The Final Walk Through Overview and Why It Is Important

final walk throughThe final walk through is one of the most crucial steps to take before closing on your new home. While it’s easy to relax and not think about this aspect of buying a new home, it’s the little details that really matter after all. Dean Graziosi outlines the important points where the walk through is concerned and describes why they are important.

The walk through gives you a last chance to make sure all is well with your new property before the closing. This is where you get to look at all the tiny details and make any last minute decisions that may be necessary. It will help you feel better about your purchase and is where you will have the opportunity to pinpoint any problems that need to be taken care of before the house is actually yours.

So when should you schedule the walk through? The walk through itself takes somewhere around 30 minutes to complete. This will give you plenty of time to be thorough in your assessment. Here you will want to check for any new issues that may have arisen since the last time you were in the home. This may be especially important if a natural event such as a storm occurred between the last time you were there and the actual walk through. The walk through is important because once you close on the home, the former owners are no longer obligated to make any repairs to damages or problems that occur.

You will need to schedule the walk through about 24 hours before the closing date. This will give you a chance to address any potential problems right up to the closing itself. The key is to be thorough and look at all the little details. It wouldn’t hurt to bring someone with you to the walk through as well. An extra pair of eyes might see something you’ve missed and it’s always better to realize the problem before the closing than after.

So what should you look for during the walk through? Check all major appliances to be sure they are working properly and no significant issues are present. Even the smallest of problems should be addressed. Ask if there are any warranties and owners’ manuals available for the appliances.

Make sure all previously agreed upon repairs were made. If the seller decided to leave any fixtures behind, make sure they are all present. Check out the property inside and out. You should look for any damages such as scratches on walls or floors that occurred upon the home owner’s moving out.

Lastly, bring a home inspector with you. As an article posted on the All State blog advises, many industry professionals recommend this to ensure no problems exist and that repairs have been made as requested. You can read about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

To Make Money In Real Estate You Need To Understand Returns

iStock_000017640518_SmallThe majority of people who choose to invest in real estate do so in hopes of becoming wealthy.  However, it is not as simple as purchasing a home or two and using them as investment properties; Dean Graziosi explains that in order to make a profit you need to understand that four distinct components of investments return.  Basically what he is saying is that there are four primary ways in which money can be made from real estate, they are:

  • Cash Flows
  • Appreciation In Value
  • Mortgage Principal Pay Down
  • Income Tax Benefits

Just because there are several components of returns, does not mean that you are going to become instantly wealthy.  Many people make bad real estate investments because they do not perform the proper research before purchasing a property.  Before you make any type of investment in real estate, you should conduct the proper research and make an informed decision.  To help you better understand the four different investment components, we have put together some helpful information.

Cash Flow Positive

Cash flow positive properties are investments that have been shown to produce profits.  Purchasing properties that have demonstrated positive cash flow is the most effective way in which you can ensure that your investment will increase your current level of wealth.

Appreciation In Value

The majority of people who purchase property do so with the intent of holding onto it until it appreciates in value.  This is a worthwhile venture for those who can afford to hold onto the property for a minimum of fifteen to twenty-five years.  If you cannot wait that long, you will likely not become wealthy using this method.

Mortgage Principal Pay Down

If you obtained an amortizing mortgage when you purchased your property, you may be able to realize some return on your investment.  How this works is that each time you make a monthly payment, you pay the accrued interest plus a portion of the outstanding principal of the mortgage.  The principal is all investment return and can increase the size of your returns.

Income Tax Benefits

When you own investment property, there are some income tax benefits that you may be able to use to make a profit on your investment.  If you are self-employed or earn more than $150,000 a year you will likely not see any large tax benefits from your investment properties.  Before you start spending your any of the income you expect to make from tax benefits on your investment property, you should first consult a tax expert who will be able to tell you whether or not you will actually make any type of profit at all.

Tips for Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

177735411As we enter the hottest season for buying and selling a home, Dean Graziosi has some helpful information that will help you get your home ready to sell.  Spring and summer are the most popular times for sellers to list their homes.  If you’re among this group, you may be wondering how you can help your home stand out from all of the others on the market.  Below you will find some helpful tips that will ensure your home receives the attention it deserves from potential buyers.

  • Clear The Clutter – The first step to ensuring your home makes a positive impression on potential buyers is to remove all of the clutter.  Removing unnecessary clutter from your home will help make it appear more bright, larger, and warm and inviting.  During this process, you should create three different piles one for items that you will be tossing out, one for items that you plan on donating, and one for items that you are going to keep.  The first two piles will help you reduce the amount of items that you will have to move when you sell your home.
  • Pack Up Early – Packing items that you do not use on a regular basis before you list your home is a great way to clear space in your home.  It will also help reduce the amount of stuff you will need to pack once your home is sold.  Once you have packed the items that you do not use regularly, you should store them in your garage or attic.  This will prevent potential buyers from seeing them, while you wait for your home to sell.
  • Make It Less Personal – According to Dean Graziosi, this is one of the most commonly overlooked steps.  Sellers have a hard time removing personal items from their home because they are proud of their family and their personal belongings.  But if you remove all of the personal items from your home, the space will feel larger to potential buyers.  It will also allow them to visualize their own belongings in the home.
  • Make Your Home Neutral – Going through your home and painting it with neutral colors  is highly recommended.  This will help create a warm and inviting space that sellers can easily imagine as their own.  It is also one of the least expensive changes sellers can make to their home.

If you’re ready to sell your home, the tips that I have listed above will help potential buyers envision living there.  They will be able to picture their own furniture and belongings in the home, while planning on what they would do with the space.

The Cost of Replacing a Septic System

septicIf your home is located in a rural area, you are more than likely familiar with septic systems according to Dean Graziosi.  A septic system is similar to having a small waste treatment plant in your home, but when something goes wrong with the system, it can be somewhat of a financial burden.

There are many different types of septic systems in use, but one of the most common systems is the septic tank absorption field type of system.  With this type of system, waste leaves the home via a drain and flows to the septic tank which is typically buried underground.  The waste that leaves the home will remain in the tank long enough for the solids to settle and turn into sludge.  Any grease or oils that have entered the system will float to the surface.

These types of systems feature outlets in the tank which are designed to hold back the sludge and grease and oil scum that accumulates.  While these items are being held back, the clear middle layer; also known as effluent, will flow out into the drain field.  Once the middle layer reaches the drain field, microbes in the soil will then begin to digest or remove the majority of the contaminants that are in the fluid before it can reach groundwater.

The size of the system that you will need is typically determined by the size of your home and the number of people who reside there.  It is highly recommended that any work or installation be done by a trained professional due to the fact that it is responsible for moving biodegradable waste matter.  While many homeowners may be capable of performing work on the system, it is best to have a professional handle the installation and maintenance.

The average cost to install a septic system can depend on the area in which your home is located.  On average, a standard gravity system for a three bedroom home located on a level site with acceptable soil can range from $1,500 – $4,000.  It is recommended that you contact several installation companies to get bids on the work.  This will help you choose the company that fits best with your budget while still ensuring that the work will be properly done.

Other factors can affect the price of the system, such as the septic tank, drain gravel, pipes, permits, and risers.  Depending on the type of material your septic tank is made from, the price can increase a few hundred dollars up to a thousand.  You will also need to have drain gravel laid to ensure that the absorption field is properly laid out.  The average cost of drain gravel can range from $12 – $30 per ton of gravel.

Dean Graziosi recommends contacting a number of septic system installation companies to find someone who has experience and knowledge in the area of septic tank installation.  With so many details involved in the process, it is best to work with someone who understands what is required.  You should also ask any questions you may have regarding the installation process to ensure that you understand what will be done.  The more you know about the process, the more prepared you will be should you ever have to go through the process again.

Tips for Moving This Summer

movingNow that summer is fast approaching, it’s time to take steps to put your home on the market. Summer is typically a good time to sell a home because kids are out of school and parents often take vacation time off work. Preparing your home for the sale is important. Dean Graziosi has provided some tips to get you started.

Begin before summer by giving your home a thorough spring cleaning. This will help you stay ahead of the game by giving you less to do later on in the summer.

Put unused items in storage. Packing early will give you less to do when moving day arrives. It’s a great time to get rid of things you no longer use or may not have room for in your new house, particularly if you plan to downsize. Packing unused items gets them out of the way and decreases the amount of clutter in your home.

Spruce up the pool and the area around it. If you are lucky enough to have one, it can be a great selling point. Make sure it is thoroughly cleaned and the surrounding areas are clean and well-manicured.

Give the yard some much-needed attention. Take advantage of the warmer weather and mow the lawn, plant flowers, and landscape. If you are unable to do this yourself or simply don’t have the time, consider hiring someone to take care of it for you. The front and back yards should be well-maintained. The front yard is what prospective buyers will see first before ever entering the house, and the back yard will make an impression on them, especially if a pool is involved or the yard is especially large and the buyers have children.

Remove items from the yard that may be causing clutter. Outdoor entertainment areas have become very important to home buyers of today, so they will likely relish using their imaginations when checking out the exterior and yard of your home.

Air out your home. This is something you’ll probably want to do in the spring, especially if summers in your area are especially warm or hot. Airing out the house will give it a fresh smell and help let in a lot of light. This will help rid your home of any unwanted odors and make it more appealing to prospective buyers.

Stage your home. According to an article posted on foxct.com staging your home will present it in the best light. It’s an important part of selling and a step that should definitely not be ignored. You can either choose to do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Getting your home ready for a summer sale will help alleviate some of the stress by helping show off its more attractive features. Visit Dean Graziosi’s website for more tips on buying and selling real estate.

Home Staging Tips for a Summer Sale

stagingStaging a home before putting it on the market is one great way to help it sell. It allows you to show off its appealing features in a way that will attract the attention of prospective home buyers. Dean Graziosi has included some important home staging tips for a summer sale that will help you get started while saving you money.

Many people choose to hire someone who can take care of the staging process for them, but this, as you can imagine, can be quite pricey. You can avoid this cost by staging the home yourself.

Begin by keeping your home at a constant temperature. Find one that is comfortable and stick with it. Prospective buyers will be much more comfortable in a well-air conditioned home than one that is hot and stuffy. A cooler atmosphere will make viewing the home a pleasant experience and buyers will be more likely to spend a good amount of time checking it out.

Let a lot of light into your home. Opening up blinds and drapes allows prospective buyers to see all the natural light your home has to offer. A well-lit room will look more appealing and help buyers imagine the many ways in which it can be used. It also helps them see all the features in each room. Very little light will give the home a gloomy appearance.

Clean the windows both inside and out. This gives the home a better overall appearance and helps prospective home buyers get a good look at the scenery outside. Besides that, clean windows give the home a cleaner look which helps it sell.

Arrange your furniture sparsely throughout. Store items you aren’t using or don’t use often. While you may like a house full of furniture, cluttered rooms leave very little to the imagination of home buyers. Stage rooms to show off their best features. For example, remove that chair from in front of the fire place so buyers will get the full view.

Replace old or damaged window dressings. New draperies and blinds will give a room a whole new look and feel. Old dressings will only make the room look dingy.

Clean the walls. Again, this will give the home a cleaner look and feel. Add fresh paint where needed. A little paint will go a long way.

Plant fresh flowers outside. This will add to the curb appeal of your home, which according to an article posted on virtuallystagingproperties.com leaves a lasting impression on prospective home buyers.

There are plenty of ways to stage your home for viewing. Summer is an important time to sell, and buyers will appreciate the time you took to show off the best features your property has to offer. Visit Dean Graziosi’s website for more real estate topics and tips.

Common Money Mistakes That You Should Avoid Prior To Buying A Home

file000610312209If you suffer from the problem of not being able to properly manage your finances, Dean Graziosi has some helpful information for you.  Purchasing a home is a large financial obligation, one that you should only consider taking on if you have your finances in order.  To help ensure that you are as financially prepared as possible, I have listed some of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

The first thing that you should do if you do not have one already, is create a budget.  This will help you see how much money you have coming in each month and where it is all going.  A budget will help you see areas where you may be spending foolishly and you can then rectify that.  This will also help you see how much of a mortgage payment you can comfortably live with each month and help you avoid overspending when it comes to purchasing a home.

The next thing that you should do is look at how many small changes you can make that will help you save money each month.  It may not seem like buying a coffee every morning can make a big difference, but when you add up how much you spend on coffee each month you may be surprised.  There are many ways in which we spend money during a typical day, once you take note of that you will be able to make changes that will allow you to save more money than you may have imagined.

How many times have you gone shopping and signed up for a rewards card?  That’s right, probably a lot.  But many of us forget that we have earned points or discounts and never use them.  If you belong to any type of rewards program, it is important that you not forget to redeem your points or use your available discounts.  This is a good way to save money on everything from gas to shoes, and that money can then be used towards a down payment on your next home.

Once you begin to look at all of the ways in which you spend money during a typical month, you may be surprised at all of the areas in which you can make cuts.  These savings can then be applied to a savings account that you may have started for your new home.  While it may not seem like a lot at first, you may be surprised at how fast the amount grows. Dean Graziosi states, that there is no amount too small to begin saving for your new home.  And at the end of it all, you will be rewarded with a home that is yours.

What Buyers Can do In a Seller’s Market

file301294449761Many sellers have been frustrated with the state of the housing market and their less than stellar home value, states Dean Graziosi.  But, now that the housing market is steadily improving and values are once again rising, many sellers who have waited to list their homes are finding that the time is now right.

This is good news for buyers, in that, there is now more inventory available to choose from; it is also good news for sellers who are finding that they are once again in the driver’s seat.  In the current seller’s market that we now find ourselves in, buyers are now realizing that they need to act fast or the home they saw online the night before is gone.  What this means for home buyers is that they need to act fast, and prepare themselves to put in a little more work to ensure that they get the home they want.

With so much limited inventory to choose from, many buyers are looking at the same homes.  This has forced many buyers to begin thinking outside the box, and find different ways of finding homes that not everyone has access to.  If you’re a buyer in today’s market, and are tired of looking at the same homes as everyone else, you may want to ask your agent about pocket listings, and listings that may have expired.  You may also want to include homes that are for sale by owner as well.  These are all great techniques that can open up a whole new world of available homes for you to consider.

Another way to ensure that you are taken seriously as a buyer and are seen as competition by other buyers is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  Successful buyers in a seller’s market are the ones who have taken the time to properly prepare and organize their finances.  They have resolved any credit issues that may have posed a problem and have a pre-approval letter in hand.  A pre-approval letter is typically valid for 90 days and shows sellers that you are serious about your offer and that you have the financial backing to ensure there are no problems.  When you have a pre-approval letter, you are able to move fast and submit an offer, don’t lose the home of your dreams simply because you have not prepared properly.

As a buyer, you need to act fast to ensure that you purchase the home you want.  If you notice a new listing online, don’t wait, schedule a viewing of the home as soon as possible.  The longer that the home is available for others to view, the more likely you are to lose out.  Buying a home is not the time to procrastinate, act fast and don’t lose the home of your dreams to someone else.

Should The Internet Replace Your Agent

agentThe Internet has become a common way to search for almost anything to include real estate. Now more and more prospective home buyers are beginning their searches there because of the advantages the World Wide Web provides. Dean Graziosi understands the importance of technology in the search for a new home, but should you depend on it exclusively?

Sure the Internet provides many ways in which to search for properties. You can sit and literally peruse pictures and information about each home you find which can help narrow it down. This can make it easier to come to a decision. Be careful not to depend too heavily on photos, however because some don’t show the property as it actually appears. This still is nothing like the experience of talking to a real estate agent and obtaining information first-hand from someone who has viewed the property. It certainly doesn’t take the place of viewing it yourself.

Property listings online will also be accompanied by information. This can include: features, the asking price, and location. If you are searching for a property in certain areas or neighborhoods, searching via the Internet is a great way to narrow down what you wish to view. You can then discuss these properties with your real estate agent.

Some home buyers choose to use the Internet to find properties for sale by owner. Be careful when doing this. Your agent is there to help you navigate all the aspects of buying or selling a home. Choosing to do it yourself can result in significant problems occurring. Even if you’ve bought and sold properties before, this is still very risky.

So how should you use technology to search for a new home? Use it to look at listings at your own leisure. This allows you to sit back and compare property features without any hassle or pressure from other parties. You may also want to write down questions to ask your realtor as you go.

Many prospective buyers are also now using their smart phones to search for properties. This makes it easier to find new homes as they go up on the market which could result in a faster sale for the seller and a quick buy for you.

According to an article posted on inman.com the home buyers of today are using the Internet to conduct home searches, but they are still more likely to use a realtor. This information came from a survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors and included findings from people who bought as well as sold a home.

The Internet provides many useful tools for home buyers, but it shouldn’t replace a real estate agent. Agents keep up with the market and real estate trends, and can help make the overall process go more smoothly. You can learn more about this topic and how technology can be used during the home buying process by visiting Dean Graziosi’s blog.

Should You Consider A Short Sale

stk150362rkeShort sales are often chosen to assist homeowners with mortgage problems, but are they right for everyone? As with any other major decision, the answer is no. Dean Graziosi can answer all your questions concerning this aspect of real estate and provide you with the information that will help you make the right decision.

If you’re having difficulty paying your mortgage, you are probably searching for ways to still remain a homeowner. By definition, a short sale occurs when you sell your property for less than the mortgage balance owed. While it may be a good idea for some, it is not right for all.

There’s a lot to think about before deciding on a short sale. For instance, a short sale will not save your credit score. Some homeowners choose a short sale over foreclosure because they are under the impression doing so will improve their credit. The reality is a foreclosure and short sale will affect your credit score in much the same way. While the short sale option may be slightly better, it won’t keep you out of financial difficulties.

A short sale won’t necessarily cancel the remaining mortgage debt you are required to pay. Though this may surprise you, it is true. Your mortgage has two components. The first is the promise you made to repay the lender while the second actually secures the loan. This creates a lien on your property. What this means is the breaking of your promise to repay the money loaned to you may result in you losing the property in an effort to pay it off.

One other consideration to make is the chance that the lender may not agree to cancel the obligation of the seller to completely repay the loan. Some lenders will ask the seller to sign a new, unsecured promissory note before the short sale can even be approved. You’ll want to know what to expect as the seller where this is concerned.

Before even considering a short sale, talk to your lender. You’ll need to find out what you may be responsible for even after the sale takes place. This is extremely important in order to avoid any misconceptions or misunderstandings from occurring.

You’ll also want to get all answers in writing. This is the best way to ensure you understand what you’re getting into plus it will cement the actual conversations that took place and help all parties hold to any agreements that may have been made.

You should also remember a short sale isn’t your only option. As an article posted on nolo.com explains, there are other things to consider should a short sale not be the answer you need. You can learn more about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.