FIRE! The Case for Investing in Real Estate Now

By Jeff Smith, Realtor with Lifestyles Realty The Fire Alarm As I write this it is 8:30 on Saturday night. The kids are tucked in bed and there is finally enough stillness in the house to reflect on the day. Today started out like most other Saturdays. As the regular host of the Saturday edition … read more

Damage Control

I have recently been told by a very experienced landlord that 20% of residential tenants leave a property with damages equal to or greater than the security deposit. I felt like the more accurate figure in my experience was half that. We incredulously asked each other how that can be, with so many layers of … read more

Increase Your Bottom Line – Supplementing Rent with Ancillary Income

Owners feel that the greatest income limiting factor in real estate is the calendar. Owners who focus on rental income alone know they are limited to a maximum of 12 months. Yet smart owner’s who look for that extra income can find it – let me show you where to look. Non-Rent Income While it … read more

The Five Ways Real Estate Investing Makes You Money

Five Ways to Make Money is Better Than One Real estate investing is the most powerful wealth-building tool available to the average person. The reason it’s so powerful is: there are five ways it makes you money. Stocks, by contrast, only share one of these sources (two if you’re getting dividends). Once you understand how … read more

Real Estate Investing Links for April 7, 2010

“Are Mortgage Rates About to Spike in the United States?” The Rentables responds to fears that the government’s imminent withdraw of aid from the lending industry will rapidly raise interest rates. This is because although the Fed has been lending money to banks at very low rates (often anonymously so as to maintain credibility), banks … read more

Writing Offers – Keys to Negotiating!

Knowledge 1. What is a good deal? (Prepare alternate scenarios to work from in advance) 2. Do the circumstances surrounding this deal provide for negotiability? Seller’s motivation to sell? Seller’s ability to take a loss? Seller’s time table to sell? Seller’s flexibility with terms? Seller’s fears? Seller’s experience and style of negotiating? Potential usefulness of … read more

Understanding Single-Family Home Property Values

I recently attended a party with some of my wife’s new friends with whom I had never previously met. Almost every time this happens … no each and every time this happens at any social gathering, the wives disappear to a separate room to have what I’m told is “real conversation” as opposed to the … read more

Pay Yourself First: The Equity Goose and The Cashflow Golden Egg

I find it interesting that wisdom is often clearly laid out before everyone in a book or a lecture, and few truly understand it. It’s just as Napoleon Hill wrote in “Think and Grow Rich” when he hinted that one needs to re-read the book several times; and even then, the wisdom can only be … read more

Real Estate Investing Links for March 3, 2010

“Obama Looks to Stop All Foreclosures Without Government Review” The Real Estate Bloggers report on the Obama Home Affordable Modification Program’s efforts to examine all potential foreclosures. The bloggers maintain that government intervention is “not the answer” and that the markets must self correct before consumer confidence can be restored. The proposal, which has not … read more

Banks? We Don’t Need no Stinking Banks – Unconventional Financing Fundamentals

By Karen Davis and Jeff Smith, Mentors in the Houston Office There are many reasons (erroneous we believe) why people don’t want to get involved in real estate investing. However, if you do want to get involved, there is no reason why you can’t. Most people who hesitate to get started are afraid at some … read more