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Top Five Reasons to Invest in Real Estate Today

When it comes to real estate, the topic of the day is the downturn in the market, the number of people losing their homes, and how much this is going to hurt the economy. In the seventeen years I have been in the real estate business, I have witnessed every fluctuation the market has to offer. While it is true that many property owners are enduring trying times, rarely does the same happen to knowledgeable real estate investors.

There are those individuals who remain emotionally unattached and invest wisely in real estate. As a result, they live a very comfortable, if not lavish, lifestyle. Investing in real estate, especially during a downturn, can widen an investor’s opportunities and bring about lucrative returns. This is a truth. If you are thinking about becoming a real estate investor or have already made the decision to start, the following information is priceless.

Wanting to secure a comfortable financial future, most of us go to work every day hoping to build a nest egg. Since, it is common knowledge that real estate investors have the capacity to not only build a nest egg but also create a fortune, why aren’t more people joining the ranks of real estate multimillionaires? Why aren’t there more people fighting for a seat on the real estate bandwagon?

Well, the truth behind real estate investing is that it is a business and therefore, must be treated like one for it to prosper. Just like any other promising venture, investing in real estate requires a well-defined vision, a strategic plan, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Even with the overwhelming evidence revealing success, only a microscopic segment of the population is willing to take the risk, do the work and follow through. The rest simply watch and call those of us doing the work “Lucky”.

When I began my career in real estate, I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t invest. I didn’t even see past my next commission check. What kept me hanging on was a desire to live like the people I worked for, most of whom were real estate investors. Years later, I committed to create serious wealth through real estate. As soon as I mindfully committed to my goal, I began to make deals and more money than ever before.

By choice, I am not one of those investors who vacations six months out of the year. I work all the time meeting with clients, looking at properties and refining my strategy. Add to that a growing number of mentoring/coaching clients and my schedule is officially full. Nevertheless, I am continuously increasing my net worth as I am doing something that never feels like work.

Besides creating amazing wealth, being your own boss and having a place or two to call home, owning a real estate investing business has many other advantages. The following five play a special role for the novice investor.

1. Safe Investment

When we use a timeline to compare the real estate market to other investments, such as the stock market, it is easy to see that real estate continues to increase in value over time without any serious instability. Although, there is currently a housing crisis in various parts across the country, every indicator points out that what we are actually experiencing is a readjustment of highly inflated real estate prices. Just as prices may be dropping, in time they will undoubtedly increase. In contrast, the stock market has put investors through a dizzying rollercoaster ride made up of swift highs and abrupt lows throughout history. Regardless of what type of market we are in, it is clear that an investment in real estate guarantees a profit over time.

2. No Cash Necessary

For beginning real estate investors, sometimes the only investment they can make is their time. For every real estate investor, finding a lucrative deal is as good as striking oil. There are plenty of seasoned investors with money in their pockets itching to buy a piece of discounted property. Wholesalers often utilize this method. Therefore, if you are new to the game, consider finding a deal, tying it up and connecting with an investor who can take it off your hands…for a price, of course.

3. Almost Anyone Can Do It

Real estate is such a lucrative field that it opens doors to countless amateur investors everyday. There are how-to books and seminars at every turn teaching would-be investors a myriad of ways to make huge profits in the real estate market. While it is true that overnight success is practically unheard of, anybody with the heart, mind and determination can make it big in real estate. The keys are to continue learning and to monitor market conditions.

4. Leveraging Power

While novice investors can turn a quick profit by wholesaling their deals, Buy-and-Hold investors can yield a profit by borrowing against (leveraging) their properties. Typically, lenders will allow holders of owner-occupied property to borrow up to ninety-five percent of their property’s value and up to eighty-percent of non-owner occupied units. This means that you can either purchase property with a minimal out-of-pocket investment or acquire financing that will allow you to pull cash out of your property’s equity to use for future ventures.

5. Tax Breaks

The popular 1031 exchange and depreciation are just two of them. The United States government has set up multiple tax breaks favoring real estate investors. Owning real estate with the goal of making a profit allows you to deduct interest payments, repairs, and vacancies among other expenses when preparing your tax return. It is important to note that purchasing real estate makes economic sense; it should not be purchased solely for the tax benefits.

Ultimately, owning a real estate business is the way to achieve financial freedom regardless of economic conditions. Whether you quit your job and dive right in or you work at it in your spare time, you can make it happen. Worthwhile benefits are waiting faithfully for the taking.

Real Estate License Required

Looking for a very lucrative business opportunity? Real estate brokering is the top choice for a lot of people. Real Estate Brokers and real estate agents are working throughout the nation. Not only are they making excellent incomes, they are also contributing to the economy in direct, as well as, indirect ways. By helping the sellers in selling their property and at the same time helping the buyers in buying a property these agents help satisfy their need for shelter. Creating this transaction often entails many other services to be ordered. So, can anyone start real estate brokering? Well, not really.

Possessing a Real estate license is a pre-requisite for becoming a real estate agent. However, obtaining a real estate license is not difficult. In most states, the qualifications for getting a real estate license are very minimal. So you should first check the eligibility criteria for obtaining a real estate license (rather pre-license) in your state. The real estate license eligibility criterion includes things like the minimum age limit (which is mostly 19 years) and educational qualifications (which is mostly high school). Most states do require a clean criminal record, sorry. Once you know that you satisfy those real estate license (pre-license) eligibility criteria, you can go ahead and enroll for a pre-license training.

There a number of real estate schools that offer real estate license training. Some real estate schools offer online training for a real estate license. Choose a course that is spread over a sufficient duration of time e.g. 1 year so that you are able to grasp the concepts properly (after all you want to become a successful real estate agent and not just another real estate agent). You will be taught a number of topics as part of your real estate license training. All this will help you develop a basic understanding of real estate and various aspects related to real estate (e.g. real estate law, deeds, contracts, ownership transfer, etc)

Once you have undergone this real estate license training, you will be required to undergo a state exam. After you pass this exam, you will generally need to undergo additional training on state approved courses. That’s it, you can now get a real estate license which is worth that effort (as you will find in a couple of years of starting real state brokering). Most states also require you to go for continuous education after you have received your real estate license. However, this is a just a few hours every few years.

So a real estate license is what you need to start your career as a real estate agent. But your success after that will be dependent on how seriously, ethically and effectively you carry out your job. Unfortunately, eighty percent of new agents will have left the business within five years. Remember, this is a very competitive business and you will find that the top twenty percent of agents earn nearly eighty per cent of the money. Being average in the sales business will leave you hurting financially.

Crisis Or Opportunity – The Truth About The Arizona Real Estate Market

The present real estate market is acting just as it should on the heels of the greatest real estate boom in the last 40 years. There is a long way to fall to get back to “normal”. This falling back into a normal market, coupled with the contraction of the sub-prime mortgage market has the real estate consumer, and many homeowners in a state of fear. The various media continue to depict a very grim picture of the markets in general without distinguishing between the national market and local markets, such as the Arizona real estate market, with factors unique in the ways of population growth and investor activity. I have seen numerous articles referring to the sub-prime debacle as a global crisis. That may be taking it just a bit too far.

The truth is, there is no geopolitical significance to recent events in the U.S. real estate market and the sub-prime crisis. To rise to a level of significance, an event — economic, political, or military — must result in a decisive change in the international system, or at least, a fundamental change in the behavior of a nation. The Japanese banking crisis of the early 1990s was a geopolitically significant event. Japan, the second-largest economy in the world, changed its behavior in important ways, leaving room for China to move into the niche Japan had previously owned as the world’s export dynamo. On the other hand, the dot-com meltdown was not geopolitically significant. The U.S. economy had been expanding for about nine years, a remarkably long time, and was due for a recession. Inefficiencies had become rampant in the system, nowhere more so than in the dot-com bubble. That sector was demolished and life went on.

In contrast to real estate holdings, the dot-com companies often consisted of no real property, no real chattel, and in many cases very little intellectual property. It really was a bubble. There was virtually, (pun intended), no substance to many of the companies unsuspecting investors were dumping money into as those stocks rallied and later collapsed. There was nothing left of those companies in the aftermath because there was nothing to them when they were raising money through their publicly offered stocks. So, just like when you blew bubbles as a little kid, when the bubble popped, there was absolutely nothing left. Not so with real estate, which by definition, is real property. There is no real estate bubble! Real estate ownership in the United States continues to be coveted the world over and local markets will thrive with the Arizona Real Estate market leading the way, as the country’s leader in percent population growth, through the year 2030.

As for the sub-prime “crisis”, we have to take a look at the bigger picture of the national real estate market. To begin with, remember that mortgage delinquency problems affect only people with outstanding loans, and more than one out of three homeowners own their properties debt-free. Of those who have mortgages, approximately 20% are sub-prime. 14.5% of those are delinquent. Sub-prime loans in default make up only about 2.9% of the entire mortgage market. Now, consider that only 2/3 of homeowners have a mortgage, and the total percentage of homeowners in default on their sub-prime loans stands at around 1.9%. The remaining two-thirds of all homeowners with active mortgage prime loans that are 30 days past due or more constitute just 2.6% of all loans nationwide. In other words, among mortgages made to borrowers with good credit at application, 97.4% are continuing to be paid on time.

As for the record jumps in new foreclosure filings, again, you’ve got to look closely at the hard data. In 34 states, the rate of new foreclosures actually decreased. In most other states, the increases were minor — except in the California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona real estate markets. These increases were attributable in part to investors walking away from condos, second homes, and rental houses they bought during the boom years.

Doug Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, says that without the foreclosure spikes in those states, “we would have seen a nationwide drop in the rate of foreclosure filings.” In Nevada, for instance, non-owner-occupied (investor) loans accounted for 32% of all serious delinquencies and new foreclosure actions. In Florida, the investor share of serious delinquencies was 25%; in Arizona, 26%; and in California, 21%. That compares with a rate of 13% for the rest of the country. This makes for some great buys for the savvy Arizona real estate investor in the area of short sales, foreclosures, and wholesale properties.

Bottom line: Those nasty foreclosure and delinquency rates you’re hearing about are for real. But they’re highly concentrated among loan types, local and regional economies, and investors who got their foot caught in the door at the end of the “boom” and are just walking away from those poorly performing properties. Most of those investors still have homes to live in, maybe more than one.

In the wake of the boom years, we now have a high inventory of homes on the market, Investors and speculators who quickly bought up homes dumped them just as quickly back on the market in hopes of a fast return. The frenzy of investors purchasing homes put pressure on inventories and drove prices up, further increasing investor activity. Then, as if all at once, many of those investors put their properties on the market, creating an imbalance in the reverse direction. With so many homes on the market, prices began to stall and then fell. Prices will continue to fall until demand chews up excess inventories.

With investors no longer a big part of housing demand, primary homeowners are slowly chipping away at the existing inventory. The Las Vegas housing market will rebound in March 2008, according to the largest and most respected appraisal firm locally. The main contributing factor to the sooner than later rebound of this southwestern city is a growing population and thriving local economy.

Arizona and Nevada are expected to lead the country in percentage population growth for the next 20-25 years. The population of Arizona is expected to approximately double during that time so we can expect a strong housing demand going forward. Normal inventory levels for Phoenix real estate are about 6-8 months. Current inventory is about 10-12 months. So, we are not far above “normal” inventories in Phoenix. There are, however, outlying cities in this large metropolis that have inventories in excess of 1 year. Queen Creek real estate inventory is the worst with approximately a 2-3 year surplus of homes on the market, mostly due to the large percentage of new homes purchased by investors and then quickly flipped back onto the resale market. Surprise and Peoria real estate markets have a 1-2 year inventory for largely the same reason. We are already seeing some Scottsdale real estate and Paradise Valley real estate prices increase in value. Billions of dollars are being poured into the local economy in the way of commercial development from the downtown area to Northeast Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The demand for Arizona homes will remain strong in years ahead as new populations create the need. The demand for housing across our great nation will remain strong as this next generation of young debutantes steps onto the home buying stage. Interest rates are still at historic lows and the lending institutions will continue to offer creative financing options. Sure, some hedge funds lost the air in their tires, but financing sub-prime loans is a high stakes game for the super rich and is not of geopolitical significance. They will find other ways to lend their billions for huge profits in the wake of this sub-prime debacle. Let’s not be gripped in the fear created by reports from all media types trying to “make news”. Let’s face it, the real numbers are not that bloody exciting. Ask yourself, is this an Arizona real estate crisis, or the perfect time to buy an affordable Arizona home? Proper timing and negotiating techniques make all the difference in the current Arizona real estate market. When choosing an Arizona realtor, trust the expertise and experience of Equity Alliance Properties.