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Should I have real estate investments?

Should I have real estate investments?

Real estate has long been used as an alternative investment, to give investors a non-correlated asset that can give a portfolio increased diversification. In the last 15 years or so, with the prevalence and popularity of REITs and real estate industry funds, real estate investments are considered by some to be a core holding instead of an alternative investment. Real Estate investments are so accessible now that they should be considered an indispensable part of any portfolio. Continue reading...

What are Real Estate Funds?

What are Real Estate Funds?

Real estate mutual funds invest in publicly-traded companies in the real estate industry, and are slightly different than REITs. A real estate mutual fund invests in companies in the real estate industry. These companies will include real estate brokerage companies in the commercial, residential, or raw land sector, as well as the lending institutions that are involved in such transactions, among other holdings. Continue reading...

What's important to know about real estate investments?

What's important to know about real estate investments?

Real estate can be purchased in a form you can see, touch, and pay maintenance costs on, or it can be purchased indirectly through the use of REITs and other securities tied to the real estate industry. Real estate investments fall into a wide spectrum of subsets. You can invest in residential property, commercial property, development projects, raw land, etc. Within the residential sphere are multi-family residential complexes, rental houses, foreclosure flips, and vacation rentals with property management. Continue reading...

Real Estate Investment Trust: What is a REIT?

Real Estate Investment Trust: What is a REIT?

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a pooled investment with a high dividend yield that invests in real estate. REITs give investors an opportunity for participation and diversification in real estate investments, while also offering much higher degrees of liquidity and lower buy-in amounts than can be found in other real estate investments. A REIT operates much like a mutual fund, and would technically be taxable as a corporation if it weren't for its REIT status. Continue reading...

Should I sell my house without a real estate broker?

While it is possible to sell your house without a broker, it may prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. If a person can sell their own house or property without a real estate broker, he or she can avoid paying broker’s fees out of the proceeds. A person should realize, however that brokers are well-acquainted with the real estate marketplace, and may possibly already have some potential buyers in their pipeline.They are also ready to spend the time and money to market and show your property. Continue reading...

When was the Latest Housing Bubble?

The latest housing bubble burst in 2005, a few years prior to the stock market meltdown. Housing prices peaked in 2005, and over-leveraged homeowners started to feel the pinch of falling property values leading into the 2008 financial crisis. In the 2005 - 2012 period, housing prices fell some 30-80% in various parts of the U.S. Problems emerged when the loans outstanding on homes exceeded the home's value, and when job losses eventually resulted in mass defaults. Continue reading...

What is Net Operating Income?

Net Operating Income (NOI) is a measure of profitability most often used with income producing real estate businesses. In the real estate world, net operating income is calculated by taking all revenues generated by a property (rent, parking, etc…) from all of the operating expenses needed to upkeep the property, which can include insurances, taxes, maintenance, utilities, and so on. Net Operating Income is a before tax figure, so does not include principal and interest payments on loans, depreciation and amortization. If the NOI figure is negative, it is referred to as a net operating loss (NOL). Continue reading...

What is Income Property?

An income property is also called an investment property, which is a piece of developed commercial or residential real estate that is used by a third party tenant who makes rental or lease payments for the use of it. Income property can be a good source of income for an individual or business. It can include single- or multi-family residential or commercial properties. Sometimes people co-own income properties together, and receive a proportionate share of the proceeds according to the amount of the start-up capital they paid in. Continue reading...

What are asset classes?

What are asset classes?

Asset classes are types of appreciable investments that can be grouped and distinguished from one another based on the correlation of their price movements and the structure of their cash flows. Some of the most common asset classes are stocks, bonds, cash (and cash equivalents), commodities, and real estate. Many individual securities and sub-classes will fall into each of these. Asset classes are a large consideration when creating a well-diversified portfolio. Continue reading...

What is Income?

Income is a stream, series, or lump sum of cash or cash equivalents that is paid to an individual or entity based on work performed, goods sold, ownership rights, or by being a creditor to whom interest is paid. It is received when a net result is positive, and is sometimes referred to as the “bottom line.” Income can be viewed from a itemized, current perspective or as a balance sheet item for an entire accounting period, such as a year. It also might be discussed as a gross (pre-tax) or net (post-tax) amount. Continue reading...

What is residual income?

What is residual income?

Residual income is a stream of income that persists from one work project or investment. Residual income is also known as passive income, and is income which comes from an investment of money or work in the past, where minimal or no additional money, work, or maintenance is required. Residual income could come from investments such income-generating real estate, or work completed such as a published book or acting in a commercial. Continue reading...

What does Capital Gain Mean?

A Capital Gain refers to the profits or gains made from selling a security at a higher price than the original purchase price. In stock trading, if an investor sells a stock for more than they bought it for (or the price inherited), the profit realized is a capital gain. The same applies to gains made in real estate. To note, assets held within tax-deferred accounts, like IRAs and 401(k)s, do not trigger capital gains when sold for profits. It only applies to taxable assets, like stocks held in a brokerage account. The capital gains tax is the tax paid on net capital gains in a given year. Continue reading...

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is performed by a certified home inspector to determine the condition of a property and to find out if there any safety of compliance issues that the home or property may have. Home inspectors are typically hired by real estate professionals and homebuyers when a home is on the market. It is not required except for FHA loan termite inspection requirements, but it is always advisable for a potential home buyer. A home inspection is not to be confused with a home appraisal. Continue reading...

What is Appraisal Fraud?

Appraisal Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of the value of a home using an appraiser’s statement. Appraisals are necessary for large loans and real estate transactions, and appraisal fraud is common. Fraud can be committed in this manner by the appraiser or by a person falsifying an appraiser’s statement. A common example would be overstating the value of a home so that a borrower can get a larger home equity loan. Continue reading...

What is Appraisal?

What is Appraisal?

Appraisal is a valuation conducted by a certified professional to assess the value of property, especially real estate. Appraisals are an important service in the real estate industry in particular. Where mortgage loans are being taken out from banks, including original mortgages, refinancing, home equity loans and lines of credit, as well as in business and estate valuations, the property appraisal will play an important role. Continue reading...

What is Bank-Owned Property?

If a bank forecloses on a home, and it does not sell at auction, it becomes bank-owned-property. Bank-owned property, also known as real estate owned (REO) property, was taken over by a bank because the owners did not pay their mortgage obligations, and it did not sell at auction. After a foreclosure, an auction is announced in the paper, and a company who contracts with the fe to sell the property money and recoup some of the lost to bad debt. If no one buys it at auction, it sits on the bank’s books as REO. Continue reading...

What is Investment Property?

Investment property is real estate that an individual or entity owns without the intention to directly use it, but rather to benefit from its ownership. Investment property is not directly used or inhabited by the owner. Its purpose is to provide income through rental or lease, or to be sold at a later time after the property has appreciated. Sometimes this involved building upon the property, or otherwise renovating or improving it. The property might be commercial or residential, with multiple tenants or a single one. Continue reading...

What is a Hybrid REIT?

A Hybrid REIT blends the two major classes of REITs (Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs) to give the investor increased diversification with one investment. A Hybrid REIT is a marketable security much like a mutual fund, invested in both Equity and Mortgage real estate investments. The equity part includes income-producing properties, in which the REIT company owns equity in the property. The mortgage portion consists of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, in which the REIT earns revenue from debt interest payments. REITs must distribute 90% of their revenue each year to their shareholders (in the form of dividends), and this makes them a high-yield income investment. Continue reading...

What are REITs?

What are REITs?

REITs are pooled investments similar to mutual funds, but, like mutual funds, they can take many shapes. They invest in different kinds of real estate and real estate-oriented assets, depending on the REIT, and sell ownership shares to investors. REIT is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust. REITs are similar to mutual funds, except that they only invest in real estate properties and related companies and assets such as mortgages. REITs will define the scope of their investments and strategies in their prospectus, which may read something like “We invest only in commercial Real Estate” or “Only in residential houses in Las Vegas” while other REITs are very general. Continue reading...

What is Mortgage REIT?

Mortgage REITs are a type of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) which offers investors income distributions which result from the interest payment on mortgage loans. Investors enjoy REIT investments as a high-yield income investment which offers exposure to an asset class which is not necessarily correlated with other major asset classes. Mortgage REITs are a subset of this asset type which derives income from the interest due on mortgage loans, which are generally purchased in the form of mortgage-backed securities. Equity REITs are the other major type of REIT, and they invest directly in income-producing properties. Continue reading...