How to Make Money in Real Estate Investing
Lower Your Taxes:
Tax incentives can often make the difference in a real estate investor’s tax rate. Deductions for rental properties can often be used to offset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a losses into profits. What items can investors get tax breaks on?
You can claim deductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing and operating the property.
These Can Include:
Mortgage Interest Payments
Real Estate Taxes
Property Management Fees
Utilities (assuming the tenant doesn’t pay them)
These expenses can be subtracted for your adjusted gross income when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, these deductions cannot exceed the amount of real estate income you receive.
In addition to deductions for operation costs, you can also receive breaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time. These “losses” can be deducted regardless of the actual market value of the property. Since depreciation is a non-cash expense, you’re not actually spending any money so the tax code can get a bit tricky. For more information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, ask your tax advisor about Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code.
Have a Positive Cash Flow:
There are two kinds of positive cash flow – pre-tax and after-tax. A pre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater than expenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but they are usually a strong and safe investment. An after-tax positive cash flow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various tax breaks allow for a positive cash flow. this is more common, but it is generally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow. Regardless of what kind of real estate you choose to invest in, timely collections from your tenants is absolutely necessary. A positive cash flow, whether is be pre-tax for after-tax, requires rental income. Be sure to find quality tenants. Doing a thorough credit and employment check is a good idea.
One of the most important factors in determining a solid investment is the amount of equity you are purchasing. Equity is the difference between the actual worth of the property and the balance owed on the mortgage.
Benefit from Growing Equity:
While investing in real estate is relatively complex, it is often worth the extra work. When compared to other financial investments like bonds or CD’s, the return on investment (ROI) for real estate purchases can often be greater. The key to real estate investing is equity. Determine an amount of equity that you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, it’s time to sell or refinance. Determining the proper amount of equity may require the assistance of a real estate professional.
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How to Increase Your Home’s Value for $0 Out of Pocket
If your home doesn’t show at its very best, you could be leaving hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the table. You may also have to wait before receiving any offers, and in this seller’s market that could give the perception that it is either priced too high or there is something wrong with it. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your home ready to sell. Some repairs may be necessary, such as fixing faulty plumbing or painting, but there are several things that you can do for nothing out-of-pocket that will make sure your home shines.
- Make rooms appear larger by packing away extra furniture and knick knacks.
- Clean out closets so everything appears orderly. Most people demand neatness in a home they intend to buy even if their own residence is a mess.
- Always keep your blinds and draperies open and your windows sparkling clean to let as much natural light into your home as possible.
- Make sure your kitchen is spotless. Rid clutter from countertops, and organize your drawers and cabinets. Buyers will look inside.
- Clean the refrigerator. Remove magnets with coupons and your child’s artwork.
- Make sure all floors are as clean as possible. Wax wood floors, shampoo carpets, or bleach the grout in tile floors, if necessary.
- Dust everything in sight, clean dead insects from light fixtures, and polish mirrors.
- Clean the oven, broiler, vent hood, and microwave.
- Make sure bathrooms are spotless. Hang your best towels. Clean all fixtures.
- Prune all plants. Throw out dying plants.
- Take down offensive posters or artwork from your teen’s rooms and put away all toys in younger children’s rooms.
- Make sure your utility room is clean. Don’t let laundry stack up.
- Clean the garage thoroughly.
- Mow the yard and keep it well watered. Edge sidewalks.
- Weed any flowerbeds and trim trees and shrubs, if needed. Uproot dead flowers, plants and shrubs.
- Sweep all sidewalks, patios and porches.
- Remove any rusted swing sets or patio furniture that is rusted, shabby and beyond repair.
- Put away all toys, bikes, rollerblades, etc.
- Make sure that pets are kept out of the way and pet areas are clean and odor free.
- Repair broken sprinkler heads.
- Water the lawn only very early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Clean the roof and gutters.
- Repair a broken or sagging fence. Make sure that the fence opens and closes without having to use excess force.
- Fix the doorbell if it’s broken and make sure that the front door is free of debris and dirt, as well as opens and closes with ease.
- Move firewood off the ground and away from the house. Otherwise, the area may be noted as conducive to termites or fire ants in a termite inspection.
- Park cars down the street during showings.
5 Reasons Why You Need a Realtor
- A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
- Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including, but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with someone who speaks that language.
- REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. That’s why having an expert on your side is critical who does it every day.
- REALTORS® provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and a roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask
- What is the assessed value of the property? Note that assessed value is generally less than market value. Ask to see a recent copy of the seller’s tax bill to help you determine this information.
- How often are properties reassessed and when was the last reassessment done? Generally taxes jump most significantly when a property is reassessed.
- Will the sale of the property trigger a tax increase? Often the assessed value of the property may increase based on the amount you pay for the property. And in some areas, such as California, taxes may be frozen until resale.
- Is the amount of taxes paid comparable to other properties in the area? If not, it might be possible to appeal the tax assessment and lower the rate?
- Does the current tax bill reflect any special exemptions that you might not qualify for? For example, many tax districts offer reductions to those 65 or over.
Be sure you find a loan that fits your needs with these
- What are the most popular mortgage loans you make? Why?
- Which type of mortgage plan do you think would best for us? Why?
- Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?
- Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so how much will it cost and how long will it be required? NOTE: Private mortgage insurance is usually required if you make less than a 20-percent downpayment, but most lenders will let you discontinue the policy when you’ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.
- Who will service the loan? Your bank or another company?
- What escrow requirements do you have?
- How long is your loan lock-in period (the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored)? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if they drop during this period?
- How long will the loan approval process take?
- How long will it take to close the loan?
- Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying?