Thursday, February 18, 2016

Average cost to rent / Average cost to own

You may have heard talk about rising rents. By some estimates, the median monthly rent cost is about 25% higher than a typical monthly cost for owning a mid-priced home. Check out these quick stats:

*Costs to own are averaged historical samples only; they are not an offer to lend. Costs as follows: historical, annualized average prevailing first year monthly interest expense for a loan amount of $162,000 (10% down on a $180,000 home), taxes of $300, insurance of $40.50, Private Mortgage Insurance of $81. Actual expenses vary for any home and loan program; will include additional considerations for principal, maintenance, potential tax savings and appreciation/depreciation; and can be more or less than illustrated. Rates and fees for current scenarios available by request. Data is provided with rights for use by Estate of Mind, Inc.

As owners or buyers, we're all impacted by high rental rates in some way. Consider this:
  • Rising rents could push new homebuyers into the market, which could drive prices higher. Rising values may help with refinancing or even accessing cash for repairs, improvements, tuition or other expenditures.
  • High rents make it harder to save for a down payment. Fortunately, low down payment options are plentiful.
  • Rising rents improve potential cash flow opportunities on investment properties or vacation homes. The timing may be right to follow that dream.
If rising rents mean it's time for you or someone you care about to take action, please reach out. I'll be glad to help.

VanDyk Mortgage Corporation - 2449 Camelot Ct SE , Grand Rapids, MI 49546  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

7 Reasons Why You Should Buy Investment Property & Become a DIY Landlord

Buy Investment Property and Be a DIY Landlord

Investing in real estate can mean several different things: you can flip real estate, wholesale, or buy to sell when the property appreciates in value. The best way to invest in real estate is to buy and long-term lease a property. While this can be a lot of work, most investors find that leasing a property creates the best outcome. You can get consistent cash flow and long-term investment turnaround. Renting is the best way to invest in real estate; it’s the core of the market.
Being a landlord has become easier with the rise of the Internet because there is always helpful information just at your fingertips. If you use property management services, being a DIY landlord is easier than ever. From finding and screening tenants to building a lease to maintenance, property management can be done in a simple, efficient manner.
Yes, buying an investment property is a large undertaking, but it is also immensely rewarding. Here are 7 reasons why you should take the plunge, buy investment property and become a DIY landlord.

1) High Leverage

Real estate has high leverage. You can get a loan more easily for real estate than for other investment vehicles.
Try walking into your local bank and asking for a line of credit for $800,000 secured against only $200,000 of your cash for the purpose of investing in gold, stocks, mutual funds, commodities, etc. They would probably laugh at you. But, if you walked into that same bank and told them you wanted to buy 10 houses at $100,000 a piece, they would usher you over into their mortgage division to begin working on your 10 loans.”
Getting financed to begin fulfilling your investment goals is easier when you invest in real estate. Part of the reasoning for this is that the return on your investment is more likely to occur.

2) High ROI

High leverage and a high return on investment (ROI) go hand in hand. When you use borrowed capital for an investment, you are only using a small portion of your own money to invest in the property, which helps you get a better return on your investment in the long run.
Furthermore, when you rent to tenants, you expect their rent to cover not only marginal expenses, but also to pay off the interest payable on your loans. This allows your profits to exceed many other types of investments. You are ultimately expecting your profits to be made greater than the interest you owe, which increases your ROI.
This is also why real estate is considered to have a high payout over the long-term and is considered a “high-performing asset.” Essentially, the high leverage allows your monthly cash flow to increase, thus giving you a higher ROI. What’s more is that any appreciation on the property makes your ROI even higher.

3) Diversify Your Assets & High Appreciation

One of the first lessons you learn about investing is the power of diversification. In order to see real benefits without too much risk, it is smart to invest in many markets. Real estate is its own market and your asset is the property itself. Having real estate as an asset is beneficial because it appreciates over time.  
Even despite recent crashes in the real estate market, it’s safe to assume some level of appreciation in the long term. The value of real estate can rise and fall, but it is considered a safer, steadier market, especially in the long haul.
Moreover, in real estate, you have the ability to research the market based on the location you want to invest in. You can learn the trends and make a more informed decision about the market, which makes for a less volatile investment compared to others, like the stock market.
Appreciation with real estate is also unique in that the money you invested in the property (or, your down payment) appreciates in addition to the actual asset. In other words, the entire asset is appreciating, and not just the initial money you put into it. For more information on how real estate investments are worthwhile.

4) Tax Benefits

Owning real estate allows for many different kinds of tax deductions, like the ones below:
  • Interest: Landlords can deduct interest from mortgage interest payments on loans used to buy or improve the property. You can also deduct interest on credit cards used for goods or services used for your property.
  • Depreciation: Real estate gives you tax benefits by way of depreciation if the property is providing you income. This way, landlords can deduct the cost of the property over several years.  
  • Repairs: The cost of repairs is deductible in the year in which they are done. For example, if you repaint, fix the floors, or replace any broken appliances, you can deduct these costs.
  • Home office: If you work from home, which is common as a DIY landlord, then you can likely deduct home office expenses from your taxable income, provided you meet certain requirements. This is true whether you own your home or whether you are also a renter.
  • Insurance: You can deduct insurance premiums from any insurance policy that has to do with your rental investment. This includes landlord liability insurance, flood/fire/theft insurance, or the cost of an employee’s insurance.
The benefit of using tax deductions is self-evident–you keep more of your taxable income in your pocket!

5) Ward Off Inflation: Rising Rents

Rising inflation is more easily combated in real estate than in other markets. This is because as prices rise, so will the value of your asset. When you use leverage to buy real estate at low interest rates, you more easily ward off inflation.  Inflation endangers investments because it can lower the value of your assets.
But in real estate, you own an asset that “rises with the tide,” which is a great way to protect your wealth. The rise of rent means that you will be pocketing more money, which will be necessary as inflation makes all goods more expensive (like the cost of repairs and appliances).

6) Retirement Income

Real estate investment is most valuable over the long term when gains can be seen from appreciation. That’s why real estate is a great platform for retirement income. Income on rental properties is considered passive income, meaning it generates money with less work compared to other income-generating jobs.
Of course, that’s not to say being a DIY landlord is perfectly effortless! The potential to retire on rental income is very real. The retirement strategy is this: own a property (or several) for a couple of decades, create a high net worth, use the cash flow to supplement a retirement fund, pay off mortgages using rental income, and sell for a cash intake when you want to.

7) The Decision to Sell: How and When to Exit the Investment

Real estate is a good investment platform because you can sell whenever and however you choose. Although it’s recommended to hold onto your property over the long term, there are no fixed rules. You govern the decision on when you sell. You can also use different exit strategies to maximize your profits. The power is in your hands. Due to appreciation, you are likely to sell your property at a higher price tag than what you bought it at, which makes selling an exciting and profitable end goal to your investment!  


While buying a property and leasing it sounds hugely beneficial (and it is), it’s important to keep in mind that you have enough resources before you begin. A common mistake DIY landlords make is underestimating the amount of capital it takes to renovate, cover unexpected damage, or unexpected legal/eviction fees.
It’s important to have a safety cushion of capital in case of unanticipated problems. Tenants don’t always pay rent on time, which can throw off your anticipated monthly cash flow.  They also sometimes don’t take good care of a property, which means an added cost of repairing the property as needed. However, you can decrease the risk of renting to bad tenants by thoroughly screening potential tenants. What to look out for in rental applications to make sure you that you choose quality tenants.
Tasks like finding and screening tenants, building a lease, and other DIY landlord responsibilities are easiest when you use our services here at Rentalutions! Feeling the rewards of investing in real estate with less of a hassle is a big deal, and we can help make it happen.

 Posted on  by Kasia Manolas

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Forbes lists top investment cities – 7 are in Fla.

NEW YORK – Feb. 3, 2016
Where should real estate investors put their money in 2016? Forbes teamed up with North Carolina-based data company Local Market Monitor to produce its list of 2016 Best Buy Cities – the top 20 housing markets to invest in this year – and Florida dominates the list.
According to Forbes, Florida offers good values "where investors get the best bang for their housing buck, and where aspiring homeowners have the best prospects of making an economically sound purchase."
Orlando took second place and was followed by six other Sunshine State cities. Among them, average home prices are highest in West Palm Beach (No. 19) at $285,000 and lowest in Tampa (No. 14) at $193,000. The averages, though, have been accelerating at a rate of 9 percent to 14 percent in all the Florida cities.
Florida's domination of the list makes a lot of sense in light of the national economic recovery, says Ingo Winzer, founder and president of Local Market Monitor. "Since the national economy has stabilized and is growing again, the factors that prompt people to go to Florida have recovered," he reasons.
"Best-buy" markets for 2016 housing
1. Grand Rapids
2. Orlando, Florida
3. San Antonio, Texas
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
5. Salt Lake City
6. Dallas
7. Austin, Texas
8. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9. Seattle
10. Cape Coral, Florida
11. Indianapolis
12. North Port, Florida
13. Nashville, Tennessee
14. Tampa, Florida
15. Charleston, South Carolina
16. Denver, Colorado
17. Madison, Wisconsin
18. Jacksonville, Florida
19. West Palm Beach, Florida
20. Boise, Idaho

Source: Forbes (01/27/16) Carlyle, Erin
© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Miami considers retail project near Design District


A two-story retail building has been proposed in Miami’s Upper Eastside neighborhood near the Design District.
MacArthur Properties III’s rezoning proposal will go before the Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board on Sept. 2. It concerns a 0.8-acre site at 3701 and 3737 Biscayne Blvd. and 306 and 316 N.E. 38th Street. It’s just off the Interstate 195 exit ramp that spills onto Biscayne Boulevard.

The Miami Design District, a luxury retail and arts area, is just to the west. This project hopes to capitalize on the retail success in the neighborhood that has seen rapid property value appreciation and rental rate increases.
Miami attorney Melissa Tapanes Llahues, who represents the developer, said the new zoning would allow a 40,000-square-foot retail building. The developer would renovate the 61-year-old building of 9,123 square feet. A small multifamily building would be demolished and about 30,877 square feet of new retail and structured parking would be constructed.
“MacArthur is seeking the rezoning due a provision in Miami 21 [city zoning code] that limits office and commercial uses to less than 25 percent of the building floor area total,” Tapanes Llahues said. “Accordingly, two stories of commercial uses would only be permitted within an eight story building, and MacArthur is proposing less.”
New York-based MacArthur Properties is owned by Anthony Contomichalos, Samuel Andrews Benner, Allia Rae Benner, Paul C. Contomichalos, and Nathalie Contomichalos.
It acquired the property in two transactions for a combined $7.25 million in 2014. Art By God, a retail gallery of animal and nature decorations, previously owned the building and got $4.25 million for it from MacArthur Properties. It moved its gallery to Wynwood.
Brian Bandell   

Thursday, August 27, 2015

South Florida’s Construction Boom Heads North

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Known for years as little more than a retirement community with a racetrack and a few pastel-hued motels that had seen better days, this small oceanfront town is not the first place that comes to mind when wealthy Brazilians and Russians seek out expensive condominiums.
But the construction boom of recent years south of here, in Miami Beach and its neighboring areas, has used up almost all the best lots. So developers are migrating north to Broward County locales like Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale that do not have as much cachet but which, because of their beachfront locations, are seen as having great upside potential. The land is cheaper, too, which makes for relatively good deals — at least for now.
“It’s very, very exciting,” said Joy F. Cooper, the mayor of Hallandale Beach, who views the luxurious residential projects here as a transformative shot in the arm. When she was elected a decade ago, Ms. Cooper said, development was “stagnant” and the median age of the city’s residents was in the 70s. Now, it’s 47.
The Melia Costa Hollywood Beach Resort shown during construction in Hollywood. Credit Oscar Hidalgo for The New York Times
“We’ve seen a total gentrification of our community,” she said. “We took the playbook right out of Miami Beach.”
The development along this stretch of the coast includes not only residential complexes, but hotels and retail space that promise to change the face of this region.
Even as the post-recession boom in South Florida shows signs of cooling — evidently because the strong American dollar is eroding the purchasing power of foreign investors — prices in coastal Miami-Dade County remain largely stratospheric, prompting prospective buyers with somewhat less disposable income to cast their nets elsewhere.
“People who are financially comfortable should be able to get something fantastic, and it gets harder and harder in Miami,” said Ryan Weisfisch, the developer of the Oceanbleau tower in Hollywood, scheduled to open in early 2017 with 48 units starting at $1.6 million. “They’re coming here not because of the allure, but because people are priced out of Miami Beach.”
On Broward County’s 24-mile coastal strip, 83 new residential towers, with 7,901 units, have been announced or are under construction — 37 of them in the last year, according to Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant who tracks local trends on the website In Fort Lauderdale alone, he said, 44 such projects are in the works, 29 more than last year.
Adding to the appeal of the new Broward developments are prices per square foot that are often half or less of what similar condominiums have been fetching in Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour and other coastal communities in Miami-Dade County. Value for money, Mr. Zalewski said, is especially important for cost-conscious foreign investors who plan to rent out their units.
“These are people who previously wouldn’t have considered going to Broward County,” Mr. Zalewski said. “People are getting more comfortable with Broward than they were a few years back.”
Still, it has not necessarily been an easy sell. Crawford Sherman, the regional director for COMO Resorts and Hotels properties in Miami Beach and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and who has worked also in Paris, Hawaii and New York, notes that it usually takes a long time for a place to be known as a hot commodity.
“You can go anywhere in the world and mention Miami, Palm Beach or even Fort Lauderdale and there’s immediate recognition,” Mr. Sherman said. “I don’t think those other places have the cachet,” he went on, referring to Hallandale Beach and Hollywood, “although I’m sure the developers are hoping they do.”
Balconies at the Regalia in Sunny Isles. Credit Oscar Hidalgo for The New York Times
Jorge Perez, South Florida’s most prolific condominium developer, is one of the optimists. “It’s exploding,” he said of the Broward coastline, which until recently had barely registered with builders who were busy cashing in on the Miami Beach rush.
Mr. Perez’s Related Group is responsible for several projects in Broward County, most of which have sold out quickly. They include the 22-story Apogee Beach in Hollywood, completed in the fall of 2013, after which Mr. Perez himself moved in; Beachwalk Resort, a 32-story condominium-and-hotel tower that opened this year on the Intracoastal Waterway in Hallandale; the Hyde Resort and Residences, which straddles the border between Hallandale and Hollywood and is set to open in late 2016; the Hyde Beach House across the street, recently announced; and, on the site of the old Ireland’s Inn motel in Fort Lauderdale, the 171-unit Auberge Beach Residences and Spa, under construction.
“If that building was in South Beach, it would probably command close to $5,000 a square foot,” said Carlos Rosso, head of the Related Group’s condominium division, referring to the Auberge. “But because it’s Fort Lauderdale, spectacular luxury units with 20-feet-deep terraces are selling for $1,100 a square foot.”
Finding oceanfront sites in South Beach — the most chic part of Miami Beach — “is close to an impossibility these days,” Mr. Rosso said during a tour of the firm’s developments in Broward. “It’s a different scene up here. It’s more quirky — you need to discover it. It’s not like South Beach, where everything is so obvious. The market will get here because there’s nothing left. Up here, you can still get a place for $600 a square foot. Buyers want access to the beach, but at a fraction of the price.”
Driving on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, the town’s main east-west thoroughfare, Mr. Rosso said, “This whole avenue is going to be developed.”
He cited a plan by the Chateau Group to build a mixed-use development on the boulevard that will include more than 140,000 square feet of retail space, almost 100,000 square feet of office space, 280 hotel rooms in a pair of eight-story buildings and 727 residential units in two 53-story residential towers.
The 22 other “major development” projects listed on the Hallandale Beach city government website include not only residential and hotel buildings but office complexes, commercial and medical buildings, a retail plaza, a new fire station and emergency operations center, and an enlarged Bluesten Park, with a new pool, baseball field and community center. In addition, retail stores, speculative office spaces and other “minor development” projects are being planned in the shadows of the larger ones, said Keven Klopp, Hallandale Beach’s director of development services.
Similar commercial development is in sight for Hollywood, where both the Jimmy Buffett-themed Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort and the Meliá Costa Hollywood Beach Resort are expected to open this fall.
After long battles with an entrenched anti-development movement in Fort Lauderdale, city officials have in recent years managed to approve a number of projects. They include a $1 billion plan for the Galleria Mall that includes homes, apartments, hotel rooms and a 45-story tower; the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, a 23-story structure expected to begin construction next year; and two projects set to open in 2017 — the Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach, a 95-residence tower, and the Gale Boutique Hotel and Residences, with 128 condominiums, 96 hotel rooms and suites and pre-construction prices from the low $400,000s to more than $1.2 million.
In Sunny Isles, just south of Hallandale Beach and the tiny waterfront community of Golden Beach, Louis R. Montello, a lawyer turned developer, was asking $45 million for the penthouse of Regalia, his newly completed, 39-unit condo tower. Over canapés and croissants at poolside, he was dismissive of all that excitement a few miles south on the shores of Miami-Dade County.
“The people who come here don’t want the chaos of South Beach,” Mr. Montello said. “The parking problems, noise, traffic — all that stuff you get with South Beach.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

New renderings of Meliá Costa Hollywood Beach condo-hotel in Hollywood, FL

304-unit development will be complete this year                                                                February 24, 2015 11:15AM
Developers of the Meliá Costa Hollywood Beach Resort in Hollywood have released new renderings of the oceanfront property now under construction.
The 304-unit condo-hotel, developed by Liberty Grande, is opening in 2015 and will range from studios to one to three-bedroom apartments, according to a press release.
International hotel operator Meliá Hotels will manage the resort. Units will come equipped with full kitchens and energy efficient appliances, plus flat screen TVs and an automated valet parking system. Amenities include a spa/fitness facility, five restaurants, a business center, a gourmet coffee shop and a rooftop infinity pool (with a bar and grill).
The development offers views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal. — Katherine Kallergis

Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

First-timers can be eager to jump into home ownership. But real estate experts say they see them committing the same mistakes, time and time again. Here are some of the most common ones, as identified by experts in a recent CNBC article:

1. They’re unprepared to compete against all-cash offers. Buyers need to be ready to make a quick decision if they’re housing market is heating up. Buying a home is “really like finding a job – it’s going to take a lot of time to prepare,” says Cara Pierce, a certified housing counselor with ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions. “That way, when the deal comes along, you’re ready to pounce on it.” Housing experts say buyers should have already saved as much as possible for a downpayment, repaired any credit report blemishes, and gotten preapproved for a loan as they start their house hunt to put them in a better position to compete.
2. They place a car ahead of the home. Lenders are going to scrutinize applicants’ debt-to-income ratio when assessing how well they can afford a mortgage payment. Consumers’ debt has gone on average from $40,000 in 2010 to $51,000 today, according to David Norris, president and COO of loanDepot, a non-bank mortgage lender. "It would be much easier to own a home if you can show a history of saving and not have gotten yourself into too much debt," Norris told CNBC.
3. They place too much emphasis on online loan information. Online sites can be good for finding out general information about loan products and estimated costs, but experts recommend visiting with mortgage lenders face-to-face to help demystify some of the process and to take into account your specific situationGo to different places and talk to loan officers to get a feel for what the differences are between similar types of loans," says Pierce. "Sometimes a company won't charge an origination fee, but then the interest rate is higher … and in some cases you can put many of the upfront costs—closing costs, title insurance—into the loan, which makes your balance larger."
4. They bank too much on online home values. Some real estate websites are giving buyers a false sense of home values, the CNBC article notes. "If a buyer believes that the actual value of the property is $1.1 million [as listed online] when it's really $1.3 million, it's a real disservice to the client,” says John Barrentine, co-founder and CEO of RED Real Estate Group. “You really should [spend time] with someone that understands the market, someone who's there day in and day out." Home buyers can get the best feel of the market by working with a real estate agent and driving around neighborhoods and get a sense of things about homes that may be less valuable or even more valuable than perceived online.
5. They forgo the home inspection. About 10 percent of homes recently purchased weren’t inspected by a home inspector, according to Bill Loden, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. Some buyers were trying to cut down on the costs of hiring an inspector to investigate a home – which usually averages about $450 — but defects uncovered later could potentially result in the loss of thousands of dollars. "It takes a trained eye to be able to see the problems that can exist in a home," Loden said. "The inspection can also give the first-time buyer a bit of a schooling on the house and how to maintain it." Buyers should also be prepared to ask questions about conditions that are common to specific areas, such as radon in Midwest; sewers in California; and active clay soils in Dallas that can lead to foundation issues, the CNBC article notes. The home may require additional inspection from a specialist to rule out potential problems.
Source: “8 Biggest Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make,” CNBC (July 17, 2014)