Are these 3 common real estate mistakes costing you money?

Facepalm Real Estate Mistakes

I’ve worked in real estate investing in St. Louis for more than 8 years now so I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Today, I want to briefly discuss the more common mistakes I’ve seen in selling real estate properties.

Mistake #1 – Only Getting 1 Bid

If you only get one bid on your property, you won’t really get an idea of the going rate. Possibly throwing away a lot of money, by taking the first offer that comes your way. Although it takes additional time to obtain more bids, you will be grateful you did.

Mistake #2 – Not Ordering Inspection Reports

In order to make sure you are investing in a worthwhile property, an inspection report is essential. Don’t just go for the cheapest one, either. A quality home inspector can find issues that the bargain-priced option might not notice.

If a cheap price tag turns into costly repairs later on, you really didn’t save any money at all!

Mistake #3 – Rushing to Make a Deal

This is the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to real estate investing. Make sure you take your time and consult with experts. Double check that you are selling at the right price, all the legal documents are in order, and any loose ends are tied up.

Let’s not forget, selling a property is a big deal. Treat it like one!

If you are selling a property and you need help, give us a call. We have plenty of experience in the St. Louis area.  You will have us by your side, through the process to make sure to avoid these costly mistakes!

~Derrick

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20-Somethings are Investing in Real Estate – Is this Good or Bad?

20-somethings investing in real estateThe idea of real estate investors in their 20’s might sound a little crazy. Personally, I think it’s a great time for them to go after their investment goals.

Here at Cardinal Capital and Consulting in St. Louis, we want to help anyone who is interested, and ready, to achieve their dream.

The saying, “safe as houses,” pretty much sums up why I think that real estate is the right vehicle to ensure success in your investment.

Why are 20-Somethings Investing?

A lot of younger people are making good money. With interest rates pretty low, they have to take advantage!

Where to Start

Of course, I’ve seen investors – at any age – make mistakes when they first start in real estate. 20-somethings tend to have less experience in real estate in general, so here is my advice for any of you millennials who are interested in real estate investment.

Take Your Time

Rushing into the process of real estate investing is a great way to… get yourself in trouble. There are so many factors to consider before you purchase any property, so don’t take it lightly!

Get Educated

How should you spend that time? By learning all that you can about the market, the neighborhood, finances, and trends. There are plenty of real estate books out there that will guide you through the process from start to finish.

Keep up-to-date on real estate blogs to find out what real people have to say about what’s going on in the current market. Books can teach you the basics, but current articles can tell you what’s happening right now.

Find a Mentor

So you’ve read some books and perused some blogs. Now you have the fundamentals and the current trends. Next you need someone who can walk you through it: a mentor.

When you are looking for a mentor, find someone who has a lot of experience – especially in the area you are looking to work in. After years of working in the same market, they will have a better idea of what to expect from the buyers there.

At Cardinal Capital and Consulting, we have started a new group called the First Deal Real Estate Investment Club. It is specifically designed for people who are doing their first deal. As a 20-something, that description probably fits you!

You aren’t too young to invest unless you think you are. We can walk you through the process, set up realistic expectations, and guide you to your dreams.

If you are interested in being a member of our new club, give us a call for more information!

~Derrick

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Sell Your Property Quickly in These Areas!

As you probably know if you’ve read my blogs, I prefer buy-and-hold investing over the buy-and-flip. Of course, I know there is a place for the buy-and-flip model. So, how can you sell your St. Louis property fast? You can purchase property in the fastest-selling neighborhoods!

Where Can You Sell Your Property Quickly?

The site St. Louis Real Estate News does regular surveys of the St. Louis area to find the Top 15 fastest-selling neighborhoods.

They published the most recent evaluation on March 21, but you can still get a great idea of what the trends are in the area.

Sell Quickly in St. Louis

If you are interested in property in these areas, give me call. I just might have what you’re looking for!

~Derrick

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Women… Are You Ready to Invest?

Women Investing Real EstateI have seen an upsurge of women in real estate lately. If you happen to be a woman, and you’re interested in getting involved in real estate investment, this post is for you! In it, I’ll go over the strengths that women have in this market. I also plan to outline some strategies to help you succeed!

First of all, why are there more female investors lately? That’s a complicated question.

Unfortunately, I can’t speak to it personally, being a man and all. So my input will have to be limited to my observations of women in real estate. I did some digging around and found some great advice and insights from women realtors that are rising to the top!

Historically, real estate is “an old boys’ network,” says Brittany Bragg of Crown Acquisitions. That may be because many of those in real estate started out in construction, which is also a male-dominated field.

Now that women are gaining traction in the business world, they are discovering the lucrative nature of real estate investment.

What Makes Women Great Investors?

Relationships

Women are great at building relationships in social and professional atmospheres. Charita Cadenhead says, “We’re good at establishing a relationship, we’re good at earning trust, and so people want to do business with us.” Think about it – if Ms. Cadenhead’s characterization holds true would you prefer to work with a pushy salesperson or someone who genuinely cares about your well-being and happiness?

In Risky Situations, They Do Their Homework

Women tend to analyze risk differently than men.

Kim Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Woman, says, “…whenever I venture into an investment that I feel is a bit more risky or unfamiliar to me, I tend to study it a little more than usual and do my homework with a little more effort before laying out a lot of money.”

How to Become a Great Investor

Women in Real EstateNetwork and Learn

Networking will not only get you business, you will also learn from your colleagues and their accumulated knowledge. Become part of your local Real Estate Investment Association (REIA) and attend their meetings.

You can also join our upcoming First Deal Real Estate Investment Club. We will help you with your first deal and into the future!

Be Confident!

Charita Cadenhead talks about women’s confidence in this way, “I think the major disadvantage is probably internal. Women only feel that they lack the power and authority.” Of course, this may not apply to you. You may already have plenty of confidence in your abilities as a real estate investor.

If you are one of the many women who feel intimidated by this field, you only have yourself standing in your way. You can be just as great an asset to this industry as anyone else!

There are so many great learning resources at your disposal. Read books, such as Wise Women Invest in Real Estate by Lisa Moren-Bromma. Attend meetings and join our real estate club. Do whatever you can do to stand out in the crowd and make a name for yourself!

~Derrick

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To Flip or To Invest? That is the Question.

First of all, I don’t actually consider myself a “house flipper.” I am a real estate investor. House flipping has become a buzzword lately due to popular tv shows that glamorize and dumb down the process for the 30-minute time slots they have. What you see on tv – that is not what I do.

House Flipping Investment

Today, I want to talk about the differences between house flipping and real estate investing so that if you are interested in getting into the real estate market, you can make the right decision for your goals.

What is House Flipping?

House flipping involves 3 steps:

1. Buy a house at a discounted price

2. Fix it up, or “flip” it

3. Sell the house

Seems simple, right?

Well, as with most things in life, it is easier said than done.

Because of popular tv shows, house flipping seems like a miracle income source. What they can’t show you in the 30 minutes they are on air is the hard work and uncertainty of your ROI.

The process of house flipping needs to be quick, from 100-150 days, in order to get the most bang for your buck. Otherwise, you have monthly bills to pay on it that will add up.

With house flipping, you don’t have to worry so much about market fluctuation, but you will also be constantly buying, flipping, and selling in order to make your money.

Costs are high with house flipping and there are different taxes for short-term investments. We can help you learn about the legal side of real estate investments, but you do need to keep higher taxes in mind when you are planning your profit margins.

Also, with the quick turn-around, you might just break even or worse – lose money from your sale. It is important to work with real estate investment companies who have a lot of experience so that you don’t make newbie mistakes. While I don’t consider myself a “house flipper,” I do know a lot about realistic real estate investing and how to make sure you make a profit no matter what your investment is.

Long-Term Real Estate Investments

This process involves very similar steps but the process is adjusted to be more sustainable.

1. Buy a house or other residential property

2. Make any repairs and remodels necessary

3. Hold on to the property and rent it out until the value goes up enough for you to sell.

In this situation, you don’t have to sell immediately because you are renting the space and earning enough income to pay your monthly costs – and if you do it right, you’ll make a profit from their rent, too. The steady income of long-term real estate investing is much more sustainable for some investors.

As the price value of the property goes up, you are then able to sell the renovated property at a profit.

Real estate investment results in wealth, rather than quick cash gained from house flipping.

According to BiggerPockets.com, “Some of the wealthiest individuals in the world amassed their great fortunes through buy-and-hold real estate investing.”

I don’t know about you, but I like the sound of that!

Become One of the Wealthiest Individuals

If you are ready to take the plunge with real estate investing and don’t know where to start, give me a call! I can help guide you through one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

~Derrick

 

Posted in Real Estate

The 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage – Then and Now

With all the talk over the past few years about mortgage rates, you might be confused and unsure about what it all means. This chart is great! It shows where we’ve been and where we are now.

History of Mortgage Rates Chart

Mortgage Rate Trends Chart

 Credit

We can only predict what will happen in the future. With rates at a relatively low point, it’s a great time to invest in real estate!

 

~Derrick

 

Posted in Real Estate

How to: Property Management in St. Louis

What exactly is a property manager?

Property managers usually play the role of middle man for owners of an investment property and their renters. They manage various residential buildings here in St. Louis, Missouri such as apartments, houses, and condos.

Property Management in St. Louis

Do you have real estate investment skills?

As with any career, being a property manager takes a special skill set. These abilities can be learned as long as you have enough motivation and time to learn.

The most important qualities a property manager needs to have are:

  • Great organization skills and attention to detail

  • Effective and honest communication skills

  • Responsiveness to urgent issues with owners, renters, and contractors

  • Personal and staff professionalism

  • Ability to find quality renters quickly

The key point is that, as a property manager, it is your job to handle any problems that may arise with professionalism and in accordance with the federal and state housing laws and regulations.

I don’t think there is any way to make that sound easy because, well, it’s not. If you are someone with those qualities, though, and the challenge sounds like it will be fun, then property management might be a great career choice for you!

Where to Start

So you’re willing to take on the challenge of being a property manager but you don’t know where to start. You’re in luck! There are a lot of resources out there – including myself!

Mindy Sharp, the Senior Community Manager at McKinley Inc shared this advice:

“Learn to do your job, whatever it is: leasing, administrative, maintenance, and do it with joy. If you hate your job, it will show and you never want your Residents to see that. We’re in the relationship business, so build trust, maintain integrity, and have a sense of humor. Educate yourself in this field. Finally, embrace a mentor if you are as lucky as I am, to have a fantastic one!”

I couldn’t agree more! You have to learn your job inside and out and if you don’t love it, chances are you won’t learn it.

You don’t need an advanced degree to be a property manager, but you do need to be certified and have a real estate broker’s license. Through the certification process, you’ll learn everything you need to know about being a property manager. From leasing laws to management techniques, you’ll have a great knowledge base.

Gain Experience

Certification is one thing – you need to know the basics. The best teacher, though, is experience.

A great way to get your feet wet is by doing some assistant property management for awhile. That way, you’ll get firsthand day-in-the-life experience without holding all the responsibility on your shoulders quite yet.

Get clients and get working!

As usual, getting clients is easier said than done. There are a few ways to start building a client base.

  • Networking with local real estate clubs so you can meet real estate agents who would find value in your services

  • Check out local business organizations

  • Advertise online and offline

  • Reach out to real estate agencies and submit your resume

  • Purchase your own properties and manage them

The best thing you can do is get out there and meet people. And don’t give up! It will take determination, but if you have it, you can definitely succeed and be a great property manager.

~Derrick

 

Posted in Real Estate

Achieve the Dream Seminars

Our Achieve the Dream seminar has been going strong for the past month! The attendees are learning a lot and and are excited to move forward with real estate investing.

Real Estate Achieve the Dream Seminars

Will You Achieve Your Dream?

If you have a dream of being a successful real estate investor, this seminar will be great for you. Make sure to sign up next time we offer the seminars so that you can achieve all of your dreams!

And if you don’t want to wait, just contact us today and we can sit down and discuss your options with you. It’s what we do!

~Derrick

Posted in Real Estate

How to Get Your Investment Property Ready for Summer

Hot Weather MaintenanceIn my last post, I talked about how to get your investment property ready for winter. Since we are heading into summer, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about weatherproofing for summer.

It’s easy to think that winter is the only time that you need to protect your real estate investment from the weather, but here in Missouri, the summer brings some extreme conditions as well.

Most of these maintenance jobs are the same as what you should do in the winter. There are different reasons to do them, though. While you are inside enjoying your air conditioning, the exterior of your home is dealing with the heat and humidity.

A Quick List of Summer Maintenance Tips

  • Check for leaky spots in the roof. There are plenty of rainy days in the summer so prevent future problems by checking now.

  • Inspect and clean the gutters to allow the rain to drain from the roof.

  • Look for weak branches that may fall and damage your property.

  • Keep the interior of your home at an appropriate temperature to prevent paint bubbling and floor buckling

  • Check windows and doors for gaps and cracks that could let in extra moisture.

  • Look for any cracks or moisture build-up issues at the foundation to prevent damage that can be caused by mold or insects.

Don’t neglect these maintenance projects. Either you prevent problems from happening or you deal with them later!

~Derrick

Posted in Real Estate

Guide to Winterize Your Investment Property from Top to Bottom

With the extreme weather we had this winter, I thought a guide to winterizing your investment property would be a handy tool. Since we usually don’t live in our investment properties, it’s important to prepare them to be self-sufficient during the winter. If you do each of these things, your property should be ready for any winter weather we might experience here in St. Louis.

Top of the House

Winterize Your RoofRoof

Winter temperatures lead to winter storms, and your roof is where ice and snow rest on your property. Roofs are designed to let water and ice drain, but it is essential to regularly inspect it to make sure it is working properly. A professional roofer can tell you the condition of your roof and how to proceed.

Branches

Check the perimeter of your property for any weak branches or trees. Any weather, from freezing temperatures to a full on winter storm, can cause branches to fall.

Trimming or removing trees can be a big expense, but causing damage to your property or worse, a neighboring property, will cost even more.

Gutters

Make sure your gutters are clean of any debris. This will prevent snow and ice from building up there. It also gives the snow on your roof a way to melt and drain. Double check that your downspouts point in the right direction to move water away from the foundation.

Chimney

A clean and inspected chimney is important. The vent should be small enough to prevent any animals or other foreign objects from entering your chimney. Close your fireplace dampers and seal any openings you find.

Middle of the House

Heat

Your main asset against winter weather is your furnace. Keep it above 50 degrees to prevent pipes and plaster from freezing. Your furnace and boilers need to be inspected to make sure they are working properly. Your home should be well-insulated to help maintain the temperature.

Windows

Inspect the area around your windows for any cracks or damage and seal up any that you find. If your windows are beyond repair, replace them with new ones. If you have removable awnings, take them down for the winter so that any bad weather won’t knock them down for you.

Doors

Apply weather stripping to your doors to keep out cold air, snow, and rain. Check around the edges of doors and seal any cracks.

Interior doors, including cabinet doors, should be kept open so that heat can flow through the whole house.

Bottom of the House

Foundation

The foundation also needs to be inspected for cracks. Make sure it is in good condition and repair any issues that you find. Make sure the foundation slopes down and away to allow any water to move away from the home.

Pipes and Plumbing

Winterize Your PipesThis may be the biggest issue when you are winterizing your home. Pipes can easily freeze during the winter so it is important to take precautions.

If you need to use your plumbing during the winter, make sure to leave faucets on at a drip to prevent freezing pipes from bursting.

You can have a professional plumber check, drain, and insulate your pipes to ensure that there won’t be any problems.

Draining your plumbing system and water heater is a great idea if you don’t need to use them. Of course, not all the water will drain, so using Arctic Grade (AG) antifreeze will make sure that any remaining water won’t cause any problems. You can use the antifreeze in the toilet tank, bathtub, shower, and sink drains.

Basement

The basement is easy to forget about because it is usually the least used room in the house. Make sure to check there for signs of water damage – any issues there will only be made worse by winter weather.

There you have it, a top-to-bottom guide to winterizing your investment property!

~Derrick

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