Buying Las Vegas Real Estate

Las Vegas

Most of the people in the world will own a piece of real estate at one point or another in their lives. Where and how they come to own the real estate remains to be seen, but they will own it none the less. No matter where you go there is something going on in the market. Either the time for selling is right or the time for buying. Those who keep track of this kind of thing know that the market will be in a constant state of change that will effect that way they do business.

Las Vegas Nevada real estate is one of the markets that a good many people are always interested in. There is a lot of reasoning behind this as well. If you think about it Las Vegas Nevada real estate is bound to be a hot commodity and with that in mind you must consider that there is going to be a need for someone who is willing to invest in these kinds of properties when the time is right. If you are that person then there are some things that you might want to be aware of.


First and foremost, property in the Las Vegas Nevada real estate market tends to run high. This stands to reason because this is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and also one of the top tourist destinations that one can find. This means that the real estate in the area may be very hard to come by to say the least. It also means that a person thinking about investing in the Las Vegas Nevada real estate market needs to be on the top of their game.


It is no secret that new buildings are springing up all over the city and country side in this area. Most often these buildings are for the more commercial purpose, like a casino, but often they are housing developments as well. With this in mind you can be one of the many that is in line for a spot in the booming market with the chance of a very high payoff in the end. To do this requires one to plan and be on the line when the offers start to come in.


You will find that often in the Las Vegas Nevada real estate market there is the opportunity to roll or flip a property and make a rather large sum of money in the process. This happens when you own a piece of property that is impeding the development of a large scale operation. It may be something as small as a home that is next door to the area where a new casino is being built. With that in mind you will see that the owners of the new development will take the chance to offer you a nice sum of money for the property that you own. Be sure that you are getting at least fair market value if not more and you will come out of the whole deal a winner.

Selling Without a Real Estate Agent: Do You Have What it Takes to Sell Your Own Home Without a Realtor?

Are you thinking of selling your home? Have you considered selling it yourself–without a realtor? Selling your home on your own is often referred to as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sale. And when it comes time to sell your home, every home-owner should consider whether FSBO is an option worth exploring.

To determine whether FSBO is right for you, consider these key questions:

  • How quickly do I need to sell my home?
  • Do I have time to interact with potential buyers?
  • Do I possess the skills to do this on my own?
  • Will the financial savings be worth the extra effort?

Waiting for Buyers

It’s important to recognize that selling your own home may take longer than selling through an agent.

The time it takes to sell your FSBO home will depend on the speed of your local housing market and on the energy you put into marketing your home.

FSBO may be the right choice if you don’t need to sell by a certain date. Give yourself a certain number of months to try the FSBO market. If you don’t sell within your set time period, reassess your options.

Making Time for Potential Buyers

If you have a hectic schedule, you may find it difficult to make time to return phone calls or show your home to potential buyers.

Potential buyers will want to view your home according totheir schedules. Being available is integral to making a FSBO sale.

If you can’t free up a lot of time to accommodate buyers, a realtor may be your best bet.

Skills: Legal Contracts

In order to sell your own home, you will need a lawyer. Hiring your lawyer or notary public early in the process will make for a smoother sale. Make sure to have all your paperwork drafted and ready to go beforeyou put your home on the market.

Your lawyer may be able to assist you with the creation of contracts, but don’t rely too heavily on his or her advice. Do your own research. Think of your lawyer as your boss; he or she will catch your mistakes, but it’s up to you to do the work. Remember, it’s in your best interest to possess basic real estate knowledge!

Almost anyone can master the basics of real estate law if he or she takes the time to learn. But if you aren’t prepared to take an interest in the legal side of real estate, it may be best to leave it to the experts and hire an agent.

Skills: Marketing

In order to succeed in the FSBO market, you will need to market your home enthusiastically. Staking a “for sale” sign in front of your home is often not enough.

You will have to work hard to let potential buyers know that your home is for sale. The key is to diversify your strategies. Be creative! The more effort you put into the sale, the more likely it is that you will find a buyer for your home.

Is the Extra Effort Worth it?

In the United States, the seller pays an average fee of six percent of the sale price to a realtor. Whether the extra effort of selling your home yourself is worth this savings is up to you.

If you’re a busy individual with little time to spare, then hiring an agent might be worth saying goodbye to that six percent.

But if you can get excited about selling your own home, then success is almost certain if you take the time to do it right.

Real Estate Investment Trusts or REIT: A Real Estate Investment Vehicle Made Simple, More or Less

For those investors who like the idea of the possible large rewards available in real estate investment, a REIT offers a way to get in on the action without having to deal with many of the headaches. Simply investing in the REIT allows the investor to avoid some of the risks inherent in real estate investment, such as tenants, taxes, foreclosures, and legal liability.

Real Estate Investment Trusts are simply corporations, publicly or privately held, who operate, own or finance income producing real estate. As a corporation, REITs are required to return 90% of taxable income to its investors.

Benefits of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)

As far as investors go, REITs offer a very hands-off approach to real estate investment. For all intents and purposes, they are comparable to a standard mutual fund. Investments are pooled and the REIT purchases and operates income-producing investment properties, returning the bulk of the profits back to the investors. The REIT assumes all risk associated with owning property: Foreclosure, tax issues, insurance, tenants, legal liability and so on. The investor is only on the hook for the money put in.

Typically, Real Estate Investment Trusts return between 6% and 7% on money invested, due in large part to the real estate investment market’s stability and tendency to appreciate. As with any investment, nothing is guaranteed, and much lower returns are possible. On the other hand, some have returned as much as 15% over a three year period. One of the downsides is that dividends paid from REITs are usually fully taxable as income.

Not everyone believes in the stability and earning potential of REITs, so all investors are well advised to adequately research any investment decision and seek professional advice where necessary. Dave Ramsey, for example, frowns on Real Estate Investment Trusts and advises that one’s portfolio contains no more than 10% REIT funds. His advice would be to put that same money in a strong growth mutual fund.

Portfolio Diversification – REITs Should Be Just One Egg in Your Basket

As any financial planner or advisor will say, all portfolios should be well balanced and diversified. While investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust may be a good idea, always make sure there are other investments to fall back on should the REIT fail. Remember- most investments aren’t guaranteed (notable examples being government bonds and CDs). A balanced portfolio would include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and REITs and/or property investment.

Curb Appeal…What is it and how can I improve it?

Curb Appeal…and ways to improve it! I have heard so many people ask if curb appeal really is that important. To answer that I feel I must first tell you what curb appeal is–it is what the prospective buyer first sees as he/she drives up to your home. It forms the first impression and sets the tone for the entire showing presentation. Is that important? I think we can all agree that it is. A positive first impression is critical when it comes to real estate–it could very well make or break a deal.

When I market a property I always ask a seller to walk with me to the street, then turn around and really, really look at their home. Read it like a book…from left to right. What needs to be emphasized? What needs to be de-emphasized? What needs to be cleaned, trimmed, or removed? How does the paint look? Are the gutters clean? Is the front door fairly freshly painted? Is the gate sagging? Are there toys, hoses and sprinklers strewn about the yard?

Get the picture? Pick out the details that need to be improved upon and get to work! A fresh coat of paint for the front door is such a plus! Remain neutral in color unless you can get by with a sunflower yellow, black or even brick red–those colors tend to be pleasing to the eye on front doors but must coordinate with the rest of the exterior to be effective. Are the eaves painted? Again, go with a neutral color. The reason is simple–you are trying to appeal to the majority of the people and the majority of the people go with neutral colors.

A clean appearance is nice. Even the most simplistic yards can be fantastic when it comes to curb appeal. What I mean is that everything should be well-placed and in order. Pick up the toys, garbage cans, sprinklers, hoses, etc… Try and keep the yard freshly mowed and pruned. Always have the front porch swept and tidy. Get rid of those pesky spider webs and dead bugs!

Need to take a picture? If you have a front-entry garage try standing on the opposite side of the home and take the picture de-emphasizing the over-powering structure of the garage. Never stand on the side where the garage is–it swallows the entire picture. If your yard is less than acceptable take a picture with lots of “sky” or get as close to the house as possible and avoid photographing the yard. Conversely, if you have a lush yard be sure to make it a focal point in your picture taking. I know of homes that have been sold because of beautiful landscaping–show it off!

Negotiating An Offer on your Home

You have done a fabulous job preparing and marketing your home. I fact, you have done such a good job someone wants to make an offer–now what do you do? Up until now you really haven’t had much time to think about this. Your focus has been on preparing your home for this moment, what a fabulous achievement. Congratulations. Those who know me will tell you that I am not one to sugar coat things. This is the most challenging aspect of the entire process. The buyers are trying to negotiate the best deal for them. You are trying to negotiate the best deal for you. In a “For Sale by Owner” situation there is no go between person to assist in the negotiations. As you will soon learn, a professional really earns their fee in this part of the process. Negotiations can make for some tense moments, you are acting as the seller and the professional in this situation. It is important that you understand your dual roles and act accordingly for each. This is where you are going to earn the money you saved by not hiring a professional. Expect to work for it.

There are three essential parts to a valid contract. Offer, acceptance and consideration. This chapter addresses all of them. The offer, what the seller is want to receive for his consideration. Acceptance, both parties agreement to the terms, and consideration, what the seller is willing to give you in exchange for what you are willing to give him. These will be addressed at length a bit later in this series.

This series of articles will provide you with suggestions on handling certain situations. The ultimate decisions and negotiations, however, depend on you and your motivations for selling. You may choose to stand firm on some items, while others might not be worth fighting for.

If you employed a real estate agent, this would be where they would obtain a written offer directly from the interested party and/or their representative. The real estate agent would serve as a buffer. In this scenario you would avoid being put on the spot, or at least feeling that way. I do believe that the same considerations are taken to negotiate whether or not an agent is involved.

Offers Surely you have had some conversation with the buyer as you have shown them the home on at least one occasion. During their brief visit you have probably ascertained some details about them. For example, if they insulted everything in your house yet are still making an offer than they are going to offer low and ask you to include the sun and moon with the sale. If they were quiet, observant and seem to be putting their furniture in place they will probably be a little timid but serious. Whatever their personality, you are going to have to assess the situation and work off of it. You already know their temperament and probably have a good idea of how they process their thoughts. You are serving as the real estate agent in this process and will have to wear many hats before this is all over. A key ingredient of a successful agent is the ability to hone in on a personality characteristic of a buyer and manipulate it. I will say it again, it is critical to understand your roles and put yourself in the proper mindset to act them out. You, the disenchanted seller and you, the always level-headed agent, have to ascertain when and how to respond to the situations at hand.

Expect the “good cop, bad cop” routine from the typical husband and wife buying team and you won’t be caught off guard. Remember earlier in the book we discusses that people basically come in two different molds, fact oriented and emotionally motivated. That is basically acted out in the “good cop, bad cop” scenario. Prepare yourself for it and use it to your advantage. Respond with solutions to their objections and criticisms in a positive manner. Avoid defending the way you have done things…that never works and adds fuel to their fire. This can easily be disarmed when you know it is coming towards you, don’t play into it and don’t pick sides. Trying to divide and conquer will not work.

“The first offer is always the best.” Just about every real estate agent and real estate publication will tell you this. They’re right, most of the time. An inexperienced agent may tell you this because they are excited about an offer and are counting their commission check a bit too soon. An experience, seasoned agent will tell you this because they have seen the light and know offers come few and slow. Whatever the reasoning, your first offer is often your best offer.

Frequently an offer will be made on a property within a week or two of introduction to the market. The seller, beaming with over confidence, is so sure many other offers will follow, they don’t seriously try to work through the original offer. This can be a huge mistake. Obtaining an offer right off the bat is a compliment to your preparedness and pricing. It is also a matter of luck. Each offer should be taken seriously. Every effort should be made to successfully negotiate it to a contract.

Is That Fixer-Upper Really a Gem? Deciding Whether to Add Distressed Property to a Portfolio

In real estate, a fixer-upper refers to property that needs an overhaul or that is owned by someone who no longer wants it or cannot continue to hold on to it. In other words, either the propertiy is in distress or its owner is. Because fixer-uppers are usually ugly and poorly maintained, it should be possible to buy them for far less than the asking price. By fixing what is wrong without spending too much, an investor can resell the property for a tidy profit.

Or so goes the myth.

In reality, fixer-uppers can be challenging. Repairs may end up costing much more than expected. Renovations often take much longer than planned, and this keeps the property off the market for sale or rental for an extended period of time; not only is there no profit or rental income during that time, there are maintenance, taxes, utilities, insurance, and other expenses associated with the property.

All of this means that, before buying their first fixer-uppers, investors must know what is involved and whether they have what it takes to forge ahead. Specifically, with reference to their real estate investment plans, investors must determine whether they have the time, finances, interest, and perseverance to oversee or personally undertake the repair, renovation, or upgrade of a neglected property or to solve tenancy or other problems at a property.

Good Time to Buy Distressed Property

Although the real estate market is in a deep freeze in many parts of the United States, Stephen DiClemente, a real estate agent with Re/Max Tri County in Hamilton, New Jersey, believes that “for those with the time and finances, this is still a good time to buy fixer-uppers.” As he explains, “The price for fixer-uppers is decreasing at a higher rate than other real estate because of increased competition from the lower prices of homes that are in move-in condition.”

By the same token, he notes that, in a glutted real estate market, if an investor plans to sell a fixer-upper after renovating it, “the investor needs to have enough capital on hand after the renovation to sustain the property – in terms of mortgage payments, real estate taxes, upkeep, and other expenses – on the market for a longer period of time.”

Know What to Buy

Most investors in real property want only to collect rent each month. This means that investors find much less competition for distressed properties than for properties that are in good condition.

Successful real estate investors study the real estate markets in which they want to invest and note which segments are in motion and which are stagnant. These investors then put their money in the types of property that other buyers are seeking. For example, if single-family homes are selling at a faster rate than townhouses in a given market, a smart investor will buy a single-family fixer-upper to renovate and resell to a buyer who wants a home in move-in condition.

After Due Diligence: Tap All Available Resources

After performing the necessary due diligence on targeted properties, investors need to determine the resources they have available for fixer-uppers. This does not only mean the investors’ own funds. There are also grants and low-interest loans from federal, state, and local governments for property rehabilitation. There is also secondary financing, such as second mortgages, lines of credit, and equity loans.

Other often overlooked resources include competent, trustworthy professionals who can make repairs at a property for a little more than the cost of materials, such as relatives of an investor who are licensed electricians or plumbers, certified mold remediators, and the like.

Why Exit Real Estate Investments: Having Sound Reasons to Sell is Part of Real Estate Investment Plan

Sooner or later investors will want to dispose of one or more properties in their portfolios. Market conditions and changing personal needs may play into the decision to get rid of a property. Nonetheless, individuals should be guided primarily by their investment plans to determine which properties to dispose of and when and how to do so. This will ensure that the disposal is the right move at the right time.

Disposal of Real Estate: Good and Bad Reasons

There are many good reasons for wanting to get rid of property, such as:

  • The property was a fixer-upper that has been rehabbed and made ready for sale.
  • The owner of rental property has tired of being a landlord.
  • The sale will provide funds to buy other property or invest in other types of assets.

Other valid reasons that may prompt a sale are a divorce judgment calls for the division of a couple’s assets, the desire to finance a luxury such as a first-class vacation or a retirement home, or the termination of the partnership that owned the property.

There are also bad reasons to sell, including that the owner has received an unexpected offer to buy one of the properties. Obviously well-kept properties in acceptable locations will always attract buyers. This does not mean that the owner has to entertain unsolicited bids from buyers. The property is likely a good income producer for the owner and selling it too early may defeat the goals of the investment plan.

Another bad reason to sell is that a property has been owned for so long that it has used up its depreciation under the U.S. tax laws. Again, if the property still offers decent cash flow and is in good condition, it may not be the right time to sell. Investors should never over-rely on the benefits of depreciation when they select a property to purchase; similarly, the existence or lack of depreciation should not control an investor’s decision of whether to sell.

Yet another bad reason to sell is that a property has become rundown and unattractive. Serious investors never allow their assets to lose value through neglect because they know that real estate investment is a business.

Keep Return on Investment in Focus

When owners act impulsively out of a need for instant gratification or fear that market conditions will deteriorate, they risk undervaluing property that they improved and maintained and – if it is rental property – into which they installed good tenants. An impulse- or fear-driven sale also may result in the payment of capital gains taxes that could have been deferred or even avoided. All of this stands in sharp conflict with the ROI goals articulated in a well-designed investment plan.

Another problem is that investors may not have realistic expectations about what their properties are worth. For example, Nancy Newbie from the Northeast may need $350,000 to finance a retirement condo in a sunny climate and the relocation expenses involved, so she puts two of her properties up for sale for a total of $400,000. If the market conditions where the properties are located are such that Nancy will net less than what she wants or expects from the sales, she may choose to dig in her heels and to wait until she gets the price she wants or she may have to postpone or revise her relocation plans. In the meantime, she will have wasted a considerable amount of time, all because she neglected to research her market.

A tax professional or financial advisor can guide the investor through the murky waters of indecision over whether to dispose of property in a portfolio. These pros can also advise the investor whether the exit strategies set out in the investment plan are the best means for reaching the investor’s financial goals.

Real Estate Schools Online

Starting a career in real estate can be very rewarding for those who enjoy a bit of hard work and are good with people. Real estate agents help people find the homes they love at a price they can afford. They set their own hours, and the income earning potential is limitless (unlike many other office jobs which tend to have a ceiling on salaries).

The first step to enter this exciting business is to obtain a real estate license. Although many schools offer traditional, on site classes, a number of opportunities exist for those wishing to get their real estate license online.

About Online Real Estate Classes

The American School of Real Estate Express is one of the biggest online schools for real estate. They cover the basics and classes on how to get licensed as a real estate agent in states such as Alabama, California, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. They also offer continuing education classes and post license courses to help you stay educated in the ever-changing world of real estate. In addition, the school offers exam prep and appraisals for every state.

The American School of Real Estate Express has been endorsed and recommended by Yahoo! Finance, Fox Business, USA Today and The Street. The school is fully accredited and registered with the Better Business Bureau. In addition, their prep courses come with a 110% guarantee.

Information on Online Real Estate Schools

Real Estate School Online is another option for those seeking real estate licenses online. They offer classes for every state ranging from continuing education, online exam prep, and real estate license courses through mail correspondence or through CD-ROM. Professional development classes include “Building a Real Estate Practice,” “Property Insurance,” “Negotiations – Reading People” and “Sales Negotiation Pack.”

The school is accredited and offers a free newsletter to help students stay up to date with the current trends and news in real estate while also providing invaluable tips for success. The school also offers a bookstore with reduced real estate book prices.

Online Real Estate Education

Getting a degree online is more simple than ever before. The two schools, American School of Real Estate Express and Real Estate School Online are great starting points for those seeking online education pertaining to real estate. The best part about these courses is that they allow individuals to work at their own pace, on their own hours rather than adhering to a strict classroom schedule. Take an online real estate license class and start selling in your favorite neighborhood, doing something you love and making money at the same time!

Will the Australian Housing Bubble Burst?

How long can a strong market stay strong? This is the question being bandied about in regards to the Australian housing market, after some analysts recently declared that the ‘bubble has burst’ for ever-increasing house prices. The article looks at whether this analysis is true, and at the issues that Australian property buyers need to consider in this current climate.

The Australian Housiing Market and the Mining Boom

The Australian housing market is affected by many factors, which differ in comparison to markets elsewhere. The mining boom in some states will have a positive effect on the market, creating an increased demand for housing, along with a generally wealthier population. The mining boom, as with any financial boom, will have its limits – linked to the availability of resources – and the sustainability of the housing market beyond the boom is dubious. For this reason, the success of the Australian housing market relies somewhat on population growth as a result of the mining boom and the further management of that growth in the future.

Can the Australian Housing Market Be Sustained?

Perhaps the biggest concern over the Australian housing market relates to rising house prices. House prices are projected to double and nearly triple over the next ten years, which can be a problem if wages don’t follow suit. Furthermore, much of the unrelenting housing boom can be attributed to the public perception that paying a mortgage is preferable to paying rent – from a mortgage something is actually gained for the money spent. It’s possible that house prices will become so high that the renting will actually be more financially beneficial, especially if the amount that can be saved for a deposit while renting outweighs the amount buyers might pay in interest on a mortgage.

Riding High on the Population Boom

It’s strongly estimated that Australia’s population will increase dramatically in the next 40 years. Currently the population stands at around 22 million, but projections show that the Australian population will increase to between 35 to 50 million people. This increase will fill a need for specialised labour while further assisting Australia’s financial growth, and is suggestive of the fact that there will be a strong demand for new housing in Australia, keeping prices steadily increasing. Unlike other nations where housing markets have been unstable, Australia’s projected growth is somewhat unique and may assist in keeping the marketplace strong.

Economists and Analysts on the Australian Housing Market

Some economists argue that a housing market crash in Australia is likely as Aussie markets tend to mirror those in the US and UK. Yet Australia may escape a similar outcome, as Market Analysts suggest. While money lenders in the US and UK have been guilty, to a degree, of loaning money to those who’re unable to meet mortgage repayments, in Australia the Reserve Bank analysts have noted that Australian money lenders have tended to be more careful generally lending money to those more capable of making the repayments, rather than a blitz style of lending.

The Real Million Dollar Question: When is the Time to Buy?

It’s naive to assume that a the housing market will stay strong; all financial markets go through cycles and by their nature, when they start to drop, panic sets in and can compact the problem making it worse. Still, Australia promises to be a nation of growth and prosperity, having survived the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis better than nearly any other Western nation.

The trick to buying property in Australia is to manage money safely and make low-risk investments – never succumb to panic buying or the assumption that the market will become too expensive. If the market seems expensive to one person, likely it will seem to others: then the down-cycle will start. To put it simply, property buying should occur when the time is right financially for each individual.

Real Estate Short Sales: How to Short Sell a Home and Survive it

What the heck is a short sale?

It is selling a home for less than the loan balance owed. If a gorgeous Tuscan style home was purchased in 2014 for $400,000 with 20% down, this is $80,000. The loan balance at the start of the loan was approximately $320,000.

Since most homes in the “hard hit” states like California, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada have cratered to less than half of original purchase price, most are worth less on the open market than the loan balance or considered… “upside down”. Since selling for a decent price is out of the question, desperate sellers have to sell their homes “short” of the loan balance.

First understand that a short can be accomplished if:

  • Have proven to your Mortgage Company that you are in need
  • Have already fallen behind in your payments
  • Have Your Mortgage Company’s permission/acceptance to do so.
  • Have a ready, willing and qualified offer/buyer.

How is it done?

The first step is to employ a knowledgeable Realtor who is experienced and successful in short sales to list your home. This person is of course licensed in your state and has suffered through at least 2-5 short sale transactions in the last year. This is no small feat, as a short sale takes an average of 3-8 months to complete and since they are so difficult, time consuming and low paying some agents won’t do them.

Next, work with your agent in contacting your mortgage/loan company to establish hardship. Most times a good agent already has a hardship letter on file and will adapt it to your situation. The letter might include why the payments are behind, documentation of a lost job or income, monthly expenses verses income etc. Once your Bank/ Mortgage Co/Loan Co is onboard, the house can be then put on the market. More and more banks are determining that it is in their best interests to cooperate on a short sale because statistically it is a cheaper process and puts more bottom line net in their pockets than foreclosure.

The third step is determining listing price for the home and submit the listing to MLS. Just something to keep in mind; The selling price is usually a stab in the dark based on current comparables. In some instances a loan or mortgage Company is willing and able to give an acceptance price. But more often, won’t communicate until they’vee received a valid offer. Then they will accept, counter or reject it.

Once an acceptance is given, the real estate transaction runs similarly to any other, it just takes longer. Your Mortgage company is now your selling partner and gets to make all the decisions, in their own time.

You can survive a short sale if you:

  • Have an experienced Real Estate Agent by your side
  • Have patience & accept that it will take awhile to complete
  • Keep your “Eye on the Prize”. Credit rebuilding is a shorter, less dramatic task with a short sale versus a foreclosure or a bankruptcy
  • Accept that it will be aggravating at times

Good Luck!