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Hinesville Real Estate Investing

What’s the best way to invest in real estate in Hinesville, Georgia, the home of Fort Stewart?

Are you interested in investing in Hinesville, GA? If yes, then this article will help you out. The first thing is to understand the basics of real estate investing are the same across most of the USA. If you haven’t read our guide to general real estate investing, review that first.

Specialties of Hinesville

The main difference between Hinesville and other places is the yields are very high, often with gross yields above 10%. This means that the gross rent paid here is a high fraction of cost of each house. If you want to grow your money fast, this is an attractive area! Most of the growth will come from rental income though, and not capital appreciation. Because the city is surrounded with so much farmland and developable land, house prices can’t increase that much because supply will increase to match demand if prices rise even a little bit.

Military Presence in Hinesville

In addition, there is a large military presence here. Hinesville is the home of Fort Stewart, which provides a strong demand for rentals.

A key item to understand in investing in Hinesville, GA is that a large fraction of the residents are in the military and have a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH). This means that they are basically given a payment that covers their rent. This is great for you as a real estate investor since it means that there is always a large demand for rentals here.

The military also means that the cost of living is slightly higher than elsewhere in the country. This is due to several factors, such as the fact that the military controls much of what is sold on base and so can force retailers to raise prices. In addition, the large number of military personnel and their families means that there is a strong demand for certain goods, such as child care.

Downside: Small Town with Less Competitive Banks

One downside of Hinesville though is that the city is small, meaning there is only a handful of banks. This means it’s unlikely that you will get a very competitive interest rate on your loan.

Buying Foreclosures and REO

Finally, the Hinesville GA single family market is influence by VA loans that require 0% down. This leads to many military members buying houses, and then abandoning the houses when housing prices fall by even a bit. As an outside investor, you’ll have the opportunity to buy these as short sales, foreclosures, or Real-Estate Owned (REO or OREO) by banks.

Buying these REO houses has special properties but also can yield large rewards. The best way to think about investing in REO is that it’s like buying a house directly from the bank. You can fix it up and sell it for more than you bought it for. Since there aren’t many other homeowners competing with you to buy the house, you can get a real discount on the house!

Other Characteristics of Hinesville

Some other special properties of Hinesville include:

1. Hinesville is a great place to buy a house if you have a family.

2. The military presence means that there is a large demand for houses in good condition.

3. Hinesville has a higher than average rate of married couples, especially families.

4. There are several gated communities in Hinesville, which are very profitable to invest in.

5. The large amount of married couples and families means that there is a strong demand for child care.

6. There are several military retirees that move here, which increases the demand for houses.

7. The large number of married couples and families means that there is a strong demand for schools.

8. The large number of married couples and families means that there is a strong demand for churches.

And here are a few other tips for investing in the Hinesville, GA area:

1. Consider getting financing from outside the city, where there are more banks.

2. Consider whether you’re okay investing in units with very low per-unit price.

3. Avoid investing in houses that are in less desirable areas.

4. Considering learning how to do a bit of redevelopment if you’re buying REO or foreclosures.

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Working with a Leo

What to do in the office if you have a Leo coworker? Read this article to find out, and get some special tips if they’re your boss or direct report!

Characteristics of a Leo

Do you have a Leo coworker and and want to how to get along with him (or her)? This article uses your coworker’s astrology sign to give you tips on what you might want to try. Leos are generally characterized by being ┬ábrave, adventurous, fun. They also tend to be very opinionated and can be a leader in some situations. Leos in the workplace tend to be leaders because they are usually the ones who make decisions and take action.

However, it is important that you do not let this lead to arrogance or overconfidence. You should always keep in mind that Leo’s are naturally inclined towards leadership so don’t expect them to just be quiet and follow!

What if I’m getting along with my Leo coworker?

If you have a Leo coworker, then he/she will probably be very friendly and outgoing. He/she may even seem like a lot of fun. The problem is, Leo’s are prone to be stubborn at times and will often put their own agenda ahead of yours. It is best to avoid conflicts with your Leo coworker since it could result in a loss of face for both of you.

What if I’m having conflict with my Leo coworker?

If you have a Leo coworker, then he/she will likely be very aggressive and pushy when necessary. If you are having a conflict with this style, then the best way to resolve this conflict is by taking things down a notch by being just a bit calmer than him/her (but not totally calm). You’ll find that by being a bit calmer, you’ll lead your coworker to being calmer as well. This will help to diffuse the situation and allow you both to talk about the conflict in a more civilized manner.

After your Leo coworker becomes calmer, then you may want to consider joining forces with him/her in order to get the job done. This will ensure that you are both on the same page and working towards the same goal.

What if I have a feedback for my Leo coworker?

If you have feedback for your Leo coworker, then you may want to consider asking them in private. This is because they tend to be very dramatic when answering questions and may become a bit overbearing in front of others. This can be a bit embarrassing and it is also possible that your question may become the subject of great debate.

What if I want to give my Leo coworker constructive criticism?

If you have some constructive criticism for your Leo coworker, then you will want to do so in person. Instead, if you give criticism over email or text, then the message may be misinterpreted and you may end up worsening the problem. When you talk to your coworker in person you can read your Leo coworker’s reaction and adjust accordingly.

What if I find that my direct report is a Leo (I’m his/her boss)?

If you’re managing a Leo, the top five tips are: Be prepared for drama. Be prepared to make sacrifices. Be prepared to take the lead. Be prepared to be challenged. Be prepared to be loved.

What if I want to celebrate my Leo coworker’s birthday?

If you want to celebrate your Leo’s birthday, then you may want to throw him/her a surprise party. This is because Leos tend to like attention and will enjoy the fact that you went through the trouble of throwing a surprise party for them.

What if I find out that my boss is a Leo?

If you find out that your boss is a Leo, then you may want to tread lightly. This is because they are very dramatic and like to be in the center of attention. As such, you may want to make sure that you don’t step on any of their “flags”. If you do step on one of their flags, then they may become very angry at you.

Armed with these tips, hopefully you’re well on your way to getting along with your Leo coworker.

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Productivity and Hypnosis

Hypnosis is the art of subconscious suggestion, and has many things to teach on productivity.

Are you trying to be more productive? Then you may want to consider using the principles of hypnosis to improve your productivity.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the art of concentration and associating thoughts with them. It has been known for centuries that people who are able to concentrate longer tend to do better in life. This is because they are able to think about what they need to accomplish instead of worrying about everything else. The same thing applies if you want to become more productive, then you should try this technique! Hypnotic Suggestion (also called suggestion) is a form of mental influence which involves the use of suggestions as opposed to commands or threats.

Hypnotic suggestion is often used by magicians to cause their audience to perform tricks. In some cases, hypnotists will even make their subjects believe that something bad is going to happen if they don’t follow through with an order. Hypnosis can be used for everyday improvement as well. One channel for this is hypnotherapy, which has been effective in helping people quit smoking and improve their diets. Another channel is the application of hypnosis to increase productivity. You could also apply this technique to boost your confidence levels, which would lead to greater success in all areas of your life.

Applying Principles of Hypnosis to Productivity: Association

The first step is to find out how much time you spend thinking about things such as work, family, school, etc., and then determine how long it takes you to get distracted from these thoughts by external stimuli such as television or other media.This represents the natural amount of time that your brain stays focused on a topic. You can then set an alarm for approximately this amount of time and focus on your main topic of work for at least this time. After the time expires *and* you feel your mind wandering, just take a 5 minute break and set your focus alarm again.

The next step is to start associating productivity with the better outcome you want. For example, if you want to become more productive, then you should start thinking about how much better you will feel when you are more productive. If your dream is to be a top musician, or a top student, then associate being a top musician or student with work. When you start work, thinking that you’re taking the steps to that emotionally rewarding goal. The more you think about it, the more your mind will start to make the connection that productivity is related to feeling good. This will give you a positive reinforcement to keep working.

Opposite Association

The third step is to associate lack of focus with the opposite of your desired outcome. For example, if you want to be a top musician, then associate being unfocused with being a worthless slob that can’t do anything right. If you want to be a top student, then associate being unfocused with being a dumb idiot that doesn’t know anything. It might sound harsh, but take whatever your greatest fears are about being unproductive, your most negative emotional words for it, and keep repeating them to yourself whenever you get distracted. This will condition your mind to have a negative reaction to being unfocused. Another application of the association principle is to breaks.

You want to associate breaks with productivity as well. The bad system is to associate wanting to take a break with something that is self-addictive, like video games. Chances are, if you start playing video games for 5 minutes, you’ll continue to want to play video games more and more. However, if you associate taking breaks with activities that bring you back to work, that will be productive. Associate breaks with planning your day, meditation, or a calming walk outside. These activities are self limiting, and will actually improve your future work.

Associate breaks with another type of work you can do that is less intense: for example if you’re studying for a hard math final, you can instead take a break by doing chores. This will prevent burnout, and will actually make you more productive in the long run. The final step is to associate productivity with positive emotions. This is a very simple process, but it takes time and energy.

Whenever you are productive, take a moment to congratulate yourself for your hard work. When you take a break or a rest from work, congratulate yourself for your decision to take a break and revitalize yourself. When you finish a task, congratulate yourself for your success. Take a moment to smile and feel good about yourself whenever you can.

Principles of Hypnosis: Focus

Now, let’s move on to the focus principle of hypnosis to be more productive. One important key to be productive is to be focused on a single task a time. At the start of the hour, write down what you’ll focus on, and then set an artificial deadline for yourself to finish that task by a certain time. Focus on a single goal that you want to achieve by that time.

Once you’ve finished that task, then you can move on to the next task. The final principle of focus is to record your productive hours on a daily basis so that you know whether you’re actually being productive or not. By having a regular (but not overwhelming) reminder of your productivity, you can make sure that you’re on the right track to success.

Some Other Productivity Tips

Some other tips for productivity include:

1. Create a to-do list.

2. Create a list of distractions that you’ll avoid during work time.

3. Create a reward system for yourself.

4. Work in regular intervals and take breaks in between.

5. Have a clean and organized workspace.

6. Take care of your health: eat, drink, sleep, and exercise.

7. Have a clean and organized home.

8. Have a regular sleeping schedule.

9. Listen to calm, non-lyrical, music while working.

10. Have a friend that will hold you accountable for your goals (and vice versa).

Empowered with this advice, go forth and get your best work done!

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Career Advice for Sagittarius

Career Advice for Sagittarius Astrology Symbol

Do you want to know what your Sagittarius sign says about what field of work you should go into? If you’re interested in the answer, then read on!

The first thing is that your Sagittarius sign tells me that you have a natural talent for things like music or art. I mean, it’s not just that you enjoy doing them, but you actually do better at those than most people who aren’t naturally gifted. You might be able to play an instrument perfectly well if you really wanted to, which is a wonderful natural gift.

Traits of Sagittarius

You also tend to be optimistic about everything. You’re the kind of person who always sees the silver lining in every dark cloud. That’s a great quality to have, because it means that you’re never going to get too discouraged or depressed about anything. It also means that you’re able to stay positive in the face of adversity, and that’s an important trait in anyone.

You also have a natural tendency to be a leader. You’re probably not even aware of it, but you just have a way of inspiring people, and getting them to do what needs to be done.

You’re also very confident in your abilities, which is another great quality. You love freedom, so you’re probably not going to want to work in a field where you have to answer to a higher authority.

You also probably don’t want to be stuck in an office for very long, because you do much better with physical activity.

Your second characteristic is that you’re very creative. Your imagination runs wild and you can come up with some pretty cool ideas. You’re also very intelligent, so you could excel in a field that involves math or science.

Finally, your third characteristic is that you’re a hard worker. You like to get things done and will do whatever it takes to make sure everything goes smoothly. That’s a great quality to have, because it means that you’re reliable.

So what does all this mean for your future? The job that you’re looking for should have the following characteristics. Your job should be:

Traits that Your Job Should Have

1) Creative: you should be able to use your imagination in the process. You don’t want a stuffy, rote, job like being an accountant, but rather one like an artist where generating new ideas and going off the beaten path are rewarded. You want a job that isn’t 99% following rules, but rather where the value comes through unique, creative, human expression.

2) Freedom: you want to be able to come and go as you please, without having to ask permission or having a boss watch over your shoulder. You don’t want to have to deal with a rigid schedule or mandatory overtime. You want to be able to set your own hours and work around your other responsibilities.

3) Some level of intellect: you want a job that keeps your mind sharp, but doesn’t require you to study for years and years to keep up. You like to engage your mind with your work, and so totally rote work might not be the best fit for you. Intellect here doesn’t mean doing the most complicated math, but means intellect in all dimensions including emotional.

4) Good working environment: you want to work somewhere that is clean and pleasant. You may not want to have to deal with a lot of unpleasant people or toxic culture where backstabbing and other unprofessional behavior is the norm. You might want to work in a place that is supportive and encouraging, and promotes a positive work environment. Also make sure your commute isn’t too long, since you likely don’t like long commutes.

5) You want a job in which you can help people. You’re a caring and empathetic person, and you want to use those skills to help people who are in need of a helping hand. You want to be able to use your talents and skills to make a difference in someone’s life.

6) Have room for improvement: Your job should have room for advancement and growth. You don’t want to feel like you’ve hit a plateau after only a few years. You want to be able to expand your skills and grow as a person in your job.

7) Good money: You’re not going into this for the money, but you still want to make a living wage. You don’t want to be rich, but you don’t want to be struggling either.

8) Something you like: The most important trait, you want to do something that you actually like. You don’t want to spend hours upon hours every day doing something you hate. Even if the other traits are met, if you don’t like what you’re doing, you won’t be happy.

Jobs That Might Be Good Fits for You

Given the above, here are 10 jobs (along with a few sentences describing each) that may be a good fit for your Sagittarius sign and why:

1) Musician: This job is creative and artistic. You can express yourself, and your talents will be rewarded. You can also grow as a musician as you get better. Music is fun and you find it fun to play and fun to listen to. You also get to work in an environment that is fun and laid back.

2) Sales associate or manager: A sales associate or manager’s job is to promote and sell the products or services that their company provides. You’ll need to be creative in how you advertise and market your company’s items. You also get to meet people, and if you become a manager you’ll need to be a good communicator and problem solver.

3) Photographer: A photographer is someone who takes pictures. If you like to take pictures, this job is a good fit for you. You’ll need to have a good eye for composition and framing, and you’ll need to have a certain amount of artistic skill. You’ll also need to have a lot of patience, since you’ll be waiting around for that perfect shot sometimes.

4) Traveling Sales Associate: A traveling sales associate sells items door-to-door or business-to-business. You’ll need to be persistent, and you’ll need to be a good problem solver. You’ll also need to be good at communicating, since you’ll be talking to people all day.

5) Veterinarian: A veterinarian takes care of animals. If you like animals and have a lot of empathy for them, this job can be a great fit. If you like science and biology, then that’s even better.

6) Flight Attendant: A flight attendant’s job is to take care of the passengers on an airplane. The job requires you to have a lot of people skills, and you’ll need to be able to handle difficult situations with tact and grace. You’ll also need to be in good physical condition since you’ll be on your feet a lot, and you may have to enforce the rules occasionally when it comes to safety.

7) Police Officer: A police officer’s job is to enforce the law. You’ll need to be able to handle stressful situations, and you’ll need to be good at solving problems. You’ll also need to be in good physical condition since you’ll be expected to run after criminals and physically restrain them at times.

8) Teacher: A teacher’s job is to educate and enlighten the next generation. You’ll need to be a good communicator and have a lot of patience. You’ll also need to be able to handle stressful situations, such as when a student is misbehaving.

9) Veterinarian’s Assistant: A veterinarian’s assistant helps out the veterinarian. You’ll need to be good at science and math since you’ll be helping with tests and experiments. You’ll also need to have a lot of empathy since you’ll be working with animals a lot.

10) Brand Ambassador: A brand ambassador’s job is to promote a company’s brand. You’ll need to be outgoing and friendly, and you’ll need to be a good communicator. You’ll also need to be creative in how you advertise the brand, and you’ll need to be a good problem solver since you’ll be faced with challenges when trying to advertise the brand.

Signs You’re Not in the Right Job

Now that we’ve discussed some job ideas for you, let’s talk about some signs that you’re not in the right job.

1) Not Enough Money: There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the month and realizing that you don’t have enough money to pay all the bills. If this is a common occurrence, then you may need to look for a new job. This isn’t just you being greedy, but it may be that if you ask the world for a job that pays better, if you really visualize it, and try again and again despite setbacks, you’ll eventually succeed in this effort.

2) No Room For Advancement: If you feel like you’re stuck in the same job and there’s no way to move up in the company, then you may need to look for a new job. You want to feel motivated to do your best at work, and if you don’t feel that way, then it’s time to move on.

3) You’re Unhappy: This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are in jobs that they hate. If you don’t like what you’re doing, then it’s time to move on.

4) You Don’t Get Along With Co-Workers: If you find yourself frequently arguing with your co-workers or not getting along with them, the first thing you should do is see if you can change your interactions or yourself to solve the problem. Good techniques include empathizing with them and directly asking them how you can improve. If after trying these techniques, you still find yourself not getting along with them, then you may need to look for a new job.

To summarize, Sagittariuses have great job opportunities. Look inside yourself, at your strengths, and apply widely, and you’ll find the job you love. Good luck!

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Scorpio Interview Tips

Scorpio Interview Tips and Career Advice

Are you interviewing soon, and want effective interview advice based on your astrological sign?

Then you need to take both your Scorpio sign and the interview process serious.

First, let’s go over your sign. If you’re a Scorpio, then you’re determined, which is good for getting a job you want. You also have an independent streak that comes in handy when it comes to finding work. You’re also very practical, so you can get things done quickly and efficiently. This makes you a great fit for jobs where efficiency is key, such as sales or accounting. Finally, you’re a bit of a talker at times, but this may come in handy if you ever do end up working in human-facing tasks.

One thing to be cautious about as a Scorpio is that your determination may make you focus one specific job or company, or one specific position. Instead of having tunnel vision and needing to get a specific job, you should rather be determined about the *type* of job. Don’t just be super determined to get the Sales Supervisor II position at Proctor and Gamble, but instead be super determined to get a sales manager job at any large firm, preferably a consumer packaged goods company. The best way to avoid this is to look for multiple opportunities and keep them all open until they suit your needs.

Interview Tips Generally

Generally, you’ll want to follow standard interview tips.

1) Show up on the interview on time: interviewers are generally not tolerance if you show up even 2 minutes late. They know that an interviewee who can’t even have the self-control to show up to an interview on time will have work-ethics problems and tend to be slackers. The best tactic to showing up on time is actually to show up to the interview building 10 minutes early. Then burn the extra minutes outside at a coffee shop or just hanging out a block away. You don’t want to show up to the waiting room too early: if you’re at the receptionist more than 20 minutes early, it could be awkward.

2) Research the company beforehand: Don’t just know the name and industry, but also know a few key facts such as their market cap, recent acquisitions, and who are the major players in the company. You don’t need to become an expert, but knowing a few key things such as where they are located (country and city) would be good too.

3) Practice your answers to common interview questions: There’s tons of lists online with common questions you may get asked.Look up these lists online, and then practice the answers out loud and in front of a mirror. After a few rounds of this, do a mock interview with a friend. Be somewhat dressed, have the friend ask you a series of questions, and then have the friend give you feedback:

4) Dress to impress: Arrive at the interview in professional attire. This means no jeans, shorts, t-shirts, or anything that can be considered as casual wear. Instead, wear dark colored suits, dark colored dress slacks and a dress shirt with a tie.

5) Be confident and smile: Arrive at the interview with a positive attitude. Even if you’re stressed out, never let it show. Stay calm and cool at all times. Also, smile when you can: people are more likely to like you if you smile.

6) Follow up after the interview: Regardless of how well or bad the interview went, send a thank you note to the company. This gives them a positive impression of your graciousness, and makes you memorable.

Use Your Scorpio Strength

There are a few job interview tips that are specific to your Scorpio sign though. See these tips as on top of standard interview advice, instead of replacing standard interview advice.

1) Use the determination of a Scorpio to express confidence: Your interviewer will be able to sense your confidence. If you’re confident, then you’ll be able to convince the hiring manager that you’re the best candidate.

2) Be mysteriously tactical: Don’t just say the answer that comes to mind, but be circumspect about how the interviewer will interpret your answer. For example, if the interviewer asks if you have any questions, you might respond by asking if there are any opportunities to advance in the company within the next 2 years. This shows that you’re motivated and have forethought.

3) Be a bit of a rebel: Even if it’s just for show, act like a rebel in an interview. Most people are so nervous about interviews that they become too compliant. This doesn’t mean not following instructions, but it does mean cultivating a calm, and for a small fraction of questions that you don’t think are optimally posed, flip it around to the question you wanted asked.

Finally, you should keep in mind your key strengths as Scorpio in the interviewing process. Scorpios do best in job interviews when they

1) are in a field that allows them to be independent and free.

2) have a high degree of control over their work

3) have a high degree of complexity in their work.

Hopefully, this guide helps you as a Scorpio ace your interview. Good luck!

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How to Invest in Real Estate

What’s the best way to invest in real estate?

This guide will show you all the top considerations for investing anywhere in the US. The first thing to consider is what kind of investor you are.

Are you looking to invest in real estate to own beautiful properties? Or are you looking to grow your money the fastest. This guide focuses on the latter: the professional numbers game.

True Yield

The most important item you want to look at for any property you are considering investing in is the true yield of that property. The true yield is defined as true net income (e.g. rent) divided by the true price of the property.

The true price is defined as the price you pay for the property plus the value of all the time you spent on looking at all the properties in order to close on one, and also the price of immediate maintenance you need to put into the property. If you buy a property for $100,000 and spend 100 hours looking at properties (with the value of your time being say $50/hour) and then spend $5,000 on immediate repairs, your true price is $110,000.

Your true net income is the amount you get in rent, but subtracting out not just the explicit costs (like property taxes, property insurance, utilities, repairs) but also the implicit costs (like vacancies and the opportunity cost of your time spent dealing with this property). So, for example, if you rent the above house out to people for $1,000/month and your property taxes and insurance are $200/month, your explicit net income is $800/month.

But to calculate your *true* net income, you also need to subtract out vacancies and your time in dealing with the average tenant. Suppose the unit is vacant 10% of the time, and you spend 20 hours a year replacing the tenant. This reduces your true net income by $100/month and about $80/month ($50*20 hours a year) respectively, giving you a true net income of $620/month. This means that the true yield of the property is about $620/$110,000 = 0.56% a month or 6.7% a year. If you did the very naive calculation of yield, you might divided $1,000/$100,000 to get 1% a month or 12% a year. That a double factor of miscalculation here!

For all your properties, be sure to calculate the true yield. When you calculate the true yield of properties, you’ll find that you’ll get a (correct) bias towards properties that cost more but also pay more rent. This makes intuitive sense: a $100,000 property renting for $1,000 a month is a much worse deal than a $1,000,000 property renting for $10,000 a month. The overhead for both sets of properties are the same!

How to Finance Your Property

The next topic to discuss is how to finance (borrow money for) your real estate investment. Financing real estate lets you work with a lot more properties for the same amount of cash, yielding multiples more income. Financing methods include: partners lease option strategy; FHA 3.5% down-payment loans; USDA / VA no down-payment loans; home equity loans or HELOCs (from the house you live in); seller financing; and private or hard money.

The partners lease option strategy involves finding a partner (or the financial strength to do this yourself), and then having the partner buy the property with an option that you will buy it from them in a few years at a pre-determined price. This lets you get into the investment for little money down, and also lets you control the property from the start.

The FHA loan lets you get a loan for up to 96.5% of the appraised value of a property (as long as you put up the other 3.5%). This provides an incredible amount of leverage!

The USDA loan lets you get a loan for up to 100% of the appraised value of a property (so you don’t have to put any money down!). The VA loans are similar to the USDA loans.

Home equity loans let you borrow against the value of your house. The advantage of these is that you can do this with no money down. The disadvantage is that if your house doesn’t appreciate, you won’t have any more money to invest!

Seller financing lets you buy a property with no money down (and no monthly payments). The seller carries the note, and you pay them monthly. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to come up with any money to invest! The disadvantage is that you are now financially responsible for the property, and if anything goes wrong you could lose the property.

Hard money lets you borrow against a property for a large fee (e.g. 6-8%). This is useful when you need a lot of money quickly, but the high interest rate makes it expensive.

Private money is when you find an individual to lend you money. This is similar to hard money, except the interest rate is likely to be lower. You may also choose to self-finance by using the cash flow from your day job to invest in real estate. This lets you start out slowly with small deals and work your way up.

Type of Property

Once you have chosen your strategy, the next step is to decide on the property type: raw land, single-family houses, small (2-4 unit) multifamily houses, large multi-family houses, commercial properties (e.g. retail, office), mobile home or home parks, private notes, or REITs.

Raw land has no housing on it, and usually collects no explicit income, but it also has very few expenses. Raw land is a great way to speculate on an area or a city being more popular in the future.

Single Family Houses: The most popular investment for beginner investors is the single family home (SFR). The biggest advantage of single family homes is that the market is very liquid: it’s easy to buy the home, easy to rent (if it’s not a large home), and easy to finance as banks understand them and deal with them in high value).

Many tenants want to live in single-family houses, so they are easy to rent. For this reason, banks are very comfortable lending money on them. The disadvantage of single-family homes is that they can’t be scaled: it’s hard to buy 100 single-family homes at once! Also, they are expensive to acquire (since they are in high demand), and the management of them can be time-consuming.

Small (2-4 Unit) Multifamily Homes: Smaller multifamily homes (2-4 units) are a good way to get started: they’re less expensive than larger multifamily homes, so you don’t have to risk so much at the beginning. Because they still trade at some volume (although not as many units as SFRs), banks are quite comfortable lending money on them as well.

You can also scale up from there, by buying larger multifamily homes (5+ units). The advantage of these is that they are less expensive to acquire per unit of housing since there are so many units. The disadvantage is that banks are a little less comfortable lending money on them since they are less liquid.

Commercial properties (retail, office space, etc.) could be a good area to get into once you are more advanced in real estate. They involve negotiating with retailers as well as companies. Retail has been suffering for the last decade, and investors are cautioned not to project past returns forward. Office space these days (with coronavirus) is also risky as the United States is rethinking the nature of office work. Mobile Home Parks

Mobile home parks are a specialized area: they require a lot of management and maintenance. The advantage is that they can be very profitable, but you have to live on site to make sure the place doesn’t fall into disrepair.

Private Notes: there are also private notes (IOUs) out there. These are loans that people have taken out, and the bank records the loan in their name. You can buy these notes at a steep discount, and then try to collect the full amount from the borrower. The problem is that some of these loans are not very good, and you may end up spending more time and money in legal battles than the amount you recover.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): REITs are an easy way for investors to get into real estate. They are like mutual funds, but focus on real estate. You can buy as little as one share, and the management of the fund takes care of renting out or selling the properties. The advantage is that you get diversification and don’t have to deal with renting out property or finding tenants. The disadvantage is that you don’t have control over what properties the fund invests in, and there is a management fee.

Acquiring the Property

After you decide what sort of property to invest in, the next step is to start acquiring the property! First, you’ll want to get a real estate agent to help you. They will have access to MLS, which has all the latest listings. They can also help you with the logistics of closing on real estate.

When picking an agent, there is a tradeoff between picking the agent that is a superstar but very busy, and picking the agent that has more time for you. Usually, you’ll want to pick the superstar because if they are busy, that means they are good at finding the best deals. Their lack of time is not usually a concern as they’ll have a great team. A great way to find a real estate broker is just using Zillow.com, and seeing which brokers have both the highest and most ratings. Quantity counts here! Another way to find a great real estate agent is to ask your friends and family for recommendations.

After you’ve found an agent, you’ll want to get pre-approved by a bank. This means the bank has looked at your finances and said that it is willing to lend you up to a certain amount. This is important because it tells the seller that you are able to complete a transaction.

The next step is to find a property. Usually you’ll do this with an agent, but you can consider just using the raw MLS. Using an agent is the safer route, since they have access to the entire database. They can also do things like schedule a showing when the property will be empty, and tell you about all the properties you are interested in.

Using the MLS is a little riskier, but can lead to better deals. The MLS database is open to the public on Realtor.com, so you can search it yourself. There is less filtering of properties, so you will end up visiting more duds.

Once you’ve found a property you are interested in, you’ll want to do some bench research from your computer on it. You can also look up information about the property on Zillow.com or other sites, which has tax records, recent sales, and other information about the property. You can call the selling agent and ask for more information as well, or work with your buyer’s agent.

After you’ve done some bench research, you’ll want to visit in person. The agent will be able to give you a showing. When visiting a property, you will want to notice both the feeling it gives off and details. Look for obvious problems like flooding or cracked foundations or unmaintained roofs.

Once you’ve found a property you like, you can make an offer on it. The offer is a legal contract where you agree to buy the property for a certain price. You can make an “all-cash” offer, which is the most appealing to sellers, but you can also make an offer contingent on a loan if you don’t have all the money right now. Once you’ve made an offer, the seller has to consider it. They can either accept, counter-offer, or reject it. If your offer is rejected, you can either increase the price or make a new offer with different terms. If the seller counters with a lower price, you can either accept or reject.

Once you agree on a price, your agent will help you finalize the sale. There will be lots of legal documents, but the most uncertain phase of the buying process is over! Once the documents are signed, you own the property — congratulations.

Renting Out the Property

If the property came with a good tenant, then your work is done. But if it doesn’t, your final step is to rent it out.

You can advertise the unit the traditional way and have a sign made and put it on the property. You should also post everywhere online you can: Craigslist, Facebook, Zillow, Apartments.com, and other sites.

You’ll need to screen your applicants. The best way to screen your applicants is by having them fill out an application that includes a FICO score check. Usually prospective tenants with a FICO score of below 600 often have problems making rent on time, while tenants with FICO scores of above 650 generally pay on time. You can also run a background check on your applicants, which will give you information on any felonies they’ve committed, or bankruptcies they were in, or any lawsuits they were in with other landlords. Once you’ve found the perfect tenant, you can sit back and relax.

If finding an dealing with tenants seem like too much for you, you can use a management company. This is a company that finds tenants, takes a cut of the rent, and then gives you the rest. You will still have to pay for things like repairs, but it will be easier since you won’t have to deal with finding and screening tenants yourself.

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Boston Real Estate Investing

Real estate is a great area to invest your cash in, and Boston, MA is a decent investment market.

If you aren’t familiar with real estate investing yet, I would recommend our article on real estate investing across the USA here — because 80% of all real estate investing is the same, and this includes Boston as well.

What’s Special about Boston?

If you’re already familiar with real estate investing, then Boston is a pretty standard, middle-of-the-pack growing large city: the Boston metro area has a population of over 6 million people, which is bigger than most cities in Europe. The median home value is $600k, which isn’t too far from the national average. The national average is $320k.

Boston also has a fairly good university system, with Harvard being one of the top schools in the world (and ranked #1 by U.S News & World Report).

In terms of quality of life, Boston is generally considered to be a very safe place to live. Crime rates are lower than the national average, and the city has an overall livability score of 7 out of 10.

As for rents, they’re relatively cheap compared to other big cities in America (especially if you want a house or condo). You could probably buy a nice house in not-too-ritzy areas of Boston for around $400k.

Boston’s one special trait as a housing market is the massive number of college and university students. These students don’t all live on campus, either because some colleges house undergrads off campus, or they are graduate students (as most grad students find their own housing). This means that there is an enormous flow of students entering and exiting the Boston ecosystem yearly. These students are ready to rent the houses you would invest in.

However, there is a dark side to Boston’s student population. Because so many students rent houses, some of them are not the best at taking care of their living spaces. Undergrads especially could cause a future landlord like you anxiety, so some landlords screen out undergrads. Other landlords require a larger deposit for students. It’s a balancing act of whether you want to cater to these students or not.

On the other side, Boston is fairly restrictive on new construction, so it’s unlikely that competition from new properties will drive down the price of your property. Yet the city is actually quite progressive in allowing some construction, which means that your investments won’t grow to the moon in price. Unlike San Francisco, the number of permits being issued for new builds is not small, and in the long run, this does put a clear upper bound on housing prices.

In the long term (10-100 years), Boston is a city that keeps on innovating. It used to be textiles, then shoes, then electronics, and now medicine. Boston isn’t a one trick pony, unlike Detroit. And unlike Detroit, it’s unlikely to experience any precipitous fall in housing prices.

Other Considerations for Boston Investing

Some other considerations for investing in residential real estate include:

  1. Although the city of Boston is fairly restrictive on new construction, it’s actually pretty lax on allowing you to improve your property. You can easily add a new deck, or build a small shed in the yard. You can also do small things like remodel your kitchen or bathroom.
  2. Although home prices are high, the cost of living is not too bad. This is largely due to the large student population that drives down the cost of food and services.
  3. Massachusetts has a pretty fair income tax and property tax: they’re not too high, yet not the lowest in the country.
  4. If you’re looking for higher yields, you could look into buying a multi-family dwelling (a duplex, triplex, etc). These types of properties provide lots of income, but also come with larger management headaches (i.e. making the common areas are well-maintained).
  5. One of the best ways to make money in real estate is to buy properties that are “under-managed”. In other words, the owners of these properties are absentee landlords who do not take care of their property. They might be motivated to sell their property at a discount, and you can step in to renovate and manage the property. This is a common strategy in Boston because it’s a high-cost area and improvements to your property will be well-rewarded in higher rent or resale value.
  6. You can also consider buying a “turn-key” property, which are properties that come with tenants already in place. This means you can move into the profits right away, but you might not be able to raise the rent as much as you would like.
  7. Last, you can consider buying a property to “flip”. This means you buy a property, renovate it, and quickly sell it for a profit. This is riskier than the other options because you need to be able to find a buyer quickly, and your renovation costs can go over-budget if you’re not careful.
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Real Estate in Springfield

What makes real estate investing in Springfield, Illinois special?

Real estate is a great area to invest your cash in, and Springfield Illinois demonstrates this nicely.

If you aren’t familiar with real estate investing yet, I would recommend our article on real estate investing across the USA here — because 80% of all real estate investing is the same, and this includes Springfield as well.

If you’re already familiar with real estate investing, you should know that Springfield isn’t like the average city in the USA. There are three very special features that make Springfield really stand out and shine as a real estate sector.

First, housing prices are extremely cheap ($100/sq ft).The cost of constructing a new house is about $100/square foot or more. This is important because it means that new supply of housing is not created. Lack of new supply tends to make real estate rise in price (supply and demand).


However, the low per-unit cost of housing in Springfield means that the overhead to owning a home is relatively high. For example, in Boston you could buy a $2 million house and rent it out to just one person. In Springfield, $2 million would get you 40 houses and you’d need to rent all 40 out to make any money. The amount of work you need to put in to rent 40 units out, especially in lower income neighborhoods, will be substantial!

Second, the rental yield (cap rate) in Springfield is very high. This is important because it means that your money will grow faster here than in other cities. In other cities, the yield is usually under 5%, but in Springfield it is closer to 10% (or higher).This is because Springfield is a relatively lower income part of the United States. Many tenants don’t have savings to buy houses, which means that 1) housing prices are low because they aren’t being bought by residents and 2) housing rents are high because residents have to rent. The math works out to generate the amazingly high yield rates of above 10% in Springfield.

Third, it hasn’t experienced much price fluctuation over the last couple of decades. This is important because it means that the yield rates listed above are unlikely to change drastically anytime soon. If you are going to invest in real estate, you want some assurance that what you are doing will be profitable 5-10 years from now.

Springfield is an amazing place to invest in real estate. If you are going to buy real estate in the USA, you should strongly consider Springfield.