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If you are considering buying or selling a property anytime soon then you will want to find a reputable broker who can help guide you through the process and help you navigate the world of real estate. A company that has really made a mark on the industry in the past ten years is Compass Real Estate. Despite the fact that some people have been asking “are the company in trouble?” you can find from looking at their history, values, and reviews that they can help you complete your transaction without issue.

Image source: PxHere

One major concern for people when looking for a reliable real estate company is whether or not the company operates legitimately. When looking to team up with a company you are unfamiliar with you might start to worry about whether it is reputable or if it is possibly a pyramid scheme. This is especially relevant if you are new to real estate trading as it can be difficult to navigate an industry you have no experience in. Whilst there are some companies out there that operate unscrupulously, Compass prides itself on its integrity and honesty.

They work as a broker for real estate agents and this allows them to earn a commission for the work they have undertaken on closing sales. Despite the fact that much of the work Compass does is undertaken online, they actually have approximately 300 physical offices located across the United States. This means that if you choose to, you can visit them in person to discuss your needs.

Compass is a relatively new company and has only been in operation for approximately a decade, but they do have a great number of success stories under its belt. Their great success and massive growth over the years can be attributed to the unique way in which they operate – the hybrid of cutting-edge technology and traditional real estate techniques. In addition to the large number of sales they have made, they have also gained a few awards over the years. They have received two Webby Awards, one for Websites and Mobile Sites and another in the Real Estate 2019 category. They also held on to the title of People’s Voice Winner for websites and mobile sites for two years in a row.

A notable quality of Compass Real Estate is the values that the CEO, Robert Reffkin, brings to the table. Reffkin is an influential PoC making a name for himself in the industry whilst also helping to raise over $1 million for charity through competing in marathons across all 50 states. He even set up his own charity! For this reason alone, many people find that they choose Compass simply because of the impressive and inspirational role model that runs the company based on his own high moral values.

Despite the fact that Compass Real Estate is not a long-running business, they have proven their value and made great leaps and bounds since its inception. Due to their success over the years as well as their ability to use a purpose-built mobile app, and merge in-person and online communication, then they may very well be the right company for you.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

A mortgage note is a financial document detailing the payments for a loan used to buy a property. Those who hold one for a home, business, or other property can sell it and get a lump sum of cash. While that sounds enticing, before leaping in, you’ll want to know how to make money with mortgage notes and get the maximum amount you can.

The average mortgage loan as of January 2017 was $309,200, according to The Motley Fool’s Million Acres site. Still, no matter what the principal of your mortgage is, you won’t be getting that exact amount. The better news is that you can still receive a significant offer – and you can get the highest amount possible by following some industry tips.

Selling Your Mortgage Note

First, you’ll want to know how to sell your private mortgage note. While it might sound complicated and require quite a bit of time and effort, the process is relatively simple. There are plenty of companies out there willing to purchase your mortgage note, taking on the risk as the notes are backed with collateral. You’ll need your trust deed or mortgage, and to find the best company to work with. Typically, you’ll complete an online form or make a phone call to get an offer. The offer is based on the current market, the terms of the note, property appraisal, and the company’s rates. Most companies will provide an attorney, so you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for a real estate lawyer.

Getting the Best Value For Your Note

Insider industry experts say there are several ways to get the best possible value for your mortgage note.

Your buyer has decent credit. The higher the credit score of your borrower/property buyer, the more money you’ll be able to get for your mortgage note. Most notes that are owner financed are completed because the buyer has less than stellar credit, which is okay. Still, if it’s below 580, the note might be challenging to sell. Again, the higher the score, the higher your offer is likely to be for the note.

The note includes land and a home or building. Contracts that include both are generally more likely to be approved.

The down payment. The cash that you received from the buyer at the time of the sale, or down payment, determines if the note can be sold. The note will sell for more money, the higher the down payment is. If the buyer only put down 5%, for example, you’re unlikely to get much of an offer, and you may not get one at all. Typically, it should be at least 10%, but you’ll get a more significant offer if the down payment is between 20% and 30%.

Shorter terms. Mortgage notes with shorter terms will get you a larger offer.

Current interest rates. If the current interest rates are low, the value of your note will increase. If they’re higher, you may want to wait until they start to dip. If the interest rate attached to the note exceeds the maximum usury law amount where the property is located, the note will be worthless to note investors.


Landlords trying to eke out a place in the rental investment market face an uphill battle. Staying on top of housing regulations, market data, property improvements, and vacancy rates can easily consume all 24 hours of your day if you let it.

Since the workload will only grow along with your success, you need to protect your bottom line by working smarter, rather than harder. Here are several tips to help you maintain a work/life balance while growing your business.

Market yourself

For every job duty you can imagine, larger companies have at least one employee dedicated to solely that job function. From marketing to social media management, raising awareness about your brand can legitimately be a full-time job.

Schedule set times every week to complete social media posts and limit the time you spend doing this. Use printing services to create handouts, flyers, car magnets, branded polo shirts, and more so that your rental business can be seen by the widest possible audience.

Plenty of companies offer drip campaign services such as newsletters, move-in or referral specials, or public notices. Think of the most common forms of communication with your current and potential tenants and find ways to automate routine messages. Be proactive in routinely sending out information that minimizes calls to your office for common activities like renewals, move-outs, and maintenance requests.

Outsource administrative functions

You need someone at your business who’s available to meet with current and potential tenants. But you don’t necessarily need a warm body in an office seat to take care of a wide range of administrative functions like accounting, payroll management, and contract management.

Are you still handwriting checks or struggling with the manual tray on your printer? Consider using a check mailing service for your payables; these types of services have the added benefit of consolidating important information at tax time for your accountant.

Whenever possible, take advantage of software offers which are specific to landlords. This can save you time and money rather than trying to shuffle papers into the wee hours of the morning. Tracking leads, obtaining rental forms, and completing your tenant screening using these cloud-based systems can increase your organizational efficiency while reducing time spent filing, searching for lost notes, or dealing with a coffee stain on a lease agreement.

Virtual assistants can also handle a wide range of business functions for you, including setting appointments, dispatching contractors, and even managing rental agreements and renewal paperwork. You can use a phone answering service so that your callers have access to a live operator if you’re out. Some companies use voice recognition and AI technology to handle basic requests for you via the automated system.

Though you might still be able to complete your own repairs and turnovers, there will come a day when your business grows beyond your capability or you need a licensed contractor to complete various jobs. You’ll need to consider whether you should hire a dedicated repair person or simply use independent contractors.

In any case, consider how much your time is worth per hour when determining if it’s time to hand over the reins of property maintenance to a qualified contractor.

Reduce your workload

One of the most basic ways to reduce your workload is to anticipate common questions and answer them ahead of time, either with an informative brochure/flyer or a website that has a comprehensive FAQ page.

Designing your workflow to address common issues or events proactively will keep your business running more smoothly, reducing unnecessary calls and emails as well as misunderstandings. Create templates and checklists whenever possible for common tasks so that your work is consistent and important details are less likely to be forgotten.

Growing your business doesn’t have to mean hiring a large team of employees right away. By being efficient, proactive, and wise about what you do yourself and what you delegate, you can be successful and still have free time to unwind afterward.



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The real estate industry is a popular one because it offers the perfect business model. There are always going to be consumers for this type of business because people will always want somewhere to live. Of course, that’s quite a basic “stripped-back” way of looking at the real estate industry. Getting into this line of business as a property developer and an entrepreneur requires some preparation. You most likely don’t have any experience or expertise but if you have money to invest then you’re good to go. Obviously, you need to do some research to avoid making costly mistakes. Let’s talk through the steps that will lead you towards success in real estate development.

Buying your first property.

Buying your first property is a daunting move but also the start of a new business, in a sense. Your goal is to buy somewhere with the potential for improvement because you want to make a sizeable return on your investment so as to pour more money into the next property. You’re looking to add value to whatever property you buy but you do also need to think about the area in which the property is based. Location has a massive impact on a house’s value. If you’re aiming to sell a property to a family then think about how close it is to local schools, playgrounds, and so on. If you’re aiming to sell a property to working professionals then think about how easy it is to commute from that area to the local town or city.

As for adding value to the property itself, you don’t need to burn additional money in order to do so. You’re aiming to keep your expenses as low as possible so that your gross profit is respectable when you eventually sell the property. If you take the DIY approach to sprucing up your home then you’ll reduce costs and maximize the resale value. You should start by repainting the walls a neutral color to both make the interior look brand new and to brighten up the house. White naturally reflects light. And you should make sure you tidy up the garden too because a property’s exterior makes the first impression on buyers. A vibrant, colorful front lawn could make all the difference to potential buyers.

Expanding your empire.

Buying and selling properties one at a time is time-consuming and you could ultimately make far more money by expanding your business to deal with multiple properties. You’ll probably need help if you’re expanding your empire beyond dealing with one property at a time, of course. It’ll be hard to ensure your business remains a one-person operation if you’re juggling multiple houses or flats. You could look into a company such as LJB Construction to help with constructing and developing a Homeowner’s Association community if you’re ambitious enough to develop and market an entire residential subdivision. Taking that leap is brave but it could definitely be rewarding in terms of the returns on your investment.

Marketing your business.

When it comes to finding success as a property developer, the final piece of the puzzle is marketing. You need to build a name for your brand so as to ensure good future relationships with both buyers and associates with whom you might have a relationship, as a real estate investor. Referrals are key, so you need to make sure you prioritize customer service so as to get the best testimonials possible for your business.


Before you start pulling out everything, think about your house need some make over. Reasons may differentiate the things you need to do if you aim to improve the value of your home.

If you intend to sell your house, then your renovations must somehow add value to its costs. This home improvement becomes an investment and is aiming towards an increase in saleability.

If you want to compete and have your house as marketable as ever, never miss out these easy home improvement ideas.

Fix the Floors


According to surveys the most damaged part of a house are the floors. Fixing this would sizably add up a value towards the marketability of your home. You can consider putting tiles to add texture and color and print to your home. Tiles are a good way to produce a more polished and elegant feel in spaces like your bathroom or kitchen.

Nicely Paint the Walls

Brown Wooden Coffee Table Near Black Sofa Near the Window

Again our intention here is to add up value to your house, so it becomes more attractive to potential buyers. When painting the walls forget about your desire for it to reflect your personality or mood.

The best advice is to paint your walls with neutral colors. This thing is important because it will help those who are buying your home have a bright idea to incorporate their personal preference when they are moving in. Other people are not good at imagining colors and spaces.

Darker Grout on Bathroom Tiles

architecture, bathroom, contemporary

There is no other way to impress your buyers when it comes to presenting your bathroom but to have it clean and free of any stain. Attain this by manically scrubbing every inch of your bathroom. After you’re done removing the unnecessaries, consider putting dark grouts. It provides more emphasis and cleaner look especially when you do have white-colored tiles.

Spruce Up Your Garden

daisies, flowers, garden

You can convince your potential buyers to buy the impression of what is inside looks goods same as the outside. Transform your garden by cutting the grass in your lawn, repainting the paint. The cheapest way to put more effects is to put a plant or to create a landscape as a minor detail.

The main thing is, in every presentation, the first impression lasts, and it is always about how it looks from the outside.

Consider Checking the Roof


If there’s a part most likely unattended, it was the roof. You’ll never want any prospective buyers to be surprised that after they bought your house, they are then facing problems like leaks from the ceiling.

Put Carpets to Add More Details


Putting elegant rugs is one of the tricks and are a relatively cheap way to increase the value of your house. Carpets can bring luxurious detailing to the floors of any part of the house. Consider placing one with a dull color which is in line with the theme of your home, and you need to avoid ones with additional patterns.


Home improvement for the purpose of selling your house may take a little of investing. This move can add up a pretty nice market value and can increase the marketability of your home. Paying attention to details and those things that are often missed out can produce unexpected gains. Put more value on what you are offering to gain more returns.


Author Bio:

Mark Stanford is an architecture student who is very enthusiastic about new designs and innovations when it comes to building homes. During his free time, Mark writes about his ideas on the design so that he can share his knowledge with everyone interested.




If you have watched any reality television shows about house hunting, or have paid attention to real estate stories that are online, there are always people who buy a house and then end up with a nightmare. Just because a home looks like it is one of the best and most picturesque listings you have ever seen, you still need to be cautious of what it really is. Any given home could be hiding a significant number of problems just out of sight, so you need to be certain to keep the following points in mind before you purchase a new house, even if it does look like it is the house of your dreams.

Have an Appraisal Done

As Yahoo News states, the cost of a home appraisal is not that expensive, but you need to have it done. On the basis of a market valuation you might be willing to pay a certain amount of money for a home, but you also need to be aware of just how much money it actually is worth. And, while you might also be worried that you will lose the house if you make it conditional on an appraisal, then you have to remember oftentimes the banks will want some sort of appraisal done anyways to ensure that they won’t actually be giving you more money than the building is worth.

The reason an appraisal is also such a good thing is because an appraisal will take into consideration everything from the comparable values or the market to also understand what your finances will be. As the appraiser looks at the house they may also even take into consideration some of the current values of the home itself, and might be mindful enough to tell you when certain aspects of the home might need to be replaced, updated, or repaired in order to get full value. The unit appraisal is a great benefit because it means you know the true value, and as you deal with the bank it also means you know exactly what numbers you are working with when it comes time to make an offer, obtain financing, or close on the house.

Photo Flickr TeeWilson

Photo Flickr TeeWilson

Know the Details of the Surrounding Area

The most important thing you have to do when it comes time to find a townhouse for sale with DDProperty is that you specify the areas you are comfortable with and know what type of environment you will actually be in. While every area is going to have their own benefits and their own problems, you just can’t afford to live in a spot where you know the hassle is too much. What if the crime is too high, the traffic and noise are too dense and loud, or even the schools aren’t that great? When you are looking for the next place to call your home and you have to understand exactly what you are getting yourself into, the one of the best things to do is find out about the area.

If you are unaware of the general area, you could always continue to seek out advice by asking your realtor. After all, they should be comfortable enough with a given location to tell you what you need to know. On the other hand, you might want to be sure you are getting the up to date information straight from the source and in that case you could always just speak with the neighbors of a potential home and see what they have to say. Take all information with a grain of salt just in case they are overly happy or unsatisfied with the area, but where there is smoke there is fire and you should also be able to spot trends if multiple people have the same opinions about an area. The last thing you want to do is to move into an area where you have things surprise you, after all.

Know Your Upfront Costs

While costs can absolutely change depending upon the location, the realtors, the type of loan and even the type of property, if you are looking to buy a home then you need to know the cost of the closing itself is expensive but everything leading up to it will absolutely nickel and dime you as well. The fees and taxes that are already mandated for the services you are expecting can be enough of a hit on your wallet or your purse, but when you start to think about the specifics of what else is going to start costing you then you have to know what you will be on the hook to pay.

According to Fox News, the other things you should be expecting to pay when you are looking to buy are the add-ons that most people know they pay but don’t realize how quickly they add up. Homeowners insurance is one, and PMI can be another. You don’t even know you need to pay them until you recall how expensive they actually become. Throw in the costs of maintenance for cleaning supplies and something like a lawnmower and your expected costs are through the roof.

Deciding on a house that you fall in love with will be exciting enough for anyone to want to rush through. Once you have found the unit of your dreams then why do you want to wait for anything else like specifics, fine print, or even paperwork? However, if you aren’t comfortable with the idea of making sure you know exactly what you are getting into, then perhaps home ownership isn’t for you yet.

Flipping Vegas is a reality television series on A&E that premiered on June 18, 2011.

The reality show features Scott Yancey and his wife Amie Yancey as they buy, fix and flip houses in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Flipping Vegas airs on Saturdays on A&E.

Amie Yancey works at the Goliath Company as an agent, investor, and interior designer.

Flipping Vegas features Scott Yancey and his wife Amie Yancey as they buy, fix and flip houses in Las Vegas

Flipping Vegas features Scott Yancey and his wife Amie Yancey as they buy, fix and flip houses in Las Vegas

She was born in Canada, and is now based in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works for the real estate brokerage and development company owned by her husband, Scott Yancey.

Amie Yancey has sold more than 600 new homes since moving to Las Vegas with her husband in 2004.

She is known for her ability to redecorate and redesign the properties Scott Yancey acquires quickly and cost-effectively, often coming in under-budget.

Amie Yancey grew up on a ranch and is something of a daredevil. She is an avid dirt biker, and also loves spelunking and other outdoor adventures sports. She has owned eight motorcycles and loves drag racing at stoplights in her Porsche, cave diving in the Caribbean, as well as sitting on a beach with her husband.

Flipping Vegas has had three seasons on A&E. The show has been highly controversial for the network, as it has been called fake by many other real estate firms.

Amie Yancey has a net worth of $5 million.

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In 2014, there is a very strong likelihood that the value of the UK real estate market will increase nearly 8%. There were surprise gains in 2013 that took place in all parts of the country, causing the estate agents and banks to estimate that this boom in the UK property market will continue throughout 2014. This seems to be the consensus view among economists and property professionals. There has been a round up of a survey that was conducted by more than seven banks, estate agents, and surveyors that shows that there will be a further growth in the UK property market and this is through the widespread forecast on the property markets.

Sunset at Hearst Castle
Stuck in Customs / CC BY-NC-SA

Gains will be particularly strong in the South East and in London, partially due to the initiatives of the government in encouraging banks to lend more money for remortgage deals and mortgages, and for consumers to buy more property, in a program known as Help To Buy. This has greatly restored some degree of confidence to the property markets in the UK which has been lacking for the past few years, hence leading to increase in demand. Even though the government of the UK has tried to remove some economic stimulus and has brought about some minor changes in how the mortgage markets are regulated, the property market is nevertheless expected to rise in 2014 as demand for real estate booms.

The expected results of this increase in the property markets in 2014

Due to the public belief that the growth in consumer confidence in the economy in late 2013 is likely to gain momentum in the 2014, people are becoming more willing to buy real estate, driving the price up. Property professionals are expecting a high likelihood that there will be a large increase in the buying and selling of houses, and more than one million homes will be bought and sold. Due to the increase in the transaction levels there is a high expectation that the growth in the real estate market will be around 8 per cent, but may be in the double digits. All this is caused by factors such as:

  • Better economic conditions
  • Improved confidence
  • Increased availability of mortgages

In the UK, the biggest winners in the property market boom will most likely be the sellers of high tech homes, the wrecks, and eco-homes. The UK property market has also split into two regions of particularly strong growth: London and South East. London is the biggest hotspot in the increase in the property market, growing at over 10 per cent last year. This is expected to continue throughout 2014. Due to the continuing boom in the UK property market in 2014, now is the best time for investors to invest more in real estate, and diversify their holdings.


In the past few years Bangalore has emerged as one of the most sought after places of India. One of the major IT hubs of the country, this city has allured people from the world over. The favorable weather, good job opportunities, friendly people, and mesmerizing lifestyle have inspired people to invest in the real estate and get settled in the city.

The fast growth of the IT companies has led to the increase in high net worth individuals ready to invest in luxury homes. As a result, luxurious villas have become a fad in this city. In recent years there has been a great rise in the demand for premium properties, especially villas. With most of the IT companies located in the Whitefield area of Bangalore, there is an increase in the demand for villas in Whitefield.

Roofs and Sea
Fr AntunesCC BY

With the increase in the disposable income most of the residents of Bangalore, people now aim to own world-class homes with the best of amenities. Most of the buyers look for villas in Whitefield close to their workplace as well as close to other basic amenities like medical centers, schools, supermarkets, and more. This helps them to save on the time and money spent on commuting. Luxury homes have now become a necessity for the opulence demanding young professionals.

These villas in Whitefield come with all the basic as well as luxurious amenities including private parking, swimming pool, personal terrace gardens, gym, spa, modern fitting & fixtures, Jacuzzi, foolproof security system, centralized heating, & air conditioning, and more. Some developers also offer customized villas and hence cater to the individual style and needs of their clients.

Another important reason for more and more people getting keen to buy villas is the factor of safety & privacy. The villas are considered safer and also provide the privacy which everyone requires for one’s family.

However, an important to note in this context is the rising prices of these villas in Whitefield. With the demand increasing and the supply of premium homes & villas not at par with the demand, has led to the overall increase in the price of the real estate in Bangalore. Another important reason for the increase in the price of villas is the increase in the labour and raw material rates. However, this has not stopped the buyers to invest in these properties. On the contrary, there is a surge in the demand for these villas as most people consider it to be a good long-term investment which would yield profitable returns in the long run.

The main reason for the shortage of supply of these premier homes is the huge investment required to build these villas. Not all real estate developers have the availability of land as well as finances to build such large properties. Another hindrance is the getting the required sanction from the authorities for building such properties is a time consuming process. Hence, it is only the big players of the real estate market that can afford investing in such big projects.

In the present day, the real estate property market is actually full of dream properties overloaded with all kinds of modern facilities that anyone can dream of. Moreover, the Villas in Whitefield are ideal buys in the market for those who are looking for something really good and magnificent villas. No wonder, the price range depends on the kind of facilities and amenities available for the buyers. The scenario is changing these days and there are lots of people who can now afford to buy these villas.

Canada, a very large country, is a haven for real estate investors. The country is composed of ten provinces and three territories. If you are considering an investment in the real estate sector of the country, you can definitely expect a sizeable return of investment (ROI), taking into consideration the fact that Canada is a highly developed country, and there are plenty of investors who want to gain a foothold on the very promising Canadian Real Estate sector. Because of the very large expanse of land area comprising the territory of Canada, investors should have a very keen eye for the right real estate investments which will definitely net them a high return of investment.

Image via Flickr

How to know the Potential ROI of a said Property?

A prospective real estate investor, before purchasing land, acreages for sale, or any vacant land, should take into consideration several factors. First, you have to calculate and have good data on the annual income of the real property. Likewise, you should know the cost of all potential taxes and mortgages relative to the property. These numbers will definitely give you an overall idea of the possible return of investment from buying the property.

The formula for this is quite simple. You have to calculate the total amount of income you will get from a property; then, you should divide this total by the sale price of the property.

Likewise, one should know the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) involved in a property. Usually, the Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR) is calculated by dividing the Net Operating Income by the Annual Mortgage Payments. The minimum acceptable DCR is 1.25.

There are other ways you can get an idea of the ROI, like calculating the Cash-on-cash return (COC) by dividing the Cash flow of the investment before taxes.

Risk Management and Evaluation

Image via Flickr

In order to diminish the risk involved in any prospective real estate investment in Canada, one should be able to mitigate the risks involved or do a risk management and evaluation. Say for instance, you would like to purchase a property in Toronto; then, you should be wary of the different risks involved in the investments to be able to mitigate the risks involved in your investment.

Some of the risks involved in purchasing a property include fraudulent sales, adverse possession, building component failures, cash shortfall, economic downturn, market decline, and many more. A good and wise prospective buyer would take into consideration all these potential risks to diminish and mitigate them, and at the same time, be able to recuperate a higher return of investment from the property which one wants to buy.

Bright prospect of Real Estate Property Sales in Canada

In the recent years, the sales of recreational real estates are definitely rebounding across B.C., while residential property in Greater Vancouver are cooling and slowing down. There is a remarkable 22% rise in sales of recreational property in B.C. While vacation home prices likewise are beginning to peak up.

National home sales in Canada rose more than 0.6% from the months of March to April. Likewise, the Canadian housing market still remains in balanced territory. Moreover, the national average sale price definitely rose 1.3% on April. These statistics are good indications of the gradual rise in the sales of real property in Canada.

In the past two years, Toronto had suffered a relatively 36% decline in new condominium sales. These years include 2011 and 2012. There were an estimated 144 skyscrapers which are under construction in the late February in Toronto, Canada, which is comparatively higher than in any other part of the world. Yet, there is a remarkable resurgence in the sales of new condo units in 2013, giving prospective investors a positive glimpse of what could be a recuperating process in the return of investments in real estate properties in Canada. However, we could not help but think that the previous weakening of Canada’s economy—which is highly touted as an example of stability—may be an indication that Canada’s economy is in the process of stalling.



The U.S. real estate market seems to have a relatively steady progress toward recovery in 2013.

During 2012 area residential and commercial property sales hit their highest level in five years for some regions throughout the country.

Coastal town real estate market boom tendency, the U.S. apartment shortage and the high rents, along with the Extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act of 2007, low mortgage rates and the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums revived by the fiscal cliff deal, all of these facts seem to lead to a real estate market growing trend.

Under these circumstances, for real estate brokers it is important to have a good multiple listings service (MLS) for their websites. An interesting article on Internet Data Exchange (IDX) provider Boomtown ROI is published on Real Geeks blog.

According to real estate research firm Reis Inc., low apartment vacancies and high rents may encourage more renters to become home buyers.

There have been three years of vacancy declines and in the last three months of 2012 the national apartment vacancy rate dropped to 4.5 percent. That was the lowest vacancy rate since the third quarter of 2001, according to Reis data. Also, the average effective rent of $1,048 was up 0.6 percent from the prior period, and marked the twelfth straight quarter of rising rent.

You’re starting to see the initial signs of rent versus own calculus that takes place. You’re starting to see it in New York and San Francisco, where people are paying $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, a month to rent. They look at it and say, ‘All right, I’m already dealing with 8 percent, 10 percent rent increases from year to year, how much longer do I really want to put up with this from landlords?” said Ryan Severino, senior economist at Reis.

Home values in Metro Detroit, while rising, remain low compared to the rest of the nation, and are also still below pre-recession levels.

Southeast Michigan’s real estate market is making great strides. Without question, we are on the road to recovery,” Jeanette Schneider, vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan, said in a press release.

Coastal town real estate market has a boom tendency.

Home prices are on the upswing, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. Home prices rose 4.3% in October 2012 in comparison to October 2011. While some states are still struggling, others are making huge progress. Massachusetts home sales have increased 38% from November 2011 to November 2012, while home prices also increased 2%. The number of home sales in the month of November throughout the state was at a level that has not been seen since 2005.

In Louisiana, both residential and commercial property sales reached their highest level in five years during 2012. The outlook for 2013 looks very promising in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, according to Bill Boyd, Bayou Board of Realtors president. Data for existing and new properties in Terrebonne, Lafourche and St. Mary parishes, plus part of Assumption Parish, shows sales of $343.8 million for 2,086 units in 2012, compared to $313.3 million for 1,934 units in 2008 when the national recession started.

In Florida and California, beach homes are quickly leaving the market as investor demand is rising, which is turning the “buyer’s market” into more of a “seller’s market.”

How to calculate real estate return on investment (ROI)

To determine a property is a good investment, you need to calculate the real estate return on investment (ROI). Before you begin, gather all relevant information, such as tenant payments, any property costs such as taxes and insurance fees and the original amount of your investment.

1 Calculate how much you would earn from the real estate. Let’s say you make $1,000 per month on one property. Multiply by 12 to get the yearly total. This means $12,000 per year.

2 Add up your expenses for the real estate. Include taxes, insurance, mortgage payments and repairs and any other expenses pertaining to the property. Let’s say you pay $1,500 a year for taxes, $1,500 a year for insurance, $500 a month ($6,000 a year) for mortgage payments and $500 a year for repairs. That would be a total of $9,500 a year for expenses.

3 Calculate the investments. Down payment and costs of repairs made before renting or leasing the property are considered investments. Let’s say you put $20,000 down on the real estate and made $5,000 in initial repairs then your total investment is $25,000.

4 Calculate the net operating income. Your net operating income (NOI) can be found by subtracting the total expenses from the total amount that you would earn from renting or leasing the real estate. Using the examples above, if your yearly earnings were $12,000, your NOI would be $12,000 – $9,500 = $2,500.

5 Use the NOI to get the ROI. Divide the NOI by your total investment amount. The number that you will get will need to be converted to a percentage by moving the decimal point two places to the right. Using the examples above,  $2,500/$25,000 = 0.10, which would be 10 percent for the ROI.