Are All Real Estate Investors Millionaires?

When you think of a real estate investor what do you picture? A millionaire tycoon with huge buildings?

Probably, but the truth of the matter is that most real estate investors are not millionaires, but people like you and me who either are just thinking about getting into it or who have a property or a few. Certainly not millionaires, but people who want to make a good living.

Real estate investing

Are All Real Estate Investors Millionaires?Real estate investing seems like something that is hard to get into, but will make you rich. Depending on your financial situation, credit score, etc., it may be challenging, but it is definitely a good way to make a decent income once you are up and running. So here’s how you get there.

You start with one property

It could be one that you actually go out to find for that purpose, or maybe it’s the home you started out with and kept when you moved up. Either way, with one property you are officially a real estate investor.

How you make an income depends on finding and keeping a good tenant, collecting a fair rent and keeping the property in good condition so it continues to gain value. Oh, and good records for taxes! Part of the way that real estate investors make money is with the tax savings.

Next, do it again

Once you have money banked, buy property number 2. It will take time and effort, but you can make a good life for you.

Hiring a great property manager

On of the things that scares people the most about real estate investing is the thought of having to fix toilets in the middle of the night or getting in a huge shouting match with a tenant who will just not leave.

But never fear! You can hire a great property management company like Denver Realty and Rentals to take care of all that for you. Most investors are surprised by how affordable this kind of service is and love the fact that all the pesky details become someone else’s problem!

Give us a call today if you would like to find out more about hiring a local property management company! 303-452-5853

Is It Worth Making Your Home A Smart Home Before You Sell

Smart homes seem to be all the rage. Thermostats and lights controlled by your smart phone. Refrigerators that send you a grocery list to your phone.

There is so much more that you can have to make your home automated and running from an app or apps on your phone. So is it worth it to make your home a smart home before you sell? Probably not.

Unexpected

With the exception of “techy towns” like Niwot and Boulder, or some types of executive homes, most buyers, even high end buyers, won’t expect to find smart homes. They may not even have a need or desire for a smart homes or they may not want the level of it you have installed.

As with other improvements to your home, you need to weigh the cost against the expected return

Having your home wired to be a smart home, buying the equipment, updating to smart appliances and all that entails, including fixing walls that will need to be cut into for wiring and new plugs and such, will run you thousands of dollars. The return on that isn’t going to be thousands of dollars.

Ask your Realtor

If you aren’t sure whether to do it or how far to go, ask your Realtor. They know the market, who will be looking at your home and how much they will be willing to pay to have those kinds of updates. Remember, a million dollar home may benefit from it, but a hundred thousand dollar home probably won’t.

A trap

Don’t fall into a trap of spending money for a return you won’t see. Talk to your Realtor and see what will help sell your home and spend it there.

What Do You “Have” To Leave When You Sell Your Home

You are selling your home and are wondering what you can and can’t take with you. Should you be able to take all the things you added to your home? The answer is no. There are certain things that you need to leave behind, or replace, when selling your home and they are referred to as fixtures.

Fixtures

What Do You "Have" To Leave When You Sell Your HomeIn real estate law fixtures are pieces of personal property that have been attached to the property so that they become thought of as part of the property.

Typical examples of this are heating and air conditioning systems, built-ins, flooring, tubs, sinks, etc. The basic rule of thumb is will taking this out of the home damage it.

Sounds straightforward, right?

What about wall hung tvs?

Well, not so fast. Some buyers expect that short of furniture, everything is a fixture and conveys with the property. That means all appliances, curtains, lighting, ceiling fans, and even televisions that are attached to the wall. Now you know that some of these things aren’t for sale with the home, but does the rule of “removal causes damage” mean you have to leave your 55-inch flat screen behind? Or that family heirloom bookcase that you have screwed to the wall in the study?

The answer is yes and no

You should plan to leave curtains, ceiling fans and light fixtures behind. As for that heirloom bookcase, remove it and replace it with something you can leave behind before you put the home on the market.

Specify in your listing what appliances are staying or not, and if possible replace them with others that you will leave behind. Typically, kitchen appliances are expected to stay, others can be negotiated.

Fix any damage

As for your flat screen, be unequivocal that it is going, remove it and fix any wall damage prior to the final walk through. Be completely up front with the buyer about items that are staying or not, be willing to fix any damage and you will be set to settle without any drama!

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix Them

Have you ever seen the TV commercial about an air freshener that goes like this “you think your car [room, etc.] smells like this, but your friends smell this” and change it to a smelly mess?

5 Smelly House Problems and How To Fix ThemWell, you may be inured to the smells in your home, but people coming to look at it to possibly buy it aren’t. Smoke, cooking smells, pet smells and others are all very obvious to others. You’ll need to fix them if you expect to sell your home. Here are some ideas for the smelliest of the bunch.

Smoke

If you smoke, or have a smoker in your home, you know how it gets on everything. Even if you or they don’t smoke in the house, just the transfer from their hair and clothing sticks. Air fresheners aren’t going to get rid of it. Depending on how heavy the smoke smell is in the home, you will at the very least need to wash all fabrics, steam clean carpets and furniture and repaint. If you or someone else is a heavy smoker, you may need professional help in getting the smell out.

Pets

If you have pets, they too can be smelly. Small pets like mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters or guinea pigs can be smelly if their cages aren’t kept clean. Best bet is to find someone who can take them for you while the house is on the market (same with lizards, snakes, etc.) If you have dogs, make sure your carpets don’t have old accident stains which can also be smelly. They also shed, so bathe the dog, vacuum, mop and dust often. Find someone to take them when showings are scheduled or at the very least crate them. If you have cats, keep the litter box clean and scooped and remove it during showings. If your cat is shy and will hide when people come over, you can leave them in the home, if not, take them with you.

Food and cooking smells can be bad too

Try to avoid cooking. Keep kitchen linens clean and fresh. Don’t cook fish until the house is sold! Also nothing too onion or garlicky.

If your bath has a moldy or mildewy smell clean and get rid of the mold and mildew.

Not sure if your home smells? Ask a friend to come over and give you an honest assessment.

What Does A “Good” Property Management Company Do?

You are a landlord in need of a property manager, but there are so many out there. So how do you decide? What does a good property management company do so you know who to choose?

What Does A Good Property Manager Do?

A property manager’s main job is to manage, repair and

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maintain an owner’s property all while keeping the hassle to the tenant and landlord and expense to the landlord to a minimum.

Property owners are renting a property in order to fulfill a goal: pay the mortgage on it and make a profit, keep it from being empty which costs money in ongoing expenses and lost revenue and keep the property in good shape so when it’s time to sell it’s ready.

A well maintained property keeps its value, and also keeps the tenant happy and paying rent.

The property manager is who your tenants can call in an emergency. A proactive property manager has the skills to keep the emergencies from happening, or have the skills to fix most things keeping those exorbitant repair bills from happening.

The property manager also deals face to face with the tenants on rent issues, and, if necessary, has a “back up” list of tenants to fill in an unexpected vacancy. For the non-paying tenant, the property manager deals with the eviction process for you.

What Do Property Managers Charge?

The management company will charge a fee to do these things, so you will need to be sure you find one that is reliable for the money you pay them. But the fee is worth the peace of mind you will have knowing that your property or properties are well cared for and you won’t be having those nightmare situations quite as often!

Property management fees can range from 10%-15% of the rental price and may have a “signup cost” when you sign on.

Bottom line, the maintained value of the property and continued rental due to the efforts of the management company to collect the rent, and to keep the property from being vacant, is worth the cost of the of the service.

If you would like to work with a good property management company in the Denver area, give Denver Realty and Rentals a call today! 303-452-5853

5 Tips For First Time Homebuyers

5 Tips For First Time HomebuyersYou’ve decided that it’s time to stop renting and jump into home ownership but there are a few things that you should do before making that leap. Some of these things need to be done well before you start traipsing through house after house.

The very first thing you should do is check your credit

Not just your credit score, but your credit reports. The “big 3”: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, will give you a complete overview of your credit situation. If there are discrepancies, get them cleared up. This can take weeks or months. If your credit score is low, you may need months or even a year to raise it. Having a good credit score can make a huge difference in how much interest you pay on your mortgage, so it will be worth putting off looking at homes until you are ready and able to buy.

Next, save, save, save

Having a decent or better down payment can mean the difference between getting the house you want or not. 20% is a good figure to shoot for, if you can save more, it will give you a cushion in case you need to fix things in the home or pay any extra fees. Plus it helps raise that credit score too!

Get preapproved for your mortgage

Getting preapproved can and will give you a leg up over other people making offers on the same home as you are. A seller who knows that you can get financing and settle more quickly will favor you over another buyer who doesn’t. It will also mean that you stick to your budget. If you are preapproved for a mortgage that will be comfortable for you to pay each month you will be less likely to be talked into a home that is above your price range.

No large purchases until after settlement

Don’t shop for furniture, cars or make other big purchases until after you have settled on your home and the money has been paid out to all parties. If you make any large, expensive purchases, especially on credit, prior to settlement you may end up without a mortgage when you are ready to settle.

Lastly, find a reputable Realtor to help you find that new home!

Definitely pick one that loves working with first time homebuyers and who will answer all your questions! A great Realtor will help you to get through the whole process safely and find a great fir home!

4 Things You Can Claim As Depreciation When You Have A Rental Property

If you’re new at owning a rental property, you may be finding that all of the rules and regulations, laws and so forth are a bit overwhelming. Add on top of that tax requirements, what you can and can’t write off, how and so on, a new landlord can find themselves spending a lot of time on all those ins and outs.

One of them is depreciation and what you can depreciate.

What is depreciation?

4 Things You Can Claim As Depreciation When You Have A Rental PropertyDepreciation sounds daunting, but basically it’s writing off the cost of an item that will be useful to the property for more than one year. How much and how long depends on several things, but basically if the cost is a one year expense, you write it off in its entirety that year, but if it’s a larger improvement that will last, such as a bathroom overhaul or new driveway, then you depreciate the costs over the useful life of the item or items.

That means you divide the total cost by the useful life of the improvement, and write off 1/nth of the cost per year.

Requirements

You can only do this with property that wears out, decays, gets used up, or becomes obsolete over time. For instance, the land the building is on isn’t an item you can depreciate, but he building is. According to the IRS, you can depreciate a rental property if it meets all of these requirements:

1) you own the property;

2) you use the property in your business or as income-producing activity;

3) the property has a determinable useful life (i.e. it will wear out, etc.); and

4) the property is expected to last more than one year.

So what can be depreciated?

The structures on the land, house, garage, sheds, swimming pools, parking lots, tennis courts, and other facilities for your tenants. These can all add up to a substantial deduction from the income of the property for tax purposes.

Other items are things inside the home: stoves, refrigerators, furniture, carpets/flooring and furniture (if you provide a furnished space). Other things that you use in connection with the rental property, like computers, lawn mower, or automobile you use to conduct your rental activity.

If you aren’t sure, contact a tax professional for guidance.

In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?

With all of the online tools, websites and advice for home sellers and buyers, is it really necessary to hire a Realtor?

The short answer to that question is a resounding yes. The internet can only tell you so much and it certainly can’t show your home, take you to homes to see and In This Day And Age Are Real Estate Agents Really Necessary?facilitate settlement when you sell or buy your home.

As it’s been said, when the going gets tough, hire an expert… or something like that. But really, why would you undertake such a huge financial and legal undertaking without being educated in the ins and outs of such things?

A Realtor knows the local market

They know how to negotiate at all phases of the process. They know how to value a home beyond number of beds, baths and square footage. They understand most types of mortgages and home financing, or know someone who is reliable that can help you should you need that type of assistance.

Now let’s talk time

Do you have the time, over and above your day job, family responsibilities and so on, to stage your home, list it with MLS and other websites like Zillow or Realtor.com, take all the phone calls, schedule showings, read/understand/respond to offers, schedule inspections, schedule settlement and all the paperwork a settlement entails, do the walk-through and finally hand over the keys?

Do you have the time to search the internet for homes to see, call the listing agents, schedule showings, write up an offer, read over the inspection report, renegotiate repairs, review the title report and all of the settlement papers?

Experience Matters

One last thing to think about! In your lifetime you may buy and sell 5-10 houses (maybe a few less, maybe a few more). For some of us, that top end is a really slow YEAR!

Realtors spend all of our time negotiating, researching, talking on the phone and getting educated about real estate. The business of buying and selling homes is our life and when you hire a Realtor, you get some of that dedication and determination just for your home!

Rental Property Management Longmont CO

Longmont, Colorado was founded in 1871 and has been a tidy, planned community from the beginning.

From the coming of the railroad to the Air Traffic Control Center, IBM Center and other big business, Longmont, has always been a good place to find a great job and a great place to live. You found that too, and now want to rent your property. You know that it will be difficult for you to manage the property since you won’t be living there. You need a great property management company.

Your best choice for a property management company

Rental Property Management Longmont COThere are many to choose from, but your best choice is Denver Realty & Rentals. They provide the best service for real estate investors and their properties.

DR&R provides property owners every service they could need for the property and it’s tenants 24/7 365 days a year. No matter when issues arise, days nights or holidays. DR&R has plumbers, electricians and handymen ready to help whenever your tenants need them.

Not only to keep your tenant happy but to keep your property in tip top shape.

Denver Realty & Rentals manages all aspects of your property

Worried about what would happen if your tenant gives notice? Or worse, stops paying rent and needs to be evicted? Well DR&R will handle the collection of rents, and any necessary eviction proceedings.

They’ll also get the property cleaned, repaired, shown to prospects and re-rented as quickly as possible. Keeping it rented isn’t the only way you can make money. DR&R will also improve it to increase your equity. They also inspect annually and between tenants.

Denver Realty & Rentals has a wide range of services

DR&R provides you with a wide range of services to make your property shine and stay rented. They provide cleaning and repairing between rentals, advertising the property between tenants with professional photos, background check prospective tenants and show the property, protect your identity if that’s your wish, help the tenants by providing quiet use and enjoyment of the property, make sure all fair housing laws (Federal and State) are followed, collecting rents and evicting tenants when necessary.

Don’t try to do it all yourself. Hire the best property management company with the most expertise to handle your rentals. For more information visit http://denverrealtyandrentals. com/property-management/
For more information about the Longmont, Colorado area visit these sites:

Rental Property Management Lafayette CO

Lafayette, Colorado is a community rich in the coal mining Rental Property Management Lafayette COhistory of Colorado. It’s history includes claims to having the first woman bank president in the world. Living there has been a great experience for you, but now you’ve decided to rent your property.

You know that being a landlord can be a challenge. You need a great property management company. With so many out there, it can be hard to choose. But you know that your best choice is Denver Realty & Rentals. They provide the best service for real estate investors and their properties.

Great services

DR&R provides property owners and investors every service they could possibly need for the property and its tenants. Their services are provided 24/7 365 days a year. Your tenants can have issues arise day or night and will expect that their problem be solved.

DR&R has plumbers, electricians and handymen ready to help whenever your tenants need them. Not only to keep your tenant happy but to keep your property in tip top shape.

Handles all your tenant interactions for you

Worried about what would happen if your great tenant turns bad? Gives notice? Or worse, stops paying rent and needs to be evicted? Well DR&R will handle addressing bad behavior, collection of rents, and any necessary eviction proceedings. They’ll also get the property cleaned, repaired, shown to prospects and re-rented as quickly as possible.

Keeping it rented isn’t the only way you can make money. DR&R will also improve it to increase your equity. They also inspect annually and between tenants.

DR&R provides you with a wide range of services to make your property shine and stay rented

They provide cleaning and repairing between rentals, advertising the property between tenants with professional photos, background check prospective tenants and show the property, protect your identity if that’s your wish, help the tenants by providing quiet use and enjoyment of the property, make sure all fair housing laws (Federal and State) are followed, collecting rents and evicting tenants when necessary.

Hire the best property management company with the most expertise to handle your rentals. For more information visit:    http://denverrealtyandrentals. com/property-management/
For more information about the Arvada, Colorado area visit these sites:

http://cityoflafayette.com/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafayette,_Colorado