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Investors

Become a Real Estate Investor – 10 Important Secrets

Investing in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas can be a profitable venture with prices dramatically increasing. We can help you in every step to ensure you find the best deal for fit your circumstances. These steps can be a simple guide for successful investing in the hot South Florida Market.
When it comes to investing, everybody has certain goals and aspirations. However, we have found that there are certain guidelines every aspiring real estate investor needs to know:

1. Compare Property Values and Rents
Financial statistics only go so far; the best measure of a property’s market value is often the sale prices of nearby properties. The same holds true for area rents. A low price can often be justified by a reasonable rent; renters who can afford a high rent can afford to buy instead, so reasonably priced rent is a need.

2. Caution – Tax laws may change
Don’t base your tax investment on current tax laws. The tax code is constantly changing, and a good investment is a good investment regardless of the tax code. The right property with the right financing is what you should look for as an investor.

3. Specialize in something “You Know”
Start in a market segment you know. Whether you focus on fixer-uppers, foreclosures, starter homes, low-down payment properties, condominiums, or small apartment buildings, you’ll benefit from experience by specializing in one aspect of investment real estate properties.

4. Know the Costs going in!
Know the financial statements inside out. What are operating expenses? What are loan payments? Vacancy costs? Taxes? What does the cash flow statement look like? These are key issues that must be addressed before making a solid investment.

5. Know where your tenants are coming from
If the last rent increase was recent, your tenants may be considering a move. If tenants have a short-term lease, they may be living there simply to attract unsuspecting buyers. It is also important to collect the tenants’ security deposits at closing.

6. Assess the tax situation
Taxes are an integral part of successful real estate investing, and they often make the difference between a positive cash flow and a negative one. Know the tax situation, and see how it can be manipulated to your advantage. It may be a good idea to consult a tax advisor.

7. Investigate insurance coverage
If seller’s coverage is based on lower-than-current replacement value, your insurance cost may increase when you pay a higher purchase price. Remember, South Florida is prone to hurricanes and you will need to make sure that you have the correct coverage (such as flood Insurance) or you may not be covered adequately.

8. Confirm Utility Costs
Ask the local utilities to verify recent utility expenses, especially if any of these costs are included in your tenant’s rent.

9. Consult Your Accountant
Taxation is a key element of successful real estate investing, so be sure to find an accountant who is well-versed with the constantly evolving tax code.

10. Inspect
Make sure that you always perform a thorough inspection of the property before buying it. Never, ever buy any property without at least examining the site. In some cases, hiring professional inspectors to examine the structural mechanical system may be a sound investment.

How to make money in Real Estate (suggestions only)

Lower Your Taxes

Tax incentives for real estate investors can often make the difference in your tax rates. Deductions for rental property can often be used to offset wage income. Tax breaks can often enable investors to turn a loss into a profit.

One of the question we are asked is which items can investors receive tax breaks?

Well, we are not Tax experts so we can only provide suggestions based on personal experience and results may vary. You could claim deductions for actual costs you incur for financing, managing and operating the rental property. This includes mortgage interest payments, real estate taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, property management fees, travel, advertising, and utilities (assuming the tenant doesn’t pay them). These expenses can be subtracted from your adjusted gross income when determining your personal income taxes. Of course, these deductions cannot exceed the amount of real estate income you receive.

In addition to deductions for operating costs, you can also receive breaks for depreciation. Buildings naturally deteriorate over time, and these “losses” can be deducted regardless of the actual market value of the property. Because depreciation is a non-cash expense — you are not actually spending any money. The tax code can get a bit tricky. For more information about depreciation and various tax alternatives, ask your tax advisor about Section 1031 of the U.S. Tax Code.

Have a Positive Cash Flow

There are two kinds of positive cash flows:
• pre-tax
• after-tax

A pre-tax positive cash flow occurs when income received is greater than expenses incurred. This sort of situation is difficult to find, but they are usually a strong and safe investment.

An after-tax positive cash flow may have expenses that outweigh collected income, but various tax breaks allow for a positive cash flow. This is more common, but it is generally not as strong or safe as a pre-tax positive cash flow.
Regardless of what kind of real estate you choose to invest in, timely collections from your tenants is absolutely necessary. A positive cash flow — whether it be pre-tax or after-tax — requires rental income. Be sure to find quality tenants; a thorough credit and employment check is probably a good idea.

Use Leverage

One of the most important factors in determining a solid investment is the amount of equity you are purchasing. Equity is the difference between the actual worth of the property and the balanced owed on the mortgage. Benefit from Growing Equity While investing in real estate is relatively complex; it is often worth the extra work. When compared to other financial investments, like bonds or CD’s, the return on investment for real estate purchases can often be greater. The key to real estate investing is equity. Determine an amount of equity that you want to achieve. When you reach your goal, it’s time to sell or refinance. Determining the proper amount of equity may require the assistance of a real estate professional.

Please be advised that the above information are purely suggestions. One should take the advice of professionals who specialize in this field before entering into any kind of real-estate investment transaction

Areas of interest: Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Green Acres, Hypoluxo Island, Jupiter, Jupiter Island, Lake Clark Shores, Lake Worth, Lantana, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Shores, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Singer Island, South Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, and North Palm Beach.