How to Add Curb Appeal

Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Having good curb appeal is one of the most important factors in attracting buyers to sell your fix and flip homes quickly. If your curb appeal is lacking, the right buyers may never even set foot in your home.

Walk around your home and look for any neglected areas that might seem like “red flags” to buyers, such as missing roof shingles or rotted siding. Trim trees and shrubs if needed, and make sure your lawn and flower beds are well maintained. Add some colorful flowers to your front beds and/or flower boxes to brighten up your landscaping.

To  bring your house to the next level and really make it stand out from the rest, you want to create some sort of focal piece. Some houses have pre-existing outdoor focal pieces that you can enhance and highlight. For example, a porch on its own is great, but you can make it amazing with some simple improvements like patio furniture or seating. Adding some Adirondack chairs on the front lawn can create a conversational space that buyers will be sure to remember.

Make sure the exterior of your home is as clean as the interior. This can often be accomplished with a simple garden hose. You may even want to rent a pressure washer if the siding, walkway or driveway is stained or dingy.

Thoroughly wash windows and screens, and remove and dark solar screens if you have them. Open shutters, curtains and blinds, to make your house look more inviting from the outside – it will also brighten the inside of the home as well.

Consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door, trim and shutters. Personalizing the home will make your home stand out. Try small, cosmetic improvements like new house numbers, a colorful wreath and a clean front doormat. These minor inexpensive changes can pay off in a big way and help you sell your flip quickly for top dollar.

Looking to buy a new fix and flip? Let Investor Loan Source help with your financing needs.

What Newbie Real Estate Investors Should Do in Lockdown

Pile of Money

The real estate business isn’t easy to deal with, especially if you’re new to the industry. You may have to double your efforts to keep up with veterans and larger players in the field. You can contact money lenders who can help you with financing a real estate investment. And, during the lockdown, it’s best to use the time you have to be more productive using these suggestions:

Refresh Your Mind and Establish Clear Goals

Spend a chunk of your time during the lockdown freshening up your mind and reminding yourself why you’re in the real estate business. Take this opportunity to establish your goals. Try to look 5 or 6 years ahead. Picture what you want to be doing by then. If you’re having a hard time thinking of a set of objectives, it can help if you ask yourself these questions:

  • “How many properties do I want to acquire in the next few years?”
  • “Do I settle for becoming a landlord, or do I venture into other opportunities the industry offers?”
  • “How old do I have to be before I start planning for my retirement?”
  • “Should I join investment groups and let them manage some of my rental properties?”
  • “Will I get by if I acquire numerous rental property loans?”

Self-reflection sets up a clearer path for you. Once you have a better idea of what you’d like to achieve in the industry, you can devise several plans for how to realize them. If your Plan A doesn’t work, you can proceed with Plan B or C or even D and E. Multiple options will keep you from getting discouraged if you don’t succeed the first time.

Get Review Pointers From Current Clients

If you have some commercial and residential properties leased, phone some of your tenants. Start by asking them about their status during the lockdown. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s a good time for a long and fruitful talk, let them know why you called. Tell them that you want to get some review pointers that you can use to improve your services as a landlord.

It’s a win-win situation for both parties. You’ll primarily benefit by learning how the way you run your properties can affect your tenants. And, they’ll tell you if they have any grievances that you need to hear. It can be about damage in the unit or your management as a whole.

If you have more time, you can send your tenants a handwritten letter of appreciation. The goal isn’t just to acknowledge their review pointers but to thank them for the trust that they give you as their property manager. No matter how short, a simple expression of gratitude can make them feel less alone while they’re in quarantine.

Watch Documentaries, Read Books, and Join Online Groups

Another way to spend your time during the lockdown is to broaden your cultural knowledge. Go online to view industry-related documentaries. Watching them can offer something beyond temporary entertainment while you’re staying at home. They can also help you gain essential information about the field and understand past and current trends that affect the real estate trade.

It’s also a great idea to study books that can help you become a better investor. Search online recommendations and browse through reviews. Then, you can buy an electronic copy of the publication and read it while you’re at home.

You can also join online groups and forums. This lets you meet and converse with other industry players, both newbies and veterans. It’s a great idea to open a discussion thread by asking a situational question about something that can happen to any investor. Then, let other participants and members tell you what they would do if they found themselves in that position.

Are you encountering different issues as a newbie investor? Get in touch with Investor Loan Source today. They’re a company that can help you if you need hard money lending services or other financial solutions.

A Letter from Our CEO, Tom Berry

As I write this letter, I can’t help but think that this will probably be the craziest, most unpredictable experience of my lifetime. First, I hope you and your family members are well and are in good spirits and optimistic about the future. I read in a “good book” one time that “without vision, the people will parish”. I think it is important to always look to the future with vision and wisdom. Fear is crippling and debilitating. It is born of uncertainty and a lack of understanding. Today is certainly ripe for that, isn’t it? So much is unknown right now that I wanted to focus on what we do know and share with you what we at Investor Loan Source have done and what we continue to do, to ensure that we remain strong and secure for our families, investors, lenders and partners.

We have always taken what we have considered a conservative approach to lending and investing. We have never swung for the fences. We keep our pricing at reasonable, sustainable levels, and we have limited exposure as much as possible. When our competitors slashed their margins and raised their LTV maximums, we didn’t chase them. We let borrowers go to them and we focused on diversifying our product lines, so we didn’t have to compete with craziness. It turns out that our strategy worked out well, as many of those competitors are now unable to lend or have closed their doors all together. As a result, we have had record numbers of loan applications in the last 30 days. With this THREE-FOLD increase in applications, we have been able to make changes that will only serve to make us and our loans even stronger.

  1. We raised the credit score requirements of borrowers to get into our A&B loan programs. This results in higher percentage rates on most of our loans without us really raising rates.
  2. We lowered LTV maximums on certain loans. This means they need to bring more of their own money to close.
  3. We have lowered the maximum loan amount for residential fix and flip loans. Now we will generally lend only up to $250,000 in most of our markets, as we believe that the higher priced houses may take a value hit in the next 12 months. As an investor over the last 13 years, I know that the blue collar “affordable housing” is always in short supply and demand increases during rough financial times. This leads to smaller price drops as a percentage on lower priced homes compared to higher priced homes. It creates more work for us since we get paid based on the loan amount and a $500,000 loan takes the same amount of time as a $50,000 loan, while paying only one tenth as much. At this time, we are fine with that to keep the integrity of our loan portfolio as high as possible.
  4. We have diversified into commercial bridge loans that have higher loan amounts in asset classes not effected as greatly by the downturn (if it hits real estate). This has given us the ability to diversify geographically, by asset class and by industry. Our approach is to not have huge exposure in any one place.

While we have taken a cautious attitude through all this turmoil, we are very optimistic about the future. Our borrower payment rates have been outstanding. We have not seen much of a difference, if any, from our normal collection rate. Our Private Equity Funds have been posting phenomenal returns and I expect that to get a little higher, given our ability to charge more interest in the current market. With less competitors, we are able to cherry pick the best loans out there and let the rest lay. While the future is uncertain, with the wisdom of the past and steady patience, opportunities will abound. I will remain diligent and seek to bring in the very best business I can. Donald and I look forward to many more years of our families working with you and your families.

Best Regards,

Tom Berry Signature
Tom Berry