Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tips For Successful Apartment Hunting

Find apartment with real estate listings.

The hunt for an apartment may seem like an extremely challenging ordeal, but it does not have to be. People looking for an apartment usually have a good experience if they educate themselves on what to look out for, and they have a good idea of what type of apartment they want. The best tool for finding an apartment efficiently is having knowledge. Here are some helpful tips to consider when looking for an apartment.

1. Make sure you know what you want. People who are not sure about what they want can easily get swindled into bad deals. If you want a 2-bedroom apartment, then don’t settle for less. If you know what area of city you want to live in, be sure to stick to your ground. Too many people are very indecisive. Indecisiveness is a weakness that many people try to take advantage of. Knowing what you’re looking for is the first key to success.

2. Use all your resources. Apartments are listed in newspapers, free magazines, small ads, and even “for rent” signs in the front yard. Exploring all options will allow the apartment seeker to have the greatest amount to choose from. The more apartments you have to choose from, the better the chance that you will find the apartment that is perfect for you.

3. Visit the apartment. Too many people sign on the dotted line without ever actually seeing the apartment or the neighborhood. Take time to travel to the apartment and maybe even meet some fellow tenants or neighbors. Actually experiencing the apartment and its surroundings can help make any decision easier. Checking the apartment out can also help avoid pitfalls. Some elements may seem appealing on paper, but are not as such in real life.

4. Additionally, when you are visiting the apartment, do not be afraid of scrutinizing every aspect of the apartment. Look for cracks, bugs, dirty spots, and any other flaws. Be sure to ask the landlord about previous tenants. One of the worst things that can happen to someone is that they rent an apartment and realize that there are major problems that have to be fixed. These problems often cost the renter exurbanite amounts of money. If possible, see how the other tenants like the apartment. Even invite a friend or family member along when you are visiting the apartment. The more opinions you have, the better.

5. Read your contract! Before signing a contract, make sure that you understand what services you are entitled to and all of the costs. Many people have foolishly signed contracts and didn’t realize that they were paying for utilities, or other services. Additionally, make sure you have a fair rent worked out with your landlord. Avoid paying too much for your apartment at all costs. If they advertise the apartment for one price, make sure that that’s the price you are expected to pay.

The search for an apartment can sometimes seem very daunting. Some people will try to swindle you and charge you too much, or charge you hidden fees. Being educated about what you are looking for, and scrutinizing the apartment diligently can help protect you from paying too much or having a bad apartment. If you educate yourself, than your apartment search should be simple and enjoyable.


Paul Smith writes about a variety of real estate topics, but is presently focusing on how to find a good London apartment.
More information: http://www.homefromhome.co.uk

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Why You Should Invest In Real Estate

I am always amazed when I talk with people about investing and real estate. I was at a resort recently with my family and struck up a conversation with a woman about her experience with the resort. As we chatted she mentioned that she was a realtor. I asked if she did her own investments, and to my amazement she said “I wish I could, but I have my money tied up in funds”.

I almost drowned in the hot tub! Here is someone who facilitates deals for people in real estate (assuming she has ever met an investor), and she would rather earn 2-5% (maybe) per year on her money. Wow.

I hardly know where to start. I think the most exciting things about real estate investing are leverage and control. Let me first discuss leverage. How much interest in a mutual fund can you get for $10,000 ? $10,000 worth would be the correct answer. Options aside, how much stock can you purchase for $10,000 ? $10,000 is again the correct answer.

How much real estate can you buy for $10,000 ? How about $250,000? I’ve done it for less. Now let me ask: When you have $10,000 in stock, how much do get appreciation on? $10,000 – this is easy! How about if that mutual fund goes up 5%, what do you get 5% on? $10,000 again!

Now what if that $250,000 house goes up 5%...you get $12,500 in appreciation. That’s more than your initial investment.

Now let’s look at involving OPM – other people’s money. Is there anyone at a bank that would lend you $10,000 to buy stock? I doubt it. Is there anyone at a bank that will lend you $10,000 to buy a house? You bet there is! Lenders are tripping over each other to lend you money. How much mortgage related junk mail do you get every day?

So, not only do you get appreciation on much more than you spent, but you have people willing to lend you the money to do it! What could be better than that? How about control or knowledge.

When you buy stock in a company, what can you do to make it go up or down? Not much. I doubt you could buy enough product to affect the stock price of any public company. What about with real estate? What can you do to affect the market price of your property? Plenty! You can really affect a market, but you can do a lot to a property yourself.

When you buy a stock, do you have any idea if that stock will go up or down? Not really. Hopefully you study a company and pick one that you think will do well, but there are no guarantees. Phrased differently, do you have any idea what that stock will be worth 3 months from now? Absolutely not.

How about a property you buy – do you know what it will be worth in three months? You better have a good idea! You can run a market analysis or get an appraisal any time you want, and most markets don’t make radical changes in three months, so you can have a pretty close idea what a property will be worth in three months.

That investment is under your control, because you can fix it up, add to it, or even scrape it and add another building. When you add up leverage, control and predictability, real estate comes out shining as the best investment vehicle. Of course I would never recommend it be your only investment vehicle, but you are missing out on a huge return if you are not investing in real estate.

Find and invest on a Real Estate.
About the Author: Ron LeBlanc is a real estate investor who is a licensed realtor in Colorado. He gets a huge charge out of helping people through the fear and hurdles to financial independence. He lives with his wife and 2 boys in boulder, Colorado - the greatest place on Earth to live. Visit him at http://www.boulder-realestate-investors.com

Source: www.isnare.com