Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Homeowners who want to sell in Lake Ridge Virginia...the time is now!

Lake Ridge Virginia Homeowners who are thinking of selling their home in 2014 have an amazing OPPORTUNITY right now!
Home For Sale are at a critical stage.  There are currently only eight homes for sale in the $450,000 to $600,000 price range.  Take a look

So my message is this:
"If you  own a single family  home in Westridge, Old Bridge Estates, Lynnwood, Crestridge, Lake Ridge, Cannon Bluff Estates, Coventry Glen, Beaver Creek and River Falls we need your home to sell now!" 

Are you curious if the real estate market is improving? Listen..

The real estate market is improving in many area's. Have you ever wondered how it is in your area.
The Northern Virginia Market Watch video helps explain what is happening in Northern Virginia and Prince William County Virginia.
Be in the know...

Other related articles:
As always if you have a real estate question don't hesitate to call me 703-851-3085.
            Lake Ridge Virginia Real Estate Specialist
" You would want to hire me as your REALTOR®, if you're looking for a high energy, positive, take charge,knowledgeable person that is passionate about helping you get what you want! "
That's me! I'm easy going, and prefer to communicate by email, text and I use the latest technology to not only to stay in touch with you, but to market homes for sale as well and to negotiate. My direct number is703-851-3085.
Look what homes listed this week on the MLS in our area. CLICK HERE
The area's I service in Virginia are Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Manassas. If you live outside these area's let's talk. If you have found my information helpful and you like what you see, chances are if I cannot help you, I know another REALTOR® who can.
Tip: when reading any blog post, pay close attention to the date post was written as homes sell quickly. Call author for up to date information.    

Disappointment is some times Necessary!

Have you been thinking of selling your home and buying another? 
Do you have dreams?
Have you outgrown your space?
You want to badly to move, but just don't know if it's possible.
Well read more below about the Lake Ridge Virginia homeowners we just helped buy a home. Their story is why we do what we do.
 Disappointment, Soul Searching, Compromise
and finally pure Joy!
The past several weeks I have been working with a couple in Woodbridge Virginia who were selling their condo and looking to move up to the home of their dreams. They had outgrown the condo and wanted more space to raise their two beautiful little girls.
We had house hunted and found a wonderful home they loved on day three of house hunting. Our market is quick so the good homes go fast. They found one in their target neighborhood and it was walking distance to the elementary school. They loved everything about the home and the back yard although not perfect was workable. It had alot of decking and landscaping into a hill with trees. The homeowner had done all the right things to the home and it looked like a pottery barn catalog inside. What was not to love!
We went back to the office and they submitted and offer and I forwarded to the listing agent. The home was being handled by a relo company it  was Friday so we had to wait till Monday for an answer.
Disappointment  and Soul Searching Set in...
As the weekend went buy my buyers went off to a two year old's birthday party and in the back yard was a moon bounce and the children played and had a great time. As the couple was driving home they both realized the home they put the offer in on was not their dream yard for their little girls. The inside worked but the back yard was causing them real concern. They wanted a yard where the girls could play and have birthday parties and kick the ball.They called me to say on Sunday that they were sorry they just did not feel good about their choice and wanted to withdraw the offer.
I told them this was their money and their home and if this was not the right home then we needed to move on to something else They were disappointed and felt like they had wasted my time.
I told them right then I have never sold a home to anyone. I help people to work through their buying options and help them to come to the best choice for them. You are not wasting my time. I told them I have never had someone walk away from a home, buy another and realize they made a mistake. They need to trust their gut and trust the process and when it is meant to come together it will!
Their home was sold thank goodness we had negotiated a rent back so they had time to find a home of choice.They were so efficient in the condo you would have had no idea they had two little ones in that 1000 sq ft. but it was clearly way to small for their growing family and they were ready to move!
So we headed out to house hunt again and this time I had a surprise for them we looked at five homes and I could see them trying to make one or the other work but nothing was as good as the one they had passed on. We had one remaining that I knew would fit their needs based on what they were telling me. It was at the top of their comfort level and a little father out but it was what they had described. As we walked in the home I could see I had the kitchen and family room she had been dreaming of and the backyard he had longed for. Each room we went into they were like little kids calling each others names as if it were Christmas morning!. As we went to the lower level that had the bedroom and bath for in laws plus a huge family room for the play room  it was over! They both sat down at the same time on the red leather sofa and without discussing it said ........
"This is our house how do we get it?"

The home they decided to buy has 3500 sq ft!

You could actually fit their condo into the back half of the main level.
We wrote up an offer worked through the negotiations and they got the house! Today as we did the walkthrough I could see the children playing and dancing in the big open rooms and mom looking on knowing her life is about to change. She has so much more space to spread out. The girls will have their own rooms and a center island  for those afternoon snacks.
Her husband  had gone outside to look around. I really think it was he needed  a minute to himself to take in this moment. As I got outside he was shoveling the driveway and seem to be enjoying himself. He said he was happy to do it since this was going to be his house tomorrow!
He was so full of JOY!
He said to me...
"I can buy a hose, no I can buy two hoses and a ladder. I have always wanted a ladder and a lawn mower. And look at the tree in my front yard. I can put lights on for Christmas for the girls!" Then he said " I just spoke to the neighbor and he said two homes across the street have new owners within the past 6 months and they have little girls the same ages as his. He was thrilled his girls would have playmates!" 
It was such a pleasure to work with this couple. They went from excitement to disappointment to soul searching and compromise and finally joy.
They were successful because they were open to coaching, willing to compromise to get what they wanted. They stayed true to their budget and in the end got a larger home than they expected in a great neighborhood on cul de sac with a great back yard. It was a little longer commute than they had hoped and they will need to do some updates in the kitchen but they are thrilled.
As we were leaving the husband came and gave me a

Success Stories of people who trusted their gut and made a call.

We already have so many success stories this year of homeowners and home buyers who have called and said "Can you help us we would like to sell our home. Or we really want to buy a home."
If you are searching for answers online and landed on this blog post, then feel free to call me with your real estate questions. No matter whether you are just tip dreaming. Just know that all dreams can only become a reality if you act on them. You may own a rental that you are thinking of selling, or you've inherited a home and you aren't quite sure how to go about selling, or maybe you are just searching the net to look at homes that are For Sale in the Lake Ridge, Woodbridge Virginia area and your dreaming about the future. You know you want to move, you just don't know how to go about it. Just know....all real estate transactions start out with a simple call or an email to a local REALTOR®. Feel free to ask any question you have, no obligation. It is my goal to help you. 703-851-3085.
In the meantime if you are still not ready. Check out these local real estate success stories from people just like you. Who were just dreaming....

how to buy a new home when you own a home already

Woodbridge Virginia townhome owners called last fall. They had outgrown their current townhome and really wanted an open concept home with no level changes on the main floor. They had VA Eligibiltiy and were wondering if they could rent or sell their townhouse and buy a new home.
This is a photo of them in Janaury 2014! Not only did we rent their Potomac Club townhouse for top $. We helped then purchase an amazing luxury home in a  golf course community that will have a town center, VRE and Marina.

Lake Ridge Virginia Condo Sales
Lake Ridge Virginia Condominium owners were bursting at the seems. They contacted us via ourFacebook Page  
They had dreams of buying a larger home, with a yard for their little girls. Someplace where they could host birthday parties, have a big holiday gatherings and maybe even expand their family.
It gave us great pleasure to help them. We sold their Vinings Condo in Lake Ridge for $165,000. And they purchased the home below here.

single family homes under $400,000This is the move-up home. Imagine going from twelve hundred square foot condo into  a single family home with a two car garage, three finished levels a walk out basement. A home with gleaming hardwood floors, a stone fireplace and a luxury master bedroom. 
Best of all this home had the back yard these move-up buyers were dreaming of. 
I see moon bounces and big parties in their future!
Success! SOLD for $361,000

sell your home fast, luxury home in Prince William County VA

The owners of this home called us to help them sell. They purchased several years back with Erick's help. 
It was time to sell and downsize.
We were able to present the owners with a full price offer of $495,000.
This home settles at the end of February.
So...if there is a move on the horizon. Call now. The spring market is here. We can get your home sold before you leave

                              to do it Lake Ridge Virginia
Patty Blackwelder just sold this condo in Lake Ridge Virginia. The folks who got this one were downsizing.
The home was listed for $165,000. She negotiated a $160,000 contract price and negotiated for closing costs and in the end the seller agreed.
So the buyers of this home were able to buy with VA Zero Down Financing!
Patty Blackwelder is amazing with helping home buyers figure out what community will work for their hopes and dreams and lifestyle.

                                are homes selling fast in woodbridge virginia?
We were so pleased to call the owner of this townhouse who listed with us.
We call them within 48 hours and said we we six offers for your review!
Yes six offers on the condo priced at $165,000 off Old Bridge Rd in the Lake Ridge Virginia area. Best of all those  
This home is Under Contract pending settlement.


single family homes under 400,000 This home is in Fredericksburg Virginia.
A little out of our normal selling area. However this is some we know and they called and asked for our help. This home is a great buy at $259,000. It has four bedrooms upstairs, and it's freshly painted, updated and has a huge fenced yard.
This home is already Under Contract is less than 60 days pendind settlement.

The owner of this home called a few weeks ago.
the village of idlewild- Fredericksburg VA sell your home fast
She said I've been watching the sale in our community and Peggy you seem to get them sold higher than anyone esle. Can you come list our home? 
Mind you the home is in The Village of Idlewild in Fredericksburg Virginia. It is a hidden gem off Plank Rd (Rt3) . It is the only amenitiy filled community within the Fredericksburg Virginia city limits.
We listed her home for $375,000 and it is Under Contract in less than 21 days pending settlement. The owners are thrilled. I hear the buyers are over the moon. "I love when that happens!"

Downsizing....from Lake Ridge Virginia homeA few weeks ago a local homeowner in Lake Ridge Virginia called and said it was time to downsize. He wanted a home that was smaller than the one he currently owned, but he wanted to be near the water so he could fish. Well success!
I found him a waterfront lot in Aquia Harbour in Stafford Virginia listed for $354,000. I helped the buyer structure and offer and then I went to work. We had a ratified contract within a few days. There was some negotiations that took place.
This home is fully Under Contract pending settlement and in the end the buyer will be moving at the end of February! (Note: home was listed by Centry 21. We brought the buyer)
Check out our newest listings and our coming soon listings at
If you've been dreaming of selling or buying a home or both.  Share with me what your goal is and let me help you attain that goal! It would be my ( OUR) pleasure. Click on photo below to get started.
how to find the right home in Prince William County VA
            Lake Ridge Virginia Real Estate Specialist
" You would want to hire me as your REALTOR®, if you're looking for a high energy, positive, take charge,knowledgeable person that is passionate about helping you get what you want! "
That's me! I'm easy going, and prefer to communicate by email, text and I use the latest technology to not only to stay in touch with you, but to market homes for sale as well and to negotiate. My direct number is703-851-3085.
Look what homes listed this week on the MLS in our area. CLICK HERE
The area's I service in Virginia are Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Manassas. If you live outside these area's let's talk. If you have found my information helpful and you like what you see, chances are if I cannot help you, I know another REALTOR® who can. 
Tip: when reading any blog post, pay close attention to the date post was written as homes sell quickly. Call author for up to date information.     
Do you need help?  Have a question? Contact me now  
Note: This real estate blog is written by me Peggy James and it is is my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of Exit Choice Realty 14067 Crown Ct, Woodbridge Virginia 22193.

People always ask me,where are the New Homes in Lake Ridge Virginia

My stock answer has been we don't have any.
Lake Ridge Virginia is a very sough after planned community within commuting distance to three military bases as well as Washington DC. It is a large planned urban development with more than fifty thousands residents. We have single family home, townhomes, and condominiums, retail shopping and so much more. But new homes, not for sometime now.
Well, that changes as of next month!
There is a new home community coming and twenty or so lucky buyers will be moving in the next year to a new home in the Lake Ridge Virginia area. Will it be you? Let's talk...
The land is being cleared right now ajacent to  Lake Ridge Nursery and Old Bridge Estates.
This used to be the location of Clark Electric. It's well known to the locals. It's about a thirteen acre tract of land now being transformed into what may be called Clark Crossing. Well that's speculation at the moment. Only time will tell. Chances are a sales trailer will appear within weeks.
So if you drive Old Bridge Road daily and thought,I wonder what's going in there. Now  you know. 
             new homes in Lake Ridge Virginia
Well the builder is NVP Inc. They will be building single family homes built on lots just shy of a quarter acre. There will be  two cul-de-sac streets or at least that what I've heard so far.
I learned  they will be building the Buchanan II, the Charleston and the Savannah and maybe one more house type. All of these homes would be considered luxury homes. The square footage range from 2800-3800 finished square feet on two levels. All have 9ft ceilings! 
Let's talk schools. That side of Old Bridge Rd is zoned for Garfield High SchoolWoodbridge Middle Schooland Springwoods Elementary School. This community also falls in the school boundary for John Paul The Great.
Contact me know and I will send you some floor-plans and pricing as it become available. Feel free to call or text me 703-851-3085

            Lake Ridge Virginia Real Estate Specialist
" You would want to hire me as your REALTOR®, if you're looking for a high energy, positive, take charge,knowledgeable person that is passionate about helping you get what you want! "
That's me! I'm easy going, and prefer to communicate by email, text and I use the latest technology to not only to stay in touch with you, but to market homes for sale as well and to negotiate. My direct number is703-851-3085.
Look what homes listed this week on the MLS in our area. CLICK HERE
The area's I service in Virginia are Lake Ridge, Woodbridge, Manassas. If you live outside these area's let's talk. If you have found my information helpful and you like what you see, chances are if I cannot help you, I know another REALTOR® who can. 
Tip: when reading any blog post, pay close attention to the date post was written as homes sell quickly. Call author for up to date information.     
Do you need help?  Have a question? Contact me now  
Note: This real estate blog is written by me Peggy James and it is is my opinion and may not reflect the opinion of Exit Choice Realty 14067 Crown Ct, Woodbridge Virginia 22193.
I have been blogging since 2008 and I am a full time REALTOR® .

How to Think Like a Millionaire

How to Think Like a MillionaireRich people have a way of thinking that is different from poor and middle class people. They think differently about money, wealth, themselves, other people, and life. Let’s examine six crucial differences between how rich people think and how poor or middle class people think.
By doing so, you will have some alternative beliefs in your mind from which to choose. In this way, you can catch yourself thinking as poor people do and quickly switch over to how rich people think.

1. Rich People Believe “I Create My Life”

Poor people believe “Life happens to me.”
If you want to create wealth, it is imperative that you believe that you are at the steering wheel of your life; that you create every moment of your life, especially your financial life.
Instead of taking responsibility for what’s going on in their lives, poor people choose to play the role of victim. Of course, any “victim’s” predominant thought process is “poor me.” And presto, through the law of intention that’s literally what they get; “poor,” as in money, me.
Here’s some homework I promise will change your life. For the next seven days, I challenge you not to complain at all. Not just out loud, but in your head too. I’ve given this little challenge to thousands of people and several hundred have personally told me that this exercise completely transformed their lives.

2. Rich People Play the Money Game to Win

Poor people play the money game not to lose.
Poor people play the money game on defense rather than offense. Let me ask you, if you were to play any sport or any game strictly on defense, what are the chances of you winning that game? Most people agree; slim and none.
Yet, that’s exactly how most people play the money game. Their primary concern is survival and security, not wealth and abundance. So, what is your goal? What is your real objective? What is your true intention?
Rich people’s big goal is to have massive wealth and abundance. Poor people’s big goal is to have “enough to pay the bills…” on time would be a miracle! Again, let me remind you of the power of intention. When your objective is to have enough to pay the bills, that’s exactly how much you’ll get; just enough to pay the bills and usually not a cent more. You get what you truly intend to get.

3. Rich People Are Committed to Being Rich

Poor people are uncommitted to being rich.
Most of us have good reasons as to why it would be wonderful to be rich, but what about the other side of the coin? Are there reasons why it might not be so great to be rich or go through the process of trying to get rich?
Each of us has a file on wealth in our mind. This file contains our personal beliefs that include why being wealthy would be great. But for many people, their file also includes information as to why being rich might not be so great. These people have mixed internal messages around money and especially wealth. These mixed messages are one of the biggest reasons that most people never become rich.
In fact, the #1 reason most people don’t get what they want is they don’t know what they want. Rich people are totally clear they want wealth. They are unwavering in their desire. They are fully committed to creating wealth. They will do “whatever it takes” to have wealth as long as it’s moral, legal and ethical. Rich people do not send mixed messages to the universe. Poor people do.
I hate to break the news to you, but getting rich is not a “stroll in the park.” It’s takes focus, expertise, 100% effort, and “never say die” perseverance. You have to really commit to it, both consciously and subconsciously. You have to believe in your heart you can do it and you deserve it. If you are not fully committed to creating wealth, chances are you won’t.

4. Rich People Think Big

Poor people think small.
We once had a trainer teaching at one of our seminars who went from a net worth of $250 thousand to over $600 million in only 3 years. When asked his secret he said, “Everything changed the day I began to think big.”
Another way of understanding this is to answer the following question: How many people do you actually serve or affect?
For instance in my business, some trainers enjoy speaking to groups of 20, others are comfortable with 100, others like an audience of 500, still others want 5000 people or more in attendance. Is there is a difference in income between these trainers? You bet there is.
Who are you? How do you want to live your life? How do you want to play the game?
Do you want to play in the big leagues or in little league, in the majors or the minors?
Will you play big or play small? It’s your choice.
But hear this. It’s not about you. It’s about living your mission. It’s about living true to your purpose. It’s about adding your piece of the puzzle to the world. It’s about serving others.
Most of us are so stuck in our egos that everything revolves around “me, me and more me.” But again, it’s not about you, it’s about adding value to other people’s lives. It’s your choice. One road leads to being broke and miserable, the other leads to money, meaning, and fulfillment.
It’s time to stop hiding out and start stepping out. It’s time to stop needing and start leading. It’s time to start being the star that you are.

5. Rich People Are Bigger Than Their Problems

Poor people are smaller than their problems.
Getting rich is not a stroll in the park. It’s a journey that is full of obstacles, twists, and detours. The simple fact is, success is messy. The road is fraught with pitfalls and that’s why most people don’t take it. They don’t want the problems.
Therein lies one of the biggest differences between rich people and poor people. Rich and successful people are bigger than their problems while poor and unsuccessful people are smaller than their problems.
Poor people will do almost anything to avoid anything that looks like it could be a problem. They back away from challenges. The irony is that in their quest to make sure they don’t have problems, they have the biggest problem of all… they’re broke and miserable.
The secret to success is not to try to avoid or shrink your problems; it’s to grow yourself so you’re bigger than any problem.
It’s just an everyday occurrence, like getting dressed or brushing your teeth. Whether you are rich or poor, playing big or playing small, problems do not go away. If you’re breathing, you will always have so-called “problems.”
What’s important to realize is that the size of the problem is never the real issue. What matters is the size of you!
Remember, your wealth can only grow to the extent that you do! The idea is to grow yourself to a place where you can overcome any problems that get in your way of creating wealth and keeping it once you have it.
Rich people do not back away from problems, do not avoid problems and do not complain about problems. Rich people are financial warriors and when a warrior is confronted with a challenge they shout: BRING IT ON!

6. Rich People Focus on Opportunities

Poor people focus on problems.
Rich people see potential growth. Poor people see potential loss.
Rich people focus on the rewards. Poor people focus on the risks.
We’re not merely talking about “positive thinking” here, we’re talking about a habitual way of seeing the world. Poor people come from fear. Their minds are constantly scanning for what’s wrong or what could go wrong in any situation. Their primary mindset is “What if it doesn’t work?” or, more bluntly, “It won’t work.” Rich people, as we discussed earlier, take responsibility for creating their life and come from the mindset, “It will work because I’ll make it work.”
In the financial world, as in most other arenas, risk is directly proportionate to reward; generally, the higher the reward, the higher the risk. People with rich mentalities are willing to take that risk.
Rich people expect to succeed. They have confidence in their abilities, they have confidence in their creativity and they believe that should the “doo-doo hit the fan”, they can always make their money back or succeed in another way.
On the other hand, poor people expect to fail. They lack confidence in themselves and in their abilities, and should things not work out, they believe it would be catastrophic.
You have to do something, buy something, or start something in order to succeed financially. You have to see opportunities for profit all around you instead of focusing on ways of losing money.

The Subprime Generation

Talk about an amazing reversal of fortune! This may be the most amazing, under-reported demographic fact today.
  • 30-34 year olds in 2012 had the lowest homeownership rate of any similarly aged group before them!
  • Five years prior, this exact same group had the highest homeownership rate at 25-29 years old than any group before them!
Using homeownership-by-age data from the Census Bureau, we compared households by years of birth to examine how homeownership changes over consumers’ lifetimes.
  • Lowest ever in 2012: 30-34 year-olds in 2012 (born between 1978 and 1982) had a 47.9% homeownership rate. This is a full 6.5 percentage points lower than those five years older had achieved at the same age and lower than any group before them! (This is based on data available beginning with those born in 1948.)
  • Highest ever 5 years prior: Those same 30-34 year-olds had a 40.5% homeownership rate 5 years prior when they were 25-29 years old in 2007. This is 6.2 percentage points higher than 25-29 year-olds in 2012 and higher than any 5-year cohort before them.
The Subprime Generation
Our consulting team has been pointing out a real dearth of entry-level buyers over the last several years, which is counter-intuitive when you consider that this has been the most affordable time in generations to buy a home. What we learned is that a huge percentage of households bought a home earlier than usual, and that same group has gone through more foreclosures than any generation before them.
What does this mean? It is more difficult than usual to sell entry-level homes today, but the pent-up demand for entry-level housing is huge. Stay tuned as we continue to unearth the future of housing for the Subprime Generation.

10 Lessons Real Estate Investors Can Learn from the U.S. Postage Stamp

10 Lessons Real Estate Investors Can Learn from the U.S. Postage StampOn Monday January 26th, 2014 the price of a first class stamp went up 6.5%, from $0.46 to $0.49.  No one is really surprised by this, so where’s the lesson and how can it help you be a more successful real estate investor?
LESSON 1: Utility — The utility of a stamp today will be exactly the same as the utility of that stamp on Monday.  The VALUE or UTILITY of the stamp are the benefits that the stamp provides.  Regardless of the price, the UTILITY of the stamp will remain the same; what really happened is that the utility or value of your CURRENCY went down. Today, it takes more dollars to buy the same amount of stamp utility as it did before Monday.
In real estate terms, the utility of a single family home is its ability to provide shelter.  Over a thirty year period the utility of a four-bedroom two-bath home stays exactly the same.  On day one, the house will provide the same amount of shelter it will in thirty years.
LESSON 2: It’s Not a Secret — The post office announced this price change on September 25, 2013. They gave you plenty of warning that the utility of your currency was about to go down by 6.5%.  That’s a lot!!!
The Federal Reserve Bank, which has a substantial control over the utility of your currency (meaning the amount of stuff your dollar will buy), also announced in a press release on December 18, 2013 that “Inflation has been running below the Committee’s longer-run objective… of 2 percent.”  You can insert your political opinion here regarding whether inflation is really running below 2% or not, but the point is nobody is keeping inflation a secret.  The post office told you the utility of their service was going to stay the same but prices were going up.  The Federal Reserve is giving you fair warning that the utility of your currency is going down by (at least) 2% a year if they can do anything about it.
As a real estate investor, inflation makes it relatively easy and predictable to find properties that will make me money over the long term.  I want to find a property that will preserve its utility over a long period of time, will be a hassle-free ownership experience for me, and cash-flow along the way especially when inflation pushes up the rent.  In my world that means owning new or like-new properties with professional management, in landlord friendly states, and purchased with creative deal structures (when possible) that allow me to cash-flow with as little money down as possible.
LESSON 3: Leverage — Let’s say you go out on Sunday and buy 10,000 postage stamps using all of the cash you have on hand.  You’d be out of pocket $4,600.  You could theoretically sell those stamps in less than 30 days to your short sighted friends and family who didn’t know the price of stamps were going up to $0.49 or who didn’t prepare and take action like you did.  Maybe you sell them at a slightly discounted price of $0.48 so you have a value proposition to offer.  Your 1,000 stamps would sell for $4,800 in 30 days — a 4% profit in 30 days or a 48% annualized yield.  That’s a pretty astounding return for such a simple investment, but at the end of the day you only made $200; not a lot of profit for the effort involved.
Let’s take this exercise a step further… So you have an AMEX card with a $23,000 limit on it and you have $4,600 in cash so you go buy 60,000 postage stamps at $0.46 for a total investment of $27,600 (OK they probably don’t have that many in stock, but just hang in there for the lesson).  You have $4,600 of your own cash invested and $23,000 of credit invested.  That’s A LOT of stamps, so let’s say it takes you 60 days to sell all of those stamps and you wind up paying 18% annualized interest to AMEX for the privilege of borrowing the money for 2 months.  At the end of 2 months your profit/loss would look like this: 60,000 stamps sold at a discounted price of $0.48 = $28,800 less your initial investment of $27,600 less credit card interest of $690 equals a total profit of $510 divided by your initial cash investment of $4,600 annualized equals a 67% annualized rate of return.  The unleveraged version of this investment produced a 48% annualized yield and the leveraged version produced a 67% annualized yield.
The takeaway is that the leveraged version of this deal produced both a larger gross profit and a larger annualized yield, even when the interest rate was high, because the investment yield was higher than the borrowing cost.  I love real estate because there is an amazing amount of leverage available to investors.  What other asset class can you borrow 75-95% of the purchase price and still produce positive cashflow after debt service?
LESSON 4: Scalability — In the above example, you made $510 of profit and there was virtually no risk involved.  So you say “WOW, that is a genius business model.  I’m ready to hop in the car and go buy stamps right now!  I actually have $100,000 of investment capital available so let me run out and buy 217,391 stamps and I’ll make $20,000 on this flip.”  The problem with this massive postage stamp flip is scalability.  If you have a two cent profit per item, you need to sell A LOT of items to make any money and find a big enough market to absorb the item you are selling.  One the best parts about real estate is that it is very scalable.  If you make a 5% profit on a million dollar property, we’re talking about $50,000 and that is serious money!  Even better, if you bought your million dollar property with only 5% down and your property goes up in price by 5% you’ve actually doubled your investment.
LESSON 5: Historical Perspective — The price of a postage stamp was $0.10 when I was born in 1975, $0.29 when I graduated from high school in 1993, $0.32 when I graduated college in 1997, $0.42 when my first son was born in 2009, $0.46 today and $0.49 on Monday.  The day I was born in 1975, someone could have purchased a decent home in the U.S. for 400,000 ten cent postage stamps (or $40,000).  Purchasing this same amount of “house utility” still costs 400,000 postage stamps in 2014, but the price of a stamp moved from $0.10 to $0.49 and the price of a decent home moved from $40,000 to $196,000.  Even though the price of the home and the stamp have increased almost 500% in the past 38 years, the utility or value of both of these things remained the same.
LESSON 6: Making Money With Debt — Imagine buying a $40,000 house in 1975 using 100% financing and interest-only payments.  That means a $40,000 loan with no principal payments would have the same loan balance in 2014 as it did in 1975.  On the date you purchased the home that loan was worth 400,000 postage stamps and the home was also worth 400,000 postage stamps.  If you sold this house in 2014, you would be able to sell it for… ta da! 400,000 postage stamps.
The way you make money with this formula is that it only takes 61,224 postage stamps to repay the $40,000 mortgage in 2014 and you would receive the equivalent of 238,776 postage stamps as your profit.  You started with zero postage stamps invested (remember 100% financing) and 38 years later you have 238,776 postage stamps, or $156,000, to show for your profit.  Remember, the utility or value of the house did not change; the utility of the currency decreased as the government printed more of it.  As the currency devalues, borrowers of good debt are making a profit.  How much good debt would you like to control?
LESSON 7: What This Means for You — I’ll keep it as simple as I can: Buy real estate whose intrinsic value will remain the same or decrease very little over time.  Finance that real estate with as much positively leveraged debt as you can while still maintaining neutral or positive cashflow.  Wait two or three decades and the value of our currency and the value of the debt will both decrease in value.  Pay off your debt with devalued currency and you will have lots of postage stamps… ahem… I mean dollars left over to show for your foresight.  (Positive leverage means the Capitalization Rate or “cap rate” of the asset you purchased is higher than the interest rate used to purchase that asset.  Positive leverage is an essential fundamental of our cashflow investment philosophy.)
LESSON 8; If It’s That Simple Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It? — The price of postage stamps has just gone up 6.5%.  How many people are running to the store today to stock up on stamps?  Not many, and that’s exactly my point.  People know currency devaluation is happening and the majority of people aren’t doing anything to prepare for it.  The post office and the Federal Reserve are both telling you your currency will continue to devalue.  Now that you know what’s happening, what are you doing to not only protect yourself from inflation but to profit from it?
LESSON 9: Why Banks Love Inflation Too — Banks don’t lend their own money.  They lend other people’s money.  They collect deposits and then leverage those deposits by borrowing from other banks.  They pay less than 2% interest on those deposits and loans and then they lend it out to other people at 4% or higher.  The bank makes a spread on other people’s money.  The bank doesn’t care if the currency is devaluing because the currency doesn’t belong to the bank; it belongs to their depositors.  As the currency devalues, the prices of the assets securing the bank’s loans go up and the loan-to-value improves thus making the bank’s job easier to foreclose if needed.  If you are paying attention, you should be asking “How do I get to be the bank?”
LESSON 10: The Big Take Aways — I hope you enjoy our newsletter and the tons of free investor education and investment opportunities you can find on our website.  Our team can help you buy positive cash-flow rental properties with as little as a 5% down-payment using our proprietary investor financing programs.
We can help you acquire brand new rental houses in one of the hottest rental markets in the country (Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas) that will cash-flow with as little as 5% down.  The more positively leveraged money you borrow the more property you control.  The more property and good debt you control, the happier you will be when currency devaluation occurs.  Remember, your property doesn’t have to go up in value to make a fortune; it only has to go up in price as a result of currency devaluation.
If you are looking to increase your wealth and income with passive cashflow real estate, simply schedule a call with us to see if there is an opportunity for us to work together.

5 Wealth Building Tips

5 Wealth Building TipsWith one month down in 2014, how are you doing with achieving your wealth goals for the year?  If you aren’t where you want to be, keep these tips in mind.
TIP #1: Good Investments Aren’t Good Enough
Are you winging it in your wealth strategy?  In other words, are you taking action without a strategy to support the action?
For example, buying gold because it seems like a good investment, or buying a rental property because it seems like a good investment.
What makes an investment a good investment is how it works toward the goals in your wealth strategy.  Simply making an investment because it seems like a good investment isn’t enough — what will it do in your wealth strategy to achieve your wealth goals?
While it is great to take action, there needs to be a strategy behind the action so the actions lead to the results you want.
Winging it in a wealth strategy can set the wealth strategy behind by years — even decades.
TIP #2: Move Your Wealth to the Top
Letting your wealth strategy slip as a priority is something that can often sneak up on us.
For example, let’s say you have a goal to invest in a rental property and have a plan to look at prospective properties this month.
However, when you get the call to go look at the properties, you’re in the middle of running errands, or too busy with work, or need to finish a project.  The list goes on and on.  Looking at properties gets put on hold and your wealth strategy quickly falls off track.
There is always something else to do if your wealth strategy is not a top priority.
TIP #3: Avoid the Extremes
Taking it to the extreme means you have no balance in your wealth goals.  You are trying to go at a speed that no one can possibly sustain — and that means a lot coming from me because I like things to move fast.
The challenge with going at an unsustainable speed is it all too often leads to crashing and burning, and that can be devastating in a wealth strategy.
Set reasonable goals and make your wealth building part of your everyday life.
TIP #4: Your Friend’s Wealth Strategy is NOT Your Wealth Strategy
I’ve had people share with me many times that they made an investment because their friend (neighbor, co-worker, colleague, etc.) made the same investment.
What works for someone else will not necessarily work for you.
Your wealth strategy must be specific to you based on your likes, your dislikes, your family, your goals, your dreams, and your financial situation.  To maximize the results of your wealth strategy, it must be customized to you.
TIP #5: Get Your Team in Place as Quickly as Possible
I always share that the 3 most expensive words in the English language are “Do-It-Yourself.”
The road to achieve your wealth goals is not always a smooth one.  In fact, it is common to hit several bumps along the way.
Those who have a team are less likely to get off track when they hit that first bump, or maybe they make it to the second or third bump before turning around.  Navigating with an entire team supporting you makes the process much smoother.  [For example, working with a full-service investment property provider can provide you with an entire team of people.]
Build a team around you to support you and help you achieve your wealth goals.

Infographic: History of Mortgage Rates

Infographic: History of Mortgage RatesSince 1971, when mortgage rates first started being tracked, they have ranged from a high of 18.63 percent in the early 80′s to a low of 3.20 percent in late 2013.  Currently, rates are still relatively low and for many prospective home buyers, low rates can greatly affect the affordability of a home and the monthly mortgage payment.  But, what will the future hold?
“After dropping to all-time lows at the end of 2012, rates have steadily rebounded throughout 2013.  Now that the Federal Reserve has announced plans to begin winding down its stimulus program, which has helped keep rates low while the economy was still fragile, we expect rates will rise above 5 percent in 2014 as the economic recovery gains steam.  Although those who missed out on mortgages in the 3 percent range may be disappointed that they missed that historic window, rates are still extraordinarily low by historic standards,” says Erin Lantz, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.

The Miami Beach Real Estate Reviews, Statistics & Trends for June 2013

Miami’s New Construction

is now the talk of the town with new oceanfront towers including Mansions at AcqualinaPorsche Design TowerRegaliaChateauJade Signature and 400 Sunny Isles (Sunny Isles Beach) along with One Ocean andOcean House (South Beach) selling early as preconstruction. The outlook should always be long term gains with the primary reason in purchasing for your use & enjoyment, and developers have increased down payment expectations to prevent speculators from entering the market. Regardless, confident investors are buying and International money is fueling our local economy.

Miami Beach Condo Inventory

is fluctuating in an upward trend yet still in favor of buyers with 7.5 months of condo inventory for sale. Condo inventory is up 4% (YTD) from June of 2012 and up 7% since the previous study in October. Luxury condo towers such as Jade OceanJade BeachOcean FourTrump RoyaleTrump Towers and Turnberry Ocean Colony are noticing only 3 to 5% of condo inventory for sale and to top it off, asking & receiving premiums over 2012 closed sale comparable properties. The premier 3 bedroom lines directly over the Atlantic ocean now hover $1.5-$3.5M. Good deals come and go but if you’re looking to own here, the market trends show us a seller’s market with an average discount of 5% and little room to negotiate.

Selling Prices on Premier Luxury Properties

are still setting records for 2013 values with the Setai Penthouse selling at an astonishing $3,799 sp/psf value or $27M andOcean House Penthouse #702 selling at $3,592 PSF or $15M. St. Regis of Bal Harbour has set the third highest sales record with $1,577PSF or $10.8M. Setai #3801 & #2308 sold at $2,995PSF or $7.575M & $3045PSF or $7.790M respectively. Other high sales were found on Fisher Island $1,480PSF, Continuum South $2,048PSF, Apogee $2,111PSF & Murano Grande $1,253PSF. Sunny Isles Beach shows us the JADE Beach Penthouse condo which sold for $1,036PSF or $4.290M and ’4′ high Sales at Turnberry Ocean Colony selling from $884PSF to $1,078PSF.
Of the last 90 days, the Top 10 Highest Sales based on selling price per square foot averaged $2,322.

Miami Beach Real Estate Statistics for the month of June

reflect 2,372 total condos for sale along the Miami-Dade County oceanfront communities of South BeachMiami BeachBal HarbourNorth Bay Village and Sunny Isles Beach with condo inventory levels up 4% year to date; this month condo inventory is up 7% over October with what’s now a 7.5 month supply based on the previous 30-day closed sales:
** South Beach Condos925 for sale | 127 Sales in last 30 days | Average Days on Market 103 | Average Buyer Discount 4% | Average PPSF Asking $553 / Sold $527
** Miami Beach Condos548 for sale | 78 Sales in last 30 days | Average Days on Market 98 | Average Buyer Discount 4% | Average PPSF Asking $406 / Sold $385
** Bal Harbour Condos196 for sale | 23 Sales in last 30 days | Average Days on Market 163 | Average Buyer Discount 8% | Average PPSF Asking $616 / Sold $562
** North Bay Village Condos106 for sale | 9 Sales in last 30 days | Average Days on Market 84 | Average Buyer Discount 3% | Average PPSF Asking $205 / Sold $198
** Sunny Isles Beach Condos597 for sale | 80 Sales in last 30 days | Average Days on Market 106 | Average Buyer Discount 5% | Average PPSF Asking $412 / Sold $386

Miami Beach | Sunny Isles Real Estate Summary

Miami Beach condo inventory has increased slightly at 7% since October but during this same time period selling prices have risen 11%. Sale-price to list-price ratios have maintained an average 5% buyer discount, active days on market reflect ~ 3.70 months to sell while average selling prices have increased 15% year to date.
Indicators are showing solid signs of market improvement while developers build & promote new construction on the last remaining parcels of premier Miami land. With selling price per square foot trending upwards over the prior year, and inventory absorption holding steady, we are in a solid seller’s market from what was once the buyer’s market from 2006 to 2011.
  • Sunny Isles Beach Selling prices (Average SP$ per square foot) increased 5% since October statistics and 18% Increase in Selling Values YTD.
  • Bal Harbour Increased 24% since October statistics and 22% Increase in Selling Values YTD.
  • South Beach Condo sale prices increased 4% since October statistics and 13% Increase in Selling Values YTD.
  • Miami Beach Condo sale prices increased 15% since October statistics and 21% Increase in Selling Values YTD.
For the month of June, Miami Beach (REO) Bank Owned foreclosures made up only 3% of our inventory and have sold at 103% sale to list while Miami Beach short sales also at 3% of our condo inventory and selling at 101% sale to list. 79% of all closed sales over the last 30 days were cash transactions.
Miami’s warm climate and diverse population make it one of the nation’s most desirable locations and the market shift has been noted as trends move in favor of another boom. Many buyers are enjoying the great purchase values of Miami Beach luxury condos averaging only $411 per square foot in selling values compared to other desirable Cities offering much higher priced real estate. There remains a vast amount of buying opportunity along the Miami Beaches with the most important deciding factor being your families use & enjoyment for years to come. For more information on premier locations, luxury buildings, condos & homes for sale or statistics & trends simply email, find me on Facebook, ‘Live Chat’ or call me toll free at 1.888.383.7326 or direct at 305.978.7704.
For detailed monthly Miami Beach Condo Statistics, sign up for the e-Newsletter on the right side – ‘Join Our Mailing List
Miami Beach Real Estate
{all figures derived from SE Florida MLS, MLXChange}