluate A Profitable Real Estate Investment Yourself

Evaluating a Profitable income producing Property Yourself.
Real Estate is an imperfect market and this allows opportunities for the knowledgeable investor. There are three methods of evaluating any property purchase.

a) Replacement Value
This is comparing the costs of replacing the building with a similar structure at today’s prices. It is simple enough to obtain as all builders normally have a ‘per square metre’ building price plus add-on finishing prices such as carpets, curtains, landscaping, carports, painting etc. All that is required is to add the block value and you now have an idea of its worth. Often sleepers, that are under priced, can be found as invariably the market value will catch up with replacement value in time.

b) Market Valuation
This involves finding and comparing similar buildings to the one you are interested in and simply comparing the selling prices. Note that I stress ‘selling prices’ because the ‘asking price’ is often inflated. You need to check recent sales made of similar properties – local agents usually have a record of this activity. You can also compare prices in the classifieds, as well as checking on rents received. However, remember when comparisons are made through an agent’s records, they do not reveal the terms involved such as vendor’s finance, reduced interest rates etc.

c) Income Valuation
This method simply compares the rental currently received with the history of past increases. Once you have obtained this knowledge, you can figure out the capitalization rate of the area. Ensure that you have the total picture of the gross rentals and all expenses and outgoings that you will be liable for. Do not take the vendor’s figures as gospel, but have them investigated fully after getting them in writing. Income valuation is probably the most important of the three methods outlined, as it is critical to your cash flow. Nett operating income is the clearest indicator of a property’s worth.

The ‘Risk Factor’
The ‘risk factor’ is generally what we are all scared of. Often people work for their bosses and have no objections about risking their boss’s money thus making large profits for them.

It is also true of course, that if you weren’t earning profits for them, directly or indirectly, you would not be gainfully employed. If you are risking your own currency then there are some alternatives. You can invest in a syndicate with others and benefit from bravery in numbers. Or you could learn more about your chosen investment because with knowledge comes confidence. Put another way, most people are so busy trying to eke out a living that they have no time left for learning those techniques, which could make them financially independent.

You must understand that nobody other than yourself is as interested as you are in making yourself financially independent. Consider that your neighbors, family, boss and bankers are all guided by the fact that your present mode of lift suits them down to the ground. Also you should not seek advice on becoming wealthy from those who have not achieved it themselves, you stand an excellent chance of being shot down by sniping comments. They do not mean you any harm but they have surmised that happiness is ‘staying put’ and security is ‘just having a good job’.

Yet a job is only as secure as two weeks’ to a months’ notice or at most severance pay, because that is all you will get if the company you work for decides to retrench or simply goes out of business.

The question of boom or bust in real estate goes on, year after year. For as many people who say that things are about to go bust you will find a similar number, as well educated as the former, who will swear by boom times ahead. You, as an investor, should only need to be marginally aware that the market could go either way and still not be disastrous to you. There is no waterproof guarantee that there will not be a bust or short-term downturn; life is never that dull even if the odds are stacked well and truly against it happening.

It will come as a surprise that most of us could be millionaires and that the reason we are not is that it takes a lifetime to earn a million dollars from one’s wages. If we earn, say, $30,000 per annum over 35 years we would fall into this category – we would have finally made it!

There are two small problems however. The first is the length of time during which we spent the money in order to survive. The second is that one million dollars is not worth today what it used to be worth 35 years ago. Time is the single greatest factor between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.
Understand this point and you have grasped 90% of the wealth-building technique!

The only time that you have control of is NOW.
You should look towards making your profits now, not at some time in the vague future. Sure, planning ahead is important, but you have to act now to make your future success a reality. When you work for a living with no time to spare then time becomes your enemy as you become older.

When you invest profitably in the present then time turns into your friend and you grow wealthier by the minute. Now, the longer you hold onto your investment, the wealthier you will become.

Most Australians and Americans finish their working lives with no more to show for it than the house they live in, and sometimes not even that. If they are lucky, their 40 years of toil will yield them some superannuation to help eke out their pension, hardly surprising, because ever rising weekly expenses eat up wages as fast as they are earned. There are not enough hours in a day and years in a lifetime to get rich from wages.

Going into business has made some people rich, but is has also make many people poor. About four out of five new businesses in Australia end up folding.

Real Estate is the only investment that has stood the test of history, proving itself throughout the ages to be solid and reliable. Property prices vary over time. Only two or three years ago, it is hard to believe that prices were really that low, yet even then people were complaining how high they were. Property prices always go up in the long term, which is why property is such a winning investment.

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Properties Investment – Is Investment In Property Rewarding?

Do you wish to generate great financial returns out of owning properties? If so, you should take a step into the properties investment market. No matter how weak the economy is, you can surely earn good profits by having a land, house, single apartment, block of flats or an industrial or commercial building.

Benefits of the Properties Investment market
While you can generate rental profits from your residential house by having some spare rooms rented, finding reliable and compatible tenants can be a little difficult. So, purchasing a separate land or investment property is a better option. Investing in properties offers a lot of benefits especially when you do it right. Here’s a list of some benefits that you can get.

Property investment is less prone to volatility than stock shares. Investing in this market is relatively safe than investing in other financial vehicles. You can expect your property’s value to increase in the long run. You may be qualified to receive tax deductions. You may include depreciation in your investment property’s value due to tear, wear and obsolescence as inference in your income tax returns. You can enhance the flow of your cash and obtain tax variations. You can gain cash monthly from the property rental income. You can use negative gearing. An investment property that is negatively geared is one with a property loan that is higher than the property rental profit derived from the property itself. You can take advantage of it and get tax return deductions by stating the difference between the rental income and interest as incurred losses on the investment. You can reduce your tax this way.

Educating Yourself about the properties investment market.
In order for you to become a successful property investor, it is crucial to get yourself educated about all the things that may be involved in your real estate venture. You do not have to be a guru in real estate business. You just have to learn the secrets in building long term wealth with selling or renting out properties. One of the most important skills is learning how to quickly acquire new renters that are quality, I really cannot stress this enough!

You may seek proper advice from experienced real estate professionals. You can find a lot of helpful information resources on the Web. You may even begin an electronic course that will allow you to prevent doing trial and error. However, the best way is finding someone who has experience who is willing to teach you so you can avoid a lot of costly mistakes.

You just have to learn how to prevent making deal breaking mistakes that a lot of people encounter when it comes to real estate rentals. Also, you have to learn how you can become a passive landlord who earns without performing much work or dealing with terrifying tenants. I’ve prepared some very powerful real estate investment materials for you below, enjoy!

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Five Ways Investors Make Money in Real Estate

People know there is money to be made in multifamily real estate. But how, exactly, does an investor derive yield from owning apartments? Yes, there is income from rents. But what else- how do we get from a review of the income statement to determining investor yield?

There are four ways to make money with multifamily assets:

Appreciation – increase in value over time

Income – derived from rents and other income

Depreciation – tax benefits

Mortgage reduction – reducing debt through principal payments
An investor can potentially benefit from all four categories as a real estate owner. Whether passive or hands-on, these four categories can provide a component of investor yield What is the fifth?

Quality Asset Management
The fifth method for making money in real estate is professional expertise brought to the deal – asset management. Specifically; management that controls costs and guides or directs capital expenditures.

Controlling Controllable Expenses
The asset management function brings a high level of expertise to increasing direct and indirect income and controlling short and long-term expenditures. Succinctly: controlling controllable expenses. Without this fifth “corner” being applied to real estate ownership the other four contributors to investor yield can erode rapidly.

Asset management is what we do best.

Here is an exercise you may want to try. Take each component from the list above and attach a dollar amount to each one. Here is an example for a $5,000,000 asset.

Appreciation – assuming 1.5% appreciation, the increase in value each year is $75,000 annually

Income – lets assume $25,000 net distributed each year

Depreciation – tax benefits. This requires some research as every one’s tax bracket is different. Let’s say, $18,000 in actual tax savings for a given year

Mortgage reduction – reducing debt through principal payments. On a $3,500,000 mortgage, principal reduction is around $50,000 annually.
$75,000
$25,000
$18,000
$50,000
= $168,000

Given a cash investment of $1,500,000 the first year yield is 11.2%. In this example, asset management would probably raise this to the low teens. This is an ultra-simplistic example but it provides you with a guide to determining annual investor yield utilizing all of the components available to the investor.

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Formulas Used in Investment Property Purchases

Investment property purchases can be a tricky business when it comes to paying the inherent value when buying the property and ensuring you are not over paying. Although some degree of overpricing is inevitable in selected markets where dwellings are at a premium, in most other areas, the depressed housing market almost guarantees good appreciation when the economy starts improving.

In any case, a lot of landlords use formulas to arrive at valuations for rental properties, though these may not always work and can at times be at total variance to what local property prices are ruling at.

Even then a good thumb rule is to pay a maximum of 70% of the expected market value of a property after all repairs, renovations and improvements are carried out, the costs of which are taken out of that 70%. Another method would be to pay between 6 to 8 times the total rent expected to be made in the first year, for each unit.

In any case, rental income must cover costs like the mortgage payments, taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, etc. with provision kept for a vacancy rate of at least 5%, which is the expected time for which a property is going to remain unoccupied in each year.

Even if the rental income only suffices for a person or business to break even, price escalations over longer periods and tax discounts for rental property will ensure that there is some profit in investment property purchases. So, it is a very good idea to evaluate a property un-emotionally before actually purchasing it.

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