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Month: March 2012

Avoiding the pitfalls that come with older rental property and finding profit the aging housing stock.

One of the realities of real estate is that it needs maintenance and upkeep. The older a property the more issues tend to arise that will cost investors, landlords and homeowners more and more money. The trend in Las Vegas is to invest in newer property that will have less maintenance issues and in turn less tenant phone calls. The idea is to keep the management costs to a minimum. Many companies will manage older property because of the additional time and expenses that tend to come with older property. However, you may be missing out on some great deals and fantastic opportunities to make money or find a home if you set your sites on only newer property.

There are ways to limit the future issues that will come up with an older property and they often do not cost as much when done in advance. The major expenses come in when you find out a water line running through the attic springs a leak which can lead to the replacement of the ceiling, insulation and light fixtures. Another major headache can if the water heater is located inside the property and not in the garage. If the water heater leaks or rusts enough to leak out the bottom you could have a repair bill out of this world.

The question is whether you can do things to limit major issues and expenses to make it worth while to consider an older property as a home or investment. You may be able to find what you want in investment property in Las Vegas today that is only a few years old but this will not always be the case. The housing stock will get older and older. If you are not willing to consider properties more than 10 years old you will be limiting your opportunity to find great deal.

How can you avoid some of the headaches and costs of owning older property in Las Vegas? The number one answer is better preparation and planning. You will have to account for somewhat higher maintenance costs that are completely normal in older homes. In order to cover the higher costs you will have to look for property that will get slightly higher cash on cash return than newer units. This is simple enough to by just looking for slightly undervalued property in rental areas that have monthly rental pricing that has remained strong. There are many of these areas in town and there often is far less difference in rental pricing then there is in home price variation. Rental rates seem to fluctuate less over large areas of town where home prices can be much more inconsistent.

Once you find the property you like you can evaluate any issues that may lead to more management complications. Nearly everything can be fixed in older homes but there is always a price to pay. Some things are just not worth fixing if it will mean you will spend 10 years trying to recoup the cost. However, most property can be put in perfectly good rental condition by spending a reasonable amount of time and money before you find a tenant.

I will go into more detail about the minor and major things you can do to make owning an older rental property another profit center for you portfolio.

Has your nest egg become your anchor? Just about everyone is in the same position. We can help get your head above water again and allow you to take control of your future. Call me today and find out your best options to get out from under your monster mortgage. Don’t let the housing crash control your future. You have options.

Increase Your Real Estate Returns Using Leverage

Leverage is the number one reason you can get such great returns on real estate. Most people don’t understand leverage or understand the principals that make leverage such a fantastic tool in your real estate investing arsenal.

First let me define leverage in the way it applies to real estate. You use leverage when you buy a $200,000 property with a 20% down payment and borrow the rest of the money from the seller or the bank. If you paid cash for the property you would need to come up with 200,000 and change at closing to take over a piece of real estate. You would be using no leverage and you would be looking for a return on your capital that would be similar to what you would get in other investments. If you made $2400 in rent per month and after expenses put $1500 cash in your pocket each month you would make $18000. This $18,000 would be your yearly return on capital invested. It is a good return and it is possible to make a good living buying property for cash. You can calculate your cash on cash return by taking your $18,000 profit divided by your $200,000 investment.

The number is given as a percentage. You would end up with a return of about 9% for the year. This is a good return on capital but not nearly what you can get if you use leverage to make your purchase.

Let me give you the same example but with a 20% down payment. You would have to bring $40,000 to the closing for your down payment and you would be financing $160,000 from the seller or the bank. Rates are relatively low now but they tend to be higher on investment property but I will use 6% rate of interest on the $160,000 financed. We can calculate what it will cost you in interest the first year by taking 6 % of $160,000. The amount of interest on your loan will be $9600. You are paying $9600 the first year of your loan in interest to use leverage. If you fully amortized the loan you will pay $959.28 a month principal and interest.  This also leaves you the 160,000 in cash that you would have been investing in one property available in your bank account for other purchases so you are keeping your options open to buy more real estate.

Let’s take a look further at my example and see if you can actually make more money by using leverage.

You will still receive the same 2400 payment for rents per month except now we need to add in the interest cost into the calculation. You will still be taking in the 18000 a year but you have to pay your mortgage or at least the cost of interest out of cash flow.  You will pay principal and interest of $11,511.36 out of your gross rents and your free cash flow at the end of the year will be only $6489 in our example. It looks like a lot less but let’s pencil out what return you can actually get by using leverage and not paying all cash.

We take the $6489 net gain for the year and divide it by the amount of capital invested which is 40,000 this time. So what looks like smaller gain in income becomes a much greater return as a percentage of your capital because the new calculation comes out to over 16% return on your investment.

Leverage is the key to profiting from real estate. It is possible to double or triple your return on capital invested by financing a portion of the deal. The lower your down payment the greater your return on your money.

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, give us a call at 702.376.7379!

Three Simple Steps To Rent Your Las Vegas Investment Property Quickly

The real estate rental market in Las Vegas is competitive and also very lucrative. As a real estate investor, you’ll want to make sure you take some simple steps to make sure your rental property is the home that prospective tenants choose. Here are some simple tips to make sure your Las Vegas Investment property rents quickly.

  1. Competitive Price

The monthly rent price is your first step in getting prospective tenants through the door of your Las Vegas investment property. Setting your price is pretty simple. Ask your property manager to run a competitive rental analysis of the other rental properties in your neighborhood.

They can tell you what’s a good price for your Las Vegas rental property. A good rental price will make sure you get interest from prospective tenants, but getting them in the door is only half the battle.

The next two steps will make sure your home is the home that quality tenants choose over the competition.

  1. Flooring, Paint, and Window Coverings

Homes with new paint and clean carpets are always going to rent faster than those without. As a rental property owner, just accept the cost of replacing carpets and painting after tenants move out as a cost of doing business. People may live in places with dirty carpets and walls, but they usually won’t choose to move into one.

Also, many of the tenants I meet with actually prefer tile and hard wood floors to carpet. So installing some pergo or tile is a good way for a property owner to avoid having to replace carpets every few years.

Another simple way to make your place stand out from the competition is to put nicer blinds up on your windows. You don’t have to put plantation shutters on all the windows in your rental property, but some low cost faux wood blinds with thick slats look a hundred times better than the cheap aluminum ones. Take a look at the bigger picture and spend the money to get a tenant in and paying rent as quickly as possible.


  1. CLEAN!

I am shocked how many rental properties I show that are filthy. You obviously won’t be able to clean your rental property every day, but a good cleaning after a tenant vacates and every two weeks that your property is vacant will help to insure that your property won’t stay vacant for two months.

Rental Properties in Las Vegas take anywhere from a few days to a few months to rent. Taking these simple steps will keep your Las Vegas rental property ahead of the competition.