What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know

How do you make your money work for you when you’re a real estate investor?

This isn’t an easy field, as any investor can tell you, but if you know what you’re doing, as well as where to borrow money for flipping houses in the Atlanta area, it can be a highly lucrative one.
3 Things Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know
Even if you’re not new to real estate investing, you might be relieved to know that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution that works for everyone. However, there are three key things that every investor needs to know.

Know your market. It’s important that you have a target market – but in real estate investing, that’s not the same as it is in a traditional business. What it means in this case is that you need to understand the real estate market in a particular area, including knowing:

What types of homes are available
Property values in the area
How likely you are to need to make significant repairs in that area
Whether buyers will likely be serious about purchasing in the area

Look for sellers constantly. Make sure you’re marketing to motivated sellers. When you know your market, you know what types of sellers to target; from there, you can create a successful marketing plan.
The numbers don’t lie. Make sure that you work within your budget and don’t try to cut corners when it could cost you in the long run. As you’re considering a property, run the numbers immediately – and if they don’t work, walk away. You’ll avoid plenty of headaches by knowing when to say “No.”

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    What is an Environmental Report in Commercial Real Estate (And Do You Need One)?

What is an Environmental Report in Commercial Real Estate (And Do You Need One)?

Many traditional and hard money lenders in Atlanta require an environmental report before they’ll grant someone a commercial loan. The report should show that the property has been examined for environmental contamination. Even if there’s no lender requirement, though it may be a good idea to obtain one anyway, just for your own peace of mind — and for your future buyers’ peace of mind.
What is an Environmental Report?
An environmental report is an investigation on commercial property to discover if there are any dangerous contaminants. Potential buyers assume the cost of the investigation and it is completed in one or two phases.
Phase I Environmental Report
This is the initial investigation to test for dangerous contaminants. Investigators will research past tenants and prior uses of the property to determine suspicion of contaminant use. In addition, they’ll look for evidence of pollution by examining the adjacent land. If there is indication of contamination; phase II will be initiated. The cost for this report is around $3,000.
Phase II Environmental Report
After contamination is suspected, investigators will conduct a more thorough investigation. If necessary, tests such as soil, groundwater and air analysis will take place. The cost for this report can vary depending on the property and the situation.
What Does This Mean for You and a Lender?
If you’ve purchased contaminated commercial property, you will be on the hook for any clean-up costs regardless if you caused the contamination or not. A lender could be on the line in the event of a foreclosure; making this a risky deal. You won’t always be denied a loan; however, it may be a good idea to search for something else.
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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.
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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?
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.
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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 […]

Can You Fix-and-Flip During Winter? Absolutely!

As a real estate investor, you already know that fixing and flipping a home takes time. (If you’re a new investor, you’re probably wondering exactly how long it takes and what season is best for fixing and flipping).

Traditionally, most home sales occur in the spring and summer months, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t participating in the real estate market during the other two seasons.
Can You Fix and Flip a Home During Winter?
Instead of waiting until spring to buy, fix and flip a home. That’ll give you a leg up on your fellow flippers–and you can do all the work during the slower months, which means you’ll be in a better position to sell it quickly.

Late November and December are traditionally slow times for the real estate market in Georgia (and in the rest of the U.S., as well). That’s usually because of the holidays. However, if your investment property is fixed up and ready to go a few weeks before Christmas, potential buyers will be able to visualize “home for the holidays” in a whole new light.
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, 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.



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.
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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.
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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.
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Why You NEED a Buyers List

If you’re a real estate investor, you already know that you need to have buyers for the properties you’re working with—otherwise, you’re not going to make any money (and isn’t that the point of investing?).

You know, too, that you need the ability to purchase properties quickly at the right price.

So how do you do those things together so that you’re consistently making money and turning over your investments?
Creating a Buyers List
Every REI needs a quality buyers list. It’s a list of REIs who typically want to buy properties to rent to tenants, but you can make it even more broad and include local Realtors® who are always on the prowl for properties for their own clients.


Because the people on this list are actively looking for what you have to sell.

There’s no way around it: you will need to market and promote a property if you want to sell it quickly and at the right price.

With a buyers list, you’ll have the best target audience possible.
How to Create a Buyers List
Naturally, your networking comes into play when you’re building a buyers list. You’ll need to record the names, phone numbers and emails of new contacts in a spreadsheet (but don’t worry—once you’re over the initial hump of including everyone you already know, it becomes much easier to keep up with).

Having this buyers list, which is essentially a pool of people who want what you have to sell, is worth quite a bit… and like anything that’s worth something, you’ll have to work for it. The payoff can be tremendous, though, so it’s well worth the effort.
Do You Need a Hard Money Loan in Atlanta?
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