Thinking of Investing in Real Estate?

Thought about investing lately? No, not your 401(k) or mutual fund.

Investing in real estate.

There’s a tremendous opportunity right now to become a real estate investor here in the Austin area for multiple reasons. And it’s much easier than you might think. In fact, it’s a very simple process. Rental properties are evaluated just like any other single family home and all you need is at least a 15% down payment.

Why should you invest in real estate?

Home values in the Austin area continue to rise. According to the most recent information from the Austin Board of Realtors, the median price for single family homes is 10% higher compared to the same period last year.  Can you name any other type of investment that provided such a return? Plus, your equity is secured by a first lien. Unlike other types of investments, your rental property value will never drop to zero!

Another motivating factor is the current state of interest rates. Interest rates for rental properties have been so low for so long that rental payments cover the mortgage, property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs in most cases.  Rental rates in Austin are also on the rise meaning the rents take care of your loan, maintenance costs, and you’re actually making money, or cash flowing, each month.

Here in Austin, there has been considerable interest in investment properties and rightly so. The combination of low rates and higher rents make investment real estate a very attractive option. In addition, if the property you buy currently has tenants, the lender can use the rental income to help qualify for the new loan.  And speaking of financing, these low rates are fixed, not adjustable, so your cash flow and equity will continue to grow well into the future.

This article is sponsored by Tera Gilbert of New Penn Financial.  If you’ve been thinking about investing in real estate here in the Austin area or want more information, contact Edwin Lui or Tera Gilbert for a free consultation. There may never be a better time to buy a rental property in Austin than right now.

2014 Cost vs. Value: 5 Mid-Range Remodeling Projects That Offer the Biggest Returns

Just replacing that front door may offer some of the biggest bang for a remodelers’ buck, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. It’s one of the least expensive remodeling jobs and offers the potential of a 96.6 percent return on investment at resale – the highest of 35 remodeling projects recently analyzed. Front door replacement has topped the Cost vs. Value report since the first survey in 2009.

Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, each year takes a look at some of the most popular remodeling projects and gauges how well the projects retain their value at resale.

For mid-range projects, here are projects that retain their value by the highest rates, according to national averages:

1. Entry door replacement (steel)

Estimated job cost: $1,162

Estimated resale value: $1,122

Cost recouped: 96.6%

2. Deck addition (wood)

Estimated job cost: $9,539

Estimated resale value: $8,334

Cost recouped: 87.4%

3. Attic bedroom

Estimated job cost: $49,438

Estimated resale value: $41,656

Cost recouped: 84.3%

4. Garage door replacement

Estimated job cost: $1,534

Estimated resale value: $1,283

Cost recouped: 83.7%

5. Minor kitchen remodel

Estimated job cost: $18,856

Estimated resale value: $15,585

Cost recouped: 82.7%

By: Melissa Tracy on March 24, 2014

Rising Interest Rates Means Homes are More Expensive

With interest rates at historic lows, home buyers have been taking advantage of “cheap” money for the past couple years.  But interest rates are set to rise with the federal reserve’s decrease in bond purchasing.  The availability of cheap money will be gone soon so if you’re on the fence about purchasing, take a hard look at the following numbers:

Example: A buyer gets a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 5 percent interest rate on a $300,000 loan.

Monthly payment: $1,610.46
Total payment: $579,569.69
Total interest: $279,769.69

Example: A buyer gets a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 6 percent interest rate on a $300,000 loan.

Monthly payment = $1,798.65
Total payment = $647,515.44
Total interest = $347,515.44

Just a 1% rise in interest rate increases the monthly payment $188 and the total interest almost $68,000.  To avoid this increase, give me a call today!


Rental Vacancy Rates Lowest in Ten Years

Nationwide rental vacancy rates are now the lowest in the past ten years, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.  Current vacancy rates are 4.2%, the lowest since 2001 when it was 3.9%.

If you’re looking to diversity your funds into real estate to generate instant cash flow and build long-term wealth, call Edwin Lui at 512-554-9594.


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