Why an Investment Property Should Be Your First Real Estate Purchase

REAL ESTATE NEWSWhy an Investment Property Should Be Your First Real Estate Purchase
Brought to you by Theresa Harden, SFR ePro Realtor

Not ready to buy a home for yourself but want to take advantage of great market conditions? Consider buying an investment property! It’s a trend that’s taking over real estate, as savvy investors look to put their money in an appreciating asset. Here are five reasons to consider it.

1. Rates are crazy low. Lower rates mean more affordable lending, or more for your money if you choose to reach higher.

2. Because it will appreciate. According to CoreLogic, “The overall home price index (HPI) has increased on a year-over-year basis every month for seven years.” The long-term price appreciation of real estate can provide one of the safest investments out there.

3. Because passive income is good. Yes, it’s nice to know there will likely be appreciation over time, but the real key to success with investment properties is passive income.

“The best part about rental properties is that they provide a stable income,” said Mashvisor. “What would be better than having a check sent to you every month? In order to have positive cash flow, you have to make sure you invest in a profitable rental property.”

4. To turn it into a short-term rental. The short-term rental market has opened up a new world of opportunity for investors. By buying in the right location—by the beach, near a university, or in close proximity to a popular annual event, you have the potential of making a significant return in a short period of time. Just be sure to check the local laws, as Honolulu has been cracking down on Airbnb and other services.

5. Because it can help you buy the home of your dreams down the line. “Buying an investment property before your first home does not imply that you won’t have the funds to purchase your actual home at some point,” said Mashvisor. “In fact, investment properties that have been purchased wisely and have grown in value can offer you a sizable amount of wealth and equity.”

3 Things to Consider Before Listing Your Home as a Short-Term Rental

Real Estate News

By Tim Harris

The Age of Sharing is here, and it’s a phenomenon that’s expected to grow from $15 billion in 2014 to $335 billion by 2025, with services such as home-sharing and maintenance platforms being a big part of that equation. Many homeowners have seen big economic benefits over the years from home-sharing platforms like Airbnb, but if you’re thinking about jumping in to get a piece of that pie, there are a few things you should consider first.

Know Your Regulations
Not all cities see the home-sharing phenomenon as a win-win. Many municipalities are passing new regulations that are often designed to curb its growth. Before signing up for a service like Airbnb, you should find out a few things. Does your city have a framework for short-term rentals? Are there any legal restrictions? How expensive is licensing?

This is critically important, because ignoring licensing regulations can be very costly. In Portland, Oregon for example, the city implemented fines of $1,000-$5,000 per violation for home-sharing operators. In 2017, it collected over $70,000 in fines and fees from a single operator who was found to be in violation of the city’s regulations.

Know Where You Live
Cities are made up of distinct neighborhoods, and people are proud of where they live, so, you’ll want to think carefully about the impact of a short-term rental on your neighbors before moving forward with your plans. Will the locals have to compete with guests for on-street parking? Will they feel less secure with strangers coming in and out?

You don’t need to get permission before renting rooms, but as a courtesy, you’ll want to let anyone impacted by your decision in on your plans. You’ll also want to establish clear house rules and expectations, especially about noise or late-night outdoor socializing, for your guests.

Know Your Coverage
You’ll hear horror stories in the news regularly about a home-sharing rental gone bad. In London, a short-term renter threw a party for 100 people, unbeknownst to the homeowner, during which floorboards were ripped and a television pulled off a wall. In another widely-reported example, a short-term rental unit was used as a pop-up brothel. Stories about experiences as bad as these are extremely rare; however, they serve to remind us about the financial and legal risks for hosts who allow strangers into their home. It’s important to make sure you have the appropriate coverage if you don’t already have it.

Home-sharing companies such as Airbnb or HomeAway offer basic insurance coverage, but what they offer may not be enough, or could be severely limited by exclusions. Your best option is to ask your insurance provider about the nature of the protection, liability coverage and deductible. For example, if you’re renting out rooms at your primary residence, short-term, on a regular basis, it may be considered a home-based business, and you could be denied coverage.

Hawaii Dream Realty LLC specialized in sales, marketing, exchange, and management of investment properties. For more information on our services visit www.invest808.com or for more information on our short term rental properties visit www.WaikikiStay.com. Hawaii Dream Realty LLC is an independently owner and licensed real estate brokerage.

Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device…We Bring Owners and Tenants Together

Whether you are looking for someone to take the burden of the daily demands of managing the property and the tenants, or looking for someone to make sure you are in compliance with Landlord Tenant Code, Hawaii Dream Realty LLC has a TEAM of ethical, licensed, professionals to get the job done while making your investment as profitable as possible.

Click Here for Our Property Management Website

It’s here! New Vacation Rental Marketplace Website Announcement

What we do and where we are going

TimetoVacationWe are pleased to reveal our newly designed vacation rental marketplace website for Hawaii Dream Realty LLC, feel free to Take a Peek! We have worked hard to grow Hawaii Dream Realty LLC from a single dimension real estate brokerage operation to a franchised company more robustly able to provide for our Client’s real estate needs. The company utilizes enterprise systems for each of its business lines with the goal to maximize returns, increase property value, reduce risk and stress, save time and money, and ultimately to provide piece of mind to our Clients.

The company already employed proprietary systems for marketing and managing real estate transactions through our affiliation with EXIT Realty Corp International. Hawaii Dream Realty LLC, doing business as EXIT Real Estate Services, specializes in the procurement and exchange of investment properties.

Today, Hawaii Dream Realty LLC is comprised of a number of business lines that have been developed in direct response to the needs of our Clients. Together they provide our Clients with a total real estate investment solution. For the first time we have dedicated websites and back office support systems that reflects each service line.

The vacation rental marketplace is the consumer end of an enterprise system that expands the ability for Hawaii Dream Realty LLC to manage and market our Client’s investment properties zoned for short term accommodations. Our new website, aside from being aesthetically pleasing, provides an agile and easy to scan, read, and navigate interface for its users enabling visitors to find their accommodation wants quickly.

One of our primary objectives we wanted to achieve when designing the new site was to help visitors get to know us better and get a feel for who we are as a company and vacation services host. We employed a responsive, security-conscience design, which means that you’ll see essentially the same design and secure interface optimized for your smart phone, tablet or desktop.

We hope you will visit the new website at our new address, www.waikikistay.com and acquaint yourself with the many options we offer when it comes to vacation rental properties for Waikiki. The company has its office located in the heart of Waikiki on the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The vacation rental accommodations are within a three block radius of the office and have immediate access to everything that is Waikiki from its dining, street entertainment, to its beautiful beaches and parks, and even a zoo and an aquarium.

We are quite proud of the site, but we know there is still work to do. In the coming months, we plan to continue to expand our online marketing to additional third party vendor sites increasing the online exposure of our Client’s properties.

Vacation Home Purchase Considerations

Craig Venezia is writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of Buying a Second Home: Income, Getaway or Retirement. On March 6, 2015, Craig published “The Dollars and Sense of Buying a Vacation Home” and provides some insight into what it means to own a vacation home. As with any investment be sure to do your due diligence and understand the implications of the investment as they apply to the state in which the property exists.

According to the National Association of Realtors, Americans bought 717,000 vacation homes in 2013. If you’re considering taking the plunge, take time to figure out what a vacation home purchase would really cost you. Otherwise, you may find that owning one is no holiday.

Expect Stricter Mortgage Requirements

More than 60 percent of vacation-home buyers carry a mortgage (current national average rate: 3.5 percent on a 30-year fixed-rate loan). If you plan to get one, be prepared for more scrutiny from lenders than on primary residences.

“These loans tend to have higher credit requirements because people are taking on large amounts of additional debt,” says David Gorman, Regional Sales Executive for Bank of America. “Traditionally, they are more likely to pay the mortgage on their primary homes if they run into financial issues.”

Those higher credit requirements come primarily in the form of higher down payments. Expect to put down at least 10 percent on a vacation home (compared to a 5 percent minimum, or even no down payment, for a primary residence). You may want to put down 20 percent or more, if you can, to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), which usually runs between 1/2 and 1 percent of the loan amount on an annual basis.

You’ll qualify for the best mortgage rate if your credit score is over 700. Otherwise, you could pay a rate that’s about one percent or more higher.

Know the Cost of Insurance

You’ll, of course, need homeowner’s insurance and you may have to buy flood or earthquake insurance.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, if you plan to use your vacation home exclusively for yourself, insuring it may be as simple as extending the policy you already have on your primary residence.

If you’ll be renting it out, though, you’ll need to buy a separate rental dwelling policy; that costs about 25 percent more than your primary home’s policy. Most rental dwelling policies reimburse for the loss of rental income if you can’t rent your place out while it’s being repaired due to damage from a covered loss.

Property Management

Since owning a vacation home means you won’t be there all the time, you may need to hire someone to take care of it during your absences — or when you’re in between guests, if you rent it out.

For townhouses or condominiums, you homeowner’s association dues will handle outside maintenance. No such luck for single-family homes. Regardless, the inside is your responsibility.

A property management company fee can vary depending on the level of services. The management firm can also help you find short term guests or long term renters if you want; expect to pay upwards of 20 percent or more on the daily rent you take in.

Understand Tax Implications

Be sure you’re familiar with the vacation home tax rules, too, before making a purchase. The property will still qualify for the mortgage interest deduction, assuming the combined mortgages on both your homes don’t exceed $1.1 million. And property taxes are fully deductible.

Things get trickier, taxwise, when you use the vacation home as a rental property. “If you rent out your vacation home for more than 14 days a year, you will have to report rental income,” says Jared Callister, a tax attorney in Fresno, Calif. “But you will also be able to deduct rental expenses, like repairs and depreciation.”

What you can deduct depends on how much you use the place personally versus renting it out. Also, most states expect you to pay sales taxes on rental income.

Some cities and counties impose such taxes, too; they may go by other names, such as lodging,accommodations, hotel, bed, tourist or transient occupancy taxes. Be sure to find out whether you’d owe them so you’re not hit with a nasty surprise after you become a vacation-home owner.

In Hawaii, all property owners are required to pay property taxes. If the property is rented, long term rental income (greater than six month lease) is also subject to General Excise Tax. While short term (vacation) rentals are subject to both General Excise Tax and Transient Accommodations Tax. As with all Hawaii income, the income is subject to income tax.

But wait there’s more, Hawaii may impose other taxes when it comes time to sell the property. For more information on taxes, you should consult a local accountant.

Bottom line, even with the management fees, insurance, and taxes, the right deal combined with the right management company, over time, can get you positive return on your real property investment. Just be sure to do your due diligence.

Property Management Services

Hawaii Dream Realty LLC offers full service property management for Oahu real property owners who wish to retain their investments, increase property value and maximize their return. Many investors are already accustomed to managing accounts online, checking balances, making online payments, and electronically transferring funds. Our approach to investment properties is the same which is why we employ an easy to navigate, Real Property Investment Management Portal. The portal provides the level of transparency into our property management that you deserve and benefit.

For Property Owners, we offer two levels of property management service: full management service and limited management service. Since EXIT Hawaii Dream Realty is a licensed and insured, full service, residential real estate brokerage, if you are interested in selling your real estate, we can work with you to maintain your rental cash flow while discretely marketing the property for sale.

Full Management Service includes access to our Real Property Investment Management Portal which enables you to log into a secure web site with real time access to property information. The portal is the link between your real property portfolio and our property management accounting system. You have on-demand, real time, access, where ever or whenever you have Internet access with complete transparency into our accounting. This means you can view Owner Rental Statements with the ability to point and click to retrieve transaction details or ledger entries. The portal also provides a means to update contact information; view, track, or defer work order requests; access shared documents; and generate financial, rental, and task reports.

If you need advice on short term or long term investment property cash flow or if you are interested in our property management service, call us at (808) 735-2221, or visit our Honolulu office. We look forward to the opportunity to exceeding your expectations and serving you with professional real estate investment marketing, sales, and management services. “A Hui Hou” (until we meet again).

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SITE

Home Buying Could Soon Beat Renting

“Home buying Could Soon Beat Renting” was the title of an article by John W. Schoen, Senior Producer of The Bottom Line on msnbc.com. The Bottom Line is known for breaking news and analysis of real estate and consumer issues.

John writes that “falling home prices have sent many would-be buyers to the sidelines. If all goes well, record low interest rates and rising rents may soon prompt some of them to take a second look at buying.” Historic, US Census Bureau, data on median monthly mortgage payments and median monthly rent payments depicts how affordable home ownership has become.

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Photo by Serpstat on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, that’s a big “if,” according to Paul Diggle, Housing Eeconomist at Capital Economics. Much of the decision to buy a house still depends on your personal finances and preferences, your career or family life, or level of financial security. But if you’re comparing just the cost of owning and renting, buying a house may soon be the better choice, according to Diggle.

Until recently, home ownership was no bargain compared to renting, according to the analysis. A 33 percent drop fall in median home prices, a plunge in mortgage rates and 15 percent rise in rents since the housing crash has evened the scales. Today, the median monthly mortgage payment of about $700 has fallen to about the level of a median monthly rent check. If mortgage rates keep falling and rents keep rising, the equation will tip even further toward owning.

But that analysis doesn’t include the total cost of owning versus renting. A full accounting includes closing costs, maintenance, insurance and property taxes, tax savings from mortgage deductions, gains or losses from home equity, among other factors. Renters have to think about broker fees and future rent hikes. Both have to make assumptions about future trends in housing prices and rents.