Multi-Family Housing Out of Reach? It Ain't Necessarily So!
Lincoln multi-family housing is the umbrella term covering all the various kinds of residences that shelter more than one family. Everything from duplexes and homes with guest cottages to apartment complexes fall into the category, which is most often thought of in terms of the solid investment potential it represents.
While Lincoln multi-family housing offers all of the same investment potential and more (the economies of scale can give an apartment building listing, for instance, many times the profit potential of a single family rental), a multi-family residence can also be the pathway to homeownership for a first-time home buyer. You might not think so, but when a prospective buyer will also be resident, standard financing guidelines—even for FHA loans—may apply. The lending particulars vary by a given Lincoln property’s specifics—among other factors, whether or not cash flow-producing tenants are already in place. But the assumption that the higher mortgage amounts associated with multi-family housing opportunities automatically puts them out of reach ain’t (as the song says) necessarily so!
The NAR® finds that some 38% of residences are purchased by first-time buyers—yet it’s a safe bet that most of them would never consider that purchasing multi-family homes could be a great way to own their first home (and even generate some extra income at the same time). To begin to examine this as a possibility, some basic research into some of the key elements of multi-family financing is a logical preliminary step.
· Down Payment Options
Today’s loan requirements may be seeing some degree of easing, but most Lincoln multi-family homes listings carry bigger down payments than single residences. Even so, some FHA loans for a one- to four-unit home require just a 3.5% down payment. A variety of other loan programs emphasizing affordable down payment options may also apply.
· Cash Reserves Requirements
Some traditional lenders have no specific cash reserve requirements, while the FHA has defined guidelines. For one- or two-unit properties, buyers must have one month’s worth of reserves (cash left after closing). For three- to four-unit homes, the requirement is for three months of reserves.
· Debt-to-Income Ratio
Lenders evaluate debt-to-income ratios to include other monthly debt payments as well as the anticipated mortgage payment. They weigh that against gross monthly income…and, needless to say, lenders who include a high percentage of projected rental income will be more likely to find a loan viable.
- Written by Russell Stucki
To Ease Decision Pressure, Sync with Your Lincoln REALTOR©
When you find yourself poised on the brink of any new real estate venture, there’s no more important initial step than seeking out a great Lincoln Realtor® to round out your team. Without even thinking about it, everyone automatically knows that they want a real estate professional with the technical experience, communication skills, and local knowledge that such serious business requires. It also won’t hurt if your Realtor has bottomless reserves of energy and a positive attitude to match—as well as the sympathetic human traits that makes them a pleasure to work with.
There are lots of conventional channels that make it easy to identify perfectly well-qualified Lincoln Realtors (and we are lucky to have many talented ones here in the area)—but when you’re looking for the one who will sync with you and your ultimate goals, that level of rapport will most likely take an extra proactive step or two to secure.
Positive word-of-mouth is a good way to start, but it’s realistic to remember that the one making the referral may or may not share your priorities in a working relationship. You will be working together for a while, and depending upon each other to make some significant decisions—some of which could be made under pressure. When the team has good chemistry going for it, those decisions will come easier. A few ideas that people have found helpful in finding the right Realtor:
Check out a Realtor’s Open House
This is a good way to see a Realtor at work. Whether you are buying a Lincoln home or selling your own, dropping in unexpectedly will allow you to listen to what they say and how they interact with prospects. Don’t hesitate to be upfront about your own situation: a great Realtor will be able to help other potential buyers and deal with you without missing a beat!
Use Social Media
You can also start conversations with prospective Realtors on social media to gauge how long it takes them to respond, whether or not they can give you detailed answers, and to see how they engage with other members of the public. This is a good way to tell if they use social media skillfully, building their brand while clearly valuing the people who interact with them.
Consult with Other Professionals
The opinions of contractors, mortgage brokers and repair people can be valuable, too. Professional people have an insider’s view of the Lincoln Realtors who work hard to get the job done efficiently.
Of course, fine-tuning your choice should include doing the conventional legwork, too. Look at the Realtor’s listings, their track records, their accolades, and where they live. The rest is up to you. Needless to say, I hope I make it to your final cut!
- Written by Russell Stucki
When a Real Estate Investment Beckons, the Question to Ask
It happens: an all-but-irresistible
real estate investment crops up when you’re least expecting it. You may have been actively searching for your next family home when you happen across a particularly good bargain—but it’s not a good fit for your own family. "Holy cow," you think to yourself, "that’s a ridiculously great property at an absurdly low price!"
That can start the wheels turning. If you have the financial resources (or enough experience to know how to corral them), it can be the genesis of a lucrative real estate investment in
. There is, however, one question to be asked before taking the idea to the next level.
It’s a question familiar to experienced investors in all walks of life. Whenever a phenomenal opportunity presents itself, it’s the first question that venture capitalists, stock market analysts, even small business entrepreneurs automatically pose. There are scores of ways this question might be worded, but they all boil down to pretty much the same kernel of an idea—which is to question the assumptions that make this new venture so seemingly irresistible. In short, at its core the question is simply, "What’s wrong with this picture?"
Applied to any real estate investment in
Lincoln, it’s a valuable opening question. Finding a great property at an unbelievable price—one that unmistakably flashes ‘profit!’ for either renting or reselling—does happen, of course. But it’s never wrong to take a step back for a reality check. Remember, there are alert competitive forces at play in the local market. Other real estate investors are constantly on the lookout for the next promising Lincoln
real estate investment opportunity.
You may well be among the first to notice a prime offering, but even so, you’ll be well served to look hard for a reason why it hasn’t already been snapped up. The fact is, there is a well-developed, reliable mechanism at play that should lead a seller to have a good idea of what his property is worth—and therefore, what to ask for it. The comparable property value numbers—the ‘comps’—make the market fairly well ‘regularized.’ They make greatly underpriced offerings rare.
Asking yourself what’s wrong here? is a shorthand way of reminding yourself to curb your enthusiasm as you exercise all the due diligence steps: verifying the condition of the property inside and out and spelling out title and lien issues and location, neighbor, neighborhood and historical matters. The curbed enthusiasm should last until those inquiries come up with the right answers…at which point, even the most jaded real estate investors tend to put the pedal to the metal. When everything begins to check out, they know a crowd will soon be forming!
It’s my job to help facilitate every phase of a good
Lincoln real estate investment—from discovery and investigation through offer, negotiation and all the documentation steps. It’s what happens when the answer to, "What’s wrong with this picture?" turns out to be, "Absolutely nothing!" If you’re looking to buy an investment property in Lincoln
this summer, call me today!
- Written by Russell Stucki
Lincoln Seller Financing Can Be a Powerful Inducement
Mortgage Credit Availability Index shows a slight relaxation in lending standards — but as most Lincoln home buyers and sellers will agree, getting a mortgage is still difficult. With mortgage availability benchmarked at 100, although it’s currently at 111 ½, compared with the 800 it stood at in 2007, today’s is still a tough environment.
That’s why Lincoln seller financing is being considered by more homeowners. When a home is owned outright, seller financing can draw a higher selling price (with future interest payments as a bonus). But before making such an offer, Lincoln homeowners need to consider all of the ramifications: there is more involved than just the assumption of added risk.
Of course, ordering and examining a buyer’s credit report is the starting point. If the story it tells needs too many explanations, it’s time to walk away. Foreclosing on a seller-financed home can be more difficult than through a traditional foreclosure —particularly if the financing documents are substandard.
At first blush, seller financing might seem to simplify the whole transaction, but in fact some details usually handled by a bank must be hammered out:
· Who will pay for the appraisal; who for the inspection?
· Who is going to be responsible for property taxes and upkeep?
· Will the deed be transferred to the buyer right away, or only after the home is paid off?
Those issues point out why a "handshake deal" can’t be recommended for a Lincoln seller financing arrangement. Just consider the last two points: if the deed hasn’t been transferred and taxes are in arrears, whose credit is harmed?
A good attorney will draft an agreement that nails down responsibilities and penalties for a buyer default as well as a detailed payment structure. A well-drafted seller financing agreement protects both parties by preventing misunderstandings and providing an unambiguous inducement for good behavior.
Given the right buyer, clear communicating and a framework cemented by the proper paperwork, Lincoln seller financing can provide the missing element that makes a sale possible. If you will be listing your own Lincoln home this spring, when you give me a call, we can discuss many of the different paths to success.
- Written by Russell Stucki