During Daisy Lopez-Cid’s tenure as NAHREP president, she has facilitated the launch of new chapters in strategic markets, including Puerto Rico, Boston and Philadelphia. Her efforts have contributed to the organization’s unprecedented growth, as more than 10,000 professionals have joined NAHREP over the past year, a 50% increase over last year.



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Continuing where we left off from last week’s episode, this show discusses increasing your income by recognizing existing opportunities and making your own opportunities through side hustles.

The show progresses through investing basics, both traditional stock market investments as well as real estate investing. (This is BiggerPockets, after all.)

Do you have your spending under control? This is the show that takes you to the next step in your journey—increasing your income to grow your wealth.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Tips for increasing your income
  • How to be better at your job
  • The importance of getting your health in order
  • The concept of self-education
  • The benefits of reading books
  • How to save more and cut your lifestyle expenses
  • Playing to win versus playing to not lose
  • The good thing about side hustles
  • The concept of “buy low and sell high”
  • Why you want to become an online authority
  • What you need to do right now
  • The importance of having an exit plan
  • A discussion on investing
  • Two types of investing
  • Scott and Mindy’s view on diversification
  • The 1 percent rule
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “I think doing the bare minimum is a recipe for mediocrity.” (Tweet This!)
  • “There are a lot of opportunities. If there aren’t, you can make them.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with the Scott and Mindy





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In the last year, multifamily investment activity in Los Angeles hit its highest level ever. According to a CoStar report and an article by The Real Deal, there were $10 billion in apartment building sales from June 2017 to June 2018 with a record average sale price of $275,000.



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China Vanke agreed to take a 4.9% stake in Cushman & Wakefield ahead of its upcoming $6 billion IPO. This news comes on the heels of a recent trend of Chinese investors vacating the U.S. real estate market, divesting their assets at the behest of Beijing.



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Does the recent upsurge in rent control initiatives and advocacy mean I could be making more selling my current residential investment property? Does that seem upside-down? Don’t forget, there are two sides to every coin.

The Scoop

Lawmakers and rent control advocates are currently working to repeal state laws forbidding rent control to revive the practice in states across the country. Illinois, California, and Washington are gaining some foothold in their efforts to reinstate the practice in an effort to control housing costs. In Oregon— in spite of a narrowly defeated 2017 measure — the concept is gaining ground in cities with drastically increasing rents and limited housing availability. This is especially the case in the lower-income ranges.

Related: Why It’s Time to Consider Adding Rent-Controlled Properties to Your Portfolio

Any undergraduate student enrolled in a Microeconomics 101 class will tell you that people respond to incentives. Rent control seeks to place an artificial price ceiling on a good or service (in much the same way that minimum wage places a price floor on wages). On paper, this policy caps rent prices so investors reach an artificial max limit, while renters enjoy a cap on the costs they’ll incur. However, like any economic policy, there are always unintended consequences. In the case of rent control, this policy changes the incentives for investors to invest in the market.

The Downside

By placing an artificial ceiling on the revenue stream of the investment, rent control also places a limit on how much most investors are willing to invest. Having limited gain potential while maintaining complete risk of loss means investors will contribute less in these markets as they seek higher returns elsewhere. People respond to incentives. Investors are less likely to both purchase properties and perform repairs and maintenance at the level they might in other markets. It also means many investors will simply take the next exit and invest in other markets.

The Repercussions

As funds flee potential rent control markets, investors will seek opportunity in other markets with less government interference. This creates a golden opportunity for investors in non–rent control markets to sell at a higher price.  If rent control dies in these select markets, I predict a bit of a price correction downward in non–rent control markets.

If you have considered selling your investment in a location that investors fleeing rent-control areas might find attractive, now may be the time. The largest exodus is most likely to occur before the election in November. Perhaps you are considering a 1031 exchange, retirement, or a host of other reasons. Now is a great time to sell.

Related: How to Raise the Rent on Your Tenants as Painlessly as Possible

Another attractive option is selling your current property in an area further into its growth cycle and leverage that property into areas of newer growth. In many newer-growth areas, the ratio of rents earned to initial capital investment dollars may be significantly higher than your current property. This allows you to multiply your investment by distributing that capital into multiple properties in these areas of reduced initial investment entry. The result is a more diversified investment portfolio across multiple markets and property types. This strategy can seriously improve your cash flow and IRR.

What do you think? Is rent control a blessing or a curse?

Share your opinions below!





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Americans are beginning to shift their investments to other areas as real estate fell not one but two spots from being the top investment choice back in 2016. Americans across all ages said that real estate is their third pick for the investment of money they won’t need for more than 10 years.



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It seems “you need to read Dave Ramsey” is a cornerstone of financial advice given lately. Because I have not read a basic financial book in a while, I thought I should see what all the hoopla is about. I picked up The Money Answer Book and delved into it, hoping to be enlightened by some Ramsey logic.

First, Dave Ramsey does not seem to be saying anything Suze Orman hasn’t been preaching for 15 years. In fact, this is the same basic information that most conservative financial advisers regurgitate. It isn’t my belief that advice has to be “new” and “edgy” to be worth entertaining. However, I prefer my gurus to be unique in their guidance. It seems odd for someone to be so boisterous about their opinions when it is the same thing a handful of other people are spouting. That being said, I think The Richest Man in Babylon is one of the best financial books ever written. Basics are basics, so I tried to keep an open mind.



Related: The Dave Ramsey Dilemma: Should Real Estate Investors Really Avoid Using Debt?

What is Dave Ramsey’s Advice Good for?

There are some people who absolutely need to read and follow Dave Ramsey’s advice. These are people who have very little financial knowledge or discipline. I was a bankruptcy paralegal for many years. I saw what debt, when used improperly, could do to someone. Ramsey provides solid advice for doing whatever is necessary to increase income, build an emergency fund, and use the snowball method to pay down debt. If someone is unfamiliar with these activities, by all means, read Dave Ramsey—or almost any other conservative financial adviser.

Our society is one that is wrought with consumerism. As I write this, Christmas still lingers in our memories. It sickens me to see people pile on debt to buy mostly useless items—or even worse, the families destroyed with guilt because they can not provide “adequately” for Christmas. If you find yourself drowning in credit card debt, Dave Ramsey is a good place to start to dig yourself out.

Nevertheless, there are several areas in which his advice is lacking.

Everyone is an Idiot (or Moron)

Granted, this is not about his advice, and he may be the smartest person in the world. However, with someone giving subjective guidance, I have a problem with them referring to anyone who disagrees with them as an “idiot” or “moron.” These are opinions about the best course of action. Just because you write a few books and consider yourself an authority, it does not make all other opinions invalid because they contradict yours.

There is No Such Thing as Good Debt

In referencing “good debt” and “…people believe that you receive great benefits by going into debt,” Ramsey writes, “[g]ive me a break! These guys are idiots. What’s more, they are probably broke idiots.”

Those of us in the Rich Dad camp strongly believe in leveraging assets to buy more assets. I understand that some people want to get rid of all debt, and that is a road you are welcome to take, especially as you near retirement. However, if you have $100k, you could buy ONE house for cash and carry no debt, or you could leverage that money and buy FIVE houses, with 20% down, exponentially increasing your income.

There are investors from both sides of this argument, and it is really a matter of personal preference. However, I would not assume the guy that leverages assets is a “broke idiot.”

I also know some people are going to argue how leveraging burned a lot of people in the 2008 crash, which is true. Over-leveraging is a dangerous game, but an income-producing property is still an income-producing property, even in a crash (assuming you still have tenants), if you set it up right in the beginning. Utilizing HELOCs and adjustable rates are what will burn you when the market slides. It all comes down to structuring the deal.

short-sale

Credit Cards Are the Devil

“Responsible use of credit cards does not exist. There is NO positive side to credit card use.” —Dave Ramsey.

Again, I will point out that I have seen that credit cards, when used improperly, can wreak havoc on a person financially. Growing up, I too was preached at about the evils of credit card use. Not that it matters, but I also believe the introduction of credit cards into the marketplace has been a downfall and large contributor to inflation and the current financial mess our country is in.

On the other hand, credit cards are a part of our society, and more importantly, they are a huge factor in how our credit scores are calculated. You can absolutely use them responsibly and receive great benefit from doing so.

I have recently done a great deal of research on credit scoring and am curious if anyone in the comments would mind chiming in if they have achieved an 800+ credit score with NO credit cards. A mix of credit is necessary to maximize your credit score, and I am not sure it is possible to do so with no revolving debt. I would love to be proven wrong, though.

Related: Dave Ramsey is Wrong: You DON’T Need to Be Debt-Free to Hit Financial Freedom

Of course, Dave Ramsey says, in reference to re-establishing credit after bankruptcy, that you should not re-establish credit (specifically through low limit credit card use) because you should not plan on getting back into debt. Also, mortgage lenders are more likely to lend to you if you avoid credit cards.

It has been my experience that mortgage lenders care about your credit score and your use of credit properly. I have yet to see one scoff at someone for utilizing credit cards, especially when it fattens a borrower’s credit file and score. More importantly, it is almost impossible to qualify for a mortgage if you have made no effort to re-establish your credit.

I could go on and on, but I already feel people picking up their pitchforks. I may just have an aversion to gurus and people who act like they know everything. “Live below your means, save as much money as you can, maximize your 401(k), and carry no debt but your mortgage” is good advice for a lot of people. Certain aspects of that is good advice for everyone. You should absolutely save money and have a financial cushion, but make your money work for you to achieve more than just a frugal life. Also, you must learn how to play the credit game, unless you plan on only surviving on cash for the rest of your life. Living on cash isn’t a bad thing, but it limits your options, especially regarding real estate investing. I won’t even get into the evils of 401(k); that is a completely different discussion.

Most importantly, understand that anyone can write a book and it does not necessarily make them an expert on everyone’s circumstances. Gather tidbits of knowledge from multiple sources and see what works best for you and your situation.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

Weigh in: Do you agree with this assessment, or are you a fan of Dave Ramsey’s mantras?

Comment!





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Short term, Airbnb-style rentals may be popular, but that doesn’t make them a sustainable real estate investment strategy.

Airbnb may wind up winning the legal battle for short-term rental landlords in many areas. Still, that won’t ensure the sustainability of this strategy for buy and hold or retirement investing. The high rents may be alluring to investors, and the destinations can be attractive. However, I see at least six flaws that could cause Airbnb investors a lot of pain down the road.

6 Reasons Short-Term Rentals Aren’t a Sustainable Investment Strategy

1. Short-term rentals depend on the tourism industry.

These rentals and their high rates rely on tourists and some business travelers. We’ve been through plenty of fluctuations before, where when the economy winces, tourism grinds to a halt. This could be due to terrorism, a natural disaster like a hurricane, or simply the economy tightening. That can evaporate demand for these units fast.

Related: How to Use Airbnb to Travel & Live for Free in Retirement

2. Short-term rentals create artificially high rental rates.

These types of rentals are often marketed at two to three times annual rental rates. Those rates simply aren’t affordable for local workers. This causes two issues. First, it drives out key workers like good teachers, law enforcement, service workers, and entrepreneurs, who just can’t afford to live there. This can have a long-term negative impact on a location. Secondly, these rates cause buyers and sellers to trade properties based on these artificial and often temporarily inflated incomes. When that income dries up or pauses, many landlords will find themselves underwater and in negative cash flow on an asset that is far overpriced.

vacation-seasonal

3. Short-term rentals increase landlord competition.

Now that everyone can be a landlord, many are. That’s an enormous amount of competition. When things get tougher, it will be a race to the bottom of who can charge the least.

4. Short-term rental gain are often offset by high fees.

Higher rents on short-term rentals are often offset by higher management fees as well. Airbnb, VRBO (to learn more about how to rent your place and list for free on VRBO, click here), and HomeAway (click here to list your place for free on HomeAway—only pay when you get a booking) all charge fees. Professional managers can sometimes charge as much as 30% on short-term rentals.

5. Short-term rentals don’t support reliable, long-term tenants.

Savvy buy and hold investors prize long-term tenants. Investors who have tenants who stay for years save money on marketing, screening, cleanup, and turnover costs. When you rent to people only staying for a week or a month at a time, who have no vested interest in taking care of your property, that can lead to high costs for cleanup and repairs between tenants.

return-visit-vacation-rental

Related: With the First Airbnb Landlord Conviction, Should Vacation Owners Be Worried?

6. Short-term rentals provide inconsistent cash flow.

In some popular vacation destinations, it is possible to have your unit booked out for 12 to 18 months in advance. However, most landlords will struggle to piece together the occupancy puzzle—with some tenants staying for days, others for weeks, and a few for months. Will you still be profitable if you only manage 30% occupancy for the year?

Summary

Short-term rentals are alluring. Having one in your favorite vacation destination that you may go and use for 3-6 months of the year yourself may not be a terrible idea. You’ll enjoy using it. Those can be your best returns. However, those looking for long-term, consistent passive income and optimal returns may be best served sticking with annual rentals.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

What do you think? Would you use Airbnb as a primary investment strategy? Why or why not?

Leave your thoughts below!





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I don’t want to keep you in suspense. The answer is yes, you’re ready!

So why haven’t you done it yet? Say the reason out loud right now. What did you say?

Not enough money?

Not enough time?

No experience?

Bad market?

Consumer debt?

The reasons (or excuses) can go on forever.

I’m still in the middle of my real estate journey. I have in no way “made it.” I’m still stressed, concerned about growth, and making decisions that keep me up at night and make my stomach turn. I still want more mentors, more knowledge, more money to invest, more success.

But I’ve taken the first step. The journey has begun.

OK, I took the first step several years ago and have done dozens of deals at this point, but I hope you get the point I’m trying to make. The only reason I’ve made any headway, developed any traction, had any success is because I started.

There’s a lot about real estate I don’t feel qualified to teach or talk about. But I can for damn sure talk about pushing past the fear and doing your first deal. Let’s walk through the above reasons together and let me help push you over the edge.

best-newbie-strategy

5 Common Excuses That Keep You From Your First Deal

1. Not Enough Money

There are several ways to solve this one, and they all start with finding a really good deal. If you find a kickass deal, the money will find you. Hard money lenders are all over the country. Overall, they aren’t looking at your qualifications as a buyer. Their main concern is whether they will lose money if they have to take the deal back, finish the rehab, or sell to another investor mid-rehab. Finding deals with wide margins will find you money.

You must also be networking, both online but especially offline. Get out from behind the protection of your computer and go meet people. Find a local real estate meet up. The BiggerPockets forums are full of great options.

Related: 4 Self-Sabotaging Excuses Holding You Back From Investing Success

Another way to find money is find someone to partner with. Take a tiny percentage of the deal if need be and do a ton of extra work. Remember, the goal here is to complete your first deal, not become a millionaire overnight.

2. Not Enough Time

I’m sorry, but I have to call BS on this. If you’ve watched one second of Netflix, browsed Instagram or Facebook in the last week, or gone out with your friends, the problem is time allocation, not an actual need for more time.

I know we all need breaks, but remember that life has many seasons. Maybe this isn’t the “break” season. Maybe this is the 18-hour days grind season.

Account for time in the car, time waiting in lines, and time spent getting ready in the morning or prepping for bed. All these moments can be used to learn about real estate, make phone calls with local real estate agents or contractors, and push you forward toward your first deal.

3. No Experience

We all started with no experience. Everyone at one point hadn’t done their first deal. The answer to this is form as good a team as you possibly can.

Again, get out and network. The resources are out there; go track down your initial team and get a property under contract. You can improve on it later down the road once you start to know more about what your personal strengths and weaknesses are.

4. Bad Market

Get creative or move somewhere better. We live in the most connected day and age ever! Physical distance has massively shrunk. Starting to invest in a market you don’t live in is definitely scary, but it’s done by investors all over the world.

Again, go back and build your team. Find investors nearby who are succeeding. Or take massive action and just move. If it doesn’t work, you can always come back to where you are now.

Is financial freedom and independence worth a little risk and discomfort?

newbie-first-deal

5. Consumer Debt

The answers to this are very personal and take some soul searching. What is the debt and why do you have it? No self control, lifestyle creep, something else?

I’ve lived (and continue to live) very small. Right now, building a business is way more fun and important to me than having ANY consumer item.

Nothing brings me more fulfillment and happiness than seeing progress. If material possessions are holding you back from this goal, take massive action and have a garage sale, downside your apartment, or move home with your parents for a season. The answers are endless.

Related: 5 All-Too-Common Excuses That Keep Investors From Succeeding

How much does real estate investing and success really mean to you?

Please don’t have read this far and think I say any of this flippantly. I’m dead serious—and I know it isn’t easy. Change is hard and scary. Humans are hardwired to avoid change and the unknown.

But the only thing I can attribute any of the success I’ve had so far to is the fact that I started. I made mistakes, I keep making mistakes, and I keep going. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and financial freedom won’t be achieved in a month (or year).

Write down your action plan. Tell other people what you are going to do, and ask them keep you accountable.

Do your first deal and start the process. Build momentum.

If you aren’t sure who else to talk to, email me! I’m cheering for you, and I hope you’re cheering for me. We are all on this together. Here’s to making our lives better and then passing on that blessing to others.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

What are you doing now to make headway towards your first deal?

Share below!





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Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, the commercial and multifamily mortgage banking subsidiary of Enterprise Community Investment, hired Ilya Weinstein as vice president of the company’s office in New York. Weinstein will focus on affordable housing as part of the Bellwether’s Affordable Group, working to increase loan production for affordable housing properties in the northeastern U.S. region.



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