Great Real Estate Books

Jumping into real estate as a beginner can be daunting. There’s a lot you likely don’t know, and a lot you definitely want to know if you want to be successful. The great thing about real estate is that you can learn about it rather easily. There are plenty of resources out there to help educate yourself and become the best real estate investor you can be. One of the best resources to use when learning more about real estate investing is reading! There are so many different books out there full of tons of information and advice from industry professionals. On that note, here a few great books to check out if you want to learn more about real estate investing.

The Book On Rental Property Investing – Brandon Turner

Considered a practical, step-by-step guide for rental property investing, there’s a great reason why this book is on this list. Brandon Turner does a great job of breaking more complicated topics down to bite-size, easy to understand pieces. Topics that are covered include deal analysis, finding and negotiating deals and a whole lot more. The only downside is that the book tends to focus more on small-time investors, so if you are looking to build a real estate empire, this book is likely not for you.

Building Wealth One House at a Time – John Schaub

John Schaub has worked in real estate for over forty years as a landlord, house flipper, and lender, so it’s not surprising he’s chosen to share his knowledge with others. If you’re looking to learn the fundamentals, look no further than Building Wealth One House at a Time. John’s book takes a dive into a strategy for achieving financial independence with residential real estate as well as going over finding, financing, renting and selling properties. Some topics covered include legal and contracts, property management and general principles and strategies.

The Millionaire Real Estate Investor – Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, & Jay Papasan

Gary Keller uses his book to break down and share aspects of the real estate investing business as well as best practices. He does a great job of capturing the mindset needed as well as the strategy of how to build a successful real estate investing business. Keller goes over a few important ideas such as the 5 models of a millionaire real estate investor or The Dynamic Trio of Investing. Keller also includes profiles for plenty of real-life real estate investors, which shows that it’s possible to become a millionaire in many different ways. The only downside is that the book was published in 2005, before the real estate crash of 2007 – 2009, so things may be a little out of date.

There are countless books you can check out if you want to get into real estate investing. With so many different things to learn and investors to hear from, there are plenty of ways for you to learn more about the industry and start being the best investor you can be.

Advertisements

Home Renovations That Can Increase Resale Value

If you’re thinking of selling your house, it might be a good idea to do renovations beforehand. A little bit of home improvement can go a long way, especially when talking about resale value. The problem is that with the market being down, some home improvements can actually devalue your home. So which improvements are safe to make and which ones aren’t?

Remodeling The Kitchen

With the kitchen being practically the most important room in the house, it makes sense that renovating it would increase the value. Just be careful not to go overboard, as that can mess up your plans to increase the value. A good tip to follow is to never make your kitchen look nicer than the rest of the house, or even the neighborhood if you can help it. A good reason for this is for the simple fact that renovating your kitchen too much might not make it feel like it fits in with the rest of the house. Remodeling your kitchen can tend to give you a 100 return of the cost, if not more when selling.

Add A Deck

Outdoor living spaces have become pretty big in Real Estate as of late. By adding a deck to your yard, you’ll immediately make your back yard more appealing and likely be able to make a large amount of the cost back. The cost of the deck itself will likely vary depending on a few things such as size and extra added accessories for it. You can even save yourself some money and build the deck yourself if you have the skills and equipment required.

Bathroom Addition

Surprisingly, a lot of houses only have one bathroom. Adding a second one is a surefire way to add to the resale value. Look around your house and see which rooms you don’t need, or if there are any underutilized spaces you could repurpose into a bathroom. Think about if you want a tub or shower in the second bathroom, or if you just need a sink and toilet. What you want in the second bathroom can make a big difference in cost and size.

Reimagine a Room

Since adding a whole new room to a house can be extremely expensive, a better option is to try reimagining an already existing room. A great way to do this is to finish a basement or turn the attic into a bedroom. Oftentimes basements are just used for storage and laundry, but if you have a big enough one you can make a whole living area out of it. Before you make any big changes though, try to put yourself in potential buyer’s shoes and think about what they might be able to use the space for. That can help you get a better idea of how to handle the re-imagining, so you can get as much value out of it as possible.

There are so many great renovations that can increase the resale value of your house. It’s important to do the research before making any big decisions though, as that can help you get a better idea of what is and isn’t worth it.

What To Know When Buying A Historic Home

Depending on where you’re looking to live, you may end up looking at historic houses. Historic houses have a sense of life to them that newer ones don’t always have, due to the history of the house itself, as well as quirks the house has, such as odd floor plans or old school decorations. But buying a historic game comes with much more than just living in a piece of history. Depending on the location, age and condition it’s in, a lot more might have to go into the home before it’s comfortable to live in. Here are a few things you should know before you buy a historic home.

Old Home, Old Problems

Even if an inspection isn’t required, it’s a good idea to still get one done on your potential home, especially if it’s a historic home. Older houses come with problems that newer houses don’t have to deal with, such as lead paint or asbestos. You don’t want to move into your new historic home just to find out there’s some type of health precaution, so try to find an inspector who has experience with historic homes and their issues.

Financing and Insurance Can Be Hard To Acquire

One common issue that arises when looking at buying a historic home is acquiring financing and insurance. If the home you’re looking at needs extensive repairs, lenders will likely be hesitant. Since traditional loans will likely be hard to get, you might want to look at private loans such as a 203(k) loan. 203(k) loans also go by rehab mortgage insurance and typically go towards the cost of rehabilitation as well as the purchase of the home itself. The same thing can happen when trying to get home insurance as well. Insurance companies will sometimes assume that the replacement costs will be higher for historic homes, but this isn’t always the case.

It Can Get Expensive

Historic homes tend to be pretty well built, which probably explains why they’re still standing after all this time. The problem is that depending on how old it is and the kind of work that has been done to it over the years, it could end up needing a large number of repairs which can add up. If you don’t have a steady income and a solid amount of money put aside, you likely shouldn’t try buying a historic home. You don’t want to be surprised by an urgent repair only to realize you can’t afford it. Depending on where you live though, you may be able to get a tax cut that helps with repair and maintenance of your historic home.

There’s a lot more to think about beyond what I’ve mentioned here when buying a historic home. It’s important to take your time, and do the research to make sure this is an investment you really want to make. If you do, you won’t regret it.

3 Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas for Your Property

Clever landscaping can make even a humble home look like a mansion. It immediately makes a home more attractive and it can provide functional benefits for the people that live there. There are even a few simple techniques that can have a big impact without demanding extensive or expensive maintenance work from the owners.

Focus on Usable Space

The most efficient way to improve a home’s landscaping is to focus on the areas and improvements that people will use. Simply providing a clear space with a little bit of stone on the ground and some outdoor furniture on top of it is a good starting point. It will serve as a place to hold parties or just eat outside, and the simplicity of the design means that it won’t demand much care. That provides a big boost to the owner’s quality of life without a significant investment.

Rely on Mulch

Gardens are a great way to beautify a lawn. The plants will need some care in order to thrive, but they don’t need as much as many people believe. The trick is to apply a layer of mulch around them, or even to plant them in a bed of mulch instead of grass. Most weeds will struggle to grow in the mulch, which spares gardeners the effort of pulling weeds by hand and the expense of spraying herbicides to kill them. In the long run, the mulch will also break down and provide nutrients to the growing plants. Every plant has its own needs, so it’s best to do some research on each species to figure out how much mulch is appropriate prior to planting.

Use Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a set of techniques that exist to cut down on the water used in landscaping. The most basic method is to replace parts of a lawn with stone, sand, and other inorganic materials. That cuts down on the amount of time that the owner has to spend watering the lawn to help the grass to grow. It also reduces the need to mow the lawn, and ensures that the grass won’t dry out or wilt due to bad weather. There are also environmental benefits from saving water. This is an ideal choice for those living in hot and dry areas, but anyone can benefit from a bit of xeriscaping.

Landscaping a property is an important, yet often overlooked, part of improvement. Whether selling, renting, or landscaping for your own benefit, these tips are a great starting point for a low-maintenance outdoor space.

This article was originally published on jasonCohenPittsburgh.org.