We hope 2016 was a good and memorable year for you. As we enter 2017, we wish you the full optimism, energy, and momentum that come with the arrival of a brand new year. Does real estate figure into your 2017 new year’s resolution? We hope so. Here are some suggestions for consideration in your real-estate related resolutions:
- Buy Your First Home: Home ownership is still the quintessential American dream. Not only does it represent the foundation of personal freedom, it is the major asset for most families. Since we all need a dwelling to live, we either pay to rent, or we can own. This is the first step to building equity. Many of us have built our wealth through it. It does come with a lot of responsibilities so it is not for everyone. Are you ready to take that step for your financial future in 2017? We can help you prepare your finances and get started.
- Change of Lifestyle: Where we live can dictate the quality of many aspects of our lives. We love everything about our east Orlando living but our needs and wants can change over the years and phases of our lives. Do you dream of a different type of property or location? The ideal home is different for everyone. We’ve helped a family move out of a rigid HOA community and into a custom home on 5 acres where their 4 children now roam freely. (The last time we stopped by there’s a tire swing from a towering tree and a tent and campfire pit in the yard). We’ve helped a family build their dream home on a lake front lot where they watch sunsets over water and ski to their hearts’ content. We have clients that moved to Downtown Orlando, scenic Mount Dora, beautiful Winter Park, oak-shaded Winter Springs, and experienced a renewed exuberance and excitement over everyday living. We have so many of these stories. This is why we are in this profession. We are passionate about homes and what our homes can do for us. We are partners in many of our past clients’ lives because we know how to help them make these transitions. Have you been thinking about something different? Have a chat with us. We may go explore with you.
- Upsizing: Current home getting too tight? Have a growing family? Average move-uppers purchase a home 1.5 times larger than their current home. For example: They move from a 2,000 to a 3,000 Sq Ft home. When we filled our 3-car garage as storage back in 2008, we knew it was time to upsize. The new home increased our quality of life in every way. We are happy to have made the move. We will be happy to help you too.
- Downsizing: Many of us are or will soon be empty nesters. Have rooms or a pool that are never used? Maintenance of a large home getting tiresome? Intrigued by the “tiny house” movement across the country? Most downsize to simplify or lower the cost of living. A common theme is to purchase a smaller home outright with the equity from the selling of the current home. Many also downsize not necessarily to reduce the cost but to increase the quality of life. They purchase smaller homes in more desirable areas or into a newer, or more upgraded home. We can introduce special communities to you.
- Vacation/Second Home: If you’ve grown weary of spending your vacations in hotels and rentals, consider joining the nearly one million buyers across the country that purchased second homes last year. This is a dream for many people. After the hustle and bustle of a busy week, imagine a relaxing weekend at the beach or the “lake house” to recharge yourself. A client just purchased a mountain cabin for her family in Georgia that will also generate rental income. We’ve already booked a week at her cabin in 2017!
- Selling: Changing priorities and plans have you thinking about selling your home? Is it time to re-evaluate your investment properties? It’s important to have a professional consultation in this matured housing market. During seller consultations over the years, one very important question we answer is when to act. In a declining market, sooner is better than later. In a raising market, time is on the Seller’s side. We watch and analyze the market closely. We are happy to share with you our insights so you can make the most informed decision.
- Real Estate Investing: It has been said that the majority of the wealth in the United States has been made in real estate. There are many facets to real estate investing. We have worked with different investors over the last 15 years, from young couples fixing up one small home at a time, to sophisticated investment groups that purchase dozens of properties. Among our past clients, their various goals included portfolio diversification, capital preservation, cash flow, and equity building. 2 things that make real estate a truly unique investment vehicle, are the amount you can leverage (borrow), and the fact it can generate income. If a home is purchased with 20% down payment and the rent covers the mortgage, that is 80% leverage! There is nothing like it. You can’t buy stocks with less than 50% down in a margin account. Also, the fact that real estate can generate rental income sets it apart from investments like most stocks and precious metals such as gold and silver. Tell us your personal goals. We will see what we can do for you. We have been real estate investors ourselves for many years and we are happy to share with you our experience.
- Retirement Plan: Some of our clients apply the principle above as their retirement plan. They purchase properties whenever possible, with the goal that upon the mortgage payoff, the rental income can support or supplement a comfortable retirement. This is exactly what my parents have successfully done. It’s never too early to start! We are already teaching our children the importance of long term planning.
- College Savings Plan: I’ve given this example in the past years. Is there a new born or a young child in your own or extended family? Consider buying a rental home for the benefit of the child. Let’s say you can do it with 20% down and a 15-year mortgage, when the child is 15 years old, the property will be paid off. It can be sold for college tuition or other financial needs. Or, the future monthly rental income can help cover the child’s expenses. Even with a 30-year mortgage or other configuration, it is a significant head-start for your loved one(s).
- Creative Use of Real Estate: Here is a creative way to look at real estate. In 2014, I was in the market for a new car to replace the 10-year old family minivan. For the most part, a car is a depreciating asset. It’s worth less each day you own it. Whereas for the most part, real estate is an appreciating asset. I’d rather own real estate than a car, but I need the use of the car. So in 2014 I bought a rental property with similar down payment it would cost me to buy the new car with cash. This property generated the monthly positive cash flow to cover the monthly car payment. So in the end, I will own the property AND the car!
We sincerely wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. As always, if you have any real estate related questions, give us a call! We are happy to discuss real estate topics even when it’s not business.
Also, we love referrals!