Should You Invest in Real Estate to Avoid Further Losses in The Stock Market?

If you’ve been watching the news, it’s not uncommon to read that the stock market is down 600 points one day, or up 400 points the next. Sadly, this is due to the fact that the long-awaited correction in the stock market has finally arrived and many analysts are predicting that the stock market could lose up to 2,500 points in value within the next 30 days.

As an investor, one of the biggest questions that you need to ask yourself is if you should pull your money out of stocks and put it into real estate.

If you’ve been unsure about getting involved in real estate investing, this article will provide you with several reasons why real estate investing is the best investment to make right now compared to the wild roller coaster ride that is the stock market.

Stability

Over the last 20 years, real estate has been one of the most stable investments in the United States, and that stability is only expected to continue because the success of real estate is not tied to the success of the economy, it’s tied to the geographic area where the rental property is located, and of course the demand for rental properties as well.

Thankfully, in 2018-2019, the Houston Texas area continues to be one of the most highly desirable areas for relocation in the United States Because Houston has a thriving jobs market and a lower cost of living than what can be found in other states like California.

Cash Flow

Another great reason to invest in real estate is cash flow. Over the last 20 years, rental properties in Houston and across the United States have continued to produce consistent cash flow on a monthly basis even during turbulent times like the .COM bust of the late 1990’s, or the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008.

If you had your money invested in stocks over the last 20 years, imagine how much money you could have avoided losing how you been invested in rental properties instead.

Hedge Against Inflation

Last of all, but most important, another great reason to invest in Real Estate is that rental properties are an excellent hedge against inflation because, when your tenant moves out of your rental property, you can raise the rent so that it’s comparable to what other rental properties in the same area are renting for.

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Will More Stock Market Investors Put Their Money in The Real Estate Investment Market?

The stock market has been experiencing another correction in recent days and with a stock market correction, it’s not uncommon for investors to put their money into the bond market or real estate investment market like commercial or residential rental properties.

This has happened before in the past before the crash of 1987 and 2008 because smart investors like to get out of stocks before their investments lose a ton of value like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who lost a record $9 billion in one day.

Let’s say that you have $1 million in stocks, should you invest some of your money into real estate? The answer to this question is yes.

A Very Stable Investment

Like Bonds, the Real Estate investment market is very stable and can offer you an excellent return on your investment.

Real Estate is different than bonds though because with real estate you can rent it out, generate income and ultimately raise the rent for inflation compared with bonds which depending on the bond will only pay you a small return on your investment.

How Long Will the Stock Market Correction Last?

If you’re wondering how long the stock market correction will last, the answer is it’s anyone’s guess. Many institutional traders have been predicting that the market may lose up to 30% of its value but since we haven’t seen a wild swing like that there’s a good chance that the market may not lose much more value from here.

Tired of the up and down of the stock market? If you’ve been investing since before 2008, you’ve been riding the “roller coaster” for a long time.

Thankfully, with rental properties, you can enjoy long-term stability and cash flow from your investment plus a wide variety of other tax advantages compared to stocks or bonds.

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To learn more about real estate investments in the Houston Texas area contact us today by calling (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

What Is the Best Way for You to Grow Your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties?

Are you interested in growing your portfolio of Houston Texas Rental properties but you’re concerned that adding another rental property may be more work or added responsibility than you can handle?

If you’re still managing all of your rental properties yourself, one of the very best ways to add more rentals to your portfolio without increasing your workload is to hire a property management company.

Reasons to Hire A Property Manager

Rent Collection – Hiring a Houston Texas property manager will save you the time, money and hassle of collecting rent yourself including dealing with the excuses from your tenants for why they are late paying their rent and when they promise to pay.

When you hire a property manager you can count on rent to be collected on time each month and deposited into your account all without you having to reach out to your tenants for payment again.

Tenant Selection – Another time-consuming task that comes with owning rental properties is tenant selection. With a property manager, you can remove yourself from this process and have confidence that your manager will always find and place the most qualified tenants in your rental property for you.

Maintenance – From mowing the lawns at one of your rentals, changing toilets or full-blown maintenance, you can have confidence that your property manager will professionally maintain your rental property, saving you the time and hassle of having to do those things yourself so you can focus all of your time on growing your portfolio of rental properties.

Customer Service – Last of all, but most important, with a property manager serving your tenants you can also rest assured that should your tenants have a question or need assistance with their rental property, they will always have someone to call to handle those issues and you won’t have to worry about your phone “ringing off the hook” again. Continue reading “What Is the Best Way for You to Grow Your Portfolio of Houston Texas Rental Properties?”

Trying to Buy More Single-Family Rentals? Here’s What Could Kill the Deal

Are you thinking about adding more single-family rentals to your portfolio of rental properties? If so, you’re making a smart choice!

Even though you may currently own one or more single-family homes, the reality is that you can easily kill a home purchase deal by making one or more of the following mistakes.

  1. Lack of preparedness

Many property managers look at their business as a revenue source, but according to Propst, it’s so much more. He recommends viewing your business as an asset that can increase in value and consider how you want it to evolve down the road. By beginning with the end in mind and setting up goals to grow your business, you can make it more marketable when it’s time to sell.

  1. Poor financial management

In an acquisition, financials can be difficult to get your arms around and verify. Are the earnings you post on your financials what you are actually earning? Propst says it’s important to ensure the customer’s, tenant’s and business owner’s books are all reconciled. Both the buyer and seller need to understand that the numbers put into the system are accurate. If you reconcile your books on a monthly basis, life is much easier when it comes time to sell your business and investing in a certified audit may be a good idea.

  1. Lack of documented processes

When you acquire a company, you also acquire its processes. Propst recommends analyzing these processes so you can best leverage strengths and tweak areas that need improvement. From there, integrate the processes into your business as a whole. Use technology to document all processes, such as business procedures and communications with owners and tenants.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are important for anyone who is building their business and eventually wants to sell. Consider what is driving dollars and bottom line and focus on these areas. Instead of trying to do it all, set a few KPIs that help you reach your goal and place your efforts there.

What does Andy recommend to document processes? Tools like Traxion or even simply Microsoft Word.

  1. Poor data management

Do you have streamlined property management data? According to Propst, businesses should establish clear policies and procedures for how data is entered so it can be easily accessed and interpreted across the board. When managing multiple platforms (such as a tenant portal and owner portal), you need to establish data standards so you and your team can consistently enter data in the same way and avoid confusion (e.g.- “TX” instead of “Texas.”)

  1. Not knowing your worth

Do you know the value of your business? Property managers who begin with the end in mind by setting clear goals, along with mission and vision statements, are better equipped for long-term success. Be proactive in planning and focus primarily on initiatives that drive revenue for your business. Propst says that “Stepping away from the day-to-day of your business to create a game plan is an investment that will pay tenfold.” Making time to establish, review and adjust your goals is essential to understanding the true value of your business.

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For professional property management in the Houston Texas area contact Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

Planning on Buying Apartments? Choose The Houston Texas Rental Market

By Vestpro Residential Services

There’s no doubt that apartments or multi-family rental properties make excellent rentals because more doors equals more money for landlords. If you’re thinking about adding apartments to your portfolio or rental properties there no better place than the Houston Texas rental market.

Houston is in the midst of an apartment boom. A just-released, national report suggests that boom may not slow anytime soon, as it lists Houston as a top buy for apartment investors — and an area that will see rising rents in the foreseeable future.

Ten-X Commercial, an online platform for commercial real estate transactions, also identified Fort Worth as a city that commercial investors should target in its annual U.S. Apartment Market Outlook. Only three other American cities are considered strong buys for apartment investors: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Salt Lake City, Utah. The data in the report is generated from the more than $20 billion worth of transactions handled by Ten-X Commercial.

In analyzing the two Texas cities, Ten-X Commercial finds that both offer strong net operating income benefits (a key driver in commercial real estate) to investors for years to come. Houston’s apartment rents are buoyed by a “resurgent energy sector” that is “turbocharging the local economy” and jumped 6.1 percent year-over-year. The report also forecasts that Houston is “likely to prove considerably more resilient during a modeled downturn than other markets.”

A quick breakdown of the numbers illustrates good news for anyone looking to cash in on Houston’s apartment market.

  • Q1 2018 rent: $987
  • 2021 projected rent: $1,184
  • Q1 2018 vacancy: 6.2 percent
  • 2021 projected vacancy: 4.4 percent

Things look equally promising in Fort Worth, which the report notes is enjoying “low unemployment and solid job growth, with total employment up 3.1 percent year-over-year.” Apartment rents in the city are projected to leap to 12.3 percent higher by 2021. Fort Worth’s breakdown shows good news for investors and landlords, bad news for renters.

  • Q1 2018 rent: $907
  • 2021 projected rent: $1,018
  • Q1 2018 vacancy: 3.7 percent
  • 2021 projected vacancy: 4.4 percent

With every top buy report comes a warning to sell. Cities where investors should consider unloading are New York; Miami; San Francisco; Oakland, California; and San Jose, California. These markets are witnessing rising vacancies and flattening rents.

But how much is too much growth? Nationally, according to the research, multifamily completions should reach an all-time peak in 2018 as more than 300,000 new units flood the market, outpacing even the highest absorption levels in recent history. As a result, vacancies are expected to drift above 5 percent by the end of the year for the first time since 2011.

Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio noted in the report that “while millennials and other demographic groups continue to forego homeownership in favor of renting in walkable neighborhoods, developers appear to have gotten ahead of themselves in creating rental supply.”

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5 Basic Tips for Investing in Real Estate

Are you planning on getting started with Investing In Real Estate during 2017? If so, you’re not alone. Thanks to the excellent returns from Real Estate many investors have chosen to invest in rental properties in Houston, and across the United States.

Before getting started with investing in Real Estate you should follow these 5 basic tips for investing in Real Estate.

1. Location Matters

The old adage that “location matters” is most accurate when it comes to real estate investing. Before you fork over a down payment and put yourself in a significant amount of debt over a property, ensure that it’s in a good location.

Look for the worst house on the best street. That’s a principle you’ll come across quite a bit as you delve into further real estate investing advice.

You want to invest in the worst house on the best street because it gives you an opportunity to build equity. It’s a property in a great neighborhood (“the best street”) that needs some work (“the worst house”). You can invest some money to fix it up and sell it to someone else who wants a ready-to-move-in house in a fabulous location. Professional real estate investors call this “fixing and flipping.”

2. Look for Wholesale Properties

Investing in real estate is just like investing in the stock market in at least one way: you’re looking for the best deal. If you’re a savvy stock market investor, you probably won’t buy too many stocks at their high if you plan on holding them for a long time. Instead, you’ll follow the Warren Buffet principle of getting greedy when everyone else gets fearful. You’ll buy stocks that are beaten down and make a fortune when they turn around.
That’s what you want to do when it comes to real estate investing. Avoid paying “full price” for properties. Instead, look for so-called wholesale properties that are offered at a steep discount. Sure, they’ll probably need some work. Run the numbers and see if the investment in rehab is worth the ultimate selling price.

As noted at ThinkConveyance: “You can easily invest $20,000 in a property and add twice that much to the selling price. That’s why real estate investing is so attractive to investors who want to maximize their return on investment.”

3. Understand the Tax Benefits
The people who run our government want private investors to provide housing for people. That’s because they know that if private investors don’t provide housing, then the government will be responsible for it.

To that end, Uncle Sam offers significant tax benefits to real estate investors. The most significant benefit, arguably, is the depreciation write-off. When you buy an investment property that includes a building, you get to write off the depreciation of that building as a tax deduction. You’ll have to consult your tax advisor for specifics, but basically you can expect to depreciate a residential building over 27 years and a commercial building over 39 and a half years.

Keep in mind that the IRS views your real estate investment efforts as a business so you also get to claim the “necessary and ordinary“ deductions that business owners take, including mortgage interest, insurance, and maintenance expenses. Again, it’s a good idea to consult your tax advisor about specifics.

4. Check Your Credit Report

You’re more than likely going to need to borrow money to buy real estate. That’s why you should check your credit report before you begin investing in real estate.

If you have problems on your credit report that are mistakes, get those resolved as quickly as possible. If you have problems that are legitimate, then you’ll need to work to improve your credit.

Simply put, banks aren’t going to loan money to you for a property that’s not your primary residence as readily as they’ll loan it to you for your own home. That’s why your credit has to be spectacular.

5. Use the “1% Rule”

If you’re planning on buying a property that you’ll rent out one or more tenants, use the “1% Rule” when you decide whether or not the property is worth the price you’ll pay for it.

The 1% Rule simply states that an income producing property must produce 1% of the price you pay for it every month. For example, if you’re looking at buying a property for $150,000, then the monthly rental income should be 150,000 x 1% = $1,500.

Get Houston Texas Property Management

As you grow your portfolio of rental properties you’re going to need an experienced Houston Texas Property Management company because a property manager will save you the time, money and hassle of managing those rentals yourself. Learn more about the services we can offer you by contact us today at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

 

Are You Planning On Selling Your Houston Rental Before The End Of The Year?

Over the last five years many homeowners in Houston Texas have decided to rent their homes out rather than selling them, but times have changed, and now that home values have increased, homeowners who were previously underwater with their mortgages have equity again and may be planning on selling their Houston Rental Properties. 

Thanks to the IRS tax code we know that you can temporarily rent your primary residence without losing the all-important exclusion of capital gain but, this is also based on set five-year time limit.

About The Capital Gains Exclusion

During a 5 year period of time, you must have done the following:

  • Owned your home for 2 years.
  • Lived in your home, as your primary residence for two years.
  • Ownership must have been continuous during this period of time.

To successfully take advantage of the capital gains deduction your home must be ready for sale and should be priced correctly, sold then closed within a period of six months.

Although most homeowners want all capital gains to qualify for the exclusion, the reality is that some of the gains might not qualify if depreciation has occurred during the period of time that the home was rented, but the good news is that depreciation is recaptured at a tax rate of 25%.

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Timing Is Important

As with anything in life, timing is important, especially if your home is valued at $200,000 or more because it’s possible that you could have a tax liability up to $30,000 so like most people you will want to do everything possible to minimize or eliminate as many taxes as possible.

To learn more about taking advantage of the capital gains exclusion contact you tax professional today or to start the process of selling your Houston Rental before the end of the year click here.

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For professional property management for your Houston Texas Rental Property contact Vestpro Residential Services today by calling us at (832) 971-1841 or click here to connect with us online.

How to Begin Investing in Real Estate

Are you thinking about getting started in Real Estate investing in the Houston Texas area? If so, you’re not alone.

Many people have made the decision to invest in real estate over the last year thanks to historically low mortgage interest rates and demand for rental property across Houston and the United States.

In this article we will share with you several tips you can use for getting started in Real Estate investment.

How To Get Started Investing In Real Estate

Buying shares in a real estate investment trust. You can invest in a REIT, but doing so involves buying shares of a portfolio of properties. “It’s really more like buying a stock or buying into a fund,” Baron says. “It’s a completely different animal from owning real estate directly.”

“There are three layers of value – the real estate itself, the management and cash flow that supports the trust, and the fund based on the trust,” explains Gary Gastineau, founder of ETFConsultants.com, based in Bonita Springs, Florida. “It’s a very different vehicle than buying real estate, but most of us can’t just go out and buy 1 percent of a skyscraper.”
Adding a REIT to your portfolio can complement stock and bond funds, Gastineau says, but you must be sure you understand how the real estate fund is designed and how its managers will likely extract value from the holdings. You can buy shares of REITs and real estate-based funds, but the performance of the funds is based on both cash flow and gains from occasionally selling properties – a very different scenario from the typical performance drivers of stock and bond funds.

Direct ownership. This is anything but a passive investment, Baron says. “People think it’s easy money, that there’s not a lot of work, that tenants will pay on time and that pipes never leak,” he says.

Some individuals enter the market by buying a small apartment building, he explains. You should research diligently to find a good deal on a building that produces positive cash flow and has no hidden defects that will require expensive repairs. Don’t take investment guidance from a real estate agent, Baron warns. To them, everything is a good investment, because they only win a commission when you buy.

Don’t assume your personal experience as a homeowner translates to managing rentals, just on a bigger scale, he adds. From complying with fair housing rental regulations to insurance, to making sure the property complies with building codes and common-sense safety guidelines, property management dominates your wallet and your time. “It’s a very complicated asset. But because it’s a physical asset, people think it isn’t complicated,” Baron says. “People way underestimate the number of issues that come up.”

One way to test your tolerance for being a landlord is to buy a duplex or a small apartment building, with the aim of living in one unit and renting the others.

A nascent rebound seems to be buoyed by millennials who are edging into the market as owner-occupants. Thin on cash, 20-somethings are finding they can gain a toehold into homeownership by buying a small, multiunit property, such as a duplex or three-apartment building. Their plan is to live in one unit and rent out the others, says John Mosey, president and CEO of Northstar MLS, a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based data service for real estate brokers.

Although this arrangement can stretch down payment dollars, it also demands a Himalayan learning curve: first-time homeownership simultaneous with first-time landlord.

The most important consideration for potential first-time landlords is to not assume today’s rising rental rates will lift future cash flow, Mosey says. Today’s tight rental market will be eased as projects under construction enter the market. That means rents will level off, so it’s best to work cash flow and return numbers using conservative projections, Mosey says.

Key cash-flow factors include not only predictable costs, such as property taxes, but also variables that can affect the appeal of the units to potential renters. For example, Mosey says, you may think including heat and water in the monthly rent will attract renters. But the actual cost of heat and water is quite different for a single occupant compared with a unit shared by three roommates. The more water and heat they use, the less money you keep.

Source – US News

Start Investing In Real Estate With Property Management

Once you buy your first rental property in the Houston Texas area make the right decision to manage your property correctly with professional property management with Vestpro Residential Service. Contact us today by calling (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online. 

8 Ways Real Estate Is Your Smartest Investment

 

Have you been thinking about investing in Real Estate but don’t know if it’s a smart investment to make for your portfolio? You’re not alone. 

Although Real Estate has been a strong place to invest for the last 4 years many people are still sitting on the fence deciding if they should but their first rental property when the right time has already arrived.

Stop what you’re doing, read this article and learn 8 reasons why you should get started with investing in Real Estate in Houston or elsewhere across the United States right now.

1. Positive cash flow.

One of the biggest benefits to income producing real estate investments is that leases generally secure the assets. This provides a regular income stream that is significantly higher than the typical stock dividend yields.

2. Using leverage to multiply asset value.

Another important characteristic of commercial real estate investing is the ability to place debt on the asset, which is several times the original equity. This allows you to buy more assets with less money and significantly multiply asset value and increase equity as the loans are paid down.

3. Low-cost debt leveraged to multiply cash flow.

Placing “positive leverage” on an asset allows for investors to effectively increase positive cash flow from operations by borrowing money at a lower cost than the property pays out. For example, if a property generating a 6 prcent cash-on-cash return were to have debt placed on it at 4 percent, the investors would be paid 6 percent on the equity portion and approximately 2 percent on the money borrowed, thereby leveraging debt.

4. Hedge on inflation.

For each dollar that is created, there is a corresponding liability. Real estate investments have historically shown the highest correlation to inflation when compared to other asset classes, such as the S&P 500, 10-year Treasury notes and corporate bonds.

As countries around the world continue to print money to spur economic growth, it is important to recognize the benefits of owning income producing real estate as a hedge against inflation. Generally speaking, when inflation occurs, the price of real estate, particularly multi-tenant assets that have a high ratio of labor and replacement costs, will also rise.

5. Capitalize on the physical assets.

Income-producing real estate is one of the few investment classes that, as a hard asset, has meaningful value. The property’s land has value, as does the structure itself, and the income it produces has value to future investors. Income producing real estate investments do not have red and green days, as does the stock market.

 6. Maximizing tax benefits.

The US Tax Code benefits real estate owners in a number of ways, including unlimited mortgage interest deductions and depreciation accelerations that can shield a portion of the positive cash flow generated and paid out to investors. At the time of sale, IRS allows investors a 1031 provision, allowing investors to exchange into a like-kind instrument and defer all taxable gains into the future. (See your tax advisor for full explanation.)

7. Asset value appreciation.

Over time, more and more inflation has made it into the economy, drastically reducing purchasing power. However, income producing real estate investments have historically provided excellent appreciation in value that meet and exceed other investment types. Properties historically increase in value as the net operating income of the property improves through rent increases and more effective management of the asset.

Click here to read reason #8!

Get Houston Texas Property Management 

Once you buy your first rental properties you owe it to yourself to get started with Houston Texas Property Management because, property management will save you the time, money and hassle of having to manage your rental properties yourself and best of all you will be able to devote more time to growing your investment portfolio.

Learn more about the affordable property management services we can offer you by calling us at (832) 498-0016 or click here to connect with us online. 

 

 

 

How To Get Started With Entry Level Rental Property Investing — Even if You’re Renting

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There’s no denying that now is a great time for anyone to invest in Houston Texas Real Estate but how do you get started with Real Estate investing even when you’re renting?

Most people will tell you that you have to be a homeowner to get started with Real Estate investing but the good news is that getting started is a lot easier than you think.

You can get a mortgage through the FHA with a super low down payment if you live in the home. So, how do you live in it and rent it out too? No, not a roommate. You can purchase a duplex home and rent out one side while you live in the other. Because it is your principle residence, you can get FHA lending. You not only now own your home, you’re an investor too! The FHA will even let you count the future rental income to help you to qualify for the loan!

I’m not blowing smoke, and I’ll use a real life example duplex for sale in Houston, Texas, as well as rental rates, all as currently listed at Zillow.com. Here are the home particulars:

• Listed selling price is $255,000.
• Each side of the duplex is approximately 1996 square feet in size.
• Built in 2007.
• Rents of apartments and one side of duplexes in the local area justify a conservative rent income of $1,100 to 1,200/month.
• Zillow’s mortgage estimator shows the payment will be approx. $1,497/month.

Let’s become the world’s worst negotiator and pay full price for this home. However, we’re going to take advantage of the FHA and our credit score is good, so we’re going to be able to get a 3.5% down payment. With closing costs, we’ll bring about $9,350 to the closing table. Let’s run the numbers:

• You’ll be paying approximately $1,687/month with taxes and insurance included.
• You can reasonably expect to rent out the home for $1,150/month.
• Your gross out-of-pocket to live there is now $537/month.

Source – Huffington post

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Once you get started with buying your first rental properties make sure you save the time, money and hassle of managing those rental properties yourself with our Houston Texas Property Management services.

Call Vestpro Residential Services at (832) 498-0016 or CLICK HERE to connect with us online.