Buy a Home With No Money Down – Learn How Now

In these hard economic times where we never know how far the stock prices will dip from one day to the next, one of the smartest investments is the real estate market. For lots of potential real estate buyers a down payment stops them from considering this investment opportunity. This doesn’t have to be the case though as it is very possible to buy a home with no money down.

VA No Money Down

Many people are already familiar with the VA’s no down payment deal. The Veteran’s Administration makes this available to active and retired members of the military, veterans, POW’s and MIA’s and their unmarried widowed spouses. All military branches are included in the VA’s no money down home buying program.

$10,000 Down Payment Gift Program

Another good opportunity for potential homebuyers to obtain a home with no money down is through a down payment gift program. Gift down payment programs offering up to $10000 or 5% of the purchase price, or whatever is lower are not required to be repaid. This is truly a gift program.

These gift programs are available to all home purchasers. They don’t require any income limits nor do the home buyers need to be considered as first time homebuyers.

Eligible homes for this programs can be anywhere in the United States and can be used as owner occupied, primary residences including: houses, condominiums, town homes and manufactured homes. However the home can’t be used as an investment or rental property. Duplexes and four plexes are eligible if the buyer will be living in one of the units.

New construction qualifies so the homes don’t need to be pre-owned to qualify. These gift funds can be used on any HUD or FHA loan for the down payment money. HUD loans are based on need but FHA loans are not.

An FHA loan is available to most borrowers and are mainly restricted by the loan amounts. The FHA loan maximum will vary from state to state but generally are higher than the medium home prices in the area. Every year the FHA maximum allowable loan amount increases, so it’s recommended to check with the lender on the current amount available. FHA does allow down payments gifts in the loan consideration.

The one restriction on the down payment gift funds is that they can’t be used to pay off any type of judgment or debt but must be used for the down payment of a home.

Sellers of homes using the gift down payments are funding this program. They contribute a portion of the proceeds from the home to a pool of funds that’s used to provide gift down payments in exchange for finding a buyer for their home at the full asking price. Because the homes must meet HUD or FHA appraisal guidelines, homes are never overpriced and have to meet all repair and condition requirements.

Down payment programs can help get lots of people into home ownership without the worry of a down payment. There are two other methods of seller participation that can also accomplish this same goal, owner financing and lease/purchase agreements.

Owner Financing/Lease Purchase

As the surplus of unsold homes grows, many times the sellers are willing to take on part of the burden to get their home sold quickly. Also there could be added pressure on sellers of used homes when they have to compete with builders in the area who fund down payments on their newly constructed homes. So sellers might agree to a lease/purchase or owner finance deal to sell a home. In either case, the buyer doesn’t need to pay a down payment to get a home.

Though these options will allow a homebuyer to purchase a home with no money down, there is a good side and a bad side for the buyer so this option needs to be approached carefully.

Since this is a legal transaction, a standard legal form should be used. Lease/purchase forms are available at most major office supply stores. Owner financing contracts are not easily obtainable and will need to be drafted by a lawyer.

With a lease/purchase agreement, the seller is agreeing to a price that the home will sell for at a future date and the buyer will typically pay a monthly amount several hundred dollars more that what the home would rent for on a monthly basis. Depending upon how the agreement is written, the additional money can be a down payment type of savings plan. A portion of the additional funds can be given back to the buyer when the home is sold and used as the down payment. If the buyer decides not to buy the home, all the additional monies are forfeited. If the buyer decides to buy the home then they would secure a mortgage from a lender. This type of arrangement is similar to owner financing except in that case the seller is the lender.

There are two primary areas of concern for the buyer with these types of buying options. In both cases the buyer is not paying a mortgage to a mortgage company so the benefit of any tax deductions for the interest paid on the home is lost. This might be an acceptable trade-off for the opportunity to purchase a home with no money down. The other area of concern calls for more judgment. Since the buyer is paying the seller each month instead of a mortgage company, if the seller goes bankrupt or looses the home to foreclosure, the buyer’s entire investment could be lost.

On the other hand, there have been many occasions where the parties have entered into the lease/purchase agreements and then found buyers for the homes at amounts much greater than the selling prices contractually agreed on. The leases bought the homes from the sellers and then resold them for a large profit on that same day.

House Trading/Lines of Credit

Professional real estate investors will also acquire homes with no money down by trading one property for another. And in some cases they trade a larger property for several smaller rental properties. The may also trade homes in different cities to obtain a vacation or retirement home. Property trading is also a legal means to avoid the capital gains associated with selling property.

Securing a line of credit by using the equity in another property is also another way to buy a property with no money down. This lets the homeowner buy another property by using the accumulated equity in a home without selling the original property.

HUD

The office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers special first time homebuyers financing. The program is based on need and is designed to allow low-income families to obtain their first home without a substantial down payment or closing costs.

Rural Homes/Cops in Neighborhoods

There are two programs by the federal government that help farmers and police personnel to buy homes with no money down.

For buyers with limited income who desire to live in rural areas, the Rural Economic and Community Development Administration offers farmers home loans with no money down. Monthly payments can be subsidized and the interest can be as low as 1%.

To encourage law enforcement personnel to occupy homes in crime targeted areas, there are special federal programs that allow police officers to buy homes in select areas with nothing down. Law enforcement officers can obtain this information at their place of employment.

With all these methods in place to buy homes for little or no down payment, the dream of owing a home should be achieved by nearly everyone who desires it.

Real Estate Marketing Slogans; A Brand Of One

Real Estate Marketing slogans arouses interest in your
audience and can be the vehicle that helps establish
your “name brand” and invigorate your real estate
career.

A good, well crafted slogan can propel your business
in quantum leaps, while a poorly considered one can
be as effective as none at all. Real estate
marketing slogans can work equally well online and
offline, but they must be good enough to appeal to
mass, targeted audiences.

Consequently, agents work hard and long for the right
words to coin the right phrases, for the perfect
slogans. After all, their slogans may be powerful or
aspiring enough to define their careers.

Realtor Alert! Real estate marketing slogans don’t
have to be over intellectualized to create huge “brand
names.” Catchy and clever works every time.

For example, Century 21, ERA, & Coldwell Banker are
national and/or regional real estate companies whose
corporate names serve as their “real estate marketing
slogans”. Examples of some gigantic, non-real estate
companies are Xerox, IBM, Pepsi and Coke.

Successful Realtors know the importance of using real
estate marketing slogans to create “name brands”, but
when conjuring up a slogan for yourself why not
something as simple as your name.

If Mike, Bill and Hillary can pull it off you can,
too. Of Course you know who I mean, which epitomizes
the power of a name.

Creating A Slogan!

Now, I can go to the yellow pages, write down a bunch
of real estate marketing slogans and throw a bunch of
them at you to jump start your creative juices, but
you can do that yourself.

A more constructive approach in creating your own
slogan is to make a list of 10 slogans that reflect
who you are, what niche real estate market you want to
be known for, and your interests and personality in
general.

Use the yellow Real Estate Agents section of your
local yellow pages to get ideas, then strive for
phrases that uniquely characterize you.

Imagine being the Madonna, or “leave the driving to
us” of the real estate industry.

Is it possible? Absolutely, but you’ll have to create
a slogan first! Then you’ll need to use and publicize
it every opportunity you get; in your ads, on your
business cards, letter head, website, vanity car tag,
etc.

Don’t expect instant success right out of the gate.
It’ll take a while, but you’ll be amazed at how much
you can accomplish in a year or so. And if you have a
real estate marketing system that reaches a minimum of
10 prospects a day the numbers can quickly add up in
your favor.

10 contacts a day x 20 days a month = 200 contacts a
month

200 contacts a month x 12 months a year = 2,400
contacts a year

Without too much effort you can passively market your
slogan to a minimum of 2,400 prospects a year.

I wonder what impact having your marketing slogan on
your car would have?

No matter where you live, or what market you’re in
you’re missing out on massive amounts of free
marketing if you don’t have a car tag of some kind
advertising the fact that you’re a Realtor.

And what about advertising your slogan through the
penny, nickel and dime publications? Think cheap
advertising, high visibility, and lots of readers of
your slogan to drive business opportunities your way.

So, create your own unique, real estate marketing
slogan; then publicize it heavily; freely and/or
inexpensively, but heavily.

Can you see the impact that this might have on your
real estate marketing results? I can!

Lanard Perry is the author of “Farming Expired Listings.” Learn how to average 1 or more listings a week. 7

Everything You Need to Know About Investing

To become successful with your money, you have to make your money work for you. You sell your labor which in return makes you money. By making each individual dollar work for you, this in return makes you wealthy over time. There are a plethora of investing opportunities out there. The key is to figure out which one is the right one for your financial situation.

Stocks
The most popular of all investing opportunities, are stocks. Stocks are probably the main thing you think of when you hear of investing. When you buy a stock, you buy partial ownership of a company. Stocks range anywhere from $2, to $12,000, which can appeal to a large variety of people. To be successful when trading stocks, you have to buy low and sell high. Of course this isn’t easy, considering the market is always fluctuating. You need to watch the history of the company, know the PE Ratio, the day range, the 52 week range, etc. Knowing this information can help you predict if the stock will go up or down. You can make a lot of money investing in stocks, which means you can also lose a lot of money. You want to keep in mind that most investments in stocks are long term investments. It is very risky investing, but if you do the proper research of the history of the company, you can get a very good return.

Stock Investing Tips

1.) Have the Right Expectations
When you are investing in stocks, you want to make sure you aren’t expecting to become Warren Buffet over night. It just wont happen. You want to make sure you do the proper amount of research, and make sure you know the history of the market as well as the company you are investing in. When investing in stocks, the return is around 10%-13%. You don’t want to make hasty decisions and buy and sell a lot just because you aren’t making the money you expected. Make sure you know how long you are keeping an investment, and then make a commitment. This will help you focus on the principles.

2.) Don’t Listen to the Media
Don’t get caught up in what everyone is talking about and what is being said around you. It will take your decision from being based on research and history, to just “hear-say”. This will hurt your investments immensely. Most of the hype and other things that are being said are just the daily fluctuation of the market.

3.) Stay Focused
You want to make sure you are putting all your effort and focus into your investments. Once you buy a stock, you own part of a company. Make sure you treat it the way it is and make sure you do the proper research of all aspects of what you’re investing in. Doing your research can change your investment of making a profit of $15,000, to losing $15,000. In the end, it’s always worth it to do the extra work.

Mutual Funds
When you invest in Mutual Funds, you are pooling your money with a number of other investors. You then pay someone to professionally manage and choose each individual security for you. There are a variety of different mutual funds you can choose to invest in, which range to fit your investment strategy.
3 Types of Mutual Funds
1.) Open-Ended
2.) Unit Investment Trust
3.) Close-Ended

Mutual Fund Investing Tips

1.) Look at the Fees
Always look at the fees involved when investing in Mutual Funds. When you pay more for something, this usually means that you are going to be getting a better product or service, right? Yes! Makes sure you find the best deal, but make sure you are investing the right amount of money in the right places. It can change the course of the whole investment in the long run.

2.) Research the History
One thing you can do to prepare an investment is to check out the history of the Mutual Fund. Just like anything, the history shows how well it has performed, and can be a good indicator. This can directly tell you if it will be a good investment whether it be long term or short term. Another thing you want to look at, is the asset of the fund. If it’s doing good, and there is a community of people investing in it, it can tell you if its a smart idea to invest yourself. Always check the history of any investment before you decide to purchase.

3.) Look at the Contract
You never know what is all involved until you take a detailed look at the prospectus provided by the fund. You want to make sure you don’t just know bits and pieces of what’s involved, but everything there is to know, and then some. Make sure you know all the fees involved with buying and selling funds, and if there are international fees required. Knowing this can help you determine if the company is a solid company where you can make money, or if you are getting into something you will regret in the future.

Bank Investments
Bank accounts are one of the simplest form of investment. Most banks give you a very small percentage for opening a bank account and giving them your money. This percentage barely beats the rise of inflation, so unless you are keeping hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, you won’t be creating any wealth from this form of investment. Another way to invest in your bank is a CD, or Certificate of Deposit. A CD if very similar to a bank account, but they are usually for a fixed amount of time. They can be monthly, every six months, a year, etc. the CD is then held until its maturity date, and paid back with interest. A Certificate of Deposit usually earns more money than an account at which you can withdrawal the money at any time, like a bank account.

Alternative Investments
Apart from the basic investments, there are other special securities. These investments include gold/silver, real estate, etc. These investments are speculative and can be very high profit, however; you need to have the knowledge.

1.) Gold & Silver
The first thing you want to do before you invest in gold or silver, is to look at the market and decide if now is the best time to invest in precious metals. You can also talk to a professional and decide when the best time to buy and sell would be. You want to make sure you are familiar with the variety of ways to invest in silver. You can invest in silver mining companies, silver ETF’s, silver futures, silver bullion, and also silver coins. You want to make sure the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) are backed by physical gold and silver. Another thing to remember, is to not just own a paper owning, but the actual precious metal as well.

A Few Things to Implement in Your Real Estate Marketing Plan

When making your real estate marketing plan there are certain things which probably won’t demand a lot of your time or attention, such as setting your goals for the future or determining your motivation for making it in this business. There is however a part of the real estate marketing plan with which everybody seems to struggle: marketing. Even though most agents are good at making sales pitches, they simply cannot find a way to make their voices heard in this sea of humans that is the internet (because that’s where most of the marketing happens nowadays). Here is a look at a few things you can do in order to expand your influence and get yourself noticed from the crowd.

Building a Good Relationship with your Buyers

To start things off, you will need to build up a relationship with your potential buyers. Selling real estate isn’t something which just happens overnight; it can sometimes be a very long process and you will end up talking a lot with your clients, meaning that they better take a liking to you or they many never consider hiring your services. How exactly do you get in good with them? Well, at this point you better put on your charmer mask and send them post cards, or perhaps even giving them a call, striking up a casual conversation during which you need to find a way to transition into what you have to offer them.

You could also send emails to your potential buyers, offering them bits of information and tips about what homeowners should be doing in today’s economy, or if you are really dedicated to your job, send them small gifts to show your appreciation.

The Great Benefits of Social Media

Another very popular way of getting yourself noticed in this day and age is to use social media, which is something that should already be in your marketing plan for real estate. If it’s not, then simply take a few minutes to consider this information: Facebook has almost one billion users, and 56% of them claim that they are much more likely to recommend and purchase some kind of brand themselves after becoming a fan of it.

To put it in other words, if you do things the right way you can actually spread the word about your brand and get people to lean towards it if they are ever caught in a dilemma, simply by creating a fan page on Facebook and getting people to “like” it. Also, on social media word travels faster than ever before. For example, when the Domodedovo Bomb blew up in the Russian airport, president Medvedev learned about the whole fiasco through Twitter. So, as you can see, social networks work faster than Russian intelligence services, which is a pretty good sign for real estate marketers who are looking to spread the word about their brand.

Using Real Estate Listings to Your Advantage

Another advertising tactic you should definitely consider including in order to make an effective marketing plan for profitable real estate is the use of online real estate listings. There are websites out there which you can find using your search engine of choice which allow you to post your own listings… free of charge. The best part is that these free websites, which include Trulia, Zillow and HotPads, are some of the most popular websites on the internet right now as thousands upon thousands of people go on them every day to check the house listings. All you need to do is simply make a list of these websites and head to each one of them and put your listings up there.

There is something special about these listings which will make your job infinitely easier: the people who contact you are only the ones who are actually interested what you have to offer. You see, these websites allow those who post the listings to provide very detailed descriptions of the real estate’s various characteristics, and what’s more, it allows the users to search real estate based on them. So, to word it differently, these people already know what you have to offer and so you really won’t need as much effort to convince them.

Naturally, there is much more than that to making a good real estate business plan, but rest assured that if you get the marketing part right there won’t be much stopping you from achieving the success you have been dreaming of all these years.

The Best Property Management Is Free

There are many property management companies in the marketplace today. All companies have their own charges and fees that you must incur to contract their services. The truth is that the only management companies that you should hire with are the companies that are FREE.

I know everyone believes there is nothing that is “free” and this is true in general but not from every perspective. When I refer to Free property management, I am talking about a company that provides added value to the properties that it handles. A value that would be unlikely to be reached by the owner managing the property themselves. Let’s examine the value of good real estate management. Value can be expressed in many terms such as equity, lower turnover, higher rents, lower maintenance costs and most importantly, time. Time is the most important asset that exists. Simply put if you had all the money or goods in the world but you had no time to enjoy them, you don’t have much.

Many property owners have full time jobs, family obligations, and little time to manage the property they own to maximum efficiency. Some of these owners work long hours in an attempt to “save” money by not hiring a property manager. After we examine this practice we will see that in most cases the property owner is actually losing money, and more importantly losing time.

The old saying “Time is money” will be a cornerstone of our analysis. Let’s say the property owner in our example is an employee at XYZ Corp and is paid $20 an hour. A general price for property management is somewhere around 10% of collected rent. So we will pretend this owner owns a two family rental property and each unit rents for $700. That means the fee for professional management of this property will be in the area of $140 a month (10% of 700= $70 per unit, times 2 = $140). That equals 7 hours of income for the owner. So if managing this property takes more time than 7 hours a month, or the management of the property interferes with the work of the owner than the owner would actually be better off with a professional property manager.

The time analysis shows that there is not a lot of money to be saved by managing the property yourself, especially if you could use your time towards work you are paid for. However, the time analysis does not show the complete benefits of property management. If managing property was easy and predictable there would be no property management companies. We all know that real estate repairs can pop up seemingly out of nowhere and late tenants can turn into evictions at any time. The main cost occurs during these times, when you need to evict tenants, repair the property, advertise and attract new tenants, and lease the unit to get rental income again. These are the times when property owners with other obligations really lose time and money. You see if a property owner is unable to manage the issues efficiently and loses just one month of rental income, they would have lost enough money to pay for close to a full year of professional property management in many cases!

Good property management will allow you more time to create income or spend time with family and friends. More time is a good enough reason to hire a property manager but that is not the end of the benefits. In addition efficient management will be able to pass savings on to the owner for routine repairs and maintenance through network contractors and vendors. They will be able to make smooth transitions from vacancies to new qualified tenants and maximize Cashflow. So I will conclude by urging property owners with other obligations to strongly consider professional management, because sometimes the cost of trying to save money is just too high.