Transit Oriented Real Estate Investment

One of the few bright spots in the world of real estate investment these days is transit oriented investing. Transit oriented real estate refers to properties located along light rail, bus, subway, streetcar, commuter rail and other transit lines.

These properties are becoming more valuable because more Americans are using transit largely because rising gas prices are encouraging people to look for alternatives to the car. Since experts predict that both gas prices and transit use will increase in coming years, investing in real estate along transit lines is probably a good idea.

Examples of the increase in values of properties on transit lines abound. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, a streetcar line attracted $300 million worth of new development. A similar streetcar line in Portland, Oregon, led to $2 billion worth of new development. This means that people who buy real estate along proposed or new transit lines could be in a position to make a lot of money by selling it to developers.

How to Find Out Where Transit Lines Will Go
The best way to find out where transit lines will go is to visit transit agencies’ websites. In most of the United States transit is under the control of a separate local government agency often called a Transit District or Transit Authority. Locating this entity’s website should be simple. Once you’ve found the website you should see a link labeled with something like new projects. Clicking on that should tell you what you new transit projects are planned and where they will go.

If you can get a map of a proposed transit route you can go to the neighborhoods it will run through and start looking for bargains. One tip, make sure the transit agency actually has the money and is planning to start construction. Transit agencies are notorious for making fancy proposals and not going through with them.

In some areas there will be separate agencies or entities for commuter rail for example the Metrolink agency in the Los Angeles Area. Check out that agency’s website too to see what it has planned.

Rail Is Better
One major thing to remember is that both real estate developers and commuters seem to prefer rail to bus transit. Properties on bus lines rarely increase in value, properties on rail lines often do.

In some areas transit agencies will try to create what is called bus rapid transit which refers to buses running in dedicated lines. Even though transit agencies claim BRT is as good as rail, commuters don’t and properties along BRT lanes haven’t seen any real increases in property value.

The smart investors will try to get properties located along rail lines. One kind of sleeper investment that others might not notice is properties located along commuter rail lines. Commuter rail trains run on regular railroad track and using existing rail lines. Many commuter rail stations attract a lot of commuter and foot traffic.

What Properties to Look For
The best transit oriented properties will be those within walking distance of rail stations. These will be in demand in the future for both residential and commercial uses. Many developers get tax breaks for putting condominiums, apartments and other housing units on such properties so they could sell well.

One good investment is housing units located within walking distance of a rail station. These will be easier to rent and could be sold to a developer at a premium in the future. Offices and shops within walking of a rail station could also be easier to rent as well.

Another great investment would be a parking lot near a rail station. Most rail transit passengers drive to the train but many rail stations don’t have enough parking. If you could locate a parking lot or a vacant lot within walking distance of a rail station you could make some money by renting parking to rail passengers. This could be a real estate investment that could cover its own costs until you’re ready to sell or develop it.

Massive increases in transit spending are coming as part of economic stimulus. Those who take advantage of them through strategic investment could reap a nice profit.

The Ideal Way to Get Started Real Estate Investing

There are indeed many ways to get started your real estate investing. If you plan to start your investing soon, then real estate bird dogging could be one of the better options for you to get started as it is absolutely risk free. And the best part is, you don’t need to buy any properties and therefore no need to worry about your credit and bank balances.

So how does real estate bird dogging work? You start by locating real estate investors who are willing to accept your offer to work with and generating property leads for them. You are paid by for locating bargain properties on their behalf. This is an ideal way to commence your real estate investing as you don’t need to have a huge capital to get started.

As you are probably aware that getting started real estate investing is not easy especially when you are new and do not familiar with the process. Real estate bird dogging offers you an opportunity to learn valuable real estate investing knowledge from the investors while earning you bird dog fee. Your bird dog fee can be in many forms. It can either be a fixed sum for a successful deal or it can be a certain percentage of the profit of the deal. How much can you make is really depends on the effort that you are willing to put in.

In other words, bird dogging real estate is not only an easier way to start your real estate investing, but offers you a chance to buy your own properties when you have accumulated sufficient capital outlay.

Effective Real Estate Investing Tips

All you need to have is the motivation, drive and a few simple tips and you can already have a lucrative real estate investment venture. Here are some tips for effective real estate investing.

It is all about the location – effective real estate investments is all about scouting for the right locations. The best properties to buy are the ones that are located in underdeveloped locations that are about to see some development in terms of better roads, public transportation routes, utilities and other huge real estate developments that can impact the property values of the surrounding locations. If you are able to buy when the property values are low, you can generate huge returns on your investment when the property significantly increases in value due to the developments in its surroundings. Even the simplest developments can greatly increase the property values.

Buy only properties that are free of red flags – do not buy properties that have a lot of negative improvements or encumbrances. Negative improvements are improvements made to the property that negatively affect the value of the property. This can range from poorly designed buildings, ugly landscaping, as well as other negative improvements.

Encumbrances range from legal disputes regarding the property, irresponsible present property owners, squatters, difficult tenants as well other parties that are interested in the property. Only buy properties that are free of these red flags as it will ensure that you have peace of mind. Red flags will not only stress you, it will also negatively affect your finances.

Improve the property – if you want to generate excellent returns to your property, here you really should improve it. Even the simplest of improvements can significantly increase the value of the property. Improvements range from landscaping to actually constructing a building on the property.

Other improvements include placing concrete footpaths, sheds and other useful improvements on the property. Investing more resources n the development and improvement in your property is vital if you want to make sure that the market value of the property is going to improve. The investments you made on improvements can be offset by the amount of money that you can make when you eventually sell the property at a good market price.

Sell only when you have to – one of the most important tips for effective real estate investing to make sure that you should only sell the property when you really have to. This will guarantee that you will be able to sell the property at the best price. Do not sell at the first instance that the property values increased.

Reasons To Go For Real Estate Investment

Current info about real estate investment is not always the easiest thing to locate. Also, it is quite challenging for new comers who what to enter to this industry. Fortunately, this report includes the latest real estate investment info available.

As today, real estate industry has been attracted by many of investors, especially ones who wan to become a real estate broker. It has bee told that real estate investment is one of the most investment type that give very high ROI and could become very quick profitable. One of the reason that make real estate investment is very high profitable is because they involve with the high value property, people who invest in this sector get very high rate of commission based on the property they selling. Also Real estate is more of a stable investment than many others; vary rarely does property value ever go down, and it is the thing that everyone need to have for their residence.

There are many format of real estate investments such as broker, which you have a job to be an agent of the house owner who is selling their house or you can be a real estate investor who buy an old house in a very cheap price, then you renovate and maintenance it fix it up and sell for a higher price, which is generally called home flipping, or the other popular for mat of real estate investment is the rental, which you buy a house, apartment or flat and open for rent.

No matter which way you are doing in real estate property, it still the business that give very high profit. However, before you decide to enter to the market, you have to make sure that you have enough knowledge about this industry such as market condition, competitor analysis etc. If you find yourself confused by what you’ve read to this point, don’t despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

However, in this article, I would like to give you some of initial guideline on a type of real estate investment, which is probably the most get rich quick one, home flipping. Home flipping can be called house flipping, it is the type of real estate investment that you looking for a very cheap old house and then fix or re-decorate it to become a new house and sell in higher price. This kind of business could give you a profit in a very short time as soon as you can sell the house that has just renovated. However, you may curious that what is the key of success of home flipping business.

It is really depends on quite some factors such as the location of the house, the market price and the style of decoration that have been renovated. However, one of the most important key that indicate the fail or success is the cost of the house. If possible, you should find the old house that has lowest cost in order to gain maximum profit. Those who only know one or two facts about real estate investment can be confused by misleading information. The best way to help those who are misled is to gently correct them with the truths you’re learning here.

Locating the Cheapest Real Estate Offerings

If you are looking for the cheapest real estate, you have come to the right place. You might be a bit disappointed because I will not be endorsing any particular service providers in this article. I am leaving the fun part (finding the best and cheapest real estate offers) to you. However, certain insights that will help you cruise comfortably through the information highway will be imparted with the aid of this brief article. In case you did not know, with the help of many online services, one will be able to complete the entire ordeal within minutes.

You have to understand the basics. Real estate is a broad paradigm. It can be anything from that empty lot near your apartment or that posh villa in Hawaii. Sometimes it might even refer to that serviced office space that you have been eyeing all this time. The underlying ethics are simple as well as straightforward. You will have to prioritize your requirements and proceed accordingly. Select that particular niche and start searching for a favorable offer. Does that sound tough to you? Many millions are following the same route every day.

It is quite common to meet up real estate agents. These agents set up a comfortable office space and advertise about their services on the online and offline media. These agents will eliminate all the headaches associated with the situation. Of course, you will have to pay them handsomely. We cannot blame them for charging exorbitant rates. The best agents will always provide the best of the deals. Strike up a conversation with one such agent and you will realize the lucrative nature of this business. Why do you think the successful agents own Ferraris and Porsches?

Ample importance must be attributed to real estate quotes. Different agents might provide varying quotes. In order to access the genuine nature of the deal, you will have to do some background research. Why worry when the internet is present? Literally, anything can be learnt online. The existing real estate market prices are often kept updated on some websites. The same portals will also list lucrative deals. Transparency is a leading factor that determines the dexterity of the real estate agent. Throughout the days, you will realize that the agent is genuinely interested in aiding you. If the same real estate agent has an official website, spend some time reading the testimonials listed in the same website.

Some of the best real estate deals are often hidden from the plain view. Countless discussion forums are in existence on this day where you will be able to meet up newer people and learn more about the intricacies associated with property. Once the deal is about to be finalized, take a look at the paper work. Look out for hidden third party agendas. Many people have fallen prey to certain agents – always read the fine print that is provided with the property. The print is finer for a reason; they do not want you to read it.

The Changing Real Estate Market

A housing downturn may be imminent, say economists and real estate investors alike — presenting problems for many people, but opportunities for others.

You’ve probably heard about the coming slowdown in the housing market for a very long time. Real estate is cyclical, and in the United States it has been in an upswing for at least five or six years, which is how long housing prices have exceeded the rate of inflation, says Susan Wachter, professor of real estate finance at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. That means it’s only a matter of time before we experience a downturn.

It’s hard to believe a downturn is really here. On March 1, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) announced that average U.S. home prices climbed 12.95 percent in 2005, despite rising mortgage rates in the second half of the year. That’s about double the historical average of 6.4 percent, according to Bankrate Inc.

But while the housing market is still appreciating, it’s appreciating more slowly. The Commerce Department announced on March 23 that new home sales tumbled 10.5 percent in February to an annualized rate of 1.08 million units, the biggest one-month drop in nine years.

That means properties are sitting on the market for much longer than they used to. You might expect that in California, where Bruce Norris of the Norris Group, a California-based real estate investment firm, says “we’ve gone from a three-month supply to almost a seven-month supply.” But examples are pouring in from all parts of the country. In Miami, at the Jade Residences at Brickell Bay, 117 of the building’s 352 units are reportedly on the market. And in Manhattan, at Donald Trump’s 120 Riverside Boulevard condos, more than 20 percent of the building’s 250 units are up for resale, according to The New York Times.

And increasing supply almost always leads to falling prices, says Norris. For the first time since the third quarter of 2003, one of the regions in the much-followed OFHEO index showed a four-quarter price decline: Prices in Burlington, North Carolina, fell about 1 percent between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2005.

That may not seem like much, but economists see it as a foreboding sign — and it’s not just due to rising interest rates. “Housing valuations have become somewhat stretched in some areas over the past year,” says Josh Feinman, an economist with Deutsche Asset Management in New York. “Some cooling is likely.”

The slowdown will affect anyone who’s buying and selling property, of course. But real estate speculators — individuals who buy property with the intention of re-selling quickly, or flipping it, for a profit — are likely to suffer the most. That’s because they could be paying mortgages and maintenance costs on properties they can’t sell and can’t rent out for enough money to cover their costs. According to Redbrick Partners, a New-York real estate investing firm specializing in single-family homes, half of the rent an investor can potentially collect does not flow to the bottom line, because it gets eaten up by vacancies, taxes, maintenance, etc. And as supply has increased over the past decade, demand has decreased. Today, Redbrick Partners says rental yields on single-family homes have declined from 7 percent in 1976 to under 5 percent today. And Norris says that in areas of California, a $500,000 house would rent for just $1,400 per month.

There is some good news, however. First, the housing market often fluctuates in different geographical locations. Miami, Florida, is an often-cited example: The number of condos worth $500,000 or more for sale in Miami is reportedly twice what it is in Los Angeles, where the population is four times as large. “If you ask me if the housing marketing is going to experience a downturn, I have to ask you ‘Where?'” says Norris.

In general, the markets that have had the greatest appreciation over the past five years are most vulnerable to a downturn, say real estate experts. “When affordability is at an all-time low, as it is in California, where housing prices have appreciated 300% over past eight years, you lose velocity, or the ability to sell a house at a brisk pace,” says Norris. “And prices start to come down.”

As for specific areas that are likely to experience downturns, on December 16, CNNMoney.com reported that Las Vegas property values will fall by 7.9 percent in 2006 and another 5 percent in 2007; San Diego property values will fall by 3.4 percent in 2006 and another 5.7 percent in 2007; and Santa Ana/Irvine property values will fall 3.1 percent in 2006 and another 6.1 percent in 2007.

Second, wherever the housing market does cool, it isn’t likely to do so overnight, so sellers needn’t get desperate. Some individuals, of course, will have to sell — those who need to move because of a new job, or a divorce, for example. But others can take some time, as a softening or declining market often takes years.

Finally, it’s also important to remember that one man’s troubles are another man’s opportunity. Some of the best real estate investors buy when everyone else is selling. The theory: As prices decline, it becomes easier for investors to buy properties that create cash flow. They can take their time and negotiate lower prices; they don’t have to waive contingencies, such as appraisals and home inspections; and the income they can realize from renting the property is greater than what they’re paying for it.

In fact, for some investors, like Jonas Lee of Redbrick Partners, buying in a downturn is a way of business. Lee says in a January 22 CNNMoney.com article that his company has succeeded since 1993 by employing this strategy. The typical single-family home the company buys — usually in the downtown residential areas of rust-belt cities such as Baltimore and Philadelphia — costs just $80,000. He hopes a downturn in the housing market will give him even more opportunities to buy low.

Experienced real estate investors offer two pieces of advice, which vary depending on your plans for the property.

If you’re buying to sell, Norris agrees that buying low is a good idea, but you have to understand the real estate market first. “You have to be able to determine when a down market is about to switch and go up again, and buy then” he says. “A lot of time people will see the market softening and buy too early. For example, someone in California might see a house go from $700,000 to $625,000, think it’s great deal, and buy it. But three year’s later the place will be worth $500,000.”

If you’re buying to rent, Redbrick Partners suggests looking at urban single-family housing. According to the firm’s research, nationwide single-family housing returns have averaged 12 percent since 1976, and volatility has been low, with not a single year returning less than 6 percent. The key to success for small residential landlords trying to calculate the yield for a property costing $250,000 or less, according to Redbrick Partners co-founder Tom Skinner in an October 2, 2005, Chicago Tribune article, is “rent divided by two divided by price.” Typically, that gives landlords their yearly rental profit on a property to within 1 percent. It doesn’t account for any estimate of future appreciation or depreciation, but it is a pretty accurate measure for someone trying to determine if he or she will be make any money by buying a house and renting it out.

Active Income Through Passive Real Estate Investing

Many people avoid investing in properties due to the amount of time and energy it takes. After researching and purchasing a potential property you need to actively care for your investment either by becoming a landlord or managing the property. Real estate investment can be time consuming and limiting, how many properties can on person manage at one time? This is why investors who are looking at diversifying with real estate participate in passive real estate investing.

Passive real estate investing removes these headaches for investors who don’t want to deal with the day to day issues of property management. There are many different ways you can do this, each with their own benefits and disadvantages.

You can form a partnership, either general or limited and have the partner take the responsibility of managing the property(s) your partnership purchases. Real estate is an expensive venture that often cannot be achieved without obtaining financing. Pooling resources in a partnership allows participants to purchase more expensive properties with less outside funding. However you need to be able to trust your partner to take care of the properties and your best interests, and if neither of you are experienced in real estate investing problems can occur and you can fall prey to bad deals where income is lost. You can form a corporation which has more income pooling abilities and financial resources, but again you have to make sure at least some participants have knowledge in this type of investing.

Triple Net Leased Property is where you purchase commercial property and lease this property to a business owner who will run their business and take care of the property for you for a length of 15-25 years. This can benefit you and the business as long as the business cares for the property properly and is stable and pays on time. Careful research is involved in this type of venture to make sure you purchase the right property in the right location and also research prospective tenants before making an agreement with them.

Real estate investment trusts (REIT) are corporations that are formed to purchase investment in properties. These specially created companies are federally regulated to make sure they use their funds to invest in properties and distribute the profits among shareholders through dividends. These publicly traded companies provide benefits similar to owning stocks and help with a diversified portfolio. But the income they provide is taxable and cut into profits earned in this venture so that must be weighed carefully with the benefits.