Wendy Butler's Blog
Some of the best real estate investments are raw land purchases. The idea is to buy raw land in an up-and-coming neighborhood, sit on it, and then sell it to a developer who will do anything to get their hands on it. But while this sounds great, there are a few caveats that are specific to raw land you should know.
You May Need to Wait
There are plenty of ways to make serious money off of raw land, but you may need to wait a bit before the right offer comes along. You need to look at who's moving into the neighborhood, who's moving out and why the land is priced the way it is. This can give you a better indication of when you'll be able to sell it for the price you want. Some people can't afford to have their assets tied up for too long in raw land, but those who are patient can typically see a significant return on their investment.
Check the Topography
From soil erosion to sinkholes, it's not always obvious what makes land good to build on. Overenthusiastic tree roots can easily interfere with a foundation, so much so developers may avoid the project altogether. If the land is surrounded by hills, builders may hesitate to build because the structure will get too much shade.
Zoning Laws Matter
Buyers are highly encouraged to research the current zoning laws that will affect their land. Doing so will give you a sense of how difficult it is to build and why. It should also give you an indication of what's to come down the line. For example, if your land is located in an area that environmental groups want to protect, the zoning laws may change between when you purchase the land and when you sell.
Even if you're not doing anything with the land, you'll still need to factor in the property taxes. Again, if you're waiting for a while to sell, this can eat into profits fairly quickly. Many landowners can sell quickly at a healthy turnaround, but it's important to plan ahead if it takes more time than you imagined.
Watching the Land
Unless you're hiring security guards to watch your land, it can quickly become a dumping ground. A certified inspector can give you more information as to the state of the land, so you know of any contamination long before you sell.
There are so many ways to make money off of raw land, but it helps to understand more about how certain factors can interfere with your sale price. As long as you're planning ahead, you shouldn't have any surprises.
If you want to streamline your home search, there is no need to worry. In fact, there are several things you can do to quickly and effortlessly discover a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline your search for your ideal house.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
Homebuying criteria may help you save time as you embark on a quest to find your dream home. Because if you enter the housing market with homebuying criteria in hand, you'll know what you want to discover in your ideal residence.
To create homebuying criteria, think about your home must-haves and wants. Then, you can search for houses based on your homebuying criteria and move one step closer to finding a residence that you can enjoy for years to come.
Of course, it is important to remain flexible as you pursue your dream house too. And if necessary, you should be ready to adjust your homebuying criteria as your home search progresses.
2. Hone Your Home Search to Preferred Cities and Towns
You know you want to buy a house, but you still have no idea where you want to settle down. If you make a list of preferred cities and towns, however, you may be able to accelerate your home search.
Consider your short- and long-term aspirations as you prepare a list of preferred cities and towns. For instance, if your long-term goal is to work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you want to own lots of land in a small town, you may want to consider small town residences.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
Searching for a home on your own may prove to be time-consuming. Fortunately, real estate agents are homebuying experts who are happy to help you simplify your house search.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance throughout the property buying journey. A real estate agent will teach you about the housing market and respond to your homebuying concerns and queries. Plus, he or she will offer recommendations and suggestions to help you make an informed home purchase.
In addition, a real estate agent is ready to assist you in a number of ways. He or she will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and help you submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you acquire a terrific residence at an affordable price.
As you get set to embark on a home search, it generally is a good idea to enter the housing market as a prepared property buyer. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can conduct an in-depth home search without delay. And as a result, you can use these tips to discover your dream house in no time at all.
Ultimately, there is no surefire amount that you should spend on a house. The real estate market varies in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, the prices of houses fall across a broad range. Also, the condition and age of a house – as well as a homebuyer's budget – may dictate how much an individual is willing to spend on a particular residence.
As you search for your dream house, it helps to plan ahead as much as you can. Because if you have a homebuying strategy in place, you can determine exactly how much you can spend to acquire your ideal residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get your finances in order before you kick off a house search.
1. Check Your Credit Score
Believe it or not, your credit score may have far-flung effects on your homebuying budget. And if you fail to review your credit score before you embark on a house search, you may miss out on an opportunity to purchase your dream house.
A low credit score may make it tough to get the mortgage you need to acquire your ideal residence. Thus, you may want to check your credit score and find ways to improve it before you begin a house search.
You won't have to break your budget to get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). In fact, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the aforementioned credit bureaus. Request a copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score.
Of course, if your credit score is low, you can always improve it by paying off outstanding debt. Or, if you find errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that provided the report so that you can get these issues corrected.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Pre-approval for a mortgage makes it easy to enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage sooner rather than later.
Remember, banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists. Don't hesitate to ask these specialists about assorted mortgage options, and you can select a mortgage that perfectly matches your finances.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can make it simple to pursue your dream house. This housing market professional will help you narrow the price range for your dream house and ensure you can discover the perfect house without delay. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, ensuring you can get the best price on any home.
Ready to start a home search? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can simultaneously look for your dream house and avoid the risk of paying too much to purchase your dream residence.
Although you might already own a house, now may prove to be a good time to pursue a second residence. For example, if you have always wanted to own a home in the mountains, you can purchase a second residence to make your dream come true. On the other hand, if you want to own a vacation residence on or near the beach, you could enter the housing market to find a beachfront house that suits you perfectly.
Like any home search, finding a second house that matches your expectations may be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your quest to find a second home, such as:
1. Evaluate Your Finances
Your finances will play a significant role in your ability to purchase any house, at any time. As you get set to pursue a second home, examine your finances closely. Then, you can map out your home search accordingly.
Generally, it helps to consult with banks and credit unions before you launch the search. If you meet with these institutions, you can gain financial insights that you can use to make an informed purchase.
2. Establish Home Buying Criteria
Think about the features you want to find in a second residence. Next, you can craft home buying criteria.
Once you have home buying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search, too. By honing your home search to residences in specific cities and towns, you can speed up your quest to find the right home at the right price.
It often helps to maintain flexibility as you conduct a search for a second home as well. If necessary, you can modify your home buying criteria throughout the home buying journey.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
There is no reason to enter the housing market on your own. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts can help you quickly and effortlessly acquire a second residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate the home buying journey. This housing market professional first will learn about you and your home buying goals. He or she next will craft a custom home buying strategy based on your individual needs. Finally, a real estate agent will put this strategy into action and ensure you can discover a terrific home at an affordable price.
Furthermore, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of buying a second home. If you are unsure about whether to submit an offer to purchase a particular residence, a real estate agent can offer a data-driven recommendation. Or, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the home buying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.
If you want to pursue a second house, it helps to plan ahead for the home buying journey. By using these tips, you should have no trouble finding a second home that you can enjoy for years to come.
For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:
1. You can determine if a home is right for you.
Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.
During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.
Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.
2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.
A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.
You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.
3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.
As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.
Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.
A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.
Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.