Beat the Crowd When Investing in Real Estate

We all are thinking about it and some of us are actually taking action and getting their hands on real estate investment properties. The longer the NY Stock Exchanges doesn’t produce desirable returns the more people are starting with real estate investments.For most of us the obvious choice of properties are single family homes. Although you can invest in real estate without owning a home, most people follow the experience they made while purchasing their own home. This is familiar ground and the learning curve for doing a real estate deal of this type is pretty slim.Of course there’s a drawback with this approach. The competition is fierce and there are markets where investors are artificially driving up the cost of the properties while completely discouraging first time home buyers. If this is the case, the burst of the real estate bubble is just a matter of time.How do you avoid these situations and still successfully invest in real estate? How do you get ahead of the competition and be prepared for bad times in real estate investments as well? The only answer I have is commercial real estate.Why commercial real estate you might ask? Commercial real estate is a solid investment in good and bad times of the local real estate market. The commercial real estate I’m referring to are multi unit apartment buildings.Yes you will become a landlord and No you don’t have to do the work by yourself. You are the owner and not the manager of the apartment building. The cost of owning and managing the building is part of your expenses and will be covered by the rent income.Apartment buildings are considered commercial real estate if there are 5 or more units. To make the numbers work you should consider to either own multiple small apartment buildings or you should opt for bigger buildings. This will keep the expense to income ratio at a positive cash flow. Owning rental properties is all about positive cash flow.With investing in single family homes it is easy to achieve positive cash flow. Even if your rent income doesn’t cover your expenses 100%, the appreciation of the house will contribute to the positive cash flow. With commercial real estate the rules are different.While single family homes are appraised by the value of recent sales of similar homes in your neighborhood, commercial real estate doesn’t care about the value appreciation of other buildings. The value of the property is solely based on the rent income. To increase the value of a commercial real estate you need to find a way to increase the rent income. The formula on how this is calculated would be too much for this short article. I listed a few very helpful books where you can find all the details.What’s another advantage to invest in commercial real estate? Commercial real estate financing is completely different than financing a single family home. While financing a single family home you are at the mercy of lenders who want to make sure that you are in the position to pay for the house with your personal income. Commercial real estate financing is based in the properties ability to produce positive cash flow and to cover the financing cost.After reading all these information about commercial real estate you want to go out there and dive into the deals. Not so fast. First, you need to learn as much about real estate as possible. In commercial real estate you’re dealing with professionals. If you come across too much as a newbie you will waste these guys’s time and your commercial real estate career ended before it actually started. Second, no commercial real estate lender will lend you any money if you can’t show at least a little bit of real estate investment experience.What’s the solution to this? Go out there and do one or two single family home deals yourself. It doesn’t matter if you make huge profits to start off with. Most newbie investors are losing money on their first deal anyway. If you can manage to show positive cash flow with your single family home deals you are ahead of the pack.My advice, buy a small single family home in a decent neighborhood and rent it immediately. This will keep your out of the pocket expenses at a minimum and you will have rent income to cover for your monthly expenses. Bonus, you gain experience as an investor and as a landlord.Here’s another observation I made during my real estate investment career. Most people like to analyze, learn, discuss and analyze some more. They never actually got to do a real estate deal. They love to talk about real estate investments, but never did it themselves.My approach to real estate investment was simple.- I bought some books about real estate investment.- I read every single one of them.- I put together a simple plan on how I want to get started.- I started looking for properties.- I bought my first investment property 30 days after I started reading my first book.- I made positive cash flow with all of my properties so far.What is my point? You have to go out there and practice what you’ve learned. The only valid credential in the real estate business is practical experience. Having a couple of deals under your belt, you can go out there and start looking at commercial real estate and even impress seasoned investors with your knowledge. Because you made this experience by yourself and you know what you’re talking about.Book reference for commercial real estate investments:Gary W. Eldred, PhD: “Make Money with Small Income Properties”Jack Cummings: “Real Estate Financing and Investment Manual”You will find these books and many more on my real estate investment website at http://www.suncoastrenttoown.com/author_directory.htmSincerely,Peter Dobler

Curtain Shelf Brackets – An Iron Home Decorating Homerun

Redecorating a room used to mean daunting choices, but not any more. For a bedroom, a rustic theme drew me to consider wrought iron products for new window treatments. Wrought iron home décor decision down, what next? I found a huge selection of ornamental iron products, including iron curtain rods and curtain accessories to satisfy my curiosity.The item that dominated my imagination was the iron curtain shelf bracket. As a woodworker and traveler with the US military, this offered me a vision of display of cultural or wood items I wanted to show off. Plus, iron curtain rods matched with other iron curtain accessories easily filled this home decorating void.Curtain shelf brackets are designed to accommodate a standard 1 x 6 milled board, with a length fashioned to the width demands of your window. Think about how the wood itself contributes to the home decorating theme. Paint and distress new wood or recycle that antique-looking wood to achieve the impeccable shabby chic look. Personally, for something else to focus attention, I’ll mill a shelf from a local tree and apply natural finish to enhance the wood’s visual appeal.Design of the curtain shelf bracket attracts attention, from use of plain bracket or one with a catchy silhouette. The bracket is 5 ½” deep to accommodate the wood shelf, and 7 ½” in height. At the bottom of the bracket is a decorative hook to simply cradle the wrought iron curtain rod. An important consideration pertains to available silhouettes. The ultimate clearance from shelf bottom to the curtain rod may be a limiter for any silhouettes desired on the curtain rod. Consider this: The shelf bracket is available with many of our common silhouettes. Most silhouettes add 3″ to the height of the bracket. Move the silhouette theme from the curtain rod to the shelf bracket. Many iron curtain rod designs are available that well compliment the curtain shelf bracket. These range from the Ball, Remington or Curl, and are available in four adjustable lengths for any home decorating requirement.Is your window wide, causing you doubts about use of the curtain shelf bracket? The solution is easy. I recommend you consider using a center shelf bracket with 36″ width windows. Wood can remain stable and strong over that width. Over 36″ width windows, it is strongly recommended to include the center shelf bracket. As an example, I have a window that’s 130″ wide. Two brackets help support not only the shelf, but the wrought iron curtain rod. The center support bracket is for safety and appearance.With the curtain shelf bracket installed and your iron curtain rod at the ready, complete an exquisite look with curtain accessories. The wrought iron curtain clip or curtain tie back completes your iron home décor theme. Now decorate the shelf and challenge yourself with another room. A plethora of options simplify iron home decorating. Get hooked by this classic style.