Building Types and Styles of Kenya

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As the construction industry embraces modern architecture and builders experiment with new styles and plans, there is a growing difference between building types and styles used today than those built even a few decades ago.

Certain styles of buildings are widespread in Kenya and seen as the de facto standard. As a result, most buildings have similar designs and forms that contribute to building limitations in terms of flexibility and ease of use.

Traditional styles of building in Kenya

Until recently, buildings in Kenya have had common characteristics in their construction that are determined by

  • Skills of the labor force
  • Accessibility and affordability of building materials

Developers are beginning to work outside their comfort zones to use varied building plans and construction materials resulting in innovative architectural looks and forms.

Buildings in rural Kenya

Temporary and semi-permanent structures

The building types and styles in rural Kenya are significantly influenced by the region and traditional culture of the people living in a specific rural area. For instance:

  • The Maasai and Samburu tribes construct temporary huts called ‚Manyattas‘ to match their pastoralist lifestyle. These are made from twigs tied together by dried tree-bark or strings to make walls with thatched roofs.
  • The Kalenjin tribe construct semi-permanent huts using twigs and posts joined together using nails. Mud or clay is plastered on the twigs to make walls and the floor while the roof is made of long grass or reeds.
  • Coastal people such as the Mijikenda make houses from coconut leaves popularly known as Makuti houses
  • The Kikuyu, on the other hand, use timber for the walls and iron sheets for the roof.

Permanent structures

Temporary structures are dying off and being replaced by permanent houses made of stones and mortar.

For those who cannot afford stones and mortar, bricks are made by mixing clay with sand, straw, stone, concrete and lime, and then shaped into blocks that are either air-dried with fire or dried in a kiln. The bricks are used for walls and pavements.

Interestingly, bricks are finding their way into urban areas as developers seek to construct affordable housing for urban dwellers.

The few permanent buildings in rural areas have similar styles owing to the construction materials used and lack of sufficient skills by local workforce. Most of these homes have:

  • L, T, U and I shaped designs
  • Several bedrooms and a living room (sitting room)
  • Bathrooms and kitchen often built in separate locations from the main house

Commercial buildings are simply built as plain empty halls with no design and style taken into account.

Customary styles and types of building in urban Kenya

The styles, designs, architecture and types of buildings in urban Kenya are more expressive with most built using stones and mortar for walls, cemented or tiled floors and iron sheets or roofing tiles for roof covering.

1. Flats and apartments

They are the most common building type among urban dwellers.

  • Accommodate high numbers of tenants and are relatively affordable
  • Less sophisticated in terms of design and style
  • Range from single rooms, bedsitters and self-contained one-bed houses to self-contained two and three-bed houses.

It is rare to find apartments and flats with more than 3 bedrooms.

2. Maisonettes

More sophisticated in design and based on the personal style of the owner, there is growing demand for maisonettes in Kenya to accommodate the increasing middle class. As a result, companies are developing large-scale projects of maisonettes in a bid to capitalize on the new housing market.

3. Bungalows

  • Mostly built by upper middle class and class A and AB
  • Highly sophisticated in terms of design, style and type

Commercial complexes

They are the most versatile in terms of design, type and space, and materials used range from glass and metal to stones and mortar, plastic, bricks and combination of timber and stones, etc.

  • They include sky scrapers and storied buildings
  • Their designs and use of space is determined by the function of the building with shopping malls and entertainment spots being more open in terms of architecture and design.

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Source by James E Harrison

Win Your Next Property Tax Appeal in Texas – 10 Basic Steps

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First – Learn the Facts

You are most likely to succeed with your property tax appeal if you find factual errors in your property tax record, also known as an „appraisal card“. Mistakes in real estate appraisals, such as errors about the age of improvements or incorrect square footage measurements are not uncommon.

After you file a Notice of Protest, the appraisal district will schedule an informal conference with one of their staff appraisers. Bring any proof for your case to the appointment in the form of photos or other documentation supporting your claims. The appraisal district will need to keep your evidence for their file, so remember to bring extra copies.

Understand How Your Home Has Been Appraised

Harris County Appraisal District [HCAD] has over a million single-family residential properties to appraise. Montgomery Central Appraisal District [MCAD] has responsibility for valuing about 250,000 homes. The daunting reality is that there are not enough well-trained staff appraisers to go around.

In the real world, appraisal district employees sometimes are not able to inspect much beyond new construction or additions. Even when properties are inspected, the examination may be hardly more than a drive-by. It is more common now for appraisal districts to rely on aerial pictometry for various aspects of property inspection. The level of technological resources now available to most appraisal districts is impressive.

Given the overwhelming number of properties that must be re-valued, these appraisal districts are dependent on computer mass appraisal models. The mass appraisal models that counties use are inevitably imperfect, although some are better than others. Your quest will be to determine the ways and the degree to which your property and your neighborhood have not altogether fit the model.

You may ask a real estate agent to help you find some comparable homes and their actual sales prices. Most good agents don’t mind helping you, because you may work with them later. Remember you want to be able to prove that your house is in a lesser condition than the comparable sales. Try to compare your home to the best ones in your neighborhood. If you can find information on better homes that sold below your assessed value during the prior year, you may have the grounds for a reduction.

Research the Value of Your Neighbors‘ Homes

The easiest way for most homeowners to develop an appeal is to use the sales comparison approach to market value in their appeal, however the sales do not always favor your case. Another angle you can try is to determine if your home has been appraised in a „uniform & equal“ manner to other similar properties in the same neighborhood.

Check if the appraisal district’s value of your house is at, or below, the median of the tax appraisal value of other homes in your neighborhood. Texas appraisal districts will have this information available online through their websites.

Obtain the Appraisal District’s Evidence

Along with your „Notice of Protest“, submit a request in writing for all the evidence the appraisal district used to value your home and intends to present at an Appraisal Review Board [ARB] hearing. It is also referred to as the House Bill 201 [HB 201] packet. Review this information to ascertain how the appraisal district determined the value of your home. You may find that this uncovers shortcomings the appraisal district’s case.

Don’t Lose Hope – You Have a Few Chances to Get It Right

If you are unable to settle your case one-on-one with a staff appraiser in an informal conference, the next level of administrative appeal is a formal Appraisal Review Board [ARB] hearing. Montgomery Central Appraisal District [MCAD] will have your formal hearing the same day. They immediately escort you down the hall and show you to the waiting area to present your case. Harris County Appraisal District [HCAD] will reschedule you to return to their office on another day to have a formal hearing. You will almost always wait two weeks.

The ARB hearing will be like a minor courtroom setting in which you make the presentation of your case. An experienced senior appraiser will represent the case on behalf of the appraisal district. A panel of at least three, supposedly impartial, appraisal review board members will hear the case and render a final decision. Important Warning: The ARB has the authority to actually RAISE your property value, so consider this risk. Also, do not forget to bring extra copies of all your evidence ( five altogether ) for the appraisal district and the ARB panel.

If your formal ARB hearing does not have a satisfactory outcome, you may still have two additional options available. For residential properties valued below $1-million, you can file an application for binding arbitration through the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. There are fees of $250 or $500, depending on the level of involvement of your case. The other option is to file a law suit in district court against the appraisal district. As both of these procedures are time consuming and costly, you will need to decide if they are practical in your case.

Get Started – 10 Action Steps

1. Get a copy of your property tax record, or „appraisal card“. Texas appraisal districts will have this information online through their websites. If you cannot find it, call the appraisal district office for assistance.

2. Review the appraisal record for errors in your favor.

3. Find out if you are eligible for any special exemptions and apply for them. Examples are the Texas general homestead, over 65, disabled, or veterans exemptions.

4. File a „Notice of Protest“ before the statutory deadline. This is usually May 31st or within 30 days of sending your „Notice of Appraised Value“.

5. Study the appraisal district’s evidence, the HB 201 packet.

6. Try to get help from a real estate agent to identify the details about good comparable sales (… and remember who helped you whenever you have a real estate transaction that pays ).

7. Take photos of your home and the other properties you are using for comparison. If you do not have a good camera, borrow one; or ask a friend to help you.

8. Make detailed written notes about precisely what you think should be the right value and the reasons for the reduction. Prepare your presentation and be able to show the proof to support your claim. This needs to consist of factual evidence such as dated photos, documentation of recent sales, and neighbors‘ appraisal values.

9. Be kind and respectful to the other appraisal district staff and ARB members. Never forget they are also human and have feelings, like you. Remember the time tested expression, „You can catch more with honey than with vinegar.“

10. If you think it stands in your best interest, appeal your case to a formal ARB hearing. This may be a roll of the dice though. Depending on the make-up of the panel and their state of mind on the particular day of your hearing, your ordeal could be more favorable or it could become even worse.

If all this seems like a good deal of effort, there is yet another way to help ensure you get the best possible outcome. You can have a property tax consultant prepare and present your case, providing professional representation for you at appraisal district hearings. You can get the benefits of this service on a contingency basis, so it will cost you nothing unless you actually save money — that you would have paid in taxes.

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Source by Rodney S Powell

Selling Used Books Online – Make $750-$2000 Extra Per Month Or Go Full Time For $5k+

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Selling used books online is one of the easiest, most fun, and most profitable part-time businesses out there.  There is little guesswork when you use the tools that I’m about to show you, when deciding which books to buy for resale, and they are everywhere!  For as little as 10 cents you can purchase a book that will resell for $4 – $100 or more on Amazon or other online selling sites.

When I first heard about selling used books online, it seemed like it would be a big hassle.  I figured you would have to list hundreds of books, not knowing what they were worth, and spend hours making an individual eBay-style listing for each one.  Then ship dozens of books a day and only make a buck or two each.  It didn’t sound too exciting.

But I looked into it further and discovered 10 exciting facts about selling used books online that I didn’t know:

1.  You can find out what a book is selling for on Amazon with an inexpensive portable device you can take with you when you shop – and it takes less than one second for the device to scan the book and give you a value and Amazon Sales Rank (popularity).

2.  It is easy to visually eliminate the books that are not worth much without even scanning, once you learn a few guidelines.

3.  You’re actually looking for mostly newer books that are still popular in bookstores, not antiques 

4.  You can purchase these books for next to nothing at garage sales, thrift stores, library books sales, and more – and they’re worth $4-$100 each for the right books.  They also sell quickly if they have high Amazon sales (your device tells you this before you buy)

5.  Once you get the books home, you simply scan them again, and using another easy-to-use listing tool, the listing for the book is instantly created.  All you have to do is price the book based on the other books available and assign a condition.

6.  Orders are also received automatically by special software, and the software prints prepaid sticky postage labels.

7.   You can pack each book in less than a minute and apply the shipping label.  Therefore sending out books only takes a short time, and you only have to do it 3 times a week.

8.  You don’t have to wait in line at the post office, just drop them off.

9.  Your funds are auto-deposited into your account every two weeks.

10.  You can instantly shut down, and reopen your store if you become busy or take a vacation.

I’ve been selling used books online now for about 3 years, and though my main business is real estate, I still do it because the „treasure hunt“ of finding the books is still addicting.  Something about buying a book that resells for $83 for only a dollar is hard to resist!

So think about starting your own used book business.  You can shop for books on off-hours, and list and ship the books anytime of the day or night.  And having an extra thousand or two dollars a month coming in, never hurt anyone!  In fact, for many people in today’s economy I bet it could be the difference between paying the month’s bills or falling behind.  Personally, I make my mortgage payment by selling used books online, and don’t even have to worry about it each month anymore.

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Source by Richard Dawson

How to Make Your Liquor Store Into a Thriving Business

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In my extensive experience with helping individuals buy all sorts of businesses, I’ve repeatedly noticed something thought provoking about people who are selling liquor stores. Almost all of them are suffering from severe burnout!

If you tour a number of liquor stores that are for sale, you’ll discover what I mean. The places are usually dingy, and there are bottles on the shelves that could have been sitting there for years. The lighting needs updating, the walls need paint, and boxes of old stock are piled up in the storerooms. I have even seen injection-molded plastic signs on the walls for brands of beer that aren’t even available anymore.

Sounds dismal, right? Well, not really, because all those factors can spell opportunity just for you, a smart buyer.

Here are the steps to turn that underperforming liquor store into a money machine!

Step one: Make sure you buy the right store!

First things first… You have to buy a store with untapped demographic potential. It could be an older „mom and pop“ liquor store in a neighborhood that has recently been transformed by the arrival of younger, well-to-do professional consumers. It could be in a part of the city where new office complexes are planned. Whatever it is, it has to have growth potential.

Avoid buying a liquor store in an area that’s in decline. Sometimes such stores can be generating positive cash flow by selling half pints of liquor and flask-style bottles of inexpensive wine, but let’s face it; a store in an district which is improving will always provide you with more opportunities for expansion and increased profitability.

Step two: Cater to a more upscale clientele!

If you’re in an region that’s bringing in an increasing number of professional people, begin building an upscale inventory that will appeal to these customers. Don’t wait for people to ask for more exclusive wines, get those products on your shelves in anticipation of popular demand.

Then we get to the issue of customer service. If you want to capture an upscale customer group, you’ll have to be able to answer questions about various wines – which wines are highly rated, or which go best with a particular kind of food.

One way to provide this service is to hire knowledgeable salespeople. Another way is to hire enthusiastic people and train them, or perhaps become a wine expert yourself. Your choice of strategy depends on your budget, your sales and the size of your establishment.

Step three: Make your upscale store look the part – from day one.

If your store needs renovation or freshening up before it can appeal to your new clients, make sure you budget for this – and always reserve a realistic amount of money for fix-ups. Arrive at a reality-based figure for how much everything will cost, and make it part of your calculations as you bargain with the Seller for the most realistic purchase price. Remember, you can’t get the business from any of the upscale clientele by rolling on a fresh coat of paint on dirty old shelves. Look at windows, lighting, floor areas, wall coverings and more. Even your cash registers need to be up-to-date and spotless.

Step four: Expand your product offerings beyond alcoholic beverages.

Over the last decade, upscale liquor stores have begun to offer gourmet cheeses and other food products. It makes sense to expand in this way. If people are looking for a good bottle of wine, or some excellent beer to compliment a good meal, why not offer them cheese, olives, crackers and other elegant appetizers? Remember to check local ordinances and zoning to be sure you can sell foods at your location.

Step five: Hold in-store events to attract more of your target clients.

Hold wine tastings, cooking classes and cheese seminars in your store. If an author has recently published a book on wine or cheese, have a book signing on your premises.

Events do more than sell products. They give your store the feeling of a community – and a destination.

Step six: Build an Internet presence.

Set up a store Webpage where you recommend wine, liquors and beer. On your Webpage, make sure to put a sign-up form where customers can subscribe to a professional email newsletter, in which you distribute detailed information about your products.

Also, in your newsletter, add in coupons for rebates on wines, beer and a variety of other products, and make an effort to be creative with discovering new ways of making it as simple as possible for your customers to recommend new subscribers to you.

Always provide your Website visitors with the ability to order products directly from your site. You can offer local delivery if you have a vehicle, or low cost shipping to a wider area. Be aware, however, that you may be prevented by law from shipping alcoholic beverages to other states, and make sure to check this out before you buy your store, so you can get a realistic idea of the business’s true overall profit potential.

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Source by Richard K Parker

Home Selection Checklist – A Good Aid When Choosing a Home

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This home selection checklist is a tool to help you select a home that is right for you and your family. Before you select a home and get a mortgage, you need to know if you will be happy with the home you select for the coming years. Home selection is a major step in your life and using a checklist to select smartly will help you think of all the things you need to realize about a home before you buy. Take a checklist with you to each home you might select and write down all the important home selection points on the checklist. Use the checklist for each potential home selection and you will have a „fact book“ to review and analyze before your final home selection.

These important factors in home selection are designed to help you create a checklist of your own.

You can then research homes for sale and checklist how each home compares to other homes you’ve selected to view. By the time you are ready to get a mortgage you will know, from the selection checklist, exactly the pros and cons of each home.

  1. How old is the structure? Older homes require more maintenance. Mortgages on older homes can be more difficult to obtain. Mortgage insurance and the homeowner’s protection required by the mortgage company you select can be more costly on the home. Note on the selection checklist any items which need repair if you select that home.
  2. How many stories is the home? If you or a family member is aging, or you expect to live in your home selection for years, stairs can be a major problem. If you are young and won’t live in this home selection for years, this shouldn’t be a problem. Place this on your selection checklist if it is a concern for you and your family. Note on your home checklist any selection items which might make family visits difficult.
    It would be a major inconvenience to say the least if your family can’t visit because of stairs or hills.
  3. What material is the home construction? Concrete slab and block construction homes
    pose a lower fire threat and this will reflect in your home insurance and maybe
    even mortgage rates. Place the building type you prefer on your home selection
    checklist.
  4. Kitchen area: How large a kitchen will suit your lifestyle? Is the refrigerator ancient or newly new? Is the stove in good condition? Do you prefer to cook with a gas or an electric stove?

    Do you want a garbage disposal? Determine exactly what is important in a kitchen, and place those selections on your checklist. Then rate each property you might select as to how many of the checklist features are included. Of course, some selection checklist features are easy enough to add; other selection checklist features can’t be changed.

  5. Living areas: Is a formal living area and a den an important selection on your personal selection checklist? List on the home selection checklist each need. Are there windows for plants, if you are
    a plant-lover? Is the carpet in the potential home selection in good condition? Think about these
    items before signing a mortgage! Note any probable expenses on your home checklist for later review. Use these in budgeting for your mortgage
  6. Laundry facilities: Does your home selection have laundry hookups that will not require you to run up and down stairs to bring laundry from bedrooms to the washer? Are the hook-ups in good condition? Note on the selection checklist. Place on your selection checklist any items you would select to replace upon moving into the home. Write on the checklist the anticipated cost of replacing the items you select as unacceptable. Remember to budget so you can pay the mortgage plus refurbish the home selection after purchase.
  7. Bedrooms: Is your family formed or do you plan on more children? Are there enough bedrooms to allow guests? Is the master bedroom in the home selection large enough? Obtaining a mortgage on too small a home can be a major error. Place on your selection checklist exactly the size home you need to select.
  8. Closets: Will there be enough closet space for your family’s clothing? Place on your checklist how many closets you require.
  9. Bathrooms: Will there be enough facilities in your home selection to allow everyone space for their personal items and plenty of time to use facilities. Large families require several bathrooms; be sure to put this on your home selection checklist! A selection that needs bathrooms added plus mortgage payments can be expensive. Consider this in your mortgage budget.
  10. Roofing: Take a look at the materials and condition. If the roof looks as if it will need repair soon, consider this major cost in your mortgage pricing. Roofing is very expensive. Research the cost of replacing a roof
    before you make an offer. Note these costs on the home checklist. Will your budget cover mortgage and roofing expense?
  11. Water heater: Look at the water heater and determine condition. Look for
    places that may have leaked and any damage resulting. Also, is the water heater
    gas or electric in the home selection? More notes for your home checklist.
  12. Air conditioning / heating: Do these units in the home selection appear to be old or new? Are they energy efficient? If you sign a mortgage on a home only to learn the entire heating or HVAC requires replacement, you could cause yourself financial stress. Checklist the estimated age of each appliance and piece of equipment in the potential home selection. Include checklist notes of expenses for replacing older items. Place in your home mortgage selection notes that you may want a home inspection or warranty if equipment looks older; your checklist selection can save you from making a major mortgage error!
  13. Utility Cost: Don’t be afraid to ask the home owners to see electric, gas and water bills. If your home selection is well insulated and energy efficient, they will be happy to show you. Energy costs are important points on your home selection checklist.
  14. Neighborhood: Do you want to be in a gated community? Is a play area for children nearby the home? What about schools? Is the neighborhood surrounding the home selection clean and attractive? Ride around the neighborhood; see other homes to learn about the area before making your home selection to mortgage. Secure neighborhoods help not only ease of mortgage approval, but on insurance as well. Checklist this item on your home selection list.
  15. Yard: If you have children or pets, you may desire a large yard. If you are a gardener, a nice yard is important. Again, checklist everything that truly matters in your ideal home selection.
  16. Parking: Is there space for your vehicles and guests? Is there a garage? Carport? Is the driveway in good condition? Include on your home selection checklist what matters to you. Again, if these require repair, put these notes on the checklist so you can budget
    accordingly.
  17. Future expansion: If you wish to expand the home at some future time then is there space on the property without crowding? Consider the future before you mortgage a home that you may have to sell later as your family needs grow.
  18. Zoning and Restrictions: If you have a home business, is it permitted in the
    potential neighborhood? Selection of a home which prevents the activities you value would be a bad mistake. Some communities have restrictions regarding working on your car or motorcycle, parking a boat and other issues you need to know before
    making your final home selection. Keep this point on your selection checklist if
    you work on your car or have a boat beside the home.
  19. Work: Is the home of your selection near your workplace? If not, is it easy to access the expressway for an easy commute from home? Will you come to hate the idea of going to work from
    this location? Note on the selection checklist for your home the miles you will
    drive per day and the cost.
  20. Shopping: Groceries, and convenience stores, gas stations and the like should be in close proximity of your home selection. Note on your selection checklist how far from home to the nearest shopping centers. Checklist where you would go from your home to shop.
  21. Sidewalks: This checklist point for home selection is important for families with children. If there are no sidewalks,
    then children won’t be able to easily walk to visit friends, ride bikes, or do other activities children love to do. Also, checklist if you like to take strolls or walk for exercise yourself.
  22. Amusements, churches, activities: If you have activities you like to do, consider the drive time from the home selection. Will your children’s movie visits on Saturday become a long drive? Are at least a few doctors nearby the potential home? Amusements your family enjoys should be reasonably easy to reach.
  23. Neighborhood Lighting: If you like to go out at night, or your children will be playing outside, is the area well-lighted? Not only are these selection criteria important for your children, but burglars just hate a well-light home and neighborhood! Checklist some safety issues you need before considering a mortgage.
  24. Traffic: If you have children, your new neighborhood should be low traffic. Also, traffic equals noise. Consider this important fact as well. A home on an expressway has frustrated many.

This home selection checklist points are meant to help you think to checklist important home selection options before obtaining a mortgage for a home. Make yourself a custom home selection checklist that includes the things that matter to YOU and YOUR FAMILY, and then take this along when home shopping. With a checklist

in hand, you can make the selection that will make you happy for years and years!

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Source by David Chapman

How Soon Can You Be Evicted After The Foreclosure Sheriff Sale?

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Homeowners in foreclosure are rightfully worried about not being able to save their homes and how quickly they will be evicted after the sheriff sale. Although the lender and various „experts“ will threaten them with the sheriff showing up the next day to violently kick them out of the house, this is just not the case in foreclosure situation. The county sheriff and the eviction crew will not show up the next day after the sheriff sale, and homeowners should ignore the fear-mongering that threatens this possibility.

Owners should be aware of the implications of the foreclosure auction, though. The sheriff sale will transfer ownership of the property, and the foreclosure victims will not own the house after this point. But this does not mean that the eviction process will happen automatically right after the house is auctioned, as there are more steps that will need to be taken by the new owner.

The high bidder at the auction will most likely have to have the sheriff sale confirmed (this is not a specifically detailed step in every state). This can take from a few days to a couple of weeks after the auction, depending on how quickly the courts and new owner act. But this is generally just a simple step in the foreclosure process after the sale that involves the sheriff and judge confirming the auction was for a legal amount and that the deed has now been awarded to the new owner.

The new owner will most likely be the original foreclosing bank that the homeowners had been dealing with in the first place to stop foreclosure. About 95% of foreclosures end up being purchased by the lender, rather than a third party.

In order to evict former homeowners, the lender will have to request the court grant it possession of the property and order the county sheriff to evict any remaining people or personal items and change the locks. This is a legal process, though. Homeowners should not fear that a bunch of government thugs with badges and guns will show up at their house the day after the sheriff sale to kick them out. Of course, this is exactly what happens, but at a later date if the foreclosure victims do not move out in time.

But the entire eviction process can take up to a month after the sale; throwing people out of their homes is not a simple process before or after a county auction. The court will have no problem ordering the eviction (unless the former owners go and try to contest the sale, eviction order, etc.), but the sheriff’s department will have to give notice of the impending removal. This can be as little as posting a piece of paper on the property with three days notice to move. Thus, after the sheriff sale, former homeowners better be prepared to leave on their own or work out another solution.

People facing foreclosure should not be overly concerned about being kicked out of a house with little notice. The sheriff will not just show up the next day or a few hours after the sheriff sale, as there is still a legal process that must be followed for a bank to take back possession of a foreclosed property. Homeowners probably have at least two weeks to a month after the sheriff sale date to arrange for a new place to move into.

In any event, homeowners are always encouraged to call the sheriff’s department to ask them when then eviction will take place. Even more promising, they can also usually ask for a few extra days or a week in order to move everything out and give up the house peacefully. There is still a chance to negotiate with the local government for more time (courts and sheriff) so that the former owners are not taken by surprise by the eviction.

Thus, the banks and government officials will not evict foreclosure victims right away after the auction, but there is no time to spare, either. Having a couple of weeks to move out can give people a chance to find a place and move in at their own pace, but even a month-long eviction process will go by very quickly. If in doubt, homeowners should contact their local government officials and ask about the eviction — the courts or sheriff will be able to inform them of the date and try to work out the most reasonable solution. They want as little trouble after foreclosure as the former homeowners do.

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Source by Nick Heeringa

How to Start a Foreclosure Cleanup and Property Preservation Company

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

A new article on June 3, 2009 from MSN Money writer Michael Brush indicates that there is a third wave of foreclosures still to come from prime borrowers (ie those previously "safe-borrowers" with sound credit and fixed-rate mortgages) as a result of job losses thanks to the worsening economy ("Coming: A 3rd Wave of Foreclosures").

The article states that "In the first quarter, the percentage of these borrowers who were behind on their mortgages or in foreclosure had doubled from a year earlier, to nearly 6%" and goes on to say that "Credit Suisseanalyst Rod Dubitsky predicted last week that 8.1 million mortgages, or 16% of all mortgages, will go into foreclosure over the next four years. A weak economy, continued declines in home prices and rising delinquencies among prime borrowers all but ensure that foreclosures "will march steadily higher," he says. " Not such great news for the economy, but good news indeed for entrepreneurs interested in starting a foreclosure cleanup business to clean and repair foreclosed homes for the banks.

To put this in perspective, this means that there will be over 2 million foreclosures a year and more than $ 2,025,000,000 up for grabs in money that will be spent on cleaning up these foreclosed properties (since the average bill is $ 1000 + to clean up one of these properties).

Let's take a look at how you can position yourself to capitalize on this coming foreclosure movement

Set Up Your Company Properly

If you want to be hired for cleanup or preservation work, you'll need to operate your business as a professional company. The good news is that you can set up a business quickly and inexpensively, and usually on your own. Many people decide to set up an LLC (Limited Liability Company) because of how quickly and easily it can be done but you'll want to check with your accountant or other business professional to select the type of business entity that's right for your personal situation .

If you do decide to start an LLC, you can usually find all of the documents you need online from your state's government website. Usually the branch you're looking for will be called the "Industrial Commission" or "Corporation Commission" or similar. Try typing in "start a business + ______ (your state)". Anything ending in ".gov" is usually a good place to start as it indicates a government site.

Once your business is set up, you'll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is like a SSN for your business. You can register for one online: type in "IRS" & "EIN" into a search engine to find the online registration link.

As soon as you have your EIN (which you can usually get immediately online), you can open up a business bank account for your company. This step is very, very important. In the excitement of things, many people get caught up in the day-to-day dealings of running a business and use their personal accounts to pay for business expenses. Not only does this present an accounting nightmare at the end of the year, but it could present problems for you with the IRS if you don't keep your personal and business finances separate.

Once you legally set up your business, you may be required to register your business with your county or city in order to get a business license to operate. You can start by calling City Hall or the Office of the County Clerk to inquire as to whether or not you need a city / county / state business license and if so, how to get one.

So to recap:

1. Legally set up your business
2. Get your EIN # and set up a business bank account
3. Apply for a business license
4. If you want to do preservation work, determine whether or not you need a contractors' license

Get Insurance

You absolutely must have a Commercial Liability Insurance policy and Workers' Compensation Insurance in order to run your business. Not only is insurance essential for protecting yourself from liability and protecting those that work for you in the event of a work-related injury, but many asset management companies will not do business with you if you do not meet their minimum insurance requirements.

Insurance will likely be one of your largest start-up costs, however, most insurance companies allow you to pay the premium on a monthly (rather than yearly) basis, which definitely makes this expense more affordable.

General Liability Insurance policies can cover the following: bodily injury, property damage, contractual liability, personal and advertising injury, professional liability (also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance, this coverage protects you and your business from litigation caused by charges of professional neglect or failure to perform your professional duties), hired auto and non-auto liability and umbrella liability.

You'll want to speak directly with your insurance agent to get a better idea of ​​the extent of the coverage provided by their particular policy and one that is best suited for your individual needs

Workers' Compensation Insurance is required in most states when you have W2 employees, and some states also require your insurance to cover your 1099 contractors also. Workers' Compensation ("Workers' Comp") covers your employees' medical and disability expenses related to work-related illness and on-the-job injuries.

In the states where you are not required to cover your 1099 contractors you would need them to provide proof that they carry their own Workers' Compensation insurance. Although tempting to shift the financial burden of maintaining a policy onto your 1099 contractors, in all reality, you are probably better off to take on the cost of all staff Workers' Compensation (all W2 employees and 1099 contractors). The reason is that it's difficult to find only independent contractors that have their own policy. In addition, this industry has such high turnover that if you put this restriction on your independent contractors, you'll waste valuable time and lost revenues trying to find replacements in a hurry.

Here's a great tip: sometimes you can get "pay-as-you-go" insurance where your workers' compensation insurance premiums are based on your actual payroll, rather than an estimated amount. This is great for companies that are just starting out or have a fluctuating workload. Type in "pay as you go workers comp" into a search engine for results in your area.

As a second tip, we've used Farmers Insurance for years and have always had excellent customer service and great rates. Just Google "Farmers Insurance" for an agent in your area.

Foreclosure Cleanup vs Property Preservation Services

As the name suggests as a Foreclosure Cleanup Company, you'll be cleaning out all of the junk in the house (also called a "trashout or a" junk out "), as well as cleaning the interior of the home. be required to remove vehicles on the property.Usually foreclosure cleanup companies are also responsible for doing a basic landscape cleanup which includes hauling out any junk from the front / back yards, cutting the grass and trimming trees / bushes.

Cleaning up the property is the extent of services offered by a Foreclosure Cleanup Company, whereas a Property Preservation Company is also involved in the "securing" of the property and the "preserving" of the property.

Here are some of the services that a preservation company may offer (note that a Property Preservation Company will generally also offer cleanup services):

Securing the Property
o Initial vacant property inspection
o Lock changes
o Boarding of windows and doors
o Temporary roof repair
o Securing swimming pools

Preserving the Property
o Exterior Debris removal
o Abandoned vehicle removal (cars, boats, etc.)
o Interior Debris removal (junk-out)
o Hazardous waste removal
o Interior cleaning services including carpet cleaning
o Window washing / graffiti removal
o Window replacement
o Pool services (draining, acid washing, maintaining, etc.)
o Pest control services
o Yard maintenance / landscaping
o Snow removal
o Winterization
o Gutter cleaning
o Pressure washing
o Carpet removal & replacement
o Tile / Floor repairs
o Painting
o Sheetrock / drywall repairs
o Carpentry repairs
o Plumbing fixtures repairs & replacements
o Fire & mold remediation
o Fence repair

Here are a few things to consider when determining the extent of the services you want to offer:

A Contractors' License is generally not required for Foreclosure Cleanup Company but is likely required for preservation companies doing work over a certain dollar value (usually $ 500 – $ 1000 +). Sometimes this license can be obtained by attending a course and successfully passing a test whereas other states require previous, verifiable industry experience.

The insurance premiums tend to be higher on companies that offer preservation services as they are considered to be a "general contractor". However, the revenue potential is much higher as preservation services tend to run from a few thousand dollars upwards instead of $ 800 – $ 1500 for each cleanout.

Usually what people do is start out initially offering just the foreclosure cleanup services and then when things pick up, they'll add preservation items to the list of services they offer. This let's them get their foot in the door without having to spend a whole lot of money upfront when setting up their company.

Source the Right Equipment & Tools

The great thing about starting a foreclosure cleanup company is that the initial expenses are quite low as much of the equipment and tools needed for cleaning foreclosures can likely be found in your own garage:

o Cleaning chemicals (ie all purpose cleaner, disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner)
o Cleaning supplies (broom, mop, scrub pads)
o Vacuum cleaner
o Garbage bags and shovels
o Work gloves and disposable plastic gloves
o Lawn mowers & lawn tools
o Wheelbarrow

For the smaller items you don't have on hand, check your local dollar store. Their prices can't be beat and they usually have the same chemicals and cleaning supplies as the other retailers. Once you start doing some volume, consider shopping for your supplies at Sam's Club or Costco to keep your expenses low.

You can also find used equipment in great shape (such as vacuums) by going around to your local Saturday morning garage / yard sales. If you have a "Re-Use" center or a Salvation Army, you may consider checking there also as they often have vacuums and other small equipment or yard tools for sale.

For hauling junk, you'll need some sort of trailer and a vehicle large enough to pull it. If you don't have a truck and a trailer, you can always borrow a friend's truck and rent a trailer from U-Haul or just go ahead and rent a moving truck from U-Haul. (Remember though, that you'll be charged a daily rate plus a per-mile rate when you rent a moving truck whereas if you use your own truck and just rent the pull-trailer, you'll only incur the daily rental rate for the trailer.)

Sometimes you'll be required to clean a property that doesn't have electricity or water. In the event that there's no electricity, you'll need a generator to operate the vacuum cleaners and other electrical equipment. These can be rented at Lowe's or Home Depot and is a much better alternative to purchasing one outright unless you're going to use it on a regular basis (a new one will run you about $ 500 +).
To save on expenses, it's best to rent equipment in the beginning.

Once you get up and going, it may be worth looking into purchasing equipment of your own. Check the online classifieds ads (such as Craigslist, Kijiji and Backpage) for used trailers, generators, etc. You should also check with U-Haul as they have been selling some of their excess trucks as of late.

Stay Safe on the Job

As a business owner, you're responsible for keeping your staff safe while working on the job. Working safely is paramount to the health of your staff and the reputation of your business (and also keeps your insurance premiums low). It's imperative that you review safety issues prior to allowing anyone to work on the job – you must provide both classroom and on-the-job safety training to all new hires.

Now, it doesn't have to be anything fancy; you can spend 20 – 30 minutes reviewing safety policies, safe working practices and answering any questions and then you'll be done! Make sure you have people sign in and out of the meeting and that you document that a safety meeting took place.

It's also very important that you become familiar with OSHA and Safety Standards as well as the health & safety hazards associated with this industry so that you can keep your staff safe, avoid accidents and costly fines. You can find the OSHA Pocket Guide to Construction Safety (it's a short and an easy read) at the main website (OSHA DOT gov) by searching for the report name.

Another way to protect your staff and your business is to make sure that you check references before you hire someone. Insist that they list non-related references (ie not mother, sister or best friend) and instead list references of previous employers or someone they know in a professional capacity. We also do drug testing and background checks – it might sound paranoid to some, but the safety of our staff, our customers' property and our company's reputation is far too important to risk not spending $ 20 on a background check or drug test.

Price Your Services Right

In this industry, the lowest price always wins the bid (unless, of course, the lowest bidder has a terrible track record of not completing work and is utterly irresponsible and unprofessional, in which case the company has just committed "reputation-suicide" and will never be hired again). Lenders don't want to spend any more than they have to on these properties so you want to make sure you price your services comparable with the going market rates (but at the same time, priced so that you still make a great profit and don 't leave any money on the table).

For cleaning out foreclosures, most banks expect to spend anywhere from $ 500 – $ 1500 for a cleanout (trashout, interior clean and initial landscape cleanup), but it could be a bit more or a bit less, depending on your area. It's important to know that most lenders have prescribed "price caps" for the maximum amounts that they'll pay for services.

If you're also providing preservation services, a great site that we've used before to determine our prices for doing repairs is www.CostEstimator.com for getting the market rates for construction costs – you can get a free 30 day trial (no need to enter credit card – it really is free!). There are over 3,000 cost items adjusted for over 210 local, geographic regions to create your bid and you can add as many others as needed. If you want to sign up after the trial, it's only $ 15 / month.

Market Your Services

It's true – "nothing happens until somebody sells something" … and you'll need to get out there and sell, sell, sell your business. Once you've done a few jobs, you'll find that word of mouth advertising and referrals will provide a large pool of new jobs for you, but in the meantime, you do need to do everything possible to let customers know you exist.

A large portion of work will come from the relationships that you build with Real Estate Agents ("Realtors") who list bank-owned homes (often referred to as REO listings). They are often given the task of bidding out the cleaning and repairs of new listings by the asset management company so you'll want to make sure the agents in your area know your company handles this type of work.

A great way to find out which Realtors in your area list REOs is to go online to the major bank's REO websites and "data mine" the contact information for the listing agents (name, email, phone numbers). It can be painstaking work, but definitely worth it.

Here's an example of a bank REO sites to get you started collecting Realtor information

WELLS FARGO (Properties managed by Premier Asset Services): pasreo.com/pasreo/images/pas_logo.jpg

NOTE: In order to access agent information, select the state and click search. Then, individually select each listing and click on "Print Property Report CVS". Each listing and corresponding information (such as agent name, phone # and email) will be created in an Excel spreadsheet. You can access the page

Remember to follow up with a phone call a few days later. Don't be shy about asking the Realtor if he / she has any jobs for you to bid, either – most of them are very accommodating and willing to give a new company the opportunity to provide estimates.

The other way jobs are bid out is through large Asset Management Companies (also referred to as Marketing & Management Companies, REO Field Service Companies and Property Management Companies). Essentially, the lender says, "ok – I have thousands of properties to get rid of. Here, national ABC Asset Management Company: clean, fix and sell these properties for us". And the national Asset Management Company will then subcontract out the work to local foreclosure cleanup and property preservation companies. In order to work for these companies, you usually need to sign up your company as a potential vendor. Many times this can be done online.

There are both positives and negatives associated with working for the larger companies. On the positive side, you will probably be given a few projects to work on at a time so you will be kept relatively busy. On the negative side, they usually want you to offer 'wholesale pricing' and don't pay until 30 – 60 days after you invoice them for the work. Working for one of these companies, however, will give you the experience you need to go after more work.

Other possible customers include wholesale property investors (groups of investors that purchase foreclosed homes at the auctions and then sell them to smaller investors at a wholesale price), investors, landlords, property management companies, Realtors and so on.

You should also consider attending your local networking events such as the Chamber of Commerce meetings and any local investor meetings in order to hand out your card and network with potential customers. The more you get out there, the better chance you'll have of securing some great, long-term customers!

This is definitely an exciting industry and a very profitable one for those of you who don't mind getting your hands a bit dirty! Good luck!

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Source by Les Tyler

Commercial and Retail Property Leasing – How to Be Pitching for a Landlords Listing

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

In investment property the landlords that own premises always require leasing assistance. Rarely will they turn down the offer of a genuine tenant at a market rent. For this reason, if you as a real estate agent focus on the control of your market and the tenants that are active or potentially active, you will create more opportunity for listings. Landlords will listen to you. More of your presentations and sale pitches will convert to listings.

Landlords want the best agent when it comes to leasing the vacancies that they have. Your database of enquiry from your local market is foundational to attracting landlords to your leasing services. So if you want to control your leasing market, focus on your database and the enquiry that sits in it.

When you pitch for landlords vacant premises to lease try these rules:

  • Show them the size of your database as a bulky document that they can feel and see. Put it on the table during the presentation or pitch.
  • Talk to the landlord about the recent market rents that have been achieved which other comparable properties in the area. Explain the advantages and differences between gross and net rents as you see it for their premises.
  • Explain what incentives are out in the market to attract tenants in today’s terms. It is likely that your landlord will need guidance or help with the incentive structures and decisions.
  • Make sure you have inspected the property in detail so you can talk to it and the property features around which you will build your inspection and marketing strategies.
  • Identify the target market that will be attracted to the property and just how you will tap into that target market.
  • Explain what the situation is like currently regards the time on market for the leasing of premises. What is the vacancy factor in the area or region that can impact on the landlords leasing requirement?
  • Tell the landlord what you consider to be the essential facts that tenants require in today’s leasing situation
  • Give the landlord an idea of how the best lease could be structured, what the rents are, and how the rents could be improved over time.
  • Talk about the permitted use and the zoning of the premises that will have impact on the future leasing strategy.
  • How do the services and amenities in the property suit the current enquiry for leased premises?

Landlords in this property market need help from agents to find tenants. Rarely will a landlord really have all the resources and solutions available to lease the premises that the local real estate agent has. These 10 facts above will help you show that you are the real estate agent of choice to market the vacancy for the landlord. If the vacancy and property is of high quality, insist on getting an exclusive leasing agency appointment so you can focus your efforts on the market and the premises for at least 8 weeks. If the property has not leased in that time then something else is impacting the marketing or the enquiry base.

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Source by John Highman

Mortgage Brokers – Turn FSBOs Into Referral Goldmines With This Awesome Phone Script

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

Even with the housing marketing as crappy as it is, converting for sale by owners (FSBOs or also known as „fizzbos“) into referral sources is still an effective marketing strategy. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are only going for the opportunity to help that fizzbo get a purchase loan for his new home. The real goal is to develop a relationship with the homeowner so that you prequalify all of the potential buyer prospects interested in their home that’s for sale. Using a phone script will make this even easier.

Drive around your area and search for all the homes being sold „For Sale by Owner.“ And if your area is like mine, there should be plenty of them. When you find one, write down the address, phone number, and sales price if it’s available (if they have a flyer, even better).

Once you have collected several addresses and phone numbers, it’s time to make the phone calls. Because FSBOs are heavily targeted by real estate agents, the homeowner will probably be very resistant to your phone call. You have to break through that resistance as soon as possible. And the best way to do this is to tell them early that you are not trying to get their money. Once they know that none of their money is at risk, they’ll be much more open to talking to you. Here’s the script to use:

FSBO: Hello?

You: Hi. Are you selling the beautiful home on 15 Oak Street?

FSBO: Yes I am. Who am I speaking to?

You: My name is Ken Johnson from ABC Mortgage and I was wondering what your sales price is on the home? Oh, and what’s your name by the way?

At this point, the fizzbo will be a little taken aback. His resistance is still high because he knows you are from a mortgage company, but you haven’t said anything yet to make him hang up on you.

FSBO: Well, my name is Bob and I’m wanting to get $200,000 for it. Now, why are you calling me?

You: Bob, I can hear the agitation in your voice, and I can probably guess why its there. Since you placed that for sale sign in your yard, you are most likely getting bombarded with calls from real estate agents wanting you to list your home with them. I can promise you that I’m not calling about that.

FSBO: Really? Then why are you calling?

You: I want to create a win-win partnership with you. One in that you sell your home quicker and with much less stress, and you don’t have to pay me a single penny.

FSBO: Well, I could use any help selling this house faster. But what’s in it for you?

You: Typically, during the time a house is listed for sale, it gets interest from dozens of potential buyers. Almost all of the prospects will not buy that particular home. But they still want to buy a home and probably need financing to make it happen. It is those buyer prospects that I want to get business from.

FSBO: Ok, I see. But how will you help me then?

You: I’m glad you asked that. Did you know that when it comes to selling a home „fore sale by owner“, most of the transactions never get completed? Were you aware of that?

FSBO: No, I wasn’t. Why is that?

You: The number one reason that those transactions never get to the closing table is because the financing was not properly established by the buyers. So they will go look at homes that they just can’t afford (because they haven’t been prequalified by a mortgage professional) and then go making offers. This results in a lot of wasted time (and plenty of stress) for the homeowner.

FSBO: So you’ll help me by prequalifying the buyers interested in my home?

You: Exactly! By allowing me to prequalify them (at absolutely no cost to you), you will only have to deal with those prospects who are financially able to purchase your home. Besides weeding out all of those buyers who can’t buy your home anyway, the process of prequalifying eliminates those prospects who are just „lookers.“ You know, the ones who are always driving around looking at houses for sale, but never intend to buy them.

FSBO: Wow. So you’ll do that prequalifying for me, and I don’t have to pay you anything?

You: Nope. Not a single cent. I will make my commission from the buyers side. Does this win-win situation sound like a good idea to you?

FSBO: Yes it does. What’s the next step?

Once you have the FSBO onboard, everything else will be cake. Each FSBO relationship that you establish should be able to provide you with several buyer prospects. Having a few FSBO partnerships will generate a steady stream of purchase mortgage leads. And because the time to maintain them is minimal (its basically just prequalifying prospects once you have your partnership created), you can have a number of ongoing partnerships going on simultaneously. Just remember to come across as not wanting to get any of their money, and they will be much more willing to work with you.

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Source by Joseph Pahl

Fix it and Flip it – How I Lost Money on Real Estate

Immobilie bewerten, Immobilie Wert, Immobilienrechner, Verkaufsrechner, Immobilienwertermittlung Tel: 06227-399170 Handy: 0176-2116-9990 eMail: info@heidelbergerwohnen.de Internet: www.heidelbergerwohnen.de

I’ve known a lot of people who have lost money when they sold their homes. In fact, I’m one of those people, and it’s happened to me more than once.

There are a number of factors can cause a financial loss when you sell your house, including the need to sell at the wrong time due to divorce or an impending foreclosure, or a downturn in the local real estate market. However, it’s also common to lose money simply by making too many expensive changes to the house before putting it on the market. This is how I lost money on real estate, before I wised up.

My most resounding failure in the fix it and flip it market was a house I bought in Spokane, Washington. Knowing what I know now, I would have restricted myself to replacing the carpets and the kitchen and bathroom fixtures, painting inside and out, and buying new appliances. I probably would have replaced the old-style windows, too, to make the place look nicer and appeal to the energy-conscious buyer. These fixes could have been done easily within the two years I needed to live there to avoid capital gains taxes.

Since I didn’t know what I know now, I made major renovations, which included moving the bathroom. I did most of the work myself, but the materials alone cost more than I could get back when the house was sold. With the exception of repairs done to the house to make it eligible for an FHA loan and watering the grass, I doubt that any of my major projects really helped me sell the house or increased its value.

If a house is actually sound, with no structural damage or insect problems, the biggest reason it will sell for less than its worth is usually cosmetic. This was certainly true of the house I bought in Spokane. Dirty carpeting, and a wall in the living room covered with mirror tiles, kept most buyers from going any further into the house. I could see past the cosmetic problems and see the home’s full potential – but my imagination went a bit too far.

The floor plan was odd, and slightly inconvenient, but leaving the bathroom where it was would have been far more rational, financially. Why didn’t I do that? Because my emotions and my nesting instincts took over, pushing aside all thought of future gain or loss.

Let’s face it – most people don’t buy their own homes with the intention of making a profit, although they certainly hope the house will be a good investment. In fact, the emotional stress caused by the process of buying a house and moving into it can be enough to completely erase any thought of moving again a few years later. However, I know several families who have made a very good living by buying underpriced homes, living in them and fixing them up, and then selling them when the IRS will allow them to do so without paying extra taxes. Clearly, these folks don’t make any changes to these houses without carefully considering the bottom line.

After my Spokane adventure, I decided to learn from my mistakes, and find out how to stop losing money on houses. I read books by authors who are experienced in fixing and flipping houses – and then read them again. When I saw that most remodeling projects almost never recoup their costs when the house is sold, I was a little shocked, because I had been guilty of almost every mistake on the list at one time or another. I know many people who have also made the same mistakes, even when they started those remodeling projects with the intention of increasing the value of their homes.

When I bought my next house, I kept that list very firmly in mind. For instance, my kitchen was badly in need of a major overhaul, (or so I believed), and it was far too small. I pored over the latest home decorating magazines, and ideas came flooding into my head. I thought about knocking out some walls, and I even tried to imagine adding on to the house to make the kitchen bigger. New cabinets would be needed, and new appliances…

In the end I painted the kitchen cabinets and replaced the sink with a new one I purchased at Ikea. I covered the chipped orange Formica counters with printed cotton fabric, and coated it with many layers of water-based Verathane that was intended to protect wood floors. The complete „remodel“ cost less than $400, as opposed to the thousands of dollars that I would have spent if I followed through on my idle dreams of a „perfect“ kitchen. Since the house sold at a very good price within two weeks of listing it, my buyer obviously didn’t mind that the kitchen didn’t meet my idea of perfect. Because I kept my costs down, I made a handy profit on the sale.

Would I have been able to sell the house for more money if the kitchen had been remodeled and expanded? Perhaps, but not enough to cover the cost of the remodel. Although the National Association of Realtors lists a kitchen remodel as one of the projects that will increase a house the most, they still advise that you should expect to get back only 80% of the costs. If your new kitchen is far fancier, bigger, and more expensive than any other kitchen in the neighborhood, the returns will be even less. A full kitchen remodel can cost thousands of dollars, so the 20% you don’t get back can be a big chunk of change.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t make changes to your home that would make you happy? Not at all, especially if you intend to live there for many years. But it does pay to sit down with your spouse or partner before you start making your remodeling plans, determine exactly how long you’ll be staying in the home, and then think about the full financial implications of the remodeling project. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a professional house flipper, it might pay to slow down a bit and find ways to improve the home without spending money you’ll never see again. As a bonus, your family might be able to avoid the stress and disruption of all that remodeling mess.

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Makler Heidelberg


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Source by Jonni Good