American Homeowner Equity Continues to Grow

According to recent data published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. homeowners are seeing a dramatic increase in the amount of equity in their homes while at the same time seeing a big decline in the amount borrowed through home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) – the lowest since 2008.  Using data from the Federal Reserve, they report that estimates owners’ equity is $14.1 trillion.  However, they do suggest that as interest rates rise, HELOC’s might become more attractive to potential borrowers seeking to preserve the low rate of interest in their current mortgage.


MBA Source: Federal Reserve

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Complete Guide to Electrical for the House Flipper

Anyone who has ever flipped a house knows about the potential perils of what kind of wiring the house has and when was it last upgraded.  Depending on the age & condition of the house it could be extremely costly or maybe just a cheap fix.  However, you have to know what to look for and what you’re looking at.  Today’s infographic from John K McCraw Electrical discusses common items in older homes, what you might need a permit for, and some general due diligence items when flipping a home.   Happy Friday!!


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Airbnb Income Can Now be Counted When Refinancing

A new initiative being developed by Airbnb, in partnership with Fannie Mae and several lenders, would allow homeowners wishing to refinance their homes the ability to count, as income, funds generated from their properties listed on the homesharing site.  According to a recent article on Curbed, Airbnb will supply a Proof of Income statement that hosts can now include when applying with Quicken Loans, Citizens Bank, and Better Mortgage in order to  refinance an existing mortgage.

“This initiative was developed with Fannie Mae to identify new ways of recognizing home-sharing income, making it possible for homeowners to maximize their investment to better reach their financial goals,” Airbnb said in a statement. “The project is part of Fannie Mae’s work to find new, innovative ways to expand the availability of affordable mortgage credit.”

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Hempcrete Being Used as Building Material

In a recent episode of Real Estate News for Investors, Kathy Fettke talks about a corner of the hemp market that she says is “shaking up the construction industry.”  It’s called hempcrete (that’s right hemp + concrete) and it’s a green building material that dates back to the Roman times that is starting to become popular in the U.S.  And, before you ask, industrial hemp contains less than .03% THC (the stuff that gets you high)….marijuana typically contains between 5% and 35% THC.

“Not only is hemp used to create a concrete-like building material, it’s also a fast-growing, sustainable plant. Crops mature in about 4 months. The woody fibers are then mixed with water and lime. When they cure, the result is a strong, lightweight material that is resistant to fire, mold and bugs. It’s also breathable and non-toxic with no off-gassing, and provides exceptional insulation.”

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Four Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

Everyone has their favorite way to add value to their investment and get a great return.  The folks at Keeping Current Matters recently illustrated HouseLogic’s top four home renovations for maximum ROI.  Always remember to know your market! 

“While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.”


Hat tip to Keeping Current Matters.

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Anatomy of a First-time Home Buyer

What makes up a first-time home buyer?  The National Association of Realtors recently put together this handy infographic using data from their 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.  So, what do they look like?

  • Age – 32 years old
  • Household income – $75k
  • Cost of home purchased – $190k
  • Down payment amount – 5%
  • Student loan debt – $29k
  • Type and location – Single-family home in a suburban area


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Are Lower Bids better than Higher Bids?

by Larry Goins

Every investor knows that you need to get a good price on something if you want to make a profit.  This is such common knowledge it seems strange that so many investors are afraid of making low offers.  In my experience, low offers are always the best.  They might not be accepted every time but they are the source of my best deals.  I’ll tell you why.

One of the things that I have learned is that the lower the price of the property the lower percentage of list price they will accept. I have gotten offers accepted typically between 25% and 60% with most being in the 30% to 50% range.

Typically, the offers I make that are accepted have been around 30 to 40% of the listing price on lower priced homes and around 40 to 50% on higher priced homes. For example, if a house is listed for $30,000, then it is not unusual for me to get an offer of $10,000 accepted; however, if a house is listed for $100,000, they will probably not take $30,000 for it.

Now they are both around 30% offers, but the higher the price, the less likely they are to take a 30% offer. On that $100,000 they would probably not take less than $50,000 to $60,000, based on my experience. Now don’t think that every $100,000 house you make an offer on they will accept a 50 to 60% offer. It’s not going to happen. Remember that we have to make lots of offers to get one accepted.

Some investors simply make an offer on every home that is available to them for some fixed percentage of market value, like 30 to 50% in my case.

The lower your offer is, the fewer will get accepted, but the more likely it is that when one is accepted it will be a screaming deal (and therefore a safer deal, especially if it is your first one).

We recently got a bid accepted of $28,000 on a house that was listed for $109,000. Now the reason we got this bid accepted was because the property was a two bedroom property; however, the property has almost 2000 square feet. So our thoughts were to simply figure in our repair estimate to add another bedroom within the existing square footage. There was plenty square footage to work with. So we made the offer and got it accepted.

Simply put, lower bids get accepted more often than you think.  When they do get accepted you stand to make much more money than with a higher bid.  I hope this has helped to open your eyes a bit.  You can hear even more about this in my latest book.


Larry Goins is an author, trainer and national speaker. Previously, Larry served as president of the Metrolina Real Estate Investors Association in Charlotte, NC and has written several books on real estate investing that are available wherever books are sold. He is making his latest book HUD Homes Half Off! available for free for a limited time by clicking here.


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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.”

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