Best Zip Codes for Buying SFR’s

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Fresh Flooring Trends to Improve Investment Properties

BY  ON OCTOBER 25, 2017

Fresh Flooring Trends to Improve Investment Properties

By Will Hudson, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring Merchant, The Home Depot

Sleek, stylish flooring is an asset to any investment property. Luckily, recent innovations in flooring materials have increased the possibilities for luxurious yet affordable options. The following five trends are a great place to start when considering new flooring projects.


Due to new digital printing advancements, flooring styles that previously required premium materials or substantial installation costs now are achievable with less effort and investment. These design technologies eliminate boundaries between flooring materials and produce customizable tiles and planks in whatever style, color or finish. This also includes amplifying realism – if you desire a true-to-life appearance, look no further than rich designs ranging from knots and ripples in wood to wavy colors in marble.

Digital printing also delivers variety that your tenants are sure to appreciate. Today’s floor printing machines reduce the number of repeat designs on tiles and planks, ensuring that the same pattern does not appear in multiple spots within a given room. This produces a more natural feel, and adds realism that will make it harder for renters to detect a difference in material sourcing.


Much like its wood and tile counterparts, laminate flooring has evolved to a tougher and more attractive form in recent years. Laminate planks now feature a thick, sturdy design and resilient finish that deters scratching, offering a durability advantage for owners looking to rent their properties for years.

As flooring technologies evolve, The Home Depot remains committed to driving innovative new ideas. Our merchants work with leading manufacturers to develop durable and advanced laminate, vinyl and porcelain tile.

We worked closely with Pergo to develop Outlast Plus, a next-level laminate capable of withstanding water for up to 24 hours. This creates new opportunities to bring wood-look flooring into bathrooms, kitchens and other water-centric rooms previously considered off limits. Available exclusively at our stores, this product also includes an attached underlayment that reduces sound and makes installation faster, simpler and more affordable.


If you haven’t been involved in a flooring remodel for a while, you might be surprised at the evolution of vinyl. Previously considered primarily a low cost option (think sheet tiles from the 1980s), vinyl floors now come in planks in a variety of trendy printed options, such as wood and stone looks.

Vinyl is 100 percent waterproof, versatile and extremely durable. This makes it a great choice for rental properties that may go through resident transitions from year to year. The vinyl floor will last much longer than a standard carpet and repairs involve swapping out individual planks rather than the whole floor.

Modern vinyl flooring is also easy to apply, with tiles and strips able to go directly over existing surfaces without the need to remove the subfloor. The Home Depot’s exclusive LifeProof luxury vinyl planks uses drop and lock end joints that fall perfectly into place and reduce installation cost and time. Featuring an innovative rigid PVC core that delivers strength while remaining lightweight, LifeProof planks are an excellent choice when you need maximum durability.


With replica wood and stone becoming more popular, more property owners are gravitating towards large-format tiling and planks. Flooring materials have reached unprecedented sizes in recent years – planks now run as long as four feet in length, squares can go as wide as 16 inches, and rectangles now hit sizes of up to 18×36.

While larger flooring materials are bulkier and require more careful planning to install, they do require less time. To ensure a seamless, gap-free design, use a mortar specifically engineered for heavier tiles or planks. Custom Building Products’ Natural Stone and Large Tile mortar, for example, reduces lippage and produces a more level installation.


Flooring design trends are not universal and vary greatly by location. At The Home Depot, we see preferences for different styles of flooring across the country. Texas and the Southwestern region tend to prefer darker grey and brown flooring with a more distressed tone. Properties in more oceanic regions, such as the East and West coasts, not surprisingly go more for lighter grey, white and cream colors that feel cool and casual. Likewise, areas more susceptible to colder winters, such as the Northeast, feature subtle accents ranging from beiges to tans.

Depending on property dimensions and plans for the property, the exact parameters of any flooring renovation will greatly vary. However, an awareness of the latest trends and a mind for creativity can result in a floor that is brilliant, easy to install and a value driver for any property.

Will Hudson, Laminate and Vinyl Plank Flooring Merchant, The Home Depot.  As the flooring Merchant, Will is responsible for merchandising the Laminate Flooring and Laminate Installation businesses for all U.S. stores and He has been with The Home Depot for 13 years, serving in various merchandising roles.

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Should You Flip, Rent, or Hold – What’s the Best Path to Success?


What’s the best path to building wealth in real estate?  Should you flip, rent or hold?  With all the quick-buck, get rich by flipping reality tv shows out there it can get downright confusing and often misleading.   One thing we know to be true;  It’s not easy…..However, hard work, sound advice and due diligence will always pay off.  Recently, looked at five big real estate investments that everyday folks may want to consider. Then they broke down the typical returns of each one along with the pros and cons of each type of investment.  National REIA’s Charles Tassell, a successful real estate investor himself, was interviewed for the story and offers some great advice to those interested in entering the business.

Charles Tassell

“Newbie investors need to make sure they’re thoroughly familiar with a neighborhood before they consider buying a potential flip in it, says Charles Tassell, chief operating officer at the National Real Estate Investors Association, a Cincinnati-based investors group. This means looking at what kinds of homes are located nearby, what sort of shape they’re in, and how much they’ve sold for. Wannabe flippers should pay attention to the quality of local schools, transportation, and the job market—just as they would for their own home. Those are the things that can make or break a sale. And an investment.”

Click here to read the full story on

Click here to find a REIA near you.

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Millennial Student Debt


According to the NAR’s 2017 Student Loan Debt and Housing Report, the U.S. currently has a student debt load of $1.4 trillion, which accounts for 10% of all outstanding debt and 35% of non-housing debt. As this debt rises, homeownership has fallen among the younger generations.  However you want to look at it, they will still need a place to live…Happy Friday

This infographic contains highlights from the 2017 Student Loan Debt and Housing report.


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Five Millennial Household Facts


Millennials numbered around 80 million people last year, making them the largest living generation.  As we continue to post more information and data about this group we recently came across a study from the Pew Research Center that said while Millennials might be the largest group but they lag in the number of households their members head.

Indeed, with that in mind Pew also came up with five facts about Millennial households:

  1. More Millennial households are in poverty than households headed by any other generation.
  2. Millennial households dominate the ranks of the nation’s renters.
  3. About half of cohabiting-couple households are headed by a Millennial.
  4. In 2016, Millennials for the first time surpassed all other generations in number of household heads who were single mothers.
  5. Among heads of household, Millennials in 2016 became the generation with the largest number identifying as multiracial.

“Looking at households is important because many economic and spending decisions, such as whether to own or rent a home, tend to revolve around the household rather than the individual adult.”

Click here to read the full story at Pew Research.


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Four Reasons Real Estate Should Be In Your Investment Portfolio


What are the 4 reasons everyone should include real estate in their investment portfolio?  That’s a great question and one that Fortune Builders recently answered in this informative infographic.  After all, a diversified portfolio is key to financial freedom!  Happy Friday!!!

Hat Tip to FortunateBuildlers.


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Over half of Millennials Interested in Investing in Real Estate

BY  ON JULY 28, 2017

A recent deep-dive survey by RealtyShares found that over half of millennials they polled were interested in investing in real estate.  The data also found that the public generally lacks awareness regarding the potential of real estate investing, however the findings of this poll suggested that a real estate investing resurgence may be on the horizon.  Happy Friday!!

Click here to read the full report on ReatyShares.

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More Smaller Homes Being Built

BY  ON AUGUST 7, 2017

A recent Housing Perspectives from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies says that even though overall construction is down, construction of smaller homes (under 1,800 sq. feet) has actually increased 20% in 2016.  They say this is significant because 1st-time and lower income buyers tend to purchase smaller homes – which tend to be less expensive.  They suggest that continued increases in the supply of smaller homes, as well as townhouses and condos, could help meet the demands of  those first-time and lower income homebuyers.  Sounds like a good play for investors.

“Increased demand for entry-level housing and the corresponding uptick in smaller housing construction have already contributed to the growing number of first-time homebuyers in 2016.”

Click here to read the full report.

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Profitably Investing in Farmland

The Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader is reporting that a group called American Farm Investors is buying up tracts of farmland in central Kentucky which they lease back to tenant farmers, who in turn farm the land and pay rent from their proceeds (not sharecropping).  Interestingly, the corn and wheat grown on these farms is sold to big name whiskey distilleries like Jim Beam, Makers Mark and others.   The Herald-Leader also reported that roughly 40% of AFI’s investors live in Kentucky while the rest are from out of state. The bottom line;  it’s all about diversification.

“AFI leases its land to tenant farmers who pay labor and other costs to grow the crops. The tenant farmers pay rents to AFI, which then pays dividends to the investors.”

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US Cities Trending Towards Renting?

BY  ON JUNE 13, 2017

Various indicators are coming out that suggest America’s cities are trending towards renting – including a post we had back in March showing that over half of the nation’s largest cities are majority renter.  With that in mind, CNBC’s Realty Check with Diana Olick recently reported on yet another study that supports that emerging trend as well as showing where home prices are so high it may be smarter to rent rather than buy.

Click here to watch on CNBC’s Realty Check.

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