Timothy Real Estate Group | Vallarta Mexico

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Real Estate or Residential Notes—What Makes a Good Deal?

Finding good residential and real estate notes

I really can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked the question: Is this a good note deal? So, first, let’s consider why people ask this question. I think it’s because they want to hear your response or opinion of what a good note deal actually is. Although I’m honored that those who ask me value my opinion, I don’t want to do them a disservice by giving them a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Besides, what’s a good note deal for me isn’t necessarily a good note deal for someone else. When a real estate investor, who’s getting started in notes, asks me about a note deal, I try to explain my take on it by relating it to a real estate deal.

So, What Makes a Good Real Estate Deal?

At first, sometimes it is hard to tell, or to know, if you have a good deal until you get some experience. Let’s look at real estate, for example, there are several areas of a deal where you can make money:

  • The buy – When I first started in Real Estate, I paid close to retail like most people, who are just starting out. Today, I would usually only buy properties from motivated, or distressed, sellers. Another way to find a good deal on the buy, is finding a discrepancy in fair market value or a property in lesser conditions.
  • Rehabbing the property – Although heavy rehabs tend to be more profitable, sometimes you can find properties that don’t need as much done and that can be turned around quickly. If you have experience rehabbing, you may also have more knowledge of what everything costs. Another skill set that can give you an advantage, besides creativity and the ability to rehab a property, involves managing contractors.
  • Management –Were your estimates accurate? Did you come in under budget? Did you finish the rehab in a timely manner? If you’re using private money, the longer the deal takes, the more it will cost you.
  • Shopping for financing – The time and effort it takes to find financing, as well as the type of financing you find, can affect the profitability of your deal. For example, private money is usually cheaper than hard money. Also, people with good credit get better terms.
  • Foresight – Your level of foresight can go a long way. For example, there was a property I paid retail for ($65,000), but I saw potential to build a commercial garage on an adjacent lot. Now, the property is worth over $200,000.
  • Marketing – If you’re skilled at marketing, you will get the property rented or sold quicker than someone, who’s not skilled at marketing.

Any of these things can turn an okay deal into a really good deal.

I remember when my cousin and I were investing in similar types of properties; he always had to get a great deal on the buy side because he can’t change a light bulb. I, on the other hand, I had a few advantages. For one, I was a …read more

10 Of The Strangest (And Coolest) Houses You’ve Ever Seen

Strange Houses

Some architects don’t like to draw inside the lines and some homeowners don’t like to live like everyone else. Have you ever gotten bored with the same old “cookie-cutter” designs that home builders have been using for centuries on end?

If you’ve ever wanted to try something different with your next home or building project, perhaps these unique houses around the world will offer you some inspiration (and good luck getting approval from your Home Owners Association)…

Related: 20 Of The Weirdest Things Documented During Property Inspections (Some Of These Will Blow Your Mind, Especially #2)

1. Tiny House, United States

TinyHouse6

tinyhouse2

TinyHouse5

Source: tumbleweedhouses.com

2. Transparent House, Japan

transparenthouse1

transparenthouse2

transparenthouse3

transparenthouse4

Source: sou-fujimoto.net (via boredpanda.com)

3. Skinny House, Poland

skinnyhouse1

skinnyhouse2

skinnyhouse3

skinnyhouse4

Source: domkereta.pl (via boredpanda.com)

4. Flintstones House, United States

FlintstonesHome1

FlintstonesHome2

FlintstonesHome3

FlintstonesHome4

Source: boredpanda.com

5. Seashell House, Mexico

SeashellHouse1

SeashellHouse2

SeashellHouse3

SeashellHouse4

Source: demilked.com

6. The Simpsons Replica House, United States

SimpsonsHouse1

SimpsonsHouse3

SimpsonsHouse2

SimpsonsHouse4

Source: mentalfloss.com

7. Skateboard House, United States

SkateboardHouse1

SkateboardHouse2

SkateboardHouse3

Source: boredpanda.com

8. Cat Heaven, United States

CatHouse1

CatHouse2

CatHouse3

Source: theownerbuildernetwork.co

9. School Bus / Mobile Home, United States

BusHouse1

BusHouse2

BusHouse3

BusHouse4

Source: hankboughtabus.com | Photos: Justin Evidon (via)

10. Vintage Boeing 727, Costa Rica

7271

7272

7273

7274

Source: tripadvisor.com

The post 10 Of The Strangest (And Coolest) Houses You’ve Ever Seen is property of The BiggerPockets Blog. and is Copyright

Are You Making This Common Entity Mistake?

Common Entity Mistake

Meeting with clients this time of the year is great for my Bigger Pockets writing….it creates lots of real life situations that I can share with you guys on things to look out for and mistakes to stay away from. Today I wanted to talk about legal entity mistakes. I am not an attorney so I do not have the credentials to provide you with legal advice. In fact, my legal opinion is probably worth about a dollar, if that. Nonetheless I would still like to share these common errors that I see with you and I would love to also hear some comments from attorneys in our Bigger Pockets community as well.

Here is the Common Scenario:

A client walks in with their tax information and tells me they have formed a few legal entities. Company A was formed to hold rental property on Main Street. Company B was formed to hold property on Harbor Street. Company C was formed for some fix and flip that they were planning on doing. And last but not least Company D was formed to be the holding company of all of these entities. My first question is generally: Great, tell me how the new entities have been working out for you?

Inevitably, there will be the client who turns red and then tell me that they have actually not used any of these entities that were created. Rental properties are still held by their personal names, rent checks still being made to their personal accounts. What about the game plan for that lucrative fix and flip business? Well, it was hard to get a property under contract so no deals have actually been done in the entity just yet.

Related: C Corporation: The Active Real Estate Investor’s Preferred Choice of Entity

Reality Check…

This means that I, as the tax advisor, have to be the bearer of bad news and give them a reality check. Essentially, what has happened is that the client has incurred a lot of costs (i.e.: legal fees, state fees, etc.) and time to form these legal entities that they are not getting any benefit for. Why would someone go through all the trouble of forming entities for asset protection and tax write offs but then never actually use the entities? I can’t answer that question myself….but I can say that this scenario applies to a lot of people that I meet with. So, if what I described above sounds eerily like you, don’t feel too bad because you are not alone.

My guess as to why this happens is that I think maybe some investors have a false sense of security in that they think by simply paying an attorney to form a legal entity that somehow they magically get asset protection. Well….this is definitely not the case. Based on my experience, owning a legal entity alone provides you with no real asset protection. You actually need to be utilizing the entity correctly and in the way that you attorney intended for you to use it before you get any real asset protection.

The minimum to be done is to at least transfer your property into the entity. Title should definitely be transferred out of your personal name if you want to protect your personal assets from potential lawsuits.

You will also want to makes sure you set up a company bank account for your entity so that the account can be used to receive income and pay expenses with. This way you can show that the entity is distinct and separate from you. Another great benefit of having an entity bank account is that it makes things a heck of a lot easier for you at tax time. If you have ever paid your real estate expenses from your personal bank accounts, you know what I am referring to when I talk about the pain and time needed for you to break out the real estate expenses from your personal bank account at tax time. This is something that can easily be avoided if you have an entity bank account to pay for all your real estate related expenses.

Related: What Type of Legal Entity Should I Hold my Real Estate In?

Furthermore…

Having separate bank accounts can help you tremendously for audit protection purposes. IRS generally puts more weight to something being a business expense if it is paid out of a legitimate operating legal entity rather than out of your personal bank account.

Now what about that entity you formed last year for your planned fix and flip business? Well, I would definitely ask yourself the question: Do I plan on flipping properties this year? If the answer is yes, then start using that entity for all your flip related income and expenses. If the answer is no, then now is a good time to visit with your CPA to strategize on what the best thing is to do with that entity. For example, are there other ways we can use this entity to save taxes or minimize liability exposure? Or is it simply better to just dissolve the entity and minimize costs of an entity that is no longer needed.

Another common myth that I see is that people often think that because a legal entity was not used, there are no taxes to be filed. That is definitely incorrect. Yes, it is possible that in certain instances, you would not be required to file a tax return if no business was done in the entity. However, most of the time tax returns are required even for entities with no activities. Whether a tax return needs to be filed for an entity or not will depend on the state you live in, the state the entity is formed in, as well as who the owners are. The IRS imposes hefty penalties for entities that don’t file the required …read more

How to Buy a Rental Property in the Next 90 Days (With Bonus PDF!)

Post image for How to Buy a Rental Property in the Next 90 Days (With Bonus PDF!)

I was sitting down for dinner with a friend the other night and he said to me “Brandon, I want to buy my first property but there is so much information out there. I just want to see the whole process, neatly outlined, so I know my step by step plan.”

And I thought “Isn’t’ that we all want when learning something new?

We want to see the whole picture, not just broken up parts.

Today I want to help you do just that – learn the step by step process for getting your first rental property in the next 90 days. For those of you who like something tangible to look at, at the end of this post I’ll show you where you can download a free 1-page PDF summary of this process- neat and clean, just like my buddy ordered.

Alright, let’s get started.

Step One: Get Pre-Approved.

Unless you plan on paying cash (which would be great) you are going to need a pre-approval letter from the bank or other lender.

We start with this step because I don’t want you wasting time only to find out you can’t afford it. Your lender will help you know exactly how much cash you’ll need.

Step Two: Get in Touch With a Real Estate Agent.

Don’t just call the name on the park bench by your house.

Look for an agent who is willing to spend the time needed to help you get the perfect deal.

Get recommendations from others and pick someone you get along great with.

The best part is, a real estate agent is paid by the seller- so it’s free for you to use one!

Step Three: Define What You are Looking For.

Let your agent know exactly what kind of property you are interested in. If it’s a duplex, you don’t want to waste time looking at single family homes. And vise versa.

Step Four: Start Looking

Yes, you’ll actually need to spend some afternoons with your real estate agent looking at potential properties. And like dating, the more you look at, the better you’ll recognize “The right one” when it comes along.

Don’t be afraid of looking at properties that might need a little TLC, but don’t get in over your head either. Once you find the right one, you’ll need to do Step Five, which is

Step Five: Do The Math

A rental property is only as strong as it’s math. (yes, you should Tweet that)

Run the numbers and make sure it pencils out. Be conservative, and be sure to plan for property management, vacancy, repairs, and more.

I’d recommend running the numbers through a good property analysis tool, like The BiggerPockets Rental Property Calculator to make sure you are looking at all the facts and figures.

Moving On

Step Six: Make an Offer

Okay repeat after me:

I WILL NOT OVERPAY

Negotiate with the seller and stick to your math from step 5.

You might go back and forth a few times, and you might even lose the deal and have to start over. But whatever you do …

Do Not Overpay.

Soon enough you’ll get an offer accepted and you’ll be ready to move on to

Step Seven: Do Your Due Diligence

At this point, you want to make sure there are no hidden surprises at the property.

Hire a property inspector to walk through every inch of the property looking for potential problems.

If you find any, either :

  • suck it up if it’s not too bad,
  • ask the seller to fix it if it is bad,
  • and if it’s really bad – walk away.

During this time your agent will help you shuffle the correct paperwork between them, your lender, and your title company.

Step 8: Close on the Property

It’s been a journey, but finally you are ready to close.

You’ll show up to the Title Company (or attorney) and they’ll take care of the rest. You might even get some chocolate at the front desk! Once the title and deed are recorded at the county, you’ll get the keys and be the proud owner of your very own rental property!

Now comes the fun part – managing your properties. And for tips on that, you’ll have to wait for another blog post!

As promised above, I created a simple 1-page PDF of these steps so you can print it out and hang it on your wall or just keep in your files. To get it, simply click the photo on the right and head over the BiggerPockets FilePlace and download it for free!

Finally, if you could do me two quick favors:

  • Share this video on your Facebook or Twitter account
  • Leave me a comment below. I love comments and would love to chat more about this stuff!
  • The post How to Buy a Rental Property in the Next 90 Days (With Bonus PDF!) is property of The BiggerPockets Blog. and is Copyright

    New Puerto Vallarta ‘House Hunters International’ Episode Airs Tomorrow!

    HGTV ‘House Hunters International’ Returns Once More To Puerto Vallarta Timothy Real Estate Group and Taniel Chemsian are at it again on HGTV’s popular television series ‘House Hunters International’. This time they are with fashion designed Andrew Christian, who is looking for unique home to escape to from his hectic work schedule back in the …

    New Puerto Vallarta ‘House Hunters International’ Episode Airs Tomorrow! Read More »

    La Fundación Make-A-Wish es Un Beneficiario del próximo Evento de Caridad “House Hunters Internacional” en Puerto Vallarta

    La Fundación Make-A-Wish es Un Beneficiario del próximo Evento de Caridad “House Hunters Internacional” en Puerto Vallarta Timothy Real Estate Group será el anfitrión del segundo evento House Hunters International para recaudar fondos el 24 de noviembre del 2014 en el Nuevo club de playa Mantamar en la Playa de Los Muertos, beneficiando a cuatro …

    La Fundación Make-A-Wish es Un Beneficiario del próximo Evento de Caridad “House Hunters Internacional” en Puerto Vallarta Read More »

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