The Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Berlin, Germany

Inglourious Basterds, The Berlin International Film Festival, more than 30000 palaces and castles, hundreds of wineries and the Bundesliga are not the only things which define the majestic country of Germany. It is also home to an extremely rich and varied history, unique works of architecture, priceless art works, a great culture, crazy music and even wilder parties. Apart from the innumerable sights and things to do, Germany is also blessed with some of the most beautiful natural landscapes of the world. From spending a day amidst nature and exploring countless castles and palaces to sunbathing on nude beaches, Germany has something unique for each of its travellers. A few of the top sights of Germany are the Old City of Heidelberg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, the Cologne Cathedral, Romantic Rhine, Lindau and of course the world-famous Oktoberfest.

The Old City of Heidelberg

Heidelberg was one of the very few cities of Germany which was spared from bombings during the World War II. As a result, it retained much of its old world charm and still exudes an aura of romance and adventure which prevailed during the medieval era.

The Neuchwanstein Castle

The Neuchwanstein Castle is located on the top of a rugged hill near the town of Fusen. Popularly known as the best fairytale castle of the world, it has been an inspiration to numerous theme parks and fairy tales such as the Disneyland and the Sleeping Beauty castles. It is also one of the most photographed buildings of Germany and invariable features on most tourist itineraries.

The Cologne Cathedral

The Cologne Cathedral is one of the most important pieces of German history and is also the third tallest cathedral of the world. The construction of this cathedral took more than 600 years and the construction process was passed from generation to generation. The most astonishing fact is that when the cathedral was finally finished in the year 1880, it was still true to its original plans which were developed way back in the year 1248. Further, the cathedral also has the proud distinction of being the only standing building of Cologne after it was leveled by bombings in the World War II. As a result, numerous theories such as divine intervention came about. However, it was actually an orientation point for the pilots which resulted in it being saved from bombings.

Romantic Rhine

Popular as the most famous section of Rhine, Romantic Rhine has been enticing countless tourists since eternity. The area runs from Koblenz to Bingen and is characterized by the Rhine river carving its way through hundreds of castles and ruins and vineyard covered hills. Another factor which has contributed greatly to the appeal of the area are the countless historical towns and villages in the area which dot the Rhine River.

Lindau

The city of Lindau has great historical importance and is located on the converging point of the Swiss, German and Austrian borders towards the east of Lake Constance. The city has about 3000 inhabitants and is full of historical buildings and medieval palaces which are extremely popular amongst the tourists.

Oktoberfests

The Oktoberfest is the largest festival in Germany which is extremely popular all over the world and draws about 6 million tourists annually. The festival is known to have immense importance in the Bavarian culture and began way back in the year 1810. Its appeal and popularity has kept growing ever since and the carnival is famous for unlimited amounts of beer and traditional practices such as Knodel, Hendl and Wurstl.

The Brandenburg Gate

Very few monuments have received more international fame than The Brandenburg Gate. Built in between 1789 – 1791, the Gate represents the past and the present eras of Germany in exemplary fashion. The main attraction of the Gate is its unique architecture which includes 6 Doric Columns that forms 5 passageways with pedestrian access only. In the year 1794, a depiction of Goddess Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, riding a four-horse chariot was also added.

Berlin’s Museum Island

The Berlin Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is located right in the heart of the city of Berlin. This magnificent museum is extremely popular amongst the tourists as well as the locals due to its humongous collection of priceless treasures and artefacts. Also known to be one of the most important museums of the world, The Museum Island takes its visitors on a journey through time which begins with the cradle of civilization on the streets of Mesopotamia, passes through the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the Islamic eras and ends with the era of 19th Century Romanticism and the Modern Ages.

The Romantic Road

The Romantic Road starts from Wurzburg and goes on till Fusen. It is one of the most visited routes of Germany which has been made popular due to the small winding towns and villages which line up along the route, exquisite wines of Wurzburg, the Neuschwanstein Castle, immense scenic beauty and the magnificent lakes of Fusen.

The Rugen Cliffs

Made famous in the works of Caspar Freidrich, the Rugen Cliffs are one of Germany’s most famous and popular attractions amongst tourists from all over the world. Located in the Jasmund National Park in the northeastern part of the Rugen Island, these have been subject to constant erosion. Towering high above the Baltic Sea is the Konigsstuhl, which is also popular as the most majestic part of the Rugen Cliffs. These chalk white cliffs are very popular for their mesmerizing sights, great aura and an incredible atmosphere of romance.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of „right of ways“ to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a „must have“ trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for „family friendly“ or „residential friendly“ commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for „mover upper“ homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces with combined commercial and residential areas. In particular, you can often get block grants to help with the financing on projects like this, and there are programs from HUD that can help out a great deal with „urban renovations“.

Another source to investigate is the demographics in your area. Look at the US Census figures (and local county figures) for median age, and median birth rate per capita. You want to invest in areas where the population is growing already. High skews in the ’40s and ’50s indicate that you’ve got a bunch of people who are going to retire soon, and retirees are highly prone to selling properties off. Places to watch carefully are most of the urban parts of California, and great swaths of the rural Midwest, where demographic trends have been changing entire towns since the 1950s as the country’s population has shifted to urban areas.

If there’s a local planning council, or urban development council, make it a point to get the minutes of all the meetings from the past year. The city council offices will have them on file as a matter of public record. Also try to get into the next range of meetings as an observer. Discuss with the city and county managers where they see housing and construction trends moving. What you’re looking for is real estate that will be desirable in two to three years; look at road planning atlases, and look for all the data you can find. Also look for real estate that will be scenic – lake front property is as close to a guaranteed bet as you can get in real estate investing, particularly if there’s a lake that’s at the „far end“ of a development axis. Likewise, if there’s land that the city council is looking to acquire for parks, buying the adjacent lots now means you’ll be able to sell them later.

Lastly, talk to the professionals in your communities. Talk to architects who can tell you if they’re busy or not. Maintain professional contacts with engineers, bankers and attorneys. They will usually know about projects well before the general public. Also make a habit of reading the local newspaper’s business section. Often times, the first clue that a business may move in to your area is buried at the bottom of a column on page 8.

Using the guidelines suggested above will help you to find „sleeper“ raw land properties. These „sleeper“ properties are perfect for the buy low, sell high strategy used by successful commercial real estate investors.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Boarding Stable Barn Etiquette

Each barn has its own personality, its very own unique feel. Some are friendlier than others. Some are fancy, while others are more down home. Some house very serious competitors, and there are those who just want to have fun. But across the board, the basics of barn behavior, barn etiquette if you will, is universal. When riding in an arena going the same direction as another horse, let the person ahead of you know if you are going to pass to the inside or the outside, say „inside“ or „outside“ and stick to it. Don’t change your mind at the last second. The horse and rider in front of you needs to rely on you to make the right choice. It’s hard to ride when you’re looking over your shoulder.

When a horse is approaching you from the opposite direction, it’s just like driving a car. That horse should most always be on your left. Changing directions and reversing should be announced also. You don’t have to shout, just simply state the fact. Most often the other riders will oblige. Let them know if you are going to school over jumps. There is nothing more annoying, not to mention potentially dangerous, than having a horse and rider start taking jumps without advance warning. When entering and leaving the arena, say „Door“ to let others know you are entering and leaving; approach crossties with regard to the horse and rider. Horses can spook for seemingly no reason at all, don’t give them excuses.

Clean up after your horse in the grooming area and crossties. Until that bridle is on, there is no reason to not do it right then and there. If your horse is completely tacked, it’s a given you’re not going to unbridle him and put him back in a halter so you can clean up. Nor do you want to hook crossties to his bridle. Clean it up when you finish riding. Chances are if it is a busy barn, someone will go ahead and clean it up for you before grooming and tacking their horse. Thank them and remember to return the favor. A boarding stable with horse owners that look out for one another is the best barn to be in.

Thus said, this does not apply to giving treats to another person’s horse. Do not, I repeat, do not assume it is okay to pass out carrots, apples, sugar cubes, low-cal treats, or anything of the like. It is not your right. Let me say that again. It is not your right. It is wrong. If you have asked the owner’s permission and it has been granted, that’s a different thing. Aside from that, even if the horse is the best beggar in the world and does handstands and summersaults for carrots, please, please, please, walk on by. That horse could be on a special diet, he could have just been wormed, treated with medication. He could be allergic. You don’t know. His owner knows, and rightfully so. It’s not your horse.

In certain barns, it’s alright to give your horse extra hay. Not anyone else’s, just yours. The best thing to do if you are finding that your horse doesn’t have hay and you hate leaving him or her that way is to talk to the barn manager or owner. Ask them what time horses are hayed and how often, when is night check, when is water topped off? As a rule, horses are not always going to have hay in their stalls, particularly the easy keepers. They eat quickly and take a dream-filled nap in preparation for the next feeding.

If you do give your horse hay, be quiet about it. The other horses are bound to get stirred up when they see you blatantly serving up hay to your horse and not them. It is not acceptable in any barn that I know of to hay your horse and then go hay everyone else’s because you feel bad, now that you have them all riled up. It goes back to not knowing each horse’s needs. Again, check with the owner or barn manager. This applies even more so with grain.

Do not borrow another person’s tack, blankets, and turnout sheets, fly masks; fly spray, etc. without asking. Do not borrow grooming supplies such as hoof picks and scissors without asking. Do not borrow grooming brushes and combs, period. It’s not good practice. Don’t leave your horse’s halter hooked to the crosstie. Before you leave for the day, snap your horse’s halter and lead shank together and hang it in the designated area by his or her stall. In case of emergency or fire, this step-saving measure could possibly save your horse’s life. Post your contact information on the front of your horse’s stall, including blacksmith and veterinarian’s phone number. If you water your horse, rewind the hose. If you pick out your horse’s stall, empty the muck basket and put the pitchfork away. Flush the toilet when you use it. Don’t let things spoil in the refrigerator. Don’t get into barn gossip, nothing good will come of it. Turn out the lights. Close the gates and doors. Be careful. Sound like home? It is your home; it’s your second home. It’s where your horse lives and chances are you spend a lot of time there. Enjoy!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Qualifying for a Home Loan in 2019 – What Requirements and Guidelines You Need to Know

1) How much of a Down Payment do I need to come up with?

In the recent past, people used to think 20% down was necessary to qualify for a home loan or to have a reasonable mortgage payment. For the most part, this is no longer the case. There are many types of mortgage programs that allow for low down payment options or no down payment in some cases. You also don’t have to be a first time home buyer to qualify for these programs either.

FHA Loans are one of the most popular types of mortgages applied for in today’s market, this is mainly because of low down payment options and the flexible qualifying requirements. Without down payment assistance, you just need a minimum of 3.5% down. A lot of people think FHA is strictly for first time home buyers, but that is not true. it’s a government-backed home loan, but they don’t require you to be a first time home buyer. FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration.

Conventional Loans have been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years and will soon replace the FHA loan program as the most popular loan product on the market. Conventional loans allow for a minimum down payment as low as 3% down and also allows for several creative ways to buy out the monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance). This strategy helps reduce the monthly payments while increasing your buying power.

Minimum Down Payment requirements for each loan type below:

VA Loans – No Down Payment required

USDA Loans – No Down Payment required

FHA Loans – Minimum 3.5% Down Payment required

Conventional Loans – Minimum 3% Down Payment required

You can use gift funds for any of the programs listed above. Also, If you are a first time home buyer be sure to ask your loan consultant if you qualify for any down payment assistance program.

2) What Credit Score do I need to qualify for a Mortgage?

Aside from income verification, one of the biggest determining factors in qualifying for a mortgage is your credit score. The higher the credit score the better your chances will be in qualifying. When a mortgage company or bank checks your credit for a mortgage application they will pull what is known as a tri-merge. That is when a credit report is combined with data and individual scores from the 3 major credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The middle of the 3 scores will be used to determine your qualifying score. Ideally, you want to have a middle credit score of 680 or above. In most cases, the higher your credit score is, the better your rate and terms will be as well.

There are minimum credit score requirements for every loan program, but to ensure you get qualified for the most competitive terms it is important that you do everything you can to learn how to increase and improve your credit.

Below are the minimum credit score requirements for each loan program:

VA Loans – 620 (some lenders may allow for as low as 580+)

USDA Loans – 620

FHA Loans – 580

Conventional – 620

3) What are the Income Requirements and Guidelines for a Mortgage?

Proving your ability to repay the loan is one of the most important requirements in the qualifying process. That is why showing sufficient and consistent income documentation is crucial when going through the pre-approval or qualification process. If you are a W2 employee and paid a salary then the verification process is fairly simple. However, can be more difficult for people that receive and/or rely on commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc. For borrowers that are self-employed and/or receive a 1099 it can be even more difficult and complex especially since you can have a lot more write-offs and deductions when you’re self-employed.

First and foremost you need a 2-year work history to even qualify using any income source. However, for full-time hourly or salaried employees that doesn’t mean you have to be at the same company or industry for 2 years. That used to be a requirement but not anymore unless the lender/bank has their own overlay. If you receive and want to use commission, bonus, overtime or other types of income then you have to show a minimum of a 2-year history and the bank/lender will use a 24 month average for qualifying purposes. Self-Employed borrowers are now able to qualify with 12-24 months bank statements for certain nontraditional (non-QM) loan programs.

Qualifying Income Sources:

* Full-Time W2 Income/Salary

* Income from Part-Time Jobs (must be at the job for a minimum of 1-2 years in some cases)

* Income from a second full or part-time job

* Overtime, Commissions, Bonuses (must average over 24 months)

* Seasonal (must prove 2-3 years consistency)

* Self-Employed Income

* Bank Statements (12-24 months)

* Permanent Disability

* Retirement/Pension

* Child Support/Alimony (Sufficient documentation required)

* Asset Depletion

What are the Required Documents Needed?

There are specific required documents needed that your loan consultant will request in order to process your loan approval. You should at least have the below list of documentation readily available and be ready to provide more depending on your particular situation.

* Complete Federal Personal and/or Corporate Tax Returns for the past 2 years (ALL SCHEDULES)

* W2’s for the past 2 years

* 1 Month worth of Pay Stubs

* Bank Statements (may need anywhere from 2-24 months)

* Retirement/Pension and/or Social Security Award Letters

* Disability Award Letter

* Divorce Decree

* Business License

* Asset Documentation

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Statistics Explained

Basic Real Estate Statistics Explained

We are going to define some of the basic real estate statistics that get thrown around on a regular basis. To do that, we will use one real estate market, located in Hood County Texas. Even more granular, we will use the single family numbers for homes in Granbury Tx, a small town of approximately 8,000 residents which has seen substantial real estate growth in the past 12 months. It is important when reviewing real estate statistics to use a group of numbers large enough for consistency, but granular enough to tell your story.

The statistics that we will be referencing are true and accurate for the year discussed but are being used to define the real estate statistic itself.

We have chosen Granbury Tx as our example because the growth of the local real estate market there make the statics stand out.

Anytime you are evaluating statistics, especially in real estate, the source of the numbers are extremely important. In most instances, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) provides the most accurate numbers when referring to real estate. This is because they have all listings by all local real estate brokers in their database. For the sake of explanation of the data, we will be looking at the numbers for home sales in Granbury Tx, directly from the MLS. These numbers are meant to give an example of how to read the statistics themselves. Anytime you evaluate real estate numbers, its important to pay close attention to how the numbers are gathered. In this instance, we will be using ONLY single family properties in the city of Granbury.

Basic Real Estate Statistics

  • Number of Sales – This one is pretty self explanatory. It is simply the number of single family homes sold in a particular month. In January of 2015, they had 51 single family homes sold. One thing to pay attention to when looking at this statistic is are they using the Under Contract date or the day the property actually went to closing. These two dates are usually between 30 and 60 days apart, so its critical that you know which one is being referenced. In addition, many of the homes that get calculated, if you are using the „under contract“ number may not actually close! In our example, we are using the number of homes that actually closed. In January of 2016 they had an increase of over 49% which brought the total to 77 from 51. Growth of that level is very seldom ever seen.
  • Sales Volume – Sales Volume is simply the total amount of dollars spent on single family housing within that month. Once again, when reviewing this statistic, its important to keep the property types consistent. If you are comparing two areas to see which one has grown more and you include vacant land in the number for one area, you must include it in the other too. As previously mentioned, our examples only include single family properties. With Number of Sales looking at the units, you would expect the Sales Volume to go up appropriately, but in this instance, it went up even more than the units (by percentage). The total Sales Volume of single family homes in Granbury in January of 2016 was $15,191,500 as opposed to the January of 2015 number of $9,281,915. That is an increase of over 63%. Because the Sales Volume went up at a larger rate than the number of units, this reflects the average home sale being much larger in 2016 than 2015.
  • Months of Inventory – This is a commonly referred to statistic when examining a real estate market. This statistic refers to at the current rate of sales, how long will it take to sell through the existing level of inventory. This reflects the supply and demand for the market. In our example, in January of 2015 the level of inventory was 9 months and in January of 2016 it had dropped to 6 months. That is a 33% drop in available inventory! This means if you are looking to buy a home in Granbury Tx, it will be a little tougher in 2016 as there is less inventory available to buy.
  • Median Days To Sell – This stat simply refers to how long it takes for single family properties to be put under contract. Don’t let the „to sell“ confuse you. To accurately show the demand for active homes, you really want to track how long it takes to go „under contract“. The process of acquiring final lender approval, insurance and getting to a closing can vary on a variety of factors. In January of 2015, the Median Days to Sell was 88. That number dropped by over 30% to 61. Once again, this tells you if you are looking for homes in Granbury TX, you better get your offers in quickly as the most desirable homes are going fast!
  • Average Price – This statistic can be derived in a variety of ways. We are going to use it in its most raw form and simply be the Average Price of Homes Sold within that month. Be careful when looking at this statistic printed anywhere as how the user defines the date sold can vary. Needless to say, Average Price can be used for active homes for sale or for the homes that sold. The Average Price of ACTIVE homes for sale is generally a pretty useless number as you can list a home for any price, without any possibility of it ever selling. Many homes listed for sale are at unrealistic prices thus the Average Price of Active homes for sale can fluctuate dramatically and give little insight into the market. You will want to look at the Average Price of SOLD homes. In January of 2015, the Average Home Sale was $181,998 and it jumped to $199,888 in the same month in 2016. This is an increase of almost 10%. This is not a number that truly tells the increase in home values across the board, but simply of the homes sold in that month, what the average was.
  • Median Price – The Average Home Sales Price can be skewed by a variety of factors. All it takes is one 5 million dollar home sale to throw those numbers off. To get a better view of the overall increase in value, it can be better to look at the Median Sales Price. Median Sales Price takes the number that is perfectly in the middle. For instance, if you have 11 homes that you are using in your statistic, you would take the sales price of the 6th one. This leaves 5 homes sold higher and 5 homes sold lower. In this instance, they are pretty close as the Median Sales Price increase from January 2015 to 2016 was 9.69%. This shows that we didn’t have the Average Price skewed too much because of an extremely large or extremely small sale.

There are hundreds of ways to look at the same numbers, when referencing to real estate, so be very careful to read the fine print on exactly what numbers they are using. When making comparisons, you will want to make absolutely sure that both are referencing the same property types, dates etc. It like the old saying says… there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Find Real Estate Buyers by the Dozen

Buyers are out there, it’s just a matter of rounding them up and keeping in touch. It helps to be able to determine which type of buyer you are hunting for from the start. Remember this: you’re the person who has something they want when a buyer calls you; if you are calling them then you are trying to sell them, let’s insure buyers call you so you remain in the position of power from the start. You should Be a Real Estate Heavy Weight.

Let’s look at a few categories of typical buyers to get some perspective on their mindsets and how and when we’ll market to find them in order to supply their real estate buying needs.

o Rehabbers: These are folks looking to fix and flip property for quick turn profits.

o Landlords: These are folks looking to buy to rent out to others for long-term equity accrual while generating a positive cash-flow every month.

o Wholesaler’s: Will either buy or put an option on your contract to hopefully flip the paper to another buyer who is willing to pay more.

o Lease Option end-buyers: These are folks who can’t qualify for a loan of their own but want to be home owners as opposed to renters again.

o Retail Buyers: These are end buyers who can obtain a mortgage or have cash and generally buy the property for their own housing needs.

There are variations of buyers out there but the above 4 types are generally considered the prime targets of people who have property to sell. Understanding each buyer’s mindset helps you to market to those buyers interests, do they want quick cash, long-term wealth, tax deductions, a place to call home etc… If you ask enough general questions you’ll quickly discern which type of buyer you have at hand. Once you know, you can then tailor your offers and present properties that satisfy what is important to them.

Buyer: Someone who is ready, willing and qualified! Those that aren’t qualified may be perfect tenants, lease option buyers or owner finance candidates, so qualified can have different meanings.

Ready: Someone who is in the market to buy within 1-45 days, keep in mind a retail or lease option end-buyer generally buys once and they’re out of the game, landlords, rehabbers and wholesaler’s are more likely to buy multiple properties from you over time as they accumulate, sell or flip existing assets. Having active buyer’s lists in different categories that are often ready to buy property is a very smart way to operate.

Gee Danno, how do I find these people? Ah! I’m so glad you asked! Let’s start out with one of the all time greatest methods to kick-start your building a buyers list. In your search for bargain priced properties of your own, it makes sense that you will eventually find a very good deal, once you have a superior deal to offer you turn around and market that property at cost! Yep, no profit for you on this one. Why? Because you are going to advertise that property to every investor and potential property buyer on the planet!

The reason for this is that you will get the most calls and response when you advertise a screaming deal! Granted you’ll most likely sell that deal relatively quickly but you’ll be gathering information from each potential buyer who calls to build your buyers list for future properties that you offer. If you don’t have a property of your own to sell, ask someone who does! I can assure you that they aren’t going to turn down your offer to advertise their property for them for free! You might negotiate a small fee if in fact you do sell their property but your main objective is to build you buyers list!

Let me give you an example of one way to collect potential buyers by the dozen, hold an auction, advertise for a solid week in advance so you attract the most amount of buyers, begin with bandit signs, placing about 100 of them around a 5 square mile area of the property, we just did this and had 800 calls because it was a great deal of those 800 calls we had 300 people show up on auction day, of course the home sold but we also added new buyers to our buyers list.

Here are ways to advertise for those buyers:

o Bandit Signs

o CraigsList

o Backpage

o GoogleBase

o Postlets

o Zillow

o Pay Per Click Ads

o Local online Classifieds

o Media Website

o Flyers

o Newspaper/inserts

o REIA’s

o Direct mail/post cards

o Start an investors MeetUp group

o Email

o Phone

o Fax

o Your own website

Use your imagination, the list is limitless, there is a free e-book called the Internet Real Estate Yellow Pages that you can download for free at my site MagicBullets.com go grab that and you’ll find 100 more ideas and places to list your deals. Now go Be A Real Estate Heavyweight!

Dan Auito :~)

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

New Beginnings – Buying A Home

Buying a home often represents a new beginning, whether you are moving to a different area of town or moving to a new city or state.

There are many steps involved in buying a home, and the process can seem overwhelming. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or have bought and sold many times; the process is complicated and ever changing.

The first step is choosing a realtor. Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®; the term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. They can assist you by guiding you through the process; providing objective information for you, helping you find the best property, translating real estate lingo into terms you can understand; and they will act as your agent throughout the process.

When interviewing agents to assist you with your home purchase, make sure you understand how they will be representing you. Are they working for the seller? Are they dual-agents, or do they work as a buyer’s agent? You’ll want to make sure they are representing you, and only you.

The next step is to have a conversation with a mortgage professional. Working with a reputable mortgage broker is essential to a hassle free closing. It is the mortgage professional’s responsibility to provide financing for your new home.

Schedule an appointment early in your house hunting process. Your broker will work with you to identify any credit issues that need to be addressed prior to closing on your new home. Based upon the information presented to them, they will also let you know how much of a loan you qualify for. This information is vital to you and your Realtor when shopping for a home.

Your first appointment with your broker will entail providing financial and historical information for the Loan Application. This information will include but is not limited to the following:

– 2 Year Employment History

– If you plan to use a VA Loan your Certification of Eligibility

– If you plan to use a VA Loan and are relocating your Orders

– 2 Year Rental or Mortgage History

– Vital Statistics for you and your spouse (Birthdate, Social, Kids, Assets, Liabilities, etc)

– Last 2 Years W-2s

– Last 2 Pay Stubs

– Last 2 Bank Statements

– Last 2 Quarterly Retirements Account Statements

Your broker will pull a tri-merged credit report to review your credit history. This report shows everything reporting to each credit bureau (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Not all creditors report to all three bureaus so your scores may vary. The lender will use your mid-score when evaluating which loan programs you qualify for.

Should your credit report show derogatory information reporting, your Broker can assist you with credit repair options to improve your credit worthiness.

The only liabilities that will be counted in your Debt-to-Income Ratio will be those that report to the credit bureaus. So, regular household bills like utilities, auto insurance, cable do you factor into the mix. If you do not have a minimum of three trade lines reporting, some financing programs allow you to use standard monthly bills in lieu of revolving trade lines like credit cards.

Once all of this information is obtained, your Broker will be able to calculate the amount of loan you qualify for. Many factors are considered when qualifying you for a loan:

– Gross Income

– Liabilities

– Interest Rate

– Loan Type

– Payment

The standard Debt-to-Income Ratio should fall between 40-45%. When discussing your financing options, it is important to know where you would like to keep your PITI payment. You may qualify for more then you feel comfortable paying each month.

Once this number has been determined, and all documentation has been provided, your Broker can shop your loan with many lenders and qualify you for the loan program that will suit your unique circumstances.

At this point, your Broker will put together a Good Faith Estimate. This document will show you estimated costs involved with closing your loan. If you are using a VA Loan there is a funding fee that is built into the financing. It will also estimate your monthly payment based on current interest rates for the loan program you are qualifying for.

Now that you know how much you qualify for and the payment you feel comfortable with you can shop for a house within your budget.

Your Broker will advise you not to make any new credit purchases or apply for new credit until your loan closes as this will affect your credit score and Debt-to-Income Ratio.

Once you have your initial meeting with a mortgage professional, you should decide where you want to live. If you are getting ready to move to a new area, use the internet as a starting point. Research schools, demographics, crime statistics; research any and everything that is important to you. A sampling of some web sites to get you started:

Scorecard http://www.scorecard.org generates a pollution report card at the county level, giving information on such topics as air and water quality.

School Matters – shows academy performance http://www.schoolmatters.com

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s http://www.epa.gov/epahome/commsearch.htm Has a tool that allows visitors to search a community by ZIP code for environmental facts about the area, including pollution statistics, the location of hazardous-waste sites and information about the area’s watershed.

Zip Skinny http://www.zipskinny.com Enter your zip code to see U.S. Census data and comparison with other zip code

If you need assistance finding this information, a Realtor can provide this information for you or tell you where you can find it. Also, most Realtors have comprehensive relocation packages they can customize and send or email it to you.

After you narrow down the vicinity you want to live in, you’ll want to drive around and see if you still like the area. No matter how much research you do on the internet, nothing takes the place of seeing a neighborhood in person. Pay attention to the upkeep of the neighborhood and look at the surrounding traffic. Does it have the components you are looking for? Is it close to shopping, close to work, close to schools? Does it consist of families, or singles, or working couples? Does it seem safe? Are the homes tidy and well-maintained? Are the streets quiet?

Once you decide on the area, then you can start looking at potential homes. Remember, first focus on the location of the house. From there, focus on the floor plan; whether it is a ranch, bi-level, 2-story, etc. The two things you can’t change in a house are the location and the floor plan; almost everything else can be modified. Different floor plans suit different needs; you may want a ranch with no steps, you may want a bi-level and the kids to have their bedrooms in the basement; you may want a two-story with the bedrooms on the 2nd story and for the main level to be the living area.

In- person property searches can take an afternoon or months, some people like the first house they see, and others see 75 before they find the perfect house. As you walk through a potential house the first time, see if you can imagine yourself living in it, will it fit your lifestyle and all of the things that are important to you. As you leave the house, decide on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating, where it fits within the range. If it is a 2, discard the info on the house. If it’s a 7 or 8, put it in a „keep pile“. If you spend a couple of days looking, you should be able to narrow it down to your top 3 or 4. You’ll want to look at your top houses again, this time with a more critical eye. Is there anything you missed the first time? Do you still like it? Drive the neighborhood during different times of the day and on different days of the week. Make sure you like the neighborhood, ask questions of the neighbors. Most people are very eager to tell you about the area and why they do or do not like living there. Remember, location, location, location. Ideally you want to buy in an established neighborhood; and you don’t want to fall in love with the most expensive house on the block. You always need to think about resale. If all of the other houses are 3 bedrooms, and the one you love only has one bedroom which is all you need; you may want to think twice about it. Are you going to be able to resell it?

Then, after you have decided you have found your perfect dream house, have your Realtor do a comparative market analysis, CMA, for you. The purpose of this research is to see what comparable houses have been selling for in the same area during the last several months. No matter how much you love it, you want to know if it is priced fairly. If it is overpriced or under-priced, either way you’ll want to know. Remember, the more informed you are the better. The CMA will provide information that can help you decide on your beginning offer price.

The next step is to have your Realtor write an offer with the terms and price you want to offer. Before writing the offer, you’ll want to discuss the purchase price, earnest money, what’s included with the property, closing date, and all types of other pertinent details with your agent. All of these details should be included in the offer. Once the offer is written and you have signed it and written an earnest money check, the Realtor presents the offer along with your prequalification letter to the listing agent who is representing the seller or in some areas it is customary for your agent to present it directly to the listing agent and the sellers at the same time The response to your offer can have several different outcomes; (1) no response from the seller (2) acceptance by the seller with no changes to the offer (3) a counteroffer from the seller which can including anything from the price, to the closing date, to the inspection dates, to the earnest money. Anything in the offer can be subject to a counter. The response from the seller will determine your next move. Ultimately, you and the seller want to come to a joint agreement on all facets of the offer and this will be signed by both parties and detailed out in the counteroffer. In today’s market conditions, many buyers are asking sellers to pay for their closing costs, as well as a home warranty. As a buyer, make sure you thoroughly understand the offer and all of its components. Once it is signed by both the buyer and the seller, it becomes a binding legal contract enforceable by law. In many states, Realtors are required to use state approved legal contracts and forms, and you can get always have a lawyer review the contract.

Once the contract becomes accepted, then you and realtor really start to work. The title commitment (or abstract) is ordered and you, your Realtor and your lender will receive a copy of it. Your agent will help you read through it to make sure you understand the requirements and exceptions that come with the property. This is a very important step, as the title company will be issuing an insurance policy guaranteeing that you have clear title to the property.

Once you have an accepted contract, your Broker will update your application per the contract and submit your file to the lender’s underwriter. Depending on how long it took to find your house, the lender may require you resign the loan documents. The underwriter will review all of the documentation and verifications provided by your broker. Depending on your personal situation the underwriter may ask for additional information or clarification regarding your credit history. This is called a CONDITIONAL LOAN APPROVAL. This means, as long as you can provide the additional documentation, the underwriter will approve your loan.

The most common items on a conditional loan approval list are:

– Letter of explanation on credit history

– Pay off old credit accounts or proof they were paid

– Provide proof of home owners insurance

– Update the title insurance with the lender’s information

– Provide updated pay stubs and bank statements

– Appraisal of the property

– Lock the interest rate

One of the most important steps in the process is to lock in your interest rate. Each lender has their own set of requirements for locking a loan. The rate you were quoted on your Good Faith Estimate is only an estimate based on market conditions at the time of your prequalification. Locking your rate will be a decision you and your Broker will make together prior to closing your loan. Rates are currently at a 28 month low, however rates are subject to change daily, and often times multiple times a day.

From the time your Loan Application is submitted to underwriting until closing can take appx. 21 days. Timing is often times dictated by the time of month you plan to close, how long it takes to gather the Loan Conditions, and the closing date on your contract.

While your loan is going through underwriting, you and your Realtor will get the inspections scheduled. General inspection, structural inspection, termites, radon are just a few of the inspections that can be scheduled and these vary from area to area of the country. As an example, In the Rocky Mountain area you may want to have a structural inspection because of the expansive soil and underground mines; in the Midwest you may have to have an inspection for termites. Your Realtor can suggest the appropriate ones for your area. Remember, this is one of the most expensive purchases of your life, you want to know the condition of the property you are buying. Safety concerns and other major ticket items that come up during the inspection can result in a laundry list of items that a buyer may ask to have repaired or replaced. The seller doesn’t have to agree to fix anything, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. If a contract is going to fall apart, it is usually because the seller and buyer can’t come to terms on inspection items, or it is due to the buyer not being able to qualify for a loan.

If your financing gets secured, if the property appraises correctly, if you come to terms on the inspection(s), if the title (or abstract) looks O.K., and if you get your home insurance secured, then chances are you will close on the property and the property ownership will get transferred to you.

One last thing that should be done before closing, is to conduct a final walk-through of the property. This isn’t a chance for another inspection, but the buyer should make sure that nothing has changed in the property from their last walk-through and the buyer will want to confirm that any personal property negotiated as part of the contract is still there. As an example, if the offer included the refrigerator and washer and dryer; these items should still be in the property during the walk-through. If the property had storm windows on all of the windows, then they should be there during the walk-through.

When a successful closing occurs, it’s the result of a team effort between you, your realtor, your lender, the seller, and the seller’s lender. It’s a perfect way to start a new beginning.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

9 Expert Tips to Help You Buy a Luxury Home

If you are looking to purchase a luxury home, you can choose from a lot of options. In this article, we are going to share with you a few tips from experts that will help you go for the best luxury home. Read on to find out more.

1. Find out about the Search Process

A lot of luxury homes are not listed in order to protect the privacy of the seller. Often, these properties can be found by talking to the personal connections of the realtor. So, what you need to do is check out several online sources as searching on big search engines is not enough.

2. Don’t make your Decision based on Photos only

If you make your buying decision based on the photos of the front of a property, you are making a mistake. It is important to note is that some homes are not photogenic and should be seen in person for a better idea of their suitability.

If you are going to buy one, you may want to find out about the vicinity of the property on Google Earth.

3. Hire a Local Expert

It is better that you work with the local real estate agent as they have a lot of information about luxury homes in your area. They can help you get an appointment to see the property of your choice.

4. Contact your Bank

Experts suggest that you contact your bank as well as they have your portfolio. Apart from this, you may want to understand the difference between the pre-qualification letter and the pre-approval letter.

5. Document Everything

These days, the high-end real estate market is going through a lot of scrutinies. Therefore, it is a must to have financial documents. So, you may not want to shelter your money as it can create difficulties for you later on.

6. Hire Reliable Advisers

Your real estate agent should not be your decision-maker. Their job is to give you useful suggestions to help you make a better decision. Therefore, you may want to make your decision and hire only a reliable advisor.

7. Consider the Title Insurance

You may want to go for title insurance as this can help you be on the safe side. Apart from this, you may want to check out the exception page of your title insurance prior to closing time.

8. Look into the Future

You may want to find out more about the properties being planned around your property. If your neighbor builds a building taller than yours, it may have an impact on your property as well. Besides, you may want to consider the timeline as well. This is important if you want to avoid construction delays.

9. Cooperatives and Condominiums

In case you are going to buy condominiums or cooperatives, make sure that you hire the services of an attorney that can help you know the financial viability of the building.

Long story short, if you are going to invest in a luxury home, we suggest that you consider the 9 tips explained in this article. This will help you make an informed decision and by the house of your dream.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Investing in a House for Sale

Purchasing a house entails more than just looking through the pages of classified ads for any house for sale. Real estate investments like buying an abode would probably be the most enormous purchase an average person can make. Despite the hefty price, however, there is nothing more fulfilling that getting yourself your own place and build dreams around it.

Why should you buy a house?

Renting is of course an alternative for those who still cannot afford to have their own houses. At a considerable price, however, the price you pay for rent may also get you an abode that can be paid at a per month basis, especially through bank financing. In this vein, it is always wiser to allot your money to paying for a house you can call your own, that leasing a place and not getting back anything from the budget you shed.

To put it simply, looking for a house for sale is a way to turn your money into an asset.

From various studies, experts found that the value of houses in between 1940 and 2010 had gone four times higher. This means that those who have bought a house in the 1940s can now sell their property at a quadrupled price. More so, these percentages were only derived from an average value. Good agents may have the property put in the market at a much higher value.

Those who bought a house in the bust periods that include the 1990s and between 2007 and 2011 are projected to be able to sell their houses with a doubled value within ten years or less.

What should you do before buying a house?

First time buyers may find this venture intimidating and confusing, especially when they are presented with the terms of payments, interests and amortizations. True enough, investing in real estate is an arduous and daunting process if you do not get yourself familiar with the terms. Prior to the purchase of the house, therefore, one must:

1. Decide on specific needs. Note that knowing what you want would win you half of the battle. Find a house for sale that satisfies your needs makes you victorious in the battle. Deciding on a duplex or a bungalow would narrow your choices, and lets you choose among the pool of available options.

2. Compare the mortgage payments. Setting a good budget will serve as a guide to choose the right price range and prevents you from purchasing a house that is way beyond your means. The bank may give an assessment that your income would be suffice to pay for house, but only you can determine whether there’s an extra room for payment alongside your hobbies and other expenses.

3. Find a good agent. He or she can be your representative in the negotiation process. The best agent should be approachable, relaxed, confident and firm. Look into the agent’s experience and training. Feed all the specific details of the house you want to buy such as the number of bedrooms, space for the garage, etc.

4. Submit documents and close escrow. It is through this process that the new owners get a hold on the deeds, title and other legal proof of ownership.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your

answer.

There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income

property;

2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial

building;

5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,

and;

3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will

be:

Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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