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Posts Tagged ‘cash flow’

Making It Happen: Becoming a Solid Single-Family Rental Home Investor

Retired couple enjoying retirement

Life Happens in Real Time Not on Paper

Many would-be rental home investors waste years before getting started.  Some of the reasons for that are:  too busy, fear of the unknown, the all-too-known paralysis of over-analysis, and lack of information.  Conversely, the notion that they might never have enough information or money, and need to spend more time researching and studying before they act.  Exacerbating this phenomenon, many new investors make what we call “rookie” mistakes when they finally do get going.

Cash flow 

The most typical rookie mistake is believing that low-quality homes in bad areas in lesser cities will provide better “cash flow” (foreigners like to call it “yield”). While cash flow may appear to be better ON PAPER for such lesser properties, life doesn’t happen on paper. In real life, these bad properties usually end up wasting even more years of the investor’s time (and also the investor’s money).

Get started on the right foot

There are ways to get started fast (and correctly). They are:  buy the right type of property (s), get the right (type) of financing, and use the proper management. Using these simple steps, the new investor can get off to a good start regardless of how much time or knowledge they have.

Remote Control Retirement Riches 

On my Public Television special titled “Remote Control Retirement Riches with Adiel Gorel”, which will be airing through the weekend and into early September on Public Television stations across the country (KQED-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example) this coming weekend, August 24th and 25th, I cover these points. Of course, I cover many other important related topics as well.

In the package I have created to the people who pledge to help Public Television, I have included two newly-written books, an extensive video course complete with motion graphics, three booklets, a quiz and a newsletter. The package also comes with the DVD of the show, as many may miss the showtimes.

One of the booklets I have written Is called “Making it Happen”. It targets the exact barriers preventing an investor from getting started correctly.  This booklet also contains a self-quiz defining your readiness.

This booklet, coupled with all the other extensive information, and the PBS Special itself, which hits the important points, should get anyone up an running in no time. I will also happily support any investor, as we have already changed the lives of thousands, and I believe in continuing to change lives for the better.

For a partial list of the Public Television stations’ showtimes, please click here.

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Where to Buy Rental Homes in the United States

We have discussed, in a previous article, why investing in Single Family Homes is a superior investment, especially for the busy professional (which most of us are).
We discussed the benefits of buying single-family homes using the unique 30-year fixed rate financing available ONLY in the United States (foreigners are amazed that we can get loans where nothing keeps up with inflation for as long as 30 years, meaning inflation keeps eroding the real value of our debt while the tenant is gradually paying it off for us). The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is only available on 1-4 residential units, making single family home rental investments even more attractive.
We also discussed how owning a portfolio of single-family rental homes can change everyone’s financial future. It can facilitate sending your kids to a great university, it can retire you sooner and more powerfully, and overall it can create a financial safety net for your future.
Single-family homes are easier to manage than other property and are usually occupied by families with kids, who go to local schools and serve as an anchor of stability to keep the family renting for a longer time. Single Family Homes are also possibly the most liquid real estate since when you put it up for sale your potential buyer pool is essentially everyone in the marketplace. It is still considered the “American Dream”, a dream which is attainable in many markets in the United States.
Where should we buy our single-family home rentals? To begin with, we can focus on large metropolitan areas. Large metropolitan areas are usually comprised of a number of cities (for example the Phoenix metro area includes cities such as Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Avondale, Peoria, Glendale, and others). A large metropolitan area usually has good economic and employment diversity and a large pool of industries and employers. This is likely to create employment opportunities and economic stability. A large metro area also is likely to have a diversity of education, culture, culinary and many other facets of life, which can be attractive to a larger pool of residents and create a stable place in which to live.
Next, it is always instructive to study the demographic trends in the United States. Even before we had the World Wide Web and search engines to facilitate research, demographic information was available through multiple sources, including the US Census. It is evident that as far as overall demographic movements, the Sun Belt States are the states which usually experience net growth in population on an ongoing basis (those states in the sunny, southern part of the US, such as Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, Colorado, Florida and other southern states.) Not all Sunbelt states keep growing on a net basis, but many of the big ones do, and that would be one criterion on which to base our geographic choice.
We will continue on “Where to Buy Rental Homes” in part 2 of 4 of this article. We will also discuss these subjects and much more during our ICG Quarterly 1-Day Expo on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 near SFO. We will have experts discuss Asset Protection, Tax planning for year-end, 1031 Exchanges, special loans for investors (including foreign investors and investors who own over 10 properties), and a lot more. To register, please email us at info@icgre.com and mention this blog. You can attend for free with a guest. 
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A Real Life Real Estate Investor Story

As you know we always preach the gospel of buying single family homes, renting them, financing them with 30-year fixed-rate loans and then just holding them long term. We have discussed the benefits of having a 30-year loan which never keeps up with the cost of living (while everything else does!) Thus your loan gets constantly eroded by inflation (and don’t let anyone tell you the United States will have no or negative inflation in the face of the massive fixed debt it is on the hook for), while the tenant makes the payments for you (of course the RENT does change with inflation which makes it all the sweeter).

In the past month I got a call from a financial planner handling the affairs of one of my investors. He had purchased nine single family homes in Phoenix in the mid 90’s. It turns out the he did not even live in the United States anymore, hence the financial planner handling his affairs in the U.S. They decided it was time to sell the homes in light of the 2012-2015 run-up in values that Phoenix has experienced in the aftermath of the recession.

Needless to say his mortgages, while still not completely paid off (they are 30-year loans after all), are essentially as good as paid off after over 20 years. They never kept up with the cost of living and the principal payments whittled them down pretty low – very funny numbers considering the 20+ year inflation which the loan never kept up with.

A few quick CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis) by one of our Phoenix brokers revealed that after selling the nine homes, the investor would NET (after sales expenses and closing), about $1.7M. Considering he bought the homes for an average of $80K each and using 10% down payments (those were the financing terms back in the mid 90’s), his overall return on investment is not only staggering, but the $1.7M is a real, tangible, powerful enhancement for the rest of his life (he is now in his mid 60’s).

As much as this is a satisfying long term result, I know the investor could have easily bought way more than nine homes. Loans were plentiful back then (no up-to-10 limits) and he had the capacity to easily buy three times as many homes. Nevertheless, even with this investment, he has created a powerful effect on his financial future. Alternatively he could have just kept the homes and have the net rent from all nine homes contribute to his retirement income.

During our next 1-Day Expo (tomorrow near SFO – see www.icgre.com for details and if you mention this blog entry, you are invited at no cost – just email us at info@icgre.com with the attendees’ names), we will discuss new loans available to investors who own over 10 homes as well. Loans are now also available to foreigners again, and of course, if you own less than 10 homes there are conventional investor loans available to you from most banks.
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What The Volatile Market Means to Real Estate Single Family Home Investors

The Dow closed down 588 points last Wednesday as worries of a China Slowdown permeate the business community. Even though there was some recovery in the market on Wednesday the market is still volatile. In looking at this from the prism of a single family home investor; there are pros and cons to consider.

On the pro side, it’s already assumed that any interest rate hike by the fed will now be postponed until things feel stable. Since it takes time for a rate hike to translate to mortgage rates, we get more time with our delightfully low mortgages. Of course since most mortgages have yearly caps, it will take even longer (in some cases much longer) for rates to climb in a significant way.

Also on the pro side, people are confused as to where money should operate. The knee-jerk

Great advice.

reaction is to have money sit as cash (with close to zero yield). However when people are scared of stock markets, real estate and (especially) single family homes usually become more interesting as a safe hard asset which produces income, which we tell our clients at ICG as well.

People may also feel this is not a bad time to pull money out of stocks and finally buy a home for themselves, since they might have been planning to do it anyway – this would not be a bad time to deploy that cash, right into locking in a low rate 30-year fixed loan. This of course would boost real estate markets in the single family home sector.

On the con side, obviously what is happening is not engendering a lot of overall economic confidence and more doom-and-gloom messages are circulating. This can create an environment where people “hunker down” which will not help the housing market.

During our upcoming 1-Day Expo, we have invited Dr.Lawrence A. Souzato to discuss this and other important economic waves now manifesting. Don’t miss it!

We will also have Ralph Bunje Jr. talking about reverse and regular 1031 exchanges and how to do them right, and Charles Byrd about using Evernote for business, and total life organization and efficiency. We will have market teams from the best United States markets and lots of Q & A, networking and learning. Anyone mentioning this blog can attend for free with two guests. Just email us at info@icgre.com or call at 415-927-7504. Looking forward to seeing you!

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First Quarter Real Estate 1-Day Expo a Success

Between the experts we brought in to speak in December to those that joined us for the 1-day expo we had on Saturday March 7, 2015, attendees are feeling the momentum of this year being a record breaker for real estate investment. In March we had fantastic speakers. We heard from Tom Anderson, one of the best-known experts on the subject of real estate investing via your IRA account. He taught us about what works and what doesn’t. There are many types of real estate we can purchase via our IRA accounts and the advantages were something you will want to learn more about, if you were not there. We are considering asking Tom and our other speakers to guest blog for us, so look for that.
In concert with Tom, we had invited Roger St. Pierre to tell us about getting loans for buying real estate via our IRA accounts. Roger taught us about special NON-RECOURSE loans and how they can enable us to infuse “safe leverage” into our IRA investing. Wow. Tom, like all of our speakers are always great at really spending the time and energy in what they deliver to educate.
Attorney Brett Lytle gave a spectacular lecture that had everyone at the edge of their seats about asset protection. Brett covered fine points and state-specific details which were of crucial importance to the attendees. Since the first wall of asset protection is good insurance, we are inviting Joyce Feldman, who has great experience insuring real estate investors, to our NEXT 1-Day Expo on Saturday May 30th.  We have various experts under consideration who will be joining Joy.
Getting updates from the market teams was fantastic as always. Things change consistently, and to have them there every quarter to let people know what is going on is critical. I have been producing this event for over 20 years now and I still learn every time.

We had lenders discuss the ever-changing new loan programs for investors. Since loan conditions are rapidly changing these days (getting better), including loans to foreigners, we will have expert lenders at the May 30th expo as well. Just the Q&A sessions and the audience engagement were in themselves incredibly instructive. What a great day!

Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday May 30th. To register please email us at info@icgre.com or call at 415-927-7504. Mention this blog and you can attend for free AND have your guests attend free as well.
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New Homes Begin to Dominate Investor Purchases

Investors who have been buying older homes from bank foreclosures during the recession, are now realizing some of the benefits of buying new homes built this year, in 2015 direct from developers (or minimally a massive renovation – like new). The lower future incidence of repairs, the warranties, the potential developer giveaways–possible only in new home purchases (a builder can give the buyer a covered patio which may be a $6,000 option, but only costs the builder $2,000 to build) and the modern amenities and floor plans are starting to attract more investors.

Since buying homes is in its core a long term investment, starting with new homes is a great send-off with many extra years of performance available. Getting loans on new homes is usually one of the easiest procedures, and with today’s low rates, locking in a 30-year fixed rate loan on a brand-new home is an excellent “stake in the ground” for anyone’s future. Of course investors should not just blindly buy brand-new homes. The locations have to have the numbers – the right rents for the right prices.

There are some excellent markets providing very good numbers and cash flows in good areas.
For more information, you are invited to attend our quarterly ICG Real Estate 1-Day Expo this Saturday. You will not only meet teams frrm the most relevant markets and see the possibilities for yourself, but there will be expert speakers on important topics such as the new twists in Asset Protection (you must know about this), buying real estate from your Self-Directed IRA, and getting real estate financing for purchases from within your IRA.

There will be information for new investors and established investors on how to move forward powerfully. There will also be lenders to update us as to the ever-improving loan possibilities for investors (domestic and foreign), and lots of great Q&A and networking. The event is near the San Francisco Airport this Saturday, March 7th, from 10AM to 6:30PM. You may also register by emailing us at info@icgre.com or call us at 415-927-7504.

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2016 and the Real Estate Investor

The year is off to a decent start–the fears many investors had that mortgage rates will go up very quickly due to the Fed’s raising the short-term rates recently have not only not materialized, but actually mortgage rates have gone down twice. I will address it in a separate blog entry but as you can see there is no immediate correlation. Needless to say mortgage interest rates WILL go up at some point which in part serves to frame the most important aspect of 2016.
During 2016 mortgage interest rates are likely to remain quite low for the entire (or most of the ) year. As single family homes investors, those of you with decent credit and not a huge portfolio can still qualify and get these coveted 30-year fixed rate loans that you can only get on Single Family Homes (technically 1-4 residential units).

This is the year to focus and be effective in buying solid homes financed by these 30-year fixed rate loans at these incredible interest rates and lock them forever. You will feel like a genius later on after rates have climbed and here you are with an under-5% loan fixed forever, and never changing with the cost of inflation. In a continuous manner, inflation erodes your fixed loan, and the tenant is paying it off one little month at a time.

Do this in 2016. Do this several times. You will be setting up your financial future.

As far as markets, there may not be large appreciation swings in most markets during 2016. In a funny way the ever-solid Texas is appreciating decently now, but people have some questions about its overall economy.

Oklahoma City with brand-new homes (under 50% of the property tax bite of Texas; it is poised to provide better cash flow on similar rents and home prices – which it has) is a very serious candidate for solid investments.

Jacksonville, Florida is the market least appreciated in the state so far and carries the best appreciation potential. Also in 2016 the Panama Canal project is slated to be finished, potentially generating major large-ship traffic into the Jacksonville port. Will they finish this gargantuan project on time? Will it drift over to 2017? Regardless, it is a dominant event.

Get those good single family homes and finance them with low 30-year fixed rate loans. Rinse and repeat. You will very likely be quite happy in the future when you look back at what you have done. We will be discussing this in detail, along with market teams and incredible experts, during our next quarterly 1-Day Expo near SFO on Saturday March 5th. Everyone citing this blog can attend for free with guests. Just email us at info@icgre.com or call us at 415-927-7504.

Happy New Year!:

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Do You Think You Can Never get College Aid For Your Kids Due to Your High Income?

Many of you may automatically assume that you will get no college aid when your kids arrive at that age, due to your income, which you assume is too high (especially if you are in Silicon Valley) and crosses all the threshold.

Surprisingly, it is not a matter of just how high your raw income is. It is a much more complex matter of how your overall financing looks, is arranged, even optimized.
For this important knowledge, we have invited Gary Sipos, MBA, AIF, to educate us (no pun intended) on the subject. Gary has helped numerous families get into college in ways that were much more beneficial and frugal than they had imagined.

I always talk about real estate investments, the way we do it at ICG, as a means for a stable financial future with two main items: retirements and your kids’ college. I like to explain how Single Family Home investments done with a long horizon can assist both these goal in a very powerful way.

It is only natural that if we can optimize one of our biggest potential expenses, we would like to know about it.

Gary will be speaking THIS SATURDAY, March 5th, at our ICG 1-Day Expo near SFO. There will also be experts on financial planning, special lenders and loan programs, and market teams from choice U.S. markets for us to meet, learn from, and be exposed to some great properties.

Anyone mentioning this blog can attend for free (with guests who can come for free as well). Just email us at info@icgre.comto register. See you this Saturday.
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Historic Decline in Home Ownership affects Economy, Bodes well For Investors

In a Wall Street Journal article form March 27, 2017 by Laura Kusisto, as well as in a few blog entries on WSJ, the point is made that home ownership in the US is at a historic low. At 63.7% home ownership, it is the lowest such number for the past 48 years!
Reasons given for it include more strict lending practices following the recession. Perhaps another issue is that the recession is still fresh enough to have taken the belief away that your home will “always appreciate “ in value and will serve not only as a residence, but as a major lifelong investment. Some people may no longer think so.
Add to that the natural desire of people to be free to move at will, and we have only 63.7% homeowners in the US as of the 4th quarter of 2016.
As investors, of course, we are quite familiar with the powerful financial effect owning houses can have on our future, especially if we finance them with the incomprehensible 30-year fixed loans still available, and at still super low rates.
Having 63.7% homeownership percentage means, of course, that a full 36.3% of the population are renters! That is about 117,000,000 people!
Those of us who know the value and power of investing in houses and holding them as rentals, can only look at this statistic as a positive – obviously these renters need a place to rent and we will have a larger renter pool available for our homes. Sure some single people may want to rent an apartment, but families usually prefer renting a single family home.
Coupling this data regarding the highest number of renters available to us in nearly 50 years, with the still-low interest rates available on 30-year fixed rate loans, means this is an excellent time to stock up on single family homes as investments.
Interest rates are on the way up. The fed keeps reminding us they will continue to raise rates. Having a period of such low rates (despite the small “Trump Bump” we experienced recently), makes it a special time to buy and hold.
If you are under the FNMA allotted 10 loans per person (20 per married couple if they buy separately), it is high time for you to go out there and purchase brand-new single family homes in good areas, finance them using these great 30-year fixed rate loans, which will never ever keep up with inflation (thus they will get eroded by inflation as to their real dollar value). The homes will be managed by local property managers we use ourselves in the various cities in which we invest.
We will discuss this as well as many other important topics for investors, at our quarterly ICG 1-Day Expo near the San Francisco Airport on Saturday May 20th. We will have experts lecturing on important topics, lenders, market teams from the best markets in the U.S., and lots of Q&A, networking and learning. Just send us an email at info@icgre.com. Just put in in the subject line, “Saw your blog on home ownership” and list your name and those of your guests. We will confirm!  See you on May 20th. 

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The Incredible Power of the 30-year Fixed-Rate Loan

The 30-year fixed rate loan does not usually get its due as an amazing financial tool that should be utilized by any savvy investor who can get it. For many foreigners, it’s incomprehensible that in the U.S. we can get a loan that will never keep up with the cost of living for 30 years. During that period, essentially everything else DOES keep up with the cost of living, including rents. Only the mortgage payment and balance (which also gets chipped down by amortization) do not keep up with inflation. 

You can talk to many borrowers who have taken 30-year fixed rate loans and after, say, 16 years, realized that although there are 14 years remaining to pay off the loan, the loan balance AND the payment seem very low relative to marketplace rents and prices. The remaining 14 years is almost meaningless, since in many cases (statistically and historically) the loan balance will be a small fraction of the home price and not very “meaningfu.” Just to get some perspective, most other countries on earth have loans that constantly adjust based on inflation. Both the payment and the balance track inflation all the time, usually with no yearly and lifetime caps as adjustable loans have in the U.S.

The power and positive effect on one’s financial future get magnified when you consider that in 2016 we are still in a period in which interest rates are very low.  While investors cannot get the same favorable loans as homeowners, it is nevertheless quite common nowadays to see investors getting a rate of between 4.25% and 4.75% on Single Family Homes (SFHs) investment properties. 

From a historical perspective, these are extremely low rates. Most experts think that in the future, mortgage rates will rise; from a historical perspective even 7% is considered a low rate. Thus, these days, you can “turbo boost” the great power of the never-changing-30-year fixed rate loan by also locking in these amazing rates which will never change. If in the following years interest rates indeed go up, you will feel quite good about having locked under-5% rates forever.

Once you secure your  fixed rate loans, two inexorable forces start operating incessantly: inflation erodes your loan (both the payment and the remaining balance), and the tenant occupying your SFH pays rent which goes in part towards paying down the loan principal every month. These two forces create a powerful financial future for you.

Many investors think that if a 30-year fixed rate loan is good, then a 15-year loan must be better. I actually beg to differ. You can always pay a 30-year loan in 15 years (or 14 or 20 or 10 or 8) if you wish – just add some extra to the principal payment. However you cannot pay a 15-year loan off in 30-years. Thus the 15-year loan FORCES you to make the higher payment while the 30-year loan gives you the important flexibility of keeping your payments low OR making them high based on your financial situation and other considerations. 

Some would say that the 15-year loan is also better since it has a better rate. True, the 15-year rate may be 0.25% or even 0.5% better than the 30-year rate. However, in my opinion this is not enough to justify the enormous loss in flexibility. In addition, having the loan for a longer time allows inflation to “erode” the loan even further. This last consideration greatly minimizes the argument some investors make that “…with a 30-year loan I pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more over the life of the loan.” 

One factor missing here is that they neglect the TIME VALUE OF MONEY! These extra dollars paid in year 20, 22, 28 etc., are in fact extremely “cheap” dollars in the sense that their buying power is greatly lowered over time. If the value of these future dollars were to be calculated based on the PRESENT buying power of the dollar, some of the later payments may be worth mere pennies on the dollar. 

In summary I recommend getting a 30-year loan and then choose how long to take to pay it (anywhere between zero and thirty years – you choose!).

While interest rates are low, it would behoove the smart investor to buy SFHs and get 30-year fixed rate loans on them while this “window” is open. Investors can finance up to 10 residential properties using conventional 30-year fixed rate loans (if their credit permits).  With some maneuvering, married couples may be able to stretch it to 20. If you are under that 10  (or 20, as the case may be) property barrier, it would be quite a smart move to buy SFHs and utilize the incredible loans you can get. You may wish to pay the loan off in 16 years to pay for your kid’s college education (SFHs are effective at this – especially if they don’t go through a crazy 10-year cycle as we had from 2004-2014). You could aim for the properties to be paid off at your retirement date (or the savvier move is just realizing how low they have become and let inflation keep eroding them as equity grows into your retirement years, providing financial growth well into the future in the face of ever-increasing lifespans, and the need for our finances to keep up with our life expectancy).

Thirty-year fixed rate loans are available on 1-4 residential units, which mostly means Single Family Homes – the ideal investment for most individual real estate investors, as we have covered in a previous blog.

We will discuss this topic, as well as many other crucial topics for investors, at our Quarterly 1-Day Expo on Saturday May 21st near SFO. We will have market teams present, including a new exciting market… We have also invited top notch experts to lecture. We will have experts on Property Management, 1031 Exchanges and Proper Insurance – the first and most important barrier in protecting your assets, including nationwide umbrellas. 

Everyone mentioning this blog is invited to attend for free, with associates. Just email us at info@icgre.com to register, and in the subject line write, ‘Read your blog!’ Then give us your contact information. We will respond with a confirmation for your free entry. AND that is all. We hate spam as much as you do. See you there.
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