ON MARKET: 26651 Elk Run, South Lyon MI schools, New Hudson MI spotless 3/3.5/2 under $300k !

Just Listed! Open Sat 2/15 2-5pm





Related Articles:

  • Coming soon:

    • 2-3 Bd/ 2 Bth/ 4 car Flushing MI ~ historic very updated home under $130k

    • 3 Bd/ 2 Bth/ 2 car Columbiaville MI ~ lakefront home with extra lot needs some cosmetic updating. $300k range.

 

 

* Anibal Group LLC does not offer legal advice. This article is not to be considered advice specific to your situation. Most financial decisions should involve advice from a trusted professional of your choice that will advise on insurance, legal, banking/ lending, structural/ property condition, and other transaction significant matters. We can offer referrals for CPA’s and other professionals.

SERIES: Home Care ~ Really Cold Outside? Turn Heat UP, not Down!

For home improvement, care, and maintenance tips, follow this series. We’ve ‘been there, done that’.


SERIES: Your net worth strategy includes caring for your home. This pays dividends when you sell, not just now. The ‘Portfolio Approach’ has never made more sense than now.

ITS COLD OUT!Anibal Group LLC. Realty NetWorth_Lake.Shannon.net.winter.2018_12_07

If you have neighbors in older homes they tend to have hot water heat – so exterior pipes! Remind them and anyone else that may have hot water heat that its best in extreme cold to turn heat UP, not down.

The furnace cycles on/off and when off, water stops moving. The temp at the outside wall will be some average of outside air and the setting on the thermostat. e.g.: Set on 65, outside is -5 then that temp could be under freezing! This is especially true near doors, on the windy side of the house, and where pipes pass thru walls/ floors.

  1. Open closet doors. Anibal Group LLC Realty Net Worth - Home Improvement care and maintenance series
  2. Allow inside air access to pipes as much as possible.
  3. Move obstruction from near pipes.
  4. Know where the water shut off and/ or well shut off is (and a wet vac should things turn ugly).


Related Articles:


* Anibal Group LLC does not offer legal advice. This article is not to be considered advice specific to your situation. Most financial decisions should involve advice from a trusted professional of your choice that will advise on insurance, legal, banking/ lending, structural/ property condition, and other transaction significant matters. We can offer referrals for CPA’s and other professionals.

SERIES: Your net worth strategy~Another RNW Brokerage Perk: Income Tax Savings.

How much you can SAVE on INCOME TAXES using a REALTY BROKER (us) that gives INCOME & PROPERTY TAX ADVICE in the professional service package & offers ALA CARTE BILLING?


SERIES: Your net worth strategy just changed with the tax law changes. The ‘Portfolio Approach’ has never made more sense than now.

Think about if you have, had, or are considering any of the below?

  • … income property?AnibalGroupLLC_RealtyNetWorth_tax-savings-with-buy-sell-brokerage
  • … a small business or 1099 contract income?
  • … an entity such as S-Corp, LLC, or Partnership?
  • … using property as home office, land storage rental, pole barn use, attached apartment for related/unrelated, or VRBO.com style letting?
  • … college (or other) housing for student/ child?
  • … providing housing for parent?
  • … vacation/ seasonal property that may have mixed use?
  • … relocation related to work?

Here’s an example of what you could save over using another agent/ brokerage who will not be including or offering taxation perspective in how your deal is structured, financed, the timing, how title is held, and other topics from a taxation perspective.*



Related Articles:


* Anibal Group LLC does not offer legal advice. This article is not to be considered advice specific to your situation. Most financial decisions should involve advice from a trusted professional of your choice that will advise on insurance, legal, banking/ lending, structural/ property condition, and other transaction significant matters. We can offer referrals for CPA’s and other professionals.

Vacation & relocations: Savannah GA. Meeting you where & when you move.

Your net worth strategy just changed with the tax law changes. The ‘Portfolio Approach’ has never made more sense than now when you look at your:

  • Saving for retirementAnibalGroupLLC_RealtyNetWorth_ 10-24-2018 7-54-05 PM
  • Property holding(s)
  • Tax minimizing
  • Net Worth maximizing

Here’s an example day visit to somewhere you may have considered buying. It could be Savannah GA, or Hilton Head SC, Charleston SC, Myrtle Beach, NC, VA, or Maryland as well. Yes, we broker in MI, FL, and meet clients at all points in between.



Related Articles:


CHARITY GIFTS & MATCHING

Anibal-Group-RealtyNetWorth-CharitiesI’ll match your charitable contribution w/up to 10% of our commission.

Simply choose your charity when initiating services.


Currently Supported:


Like your charity added to my giving list?

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Please provide contact info, web link and photo to get started.


 

Selling a house: Sellers do you hurt the process?

Selling a house ? Its about 1 buyer, not ‘hits’, not ‘showings’. Meet & Discuss


Here’s some of the worst mistakes sellers make.

  • Pricing too high:
    • The big reason I use an in-depth approach model to a pricing range is because I feel is THE Most important aspect of the selling experience. Buyers have had their search app set to send them updates. Overprice and you’ll show up in searches of properly priced homes. ‘Days on market‘ ? What does this mean to you? No other brokerage uses our valuation model OR our approach to prevent the ‘stale’ listing.
  • Fist impression:Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-gorgeous-bedroom-1-selling-staging
    • Flowers, lawn, edging, lights (if eve). If it doesn’t draw the eye away from the next house, buyers have already started to look for reasons they don’t like the inside once they step through the door.
  • Making the place ‘sell – ready’:
    • Selling a house, car, or garage sale items … dirty, and non-functional aspects are over emphasized the potential buyers mind(s). Clean and fix as if you are looking to buy it! This includes emptying storage areas and staging…without clutter. You’re not selling a candy bar – do the work, glean the $’s.
  • The inspection, do it before the offer(s):
    • Sellers that won’t take my word for it should get an inspection up front. Why? You can present it as part of the marketing material and avoid the offers that try and hustle the seller after tying up the house with ‘nit pick’ things that you should have attended to before. Fix it, or disclose it before they write – thank me later.
  • Taking feedback as a personal attack:
    • Why are sellers shocked that buyers also want the best deal? Its numbers. Lets update the valuation spreadsheet, then as dad said ‘tell them what you WILL do, not what you won’t’…. the house is sold, if you want to buy it back, state your price.

More from:

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Do those home sites make you wonder what you are getting.

  • Lots of ‘hits’! Are they qualified buyers or just ‘photo surfers’?
  • Lots of showings. Ready to act buyers? … or agents using your house to compare against?

Get:

  • The data you need to make a big decision.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-Sell-CMA-Valuation-Analysis-PUBLIC
  • ‘Drill down’ marketing to bring ones that really want your place (and will pay for it).
  • ‘Property Specific’ (not plug-n-play):
    • Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that takes more than a few minutes. Most are very over-simplified. Zillow reviews.
    • Pre-listing ‘to do’ list.
    • Website that showcases your property ONLY without distracting ‘click-aways’.
    • Marketing using specific demographics & interests unique to your offering.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-YourSpace247 seller
    • Videos of your property and area.
    • Your own portal space – 24/7 access.

 



My Continuing Education

Just finished another years course work. Again, I try to take a curriculum I feel most benefits my clientele. So what kind of classes do I take?

To keep a license active, continuing education is a requirement, both for Michigan and Florida real estate brokers (and agents). Most folks may not realize but we may choose from many different ‘approved’ classes.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-NetWorth-Basics-1

Here is some recent completions for MI real estate con-ed / FL real estate con-ed / and income tax con-ed:


  • MI Green Matters and the Environment 2018
  • MI House Construction 2018
  • MI 6 HOUR PACKAGE E: Real Estate Legal Issues & Disclosure 2017Anibal-Group-LLC-Realty-Net-Worth-All-Over-USA-seal-beach-california
  • MI 6 HOUR PACKAGE D: Contract Law & Residential Leasing 2016
  • MI: [LAW] Agency 2015
  • MI ELECTIVE: Commercial Leasing 2015
  • MI ELECTIVE: House Construction 2015
  • MI ELECTIVE: Home Inspections 2015

  • 18 hrs, FL con-ed
  • Ethics & Business Practices 2017
  • LAW – Core Law 2017
  • SPE – Real Estate Specialty Credit 2017Anibal Group LLC Florida Realty Ft Lauderdale FL Corral Ridge Pres

Outside of classrooms, I’ll purposefully engage in ‘real life experiences’ that would tend to enhance skills & knowledge to pass along. This includes recent visits relating current, past, and prospective relo clients that encompassed much of the east coast including Maryland, DC, Virginia, NC, Charleston/ Hilton Head SC, and Savannah GA. Projects included a roof tear off replacement & insulation upgrade. Those 90 bundles went on easier when I was young, the 2 layer tear off ?, no fun!



Buyers beware: Seller occupancy after closing

When the seller needs additional time after close and plan post-close occupancy, buyers may wish to consider some ramifications. Will this effect your financing? How about insurance issues? Who will cover costs? … repairs? … substantial losses? Anibal-Group-LLC-All-Over-USA


Definitions:

  • Use and Occupancy Agreement – Seller to Remain: Principle residence – form/agreement, general in nature.
  • License for the Limited Use and Occupancy Agreement – form/agreement, more specific in nature for use of subject premises.
  • leaseholdtenancy and complexity of legal rights and obligations
  • lease – transfers “possession”, and
  • license – grants “only the right to use the premises” – a license to use and occupy, and nothing more. As a preliminary matter, it’s probably not a bad idea to refer to and title the agreement between the parties as “a license for the limited use and occupancy” of the subject premises, rather than simply a “use and occupancy” agreement

Questions:

  • Ask Lender: Will non-owner occupancy effect financing?
  • Ask Insurance agent:
    • House burns down – sellers is living there – post close, who pays?
    • House burns down – sellers has not surrendered keys, not living there but has possessions still there – post close, who pays?
    • Slip n fall – who pays?
    • Do you need landlord insurance?
    • Appliances included break, drain or HVAC fail – who pays?
  • Ask Lawyer:
    • For an agreement to cover possible losses
    • Word agreement that will not create for seller ‘tenant rights’
  • Ask Accountant:
    • If the seller pays $X/day for more than 10 days overstay, is this rental income?

Critical:

  • Whether an agreement creates a lease or license may be determined by:
    • a) the extent of the parties’ control over the premises;
    • b) the language of the agreement;
    • c) the intent of the parties;
    • d) the duration of the expected occupancy;
    • e) whether usage payments are made on a day to day basis;
    • f ) whether the occupant is free to leave at any moment.
  • Limited Use and Occupancy Agreement (may include such items as):
    • Seller pays per diem amount of $____  ( Usually at least covers: mtg pyt, ins., taxes).
    • Escrow held to be released after surrender of keys and complete removal all items & debris not included in sale. ‘Broom clean’ vacating includes but is not limited to: house/ garage/ attic/ yard/ out-building(s)/ with no trash remaining at curbside. Escrow for potential damage, hold-over, & buyer satisfaction of post move-out inspection $____ (e.g.: 3% of purch. price).
    • After _____ days (e.g. 30), per diem occupancy will increase to $____ (e.g. 1.5 – 2X otherwise).
    • Seller is responsible for risk of loss during post close hold over & will deliver in good working condition, the property, items included w/ sale, HVAC & plumbing.
    • Buyer may enter premises at any reasonable time to inspect property.

Forms:

Links for further reading:


Please seek you own professional legal, tax, real estate, and insurance advice – not to the reliance of this article.


Michigan Principal Residence Exemption

A significant part of any move, relocation, addition of 2nd home, or estate plan involves taxes; income taxes & property taxes for starters. Hence, below is a primer how to not accidentally double your property tax bill, or conversely, overpay if not need be.


Definitions:

Principle residence: Plan to return after ‘short absences’. Assessor will look at: min 6 AnibalGroupLLC_RealtyNetWorth_ 10-24-2018 7-54-05 PMmonths per yr occupancy, mail, driver license, voting registration, utility usage consistent.

Entities:

Trust will allow PRE to the grantor in most situations. Does not apply to family LLC’s or other entites. A residence that has been transferred into a Limited Liability Company, a Partnership, or some other legal entity will cease to be qualified for the principal residence exemption.

Deadlines:

May 1 for summer tax bill, Nov 1 for winter tax bill.

Scenario #1: 2 principle residences

  • Both are claimed as principle – one owner/person
    • Best to rescind one no matter if it is across town, across the state, or across the country.
  • Both are claimed as principle – two owners/persons
    • What address and filing status (‘joint’ or ‘separate’) do they file on 1040?
    • Can you demonstrate per ‘principle residence’ definition above that it is indeed your princ. res.?
    • From linked article below: ‘…What if you are husband and wife? State and Federal laws are nothing if not unclear about this distinction. The general approach is that we treat married couples as a single unit. However, … for purposes of the principal residence exemption, if a husband and wife file a joint (MFJ) income tax return, they are entitled to one exemption for their “marital unit.” However, if they file separately (MFS), they may each claim an exemption. Beware, however, that they will still have to demonstrate the “intent” reality discussed above. In most cases, unless the parties are separated, that will be pretty difficult to do….’

Scenario #2:  Short term renting our residence

Even though ‘guidelines’ suggest if a property is rented > 14 days per year it is not a ‘principle’ residence, this is inconsistent with recent court rulings and the source law:

  • ‘… Concerned about losing your homestead exemption because you have been renting your home for more than 14 days per year? Fear not, as the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled in the taxpayer’s favor on this issue. Michigan’s Principal Residence …’
  • Per statue: ‘ … the MCA ruled “the PRE guideline provision relied on relied on by the Tribunal is erroneous and inconsistent with the GPTA (Michigan General Property Tax Act – added).  Renting one’s home for more than 14 days does not disqualify a homeowner from the PRE.” …’

Scenario #3:  Current house for sale, new house already purchased.

  • State of MI realized homes are not always bought/sold simultaneously. Further, 2-princ.res.exemptions.while.marketingduring ‘down’ markets – or slow times of the year – homeowners may wish to time the sales process of the old home. Hence, you may have an ‘on-market’ home still receiving a PRE for up to 3 yrs.

Forms:

Links for further reading:


Please seek you own professional legal, tax, real estate, and insurance advice – not to the reliance of this article.


My Continuing Education, your benefit.

I try to take a curriculum most useful to my clientele. So what kind of classes do I take?

To keep a license active, continuing education is a requirement, both for Michigan and Florida real estate brokers (and agents). Most folks may not realize but we may choose from many different ‘approved’ classes.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-NetWorth-Basics-1

Here is some recent completions for MI real estate con-ed / FL real estate con-ed / and income tax con-ed:


  • MI 6 HOUR PACKAGE E: Real Estate Legal Issues & Disclosure Anibal-Group-LLC-Realty-Net-Worth-All-Over-USA-seal-beach-california
  • MI 6 HOUR PACKAGE D: Contract Law & Residential Leasing
  • MI: [LAW] Agency
  • MI ELECTIVE: Commercial Leasing
  • MI ELECTIVE: House Construction
  • MI ELECTIVE: Home Inspections
  • MI ELECTIVE: Residential Leasing
  • MI: [LAW]: Contract Law

  • 18 hrs, FL con-edAnibal Group LLC Florida Realty Ft Lauderdale FL Corral Ridge Pres

 

 

 


Investing: then and now

In 2012 I’d predicted a real once per generation buying opportunity. Now I have the spreadsheets from client deals to back it up. Further, take a peak at this:

Anibal-Group-LLC-Realty-Net-Worth-A-look-back-at-investment-advice

So, after you re-read the old article from 2012 here:

Let me recommend a quick read here:


Then I invite you to sit down and chat about your portfolio/ homes/ vacation residence/ elder care and college town houses.Anibal-Group-LLC-Florida-Realty-101-I-Think-Its-Time

 


Meet & Discuss Further Share Your Buy Wish List



 

New tax law – new strategies.

  • Standard deduction – way up.Anibal-Group-LLC-Florida-Realty-101-I-Think-Its-Time
  • Itemized deductions – far less valuable.
  • Misc employee exps – gone.
  • State/local & property taxes capped at $10k total.
  • Planning point: move expenses to other places or eliminate them because they have less/no value.

  • LLC’s, S-Corps, Partnerships enjoy new 20% deduction.
  • Planning point: How you hold your property investments can have a big effect

Extra Reading:


Meet & Discuss Further Share Your Buy Wish List



‘Pocket Listings’ Who loves `em/ who hates `em & why?

Isn’t everything done best via the MLS? Lets look.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-for-sale-appliances-architecture-ceiling-chairs

Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Buy Wish List


Loves `em:

  1. Often seller(s) who want a highly controlled, minimally invasive, & best outcome approach to the selling process… a “rifle style”.
  2. The agent/broker who wants to take the time, target the marketing, minimize interference without publishing so much history and pricing data that it works to the buyers, not yours (the seller’s), favor.

Hates `em:

  1. The websites that sell ‘buyer leads’, they need to control the data. (Zillow/ Trulia/ Estately/ Redfin…)
  2. The buyer or buyers agent that wants as much control over the seller and their ‘story’ as possible.
  3. The ‘nosey neighbors’.
  4. The friends that want to know know more about you!
  5. A less than scrupulous agent that wants to put your house on ‘the tour’. In reality your home is a stop on the way to the one they want you to write an offer on.
  6. These are NOT real & qualified buyers of interest. They like the “shotgun style”

Perhaps look at it this way: Do you prefer thousands of curious lookers, or the highest thousands of $’s?

Related articles?

More about Selling ?

Like to talk further ?



 

Selling a house? vs. Online dating.

Selling a house ? Its about 1 buyer, not ‘# of hits’, not ‘# of showings’.

Meet & Discuss Further

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35 yrs as a Realtor/ Broker, always as an independent, not a franchise. Why?

Those ‘online dating’ sites make you wonder what you are getting.

  • Wow, lots of lookers! Are they potential/ qualified buyers or just ‘photo surfers’?
  • Ya, lots of dates – aka: showings. But again ready to act buyers … or just neighbors getting decorating ideas or agents using your house to compare against the one they plan on showing after yours?

Franchises are fine. They have a place. But my clients find when they ask for “Mr/Ms Top Producer”, they really get a group of less experienced ‘specialists’ & ‘processors’, etc. lacking a global vision. Marketing ? Those producers do have their systems, yet are they customized enough to make you feel you are getting:

  • All the data you need to make a big decision?
  • ‘Drill down’ marketing that will bring out the ones that really truly want your place (and will pay for it)?
  • ‘Property Specific’ (not plug-n-play/ off the shelf):
    • Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that takes more than a few minutes. Most Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-Sell-CMA-Valuation-Analysis-PUBLICare very over-simplified in methods AND accuracy? See my Zillow reviews.
    • Pre-listing ‘to do’ list?
    • Custom made mailers?
    • Website that shows your property ONLY without distracting ‘click-aways’?
    • Web advertising using specific demographics & interests unique to your offering?
    • Videos of not only your property but also the area leading to your home?
    • ‘Adwords’ on different search and social platforms?
  • Your very own portal space – feedback and doc’s area to enjoy (or ignore) 24/7.Anibal-Group-LLC-RealtyNetWorth-YourSpace247 seller

Summary: Make sure your selling agent/ broker can get past the ‘plug into’ format. Quick-n-easy tools are great for the new agent – often simplistic/ standardized. Are they best for you? Remember what you need. A buyer – 1 buyer to be exact.

Are the 1000 hits and 25 showings qualified and interested? or curiosity seekers? It is the ‘drilling down’ on that 1 unique buyer to get the best price with the least interference, at least in my approach!



‘Short Sale’

Short sale? – buyers beware!!

Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Wish List


  • easy,
  • quick,
  • predictable,
  • a sure possibility of condition of property or title history, etc.
  • NOT 

In fact, here are some excerpts from a Anibal-Group-LLCs-RealtyNetWorth-Handyman-Short-Sale-old-housedisclosure for buyers. I think it says it best:


‘…. If you will be frustrated beyond the savings of a short sale, then consider buying a home not under short sale. In other words, be prepared to be frustrated during the attempted approval period…’

KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY A SHORT SALE

  • Buyer and seller are advised that to a degree, all short sales are unique. Every transaction will be assigned to a loss mitigation specialist who will proceed based upon the current and ever changing needs and goals of the lender. What works with one short sale rarely is the same on the next.
  • Buyer and buyer’s agent acknowledge that because we handle multiple transactions, in order to best serve everyone buyer/ buyer’s agent will receive a link to a communications site for updates on the short sale process. Calls made to the office/ agent(s) will most likely not be acknowledged if updates are already posted. Extra calls, texts, & emails do nothing to further the process.
  • Once lender receives short sale offer documents, the lender may need minimum 40-60 days to approve. After approval, the sale must close at lenders approved time frame, often 30-45 calendar days, but may run 2 weeks to 12 months. It is common to receive no updates, no contact, and no calls from the lender.
  • Any ‘seller’ funds are usually paid to lender. The seller will receive no cash except for a HAFA short. The seller will bring no additional cash for any closing costs, buyer’s appraisal or home warranty.
  • Buyer home warranty is recommended by this office, your agent, and the broker, and may be purchased prior to close. The seller may not maintain the property.
  • Should buyer purchase a professional home inspection (highly recommended), the seller will not agree to any requested repairs. Many lenders are going to require certain repairs as a condition for loans, costs will be borne by buyer.
  • Buyer must communicate to seller through buyer’s real estate agent only as a courtesy to all involved parties.
  • Please acknowledge the above _________________

More reading:


 

 



Your Bigger Picture, and ‘Life Changes’

What does that tag line ‘Your Bigger Picture’ on our business card mean exactly? It includes taking a larger perspective on your home sale, first home purchase, vacation home or relocation, and your investment rentals & flips.Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-Lake-Shannon-duck-in-water-1.1

You see, there is indeed a ‘bigger picture’. After this many years in the business I’ve accumulated many stories – good & not so much – of considering a broader point of view. Its not all money. Its not all ‘I want’. Being such a large and potentially emotionally loaded transaction, I really like to mix in some ‘heart to heart’ moments should they possibly help. And really, a caring ear and some outside eyes that have ‘been there/ done that’ may save some heartache later, and hopefully bring some rewards of great ‘future memories’ yet to be made.

The holidays can bring heavy hearts for some. If not you, I still encourage you to make yourself a bit more informed so you might have a bit of empathy to pass along. Hence, I’m posting up an article that has nothing to do with real estate, and yet, many will need to sell and move at a time of ‘change’ such as passing of a loved one. If that’s you or a friend or family member, rest assured I’ll be as patient as possible, and give extra care through the ordeal of a move. Blessings!



When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong.

 



 

Assisting with the sale of an Elderly / Retired Person’s home.

When is it time to sell? For everyone its different. Frequently we begin to consider relocating when:

  • We become ’empty nesters’
  • We retire
  • A major change in health of one or more homeowners
  • Loss of spouse
  • New opportunities

Really, there is the possibility for great strife in moving, even for young and strong. So much more are the concerns and emotions as the years go by and we have been in one location longer.

Great care needs to be given in how and who assists in the orchestration of relocating those in our circles of great value, that being a mom, dad, neighbor, aunt, uncle, or dear older friend. You should be ready to give acknowledgement to:

  • Someones increasing physical &/or mental fragility.
  • Their great reluctance to surrender not only the home but so many personal treasured items that may need to be sorted through, sold, donated, or lovingly adopted by others.

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“The house was a symbol of her independence. She was extremely frightened to let it go,” one person said in helping a senior with her real estate transaction.

Nearly 40 % owners over 65 haven’t moved in over 30 years. “For an older person, a home represents their life story.” its been said. Think of holiday gatherings, dinners, or a wall of photos.

There is destination/ relocation planning, tax considerations, seasonal timing to avoid bad weather, coordination of helpers, the list goes on. This is a time to pick a real estate professional with a skill set that fits the situation, think compassion, some experiences with older persons – perhaps an immediate family member(s), and related wisdom is of extra benefit if not sometimes crucial. e.g.:

  • In our office one of my assistants is a retired hospice care nurse – has worked with challenging situation involving medical needs and interaction with the children.
  • My 96 year old mother was recently relocated to a elder care residence after being independent at a Florida condo for many years. We needed to coordinate 3 children in 3 states to assist in the challenging process.
  • We’ve assisted many clients & their family with referrals regarding estate planning, and income tax planning/ filings.

Here are a few suggestions for the children of seniors who want to assist their parents in making a smooth move:

 

  • Show sensitivity when helping seniors sort through their possessions.
  • Be careful before committing to the sale of your parents’ extra belongings. Instead, your parents might prefer to donate their extra belongings to a charity they respect, such as the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
  • Consider showcasing certain select items at your parents’ next home. The display can also serve to jog fading memories or to spur conversations with visitors.


Buying a house site unseen. Would you?

Yes, I’ve helped folks buy ‘site unseen’. This article is condensed but has some of the basics.



Online photos aren’t enough!
Here’s my ‘must do’ list:

  1. Use a local buyer agent that is on retainer/ agreement with you, not just the seller side.
    • I’d advise using a broker that will give you a referral from a client that used said broker more than once!
  2. Go ‘live’ on your walk thru. Interactive, voice/ video, tour in real time with your agent (broker) ‘on the ground’.
  3. Have an inspector give you feedback. Again, best if your broker/agent is live.
  4. Get your trades person that may do upgrades after purchase to give you pre-offer insights in the same way.
  5. Solicit immediate and local area videos – real time again is great. Good to do this during a busy weekend evening.
  6. View map from above. LOOK for train tracks, land fills, factories, freeways, etc etc…. look look look.
  7. Call: local utility for ‘estimate of usage’ for an idea of how weather tight the home is.


Value: Assessed, Market, ‘Zillow’, Taxable

That’s an ‘uuugly house’. It was my 2nd investment & I was a 20 y.o. junior in college. It was also the highest ROI realty investment I ever had!


Market Value = house specific, current, based mainly on aesthetic appeal (new kitchen, Anibal-Affiliates-Realty_NetWorth_3134birchrow-eastlansing-mi-1982-bwonderful yard, location, etc.)

Assessed Value = neighborhood average, historical (old), based mainly on exterior mechanics (size/ age).


Now that we have that established, lets proceed.

Whether helping a seller set a price or helping a buyer write an offer, they want to know my opinion. “So how much it the place ‘worth’?”

  • A seller always picks a number that is highest – e.g.: ‘Well such n such says my house is worth $bla bla bla’.
  • A buyer always picks the lowest number (surprise) – e.g. ‘Well this says its only worth $yada yada.’

Opinion? Not so much, I prefer to provide information. With me & numbers I’ll give you various methods I use & crunch the numbers on YourSpace – YOU choose the value. My accounting & finance degree and nurture of broker fathers background with an economics masters has dictated this style as my preferred approach.


Back to definitions:

  1. Assessed =
    • neighborhood average,
    • historical (old),
    • based mainly on exterior mechanics (size/ age).
    • The assessor used a complicated ‘multiple regression analysis’ to take all properties with in the ‘taxing unit’ and give approximate values to the ‘components’ of homes.
      • i.e.: bathroom #1 is worth $2000, bath #2 an extra $600, #3…$250, etc.
      • 1000 s/f = $XX per s/f, 1001-1500 is worth $X per s/f
      • New roof = $XX less $X for each year its been there
  2. Market =
    • house specific,
    • current,
    • based mainly on aesthetic appeal (new kitchen, wonderful yard, location, etc.)
    • This
  3. , ‘Zillow’ = a computer model spits out this often ‘train wreck’ of a combination of #1 &2.
    • I’ve seen Zillow ‘values’ of $165000 for a home listed at $80k. I’ve seen the opposite, which can confuse a buyer obviously. I’ve seen another house go from ‘Zestimates’ of $183k to $93k to ‘Unknown’ all in the same year that I listed and sold said home for $150k ?? Figure that one out.
    • After all, ‘Zillow’ never walked the neighborhood, or smelled the basement, or saw the standing water in the spring time.
  4. Taxable = as it says. Forget using this number as a value. Your only concern here is if its too high, then you need to protest it.
  5. Bigger Picture RealtyNetWorth Value ? = Have you every booked a flight online? IntegrationCapNotice it says ‘save money by being flexible with travel dates’, yes? If your timing, tax situation, stage of life, & non-financial intangibles aren’t being considered, you may well need a better qualified ‘resource(s)’.

So whats a wise person to do?

The model I use for buyers and sellers is a spreadsheet approach that uses input from both the assessment – which considers the interaction of house basics, and current market sell prices from ‘as close as possible like-kind’ homes. To use one aspect without the other is a huge absence of a critical treasure of data.


Related:


 


When to hold a rental, when to flip a house.

You invest in property. You’re approaching it as either a residence, retreat, rehab, or Anibal-Affiliates-RealtyNetWorth-LakeShannon-why-I-sell-lakefront-young-couple-at-sunsetrental. But which came first, the property or the label? And more importantly, why did you choose one over another?

With such a substantial investment, I hope you have an idea of how you are evaluating on the way in based on your plan for use/ resale/ or rental afterward. So many clients start out with the “well this happened along our path one day so we just…” approach. Maybe o.k. for a garage sale find. But this randomized thinking potentially leaves dollars on the table and years of your life wasted.

Example:

  1. Customer wanted to sell a unit. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “Well, it was a great deal so we bought it. then we rented it out”. ( A great deal for what ?)
  2. Customer wanted to have a unit inspected. “Why are you interested in this house?” I asked. “Well, I heard rental property is a good idea.” I asked, “Why?” …. he said “I don’t know.”
  3. Customer had a rental. “Why did you buy it?” I asked. “My friend called me and asked if I wanted to buy it.” So I asked, “do you have other rentals and why do you want this one”. He said, “no, first one, we want others”.

None of these folks had a strategy. They stumbled into their situation. In each case, I sat with them, started ‘at the top’, looked for customer strengths/ weaknesses/ and ideal goals.

  1. For customer #1, I said “so you want rentals?” Actually, it had never been profitable as a rental. They sold it for a profit, but the title choice drove up their tax burden. Further, had they made some specific improvements, the profit would have been better. They sold to a hustler by owner, but fortunately we took a better strategy going forward.
  2. For the 2nd scenario client, I tried to not completely make fun of the poor choice of home he wanted to – and almost did had he not called me – buy. Instead, I showed him only 1 more property. We spent an extra 60 minutes of his time, got a house in a better location, less money, newer, better heat/electric + 2 car garage, 2 decks and shed. That property more than doubled in value in a matter of months, and has had only 1 tenant in the 4 yrs. he’s owned it, bringing a good profit from rent and appreciation. The other property – still a mess and not worth much at all.
  3. In situation #3, we sat down and looked at how there is no profit from holding. Further, because of his skills, he’s better suited to rehab than to hold a loosing investment. All profit available on his held house will come from moving it, not holding it. Timing the sale will be the extra expertise I offer.

So the basic questions will still be, what do you have:

  • More or less skills.
  • More or less time.
  • More or less funds.
  • More need for current income (you are in a lower tax bracket), or more need for future (retirement) income, (you are probably in a higher tax bracket).

Based on these answers, there are very specific properties, areas, price ranges, and portfolio management styles (e.g.: you/ us) you’d be better suited for.  Decision time

I meet w/ clients a minimum of 1x/ year. This is a great time for a no-cost initial meeting to chat about what your real estate ideas are. Contact me via the feedback form to set a time & day !


In the meantime, I’m inserting text from an earlier post of mine:


In the early 80’s I picked up a very honest yet motivational ‘how to’ book on real estate investment. In my senior year of college I was set to invest. I actually drove to NJ, looked up as many of these homes as I could, took pictures, and tried to take notes in my then ignorance. After reading the book I bought a shack for $17500, w/ $1000 down, gutted the kitchen and bath, and placed into service what was one of my most successful investments to date.

I’ve used these & other techniques I gleaned from my broker/investor dad, and have shared them with clients for 3 decades.

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It comes down to humble work, patience, time value of money, and good mentors – I had my dad ! I keep a few copies of the book for clients I work with. Let me know if you’d like one.