Key Tips for First-Time Investors

Here are a few things to consider before buying your first investment property.

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Which tips do you need to remember to start off on the right foot as a first-time home investor?

First, you’ll notice that I say “home investor” instead of “homebuyer” because I don’t think you should own your first investment property before you own your first home. Therein lies my first tip. Owning your own home before buying an investment property can teach you a lot about what can go wrong, how to fix things, what you are (and are not) capable of doing yourself, etc. Don’t put the cart before the horse and start buying up investment properties while you’re still paying someone else’s rent. 

Next, start small. Far too many people try hitting a home run with their first real estate investment and end up striking out. Continuing with our baseball parlance, just try hitting a single. Get a rental property you can manage yourself so you can learn how to screen tenants and identify ways you can increase rent. It’s a low-risk, high-reward opportunity. If you screw things up, you can probably correct the situation without it costing you too much. Additionally, the property can appreciate greatly over time and give you ample tax benefits.



      Once you buy your first rental property, you have to treat it like a business.


As time goes on, you can branch off into buying multifamily properties, commercial properties, more individual units, or start flipping homes. First, though, start small and build from there. Being a real estate investor is, in essence, its own separate business. As you gain more skills, you can grow your portfolio. 

Last but not least, hire a team of professionals. You need a team of property managers, real estate professionals, and contractors you trust to help you. Before buying any rental properties, you need to know who’ll be working on them, managing them (if you’re not), and offering you legal advice so you can successfully run your real estate investment business. Again, once you buy your first rental property, you have to treat it like a business. You have to give it its proper due by ensuring it’s properly managed by a group of professionals. 

If you’d like to know more about buying your first investment property or have any real estate needs I can assist you with, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you.

How Do Politics Impact Real Estate?

Taxes are just one way that politics can affect the real estate market.

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Every time there has been an administration change from Republicans to Democrats, there has been a fear that the tax laws allowing home sellers who have lived in their primary residence for at least two of the last five years to sell their homes without capital gains tax would be stripped. That law has been on the books for a long time, except for the part about married couples with a net worth of $500,000 or more or single people with $250,000 or more. If the law does go away, you could potentially pay some portion of those capital gains taxes. That has caused many homeowners to become proactive by listing their homes ahead of that possibility.



      With so many people moving to the area, you won’t have any issues selling your home quickly.


Of course, we don’t know if a change in law like that would apply retroactively; there’s so much uncertainty around the topic at the moment. However, if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, you may want to consider doing so sooner rather than later for the benefit of avoiding capital gains taxes. I’m no CPA, and everyone’s tax situation is different, so make sure you talk to a professional about your circumstances so you can make the best decision moving forward. Frankly, our Tampa Bay market currently has too few homes available for the level of demand we’re seeing, so we could use your listing. With so many people moving to the area, you won’t have any issues selling your home quickly and for more money.

So for anyone who has been toying with the idea of selling, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have. We’re here to help you.

Q: How Does Realtor Safety Impact Buyers & Sellers?

Here’s how Realtor safety impacts your buying or selling plans.

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Recently, a real estate agent in Nebraska was murdered during a home showing. A lot of our customers typically don’t see this type of news because it’s usually disseminated mainly among us agents, but attacks on real estate agents is an epidemic that’s been happening for a while now. Accordingly, we’ve taken steps to provide more safety for ourselves. 

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, this means you should expect agents to want to verify more information from you before scheduling an appointment. They may want to see a copy of your driver’s license or prefer not to meet you late at night at a vacant home. They also may want to make sure you’re qualified to buy a home before meeting with you. Statistics show that if someone is willing to give their credit information to qualify for a loan, they’re much less likely to be a serial killer.



      We’ve taken steps to provide more safety for ourselves.


What happens to the real estate market? People who’ve been buying and selling homes for a long time are used to agents popping up and showing them homes whenever they want. Now that we’ve been forced to be more cautious, though, don’t take it personally if we need to ensure our safety before meeting with you. No home sale is worth risking your life over, so if you’re not willing to give an agent enough information that makes them comfortable meeting with you, you should plan on not being approved for an appointment or showing. Frankly, if you’re unwilling to provide some basic information to an agent or are defensive about doing so, they may become suspicious of you. 

So plan on working with your agent and the real estate industry at large to provide enough information about yourself to make them feel safe. I promise you that we’re not the only real estate company taking proactive steps to prevent any future attacks. This initiative may change the industry a little bit and slightly inconvenience you, but you’re coordinating one of the most substantial transactions of your life when buying or selling a home, so if you’re legitimate, you’ll have to provide this information anyway. You might as well provide it up front so your agent isn’t looking over their shoulder and can give you the right advice.

As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Duncan Duo. We’d love to help you.