Legal “Insurance” for Your Real Estate Investment Business?

Legal “Insurance” for Your Real Estate Investment Business?

Consider these frightening facts: America is one of the most litigious countries in the world. We lead the world with 1.1 million lawyers - that’s one for every 300 people. 55% of US companies say they faced 5 or more lawsuits last year (the next worst? UK, at 23%.) As investors, there is scarcely an aspect of our business that does not have a legal side to it, from buying & selling, to contracting, renovating, landlording and financing, not to mention local government agencies and the IRS. So, how do most investors deal with legal matters? Studies say, not so well. A Legal Fire Extinguisher? Most people (and most investors) use lawyers the same way they use fire extinguishers. Most don’t have easy, regular access to one. If they are wise enough (or lucky enough) to have one, they never use it unless they have… what? A (legal) fire! For most of us, it’s the same with legal “fires”. We ask our lawyer friends for favors, use Google, and avoid hiring lawyers until we absolutely must do so… because who can spare $300-$500 an hour for a couple of phone calls and letters? But that’s not the way truly wealthy ...

US Home Inventory Hits Record Low

Trulia recently released their quarterly Inventory and Price Watch report showing that U.S. housing inventory hit its lowest level on record in Q1 of 2017 with the number of homes on the market dropping for the 8th consecutive month (down 5.1% over the past year). The report is quarterly analysis of the supply and affordability of starter homes, trade-up homes, and premium homes currently on the market. Some Takeaways: The number of starter and trade-up homes continues drop, falling 8.7% and 7.9% respectively, during the past year, while inventory of premium homes has fallen by just 1.7% The persistent and disproportional drop in starter and trade-up home inventory is pushing affordability further out of reach of homebuyers. A strong recovery may be partly to blame for the large drop in inventory some markets have experienced over the past five years.

2016 Sees Lowest Share of Cash Sales Since ’07

Data powerhouse CoreLogic is reporting that for 2016, cash sales represented 32.1% of all sales – which is the lowest share seen since 2007. For December, 2016, cash sales accounted for 33.1% of all home sales, down 1.3 percentage points from December 2015. In addition, REO sales made up 5.8% and short sales made up 2% in December 2016. Distressed sales’ share was 7.8% and was the lowest for any month since October 2007. New York had the largest share of cash sales (47.9%), followed by New Jersey (47.6%), Alabama (46.1%), Michigan (44.3%) and Florida (42.1%). Some takeaways: The full-year cash sales share for 2016 was 32.1% The cash sales share in December 2016 was 33.1% The full-year distressed sales share for 2016 was 8.9% “…cash sales share peaked in January 2011 when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent. If the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in December 2016, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2019.”

Where Did Americans Move in 2016?

We’ve posted several stories over the past couple years about where Americans are moving. After all, real estate investors are best prepared to meet the needs of all those folks looking for new home. Keeping Current Matters recently put together this handy infographic based on United Van Lines recent moving study. Happy Friday!

Renovations that Increase the Value of Any Home

We’ve watched those couples on HGTV’s “Love It or List It”. It never fails. Hillary’s poor contractor Eddie has to deliver the bad news. “The cost of this renovated basement/ playroom has doubled due to the removal of this support beam essential to the home’s foundation.” Both homeowners get upset and David swoops in with a new listing. The spouse that’s against renovation because it’s doesn’t increase the value of the home is wins! We as viewers just can’t get enough of the drama. But, when it comes to our own homes it’s a different story. Deciding what renovations are worth the cost can be frustrating. We want it all just the way we like it. But, we don’t want to overspend on renovations that don’t increase the value of the home. To help with this process we’ve come up with four renovations that can increase the value of any home. Flooring: You have a few options when it comes to flooring. But, hands down the most popular flooring choice is hardwood. If you have carpet in your home a excellent upgrade would be natural hardwood floors. In older homes you may have a hidden treasure underneath the carpet. In …