Real Estate is a real investment

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Real Estate is a real investment.

Real Estate is a real investment

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More and more people are buying real estate, as an investment. For 20+ plus years real estate has been part of our financial portfolio. Some houses have been rentals and some have been flips. Real estate is a staple for investing. Real estate can be a great enhancement to any financial portfolio and a  great tax shelter as read in a recent  Inman News article.

The Real Estate professionals at The Gus Anthony Team are well qualified to help clients maneuver the process of investing . The Gus Anthony team knows about investing and while we can give the best advise from experience, we advocate that investors consult an accountant regarding tax liabilities and shelters.

1. Borrow cash against the asset

Real estate is the easiest asset to borrow against. The investment property is a way to secure cash to invest in the property for repairs and updates. Work done to investment properties can also be tax deductible. Some investors like to think that the “renter” is paying for the loan(s) on the property. Investor loans can be obtained for the initial purchase of an investment property, loan programs and terms vary. Contact a lender for rates and terms.

2. Shelter capitol gains using like-kind exchanges

To shelter real estate investment cash flow from taxes,  buy like-kind properties through tax-free exchanges, also referred to as a Section 1031 exchange. The property must be a like kind and must be purchased at the same or higher price of the “sold” property. An investor can buy a second property without paying tax on the sale of the first property or at least shelter the gain (profit) by rolling it into the 1031 exchange.

3. The first time investor

The first time investor starts with the first home purchase.  The steps: Purchase the home and get a 1st time buyer loan (when possible), live in the home at least 6 months, identify another home to purchase and financing, rent out first home and move into the new home. The rented home may not produce income right away, but there should be tax benefits plus, someone else is paying for the investment and over time that first home will appreciate and rent will go up.

4. How We Can Help

The Real Estate professionals at The Gus Anthony Team are well qualified to help clients maneuver the process of investing. We can help turn a home into an investment while moving up and into another home. We are also very well versed on ROI and work with investors at all levels. The Gus Anthony team knows about investing and while we can give the best advise from experience, we advocate that investors consult an accountant regarding tax liabilities and shelters. We have found many great properties for many investors and we have solutions and programs specific to this matter. Contact us and we can work together to grow a financial portfolio that includes Real Estate

 With proper planning, rental real estate can create  tax reductions while allowing the renter to pay for the house. A compliment to any financial portfolio.

The 2015 DC Design House: 20 Designers One Roof!

The 2015 DC Design House: 20 Designers One Roof – Proceeds Benefit Children’s Miracle Network!

The 2015 DC Design House is under way! 20 Designers under one roof in the 8th DC Design House event in McLean, Virginia! This year we are lucky to have this amazing event here in lovely McLean, Virginia. There will be 20 interior designers in one home ready to share tools and tips! This is the first year that a home in Virginia has been selected so take advantage of this great event.  It’s a great opportunity to meet professional interior designers, view new and exciting home décor as well as enjoy a 8,870-square-foot, farm house-style residence in McLean.

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The 2015 DC Design House is open for tour till May 10, 2015. The price for admission is $30 and each room features designs from different interior designers. ALL PROCEEDS will go benefit The Children’s Miracle Network!

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 Check it out at 956 Mackall Farms Lane, McLean Virginia!

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To view more pictures click here!

Hope that everyone get’s a chance to visit The 2015 DC Design House! Need more information? Check it out at www.thegusanthonyteam.com.

Small Place? Make Space!

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Sometimes affordable living is small living. Many homes give up wonderful amenities such as back yards, closet space, etc.Some people love it some people hate it. Either way, below is a list of ways to maximize your small living space.

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1. Financial advantages

Maybe you are downsizing because all the kids grew up. Maybe you are just starting out and need something small. There are financial gains to smaller living. The average person spends about 30% of each paycheck on housing. By embracing smaller, less expensive spaces it may offer financial freedom for travelling or earlier retirement.

2. Prioritize your belongings

Living in a smaller home means if it doesn’t fit, it can’t stay. If you haven’t used something or even thought about it in a 6 month period or even a year it’s probably time to let it go. Prioritizing belongings may even bring you a little extra joy knowing you can help someone else by selling or donating items. Allow yourself leeway for sentimental items. If it means that much to you hold one to it. Even consider creating something useful out of old items; for example, turning your favorite old t-shirts that you love but never wear anymore and turn them into a quilt.

3. Get creative with storage

You can create hidden storage by creating drawers under your bed to create more space for storage. Even elevating your bed to put a desk or another useful area is a great way of creating extra space when it’s very limited. Decorate your room with jewelry or scarfs that not only accent your room but also allow you to see what you have in plain sight without having to search in a box or closet for it.

4. Factor in the furniture

Multifunctional furniture is key in small spaces. Nightstands or tables with drawers add more storage space into the home. Appliances can be multifunctional as well. Make a game or challenge out of it. Even if you have a home with plenty of space you may not have enough room for everything you own. With less stuff to worry about, because you managed to place everything neatly away in your amazing storage space ideas, you may find yourself feeling freer and happier!

Welcome to the team!

Regina!The Gus Anthony Team is proud to announce and welcome Regina Payton as the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager. Regina will be responsible for team leadership as well as marketing. Regina brings 12 years industry experience. As the Sales and Marketing Manager, Regina will serve as a coach, leader and trainer. As the Gus Anthony Team grows in Northern Virginia, we are excited to have Regina join our team. Her wonderful ability to build relationships, exert her fresh energy and knowledge let us know that her professionalism will represent the team well.

Over the past 12 years Regina has worked in the Real Estate Field in many capacities; Realtor, Regional Operations manager, Team Manager, and executive assistant. She is a true professional in the field. Regina will add great value to our team!

Save Water in your Home

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How Much Water Do We Waste Brushing Our TeethConserving water isn’t only good for the environment; it’s also great for your pockets! Here are some helpful reminders that will help you save water, for a more extensive list you can visit this sit for 100 tips.

  1. Turn off the faucet –You can save 12 to 18 liters of water just by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth! An individual person can waste 684 gallons of water in the course of a year just from brushing their teeth. Think about all the times the water is running when shaving, washing dishes, etc. It can save a lot over time.
  2. 5 minute showers – 150 gallons of water a month could be saved by reducing showers by a minute to two.
  3. Reduce laundry – Reusing clothes and towels and waiting to run the washer when you have a full load will save.
  4. Collect water – If you have plants, when you rinse your fruits and vegetables you can collect the water to use water to feed your plants instead of wasting it down the drain.
  5. Only flush for #2 – Flushing an older toilet can use as much as 20 liters to flush every time it’s flushed. New toilets use about 5 liters per flush.

Rising Prices!

 

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The January 2014 Kiplingers magazine has an article titled “Home Prices On The Rise. In the article, they include a chart of 100 U.S metro areas and track how prices have done over the last 12 months in those areas and also compare where prices are to the previous peak. For example, the thriving Austin, Texas market gained 12.1 percent in the past year and that puts it 12.9 percent past the previous peak. On the other hand, Las Vegas gained 32.2 percent this year but still has another 52.3 percent to go to get back to the peak.

Our market has found a nice comfortable middle ground.  We gained 10.2percent last year but are 26.2 percent from the peak.  This is a nice pace.  And, if you are one of the many believers in this vibrant area we live in, it may be the perfect time to get on board for both selling and moving up or buying for the first time.  This is a train that’s just getting out of the station.  Get on board!

6 Tips for Preparing to Buy A Home

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Whether you are just starting to consider purchasing a home, there are some steps you should take to make the process easier. 

Here are six steps in preparing you to buy a home:

Check Your Credit
Start out by requesting a credit report. Checking your credit report early on in the home-buying process is essential. If you happen to find something negative on your report, it can take months to clear up. The U.S. government allows for one free report each year from each of the three national credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Make sure to visit annualcreditreport.com for your free reports.

Pay Down Debt
Banks do not want to see that you owe a lot of debt. Having too much debt negatively affects your credit score. Banks need to know that you will be able to pay their loan and a high credit score is what they want to see. So start off by paying down all your credit card debt. It’s a good idea to put off purchasing a new car or other major purchase until after you have been approved for a mortgage.

Build A Down Payment
A down payment of no less than 20 percent of the home price is your target goal. It is not always necessary, particularly if you are a first-time homebuyer. A 3.5 percent down payment is the minimum required to secure an FHA loan. So although you might not end up bringing 20 percent to the transaction, be prepared to bring some cash to the transaction.

Research Neighborhoods
Do you know which part of town you want to live in? It’s time for you to start exploring. Drive around, walk the streets, visit the shops and eat in the restaurants. If you can picture yourself living there, then start searching for a home in that area. If not, you’ll have to start exploring in another community. Also, even if you don’t have children or don’t have children in public schools, research school districts too. Homes in good school districts tend to sell more quickly in the event you should decide to sell in the future.

Get Pre-Approved
Unless you are paying cash for your home, get a pre-approval letter from a lender. You will know exactly how much home you can afford; plus it shows sellers that you are serious. Plan to secure a pre-approval right before you start looking around at homes. It’s best to meet with more than one lender to determine which company you trust most and which one can offer you the best terms and interest rate. Your real estate agent can provide you with the names of some reputable lenders.

Find a Local Agent
Finding a real estate professional who can guide you through the steps of the home buying process is important. They can provide you with insights on your local real estate market and help you find the home of your dreams.

5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

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Are you currently renting but ready to make your dreams of homeownership a reality? Are you prepared for this big step? If you are considering purchasing a home, here are a few things you should consider.

Are You Prepared to Do the Research?

Buyers generally have the advantage in a down market, but you shouldn’t go into the transaction blindly. Before you start searching the Internet for your dream home, there are a few things you should do. Find a real estate professional that will guide you through the home-buying process. Make sure to familiarize yourself with real estate lingo. Do you know what an offer is? Do you know what type of mortgage you should get? Buying a home is an exciting process, but it requires a lot of work too.

What’s Your 5-Year Plan?

Do you plan on staying in your new home for at least five to seven years? You answer to this question will help you decide whether renting or buying is right for you. If you plan on moving in the next year or so, then buying a home does not make financial sense. You typically shouldn’t buy a home unless you’re comfortable staying there for at least 5-7 years. This allows you the time to build up equity and make up for the costs of buying, selling and moving.

Are You Aware of the Costs Associated?

Today’s minimum down payment requirements range from 3.5 percent on an FHA loan to 10 or even 20 percent for conventional loans. That means coming up with anywhere from $10,500 to $60,000 on a typical $300,000 house. If you are not able to meet certain down payment criteria, you will also have to pay mortgage insurance or PMI, which helps cover the bank in case you default on payments. Besides a down payment, there are also closing costs associated with the home-buying process that you may have to pay in cash, which can run as high as 3-4% of your total purchase price. Add that to the cost of moving and any sort of improvements your home may need and it quickly adds up.

What Is My Credit Score and How Can I Improve It?

Want to reduce your monthly mortgage? Improving your credit score before the home-buying process actually begins is important. In addition to paying your bills on time, be sure to reduce your debts (especially those with high interest rates) and keep unused lines of credit open. All of these strategies can improve your score and allow you to qualify for the best mortgage interest rates available. You can check your credit score on sites like FreeCreditScore.com to keep track of any improvements or any areas for improvement.

Do I Have the Right Real Estate Professional Guiding Me?

Finding a real estate professional that can guide you through your home buying process and provide you with insights on your local real estate market is very important. They are your partner in the home buying process and can make the experience less stressful. They will help you navigate all the paperwork, your financing options, offer process and more.

10 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Agent

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Clients are often quick to ask, “Why should I hire a real estate agent?” That’s a great question. It may seem easy enough to buy or sell a home without a real estate agent. But in reality, there is a lot involved in the process that you may not be aware of. So, here are 10 reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent.

Education & Experience

By hiring a real estate professional, you won’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate. Find the right agent. One who will assist you in determining how much house you can afford and get you a pre-approved loan. Simply searches, update you to new homes that match your criteria, and always keep you informed. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people that are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are.

Neighborhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know that it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Agents can give you a list of references with whom they have worked with and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

Handling Volumes of Paperwork

One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970’s. Today’s purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. Which does not include the federal and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers are the ones that handle the disclosures.

Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent’s success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if they had to depend on consistently depend on new business. For this reason, it gives agents strong incentives to make clients happy and satisfied. An agent who stays in business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again.

Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you’re a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out their sword and keep the builder’s agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you’re a seller, your agent will filter the phone calls that lead to nowhere and try to get serious buyers to write an offer immediately.

Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. For example, if a listing is at 7%, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the clients has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

Market Conditions Information

Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge impact on what you ultimately decide to do.

Negotiation Skills and Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It’s part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

Answer Questions After Closing

Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Because even the smoothest transactions can come back to haunt you. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, document stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out all the confusion.