Property values are rising globally, creating wealth–and new billionaires–across the planet. Fifteen people join the FORBES ranks this year thanks to their real estate holdings, bringing the total number of property tycoons on the FORBES Billionaires List to 135.
The most elite group–the 20 wealthiest of the real estate moguls–include a whopping 14 people who hail from Asian-Pacific nations. Seven are from Hong Kong, four from China, two from Singapore, and one from Australia. Only six of the richest real estate 20 are Westerners: three each from the U.S. and the U.K.
A look at the numbers helps explain where all this wealth is coming from. The latest version of Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index, which tracks prices in 53 countries, shows that as of Q3 2013, residential property was up 4% from its 2008 peak. That’s 12.7% higher than values during the trough of the global financial crisis. Of course, these figures represent a global index and the rise or fall in property values varies for each nation. Still, more than two-thirds of countries tracked were seeing positive growth. Dubai, China, and Hong Kong saw the greatest annual rise in home prices, up 28.5%, 21.6% and 16.1% respectively.
Many investors today want to add real estate to their investment portfolios, but they don’t understand the complex nuances of real estate investing or how to begin the process. Real estate investing is substantially different from investing in stocks, bonds, and CDs, and it can seem overwhelming to brand-new investors.
Several years ago, an investor called me to buy a rental property after losing a great deal of money in the stock market. He was excited to begin his real estate investing career, but was terrified of investing in something new. In fact, at his first closing, his hands shook so much that he could hardly sign his name on the documents. Today, he owns eight houses and has become quite successful. We laugh whenever we recall how nervous he was in the beginning.
But real estate investing doesn’t have to be difficult or scary. When I teach people how to invest in real estate, my philosophy is to maximize return while minimizing the risks. When done correctly, real estate investing is one of the safest and best long-term wealth-building tools in the world. With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you successfully launch your real estateRead more>>
1. Planning as you go. Andy Heller, an Atlanta-based investor and co-author of “Buy Even Lower: The Regular People’s Guide to Real Estate Riches,” says lack of a plan is the biggest mistake he sees new investors make. They buy a house because they think they got a good deal and then try to figure out what to do with it. That’s working backward, Heller says. “First, you find the plan,” he says. “Then you find the house to fit the plan. Pick your investment model, and then go find property to match that. Don’t find the strategy after you find the home.”
2. Thinking you’ll “get rich quick.”That kind of wrong-headed thinking is fueled by “these self-appointed gurus who have infomercials and make it sound so easy to get rich in real estate,” says Eric Tyson, co-author of “Real Estate Investing for Dummies.” It’s not easy. It’s a good long-term investment, but so is putting your money in a mutual fund, which is a lot easier. “These gurus don’t talk about all that hard work. You have to be smart, you have to be willing to work, and you have to understand your risk tolerance.”
Looking to buy a home? It’s better to be on a “Way” than a “Street,” pick a female real-estate agent and try to be close to a Starbucks.
That’s the advice of Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow.com, who collected statistics from his site’s database of 110 million homes to find trends in real-estate pricing. Along with Zillow economist Stan Humphries, he has written “The New Rules of Real Estate” (Grand Central), out Tuesday. Some of his findings:
- The Starbucks effect. Take two identical homes sold in 1997. One near Starbucks would have sold for an average of $137,000, while the same home without a Starbucks would have sold for $102,000. Fast-forward 15 years: the average US home appreciated 65 percent to $168,000, but the property next to Starbucks skyrockets 96 percent to $269,000.
- All renovations are not created equal. The greatest return for your investment is a mid-range bathroom remodel, a $3,000 job that returns $1.71 for every dollar spent. The worst home improvements for value are kitchen remodeling and finishing a basement. A top-of-the-line kitchen reno will cost you $22,000, and you’ll only get about $0.51 back for every $1 you spend.
- Use the right words in a listing. Avoid “unique,” “TLC,” “investment”Read more>>
Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.
Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.
Selling Secret #7: Play theRead more>>
The real estate industry has had some interesting ups and down over the past decade – NAR (National Association of Realtors) membership hit its all-time high back in 2006 with 1,357,000 realtors before dropping dramatically with the housing financial crisis. However, since its rock bottom in 2012 (with 999,000 members), it has been steadily increasing, and with nearly 1,100,000 members in 2014, the competition among realtors is heating up.a
The competition is fierce, and these days you’ll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.
While real estate agents are still key in the home buying process, buyers are increasingly looking to do more leg work online before involving the experts. A study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have an active online presence. If you’re not active, engaging, and networking online, then you’re missing out.
Here are our 35 best real estate marketing tips for those looking to win the real estate marketing game.
RELATED: How to Use AdWords for Apartment Marketing
1. Set Yourself Up For Social. Make sure you have social mediaRead more>>
Call it Operation Open House.
You’re throwing open the doors to sell your home. Now how do you make sure the right people show up?
You already know the basics: The house is clean and well-maintained. You’ve cleared the counters and ditched the clutter. And you might have employed a bit of staging to set the mood.
But when it comes to making the event a success (read: pulling in the serious buyers), it pays to know a few tricks of the real estate trade. Here are eight top tips from the real estate pros.
Holding an open house? There’s an app for that.
Make sure your agent uses the latest technology to market your house. Agents can advertise open houses on a host of popular real estate sites, such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and portals on Yahoo and Google, says Joan Pratt, real estate broker with RE/MAX Professionals in Castle Pines, Colo.
Because most buyers start their searches on computers, you need a professional presentation online, says Jeff Wiren, president of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors and broker with RE/MAX Equity Group. That means more thanRead more>>
The phone as of late has been ringing off the hook with investors looking to claim their piece of the inclining real estate market that we are experiencing. On the surface this is a great thing. The problem is that everyone has the same idea, thanks in part to the plethora of HGTV flip shows we see. Everyone wants to quit their job and flip homes for a living. Now I believe that this is entirely possible in certain markets, particularly the buyers market we just came through. Two years ago you could negotiate a great deal with an anxious seller. Now the market has shifted to the advantage of the sellers, homes sell quickly and for top dollar, often for bidding wars as inventory has dipped to near 2007 levels.
A successful flipping venture requires you to find a distressed property and purchase it at a deep discount. You then must renovate and control your costs to eventually sell at a new premium. The challenge now, is that anything cheap goes into multiple offers and contractors if you can find them at all,Read more>>
Those who consistently make money in real estate know the market. They know the location and the history. They know what new developments are planned. They know the transportation and the schools. They know everything about the area where they invest. They have to know it all.
Staying ahead of the competition in real estate investment means doing your homework. If you are new to the business, it can be daunting, but in this article we’ll teach you five tricks that the old pros use to get ahead of the trends instead of chasing them. (To learn about the perks of real estate investing, see our Exploring Real Estate Investment Tutorial and Investing In Real Estate.)
Study Local Pricing
The first things to study are the current price trends in the area. For example, a potential investor should look to see if the price of homes is accelerating faster in one area than in others. Next, check to see if the average home price is more than in other neighboring towns. This will provide an idea of where the biggest demand is. Another reason toRead more>>