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Category: Latest News (Page 1 of 24)

Light Bulb

Newbie Insights from a Beginner Property Investor

Light BulbA few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to share with my podcast listeners the story of Brad, one of my younger students who is in his early twenties from the UK. I enjoyed listening to Brad’s story, because he reminded me so much of my adventures before I discovered the benefits of seller finance!

Like me, Brad also had very long journey before becoming a full time property investor, and when I say “journey” it means he jumped from one job to another before he attended one of my events in the UK. Straight out of high school, he first worked as a brick layer. Then, when the market crashed in 2008, he delivered the mail as a postman. And because he did so well delivering the mail, he was promoted to an area manager.

By many folks’ standards, Brad did well for himself, as a 23-year old area manager for the postal service, but Brad wanted more. The only problem was that he didn’t know how to get where he wanted to go. His dream was to invest in real estate.

I can say that his luck changed when one of his cousins invited him to attend one of my training events in the UK. Brad admitted to me that when he first walked into my seminar, he had no idea whatsoever about property investment, despite having the passion to want to invest money in houses. This lack knowledge, however, didn’t last that long. After learning my strategies, one thing led to another, and Brad proudly shared with me and my listeners that his first rent to buy deal had a successful outcome.

You may know this (if you have already read a copy of my book), but like Brad, I had my fair share of jobs in Australia, Europe, and Texas before I struck gold with property investment. I used to be a bus driver, hosted a TV show for a while, and did A LOT of jobs here and there to make ends meet. When I married my wife, Jane, we both agreed that our dreams was to have enough money to travel, spend time with our families in different parts of the world and make a difference in peoples’ lives. The only problem was that our jobs, back then, didn’t give us what we wanted and we were searching for another way.

It was a stroke of luck, during the Savings and Loans crisis in Texas, when I got my big break with buying a house. Jane and I were able to acquire a significant property portfolio after investing for one year, and from our experiences we created the foundation of our predictable, reliable property investment strategies used in Australia and the UK today.

If you’re young, don’t have a lot of cash and you’re passionate, that shouldn’t stop you from reaching your goals. You’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose!

But if you’re really serious, invest in yourself first, surround yourself with like-minded people and find a mentor whom you can turn to for advice in the field you’ve chosen, like Brad did.

Clean Kitchen

Fix and Flip 101

Clean KitchenZoopla revealed in a new survey that there are now 484,000 property millionaires in the UK. If that’s not an impressive number, consider this: nine out of 10 millionaires have built their fortunes by investing in property.

The real estate market is filled with fantastic opportunities to build wealth and achieve financial security. But like any other industry, it is not immune to market crashes. If you’re not careful, you can just as easily bury yourself in debt. Just ask the people who lost out when the Global Financial Crisis hit.

Keep in mind that investing in property requires strategic planning. You can’t just enter the property market because ‘everone else is doing it’. If you do, you may easily find yourself scraping pennies trying to make ends meet.

The problem with many new investors is that they only think of “why” they want to invest. For the most part, it’s because they want to make more money because more money means more freedom, and more freedom means more time for yourself and for your family.

Unfortunately, they stop there. They forget to ask “how” their investment property can make that extra income for them.

If you are an aspiring investor, fixing and flipping a home may be an income generating strategy that may work for you:

Fix and Flip

Fix and Flip is a quick way to earn a profit with a simple reno. The basic principle behind Fix and Flips is so simple, anyone can do it. Find a house, fix it up, then sell. If you’re interested to invest this way, there are a few things you have to ask and answer before taking on every project:

  • What are the areas that need to be fixed?
  • What’s the total cost?
  • How long is the project going to take?
  • And, most importantly, how much is it going to sell for after?

The key to a successful fix and flip is to stay on course with your plan. Follow the timeline. Record everything from the deed of sale, building permits, to tax payments. Run a tight ship on the project, so you finish it on time. This is important, since fix-and-flips are just supposed to last for a few weeks. The sooner you can finish, the sooner you can earn the profit, and move on to a new project.

When you’ve finally reached the time to sell, be reasonable with your asking price. The price of a house is still affected by its location. No matter how pretty it looks, it won’t sell if it’s way more expensive than the average market price in the area. Remember, it’s better to earn profit now than have a house on the market for months and years.

Be sure to tune in to my weekly podcast, the We Buy Houses Radio Show, to hear real-life examples on how my students and I apply this and other seller finance strategies in our transactions.

Why Invest In Property In The First Place | Rick Otton Takes A Look At What Drives People To Get Into Property Investing

Why Invest In Property In The First Place

Rick Otton Takes A Look At What Drives People To Get Into Property Investing

Why Invest In Property In The First Place | Rick Otton Takes A Look At What Drives People To Get Into Property InvestingWhenever I ask people why they want to get into property investing, the common answer is to make more money (specifically from passive income). When you dig deeper as to why they want that, you begin to understand that it isn’t really the money that they want but what they think the money can give them.

For most people, having passive income means more time for themselves and their families. In other words, people want to the benefit of having more free time and the resources to be able to enjoy that free time.

The reality, however, doesn’t always match the dream. Buy-to-let mortgages are difficult to secure and dealing with tenants may not always be pleasant. On top of that, the extra income people want may not even come because maintaining buy-to-let properties may be costlier than some might have anticipated.

Going back to the question of why invest in property in the first place, most people will tell you why they want to invest. Very few of them, however, have actually thought how they intend to achieve their goals. Whenever you lack an exit strategy, that’s when all kinds of set backs creep in.

Keep The End in Mind

If your ultimate goal is to boost passive income, you must be able to prepare an action plan to do just that. Before putting money out, always ask yourself if what you’re doing will contribute to your profit.

One of the biggest hindrances to making money from an investment property is expensive financing. If you have a boatload of mortgage bills to pay, how can you expect to make profit? The higher your costs, the harder it is to make money, so be wise when buying property.

This is where seller finance can make a difference. By negotiating for flexible terms with a seller, you as an investor can minimise upfront payment costs, which in turn can help minimise your risk.

In addition, flexible terms allow you to have multiple strategies depending on how the property market moves. So whether you encounter a rising, flat or falling market, you’ll have a strategy in place to allow you to still make money.

Remember, the property market is cyclical. Prices don’t just rise and rise. There are times when the market corrects itself and prices fall. Successful investors always have a plan for any circumstance. They don’t base their strategy on market conditions, which are beyond their control. This is why seller financing is advantageous because its flexibility allows you to adjust and adapt better to changing trends.

Be sure to tune in to my weekly podcast, the We Buy Houses Radio Show, where we discuss real-life examples of how seller finance works in today’s market. Visit WeBuyHousesRadio.com to access all episodes, transcripts and other helpful resources.

British Currency

How To Buy Property Without Taking Out A New Loan | Rick Otton Strategies

British CurrencyPeople often ask me what are the main hurdles when it comes to buying and selling houses; my response is how to get the financing. For most people, taking out a bank loan is the only way they know how to buy property.

When I tell them that it’s possible to buy property without having to apply for a new bank loan, they are either surprised, have lots and lots of questions, or don’t believe it’s possible.
For the doubters, if they can open their minds there is another way, it will benefit them.

You see as the economic environment changes, getting a bank loan is becoming harder and harder for most regular folks. As a result, more and more people feel that they are being squeezed out of the property market.

The Bank of England Credit Conditions Survey said that lending to home buyers has reached its lowest level in 2 years.

The report, which collated responses from various lenders in the UK, added that the figures they gathered for the third quarter of 2014 has been the largest fall in approvals for new mortgages since the Lehman Brothers collapsed on 2008.

In this report, the authors claim that the drop in mortgage approvals can be attributed to stricter regulation on new mortgage applications, the banks appetite for taking on risk is decreasing along with concerns regarding house price stability.

Included in the findings presented on the report were some horror stories from mortgage applicants.

One applicant had to endure mortgage application meetings that were 3 hours long, others had to suffer through long approvals periods, while a young couple had to prove that the deposit money they bought was not a product of money laundering.

In the current economic conditions, the traditional process of bank financing has become too inefficient for a lot of folks. And if you are relying only on this process, then buying a house has become more difficult.

There are other ways to ease into home ownership, using seller finance strategies. They are an alternative to the traditional process of buying and selling property for sale in the UK for many reasons. It’s possible to negotiate with sellers to assume their existing loan and pay them their equity in instalments.

For instance, if the banks don’t approve your request for a home loan (say you are self-employed, or you had a missed credit card payment in the last 6 months, etc.) and you have been screened and can afford to make monthly mortgage payments and have saved a small depsoit. You may be a good candidate for seller financing.

It’s designed to be a win-win for both buyers and sellers. Sellers realise peace of mind when they are no longer burdened with mortgage payments and buyers realise their dreams of homeownership.

Visit http://www.rickotton.co.uk/ today to get more information about seller finance strategies and how these strategies can be applied in changing market conditions.

Be sure to tune in to my weekly podcast, the We Buy Houses Radio Show, to hear real-life examples on how my students and I apply seller finance in our transactions.

Alternative Solutions For Self-Employed Homebuyers | Rick Otton  Analysis

Alternative Solutions For Self-Employed Homebuyers | Rick Otton Analysis

Alternative Solutions For Self-Employed Homebuyers | Rick Otton  AnalysisHave you ever fancied the idea of being your own boss? People who are self-employed usually have more control of their own time which means they have more freedom on how they structure their day.

While this is a benefit many people may want for themselves, there are some drawbacks when you are self-employed when you apply for a mortgage.

A new report from Kensington exposed that around 3.5 million or 24 per cent of self-employed UK residents have been refused a new mortgage by the big lenders.

Another 1 in 10 UK residents have also been turned down by all mortgage providers.
This news is alarming, since the volume of people choosing self-employment as a way of making a living has ballooned to 4.6 million or 15 per cent of the workforce.

While 30 per cent of the UK population or 15 million adults have been self-employed for at least 12 months at some point of their lives. According to the statistics, men are more likely to venture into self-employment than women, and people living in Scotland have the highest chance to enter into self-employment.

Kensington further added in their study that by 2054 self-employed people would take account for 30 per cent of UK’s entire workforce.

The problem for self employed is that when they apply for a mortgage, their details are input into a computer which goes through a checklist to determine whether a borrower is low risk or high risk. Unfortunately, being self-employed is considered “high risk” compared to having a 9-5 job with a fixed income. That is why it is harder to get home loan approvals when you are self-employed.

Having mentioned that, does it mean that, if you are self-employed, you will forever struggle to buy your own home? The answer I give is “no” because you don’t have to be at the mercy of the system.

I always tell my students that there is more than just one way of doing things.
Most people follow the standard. They do this because they find nothing wrong with it. But there are some people who always think that there must be a better and more efficient way of doing things.

Take, for example, Steve Jobs and Apple. Before they introduced the iPod in 2001, people had to lug around bulky cd or cassette players just to get their music on the go. After they launched the product, they completely changed the way people played and enjoy their music, as well paved the way for the development of mobile technology.

The same concept can be applied when buying houses. Getting bank finance is the standard when buying a house. However, due to shifts in the economy such as inflation, increasing cost of living and changing work environments to name a few, there are times when bank financing becomes a very inefficient way to purchase property. So if it doesn’t work for your situation, there is an alternative solution you can look into.

In times when people can’t depend on the bank to give them a new mortgage, it’s possible for people to turn to seller financing strategies so they can resurrect their dream of becoming a homeowner.

Here’s an idea of how seller finance works. Rather than take out a new bank loan, a buyer may negotiate to assume the existing loan left in the property and pay the remaining equity in instalments. By doing so, a buyer may be able to minimise upfront costs and side-step the usual hurdles faced when taking out a new bank loan. The seller, on the other hand, will be able to move away from unwanted debt immediately and create passive income at the same time. It’s a win-win for both parties.

But this is just one example of seller finance. The beauty of this strategy is that terms can always be adjusted based on specific situations that the buyer and the seller are facing. It’s this type of flexibility that makes it an attractive alternative for self-employed people who are getting overlooked by lenders.

Be sure to check out the Property Investor’s Toolkit for more info on seller finance. You may also tune in to my weekly podcast, the We Buy Houses Radio Show, to hear real-life examples on how my students and I apply seller finance in our transactions.

London Properties

How To Create Affordable Terms Using Seller Finance | Rick Otton Strategies

London PropertiesThere are two main hindrances preventing people from buying property: the deposit and the bank loan. For those who are unable to qualify for a government program like ‘Help-to-Buy’, saving for a 10% to 20% is just too difficult because not everyone has that kind of cash to spend. Moreover, with rumours of interest rate hikes, lenders are becoming more cautious in granting loans.

To make things even more challenging, the average cost for UK real estate is now at £272,000, while London real estate hit a record high at £500,000, the Guardian reported on 16 September 2014. The higher the price, the higher the deposit you’ll need to save for. Also, banks become stricter when granting loans the more you borrow.

How then can an investor efficiently build a property portfolio without getting buried into so much debt – assuming you even qualify for a home loan?

The reason why the problem of financing is so difficult to solve is because people, by default, are always fixated on the price. Most assume that the lower the price, the more affordable a house will become. So now that we are facing a property market with very high home values, everyone just falls back to an attitude of resignation that they no longer can afford to buy property.

But this is so far from the truth. If prices are so expensive, you can always adjust the way you pay the price. The terms under which you pay, can create the affordability you need to purchase property.

For example, rather than take out a new bank loan, an investor may negotiate to assume the existing loan and pay the remaining equity in increments. This helps the buyer minimise upfront costs. The seller, on the other hand, will be able to move away from unwanted debt quickly and create passive income in the process. It is a win-win for both parties.

When you eliminate the usual obstacles in traditional property deals, a house becomes easier to buy. Consequently, when you make something easier to buy, it becomes easier to sell since more people would be able to afford the property for sale without waiting for a few years just to save up enough cash.

Be sure to catch our latest podcast episode at WeBuyHousesRadio.com where we discuss real-life examples on how seller finance is applied in today’s market.

For other resources, you may get your free copy of the Property Investor’s Toolkit.

Bank of England

How To Build A Property Portfolio Without Huge Capital | Rick Otton Strategies

Bank of EnglandA new survey conducted by Equifax confirmed that over half of UK homeowners believe that they would face financial struggles once interest rates increase. The Bank of England already voted a few weeks ago that they will maintain the base rate at 0.5 per cent. But still, some lenders have already adjusted their monthly interest rates in anticipation for official rate hikes in the near future.

If you’re an investor looking to build your portfolio, the possibility of an interest rise can feel like a dead end. Higher rates make it more difficult to buy houses. Also, whenever there is anticipation of a rate increase, banks tend to tighten up lending. So the question investors face is where can they get financing?

My quick answer to that is not from a bank. Granted, it is difficult notion to come around to because we always assume that the only way to finance any business endeavour is through bank finance.

But what if an investor doesn’t have to take out a new bank loan? What if the investor can negotiate to assume an existing loan and pay the remaining equity in increments? This method allows the investor to minimise upfront costs like the deposit when buying a house. From the point of view of the seller, using this strategy allows a person to move away from unwanted debt quickly and create passive income at the same time.

This is the basic concept of seller finance. The beauty lies in its flexibility and each contract can be adjusted based on specific situations the buyer and seller face. Hence, no matter what your situation is and no matter what type of market you’re in, you will always be in a position to frame deals that will help you’re your property earn for you.

If you’re an investor and you discover that you can control your property in this manner, how many will you be able to invest in?

Be sure to check out the new Property Investor’s Toolkit for more info on seller finance strategies.

Also, you may catch our weekly podcast at WeBuyHousesRadio.com where my Students and I discuss real-life examples of investing through seller finance.

Home Loan

How To Buy A House Without Getting Buried In Debt | Rick Otton Shares His Thoughts

Home LoanThe Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that, although more people are buying houses, they are also taking on larger loans in the process.

CML said that 12,300 new mortgages were awarded to first-home buyers in London only, but the total value of mortgages released to first-home buyers in the second half of 2014 reached £3 billion. In other words, the increase in new mortgage approvals is also accompanied by a rise in the total amount borrowed by buyers. First-home buyers now borrow 3.9 per cent higher than their gross income. The average amount of mortgage taken out is £212,000, which is slightly higher than last quarter’s average of £200,000.

Taking on large debts is risky. The higher the debt, the more vulnerable an investor becomes to changing market conditions. It’s advisable for buyers in the UK to start finding other ways into the market without accumulating too much debt and putting the financial future of their family at risk.

For me, seller financing can help people buy their dream homes or investment properties thanks to its flexible payment terms. This way, families won’t be caught in a debt trap of expensive mortgages once market conditions change.

For example, rather than apply for a home loan, the buyer can negotiate to assume the existing loan and pay the rest of the equity in portions. This allows the buyer to move in quickly, without all the hassles associated with taking out a new loan. Moreover, it allows the seller to move away from unwanted debt immediately while creating a passive income stream.

The whole process is faster and much more efficient. Moreover, because upfront costs are kept to a minimum, an investor is able to minimise risk. Better still, the flexibility of seller finance terms provide the investor with various options in order to adapt if market conditions suddenly change.

Be sure to grab your copy of the Property Investor’s Toolkit today to get more information about creative seller finance strategies and how these strategies can be applied in changing market conditions.

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