Flipping Houses

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We have all heard stories about flipping houses and the profit involved in such a venture. I will attempt to give the reader some guidelines as I see the pros and cons of the practice. Even though it can produce profits, it also has some pitfalls to avoid. Following is my list of dos and don’t as I view it from years of real estate experience.

1) Talk to as many as possible who have had some experience at flipping houses.

2) Talk to your favorite Real Estate professional and arrange to view a number of houses to determine the listings most suitable for flipping. Learn all you can in this process and invest enough time to be knowledgeable when this phase is completed.

3) Learn to tell the difference between defects that are cosmetic and easily corrected and defects that are structural and require difficult and expensive corrections. Avoid the latter, especially if you are new at flipping.

4) Cleaning, painting and floor covering are usually considered the most in-expensive ways of adding value to a property. Also lighting can fall into this category if one is careful about prices.

5) Avoid tackling structural corrections, such as moving walls and fixing cracked concrete until you have been through several ventures and gained expertise in the field.

Buying Money

Do You Really Know How Much You’re Paying?

You found it. The home of your dreams. The next chapter of your life. The place where you’ll create so many family memories, host holiday gatherings, and raise your children. That’s so exciting! And lucky for you, you have a family friend that’s a lender, a cousin that’s an insurance agent, and a neighbor that’s a home inspector. Your Realtor suggested you shop around a little bit to get the most for your money, but you know your connections wouldn’t steer you wrong. Would they?

I’ve seen this happen far too many times in my limited experience. I had buyers that were adamant on using a specific lender because they were related. This decision cost them an extra $2,000 in closing costs and tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their 30 year note because they were locked into a higher interest rate than if they would have shopped around. But they were family so it’s worth it. Right?!?

So what do you do? How do you shop around? Not all lenders, whether it be mortgage brokers, banks, and credit unions are created equal. Not all USDA loans, for example, are created equal. Each lender charges a different amount in lender fees such as origination costs, underwriting costs, credit applications, and the list can go on. Then there’s your interest rate. Different lenders use different investors, which can vary an interest rate dramatically. A slight increase in an interest rate will cost you hundreds of dollars a year.

Obtaining a mortgage is essentially buying money. A good lender should provide you with a breakdown of the fees you’ll be paying. The best way to compare how much you’re really paying is to look at the bottom lines: the total cost of your monthly payment and the amount you are expected to bring to closing. This is something most lenders can estimate in the early stages, which will guide you to picking the loan program that will get you the most for your money.

If you’re shopping for a mortgage, do your research. You can’t afford not to.

Inspections, Inspections, Inspections

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“Should Buyers attend the Home Inspection?”

Yes!

The Inspection process is where you find out even more about the property you are about to purchase. It is your time to relook at the home and understand how everything inside and outside your future home operates. It’s time to go over every inch with a “fine tooth comb!”

A Realtor’s Role at an Inspection

Different Brokers have varying opinions on IF the Realtor should even attend the Inspection. A majority of the Realtors in this area do not go to their client’s Inspections, but the client is their with only the Inspector. I have always felt a Realtor needs to be present for many reason but here are 2 of the main ones:

The Realtor should be present, because their clients are in the Seller’s home which they do not own yet.

Why wouldn’t it be the Realtor’s and your best interests for the Realtor to assist you through this part of the buying process too?

The Realtor Should be Present

When the Inspector is up on the roof doing his job, is it fair to the homeowner to have people inside their house without a Realtor? Some companies do not want their agents to attend, because they are afraid if the agent says anything at the Inspection, they could be liable for items expressed, especially if issues arise after the purchase.

Your Best Interests

The Inspection time needs to be lead by the Inspector, but closely followed for clarity with the Buyers and their Realtor. Too often, I have received an Inspection Notice filled with items to be fixed that I know the Realtor does not have a grasp on, because they did not attend the Inspection.

Just recently, an agent turned in the worse Inspection Notice I had ever seen full of more items to be fixed than I have ever seen. If the Agent would have been at the Inspection, they would have heard the Inspector state that due to the age of the structure these items are normal. Instead panic was created, Sellers were asking for items that did not even make sense and the transaction fell apart.

Aren’t You Hiring a Realtor for Guidance?

It is not about unlocking doors...being a Realtor is hard work when done correctly. I have years of Inspections under my belt where the Realtor made the difference. I certainly can more accurately explain the situation to the other Realtor, when submitting my clients’ Inspection Notice, If I have been at the Inspection and heard/saw everything first-hand.

I also think it is just as important to be at Inspections when I am the Seller’s Agent; meaning, I am the one that listed the house. I can more accurately explain what the inspector found if I have heard and seen it right along with the Buyers. Sellers want to know first-hand instead of weeding through a 35 page report and looking at pictures. I feel an obligation to be able to direct them right to the problems and relay everything that was said.

Wouldn’t You Want Your Realtor There

With all of this in mind, before you pick which Realtor is going to represent you, in one of the most important transactions you will make, know just a little bit more. I hope this helps you understand just one part of the involved home-buying process. I think it is one of the most important aspects when you are the Buyer or the Seller. So, ask your possible Realtor how they do things before you hire them, it might make all the difference.

Jefferson City Music

Jefferson City Music

If you’re like me and enjoy listening to live music on the weekends occasionally, you need to check out some of the local bars and restaurants around Jefferson City. I used to think there wasn’t much live music to listen to around mid-Missouri, but there are quite a number of places that have artists playing on the weekends and even some during the weekdays.

These places offer many different genres of music making it easy to find something you’d enjoy listening to. Hooks Sports Bar and Grill, The Bridge, The Mission, Twin Bridges, Chicks Tap Room, Spectators, Bones, and High Street Pub are just a few of the places around town to find live music.

Understanding Closing Costs

Understanding Closing Costs

Closing Costs, and who typically pays for what is a question real estate agents are constantly being asked. I feel like closing costs get left out when talking about a real estate transaction. Buyers and sellers need to be well informed, knowing what they’re responsible for, and what it’s going to cost them. Buyers and sellers split a lot of these cost but on a typical transition this is who pays for what.

Bicentennial Bridge to the Island

Bicentennial Bridge to the Island

Exciting news for the Capital City, The Bicentennial Bridge is now a project in motion! The Bridge will provide a pedestrian walking and bike path that reconnects the City of Jefferson City, MO with its historic relationship to the Missouri River. This will allow for easy and enjoyable access to the Missouri River. Here are some important key factors about this project:

Every Day Recycler or Fanatic, You Be The Judge

Every Day Recycler or Fanatic, You Be The Judge

I am an avid recycler.  I don't recall when I first started, but it seems that as long as there has been a facility that would accept my used items I've taken them.  As it does with most people, it all started out innocently enough; I recycled aluminum cans, glass, plastics (#1 and #2), paper, cardboard, and tin cans.  Where I might diverge from the general population is that I will recycle everything that falls into these categories.