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Buying Real Estate

Real estate is not just properties as it can also be empty land which you want to build your own home on. If you are looking to buy a piece of land to build your home on, you will appreciate the assistance a real estate agent can give you as there will be a lot of questions you may need answered before you buy or, you could end up with a problem.

As with many things, the first consideration is location. You may already know the area you want to live but you should consider what the future will look like.

For instance, if the land you buy is part of a large development, what are the plans for that development? Wil, when the development is finished, your land be as ideal as it seems now or will houses block your view?

Will your house be next to a busy street or will it be more isolated? I don’t know what you are hoping for but whatever it is, make sure that that is what you will have when the development is complete. If however, you are looking for land which is more remote, which can be nice and also can be cheaper, you should first consider what it will cost to have utilities put in as electricity lines can work out very expensive and could make the overall price of the land far more expensive than you thought.

Also if the property around your land is also for sale, try and envisage what it will look like when all of that is sold, perhaps 5 or 10 years from now.

You will have to check on any local restrictions on building on land as some areas you are forbidden from building within a certain distance from the border of your land. These types of restrictions could seriously affect the plans you have for your home and so you must determine them before buying the land.

Ask about any ‘hidden’ concerns with the land and what I mean by this is there any mineral, water or other rights which the land is subject to. If for instance your land borders a lake, if that lake is used as a source of drinking water, you may be restricted to what you can do on your land.

If your land is located in a forest, does someone own the timber rights restricting you from cutting down certain trees and of course, if your land is not next to a road, will you be trespassing on someone else’s land in order to reach yours?

Although some of these things seem a little odd and perhaps irrelevant, there are those people that have been caught in one or two of these situations and would beg to differ.

It will be your land and you will be building your home on it and so regardless of how trivial or ridiculous a question may seem, you need to ask it and be sure that you get an answer before committing yourself to any type of agreement or payment.

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Living the No Car Life, Should You Make the Move?

While many people rely on their car for transportation to work, play, and errands, a lot of people do not need the car due to their location. If you are considering relocating and becoming a no car family, there are a number of pluses and negatives to consider. Your relocation to the city will require much thought before you commit to it. You will need to look at the budget, the location, and the validity of the reasons for contemplation of such a move.

The Budget
There will be pluses and minuses in this category. You will pay more to reside in a city region that is safe, has good schools, has a good transportation system, and is close to shopping and the market. You need to make sure that the reduction of losing a car offsets the increase in the city home.

The good news is you will not need a car, nor will you have to pay car insurance. Additionally, you will not have to pay for gas or costly are repairs. You will have to pay for public transportation, so check out the buses and subways in the proposed location. Remember, as a resident, you should be able to buy long term passes for these means of transportation, which are offered to residents for considerably less. Keep in mind that if you experience inclement weather, the public transportation means may not run or may run on a modified schedule. But you may still have to get to work. Losing your job because you can’t get to work will put a serious cramp in your budget.

The Location
Carefully look at the neighborhood that interests you, Is there a good school, is it close to work, is it safe, and is it affordable? In order to open up your options, you might want to select 2-3 areas that have your needs as you seek to rent, lease, or buy. This approach will give you more options. Spend a lot of time in your desired location, so you can see the good and the bad things. Also look at the demographic reports and focus on things such as the crime rate.

Most chamber of commerce’s will send you a moving package and also send you materials on the area. Also, almost all cites and neighborhoods have websites where you can get a feel for the place.

The Validity of Your Reasons
Moving anywhere is expensive. Know why you want to move and if your reasons are valid. You can make some weekend or longer visits to the proposed area, this way you can see the good and the bad of where you want to move.

Also carefully look at how this move will affect all the family members, and the pets, as well. Is this the best move for everyone involved? Take your time in considering this, as a move is a big event for everyone involved.

Evaluating Real Estate

If you are considering investing in real estate, you will need to do some research first, if you want it to be profitable. One on the main ways people invest in real estate is to buy in order to rent out.

That means that you buy a property either cash or with a mortgage and then rent out the property in order to get your money back, hopefully with a profit.

If this is what you intend to do, you will have to consider how much the property costs and compare it to how much you estimate you will be able to collect in rent for it. Of course you can’t just use the two figures as there are other things to take into consideration as well.

There is the possibility of the property being empty for varying periods of time and so you must factor in a percentage for that. You will probably, at some time, have to make repairs or to do some maintenance on the property and so you will need to factor in an element for that.

You will want to recoup any insurance you pay for on the property and if you hire someone to manage the property on your behalf, you will have to also take into consideration their fee. Once all these expenses have been added up, if the amount you charge for rent will cover all of these and still leave you a profit, it should be a good investment.

As a rule of thumb, many investors use the 1% rule. This is a rule that stipulates that the rent charged should be equal to 1% of the cost of the property, for example, if the property cost $100,000 to buy, the rent charged each month should be 1% of that ($1,000).

When this percentage is charged, even allowing something or maintenance costs and the property sometimes being empty, the property owner should see a profit on their investment.

Between 2009 and 2012, it was possible to use a 2% rule as rented housing was in high demand but in today’s market it would be hard to find someone willing to pay $2,000 a month rent on a house that is worth $100,000 and probably even less likely to find anyone willing to pay as much as $4,000 per month, even for a $200,000 property.

There are still investors though that use the 2% rule but in order for this to work, they invest in duplexes in areas where property values are fairly low. If they can buy a duplex property for $50,000, they may be able to rent each of the two parts for $500 each.

As property prices usually increase and people are always looking for properties to rent, investing in property is considered to be a fairly safe investment, providing that you do your homework first and allow for maintenance costs and periods of vacancies. It will usually possible to get an estate agency to act as the property manager, overseeing maintenance and collecting rents.

You can do all of the research you can to help you understand these key decisions. However sometimes it may be wise to seek the support and guidance of an estate agent.

Their experience will often allow them to spot things that you have not. They will have dealt with restorations. They will understand properties with investment potential and know the process of buying to let. They have probably even took the time to learn seo for estate agents.

So do not underestimate the benefit this may have.