Which Real Estate Investment Is Best For You?

Palos Verdes, CA. Years ago, I discovered that residential rental real estate is the best investment to control risk and create wealth. The Real Estate Digest reports that seven out of ten millionaires made their money in real estate, and Forbes magazine states that there is a three times greater chance of becoming wealthy through real estate than with any other type of investment.
Using Real Estate to Control Risks

Real estate allows you to control your risk because you can actively participate in the decision making process. Passive investments such as stocks don’t give you this opportunity. Movements in real estate values are less erratic than in the stock market. Most people don’t understand the economic forces influencing the market. Since real estate is less volatile, it’s easier to control and to understand. Real estate is tangible. You can touch it, you’ve been exposed to it all your life, and you can identify with it. Because of this familiarity, you are better able to understand it.

Effectively Reducing Your Taxes

Real estate ownership continues to be the most popular form of investment because of its potential for substantial tax savings. Since you are able to actively participate in the management of real estate, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) currently allows qualifying individuals to write off up to $25,000 per year against salary and other income. No other investment gives you this capability. In addition, you can defer paying income taxes on profits indefinitely by using tax-deferred exchanges.

Leveraging That Works

Real estate is the only major investment that gives you the ability to acquire ownership with very little money down. This degree of leveraging allows you to amplify profits by using other people’s money. The more assets you are able to control, the more opportunities you have to succeed. The degree of leverage is calculated by dividing the total purchase price of the property by the amount of funds used to purchase it. Thus, if a down payment of $10,000 plus a $90,000 loan is used to purchase a property, a 10 to 1 leverage ratio has been achieved. The greater the leverage, the more equity will increase or decrease with the change in value of the property.

Why Real Estate Investment Is the “Smart” Way

Over 50 percent of the wealth of the world is in real estate. In the United States, real estate accounted for 48.2 percent of the wealth (of which residential real estate represented 36.7 percent). Equity investments (stocks) amounted to 19.3 percent and bonds 21.1 percent.

In the past 20 years, residential income properties have delivered the highest average total investment returns of all real estate types. With a built-in hedge against inflation, it is no wonder that multifamily real estate has out-performed all other types of real estate investments with relatively low risk. Based on supply and demand over the next 10 years, residential income will out pace all other types of real estate investment. Strong demographic and financial indicators along with changing lifestyles should continue to positively influence residential income investments.

The Three Advantages of Owning Rental Property

Rental properties should remain well ahead of other major property types because they are generally more stable. Three important factors account for this stability:

1. They are less dependent on business cycles for occupancy than any other types of real estate investments. It does not matter if interest rates and home prices are high or low, rental properties are generally more affordable. 2. Rental properties have shorter leases; thereby offering greater protection from inflation than the long-term leases associated with other properties. That is, rents can be negotiated more frequently.

3. The pool of tenants is much greater for rental properties than other types of properties. This ensures a more consistent occupancy than industrial and commercial properties, which usually have only a few tenants from which to choose.

RENTAL PROPERTIES-THE COMING BONANZA FOR YOU

Supply and demand play an important role in residential income property value. The demand for rental property is increasing because the number of people entering the rental market is increasing steadily each year. At the same time, construction costs, stricter zoning ordinances, and environmental factors are limiting the new construction of residential income property. Together, these trends bode well for investing in residential income property.

Because the 1997 Tax Act allows joint owners to exempt capital gains of $500,000, more and more people are selling their homes, saving their money, and moving into rental property. It is estimated that the demand for rentals is likely to increase over 10 percent during the next 10 years. Residential income property offers one of the best protections against inflation. In fact, a study reported by the Journal of Financial Economics found that residential real estate is the only investment that offers a complete hedge against both anticipated and unanticipated inflation.

People always need the three basics – food, clothing, and shelter. As the population grows, the need for shelter grows along with it. The hedge against inflation with residential rentals is greater because, unlike long-term commercial leases, they are generally on a month-to-month basis. As prices increase, rental property owners can increase rents more rapidly with month-to-month leases than commercial owners who have long-term leases.

Residential income property is one type of investment that is a source of security and stability. Every investment has peaks and valleys, including rental real estate. Nevertheless, over the long-term, it always comes out on top. The key is knowing the right time to buy and sell. That is the golden rule in investing.

Real Estate: The Shock Absorber

Real estate generally outperforms equities because of its higher yields, greater price stability, and downside protection even in a recession. When stock markets are down, real estate holds value and produces a positive return. Real estate is less prone to booms and busts than in the past. Residential income-producing real estate is now stronger than it has been in many years.

Since rental properties can be seen and touched and are not an abstract form of ownership evidenced by a piece of paper. They are investor friendly. People can identify with doors and windows, bedrooms and bathrooms, and floors and roofs. They do not feel that the market is being manipulated by programmed buying and selling. They have control over their investments.

U.S. Real Estate Investment and the Benefits of Leverage and Refinance

30-YEAR FIXED RATE LOANS FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS, I feel it an obligation to provide insights into the benefits that Atlas Capital and Asset Management has to offer.
Prices are going crazy right now in our primary market. I am paying 50%-100% more for raw acquisitions right now than I was 18 months ago. It’s hard to even find a project house or fixer- upper in the cities where we prefer to be. Values have gone up substantially, and we are thrilled to see the market so robust and growing. We are even more thrilled to offer foreign buyers the opportunity to take advantage of this situation.

So now let’s look at the most obvious benefits that obtaining a long term fixed rate loan can provide when considering U.S. real estate investment, or anywhere else for that matter. We will also explore the benefits for existing property owners using our EXCLUSIVE U.S. REFINANCING PROGRAM and how this tool can help you achieve even higher benchmarks.

BUILD A PORTFOLIO INSTEAD OF “BUY A HOUSE”-

Most investors that we encounter typically have allocated 60k or 100k for real estate investments. I don’t know why, but those seem to be the two magic numbers. Now, we do not carry any 60k properties. Cheap properties tend to be in lousy neighborhoods, attract crappy tenants, and have a high turnover rate. They also are much more susceptible to theft and vandalism. 100k properties (depending on who you are dealing with) have a high success rate, attract and keep good renters, and if, by chance, the kids leave their bikes out overnight, they will be there in the morning. The difference with Atlas is that with average down payments of 30k-35k, the 60k buyer can dig deeper and spend 70k and get TWO properties. The 100k buyer can dig a little deeper and get THREE properties.

SPREADING RISK-

One factor will always remain a constant. Tenants, and people in general, run into problems. Life happens. Today is the 5th of September and we have already received a few phone calls from tenants that are going to be late with their rents (with a $100.00 late fee as a penalty, I might add). Life happens. When you have ONE asset and the Dad loses his job and can’t make rent, cash flow is ZERO. When you have the same 100k-120k in THREE houses, and Dad loses his job, you still have cash flow from the other two properties. It goes back to the “all of your eggs in one basket” theory, and U.S. real estate investment, like anything else, is not immune to that theory.

LOWER INITIAL INVESTMENT-

Any U.S. real estate investment carries an inherent risk or the potential for disappointment in either asset quality or performance. I would sure hate to find out that my property, or properties, are underperforming had I paid full cash price when I purchased the asset. With financing, the initial down payment is a fraction of the amount when compared with a full price cash acquisition. If a property does end up shy of expectations, it is better to find out with a down payment at stake instead of full market value sucked out of your retirement savings.

REFINANCE AND DIVERSIFY YOUR HOLDINGS-

I speak with a lot of investors who already own U.S. real estate every week, and perhaps the biggest thing we have to offer is our “cash out refinance program”. But before I go further, I should point out that this program is designed to assist in building up additional assets for a portfolio. We don’t provide this service to fund a mid-life crises or send little Jimmie or Jane to college. We designed this program so that folks with all of their equity tied up in a single asset could tap into that equity and obtain additional assets and so all of the items above would work in their favor. And best of all, the same rate and terms apply to our refinance program that are currently part of our new purchase financing program. Why have one asset in another market when you can diversify, buy more assets, spread the risk across a number of properties and cash in on the capital appreciation? If we’re advising on U.S. real estate investment, diversification is one of our top recommendations.”>In my last article, I extolled the virtues of our 30-year fixed rate financing program for U.S. real estate investment. I pointed out the hard money predators, the shady ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages), the tricky balloon payment trap, and other “landmines” when it comes to the lending industry preying on unsuspecting investors. As the ONLY U.S. COMPANY THAT INTERNALLY UNDERWRITES 30-YEAR FIXED RATE LOANS FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS, I feel it an obligation to provide insights into the benefits that Atlas has to offer.

Prices are going crazy right now in our primary market. I am paying 50%-100% more for raw acquisitions right now than I was 18 months ago. It’s hard to even find a project house or fixer- upper in the cities where we prefer to be. Values have gone up substantially, and we are thrilled to see the market so robust and growing. We are even more thrilled to offer foreign buyers the opportunity to take advantage of this situation.

So now let’s look at the most obvious benefits that obtaining a long term fixed rate loan can provide when considering U.S. real estate investment, or anywhere else for that matter. We will also explore the benefits for existing property owners using our EXCLUSIVE U.S. REFINANCING PROGRAM and how this tool can help you achieve even higher benchmarks.

BUILD A PORTFOLIO INSTEAD OF “BUY A HOUSE”-

Most investors that we encounter typically have allocated 60k or 100k for real estate investments. I don’t know why, but those seem to be the two magic numbers. Now, we do not carry any 60k properties. Cheap properties tend to be in lousy neighborhoods, attract crappy tenants, and have a high turnover rate. They also are much more susceptible to theft and vandalism. 100k properties (depending on who you are dealing with) have a high success rate, attract and keep good renters, and if, by chance, the kids leave their bikes out overnight, they will be there in the morning. The difference with Atlas is that with average down payments of 30k-35k, the 60k buyer can dig deeper and spend 70k and get TWO properties. The 100k buyer can dig a little deeper and get THREE properties.

SPREADING RISK-

One factor will always remain a constant. Tenants, and people in general, run into problems. Life happens. Today is the 5th of September and we have already received a few phone calls from tenants that are going to be late with their rents (with a $100.00 late fee as a penalty, I might add). Life happens. When you have ONE asset and the Dad loses his job and can’t make rent, cash flow is ZERO. When you have the same 100k-120k in THREE houses, and Dad loses his job, you still have cash flow from the other two properties. It goes back to the “all of your eggs in one basket” theory, and U.S. real estate investment, like anything else, is not immune to that theory.

LOWER INITIAL INVESTMENT-

Any U.S. real estate investment carries an inherent risk or the potential for disappointment in either asset quality or performance. I would sure hate to find out that my property, or properties, are underperforming had I paid full cash price when I purchased the asset. With financing, the initial down payment is a fraction of the amount when compared with a full price cash acquisition. If a property does end up shy of expectations, it is better to find out with a down payment at stake instead of full market value sucked out of your retirement savings.

REFINANCE AND DIVERSIFY YOUR HOLDINGS-

I speak with a lot of investors who already own U.S. real estate every week, and perhaps the biggest thing we have to offer is our “cash out refinance program”. But before I go further, I should point out that this program is designed to assist in building up additional assets for a portfolio. We don’t provide this service to fund a mid-life crises or send little Jimmie or Jane to college. We designed this program so that folks with all of their equity tied up in a single asset could tap into that equity and obtain additional assets and so all of the items above would work in their favor. And best of all, the same rate and terms apply to our refinance program that are currently part of our new purchase financing program. Why have one asset in another market when you can diversify, buy more assets, spread the risk across a number of properties and cash in on the capital appreciation? If we’re advising on U.S. real estate investment, diversification is one of our top recommendations.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Rainwater Harvesting

If you are thinking about harvesting the rainwater that falls each year, you may be thinking that you have found an easy solution to reducing your water bill. It is often thought that rainwater harvesting is something that would only occur on a very large scale. And while it is true that many of the water tanks in Central Highlands that are designed for capturing rainwater are operated by major farms or industries, this method can also work at larger homes. Whether you ware wanting to collect rainwater for the purposes of purifying it and using it as drinking water, or you merely want to use it for irrigation purposes, high quality water tanks in Clermont can help ensure that you have a proper system set up for the capture and use of this rain water. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of using such a method?
Rainwater Harvesting Advantages • Lack of Maintenance One of the best reasons to go for this option is because it will not need much maintenance. When you hire a company to complete he installation of the entire system, the harvesting occurs on its own. When you are using the water for irrigation purposes, almost no maintenance is needed. If it is being filtered into drinking water, periodical check-ups on the system are needed to ensure it is running smoothly, and to change the filters. But no major work is needed when everything is setup. • Lower Water Bills If you have a massive space of land, you are probably using a lot of water to irrigate your grass and plants. Not to mention all the water being used in the house for cooking, cleaning and drinking. With the right rainwater collection equipment and water tanks, in Clermont your water bill could come down to nothing! This setup also means that you are increasing efficiency, since the rainwater that would have gone to waste is now serving a valuable purpose. Rainwater Harvesting Disadvantages • Unpredictability No system is flawless, and using rainwater for irrigation and/or home water use purposes does mean you will have an unpredictable supply. If you are using it for irrigation, it is not too much of an issue. But you would not want to shut off your usual water supply, even if you want to use rainwater for activities inside the house. If there are a couple of months in the year with practically no rain, you would run out of water pretty quickly! • Expensive at First We already mentioned how the maintenance is relatively low with this setup. However, it is a little expensive to set up all the water collection equipment and the water tanks. In Central Highlands, or most of Australia, if you are prepared to spend anywhere from $200 to $2000 on a system, you are in the clear. But if such figures are making you nervous, you may want to think about some other method for capturing rainwater. Ultimately, it is about deciding whether you are willing to spend money now in order to conserve water and save money on your bills in the future!