6 Tips For Top Real Estate Investors

6 Tips For Top Real Estate Investors 


We believe that it is important for real estate investors to embody and hone in on some skill sets that top real estate investors practice:

1. Real estate investors have homework too.

The more you are able to understand your local real estate marking, best practices, financing processes, and negotiation tactics, the more informed you will be in any real estate scenario.  Remember the party that is most aware, always has an upper hand in either securing a better deal, or knowing when someone is trying to hide something.  When you invest in your personal skill set, your real estate know-how will become equally sharp.  Consider this - take what you read from the gurus and from the internet with a grain of salt.  Each market is different and each transaction is unique.  Talk to the heavy hitters in your favorite neighborhoods and dig deep in regards to the private information.  Really get a firm grasp on how things happen and where to buy.

2. Realist Real Estate Investors

Sure, we are in one of the best buyer's markets of all times.  Yes, there are a lot of distressed properties that need rehab and there are a lot of homeowners upside in their current situations.  But that doesn't mean that every offer you make is going to get accepted.  Remember, it is a numbers game in real estate.  The amount of contracts you get signed is equally proportionate to amount of offers you make.  Tip: If you are not embarrassed to present your offer, then it is too high.  If you do this long enough, you will become more comfortable at presenting your offers.  From there, who knows what kinds of deals you will find.

3. Get your money straight ahead of time. 

It always amuses us how many people spend countless hours scouring the MLS, digging though classified ads, and send direct mail to home owners, and then when it comes down to closing, they are running around like a maniac trying to secure financing at the last minute.  If you are a qualified investor and you know these markets, it would be highly beneficial to have your financing lined up and a proof of funds letter in hand to present with your offers.  Do you research and find a reputable rehab lender or hard money lender that you can develop a relationship with.  There is nothing worse than putting in all those hours to get an accepted contract, and then have things fall apart because you were doing things out of order.  This segues back to point 1 - do your homework.

4. Always overestimate your costs and underestimate the after repair value.  If you can make money in this situation, then you will make money with this deal.   The reason so many investors exit strategies fall apart, is because they over-inflated their after repair value and did not budget for added costs during the rehab.

5. Know what type of property you want. 

If you want a bank-owned property, focus on bank owned property.  If you like 3-family homes located within a .6 mile radius from your local college, then stick to that area.  Remember, lack of focus in your investing will make you feel like you are running around blindfolded.  Get focused.  Get results.  And then scale up from there.  Ever met a real estate investor who owns half the block?  Think it is an accident?

6. Real estate is local. 

Do not pay attention to national markets (unless you invest in national markets).  Pick a "farm" - a dedicated area that you want to invest in.  Then hone in and focus on the best blocks.  Learn as much as you can at that level first before calculating the rise and fall of average home value in the US.  Smart investors make money no matter the current state of "the real estate market"

As a real estate investor, being smart pays off.



Back to School Time!!

Back-to-School Transitions: Tips for Parents

By Ted Feinberg, EdD, NCSP, & Katherine C. Cowan
National Association of School Psychologists

Getting a new school year off to a good start can influence children’s attitude, confidence, and performance both socially and academically. The transition from August to September can be difficult for both children and parents. Even children who are eager to return to class must adjust to the greater levels of activity, structure, and, for some, pressures associated with school life.

The degree of adjustment depends on the child, but parents can help their children (and the rest of the family) manage the increased pace of life by planning ahead, being realistic, and maintaining a positive attitude. Here are a few suggestions to help ease the transition and promote a successful school experience.

Before School Starts

Good physical and mental health. Be sure your child is in good physical and mental health. Schedule doctor and dental checkups early. Discuss any concerns you have over your child’s emotional or psychological development with your pediatrician. Your doctor can help determine if your concerns are normal, age-appropriate issues or require further assessment. Your child will benefit if you can identify and begin addressing a potential issue before school starts. Schools appreciate the efforts of parents to remedy problems as soon as they are recognized.

Review all of the information. Review the material sent by the school as soon as it arrives. These packets include important information about your child’s teacher, room number, school supply requirements, sign ups for after-school sports and activities, school calendar dates, bus transportation, health and emergency forms, and volunteer opportunities.

Mark your calendar. Make a note of important dates, especially back-to-school nights. This is especially important if you have children in more than one school and need to juggle obligations. Arrange for a babysitter now, if necessary.

Make copies. Make copies of all your child’s health and emergency information for reference. Health forms are typically good for more than a year and can be used again for camps, extracurricular activities, and the following school year.

Buy school supplies early. Try to get the supplies as early as possible and fill the backpacks a week or two before school starts. Older children can help do this, but make sure they use a checklist that you can review. Some teachers require specific supplies, so save receipts for items that you may need to return later.

Re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines. Plan to re-establish the bedtime and mealtime routines (especially breakfast) at least 1 week before school starts. Prepare your child for this change by talking with your child about the benefits of school routines in terms of not becoming over tired or overwhelmed by school work and activities. Include pre-bedtime reading and household chores if these were suspended during the summer.

Turn off the TV. Encourage your child to play quiet games, do puzzles, flash cards, color, or read as early morning activities instead of watching television. This will help ease your child into the learning process and school routine. If possible, maintain this practice throughout the school year. Television is distracting for many children, and your child will arrive at school better prepared to learn each morning if he or she has engaged in less passive activities.

Visit school with your child. If your child is young or in a new school, visit the school with your child. Meeting the teacher, locating their classroom, locker, lunchroom, etc., will help ease pre-school anxieties and also allow your child to ask questions about the new environment. Call ahead to make sure the teachers will be available to introduce themselves to your child.

Minimize clothes shopping woes. Buy only the essentials. Summer clothes are usually fine during the early fall, but be sure to have at least one pair of sturdy shoes. Check with your school to confirm dress code guidelines. Common concerns include extremely short skirts and shorts, low rise pants, bare midriffs, spaghetti strap or halter tops, exposed undergarments, and clothing that have antisocial messages.

Designate and clear a place to do homework. Older children should have the option of studying in their room or a quiet area of the house. Younger children usually need an area set aside in the family room or kitchen to facilitate adult monitoring, supervision, and encouragement.

Select a spot to keep backpacks and lunch boxes. Designate a spot for your children to place their school belongings as well as a place to put important notices and information sent home for you to see. Explain that emptying their backpack each evening is part of their responsibility, even for young children.

Freeze a few easy dinners. It will be much easier on you if you have dinner prepared so that meal preparation will not add to household tensions during the first week of school.

The First Week

Clear your own schedule. To the extent possible, postpone business trips, volunteer meetings, and extra projects. You want to be free to help your child acclimate to the school routine and overcome the confusion or anxiety that many children experience at the start of a new school year.

Make lunches the night before school. Older children should help or make their own. Give them the option to buy lunch in school if they prefer and finances permit.

Set alarm clocks. Have school-age children set their own alarm clocks to get up in the morning. Praise them for prompt response to morning schedules and bus pickups.

Leave plenty of extra time. Make sure your child has plenty of time to get up, eat breakfast, and get to school. For very young children taking the bus, pin to their shirt or backpack an index card with pertinent information, including their teacher’s name and bus number, as well as your daytime contact information.

After school. Review with your child what to do if he or she gets home after school and you are not there. Be very specific, particularly with young children. Put a note card in their backpack with the name(s) and number(s) of a neighbor who is home during the day as well as a number where you can be reached. If you have not already done so, have your child meet neighbor contacts to reaffirm the backup support personally.

Review your child’s schoolbooks. Talk about what your child will be learning during the year. Share your enthusiasm for the subjects and your confidence in your child’s ability to master the content. Reinforce the natural progression of the learning process that occurs over the school year. Learning skills take time and repetition. Encourage your child to be patient, attentive, and positive.

Send a brief note to your child’s teacher. Let the teachers know that you are interested in getting regular feedback on how and what your child is doing in school. Be sure to attend back-to-school night and introduce yourself to the teachers. Find out how they like to communicate with parents (e.g., through notes, e-mail, or phone calls). Convey a sincere desire to be a partner with your children’s teachers to enhance their learning experience.

Familiarize yourself with the other school professionals. Make an effort to find out who it is in the school or district who can be a resource for you and your child. Learn their roles and how best to access their help if you need them. This can include the principal and front office personnel; school psychologist, counselor, and social worker; the reading specialist, speech therapist, and school nurse; and the after-school activities coordinator

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