Alternative Holiday Accommodation: Digital Platforms Have the Solution

Let’s say you and your family are planning to spend 3 weeks in Melbourne, there’s obviously a lot to plan, and while you are exploring this unique metropolis, you’ll need a comfortable base. Of course, there are 4 and 5-star hotels in Melbourne, but that will really eat into your budget, which limits other aspects of your trip, yet by searching online for serviced apartments, you can find the ideal accommodation for a fraction of the cost of a hotel.

Searching Online for Serviced Apartments

This couldn’t be any easier, with digital algorithms you can search by date, location or number of guests, which enables you to find the best accommodation with a few clicks of the mouse. To save you some time, here is the best provider where you’ll find just what you’re looking for. A serviced apartment has everything you need for a 5-star stay and as you have your own place, no need to keep calling reception when you want something.

Benefits of Serviced Apartments

Renting an apartment offers the following benefits:

  • Come and go when you please.
  • Fully furnished & equipped.
  • Car parking.
  • Use of facilities – pool, fitness room, laundry etc.
  • Fully serviced – On a daily basis.

Unlike a hotel, a serviced apartment offers you privacy and seclusion, plus you have total independence and can come and go as you please.

Search Locations

Whether you’re visiting Sydney or Melbourne, the serviced apartment website allows you quickly locate certain suburbs, or you might want to stay in the CBD, which is really convenient. If you do a little online research into your destination, you will gain an insight and that can help you to choose the best neighbourhood.

Personal Service

While the system might be digital, you will be talking to real people when you make a serviced apartment query, and there will be someone to meet you when you arrive, along with a complimentary gift. They will show you around and answer any questions you might have, and that’s really all you need.

Cost-Effective Luxury Accommodation

One only has to look at the daily rates of a 5-star hotel to see how costly a stay of a few weeks would be, and this is one of the main reasons why people are turning to serviced apartments. You can stay for a single night or as long as you wish, it really is up to you. If you would like to learn more about serviced apartments, a quick Google search will find one that services the location you are looking for and you can make a booking from the website.

Daily Clean

There’s nothing like coming home after a day’s sightseeing to see that your apartment is spotlessly clean and you have new bed linen and towels. This makes your stay so convenient and the management are always there to meet any requests you might have, leaving you free to enjoy your holiday experience.

Next time you are looking for short-term accommodation, search online for serviced apartments and you won’t regret it!

Alpine Income Property Trust IPO Shows Signs Of A Booming Real Estate Market

Alpine Income Property Trust IPO Shows Signs Of A Booming Real Estate Market

Alpine Income Property Trust Inc. (NYSE:PINE), a newly organized REIT, launched an IPO last week which has debuted with a strong start. The company initially priced its IPO at $19 a share, at the lower end of its planned price range, and raised $143 million according to Renaissance Capital. Since then, the share price has fallen slightly to $18.65 after the end of Monday’s trading, and the company now has a market cap of about $147 million with 7.9 million outstanding shares.

The REIT sector has done well in 2019, with Simon Bowler of Seeking Alpha noting that the REIT sector has had a return of nearly 30% over the first ten months of 2019. But while this may suggest that this is a good time to invest in a new REIT, Alpine does not have much to distinguish itself from more established competitors and faces some small challenges.

The Property Portfolio

Alpine Income is a new company created in 2019. Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. (NYSE:CTO) spun the new company off so that it can focus on multi-tenant commercial buildings while Alpine focuses on single-tenant commercial properties. CTO gave Alpine an initial portfolio of 20 properties spread across the United States. CTO still has 29 single-tenant properties according to Alpine’s SEC filing, and must offer Alpine the first right of purchase if they wish to sell any of those properties.

Alpine argues that this initial portfolio of 20 properties, promises a steady income and will keep companies like Yeah! Local busy. None of the existing leases will expire before January 31, 2024, and the properties are in small but increasingly popular cities such as Portland, Phoenix, and multiple cities in North Carolina. But while Alpine may claim that its portfolio is diversified, it should be pointed that two of its 20 properties, one held by Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and the other by Hilton Grand Vacations (NYSE:HGV), account for almost 40% of its annualized base rent of $12.5 million.

And as a new REIT IPO, Alpine also argues that it has a strong capacity for growth. Unlike far too many subsidiary IPOs, Alpine states that it “will have no outstanding debt” after this offering. Furthermore, the company is evaluating acquisition opportunities of other single-tenant commercial properties with an aggregate purchase price of approximately $337.2 million. And as long as the U.S. population and economy continue to increase, so too will the demand for commercial real estate.

Standing Out from the Competition

So Alpine Income is in a good position to grow and offer dividends for some time in a booming economy. While that is good, the problem is that is true for practically any other REIT out there. And there is not enough here to make this new company truly stand out, especially when one looks at its finances.

First, Alpine can point to the fact that its historical revenue has risen since 2017, from $8.8 million in the first three quarters of 2018 to $9.4 million in the 2019 3Q. But some of its other numbers are more concerning. Net income declined in the 2019 3Q, FFO stayed largely flat, and AFFO only rose by 6%. While Alpine could have growth and profitability potential if it continues to acquire more properties, that potential has not been realized yet.

Furthermore, Alpine’s distribution policy is a major concern. The company states that it will have “an annualized distribution rate of approximately 4.2%” based on the IPO price of $19, which means an annualized distribution of about 80 cents. This “will represent approximately 93.0% of our estimated cash available for distribution.” By comparison, EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) has a dividend yield of over 6% and you can find other REITs which offer better rates. As a new REIT, Alpine should be the company offering higher rates as it lacks a solid history.

And on a final note, there is Alpine’s leadership to consider. As Alpine is a subsidiary of CTO, CTO’s leaders will become the new leaders of Alpine. Alpine and CTO CEO John Albright has led CTO since 2011, and CTO has risen in value by 18% over the past five years. This is comparable in growth to the Schwab and Vanguard REIT ETFs, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal observed that Albright has restructured the company from a local Daytona real estate company to one which has invested in properties throughout the United States.

Good but not good enough

Alpine is not a bad REIT. Its lack of debt, good leadership, its potential for growth which should improve its diversification, and its improving financial numbers indicates that investors should be able to draw a steady income by investing in this company. And as far as IPOs go, a REIT like this is a better choice than the endless tech IPOs that promise high growth, no profits, and will crash and burn over the long term.

But a new REIT should have higher yields than its competitors to attract investors wary of a lack of history, and instead Alpine has lower yields. If the stock falls to $15 or maybe $16, then its percentages and yields will be worth the lower price. REITs are a good investment for now, but investors should look at more established companies or ETFs.

4 Ways to Avoid Professional Tenants

Nightmares don’t always start out scary. Tracy and her husband recently took out a second mortgage to buy an investment property. The couple hoped that it would help provide for their new baby. After months of renovation, they met a polite and well-dressed young man eager to move in. The tenant told them he needed the apartment immediately because of a family emergency. The easygoing couple was reluctant to sign the lease without a proper background check but they thought “He seemed nice. What could go wrong?”

To their surprise, this seemingly nice tenant had filed for bankruptcy before rushing the couple into signing the lease. After the first month, he stopped paying rent altogether and never answered their calls. The couple couldn’t legally request rent payments while he was still in bankruptcy court. It took them seven months to finally evict the tenant and the apartment was completely trashed. Losing seven months of rent while paying two mortgages devastated the couple’s savings. Tracy painfully learned a new term that gives landlords chills  – professional tenant. 

What is a professional tenant?

Professional tenants are landlords’ worst nightmares. They understand legal loopholes and use them to withhold rent. Not only do they live in your property for free, they often trash the unit when they leave. With protective tenant laws in developed countries, evicting professional tenants is increasingly difficult. An eviction can drag on for months and costs landlords thousands of dollars in legal fees. Thus, avoiding professional tenants should be a priority when you try to rent out your investment properties. 

Professional tenants are hard to spot by appearance. They are great actors and pretend to be nice and agreeable until you sign the lease. Fortunately, there are ways to see through their smokes and mirrors. Using these four strategies can help you avoid professional tenants and protect your rental income. 

Tip No.1 – don’t fall for their sob stories

The most common tactic professional tenants use to fool kind-hearted landlords is to make up “personal tragedies”. They will try to win your sympathy by sharing bogus sob stories such as a bitter divorce or the sudden death of a family member. Their goal is to cloud your judgment and guilt you into signing the lease in a rush without proper checks. 

While helping your fellow man is a good trait, landlords shouldn’t change or skip a rigorous screening process due to the tenants’ personal circumstances. Being a landlord is not a charity. Your priority should be protecting yourself, your family, and your property.

Tip No.2 – verify landlord references carefully

To protect yourself from professional tenants, request as many landlord references as possible. Professional tenants have trouble providing authentic landlord references because they probably have had multiple evictions and dozens of angry landlords. Often, these tenants ask their friends to impersonate landlords during the application. 

Fake landlords are easy to spot when you speak to them on the phone. When you call the landlords, don’t tell them immediately you are checking someone’s references. You can first ask if their properties are for rent. A genuine landlord will naturally give you more information. A fake reference, however, will be confused by the question or stumble through a made-up answer on the spot.

Additionally, you can check the phone numbers and names provided in an online search to see if they match any past rental listings or property records.  If you are too busy to handle all these tasks you might consider hiring a local rental real estate agent so then the agent would take care of all these steps. 

Tip No.3 – run a thorough tenant background check

Verifying landlord references by yourself is helpful but it is not foolproof. Running a thorough tenant background check before signing the lease is an absolute must. Professional tenants fear background checks. That’s why they avoid it at all costs by telling you they need to move in immediately or even offering to pay extra rent upfront. 

However, never skip a proper tenant check. Professional background checks give you an in-depth view of the tenant’s credit score, residential history, and, most importantly, past eviction records. This is the best way to expose professional tenants as they generally have terrible credit scores and histories of evictions. A proper tenant check also helps you identify other unfit applicants by giving you all the information you need to protect yourself.

There are many providers for tenant background checks in the market. In the table below, we compared the background check services from a few providers. Out of the four, SingleKey has the fastest turnaround time of merely five minutes. With the 5-minute reporting time, professional tenants can never rush you into signing a lease without a comprehensive background check! 

Background Check
Provider Singlekey Naborly TVS Equifax
Credit Report (Price) Credit and Background Check together for $24.99 Credit Report = Free / Criminal Check = $25 $16 to $40 depending on the report type selected $23.95 
Subscription Fee $49.95 – one time / not refundable $19.95 per month
Easy to Use Very Easy Tenant Application is
very cumbersome
Somewhat easy Very Easy
Social Media Scan Yes Yes
Who Can Pay Landlord or Tenant Landlord Landlord Landlord
Report Waiting Time 5 mins 90 mins from when
tenant responds
24 hours 24 hours


Tip No.4 – get a rent guarantee 

The last tool will save you not only from professional tenants but other causes of non-payment and late payment. With a rent guarantee, you can get 100% protection for your rental income. 

Rent guarantees are a fairly new product. Landlords pay a monthly subscription fee for a guarantee on their rental income. When your tenants refuse to pay rent or fail to pay on time, the company, instead of you, will resolve the problem on your behalf. With a rent guarantee, you will still receive regular rent payments directly from the company even when the tenants fail to pay. Additionally, the rent guarantee service from SingleKey even covers ALL your legal expenses during an eviction and up to $10,000 for property damage. Having a rent guarantee offers the best protection on your rental investment and makes your passive income truly passive! 

Protection is Key! 

Professional tenants are landlord’s worst nightmares. Loss of rental income, trashed properties, and the legal troubles can really put a strain on you and your family. When it comes to investment properties, protection is key. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. With tools such as tenant background check and rent guarantee, you can avoid the headache and financial losses of dealing with professional tenants and protect your rental income in the long run.

How to Increase the Value of Your Property

Are you looking to sell your house, or are you in the type of work that rents out places? Do you want to make more money with these properties? Of course, you do! 


House and apartment buildings can quickly become outdated every ten years or so. To increase your paycheck every year, you have to make updates to your places gradually. 


Some improvements can raise your property value by $10,000 or more. Doing multiple updates can result in a significant increase. 


Continue reading to find out what you can start planning to do today to your home or apartment building today! 

New Roof 

First impressions are essential in all aspects of our lives, and houses aren’t any different. You want potential buyers or renters to drive up to your place and think, “Wow, I want to live here!” 


The experts at Dominion Roofing state, “Your roof is the most important structure on your home or commercial building. Yet it can experience a ton of abuse from hail storms, animals that chew through to live inside your home, and harmful ultraviolet light.” 


No one wants to move in somewhere with a leaky roof or a weak roof if there is a bad storm or snow. Also, new buyers don’t want to move somewhere that needs many repairs. They want to move in and start enjoying themselves! For structure reasons, you should redo the roof to ensure new homeowners or renters that the house is safe and durable. 


Having a brand new roof can make your property look more modern and more attractive. There are many colors and styles to choose from nowadays as well. Pick something that compliments your house color and other features. 


If you’re really looking to make a major upgrade to your roof, you might want to look into solar panels. They are costly in the beginning, but in the long run, they will pay off. This will significantly increase the value of your home and attract those who want to live in an eco-friendly way. 

Update the Appliances 

The kitchen and bathroom are some of the most important factors when people consider living somewhere new. It makes sense because these types of renovations are among the most expensive you can do to your home. 


“However, with estate agents reporting new kitchens typically add 5.5% to a property’s value – and can add as much 10% – kitchen projects can tick multiple boxes for a homeowner.” It can be a considerable expense for you now, but in the long run, it will pay off. 


When looking at new appliances, don’t go for the cheapest option, either. Now some models can connect to personal assistant services, which are on the rise right now. This will increase your place even more than having basic appliances. 


They can create grocery lists, let you know when an appliance is left on, give recipe ideas, start the coffee machine, and much more! An example is the Amazon Echo or better known as Alexa. It would be best if you looked for as many appliances that are compatible with these types of devices to make sure your place is up to date today and in the years to come. 

Fresh Paint and a Good Clean 

This might seem obvious to some, but having a bright, clean, crisp looking home on the inside really makes a difference. Even the smallest marks or stains on the walls can make a place look dirtier or older than it actually is. 


Think outside of the box when it comes to colors. There are thousands of hues to choose from now! Remember, don’t go crazy with what you pick. You might love neon pink for a bedroom, but that doesn’t mean everyone will. Choose a neutral color that is light to keep the room open and versatile. 


Once you’re done painting, make sure the place is spotless before you have people look at it or hold an open house. The most important rooms are the bathroom and kitchen. If you’re not doing a complete remodel, make sure to deep clean these areas and shine them up. 


No one wants to move into a place that already feels dirty. Provide them a clean canvas, so they imagine themselves moving in. If a buyer or renter thinks that the house is new and clean, they might pay more or be more willing to make a higher deal. 

The Bottom Line

The possibilities are endless when it comes to renovations. Look at your budget for making updates, and then think about what aspects of your place need improvements. 

We have provided essential things to consider. So, now you can start planning your next project to increase your property value and make more money! 

5 Ways to Prepare Your House for Summer

You’ve survived the brutal winter, and summer is coming, but how ready is your house? Summer brings along sunshine and heat, but also some minor challenges for your home. Here are some ideas to get your house ready for the season ahead.

Hot and Humid

During summer, the temperatures can reach up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity rises exceptionally high. If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, now is the time to get it. As it gets closer to summer, the prices increase. Shop around now while there are bargains to be had, there could even be bonuses on installation.


If you already have air conditioning, it’s important to remember to start your annual maintenance check-up. The filters most likely need to be replaced or repaired depending on the type of device you have. Maintenance once a year will reduce your electricity bills as your system will require less power if everything is working in top condition.

Check Your Roof

Canada is not immune to natural disasters. During the summer months, we experience thunderstorms and tornadoes. These can wreak havoc on your roof.  Dominion Roofing recommends that you perform a roof tune-up before the storm season. This includes checking the roof for holes, replacing missing shingles, and thoroughly cleaning the eaves. Any leaks in the roof could prove to be a nightmare when the rains come. Do the safety checks now, and you’ll be grateful later.

Drapes and Shades

You don’t need to run your air conditioner all day throughout the summer, especially if you aren’t at home. This is a waste of electricity. By merely installing drapes on the windows of the rooms that get the most sun, you can reduce the inside temperature by 33 percent. Ideally, medium colored curtains with white plastic backings are your best choice.  


Window shades are another handy solution. Reflective on one side and white on the other, you can flip these during winter and summer to provide heat increase or reduction depending on the season. Drapes and shades are inexpensive and offer an alternative to using air conditioners.

Bring the Outdoors In

It may be too hot to spend time in the outdoors during this season. Why not spruce up your interior with plants and flowers. Remember, leaves provide oxygen, so keeping plants in the main living areas of your home can offer health benefits as well as up the aesthetic.


You don’t want to spend all your time being an indoor gardener, though, so choose plants that require minimum maintenance. Cactus plants, for example, only need watering once a week, and prefer natural rainwater to tap water. This makes them perfect additions to your home during the summer months when the storms arrive. 

Lighten and Brighten

Summer promotes feelings of being light and bright. Prepare your home to greet the season with some additional splashes of color. Your bedrooms can be made lighter by changing your duvets or comforters to something more exciting. 


Beautiful flowers in your kitchen and entryways make your home more inviting. Why not make your dining table more appealing with bright, fun cups, plates, and serving dishes.

A Few Easy Steps

It doesn’t take long or much expense to get your home seasonal-ready. With summer approaching, install or maintain your air conditioner, and tune-up your roof to make sure there are no holes or leaks.


To make your home more attractive inside, install some drapes or shades to minimize the need for your air conditioner, and brighten up your rooms with flowers and plants and some addition of color. Now you’re ready for the next season.

These 3 Tips Can Help You Find a Place to Rent in Toronto

Toronto has a lot to offer its residents, such as employment opportunities, good public transport, highly rated schools, colleges, and universities, top-of-the-line amenities, entertainment venues, exotic eateries, and multiculturalism. 

Because of these factors, Toronto is growing faster than any other city in Canada, and the resulting demand for housing has caused rental vacancy rates to drop to historically low levels

While it can be challenging for tenants to find a home in the city, it’s not impossible. Landlords receive many applications and have the luxury of looking for reliable renters. As a prospective tenant, you can set yourself apart from other applicants by following these tips:

#1 Get Professional Help 

You can improve your chances of finding a place to rent in the city by seeking professional help. It’s important to use the services of a Toronto rental agency that’s experienced, uses a proven formula, and won’t waste your time, instead of an inexperienced real estate agent who is too busy juggling multiple clients to understand your needs and is more interested in collecting their cut. Remember, it costs nothing to use such an agency’s services as a renter, so stack the odds in your favour. 

#2 Do Your Research

Before you start sending applications, do your research. Center on areas where you’d like to live and check the rental rates. Match this with your income. It’s recommended that you budget 30 percent of your earnings for rent. If the rent is more than 30% of your income, then your application may be rejected. 

Many properties include some or all utilities such as gas, water, electricity, internet, and more. Read the details of a listing carefully before making an offer. A home with higher rent that includes all utilities could be more cost-effective than a cheaper home where you’re responsible for paying more bills.

#3 Have Your Documents in Order

Due to the fast-paced nature of the city’s rental market, it’s vital to have your documents ready. This is especially true nearer to the city’s core, where renters are closer to businesses and can avoid the cost of vehicle ownership. 

It’s not unusual for high-demand rental properties to field multiple applicants at once. To avoid vacancy, usually, a landlord selects the first good candidate who submits all their paperwork. Have as many of the following documents ready when you start looking for a place to rent:

    • A credit report from Equifax
    • Character letters from professionals unrelated to you


  • Reference letters from previous landlords that support your candidacy as a reliable renter
  • A job letter from your employer that verifies your employment


  • A photo ID 

If you lack a rental history or if your credit report is less than ideal, then don’t panic. You can improve your candidacy by offering a co-signer or a personal letter explaining your situation. Alternatively, consider renting with a roommate until you can rebuild your credit. And if you’re self-employed, then you may need to prove your income with bank statements or a Statement of Business Activities

These three tips can help you find a place to live in Toronto. By staying organized, vigilant, and using a little professional help, you can establish yourself as an excellent candidate.

How to Buy a Home in Toronto This Year

We’re still in the first month of the new year, and prognosticators are saying that 2020 will continue to be a hot market for real estate in the region. People are moving here and looking to buy. Prices are high and they’re likely to stay that way for some time. That said, here are some tips to help you get into your new home.

Save as much as possible for your down payment.

This is the most expensive part of buying a new home, but it’s the necessary first step. Many Canadians put between five and 20 percent down. If you’ve looked around the market, you know the price range of homes in the various Toronto neighborhoods and the type of down payment you’ll need, and it goes without saying that the more you pay upfront, the less your mortgage payments will be.

If you’ve been saving for a down payment, explore options for growing your money. Look around to learn what options might exist for growing your savings, like an account that pays higher interest than what you’re currently earning. Continue to save. Every little bit helps.

Prepare for the other costs associated with new home buying.

There are a number of expenses you’ll need to consider; for example, closing costs, which can encompass several different fees. The land transfer tax depends on where you buy, but it represents a percentage of the overall cost of your home. Here in Toronto, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible for a rebate.

Then, there’s Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) insurance. If your down payment is less than 20% of the home sales price, you’re going to need mortgage loan insurance in the event you can’t make your payments, and this insurance is taxable at the time of purchase. The good thing is that CMHC insurance allows you to get a mortgage for up to 95 percent of the purchase price of a home, while also ensuring that you get a reasonable interest rate. While we’re on the subject of costs, don’t forget about home inspection costs and any legal fees you might need to incur.

Check your credit score.

This number will determine how much your bank or other financial institution will be willing to lend you. It’s easy to check, and worth knowing — even for those not planning to buy a house soon. Your past financial and credit history, along with payments you’ve made and other factors combine to determine this score.

Take a good look at the Toronto area.

While you’re preparing your finances, look around Toronto and the surrounding areas to learn what’s available, and for how much. If you’re not independently wealthy, you might not be able to afford a luxury home in the city — but you might find something in another part of the region that’s just perfect for you and your family. Explore all the options to see how much house you can get for the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Consider the pluses and minuses.

For most people, a home is the largest financial commitment you’ll make, so it’s worth evaluating what makes the most sense in the long-term. As you’re getting to know various neighborhoods, ask friends or family members who live in those places for their opinions. It’s not unusual for some people to start out with one goal in mind, then change course along the way.

Five Common Mistakes in Real Estate Investing

As someone who’s been recently introduced into the world of real estate investing, it is important to note that there’s a learning curve you have to go through before you become a pro. One way to shorten your learning process is to learn from the mistakes of others.

Here are five common mistakes in real estate investing:

Buying an Old Rental Property  

If you’re buying an old home to serve as a living space for yourself, it’s okay to go with an old property, considering the fact that most of the price appreciation in real estate comes from the increase in land value. But if you’re buying an old rental property, then you’re setting yourself up for future headaches; unless you are a really good handyman with some spare time.  Save yourself the stress of numerous calls from tenants to deal with several problems an old rental property is very likely to have. 

Paying too Much Attention to a Building’s Structure while Ignoring its Location

What do you fall in love with when you see a building?  Most likely, you are swayed by breath-taking structural masterpieces. However, when it’s time to put down your money while investing in a property, you can’t afford to pay so much attention to the building’s structure at the expense of its location. 

Of all the factors to be considered about a property, the only thing that cannot be changed is its location, especially because this is a vital determinant of land price appreciation of your freehold property. Don’t be so swayed by structure because if your house is located in a good location, you can always renovate it to suit your taste and needs!  

Working with an Inexperienced Real Estate Agent

Working with an inexperienced realtor is rarely ever a good idea. If you’re a seller, you need to choose wisely based on factors important to you, such as local experience of agent, connections, commission, etc. Some of which you can assess via online platforms like Wowa.

As a real estate investor, always search for the best local real estate agent, who knows the locality you plan to invest in very well. Location is so important because investing in a good location is sure to bring up the value of your own house. If you have kids (or plan to), consider the kind of schools in that neighborhood and be sure they suit your kids’ needs before you buy a house there. 

It is best to have a list of things that are important to you as you set out in your search for a house. This way, you’d receive proper guidance from your agent, as they would have lots of experience in securing good real estate deals that fulfil your requirements.

Underestimating the Importance of Home Inspection

The investor who fails to acknowledge the importance of home inspection and as such, skips this very vital step, is one who is likely to have short-changed him/herself in their purchase. It’s always best to hire a professional home inspector to help carry out a thorough examination of the house you want to buy, and come up with a valid assessment. When you hire a professional inspector, you would not be saddled with a home that has lots of hidden issues!

Underestimating the Ongoing Costs

Some real estate investors make the mistake of underestimating ongoing costs for the house. You need to prepare to make monthly mortgage payments, and also allocate money to cover your property tax, and other such amounts. Also for rental properties one should assume that it has tenant 11 out of 12 months of the year and for one month each year the property could be without any tenant. Never underestimate the importance of ongoing costs of maintaining your property.  

Wrapping Up

Investing in real estate yields bountiful results, and if you’re well prepared to scale through mistakes that blindsided previous investors, even better for you!     

An investor who’s able to avoid mistakes such as purchasing an old rental property, not paying enough attention to the house’s location, working with an inexperienced agent, underestimating the ongoing costs and the importance of home inspection; will enjoy the benefits of this investment.  

How To Pick The Best Value For Money Home

Buying your first home is an exciting moment in your life. However, we need to be aware of a few things in order to be satisfied with our purchase.

Sometimes we make rushed decisions, and that leads us to experience buyer’s remorse. We may start noticing defects in the house that we didn’t see before, and then we start questioning our purchase. But it’s too late – you already bought it! 

People search for months to find their “perfect home”. But the truth is that no house is perfect. Purchasing a home is a significant investment, especially for those who work really hard to earn money. If you get a loan, you might get into debt, but it’s the best investment you could make.

No one knows what their future is. You might have an outstanding financial situation right now, but later you could go crashing down. That’s why we need to make investments during our flourishing times. That way, you make sure that you have somewhere safe to live. 

After buying the house, you shouldn’t keep looking for houses. You might encounter a similar home at a lower price point. But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to make sure that you pick the best house at the best price.

Choose the Right Neighborhood

If you want to get the best value for money, you need to take a closer look at the neighborhood you’re interested in.

Some neighborhoods are more expensive than others. It all depends on the location and what’s around them.

For example, an apartment in Montreal is going to be expensive due to the fame of the city. But, if you still want to be around that area but at a lower price, you could search condos for sale in Griffintown. It is still located in Montreal, but a bit further from the central city.

Being a little further from a city has its benefits. You can enjoy fresher air and a quiet neighborhood, but you can always go to the city for those things you need to buy. 

Look at Recently Sold Properties

Before making the big purchase, you should look at similar houses to the one you’re interested in.

A comparable property is one that is similar in location, size, commodities, and condition. If you find one, you should compare both of them. 

Comparing two houses involves questioning whether they are at a similar price point or not. Is your house more expensive than bigger houses? Or is it cheaper than a similar one?

All of these questions can be answered with a quick online search. If you find that the house you want is more expensive than others similar, you should ask for a different price or search for another house all around. 

Research about Unsold Houses

Unsold houses can speak volumes about a property. Most houses don’t sell because they are overpriced, and this can be the situation for your future home that you might not even notice.

Sometimes, an overpriced home has its reason for being at that price. Maybe the previous owners did a lot of renovations and put expensive materials in the home. This is the only scenario that could justify a higher rate than other houses. 

The inside of a home tells us a lot about the owners. It doesn’t matter if the property is rather small; as long as the inside looks luxurious, it will elevate the price over other houses.

Market Conditions

An essential part of buying a home is researching the market. Similarly to the stock market, the real estate market also fluctuates a lot. 

Sometimes, there is a peak of prices, and other times, the prices decline. You need to research those fluctuations and see where you stand on. If the market is declining, you might feel that the houses are overpriced. On the other hand, if the market is at its peak, this is the best time to buy because some houses might maintain their original price. 

For Sale-by-Owners Properties

This is when the owner itself sells the house without a real estate agent. Usually, the prices of these homes are lower because when the real estate agent sells, they get 6% in commissions. 

Without the presence of a real estate company, the price should go down due to the non-existence of the commission for the agent. 

Sometimes, these owners who decide to sell themselves, might not set a reasonable price. Maybe the agent told them a price, and they weren’t happy, so they went with a price that they thought was fair. 

Final Thoughts

Buying a house is complicated, and it involves a lot of factors. Make sure that the price is fair for the house, and apply all these tips during your purchase.

Finding the perfect property: top tips

Whether you are seeking to get your foot on the property ladder or you are hoping to purchase a new house, finding the perfect property for you can take time and effort. Make a list of all the things you would like to find in a property and order them according to priority. Presenting that list to an estate agent may help, but also be sure to keep an open mind. Sometimes, the things we are convinced we want are actually not the most important and we find other things we much prefer. Continue reading for our top tips to make the search for your dream home as pain free as possible. 

Take a trusted friend

Viewing properties on your own can be challenging, so take a trustworthy friend with you. If you are dazzled by the room sizes and struggling to see any pitfalls, your friend may well be the one who can ground you and show you the work that will need doing. Someone who will be honest with you is exactly what you need when you are about to make one of the most expensive purchases of your life.

View a range of properties

Looking at homes on the Internet can be a great way to narrow down the number of properties you would like to view. However, seeing photographs and floor plans does not convey the emotions you get when you walk into a house. Be sure to arrange viewings for a number of homes and focus on features as well as feelings. 

Revisit the properties and neighbourhoods

Even if you have fallen madly in love with a property and are certain it is the one for you, be sure to revisit on several occasions. This will allow you to see the home at different times of day and also the neighbourhood. In addition to checking out the area in person, you should also consult online city guides, for example, Markham real estate. Finding out as much as you can about to area to which you would like to move is vital.

Consider a house to do up

Sometimes, despite months even years of house hunting, it might be impossible to find a property that fulfils all of your criteria. If this is the case, why not consider buying a home that needs some work doing to it? Often, these properties will take into account the number of flaws and the price will be adjusted accordingly, leaving you more money to carry out renovation work on the property rather than spending it on the mortgage. 

Be proactive

Imagine finding the perfect street in the perfect city, yet no homes come up for sale in that area. That could be because of the idyllic location and wonderful neighbourhood. Instead of just sitting back and waiting, take the situation into your own hands and be proactive. Make flyers explaining that you are looking for a house in that area detailing exactly the type of property you desire. Post them into each house with your telephone number and you may well find your future home this way.