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Oct. 10, 2018

How to Start Your Real Estate Investment Career

Real estate is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio.
Here’s our advice for budding real estate investors.

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Getting started with real estate investing can be intimidating. However, there are a few ways that you can begin to build your portfolio that don’t necessarily involve having a second mortgage.

 

One such strategy is house hacking. This is when you own a multi-family property or a single-family home with a fully finished basement and decide to rent part of the home out. This will help you get your feet wet with investing and help leverage your money as well.

 

One of the keys to investing in real estate is identifying your goals. You need to know how much money you have to invest because your down payment will change given your situation. If you don't own a house and are planning on house hacking it, you can take advantage of lower down payments with FHA, conventional, VA, and other loan programs.

 

You need to know how much

money you have to invest.


 

Another big factor to determine is whether you want to invest in a single-family home or a multi-family home. With a multi-family property, your down payment is going to be higher—anywhere from 15% to 25%, depending on whether you’re living in it or not. Knowing what you have to put down and what your investment goals will be are essential.

 

An advantage of investing in a single-family property is that they tend to stay longer. They take care of utilities as well. For multi-family properties, typically the landlords pick up the water, sewer, and garbage expenses. There is more income coming in with these properties, but there are more expenses.

 

Those are the basics of real estate investing, but each situation is different. If you have any questions for us or want to know more about how you can get started with real estate investing, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Sept. 26, 2018

It’s a Great Time to Buy and Sell in Our Spokane Market

As we head into fall, it’s a good time to buy or sell in our market.

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According to the latest numbers, our Spokane market is still looking good as we head into fall.

 

The average list-to-sale price ratio is 94%, which means if you put your home on the market, you can expect to get 94% of your asking price back. Our average days on market has jumped in the last couple months from 30 to 40 days, but that’s partially due to the seasonal change and many potential buyers focusing on the beginning of the school year and the upcoming holidays.

 

In short, it’s a great time to buy. From a historical perspective, interest rates are still relatively low, and if you buy a home in the wintertime, you can probably take a little off the asking price. If you’re holding out and waiting for the market to cool down a little bit, winter is a great time to start your home search as well.

 

Now is also a great time to sell your home, but you have to be strategic about it. Inventory is low, so you have to know the kind of buyer that will be looking at your home this time of year.

 

If you have any other questions about our Spokane market or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.

Posted in Market News
July 30, 2018

Why Buyers and Sellers Should Be Wary of Zestimates

Is Zillow’s Zestimate tool a reliable method for determining home value? Let’s find out.

 

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If you’ve ever so much as considered buying or selling a home, then you have likely encountered Zillow’s popular web-based value tool: the Zestimate. But how accurate are these Zestimates?

 

Before we get into that, let’s first take a look at where Zillow’s information comes from. Zestimates pull data input by its users, as well as from public records made available by the county assessor. Yet it’s the information Zillow doesn’t account for that really poses a problem.

 

For example, Zestimates do not reflect any improvements made to a home. Zestimates also can’t account for demand. This results in a major disparity between the property’s true value and the one indicated by its Zestimate.

 

The stakes are too high in a real estate transaction

to trust something as faulty as a Zestimate.

 

In fact, there is typically about a 10% margin of error in Zillow’s Zestimates. And Zillow is well-aware of their Zestimate feature’s shortcomings. They have even gone so far as to put out an offer of $1 million to anyone who can improve their algorithm.

 

With so many gaps in what a Zestimate can detect regarding home value, it simply isn’t a reliable tool. The stakes are too high in a real estate transaction to trust something as faulty as a Zestimate. It’s always best to get a professional’s opinion on your home’s value.

 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 13, 2018

Renting vs. Buying: Which is Right for You?

What key differences are there between renting and buying, and which option is better?
Today we’ll discuss this important subject.

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There are a few important differences between buying a home and renting one, so today we’d like to highlight the pros and cons of each, as well as the costs associated with both options.

Let’s begin with some of the expenses involved in purchasing a home. First, there’s the matter of the earnest money deposit (around 1% of the purchase price), as well as inspection costs, which tend to be between $300 and $500.

The down payment is the next major expense associated with buying a home. First-time homebuyers should expect this to cost between 3% to 5% of the home’s price, while those buying a second, third, or even fourth home should plan on putting down at least 20%. There’s also the matter of closing costs, which are around 3% of the purchase price.

As far as renting goes, one of the most significant initial expenses will be the security deposit. This usually matches the first month’s rent, which is another cost to expect. Pet owners should anticipate a pet deposit as well. Sometimes this is a straight fee and other times it can is a monthly expense.

Now that we’ve discussed some main expenses of each option, let’s move on to listing a few pros and cons.

 

Renting is a great temporary solution,

but ownership is better suited for those seeking

a long-term place to live.

 

The main advantage of homeownership is that the property becomes an asset that can grow in value based on appreciation or sweat equity. Homeowners also enjoy tax benefits, as well as the ability to rent out their property for additional income. Finally, owning a property allows you the freedom to do whatever you want with the property.

Renting, on the other hand, offers another kind of freedom. There are restrictions as to what can be done with your home, but all the maintenance is taken care of for you. Those with a very busy lifestyle may find this appealing.

So, what’s the best way to choose between these options? It all comes down to how long you’re planning on staying in the property and what goals you have. Renting is a great temporary solution, but ownership is better suited for those seeking a long-term place to live.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Nov. 24, 2016

A Tip for Selling in Todays Market

Posted in Real Estate Tips