Why You Need To Get A Professional Appraiser
In the world of commercial real estate, not all appraisers are considered equal. It takes a certain expertise and knowledge to correctly appraise commercial property, and not just anybody is qualified. There are two types of appraisers, a fee appraiser and a staff appraiser. A fee appraiser is generally available to the public for hire, and a staff appraiser works for a specific lender or lending firm.
The appraiser that you hire for your commercial investments before you buy can have a great impact on the amount of money you spend and your chances of getting funding from a lender. Most lenders will not accept just any appraiser. So, if you get an appraisal with an appraiser that a lender does not accept, you have just wasted your time and money, and you are no closer to getting the property you want.
Let's look at what makes a qualified appraiser, and who it is you want to hire to evaluate your potential investment.
It is common practice for a lender to appoint the appraiser that is to appraise the property in question. This practice is in place because there are dishonest buyers who work with certain appraisers that will inflate the property's true value. This, in turn, allows the buyer to borrow more money than what a lender would normally allow, thus increasing the lender's risk.
Inflating a property's true market value is surprisingly easy because appraisals are simply guesstimates of a property's true market value. They are interpretations based on the surrounding property and selected criteria. An appraisal can be "fixed" according to a person's interest. That is why the two parties must not have any prior dealings or common interest in the subject property.
A very widely used and accepted type of appraiser is one that is certified by the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers. They are members, making them M.A.I. designated. Most lenders will require that you use only an MAI appraiser. These MAI appraisers have gone through intense study, years of practice, and have had to perform under tight supervision while appraising many different properties.
Most MAI appraisers will not conspire with a borrower because there is too much to lose and too much invested in their practice. For this reason, most lenders will accept MAI appraisals regardless of whether or not they know the appraiser personally. For the most part, lenders will have trusted appraisers that they work with all the time, and will require that you use only their appraisers. Be sure to get clarification on this issue before you hire an appraiser because you do not want to pay for two!
An MAI appraisal costs more than a non-MAI appraisal because of the added expertise and experience of the appraiser. In fact, the cost for a single appraisal can run from $2,000-$5,000, or two to three times the cost of a fee appraiser. Be sure to include this in your total cost of purchasing the property so you are prepared to cover the cost.
If you have been in the commercial real estate business for a while, you may have a few lenders and appraisers that you work with often. They may even be considered as part of your team. This can greatly increase your productivity because you have professionals at your fingertips to get many properties handled quickly, if necessary.
You can trust MAI appraisers to perform an accurate evaluation of your prospect property. With this appraisal, you will be able to get the proper amount of money loaned on the property and not come out short.
It is always a good idea to research your appraiser and view some of the work that he or she has done. The appraiser and the appraisals should be of the utmost professional quality because so much is riding on their appraisal. Even if it costs you more money, always use an MAI appraiser to avoid problems with the lender and unnecessary expenditures.
Rental Properties 10 Ways To Increase Income
What if you want better cash flow from your rental properties? You can't just raise the rents arbitrarily. If tenants leave, income goes down, not up. There are other ways, though, including the ones listed below.
1. Install coin-operated washing machines. Even if you don't have the money to do this yourself, you can find a company that will do it for you, and share the income with you.
2. Rent extra parking space. When I got tired of a renter's extra car, I just started charging a weekly fee. Then I didn't mind so much.
3. Raise the rent. Okay, we did dismiss ARBITRARY rent hikes as a cash-flow solution, but check on the rates for similar units. Are you renting at below-market rates?
4. Rent storage sheds. Especially if your apartments are small, your renters may need a place to store their things. Don't let them spend their money elsewhere. Put a few sheds on the property.
5. Enforce late fees. It is perfectly fair to have a fee for late payment of rent, and guess what? Those who are chronically late usually don't even mind - they just don't look at these things the same way as others.
6. Offer improvements for rent increases. If it's worth $25 more monthly rent to a tenant, install that dishwasher. Even on a credit card you'll pay less than that per month for it.
7. Install vending machines. If your rental properties are large enough, others will do this for you for free, and give you a share of the income.
8. Rent by the room. A four-bedroom house might make more money if you include all the utilities and rent by the bedroom. This has made a lot of fortunes for investors in college towns. It does mean a lot of management, however.
9. Rent-to-own sale. Usually there's a non-refundable deposit, and higher than market rents in these deals. When renters change their minds, as they often do, you got the deposit and better cash flow. This is great when poor cash flow makes you want to sell. You either sell or get the better cash flow as you repeat the process.
10. Reduce expenses. Every dollar of expense you cut goes straight to the bottom line. List every expense of your rental properties, and look at them one at a time. How can you reduce them?
How You See The Problem Is The Problem
No real estate investor ever gets beyond the reach of problems. Every investor faces personal and professional problems. The problems come in all shapes and sizes. They can be business-related, financial, physical, or emotional. Although no one escapes problems, your perception of the problem will determine your response to the problem.
Unfortunately, no one has a magical formula to deal with them. You can, however, implement certain principles to help you succeed. At first blush, these principles may seem over simplified, but don't underestimate their power. If you choose to use them, you'll reap a harvest of achievement that will far surpass your efforts. Here's five ways to solve your problems.
1. Be Responsible. When something goes wrong, when you have a problem, it is only natural to think immediately of who made it go wrong, who is to blame for the problem. Most often this makes the problem worse. The person blamed, in order to exonerate himself or herself, promptly finds someone else to lay the blame on or with whom to share the responsibility for failure. It frequently turns into a shouting match of exchanged accusations. "It's all your fault.... "You did....." "Yes, but you said....." All too familiar dialogue, isn't it?
Don't blame your problem on others. Accept responsibility for your actions. It's not what happens to you that matters. It's your response to what happens to you that matters. The consequences of your actions and choices are yours. Choose wisely.
2. Be Proactive. The worst thing you can do when dealing with a problem is nothing! The world is full of people with great intentions. Take action. Successful investors are not necessarily those who make the right decisions all the time when trying to solve a problem. No one can do that. But once you have made a decision to do something, you will begin to attract the people and things you need to conquer your problem.
Your ability to attract the people and things with the right solution may not make sense to some of you. Honestly, I don't fully understand it myself, but it works for me and it will work for you. I really don't understand how a black cow can eat green grass, and produce white milk and yellow butter, but it happens. I don't understand how it happens, but that doesn't keep me from having butter - and I have the waistline to prove it. So don't let your lack of understanding sabotage your willingness to solve the problem. Take action.
3. Re-Act. Take charge over your inner-voice. Something in all of us wants to do what's convenient rather than what's necessary. It's easier and so natural to be negative rather than positive. The voice inside you will tell you why you can't solve your problem and why you don't deserve to solve it. You cannot solve your problem without some change in your perception of the problem.
So how do you change your perception?
Change your thinking and change how you act. As simple as it sounds, changing your attitude toward the problem will change your perception of the problem. A change in your perception will trigger a change in how you act. So you will solve your problem by re-acting. That is, acting differently. In a positive way, of course.
4. Believe in yourself. Sometimes you are your own biggest problem, when you allow your fears and self-doubt to stand in the way of your success. A critical step to conquering a problem is to realize that the answer lies within you. Maturity and experience will give you the confidence that you can overcome any impediment.
Problems are an asset Problems are character builders. Improvements I've made in my life and in my business were the result of problems.
5. Wear Your Knees Out. If there were one sustainable remedy I could offer you when the going gets tough, it would be prayer. Many people, depending on their faith, might call it meditation. It doesn't matter to me what you call it, as long as you have a place to run to. Mahatma Gandhi said, "Religions are crossroads converging upon the point." Well, I don't often discuss religion, and I don't know what works for you; but Christianity is the way I know. However, I am sensitive enough to respect your faith. My whole point is that when everything else fails, prayer works!
A problem can become your breaking point if you let it become the one thing that defeats you. Alternatively, a problem can become your turning point if you choose to take action to defeat the problem. You will never realize what heights you can reach in real estate investing or in your life until you stop blaming reality for what happens to you as you go through it.
Thomas Paine said, "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value." In the thick of the fight to overcome a problem, you may not believe it, but the more problems you conquer, the easier the process becomes. Your confidence will be self-perpetuating, and you may come to believe you can conquer a whole range of "mountains."
Mississippi Real Estate The Magnolia State
Mississippi is a state known for having a classic southern style. Mississippi real estate is some of the cheapest in the land.
Named after the Mississippi River, Mississippi is a state holding on to its history. Much of the state is farmland and even the towns and cities seem to have eschewed modern development for a more familiar past. In an odd bit of trivia, the state is the biggest producer of upholstered furniture in the country.
It goes without saying that Mississippi is a state with a turbulent history, particularly during the civil rights movement. The state was the quintessential southern state and plantations and antebellum mansions can still be found throughout the state. Racial relations have come a long way, which has left the state with the glorious culture of the old south without as many of the racial issues.
Jackson is the state capital of Mississippi and a hidden gem in the south. The city has somehow managed to mesh old southern hospitality with a rapidly growing high tech industry. While that sounds like an odd mix, it works. In fact, Jackson has been voted one of the most livable cities in America by numerous publications.
Jackson is a town with a lot to offer from both a cultural and practical perspective. There are 11 colleges in town, a symphony, opera and multiple museums covering the history of the south and the civil rights movement.
Tupelo is known best for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley. With a celebrity like that, Tupelo has made a major effort to capitalize on the fame. Tourists flock to the city to see the first home, school and so on of the infamous one. Notwithstanding Elvis, Tupelo is a pleasant city with golf courses and such. There isn't much to recommend it nor is there much to criticize.
Mississippi Real Estate
Mississippi real estate is universally very inexpensive. A home in Tupelo will set you back roughly $160,000 while you'll pay $220,000 in Jackson. In 2005, Mississippi real estate appreciated at a disappointing 5.5 percent, one of the lowest rates in the nation.
Tips To Help Prepare Your Home For Sale
How would a prospective buyer view your home? That's the first thing you should ask yourself before putting your home on the market.
A few small changes can make a big difference.
(*) Is it cluttered? Remove photographs and small items from tabletops; put away kitchen appliances and other items on countertops and tables; organize closets and cabinets; and remove furniture so rooms look bigger.
(*) Does your yard look messy? Neaten up the lawn and clean drain gutters.
(*)Is your home welcoming? Make your front entry attractive by painting the door; hanging a wreath; installing outdoor lighting to make your home attractive in the evening; and sweeping the driveway.
(*) Does your home smell good? When prospective buyers come to call, bake bread or simmer some vanilla or cinnamon-scented water on the stove.
(*) Does your home look dark? Take down heavy drapes and let the sun shine in.
(*) Does your home look appealing? Buy some live plants and paint dingy walls. Preparing your home for viewing may result in a better price and faster turnover.
Most importantly, homeowners should clean everything from their ovens to their window dressings. A multipurpose cleaner like OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover powder can be used to clean siding, gutters, unfinished decks, Venetian blinds, garbage disposals and stained countertops.
Laurie Kilpatrick is a home- care expert who has managed homes and large estates for 20 years. She is also the author of "Miss Laurie's Smart Guide to House Cleaning."
Make sure your home is spotless for prospective buyers. Clean everything from windows and window coverings to gutters.
The Benefits Of Having A Realtor
All you have to do is look around your town or city to see WHY you need to have a realtor. Properties are being bought and sold everyday with the benefit of market research and planning. Often times these two elements are outside the scope of a person who wishes to sell their own home. Sure, you know what kind of equity you put into your own home, but how much did that other house down the street sell for? What kind of pricing is affecting the homes around you currently? Do you know how to reach out to prospective home buyers? These questions all lend to reasons why there are benefits of having a realtor.
Benefit 1: Market Research
Realtors have the benefit of not only searching the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for you while finding a home or property you might like, but they also are privy to any phone calls that come into the office that might be from new sellers who are wishing to sell as soon as possible without going into the MLS. As a person who is not represented by a real estate agent, you would be missing out on these deals. Agents also have the benefit of researching market analyses of different property types in the area that you are looking to buy or sell in. This is invaluable information as it would go towards how much something is definitely worth.
Benefit 2: Planning and Consultation
Realtors are the people who have gone through assisting with 100's of home closings and home selling situations. They are the ones to consult with in understanding how to sell your home. Do you keep you animals away when you have a home showing, and how much do you clean up? What do you want to highlight and what do you want to keep in the background. These are all questions that real estate agents can assist with.
Benefit 3: They are on your side
You will never have someone as ferocious on your side to help you buy or sell a home. Realtors are commission based for their service fees, but they rely on their network of clients to bring in their next client. Without their network, they wouldn't have anyone to represent. That being said, they will do everything possible to get what you want. Without satisfying their clients, they would have no clients!
Pacific Concord Properties Inc Expands Cebu Philippine Condotel Operations
Beth Collingz, International Marketing Director of PLC Global an internet based sales and marketing company and lead marketing partners with Pacific Concord Properties, Inc., for the Lancaster Brand of Condotels in the Philippines, recently announced the company has acquired by purchase an additional 27 units in its Lancaster Cebu Condotel adding another 75M pesos to its project inventory and expansion program. This brings the number of properties held in the development to 75 suites with another 120 units to be added before year end for Condo Hotel rental operations.
Property is all about LOCATION said Collingz. Mactan, Cebu, provides one with both the laid back pace of provincial living, as well as prerequisites of the urban dweller. Schools, hospitals, restaurants, shopping malls, and leisure are all found on the island itself.
Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences, located a mere 3 minutes from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, provides you with easy access to all the essentials of urban living. This ideal location will complement the Condotel operation since Lancaster Cebu will function as a condominium hotel a preferred accommodation choice of businessmen and holiday travelers alike. Clients can either purchase Condotel Suites for investment purposes or lease the units on weekly, monthly or yearly basis. We have Fully Furnished Executive Studio Suite and Two-Bedroom Suites available at Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences at Pre-Increase Prices that will be Ready For Occupancy from September 2007 at the current price said Collingz.
Fully furnished Studio Suites are priced at -Pph-2,753,924.06 and may be purchased with initial Reservation Fee -Pph-100,000.00 Balance Payable without interest over 24 consecutive equal monthly payments of -Pph-110,580.17 [Tax Inclusive]. Alternatively Save -Pph-106,156.96 by making Reservation [-Pph-100,000.00] then within 30 days 40% Net Down Payment of -Pph-955,412.70 with resulting Balance payable without interest over 24 consecutive equal monthly payments -Pph-66,348.10. Another option, Pay Cash and take 10% discount [Save -Pph-275,392.40] Pay the Reservation Now [-Pph-100,000.00] and the Cash Balance within 30 days [-Pph-2,378,531.66] for an Effective Total Cash Price of -Pph-2,478,531.66. This Suite many also be purchased on Five Year Payment Terms through our no qualification In-House Finance with 15% Down Payment.
Whilst, fully furnished 2 BR Loft Type Suites are priced at -Pph-5,467,004.14 and may also be purchased with an initial Reservation Fee of only -Pph-100,000.00 with the Balance Payable without interest over 24 consecutive equal monthly payments of -Pph-223,625.18 Tax Inclusive. Alternatively Save -Pph-214,680.16 by making the Reservation -Pph-100,000.00 then within 30 days 40% Net Down Payment of -Pph-1,932,121.50 and resulting Balance payable without interest over 24 consecutive equal monthly payments Pph-134,175.10. Another option, Pay Cash take 10% discount [Save -Pph-546,700.41] Pay the Reservation Now [-Pph-100,000.00] and Balance within 30 days [-Pph-4,820,303.73] for an Effective Total Cash Price of -Pph-4,920,303.73. These Two Bedroom Fully Furnished Suites many also be purchased on Five Year Payment Terms through our no qualification In-House Finance Available with 15% Down Payment.
Collingz said Lancaster Cebu Resort Residences is also offering Studio and 2-Bedroom Fully Furnished "Ready for Occupancy" Suites on daily, weekly, monthly or yearly lease rental terms. Whilst some renovation works are still ongoing within the complex, unit rentals are now available to guests at 'Special Promo Rates'.
Cebu City is the acknowledged gateway and Queen City of the South. Cebu is the most important trading and commercial hub outside of Metro Manila. Mactan Cebu International Airport assures the arrival of a steady stream of international flights from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kota Kinabalu, Seoul and Qatar. There are also chartered flights from Incheon, Taipei, Kansai, Nagoya and Kiaoshung that arrive on a weekly basis. Cebu is identified by Asiaweek and Conde Nast Traveller as one of Asia's Best Cities.
What Is A Condotel
What is a Condotel? Is it a condominium? Is it a hotel?
Well it's a combination of both. It's also one of the hottest types of investment properties around the world and now available in Philippines.
Pacific Concord Properties Inc's Lancaster Suites in Metro Manila is a condo Hotel (Condotel) in Shaw Boulevard close to the Ortigas Center. Scheduled for opening this year, prices at Lancaster have appreciated very rapidly, almost 100% in the last 3 years.
You buy a condominium as a vacation home within a hotel type property and the condominium is rented out by the hotel when you are not there. Many condo hotels have superior amenities like spas, health and fitness centers, restaurants and business centers. The Lancaster Suites is also set to provide an expanded array of hotel services such as valet, concierge and maid service.
Condo hotel unit owners can receive revenue from participating in the condo hotel's rental program, helping to offset their ownership expenses and the surplus resulting in a annual return on their investments. The operator of the rental program, in exchange for a 40% share of the revenue, markets the units as a hotel, takes reservations, operates the front desk, staffs and maintains the entire property, and provides the services hotel guests expect, such as housekeeping, food and beverage, and concierge.
If you want the best price and the widest selection, your best bet is to purchase a condo hotel in early preconstruction stages. Nearly all developers begin selling their condo hotel units 18 to 24 months before construction is complete. One such development in the Philippines is Lancaster - The Atrium which is now offering its Condotel suites for sale. By reserving a condo hotel unit at this stage, you'll be able to pay today's prices for tomorrow's real estate. Of course, that also means you'll have a bit of a wait before you can use your condo hotel vacation home, but the real estate appreciation can yield a very healthy return.
The Lancaster Atrium Suites are now available on the very affordable and competitive New Payment Plan that provides for Suites to be purchased on a No Interest No Down Payment basis with 67% of the payment payable over 60 equal consecutive monthly installments without interest and the 33% balance payable upon turnover of the unit or to be paid over an additional 5 years from turnover through our hassle free no prequalification "In-House" Finance Plans...
All payments will be made to the Lancaster Suites Manila Atrium Tower A Equitable PCI Bank Escrow Trust Account. It is anticipated, given the track record on sales of Tower I Units that property appreciation for initial buyers of Tower A Atrium Units will be at least 70-80% on completion and 100% on turnover of units from December 2009/2010
If anyone is interested to join us or host any of the Lancaster Philippines Condo Hotel Investment Forums please do not hesitate to contact us....
Director - PLC International Marketing Networks
Understanding Queen Anne Architecture
Queen Anne style homes are often easy to spot, but hard to define. It's partially that elusivity combined with distinctness that makes the style so attractive to buyers and preservationists across the nation. Queen Anne homes are often referred to as the most ornate buildings of the Victorian era, and combine a variety of aesthetics and building methods from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
One of the reasons Queen Anne architecture looks so different from other styles is that it was generally only used on houses. While other styles like Gothic Revival and Federal were being adapted for commercial buildings, churches, and public institutions, Queen Anne architecture was specifically made for upscale houses and mansions, using the latest materials and methods of the machine age. Another developmental difference between Queen Anne and other styles is that it didn't tend to draw on past eras, but instead produced a new building school that helped set the stage for 20th century homes.
The defining characteristics of the Queen Anne style are many and not always consistent, but there are a few key elements. In general, Queen Anne homes use high-pitched, irregular roofs, spindles and lookouts, decorative structure elements such as columns, and covered balconies. Many Queen Anne homes also employ stained glass, turrets, half timbering in the gables similar to the Tudor style, and patterned masonry. Different sub-styles of the Queen Anne movement include Spindled, Free Classic, Half-Timbered, and Patterned Masonry.
While generally very attractive, Queen Anne homes are often derided as being excessive, or "ginger-bread" like. It's true that Queen Anne architecture was the product of a rapidly changing era, and many of the homes included features never seen before, so the criticism holds some weight.
The name for the Queen Anne style is often attributed to an 1852 novel by William Makepeace Thackeray entitled "The History of Henry Esmond, Esq., A Colonel in the Service of Her Majesty Queen Anne," which was popular for decades in the English speaking world. By contrast, stylish and modern furnishings from the historical reign of England's Queen Anne, came to be classified in a style known as "William and Mary."
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