Why Real Estate is Essential to Your Portfolio
Since the financial crisis, many investors have dismissed real estate as a worthwhile asset class. A recent article in Barron's sheds light on some data that suggests those investors should reconsider their approach.
Real estate can play a crucial and dynamic role in multi-asset portfolios:
“Not only can it operate as a proxy for direct real estate while generating diversified returns - with a stronger income component arising from high dividends - it can also provide some protection against rising interest rates, which may come as a surprise to some.
Evidence shows that, over the long term, investment in listed real estate offers an exposure to direct real estate (including real estate physical property investments and unlisted funds) while addressing the well-known illiquidity problems associated with owning a portfolio of individual buildings. The advantages in terms of liquidity are particularly important because of the potential it offers to exploit, through active management, the inefficiencies that exist among countries, markets and sub-sectors.”
When we use robust optimization techniques, we see that listed real estate within a multi-asset porfolio offers diversification against uncertainty—in both return forecasts as well as variance-covariance forecasts.
Upcoming Home Design Trends to Help Sell Your House
If you’re planning on selling your house soon, nothing will help you secure a sale more than paying close attention to upcoming trends and popular requests in home design. Renovating your house to include in-demand features can greatly boost your home’s asking price, and will attract you an offer you deserve.
Quartzite is resistant to accidents and looks just like marble—for a cheaper price! Boasting a better aesthetic and feel than granite and more durability and longevity than glass, quartzite is certainly on its way up in the home improvement community. It’s universally accepted that kitchen renovations are one of the best ways to up the value of a home, and quartzite countertops/finishing is a beautiful finishing touch to consider.
Drapes and Curtains
Even if you plan on taking your curtains with you to your future property, buying new curtains or drapes to show off your home can help you more than you’d think. The minimalist ‘no-curtains’ trend of 2014 is over, and window decorations are very in, able to add both flair and functionality to a home. They also have the benefit of making a house feel more like a home and less like just a house to prospective buyers.
Sell Your Home Fast!
Are you selling your home and just want to get the whole process over with, but unsure what to do when showing it to prospective buyers? Are you worried about making a first impression? Not sure what price you should be asking for? Here are some tips that may answer all of your questions and more.
- Make your home stand out!
You can improve your home’s exterior or interior appearance by adding some custom enhancements. Improved landscaping, roofing, or windows can add to your house’s aesthetics, and may even increase its value. Bathroom/kitchen renovations and even a fireplace should be helpful as well. Remember to use practical colors and designs that will appeal to everybody. If you have added any features that you think may include the house’s desirability, remember to mention them in your home’s listing information—you never know what will catch someone’s eye!
- Clean up!
Make sure your home is clean, uncluttered, and smelling nice. Hiding half of your closet’s contents may help, as that will give the appearance of wider storage space. Hiding some furniture to make your rooms look larger can help as well. Clean your walls well, and use baking soda to hide any unwanted smells or stains. Hiring a stager might help as well—a stager can arrange your house to make the most out of what space it has, and may even bring in rented furniture that will complement the interior.
- Curb appeal!
‘Curb appeal’ is very important when selling your house—that refers to what your home looks like when one is standing from the curb. Never underestimate the power of a great first impression, so be sure to take care of your lawn and hedges, and even have a fresh coat of paint applied to the house if you have the time and finances for it.
- Make sure it’s ready to move into!
So your house looks gorgeous now, but how is everything working? Make sure those pipes, doors, and electrical fixtures are in tip-top shape for the new owners. Everyone wants to buy a home they can see themselves moving right into and feeling, well, at-home at; nobody wants a house they have to spend time and money on fixing up and taking care of before they can enjoy it.
Make sure that price is right! Read your local newspaper and check around online to see what similar homes are going for in your area. Typically, you’re going to want to look at houses with the same amount of rooms, bathrooms, and space for a pricing guide. Remember that any enhancements or additions you’ve made may increase the house’s value, though, so keep that in mind and you can sell your house for exactly what you deserve!
Tips and Hints for First-Time Homebuyers
So you’re on your way to owning your first home? Congratulations! Here are some hints and tricks for making your hard-earned milestone the best, with no added stress.
- Be picky—but not unrealistic!
Choosing a home is an important decision, but no house is perfect. You can keep some things in mind to touch up later, but try not to stress too much about the little things that will have no effect on your day-to-day comfort.
- That said, be careful about the things that do matter.
Make sure to insist on a home inspection, and get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for up to a year. Do your homework; read up on homes, and decide what qualities are most important to you. Even if they’re small factors, you might regret not springing for them in the long run.
- Get your finances in order.
Make sure your finances are ready. How does your credit report check out? Can you afford to cover your down payment and closing costs? All good questions to ask yourself before you make a move that might hinder you later on.
- Think long-term.
What exactly are you looking for? Would you like to start small and move up to a bigger house once you can manage it, or are you looking for a forever home right now? Don’t blow all of your funds at once and make yourself house poor, and conversely, don’t waste your money on something you don’t plan on staying with if you can already afford what you truly desire.
- Don’t ask too many people for their opinions.
Circumstances change, and perceptions may differ based on past experiences. What worked for someone else might not necessarily work for you, and vice-versa. Consult only professionals or one or two trusted, close friends who know exactly what you’re looking for, what you need, and how to get it.
- Realtors vs. listing agents?
Using a realtor as a buying agent, as opposed to finding a listing agent, has a solid benefit. While a listing agent’s priority is helping the seller, a buying agent has your best interests in mind. They are generally more trustworthy and reliable for prospective buyers, and will help you in your first house purchase as much as you need it.
Hopefully our tips will help you out on your journey to buying a home for your very first time. We wish you the best of luck, and happy home-hunting!
Signs Of A Neighborhood On The Rise
One of the best ways to stretch your dollar is to find a neighborhood that is in transition and likely on the rise. These are typically called fringe or transitional neighborhoods. You can get a great deal if you are willing to purchase a home in an up and coming neighborhood. Discovering a neighborhood like this can be rather tricky, but being patient and persistent can lead to a great return.
While finding a neighborhood that’s hot is great, finding one that’s getting even hotter is the ultimate prize.
Look for Popular Commercial Projects
Wake up and smell the coffee! Is there a Starbucks in the area? Maybe a Chipotle? Or even a Whole Foods? Chances are it’s time to buy a house in that town because it’s a sign that the neighborhood is up and coming. These brands spend a lot of time and money analyzing neighborhoods before they start building. They choose to build their stores in places where neighborhood values are going to soar. It is a smart business plan because once the area erupts, the foundation that these projects are built on will be nearly double the price they bought it for.
Mass Transit Expansion
Public transportation is an important factor when looking for neighborhoods on the rise. A surefire clue to the next hot neighborhood is a mass transit expansion. If a major city is building a brand new metro stop in a run down area, the chances of that area staying run-down for long are slim. It’s a great idea to look into these areas because homebuyers look for property which is relatively close to mass transit. If you find an area early enough, it’s best to buy. By purchasing, you will now own a piece of property, this is guaranteed to climb in value.
Renovations Are Being Made
Construction activity is a good indication that a town/city is about to boom. It does not matter if the ongoing construction is being built for retail, condominiums or residential homes.
When looking to invest within a particular neighborhood, renovation growth indicators could be things such as: manicured and landscaped lawns, fresh exteriors and an overall polished look to a property. Even taking a look at fixtures such as new mailboxes or even new fences can indicate the homeowner’s heavy investment in their property; others in the area will probably follow suit.
Decline in Crime
A decline in crime is another great indicator that a neighborhood is on the rise. It’s also a clue that there are more improvements to come. With a little bit of research you can analyze crime statistics, by doing so you can find out which areas are improving.
If a neighborhood is experiencing a decline in crime, you can assume that city officials and local residents are making a concerted effort to improve the quality of life there.
Need Help Finding a Home?
Emerald City Home Sales is a group of professional realtors that operate under the highest standards of ethics. Our state-of-the art platform unites investors, realtors and homeowners under one roof. Our unique model is designed to bring fast, top-dollar results in today’s sluggish market. In our experience, a house it not just a house. It’s a home. We work closely with our clients to ensure their satisfaction. Our agents will walk you through a series of questions to pinpoint your home criteria. Get in touch with one of our experts today at www.emeraldcity.com!
Considerations for First-Time Homebuyers
You are awakened before the crack of dawn every morning, not by choice, but due to the noise coming up above. The sound of children slamming their toys and their mother shouting at them to keep the noise down. You’ve grown tired of sharing walls with neighbors and seeing no return on your monthly rent. The time has come! It’s time to make the most important financial purchase of your life; buying a home. First time homebuyers may be inclined to be a little nervous when making the decision to buy a home, but it is very natural to feel this way. There are a few considerations every new homebuyer should consider. Don’t you worry; we’ve got you covered!
Equip Yourself With An Agent
Having an experienced real estate agent at your disposal is crucial when you are purchasing a home. Look to find a full-time agent who sells at least five or more properties per year and that is well educated on the process and location where you plan to live. An agent can help you in many ways, including the following: price negotiations, leading you through the buying process, helping narrow down your search down for a home and they can also help determine how much you can afford when purchasing a home. Your real estate agent will ensure that all necessary steps are completed, such as securing a loan, getting an inspection, completing a title search, and so on. Most importantly, make sure that you’ll be comfortable with working with the real estate agent that you choose.
Being a first-time homebuyer can be exciting, but it can also be a very anxious time as well. Purchasing property is one of the most complex, riskiest and most expensive things that you will ever do. Educating yourself by doing your homework will help minimize any risk. Educate yourself by talking to family members and friends who have already purchased a house and listen closely to their experience. Take a ride to seminars where they are educating first time buyers. Do some research online. The more time you put into educating yourself, the better the chances minor issues can be avoided and don’t turn into major headaches.
Find Affordable Property
Take full advantage of all the resources that surround you for finding affordable homes on the market. Networking, using your real estate agent and searching your online listing will help you find the home that fits perfectly into your budget. The real gems in real estate are the nice, moderately priced, boring houses, town homes and condominiums that are in decent shape and within your budget. Buyers have a tendency to want to purchase the most expensive property that they can afford. This type of thinking can get buyers into trouble. What if you lose your job? You want your home to be an asset that you can afford!
Take Your Time
Don’t settle for something that you may not be happy with six months down the road. Be sure to take your time before signing on the dotted line. This principle relates to not only the search for that perfect home, but also to figuring out the terms of your home mortgage loan. Eventually, persistence will pay off in a big way. If you feel uncomfortable with the price and interest rate that goes along with it, don’t settle!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask A LOT of Questions!
Before you go signing off on anything, make sure that you ask all the questions that you can possibly think about! As a new homebuyer, you’re not experienced at purchasing a house. Ask your real estate agent anything that you are unsure about, at the end of the day they’re getting paid to help you. Buying a home is the first significantly large purchase a first homebuyer has made. You should not be afraid to ask all of your questions until you get an answer that you are comfortable with.