Investing

How to Find a Great Atlanta Contractor

Flipping a house isn’t a one-person job, and that means you need a great team in place.

But when it comes to Atlanta contractors, how do you know you’re getting the best of the best?
How to Find a Good Atlanta Contractor
If you’re hiring an Atlanta contractor, start asking for recommendations from family and friends. You can (and should) even ask your hard money lender in Atlanta for a few contacts.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few good contractors, start conducting phone interviews. Call and ask:

Do you do projects of this scope?
May I have a list of your previous clients?
How many other projects are you working on right now?
How long have you been working with your current subcontractors?

After you get warm-fuzzy feelings about one or two Atlanta contractors, have a face-to-face meeting.

The right contractor won’t mind answering your questions and making you feel comfortable. However, just because a contractor is nice and has all the right answers, that doesn’t mean he or she is right for the job; you’ll still need to check with the Better Business Bureau and the Georgia consumer protection agency to make sure.

Call the contractor’s past clients and find out how things went; ask if they mind sharing the finished project with you.

Once that’s done, it’s time to make plans and ask for bids. Ask for a complete breakdown, which includes:

Cost of materials
Cost of labor
Profit margins
Other expenses

Good contractors will want to see a complete set of blueprints and an explanation of what you want to see happen.

Don’t rely just on price. If you get a “lowball” bid, you may want to throw it out; that contractor may cut corners to try to […]

Finding Turn-Key Homes in a Seller’s Market

With TV shows boosting the popularity of house-flipping as a business, people who ordinarily wouldn’t have ventured into real estate investment territory are jumping on the bandwagon.

But if you’ve been in the business for a while, you know this isn’t a get-rich-quick scenario. You know that you still need to find the best deals, but the market is getting crowded with investors who aren’t… well, aren’t as invested as you are.

So what do you do?
Finding Turn-Key Homes in a Seller’s Market
Like most real estate investors, you may find that Atlanta flips are hard to come by. Asking prices for homes are often too high to show you a return on investment.

When it’s a seller’s market, it’s time to get creative.

Start here:

Don’t rely solely on the MLS. Foreclosures and homes with low asking prices go quickly.
Go grassroots by knocking on doors, finding “for sale by owner” homes, and searching for pre-foreclosures.
Expand your territory — look for homes that are just off the beaten path.
Shift focus to quantity rather high-value returns; don’t turn up your nose at smaller profits.
Team up with an experienced real estate professional who has an extensive contact list.

Do You Need a Hard Money Lender in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can be up to 65 percent of the after-repaired value of the collateral—and if you use the loan for renovation or construction, the loan amount can be based on the collateral’s improved value.

Read our frequently […]

2017 Kitchen Trends for Flipping Houses

In the past, we’ve mentioned that cheap finishes can kill your sale — but how do you know what buyers really want?

The answer is simple: you stay on top of fixture trends and keep an eye on what’s selling in your area. As a hard money lender in Atlanta, our team has seen plenty of trends come and go (remember popcorn ceilings?).

With that said, we’re not going to leave you hanging. Check out the hottest kitchen fixture trends for 2017 before you dive into your next project.
Kitchen Fixture Trends 2017
Like in 2016, people want to keep things simple, with clean lines and an elegant look — even if the house has a long way to go before it hits the luxury market.

These are some of the hottest trends to watch for this year.

 
Do You Need a Hard Money Lender in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money lender in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, check to ensure that you meet our loan criteria. Our loan amounts can be up to 65 percent of the after-repaired value of the collateral—and if you use the loan for renovation or construction, the loan amount can be based on the collateral’s improved value.

Read our frequently asked questions and take a few minutes to learn about the hard money loan process.

 

What is Virtual Wholesaling?

Have you heard of virtual wholesaling? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t. Virtual wholesaling is essentially buying and selling homes or commercial buildings without having to be there. Most of the time, this is done electronically, and the transactions take place without ever seeing the property in person. The home or building is then turned around and sold quickly to an end buyer.
Advantages to Wholesaling Property
Virtual wholesaling has some advantages such as expanding your reach. If the area surrounding your physical location is short on investment properties, you can branch out. You don’t even have to leave your home or office to make a purchase… although it is a good idea to make at least one trip to see it with your own eyes.

With the ability to buy and sell electronically, it may be worth it to have a few people on your team who are close to the property, and can assess the situation. Having connections with real estate agents or contractors can help you succeed in a new territory.
Disadvantages to Wholesaling Property
If you don’t have eyes in the field—it will be tough to estimate the cost of rehab. You’ll just be looking at photos and videos, and won’t have an actual feel for what needs to be done. This can affect your overall sale and it may cost you in the long run.

Because virtual wholesaling is basically selling your contract (the offer you made on the property), you may need to have some transactional funding to cover the time it takes for the end buyer to wrap things up. It is still your property until the deal closes.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard […]

REI Resources for Beginners

Not all real estate investors were born into the business. If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering if you’ll continue this venture after flipping your first home or finding a tenant for your commercial building. Should you decide that real estate investing is your calling, where can you go to learn more?

Most real estate investors didn’t start at the top—they were rookies once, too. In a business where you’re often working alone, how do you find what it takes to be the best?
Network
You’ll learn a lot by networking locally with other real estate investors. It is not uncommon to find networking groups online, packed with people who are looking to meet up and discuss their adventures in real estate. Join a group and be sure to mingle with the seasoned professionals—they’ll be the ones to give you the best tips.
Training & Certificate Programs
There are numerous training and certificate programs online that are geared toward real estate investing. A lot of these programs are self-paced and allow you to learn on your own time. These types of programs and certifications are not a requirement for your profession, but you’ll learn a lot about the industry, as well as the lingo.
Webinars & Podcasts
If you’re not able to enroll in a certificate program, why not watch some webinars online? If you don’t already have a mentor, do a simple web search to learn who the top investors are for your niche. You’ll find that several them offer online webinars or podcasts packed with industry related information. Sign up to listen weekly and learn from the masters of real estate investing.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in […]

Take Your Emotions OUT of the Home-Buying Process!

If you’re like most real estate investors, spotting a great deal can get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. While it can be exciting, you’ll want to make sure you’re not acting like a kid on Christmas morning each time you spot a potential bargain. Calming your emotions and keeping a level head will help you make rational decisions.
If You’re a New REI…
­­In the beginning of your investment journey, you’ll probably find several homes or buildings that speak to you immediately. If you’re able to recognize what is pulling you to that property, you’ll need to ask yourself if this feature would draw the same reaction from an average buyer or tenant. Make sure you’re not making the purchase personal.

Having fond memories of steam engines may cloud your judgment and make you forget that most reasonable people are turned off by living next to train tracks. Just because you find a home or office building fascinating—doesn’t mean it is. Before making a quick bid on a property, make sure it’s something you can market.
List the Pros and Cons
Creating a list of pros and cons and researching what buyers want, prior to making an offer, will allow you some extra time to process the information before jumping in. If you find that the property is still desirable, check out what other homes in the area are selling for to make sure it’s worth it. Putting your emotions to the side will help you in the long run.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this […]

How to Deal With Late Rent During the Holidays

While everyone is scrambling to get their festivities organized and shopping done, unfortunately, it’s too common for rent payments to be put on the back burner. Landlords are faced with this problem each year, and if it’s happened to you, you know that it’s a tough decision (you know, whether  or not to be a Scrooge).
Keeping a Professional Distance From Your Tenants
If you’re a landlord, you know that maintaining a professional relationship and not becoming involved in your tenant’s financial woes is a necessity. No one enjoys evicting a tenant—especially during the holiday season—but you should remember that this is a business decision where you can weigh the pros and cons.
A Word on Eviction
Evicting someone is not easy, and it’s quite a lengthy process. After evicting your current tenant, you’ll most likely need to turn around the property quickly. However, it’s not easy finding an excellent tenant, especially when you’re facing the potential loss of more than one month’s income. Deciding to evict someone for a one-month lapse may not be worth it to you—especially if you’ve had a solid relationship with your tenant in the past.

If your tenant is always late, the answer should be easy. If not, you may want to consider things such as communication, history and present circumstances to help you decide.

Having to chase down your tenant for the monthly rent is not your job. If they contact you first, it may be to your advantage to just hear them out and work out a payment plan. Good tenants are sometimes hard to come by, and if they’ve always paid on time in the past, there may be some options you could explore for handling their arrears.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan […]

Determining Fair Market Value

If you’re considering buying a home to fix and flip, the time to calculate fair market value is before you make the purchase. Even if you think it will be the deal of the century, the price you pay for the home now doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with its fair market value. The real estate market is constantly moving, and what’s high today could be low tomorrow. It usually doesn’t happen that quickly, but you’ll need to be aware that even a month or two can make a huge difference.
Calculating Fair Market Value
Calculating fair market value is not always easy—especially if you’re not a Realtor®. You’ll need to know what other homes in the area have sold for recently, so looking at the listing price of a home or outdated information won’t give you the information you need. If you don’t turn around a home quickly, the market value may have already changed.

If you’ve decided that fix-and-flip will become your investment niche, it would be a good idea to form an alliance with a real estate agent for several reasons. Not only will he or she be able to help you turn around future investment properties; your real estate partner can help you calculate fair market values accurately. While websites such as Zillow are available, they do not provide solid figures. In fact, the estimates they provide can be off by as much as 18 percent. (That’s a lot in both directions!) In addition, Zillow allows homeowners to update home information; that can make it tough to separate fact from exaggeration. Perhaps most importantly, a lot of the data is outdated.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard […]

Investing: What You Need to Know About Former Drug Houses

Methamphetamines are a very real problem, and so are the houses these drugs are manufactured in. Several former methamphetimine labs hit real estate markets across the country each day, and many of them still contain highly toxic contaminants. What’s worse is that some buyers aren’t even aware that there are toxins in the home.

If you’re looking at the deal of a lifetime, don’t be certain it’s not a wolf in sheep’s clothing… and proceed with caution.
Health Issues From Former Drug Houses
While there are some telltale signs of illegal drug manufacturing, it’s what you don’t see that presents a problem. The health issues many people experience from being unaware of these toxins’ presence can range from a headache to death.

Disclosure issues vary from state to state. Even if the home was a known methamphetamine manufacturing operation, there may be no duty to disclose this information to a potential buyer. Georgia is among a number of states with no disclosure requirements, so it is definitely buyer beware.
Is it Worth It?
Are these meth lab homes worth the cost of decontaminating, flipping and trying to make a profit? Some investors think they are. Depending on the extent of the contamination in the home, you could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars to “rehabilitate” it. That’s not to say you won’t be able to make a profit from your flip—you just need to be aware of what you’re getting into and let the experts handle the cleanup.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a hard money loan in Atlanta, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 404-814-1644 or contact us online to find out whether you might qualify for this type of funding. In the meantime, […]

Fulton County Tax Foreclosure Sales (and How to Find Them)

In the state of Georgia, it’s legal for the government to seize property, such as homes and land, for the nonpayment of taxes.

According to the Georgia Department of Law, a homeowner’s obligation to pay property taxes is backed by the property itself.

If a homeowner fails to pay, the county tax commissioner can sell the home to raise the amount due back in taxes. Often these homes sell for exceptionally low prices—but how does the whole process work?
How Does a Property Get Seized?
When a homeowner’s property taxes are past due, the tax collector can proceed through a non-judicial tax sale or a judicial tax sale. (The former doesn’t go to court, but the latter does.)
Non-Judicial Tax Sales in Fulton County
After the tax commissioner warns the owner and the payment deadline passes, the commissioner turns the case over to the sheriff’s department, issuing a writ of execution. The writ orders the sheriff to sell the property at auction to the highest bidder in what’s known as a sheriff’s levy and sale.

The sheriff must send out written notice and publish an official Notice of Sheriff’s Sale in the Daily Report.
Judicial Tax Sales in Fulton County
A judicial tax foreclosure sale, which is less common than a non-judicial tax sale is, requires the tax commissioner to go to court. The tax collector can take action exactly one year after the property taxes are due.

You’ll find properties up for judicial tax for closure sales in the Daily Report, as well.
Where to Find Tax Sales in Fulton County
Many REIs use the Daily Report’s online “Public Notices” section to find information on affordable properties that may actually be gold mines.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
If you’re looking for a […]