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The Easy 3 Step Guide to Get Started With Real Estate Investing
By Peta-Gay
November 1, 2017

Are you interested in expanding your investment portfolio with hard, long-term assets that are almost certain to grow in value? If so, you will want to consider investing in real estate. Let's take a look at how you can get started with real estate investing in just three easy steps.

Start By Budgeting Your Time And Money

Real estate investing is just that – investing! Moreover, this, of course, means that you'll need to commit both money and time to see results. The great news is that if you're just getting started with real estate investing, you don't need to start with much of either. There are fund and other investment opportunities that will allow you to get started with as little as $1,000. Once you're more familiar with investing in real estate, you can commit larger and larger sums, expanding your portfolio.

Figure Out Which Investment Option Suits You Best

If you're new to the game or are investing smaller amounts, you may be interested in a Real Estate Investment Trust or "REIT." REITs are essentially investment companies which own or finance income-producing real estate. For example, you may buy into a REIT that invests in commercial buildings, like office buildings or warehouses. The REIT will take care of all of the maintenance, leasing and other upkeep while offering a return to you as a shareholder.

If you're starting with deeper pockets, another option is to simply buy your own properties and rent or lease them out. To be successful, you will need to find houses or apartments that are of good value and will see a decent amount of rental return each month.

Start Networking And Meeting Other Investors

Now that you're ready to get started take some time to meet and network with other local investors who are active in your community. Check on Facebook to see if there are real estate investment groups for your city, or give a few quick Google searches to see if there are any meetups. You might be surprised at how friendly and ready to share information other investors are.

Be Ready To Experience Challenges And Setbacks

One important thing to keep in mind is that you are likely to experience challenges or setbacks along the way. You're learning about a new form of investment – one which takes some skill to master. Stay positive and accept that as you gain experience, it will get easier.

Real estate investment is an excellent way to diversify your financial portfolio and grow your personal or family wealth. For more information about local real estate opportunities, contact us today. Our professional team will be happy to show you some investment-ready local properties.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Let Us Talk Buyer Qualification: How to Ensure You Sell Your Home to the Right Buyer
By Peta-Gay
November 2, 2017

Are you listing your home for sale? If so, it is time to get ready to meet with buyers and their real estate agents. And while you surely want to sell your home as quickly as possible, you will also want to do your homework to make sure you're selling to the right person. Let's explore the process of buyer qualification and why it's important to do a little digging into potential buyers of your home.

Is Your Buyer Pre-Approved For Mortgage Financing?

First, you'll want to check with your buyer to see if they are approved for mortgage financing. The last thing you want is to agree to an offer only to have the buyer rescind it because they can't afford your home. If the buyer is not already approved, suggest that they take that additional step before submitting their offer. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing significant delays in the closing process.

Ensure Your Buyer Has Their Earnest Money Ready

Next, you'll want to check with your buyer to make sure that they have their earnest money ready. These funds are a deposit, typically one or two percent of the purchase price, which is held in escrow once you accept the buyer's offer. Earnest money is a way for the buyer to prove to you that they are serious about purchasing your home. Once they have placed the deposit down, you can safely ignore other offers and be confident that the buyer intends to close.

Note that the terms of your agreement should ensure that if the buyer backs out of the deal, you get to keep some or all of their earnest money. This is especially important if you're fielding multiple offers for your home as you may lose the chance to sell if the buyer backs out.

Be Wary Of Offers That Seem Too Good To Be True

If an offer seems too good to be true, that may just be the case. Be wary of any offers that are significantly more than your asking price, or if the buyer is willing to buy your home without so much as an inspection. Rest assured that any serious buyer is going to do their due diligence to ensure they're getting a good deal.

Buyer qualification is a bit of a process, but it's an important step that ensures your home sale goes smoothly. When you're ready to list your home for sale, give us a call. Our professional real estate team will be happy to assist you with finding the right buyer.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Brighten up Your House With These Autumn Inspired Home Decor Ideas
By Peta-Gay
November 6, 2017

The kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to turn and the weather is getting cooler. Yes, autumn has arrived, but the end of summer does not mean that your home décor has to suffer. Let's take a look at a few ways that you can brighten up your home and give it that warm, autumn feeling.

Start With Oranges, Yellows And Light Browns

A quick walk through your local neighborhood will offer a good sense of the color palette that you should be using in your décor makeover. In much of the country, trees will be turning a variety of yellows, oranges and golds as the leaves change and begin to fall. These colors make for a warm palette and are ideal for use in the living room, dining room and other areas where you might host guests.

Of course, you do not need to run out and change the wallpaper. Simply look to add color touches in areas that it makes sense. For example, you can get a couple of new sets of towels for the bathroom that match up with the colors you picked. In the dining room, look to replace your tablecloth and placemats with an autumn theme.

Add Leaves And Natural Décor Items

Autumn is one of the more "natural" feeling seasons and this should be incorporated into your décor. Look to add leaves, acorns, pine cones and other natural elements that make sense for the area of the country that you live in.

Note that you don't need to head out and gather up these items for your home. A quick trip to the local craft shop and you will be able to find everything that you need.

Pumpkin Spice Candles For An Autumn Scent

Finally, no décor makeover is complete without adding a little seasonal fragrance. Nothing smells more like autumn than a subtle pumpkin spice. Scented candles are an excellent way to add a scent to a room without being overpowering. They are also an excellent centerpiece for tables and can be used for mood lighting as well.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can add a sense of autumn warmth to your home. And if your home just isn't "autumn" enough, give our team a call. We are happy to share some fantastic local real estate opportunities.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Four Mistakes to Avoid When Making an Offer for Your Dream Home
By Peta-Gay
November 8, 2017

You've scoured the new home listings, been to all the open houses and have finally found the home of your dreams. It is now time to draft an offer and begin the negotiation process. Below we'll share four mistakes that you will want to avoid when making an offer on your dream home.

Mistake #1 – Not Working With A Professional

The first mistake that home buyers make is trying to buy a home without using the services of a real estate professional. Buying a home is a significant financial transaction and one where the seller and their agent are working hard to ensure they come out ahead. Having experienced representation on your side of the table ensures that you won't be taken advantage of.

Mistake #2 – Skipping The Home Inspection

The second mistake – and one that is more common than you think – is skipping the home inspection. There are countless instances of home buyers thinking that the house looks great on the outside without realizing that there are issues with the roof, the foundation, the plumbing, inside the walls or some other area that's tough to see. Having the house professionally inspected before tabling an offer ensures that issues are fixed up before the transaction is complete. Alternately, if you're willing to move ahead regardless, you can ask for the price to be reduced as compensation.

Mistake #3 – Not Being Pre-Approved For Financing

The third mistake in our list is making an offer on a home without being pre-approved for the amount of mortgage financing you will need. Regardless of how good your credit is, the mortgage application process is one that can present challenges. Also, many home sellers will require evidence of financing pre-approval before accepting an offer, so it's best to come prepared.

Mistake #4 – Taking On Other Debts

Once you've decided on the home you want to purchase, you will want to avoid taking on any other debts which can affect your credit score. Don't buy a car, open any new credit cards or do anything else which will show up on your credit report. Once you are pre-approved for your mortgage, you'll want to keep your credit as spotless as possible to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

If you're prepared and clear-headed, the offer process will go smoothly and you'll soon be moving into your dream home. When you're ready to explore local real estate options, contact our team and we'll be happy to show you around.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

SELLING NOW Vs. WAIT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS
By Peta-Gay
November 13, 2017

1. Inventory of Competition is Lower. Law of Supply and Demand works! Your home stands out with serious buyers who have less to choose from now. Your odds of selling go UP during this time of year. The % of total inventory sold is great during these months.

2. Only SERIOUS Buyers are out in the fall/winter. Fewer people are in the house, yet are more likely to make an offer.

3. Taking Exterior Photos with Holiday Decorations. This can be a big asset before being left with full-on-winter, dead landscaping… and nothing to dress it up!

4. Homes Show Better While Decorated. Fireplaces, evergreens, and scented candles, all add to the beauty inside… when it’s not so pretty outside. This Contrast can cause YOUR home to show BEST NOW.

5. Little Know Fact: It’s perfectly OK to have specific “no showings-times” during the Holidays. In fact, it’s expected. Just because you’re planning a few days of no showings is no reason to not be for sale the REST of the time. “None this weekend” is perfectly OK.

6. Houses Feel More Like “Homes”. Coming in from the cold… some cozy-home-feelings causes emotion you can’t get other time of the year. People are generally just grateful and happier during this time of year. That can equal a Sale since a lot of Buyers buy on emotion.

7. Online Searches Go Way Up. People stay indoors and tend to do more home research online during times they were outdoors over the spring/summer. If you aren’t listed, they can’t find you online. If you don’t play, you can’t win!

8. End of Year Buyers May Even Pay More. End of year buyers may have mental or actual deadlines they want to meet. With less time to negotiate AND fewer homes competing that could = the BEST price for YOU. Often the % of asking price received is statically higher Nov-March.

9. More Day-time Showings mid-November through January. With holiday time-off, daytime showings increase during this time of year leaving your home free for you during evenings and weekends.

10. End of Year Buyers often has an “urgency factor” they must meet. Many employers hire to start January. There are also tax benefits and other urgency factors that may affect Buyers in Nov/Dec. If you don’t list now, you miss those buyers. They’ve already bought before you ever go on the market if you wait until the new year.

11. Late occupancies are common during this time. Many that need to buy by end of year don’t have to occupy right away, allowing a real win-win. They win buying now, and you may be able to negotiate your move for later while taking your profit out now. This happens over the holidays more than any other time of year.

12. Decreased Demand on Vendors means easier quicker closings. Lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, movers and other vendors are less busy during this time of year, resulting more time for YOUR transaction to be smoother & easier. A huge reason to do this NOW rather than with the “crowds”.

Think of the Peace of Mind you’ll have to be “all done” while others are just starting! — Not listing now could cause you to miss YOUR perfect buyer who needs to buy NOW.

*Information courtesy of Borino

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, ABR®, CMR®, MRP®, PSA® is Founder & Principal of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed Property Manager & REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8585 Fort Smallwood Road Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com