Category Archives: Property Investment

The Top Real Estate Resolutions (And How to Keep Them)

How to Keep Your Real Estate Resolutions

Want to visit the gym more? Finally complete the home improvement project you’ve been working on? Save money for that new watch/car/house/vacation? January 1 is the perfect time to jump start your goals. If you’re like most people, according to Money Magazine, you probably have “stay fit,” “spend less,” or “enjoy the most out of life” on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Did a few real estate goals make it on your list, too? You’re not alone. Here are a few of the most popular home-buying or home-selling goals, and a few tips on how to achieve them.

Buy Your First Home

Making Real Esate Resolutions Happen - New HomeownersYou’re ready to take that first step to home ownership in the New Year. You likely already have an area or neighborhood in mind, and you have a few features that you’d like in your new home.

How to keep it: Buying a home is a major project. It may be easier for you to achieve this goal if you set smaller, more manageable goals, such as putting aside money every month for a down payment, reviewing your budget, and researching reputable lenders. Continue reading

What You Haven’t Considered About Owning a Vacation Home

tropical-vacationWouldn’t it be great to own a place at the beach, in the mountains, or by the lake? If you are seriously considering buying a vacation home, you have probably weighed many of the pros and cons already.

But you should carefully consider everything before you buy. Have you taken these additional costs and benefits into account?

The Overlooked Costs of Homeownership

As any experienced home buyer knows, there are additional annual costs that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Make sure you consider maintenance costs, as well. If you decide to rent out your property, you might want to invest in housekeeping or property management services. MarketWatch outlines a few additional costs you may face.

Continue reading

Is Renting Truly Cheaper Than Buying a Home?

Owning a home is a dream for many people. You have the opportunity to invest in a place of your own and build equity, not to mention carve out a space that reflects who you are and what you love.

However, worries about down payments, property taxes, maintenance, and insurance (and student loans) can make buying a home seem like wishful thinking, which is why you may prefer to rent a home or apartment.

But is renting cheaper than buying a home? There are more than just financial costs to consider. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renting.

a person holding a wad of cashYou Receive No Return When You Rent a Property

As a renter, you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month to live in your community, and if you want to move, it’s much easier. But renting a home doesn’t offer you investment opportunities.

Unlike paying off your home loan and building equity, the money you pay when you rent goes straight to the property owner or manager.

You Don’t Build Credit When You Rent

As this recent Forbes article explains, your credit score often does not factor in your on-time monthly rent payments, so renting a property is not a great way to build credit.

Additionally, renting doesn’t provide you with any tax benefits. If you own a home, however, you can deduct mortgage insurance and property taxes, and exclude capital gains when you sell.

You Cannot Customize Your Living Space

upgraded kitchen with bright spring flowersNot all costs are financial. There are opportunity costs of renting a home instead of buying a home, and customization is one of them.

There may be rules and regulations in your rental community that prevent you from changing your space to fit your style, such as painting the walls or upgrading the kitchen. These rules may also prevent you from living with a pet.

Owning a home means you can create your own space (with your choice of countertops and kitchen cabinets), you can invest in home improvements, and you can live with your furry companion.

You Have a Harder Time Connecting with Your Community

Forming deep connections with your neighbors is likely not high on your priority list if you’re a renter, especially when you consider that you will only be living in the community for a short time. If you desire to get to know your neighbors, home ownership is a better option.

buyer holding house keys to new homeRenting vs. Buying: The Bottom Line

Renting gives you flexibility and little maintenance to worry about. Buying a home is a long-term investment that gives you a space you can customize, helps you build credit and equity, and connects you with your community.

We want to help you make the best decision, and we have important real estate market resources that you can use to help you decide if renting is cheaper for you than buying a home. Just give us a call at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com and we can talk about your plans!

3 Best Practices for Real Estate Investment

Investing In Real Estate: AchieveYour Real Estate Goals

RS926_iStock_000010136948SmallWith mortgage rates so low, many investors choose to invest in real estate, as opposed to the stock market. In addition, real estate is a prime investment for novice investors, as it is more tangible and understandable than stocks and the index. According to Bankrate’s annual investment research, 27% of Americans with money to invest would choose to invest in real estate over any other investment. Because real estate is becoming a popular commodity, especially among investors, here are three tips for investing in real estate:

3 Essential Elements to Real Estate Investment

1. Quantity over Quality = A Fair Cash-on-Cash Return

When investing, you are probably going to be using money from CD accounts, stocks, or bonds, which means that you are no longer going to be getting the 4 – 6 percent return. The goal in real estate investment is getting a higher return than what you would have received, had you left the money as liquid financial assets.

Many investors, especially those newer to the game, come into the market looking for prize homes. This can be an extremely risky investment, as finding a renter may be difficult and you need to be prepared for an unforeseen market turn. With that in mind, investing in the average homes that are cash-flow positive, which may not be as fancy as those prized properties, are ideal. View Zillows’ “A Tale of Two Townhomes” for more information.

2. Do Your Due Diligence

It’s common knowledge that investment comes with an involved risk. Yet, real estate developments, parcel/land, Tenant in Common, and fixer uppers have a much higher risk than the previously mentioned cash-flow positive property. With TV shows like “Flipping Boston” or “Flip This House” on A&E, many people want to purchase a foreclosure fixer upper, with a low cost, flip it, and sell it later for a large profit. While this can be a lucrative investment, it takes practice and due diligence (and possibly luck). Even for those looking to purchase the cash-flow investment properties, as mentioned above, doing your homework (viewing reports, analyzing, crunching numbers, etc) is required to make the best real estate investment decisions.

3. Time is Money

When purchasing investment property, you also need to consider the amount of time you have to put into managing the property. Rental properties in vacation destinations and college rentals constantly have tenants coming and going. If you do not have the time to put into the property, you need to make sure that you are investing in the right type of real estate. Find a calm neighborhood or area, further away from colleges, to attract families or individuals that will rent and stay for as long as possible. While there will be issues, having a long term relationship with your tenants will help in the long run, as they usually require less time and management.

Let Us Help You Achieve Your Real Estate Goals

Real estate can be a risky investment, especially for individuals new to the real estate market and industry. As real estate professionals, we are area experts that are privy to real estate trends, as well as market and industry news. Contact us today at The Bouma Group at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com to learn more about the real estate services we can provide. Begin your Search for Homes here!

404 Wildwood Ave, Ann Arbor Duplex for Sale

404 Wildwood Avenue, Ann Arbor MI 48103404 Wildwood Ave, Ann Arbor MI Duplex for Sale

SOLD! Very well maintained and move-in ready duplex located in the desirable Wildwood neighborhood near downtown Ann Arbor. This would make a terrific owner occupied investment! Features include:

  • Identical units, one on the first level and one on the second, each with 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath.
  • Full basement is partially finished with a family room, fireplace, and 2 sets of washer and dryers.
  • Two car garage, one space for each unit.
  • More photos and features
  • MLS# 3231494
  • Listed for $414,900

For more information or to set up a private showing for 404 Wildwood Ave., contact Ann Arbor’s Premier Realtors at The Bouma Group at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com today!

Save

3570/3572 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. – Investment Property

3570 & 3572 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd., Ann Arbor MI3570 3572 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd., Ann Arbor MI Income and Investment Property

Fantastic investment opportunity! Located on the west side of Ann Arbor, 3570 & 3572 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. is a meticulously maintained duplex with a large back yard abutting the woods.

Unit 1 Features:

  • 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath.
  • Finished lower level with laundry room.
  • 1 car, attached garage.

Unit 2 Features:

  • 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.
  • Finished lower level with laundry room.
  • 1 car, attached garage.

Both units have recently updated kitchens and baths, hardwood floors, and fresh carpet. Situated just 6 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor and close to area freeways. If you’ve been thinking of investing in an income property, this duplex may be for you! Call us to find out more about this opportunity today at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com. View more photos & details for 3570-3572 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. here!

Ann Arbor Mortgage Rates – October 7, 2011

Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall

Ann Arbor mortgage rates have hit another low! The mortgage rates have been down for 6 weeks now and at this level for the past 2 weeks.  We should continue to have rates in this range throughout most of the 4th quarter.  What a great time to make an Ann Arbor home purchase with these lower mortgage payments!  With these rates your buying power has increased by $10,000 – $40,000, depending on your purchase price.

Ann Arbor Mortgage Rates October

Please keep in mind that interest rates are subject to change without notice. The rates listed above are average rates and are presented to provide an illustrative perspective. To find out more about the current interest rates and which loan program is best for you, contact Charlie Chapell with United Bank & Trust today at 734-214-2728 or cchapell@ubat.com. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the low interest rates combined with low home prices, now is the best time! To search for that perfect Ann Arbor real estate, visit our Ann Arbor MLS site here!

Ann Arbor Mortgage Rates – August 30, 2011

Low Mortgage Rates Return

Mortgage rates have hit another low and have remained at this level for 2 weeks now.  We should continue to see rates in this range for the next several weeks, making this a great time to make an Ann Arbor home purchase with these lower mortgage payments.

Ann Arbor Mortgage Rates August 30, 2011

Please keep in mind that interest rates are subject to change without notice. The rates listed above are average rates and are presented to provide an illustrative perspective. To find out more about the current interest rates and which loan program is best for you, contact Charlie Chapell with United Bank & Trust today at 734-214-2728 or cchapell@ubat.com. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the low interest rates combined with low home prices, now is the best time! To search for that perfect Ann Arbor real estate, visit our Ann Arbor MLS site here!

Is Real Estate Still a Good Investment?

Warren Buffet Thinks So.Ann Arbor Real Estate Investment

The most successful investor and third wealthiest person in the world, Warren Buffet, recently shared his belief that real estate is still a good investment. He stated “The third best investment I’ve ever made was the purchase of my home” with the first two being wedding rings. In his annual letter to shareholders, he points out that, “Home ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s lower prices and bargain interest rates”.

But, he advises to use caution when purchasing real estate and follow these tips:

  • Only purchase a home that you can afford. Don’t bank on growing into your house payment. Be able to afford it now, including having extra cash for unexpected events.
  • Buy low. Now is the perfect time for this, as housing prices are at an all-time low. Any market is impossible to predict, so don’t wait to take advantage of it.
  • Get a fixed mortgage. In the past, in order to afford their house payment buyers opted for a variable rate with the hopes their home would gain value and they could refinance into a lower payment in the near future. When the housing market went south, home values did not increase, rates increased, and homeowners could no longer afford their payments.
  • Plan on a long term hold. Home values fluctuate, but statistics show that over time real estate values increase. Plan on owning your home for at least 10 years to realize a return on your investment. Warren Buffet actually still lives in the Nebraska home he purchased 52 years ago for $31,500.

Spring is here and the Ann Arbor real estate market is full of great deals. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, The BoumaGroup can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Thinking of settling down in Washtenaw County, Dexter, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Call the Bouma Group today. And don’t forget to check out our Condo Hotline – we know the Ann Arbor Condominium market better than anyone!

Enjoy the benefits of home ownership in Ann Arbor, and help others reap the same benefits. Let Martin Bouma – your Ann Arbor expert – help you find the perfect piece of Ann Arbor real estate. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, the Bouma Group can answer any questions you have about real estate in Ann Arbor. Thinking of settling down in Washtenaw County, Saline, or a specific Ann Arbor neighborhood? Call the Bouma Group today. And don’t forget to check out our Condo Hotline – we know the Ann Arbor condominium market better than anyone!

Real Estate Investing Seminar – March 23rd

Sign up today! Ann Arbor Real Estate Investment Seminar

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: 7pm

There’s still time left and space available to sign up for the Ann Arbor Real Estate Investing SeminarAnn Arbor Real Estate Specialist and Top Realtor, Martin Bouma will teach you how various investors’ proven and tested investing models have worked and share the strategies needed to begin building your own real estate investment portfolio today. And as a bonus, attendees will receive a copy of Gary Keller’s book “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor”.

There are unbelievable investment opportunities in the Washtenaw County real estate market right now. Don’t miss this chance to learn how this can be solid wealth building plan for you. Click here to sign up for this important event. If you would like further information, please contact Martin Bouma at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com.