Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment for 5 Years Running! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Real estate has outranked stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans for the last 5 years!
  • The generations agree! Real estate is the best investment!
  • Generation X leads the way with 37% believing in real estate as the top investment.

Posted by The KCM Crew

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Americans Believe Real Estate is the Best Long-Term Investment [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Real estate outranks stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans.
  • Real estate is ranked as the best long-term investment among all age groups.
  • Millennials rank both real estate and savings/CDs at 26% when it comes to the best long-term investment

Posted by The KCM Crew

Generate Income for Retirement with Real Estate

There are many challenges you have to handle if you want to enjoy a nice retirement without worries out there. The following guidelines will give you more to work with so you can make generating income easier with a solid real estate investment, so let’s get started with the first idea on our list:

Choosing the type of real estate investment

There is a difference between what you may want to do and what you can do on your local real estate market. One good example of that would be to invest in an office building with potential if you have the means, which in turn would allow you to make use of the rent a company would have to offer financially. Ensuring a property provided with good parking lots and a location closer to a main road will make it more useful for your potential tenants, so consider that when you scout the market.

Improving and purchasing cheaper real estate

This is a solution that you can use to turn things around for older properties, especially since the cheaper ones will be of less demand for a number of reasons. You can still make use of them by doing some renovation. It will be an investment on its own and not without risk, but in some markets house flipping as it is called can be a viable business tactic if you can afford it. You can do this with renting in mind or simply buying, renovating and then selling the property at a better price. If you’re not sure whether this is worth the effort, you should speak to your chosen real estate agent for more relevant information on your local market to see whether this is a good idea or not.

Improving the property market value

There are quite a few ways you can go about improving your property, but not all of them require a serious investment of money for massive renovation projects. Your home can transform without too much effort and expenses if you handle it right. Consider the ratio between cost and effect and decide what solution would work best. Potential tenants will want to move house into a solid property, so you can work with a moving company to find out more information on recent moving patterns, as well as combining your efforts with an experienced real estate agent to get a better bead on the market, using that information to your advantage. Repainting a home is one example of a project that doesn’t require structural changes, but one that goes a long way to make a property look fresh once again. This will give you a better chance to attract potential buyers, especially when combined with some other smaller details such as changing out the light switches as well as the lights themselves and addressing maintenance issues the property may have had before you invested in it.

Keeping track of your credit score

Do you want to have a good set of investment capabilities you can rely upon? Well that means you will need to have financial stability first as well as proof of one. Many lenders these days will need to possess a minimum FICO rating of at least 700 if you want a fighting chance, so make sure you have a solid financial capability before you decide to move in on the market, as this is often the only way to obtain the finances needed for long-term real estate investments.

Posted by Heather Robert on HomeZada

4 Tips for Putting Your Tax Refund Back Into Your Home

Sure, you could blow your refund on a vacation or new TV. But why not reinvest in your home instead?

Are you getting a tax refund this year? The average refund is about $3,000 — enough to reinvest in your home.

Whether you’re expecting a few hundred dollars back or a few thousand, put some of it to work with these suggestions.

Pay down debts

With home prices continuing to creep upward and interest rates still remarkably low, you may have taken out a home equity loan to fund a remodeling project or two. A lot of consumers have!

Why not apply your tax refund toward this loan or pay down other debts (especially high interest debt like credit cards)?

Freshen up

Want to add a backsplash, paint a room, clean up the yard, replace your bathroom sink, or repair a leaky faucet? Go for it! Chances are, your refund will cover these types of small projects — and more.

And you’re getting a two-for-one: you’re both improving your living experience, and adding value at the same time.

Boost your energy efficiency

No matter how big or small your refund check is, there are all sorts of things you can do, at varying price points, to make your home more energy efficient — from buying energy-efficient appliances to adding extra layers of insulation.

Storm doors are just a few hundred dollars, and can be a great investment if you have an older front door. Purchasing a low-flow showerhead or installing a programmable thermostat are other affordable options.

Buy flood insurance

The federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. That’s a small price to pay for a problem that can be big. After all, anywhere it rains, it can flood, and your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover it. (It typically only covers damage that comes from the top down — such as rain and wind damage, but not rising water and flooding.)

Stop taking chances, and buy yourself peace of mind. Premiums vary depending on your property’s flood risk. To get an estimate in your area, visit FloodSmart.gov.

Posted by Vera Gibbons on Zillow

Real Estate Shines as an Investment in 2015

A survey by The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that when a family is buying a home they consider the financial benefits of homeownership along with the social benefits. The survey mentions things like:

  • Paying rent does not make sense
  • Homeownership provides a good financial opportunity
  • Owning a home helps you building family wealth
  • Buying a home is investing in your retirement
  • Home equity gives you something to borrow against

So how did homeownership match up against other investments in 2015? Here is a chart that compares its return on investment against precious metals and the stock market last year:

Bottom Line

Not only did homeownership offer all its social benefits. It also was a great investment financially.

Posted by The KCM Crew

Real Estate Again Seen as Best Investment

We are almost back to ‘pre-housing crash’ home values. The inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures & short sales) are shrinking dramatically. The economy is improving. The job numbers are headed in the right direction.

The big question that still remains: Have Americans regained their confidence in real estate as a worthy investment?

According to a survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, Americans have put real estate back into first place as the best of all investments.

Here are the results of the survey:

Bottom Line

Homeownership never lost its place as a key component of the American Dream for a host of financial and non-financial reasons. It is good to see that it has regained the top spot as best overall investment.

Posted by The KCM Crew on Keeping Current Matters