Jill Finkelstein - Compass



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 7/5/2020

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Real estate investing is a powerful way to build wealth, as investors can take advantage of rent payments, appreciation, tax deductions and leverage. Additionally, there are lots of properties to invest in. If you’re starting to explore real estate as an investment opportunity, here are five types of properties and why you might invest in each.

Single-Family Houses: Starter Investments

Many individuals first get into real estate investing with single-family homes. There are many of these for sale, and they tend to cost less than the other property types mentioned here. Whether you want to flip properties or rent them out, a single-family home lets you get into real estate at an affordable price and you can learn a lot from owning just one house.

Small Multi-Family Houses: Greater Cash Flow

Small multi-family houses are a natural step after owning a single-family home, for multi-family properties offer better cash flow while still remaining manageable. Many landlords who invest in small multi-family buildings that have two to five units manage these properties themselves (although you can always outsource to a property management company as well).

Apartment Complexes: Significant Income Potential

If you have the necessary financial resources, apartment complexes offer even greater income potential than small multi-family homes. The more units a complex has, the more people pay rent and the greater the potential revenue. Of course, this increased potential comes with additional challenges. Expect to maintain amenities and answer regular service calls if you get a sizeable apartment complex.

Vacation Homes: Dual-Purpose Income Properties

With the advent of peer-to-peer online platforms, vacation homes have become an increasingly popular type of investment property. These include lake houses, ski houses and ranches, as well as apartments and townhomes in cities that have regular short-term visitors. In short, anywhere there’s a campground or hotel, a vacation home might be viable.

Vacation homes are unique in that they focus on short-term rentals rather than long-term leases. While this means the place must be cleaned between each reservation, it also gives you the flexibility to block off times when friends or family want to use the place.

Commercial Properties: Sizeable Investment Potential

An alternative to residential properties, you can also invest in commercial properties. You may have to be an accredited investor (earn $250,000 annually or have a $1 million net worth) to get into commercial real estate. If you’re able to, though, these properties offer diversity and significant long-term potential.





Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/28/2020

When it comes time to attend a home showing, it helps to be prepared. That way, you can check out a house from top to bottom and confirm that this house fits your needs.

Ultimately, there are several important steps that a homebuyer should take before attending a home showing, and these are:

1. Review the Home Listing

Reading a home listing often serves as a first opportunity to evaluate a house and determine whether it could be your dream residence. As such, you'll want to review the listing closely to verify your interest in a house.

Oftentimes, reading a home listing a few times is a good idea. This will enable you to analyze all aspects of the listing and ensure it is worth your time to visit a house in-person.

2. Create a Home Showing Checklist

Although a home listing likely provides lots of information about a house, there may be plenty of unanswered questions that you have about a residence. Fortunately, a home showing gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive insights into a house that you won't be able to receive elsewhere. And if you craft a home showing checklist in advance, you'll be ready to get the information that you need to fully assess a residence.

Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to evaluating a house. If you make a list of questions before a home showing, you'll be able to receive responses that can help you make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer on a house.

Don't forget to include different areas of a home in your home showing checklist, either. In most cases, you'll want to evaluate a house's roof, attic and other areas to determine whether costly, time-intensive repairs may be needed in the near future.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Preparing for a home showing may prove to be difficult, particularly for a buyer who is attending a showing for the first time. If you consult with a real estate agent, however, you can get the help that you need to prepare for any home showing, at any time.

A real estate agent is a homebuying professional who understands the ins and outs of evaluating a residence. He or she can provide expert home showing preparation recommendations and serve as a guide throughout the showing itself.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to help you at each stage of the homebuying journey. If you have questions before or after a home showing, a real estate agent is ready to answer them. And if you want to submit an offer following a showing, this housing market professional can help you submit a competitive proposal at your convenience.

Don't wait to kick off your search for the perfect home. Instead, follow the aforementioned steps, and you can prepare for a home showing and move closer to acquiring your ideal residence.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/21/2020

Home maintenance plays a key role in ensuring your house will impress both now and in the future. If you establish a home maintenance budget today, you can reduce the risk of spending too much to find ways to keep your residence looking neat and tidy.

Ultimately, creating a home maintenance budget can be simple here are three tips to help you craft an effective home maintenance budget.

1. Assess Your Home Maintenance Needs

Home maintenance generally varies from house to house. Thus, the home maintenance needs of a mansion owner are unlikely to match those of a condo owner.

Think about what types of home maintenance that you need to perform. That way, you can determine exactly what you'll need to do to maintain your residence for years to come.

It often helps to examine each room of your house, as well as your home's exterior. Then, you can better understand different aspects of your home and what you'll need to do to achieve the optimal home care results.

2. Make a Home Maintenance Checklist

A checklist is a terrific option for any homeowner who wants to limit his or her home maintenance expenses. This checklist will enable you to determine the home maintenance tasks that you'll need to complete and the expenses associated with them.

For example, if you want to maintain a lush garden in your backyard, you may need to purchase assorted gardening supplies. Conversely, if your bedroom has carpet, you'll want to pick up a vacuum that you can use to keep the carpet dirt- and dust-free.

It also may be a good idea to update your home maintenance checklist regularly. If you perform home upgrades, your home maintenance needs may change. As such, you'll want to revise your home maintenance checklist to account for various home upgrades over time.

3. Establish Home Maintenance Priorities

Whereas cleaning your swimming pool may need to be done periodically during summertime, mowing the front lawn likely needs to be done much more frequently. Fortunately, if you have home maintenance priorities in place, you can budget your time and resources appropriately.

As you craft your home maintenance budget, you should consider your home care expertise as well. If you don't feel comfortable performing certain home maintenance projects, it may be worthwhile to hire professionals to complete these tasks for you. And if you decide to hire professionals, you probably will need to account for additional costs in your home maintenance budget.

With a home maintenance budget, you'll be better equipped than ever before to ensure your house dazzles day after day. Plus, if you decide to sell your house, you'll be in a great position to maximize its value.

Lastly, if you plan to list your home, you may want to contact a real estate agent sooner rather than later. This real estate professional can help you prepare your residence for the housing market and provide expert home selling tips. As a result, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to list your house and enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/14/2020

Image by Tierra Mallorca from Unsplash

One of the most important things to check once you decide to start the home-buying process is your credit score. The three major credit bureaus keep track of how you pay for your credit and how much credit you have. Your score fluctuates, sometimes daily, depending on how much you owe and how many accounts you have. Applying for credit also affects your score. It will usually drop by 2 points every time you apply for a loan or credit card, even if you don’t get the credit.

Applying for a Mortgage

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender pulls your credit score from all three credit bureaus. The lender will advise you whether it has a loan program that will accept your credit score. Some loan programs work with those who have scores as low as 520. Because the credit bureaus deduct points every time you apply, it’s better to call lenders and ask them if they have programs for lower credit scores—if your score is low.

Credit Scores and Interest Rates

Because lenders interpret your credit scores as the inability to manage your credit, they deem the risk of loaning you money quite high. The higher the risk, the higher your interest rate will be. If you have a credit score of 750, you might get a lower interest rate, depending on the current going rate. However, for the same loan, if you have a credit score of 540, you will pay quite a bit more interest. While rates depend on the bank, an example would be that you could pay 9 percent instead of 4 percent if the going rates are at 4 percent.

Changing Your Credit Situation

Before you even start looking for a house, pull your credit from all three major credit bureaus. Look for incorrect data. Dispute the data to correct it. For example, if you see a 90-day late on a credit card that you did not apply for or use, dispute that card to take it off your credit report. It is always a good idea if you pull your credit at least every three months to check for identity theft and incorrect data.

If your credit score is low because you ran into hard times and everything is correct, you could buy down your interest rate and put a larger down payment down on the loan. While you are saving up for the down payment, make sure you pay your bills on time to better your credit score. Try to save up 25 or 30 percent instead of the 20 percent most lenders require. Saving up a few thousand extra dollars also allows you to buy points, which drops your interest rate. A higher down payment also decreases the lender’s risk and might get you a lower interest rate.

The cost of points is usually 1 percent of the total loan. Thus, 1 point on a $100,000 mortgage would cost you $1,000. It could buy you a quarter of a percent interest rate. Instead of an 8 percent interest rate, you would have a 7.75 percent interest rate.

Researching loan programs and making sure your credit is accurate helps you determine whether you want to start the house-hunting process now or save for a higher down payment and wait for your credit score to increase.




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Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/7/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.




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Jill Finkelstein