How to Add Value to Investment Properties

Everyone wants to get the most BANG for their buck when it comes to real estate investing, but where to start can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to accomplish just that and increase the value of your fix and flip property.

Add a fresh coat of paint.

The older your property is the more likely it will need a new paint job inside and out. Stick to neutral colors, as the majority of people may not share the previous owners love of red walls. A dove, oatmeal, or cream color are great choices for inside as they go well with most décor. A lighter color will also make your interior rooms appear larger.

If your interior is covered in dark wood paneling, consider removing it. This trend went out in the 70’s and we can say, “good riddance!” Another option would be to paint over it. Many beautiful renovations choose a soft neutral white to brighten the space. Pair it with a light beige or gray on the walls and it will look beautiful, while staying within budget.

For the exterior, power washing can do wonders and remove years of dirt and grime. If a new paint job is in order, then do not hesitate. You can also consider replacing exterior doors and doing some simple landscaping – at the very least mow the yard. This will help your curb appeal and entice buyers.

Trash the carpet?

Flooring decisions should be based on the condition of the flooring, the price range of the home, and your budget. First, check under the carpet to make sure you do not already have wood floors. You may luck out. If you do, a quick refinish can save you a ton of money.

Consider keeping existing floors if they are in good condition and are consistent with what buyers expect and demand in that particular market and price range. If you do trash the carpet, be sure to select a flooring option that is within your budget and will add value to the property. For example, you don’t want to blow your budget and install premium hardwood floors in a home that you plan to sell for $100,000. Manufactured wood, tile and/or carpet may be the better option.

Upgrade light fixtures.

Outdated light fixtures can easily date your home.  Conduct a quick web search to find more appealing options that will modernize the space. This quick fix can change the entire tone of a room and is well worth it.

Also, consider changing out your light switch and outlet coverings. If your electrical allows for it see if you can install a dimmer.

Upgrade the appliances.

Stainless steel, matching, and energy efficient appliances can help increase the value of your property. If you find dents on the doors to your appliances consider replacing just the door. 

Consider bathroom upgrades.

If you can add another bathroom, do it. Even a half-bath can increase your home value by 10% +/- in some areas. If that is not in the cards, focus on updating the ones you have. Regrouting the tile, removing the tacky wallpaper and replacing old shower fixtures can do wonders for your space. Opt for a new vanity, frame the mirror, build a vanity – the options are endless and all will help the home show better.

Add a bedroom.

Another way to add value to the home is adding bedrooms. This may not always be an option, but there are ways to add bedrooms without adding square footage to the home. One idea is to turn an existing study into a bedroom by adding a closet. This can be an easy alternative that adds significant value to your investment without breaking the bank.

Don’t forget to deep clean.

This should be common sense and part of everyone’s rehab process. A little elbow grease never hurt anyone and if you simply just do not have the time, consider hiring professional cleaning service. Otherwise, a dirty home may be a red flag for prospective buyers who may assume that the home was not well taken care of. Be sure to remove stains from the carpet (if you decided to keep them), make sure your bathrooms are mold and mildew free, clean the baseboards, etc.

Upgrade the kitchen cabinets.

Depending on your budget and condition of your existing cabinets, you may not need to completely replace them. Consider splashing a new coat of paint on them and replacing the door pulls. This simple step will help to update your kitchen in a major way.

Replace windows.

Replacing older windows will give you the chance to update the look of your home. Be sure to opt for energy efficient options, as this will significantly add value to your investment project.

Remember that you do not have to do it all. Chances are you have some major big-ticket items that must be taken care of first.  When considering rehab, especially the cosmetic stuff, always consider your target buyer, location, and budget. If your rehab is in a lower income area you may want to skip the fancy modern light fixtures no matter how good of a deal you get on them. Prioritize and spend money on what matters.

Talk with industry professionals about the right updates for your project. Discussing these options with a hard money lender you can trust will help ensure you make choices that will increase the value of your real estate investment, without blowing the budget. Be sure to include a contingency in your scope of work to help cover unexpected expenses and stick to your budget. Many new flippers get wrapped up in the fun of cosmetic upgrades opting for unnecessary improvements and imposing their personal style preferences. Always remember that your fix and flip property is an investment, not your forever home. Focus on what matters and choose the best renovations for resale.   

New Year’s Resolutions for Real Estate Investors

A new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and celebrate your achievements, identify areas with room for improvement, learn from the setbacks and move forward. It’s also the perfect time to set new goals and come up with attainable resolutions both personally and professionally. For real estate investors looking to grow their business and achieve financial success, setting new, tangible goals is imperative.

For many of us, 2020 seemed to drag on due to COVID scares and shut-downs. It came with many speed-bumps, hurdles and other uncertainties and discouraging events. Ready for 2021? We all are. Here are some useful resolution ideas to help this year be a more lucrative one for your real estate investment business.

  • Work to Increase Your Return on Investment

For new real estate investors, this means staying focused on finding opportunities with low risk and high profit. Looking at your expenditures, monthly and yearly costs to see if there are areas you could save money is critical for both seasoned and newer investors. One easy step is to ensure you aren’t overpaying for utility services. Another is to review rental rates on a regular basis to be sure you are charging rent consistent with the local market. Smart investors will also learn how to efficiently schedule contractors, pre-apply for permits, pre-order supplies and aggressively price and market their properties for quick sale. Each day saved equates to less money towed to your lender in interest. Evaluating the cash coming in and the amount of cash going out regularly will help you identify ways to increase your return on investment.

  • Mix Up Your Strategy to Find New Properties

Using MLS may be easy, but it won’t usually allow you to get ahead of your competition in finding hot investment properties first. Consider hitting the streets in your car to find for sale by owner signs this year. Focus on networking and growing your contact list. Be sure to include realtors, investors and contractors. A good contact list may help you learn about new foreclosures and opportunities before anyone else.

  • Improve Your Time Management

Improving your time management can help you both personally and professionally. Consider waking up an hour earlier each day and setting that time aside to answer emails and planning your daily list of items to get done that day. Stay focused on accomplishing that to-do list before you get sidetracked. You may find that you get more done in the day if you plan it out carefully. For those that simply don’t time for the more mundane tasks of answering emails and making phone calls, think about hiring a virtual assistant to help free up your time for tasks that could be used for making investment deals.

  • Improve Your Marketing Strategies

Thoroughly planned marketing improvements will generally lead to a more profitable investment business. If you are not on the social media bandwagon, hop on in 2021! If you already have a social media presence, set a goal of increasing your followers by 10% this year. Streamlining your websites, direct mail and mass email can all also help you grow your business.

  • Refine Your Investment Portfolio

Last year you may have found your niche. Now is the time evaluate your portfolio and identify properties that just don’t fit anymore. Or maybe you’d like to diversify your portfolio and invest in single family notes. Look over your portfolio and plan how you want your portfolio to grow this year. Decide which markets you’d like to explore. Carefully planning your strategy and talking with your investment advisor will help you refine your portfolio successfully.

  • Learn Something New

Personal growth can be achieved through learning something new and expanding your knowledge. Interested in learning more about commercial real estate investing? Join an in-person or online group or attend webinars. Take a course or read a book about something you’ve always wanted to learn. The possibilities are endless. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the process as well.

  • Improve Yourself

Need to drop 10 or 20 pounds? Want to exercise more? Stay committed by joining a health club, or sharing the goal with a friend or fitness group. Stay more organized this year by using a planner, app on your phone or cleaning out your office. Communicating proactively and more often is also a great resolution that will also help you as an investor. Improving yourself can reduce your stress level and lead to a more positive 2021. Decide what areas of your life are bringing you down or need the most improvement and focus on that. You will thank yourself later.

Most resolutions are easy to set and harder to keep. The key is making small improvements each day. Whatever went wrong in 2020, learn from that and move on. Don’t let the past hold you down. You have a cleaner slate and a fresh opportunity to build a better real estate investment business and ultimately a better you. Ready to dominate in 2021?

Having a great lender to partner with you in 2021 is essential. Let Investor Loan Source help you by walking you through our loan products. Contact us at 409-735-6267 if you have questions or email our loan specialists at info@ils.cash for more information.

House Flipping 101

Whether you’re looking for a new career or just a way to make money on the side, flipping houses can be profitable and rewarding if done right. In 2019 approximately 245,864 homes were flipped in the United States. The median gross flipping profit on home flips in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $62,500. Sounds like a great way to make money, right? You’ve seen it on tv shows, but there is more to learn and understand.

What exactly is house flipping? 

Flipping houses is when an investor purchases a property with the intention of fixing it up and quickly reselling it. Most homebuyers want a move-in ready home, so flippers often buy properties that most buyers aren’t able or willing to renovate. The key is finding the right property and flipping it fast.

It can also refer to purchasing and reselling properties in a market where home values are on the rise. In this case, a real estate investor may spot a foreclosure or low-priced home, purchase it and wait a few months until home prices increase. They will then re-list it at a higher price and sell it for a profit.

Ready to get started? Read on to learn about the important steps to take when starting out.

1. Research a range of markets.

How much money will you have to work with? $20,000 will not help you invest in areas with an average sales price of $800,000. Your budget will help you narrow your options. If your hometown is outrageously expensive, consider investing in areas further away, especially ones with rising home prices and strong demand.

2. Set a budget and a business plan.

Every good entrepreneur needs a plan. What amount are you comfortable investing? How big of a renovation project are you up for? All of these things need to be considered when making your plan.

3. Line up your financing BEFORE you need it.

The best deals out there will be snatched up quickly. Make sure you are already pre-approved and have a lender lined up who can finance your deal before you look at properties. You don’t want to miss out on a hot property with huge profit potential. Investor Loan Source can help you with a fix and flip loan. Visit us online to learn more or better yet, apply online today!

4. Build your network of contractors.

It is important to have a team of contractors that you can depend on. You will likely need general contractors, electricians, roofers, plumbers, painters, HVAC experts and well-rounded handymen at some point while flipping houses. Begin building your network ahead of time to avoid stress and delays – time is money in this business.

5. Find a house to flip.

One of the most important aspects of flipping houses is being able to find good deals. It is important to find homes that are not only priced below value, but with wide enough margins to cover your many expenses. For help finding on-market deals you can work with a realtor. For help finding off-market deals you may want to consider working with wholesalers or beginning a direct mail campaign. Patience is often key when finding houses to flip.

6. Buy the house.

As soon as your contract is accepted, you will want to hire a home inspector to ensure the home is structurally sound and the mechanical systems are in good working order. A thorough home inspection will likely take several hours and is critical in ensuring the home will not come with expensive surprises. After the inspection, walk the home with your chosen contractors so you can properly prepare for the next important step.

7. Renovate the property.

Every month that goes by comes with interest and carrying costs – utilities, taxes, insurance and other expenses. The faster you can complete renovations, the faster you can sell it! Be sure to make repairs and upgrades to the home that will add value to the property. Don’t overdo it. Adding high-end, expensive countertops to an $80,000 property is probably not necessary and could eat away your profits. Stick to your budget and timeline.

8. Sell it!

This step is often the easiest if you’ve made the right renovations and priced the home correctly. It’s also the funnest as it entails reaping the profits of your hard work and planning!

Learning how to flip houses can be overwhelming. Lean on experts – your lender, contractors, home inspectors and realtors. Network with other house flippers. Most experienced house flippers have learned from their mistakes and will be happy to share tips on what to do and what to avoid when investing in homes in need of repairs. Building a strong network and planning ahead will help you set yourself up for success.

Need a fix and flip loan for your investment property? Contact Investor Loan Source at 409-735-6267 or visit our website and get pre-approved today!