Scot Ulmer Real Estate

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Home Renovations That Will Increase Your Property Value

As winter turns to spring, you may be considering not just a cleaning, but a renovation of your home, either in preparation for a sale or for improved livability. Here are some general steps to home improvement that will ensure your efforts are adding value to your home, wherever it is.

 

Fixer-Upper

Be sure to address basic maintenance and repairs as the first step of any renovation effort. The essential functioning of your home is, aside from the major outside appearance, its most significant selling point. Ensure the house is adequately insulated, especially if it has an attic. Inspect and if necessary repair the furnace, septic system, and other plumbing, including the gutters. Maintain the lawn or garden plants — basic weeding improves the look of a house significantly.

 

A New Door

The most significant value-adding renovation is a new front door for the house. Any house benefits from a positive first impression, and a new door ensures that everyone from the new neighbors to potential buyers gets a good first look at your home.

 

Make a Plan

The next most valuable improvement is an open floor plan between the kitchen and living room. Buyers and visitors value space in this core interior part of the house, and a few hundred dollars can provide that feeling for your home. The goal should be to create a more spacious kitchen in a way that does not conflict with the existing decor of the room.

 

Put Some Light on the Subject — and Go Green

Especially if you take the opportunity to switch to LED or other eco-conscious lighting such as sub tubs and dimmers, which are both increasingly popular, upgrading your house’s lighting can brighten the mood and add significant appeal to your home. In fact, a general upgrade of your house’s energy systems to make them more efficient and eco-conscious nets considerable savings, potentially 30-40% on the heating and cooling systems alone.

 

Under Your Feet

Real estate professionals overwhelmingly recommend assessing and devoting some money to improving your flooring. Simply repairing broken tiles or damaged floor boards, and definitely removing wall-to-wall carpeting could recoup their cost twice over. If complete floor replacement is necessary, engineered hardwood holds the best value.

 

These basic steps are straightforward ways to improve the look and mood of your home, which will add value if and when you wish to sell.

 

The Best Places to Retire in the United States

When it comes to your retirement, you want to be somewhere you can live out the rest of your days comfortably, both financially and socially. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have the life you desire after leaving the workforce. You deserve it! You’ve been working hard most of your life and adding to your retirement savings plan, so it only makes sense that when you reach retirement age, you would want to move somewhere that will support your desired lifestyle. For most, there are several key considerations that make the checklist: affordability, access to quality health care facilities, and recreational activities.

According to CBS News, the baby boomer generation is reaching prime retirement age, with about 10,000 people from that generation turning 65 every day. With the aforementioned  considerations in mind, as well as surveys of retirees, it’s easy to pick out some of the prime retirement spots in the country. I’ve consulted several sources ranking the best places to retire and put together a list of my own. Here are my picks, in no particular order, of the top five places to retire in the United States. Keep in mind that this list takes into consideration cost of living and access to hobbies and healthcare, but there may be other things that factor into your decision of where to retire, so use this as a reference but do your own research as well.

1. Orlando, Florida

A lot of these lists I consulted list multiple Florida cities. We get it, Florida is a popular place to retire with its year-round warm weather and abundance of beaches, golf courses, and retirement communities. But this list would be pretty boring if all I did was list cities in Florida, so I’ve picked one that tends to pop up on multiple lists. Orlando is more than just the theme park capital of the world; it is also an all-around great place for retirees, according to WalletHub’s annual analysis. Orlando ranked first overall among all 150 cities evaluated and sixth for activities and seventh for affordability. One thing’s for sure- you won’t run out of things to do with your grandkids!

2. Athens, Georgia

Athens, home to the University of Georgia, is perfect for those seeking a slower, more relaxed way of life. With its bustling, Victorian-era downtown, the city teems with a distinctive Southern charm. According to Forbes’ ranking, Athens has a strong economy, with cost of living ranking 1% below the national average. It also ranks extremely high on the Milken aging index, has good air quality, is walkable, and has a warm climate. The city has an average number of doctors per capita and no negatives.  

3. Colorado Springs, Colorado

The resort town of Colorado Springs is surprisingly affordable, with the cost of living at the national average and the median home price at $243,000. It is easily bikeable, with plenty of recreational activities to keep you busy in retirement. While there are plenty of parks and hiking trails nearby, the only downside is that the city itself is not very walkable.

4. Arlington, Virginia

Located just outside of Washington D.C., Arlington is definitely a pricier place to live, so if affordability is your main motivation, Arlington may not be the ideal retirement destination. However, it scores well for health care access, walkability, culture, and overall well-being. It is also located on D.C.’s metro line, so it’s just a short ride away from all of the activities the capital has to offer.

5. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale consistently ranks high as a retirement destination, with the highest over-65 population percentage on Huffington Post’s list, and according to CBS News, the city scores well for cost of living and good weather. It also provides a plethora of recreational activities such as golf courses and hiking trails. The downside is that while taxes are very affordable for retirees, housing is not-so-affordable with a median home price of $414,000.

Seven Real Estate Predictions for the New Year

Every time a new year rolls around, people love to predict what the future will hold. For some, this means setting resolutions that they will (most likely) give up on by the end of the year. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to predict what the future will hold, on both personal and global levels. This year, we have a new president whose choices could have profound impacts on the economy, and the real estate market as a result. The economy is volatile and subject to change… wars could break out, an asteroid could strike the earth, the apocalypse could come. Not saying those last few things are likely, but my point is that anything could happen.

As a real estate professional with over 20 years of experience, I’ve been in the field long enough to know that real estate is one sector of the world that can be fairly easy to predict based on past trends and behaviors. Not only that, but it is important for both real estate agents and buyers/sellers to stay up-to-date on real estate trends, so that they can make informed decisions based on the current market.

If you’re looking to buy and/or sell a home this year or you’re a real estate agent wanting to achieve the best outcomes for your clients, then it pays to do your research. Luckily, I’ve already done some of it for you. Here are some of the top trends to look out for this year, according to industry experts.

1. Housing boom in suburbs and mid-sized cities

The years following the housing crisis saw a rise in the amount of people moving to large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco because real estate was more affordable. Now, however, as the market is in a gradual state of recovery, home prices are on the rise and buyers are flocking to the suburbs for more affordable housing. While the major cities will always be a hub for jobs, especially for younger people, the suburbs and mid-sized cities are typically the more affordable option. According to Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, “Now we see people would still like to live clost the city center where they’re close to amenities and in walkable neighborhoods, but for the first time they’re not able to find enough investory that’s affordable for them to buy.” Additionally, many young adults looking to buy their first homes are attracted to mid-sized cities (Raleigh, North Carolina for example) for the cheaper rents and lower housing prices that they offer. 

2. Millennials and baby boomers will take up a large share of the market

As the millennial generation comes of age, more and more will be looking to start families and buy their first homes in 2017. The younger end of this generation may be more attracted to rental properties early in their careers, but the older end (those in their early to mid-thirties) will start to mortgage homes due to a variety of factors including more jobs targeted at workers between the ages of 25 and 34,  and increased wages. On the other end of the spectrum, many baby boomers are reaching retirement age and will be purchasing retirement homes. According to Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com, some retirees will want to downsize to cut back on expenses, but a large proportion (now that their buying power has improved after the housing crisis) are purchasing large homes to accommodate children and grandchildren.

3. Home values will increase, but at a slower rate than last year

Home values will continue to increase, at a rate of about 3.6. This would be a slight decrease from last year, when national home values rose 4.8 percent. As the market recovers from the housing crisis, the increase in home values will start to level off. This slowdown in appreciation rates is an inevitable effect of the housing market normalizing after crisis, according to Gudell and Smoke.

4. Rent affordability will improve

Good news for twenty-somethings struggling to pay rent each month on their entry-level salaries! Real estate experts predict that rent prices will become more affordable across the nation as the rate of income growth is outpacing rental rates.

5. Mortgage rates will increase

While there are some who are fearful that the Trump presidency will lead us back into recession due to his plans to cut government spending, real estate professionals are actually optimistic. Rick Sharga, executive vice president of real-estate auction site Tex-X, believes Trump’s presidency will positively affect the housing and mortgage markets in the long term, and home buying will stay steady throughout 2017. In fact, home prices and mortgage rates are expected to continue to rise after the housing market crash of 2012. From a buyer’s and seller’s perspective, it makes sense to act sooner rather than later if you’re planning on buying/selling a home.

6. More new construction

As home values in general continue to increase, so too will the price of new construction, exacerbated by a shortage of labor in the construction industry forcing contractors to offer higher wages to compete for workers. Prices will increase for buyers to offset these costs. Yet, despite increases in the costs of new construction, the rate of new construction will increase as well based on the trends of the last few years, and the fact that higher wages and more flexible credit are giving home buyers more spending power.

7. Rise of the drones

Advancements in technology are expected to play a part in real estate trends this year as well, in the form of drones. Some real estate agents have already been using drones to capture flyover images of properties, and now (thanks to new regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration) homeowners can use them to take their own images of their homes, even using them as a way to bypass the home inspection.

 

Thicker Than Water: Why More Young Adults Are Living With Parents

A few decades ago, returning home to live with Mom and Dad for an extended period of time after college was not without a certain stigma attached. Young adults were expected to be independent and self-sufficient in older generations, and while that is still largely the case, more and more young Americans are choosing to live with their parents to save money until they have the financial means to provide for themselves.

According to the Washington Post based on data from real estate tracker Trulia,  the percentage of American young adults living with their parents is at a 75-year high, with nearly 40% of the millennial generation (young adults between the ages of 18 and 34) living with their parents or other family members in 2015. This is the largest percentage since 1940.

Even with recent job growth since the economic recession, this trend has been on the rise since 2005, when the number of young adults living with relatives was only one in three. In previous periods of recession, the number of young people living with their parents dropped off as economic conditions improved, but that is not the case anymore, as this all-time-high rate demonstrates.

As a result of more millennials returning to live at home than ever before, millennials are occupying a much smaller share of the housing market than would be expected for the largest generation in U.S. history. According to research from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, the number of adults under the age of 30 has increased by 5 million over the last decade, but the number of households for that group did not rise in proportion, growing by just 200,000 over the same period. This could be due, in part, to the fact that the barriers to owning a home are much steeper than they used to be. Even with the job market gradually improving, housing prices are not. Rent prices are on the rise in many cities and mortgage-lending standards are stricter than they used to be.

Additionally, millennials as a whole are getting married and starting families later in life than previous generations. Without a combined income to work with, homeownership is out of reach for many millennials. The Harvard Joint Center found that of those aged 25 to 34, only 40% of those earning less than $25,000 headed their own household. The rate is at 50% for those earning between $25,000 and $50,000 and 58% for those earning more than $50,000 in annual income. These statistics just go to show how inextricably linked income and homeownership are. Even as the millennial generation is expected to double its number of households by 2025, it still begs the question of what the long-term consequences of delayed homeownership will be.

7 Daily Habits of Top Real Estate Agents

Top Real Estate Agents

Why are top real estate agents successful, and other real estate agents unsuccessful?

Are there certain things that successful Realtors do on a daily basis that unsuccessful Realtors do not? How do they find leads? How much time do they spend prospecting each day?

The successful real estate agent has all the business they can handle (and then some!), while the unsuccessful Realtor struggles to find clients and their business up and down like a very stressful and unpleasant roller coaster.

  1. Plan Your Day Before It Starts

    • Take a few minutes the night before and plan your top priorities for the following day. Attack those things first!
  2. Write Valuable Blog Content

    • The more quality content you publish, the better chance you have to get found by buyers and sellers. Make blogging a priority and you will see results.
  3. Network and Socialize Daily

    • Being social and hosting events puts you in situations where you are more likely to meet someone who can help you advance in your career!
  4. Give to Get

    • When starting out on social media, share and promote the content of other top realtors. They will eventually want to reciproacte and share yours as you build and grow your online presence.
  5. Put Clients Needs First

    • Anything that helps my clients immediately goes to the top of my list. If you don’t make your clients happy, then nothing else really matters.
  6. Stay Up On Social Media

    • Understand the importance of social media and blogging in real estate. Doesn’t it make sense to put yourself infront of potential buyers and sellers online?
  7. Respond Quickly to Leads

    • Respond to ALL leads online, you have nothing to lose! You may get the client by default. Many of my clients were surprised that I was the only one who called them back!

5 Useful Tips For Buying Real Estate

5 Useful Tips For Buying Real Estate

How Hashtags Can Help Real Estate Professionals

SCOT ULMER

Twitter was the first form of social media to popularize the idea of “hashtags.” They define it by saying, “The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.”

For example: In a post about real estate, you would put a hashtag before whatever you were looking for: #RealEstateBroker, #FloridaRealEstate, #FirstTimeBuyer, #FloridaOpenHouse, etc…

By placing a hashtag before the term you are tweeting about, your post immediately reaches beyond just your own follower base. It will then reach a community of people around the world who are talking about the same thing. 

When you click on the tagged phrase, you are brought to see what the world has to say on your subject. Your contribution weaves itself into the fabric of discussions about the #realestatemarket or perhaps a more relevant example to my career: #ScotUlmerListings.

A recent study by Hubspot shows a post with a hashtag is 55% more likely to be retweeted, which means accessing a broader audience.

Hashtags allow you to jump into conversations that are trending (most popular) to show how your business can add perspective to a discussion. For example, if you notice a real estate tv show is appearing in the trending category, add your commentary during the show about what’s realistic and what’s not-so-realistic about the process that we are seeing.

The goal of social media is always interaction. You can search hashtags such as #propertyhunting alongside your #localcity and find people looking for properties right now. By interacting with them over online platforms, you can end up generating your own leads!

Discover what’s happening in your industry by searching topics like #interestrates, #newproperties #openhouse, or even simply, #realestate. You’ll see content from industry professionals and possibly reach more clients by using hashtags!

Sources: 

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/hashing-history-tutorial

https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309

5 Ways To Know It’s The Right Time To Sell Your Home

Congratulations!

Selling your home is a big deal! Whether you’re selling for the first time or for the fifth there is a lot that goes into the sale of your residence. Before you can ask questions like ‘how do I sell my home?’ you’ll need to ask yourself ‘am I ready to sell my home?’

Knowing you’re ready to sell isn’t as easy as waking up and deciding to. It’s never going to be the perfect time to move on from your current place, however there are ways to know if it’s a good opportunity, and a good decision, for you, your family, and your finances:

It’s the right time to sell when you have a plan

Having a plan is the most important part. You’ll need to understand the local market trends, as well as be sure you’re financially ready to make the transition from your current house into a new home. You’ll want to play out all the outcomes in your head with a lot of ‘what-if’ scenarios so you are prepared for anything. If there’s anything you’ll learn in the process of selling real estate it’s that you should always expect the unexpected.

It’s the right time to sell when you’re financially ready to sell

Having a strong understanding of your financial position will help you understand if it’s a good time for you to sell. It will also help you develop a plan after the sale, and where you’ll be able to go next. If you’ve owned your home for a long time and paid down your mortgage you should have some great equity built in! When you understand your finances it’ll allow you to determine if it’s the right time to sell, or if you should save up for another year or so.

It’s the right time to sell when you want a change of scenery

Change can be a good thing. There are many reasons you may want or need a change – whether it’s because you’ve outgrown your current place or are ready for a new location, there’s an abundance of reasons why it may be time to move on. If you’re looking for a change of scenery than you’ll want to be sure you’re committed to the change before deciding if it’s time to sell your home. If you’re on the fence about it, than it’s probably the wrong time for you to list your home for sale. However, if you decide you’re one hundred percent ready to make a move than go for it!

It’s the right time to sell when you are emotionally detached from your home

Being one hundred percent committed to the sale of your home is important before you undergo the process. Once you close, there’s no going back. That home no longer belongs to you, it belongs to someone else. Make sure you can handle that before moving on to the next phase of the sale. You’ll be moving to an exciting new chapter of life when you transition!

It’s the right time to sell when you’ve outgrown your house 

Outgrowing your house is typical for first time buyers, and young families. It’s time to find a home that can fit everyone. If your family is growing, there is a good chance you want to sell your house, and find a new one with more space!

 

Upcoming 3 Day Real Estate Investing Crash Course

Join us for our 3 Day Tampa Crash Course on the ABLE System. Scott Ulmer, the innovator of the ABLE System, and his deal making team will be on hand live teaching you the entire system used everyday in our thriving Real Estate Investing Business. Learn how to profit a minimum of $10,000 using no cash or credit, time and time again. February 12-14th 9-5PM you don’t want to miss it.

How I Was Able to Control $10,000,000.00 in Single-Family Homes In My First 100 Days In Business…

Flyer Tampa

Hello Tampa REIA Members and any others interested in coming to our Feb 12-14th event!

I am Scott Ulmer and I have been investing in real estate over 20 years. In that time, I have experienced some tremendous successes, and some tremendous failures as well.

Every time I fell down, I picked myself up. No matter how hard the situation, being tenacious and never giving up always paid off, and here I stand today.

I owned 2 real estate companies prior to the market meltdown, and ultimately lost them both. What I have learned and experienced firsthand is that failure is a part of success, and a person only truly fails when they quit. One thing I will never do is quit.

Just over 17 months ago I left my job, where I ran the real estate operation for a nationally-known real estate guru. I was also one of the top Mentors, and consulted hundreds of students around the country.

Although I enjoyed my time running that real estate operation, I learned a few things about myself. Not only did I have a particular knack for helping people become successful real estate investors, but I also took my years of investing experience and created a unique formula for success along the way.

I created a business model that, when implemented with the right systems, can generate immediate cash flow, and a lot of it!

In my first 100 days in business at my new investing company, I used this system to gain control of $10,000,000.00 worth of beautiful Real Estate in highly desirable areas all around Jacksonville. And I was able to do so without using any of my own money or credit.

 During those first 100 days, I also created and implemented a marketing system to attract qualified buyers for my niche market of Real Estate and I was able to make just over $100,000.00!

 I always knew there was a legitimate way to make money in Real Estate without TRULY having to spend your own money, use your own credit, use high interest hard money, and have ZERO risk.

 What I am talking about is not a new concept in Real Estate Investing, however, the way my system is structured, it’s virtually fool proof.

 I have learned the devil is in the details, and that is where we have concentrated our efforts in this system. I wanted to lay this out in a Keep It Simple Stupid format so that even a beginner investor, with some tenacity of course, can start making money immediately!

 This system has literally changed my life forever. I am no longer a 1 man show. I can afford a staff, which has allowed me the freedom to be at my daughter’s soccer games, help out with my newborn son, and enjoy weekly hide and seek with the whole family in our office.

It has also freed some time to start working with other investors who are interested in learning my system and assist them in getting a business started, or adding an additional stream of income to their current model.

 I am a humble man and there are no words that can express the joy I feel when I know I have made a positive change in someone’s life. I consider it an honor and a privilege to help others create the life they too dream of.

 Real Estate is still my favorite way to create and sustain wealth. If you are like me and prefer to take vacation with your family and not worry about how to pay their college, then you owe it to yourself to be tenacious and never give up.

 There are a lot of “gurus” out there who promise to make you a millionaire overnight, but that is NOT what I am about. It takes dedication and hard work. If you are able to follow a step by step blue print of my formula you will make money– period.

 I am looking forward to visiting Tampa and working with many of you in the near future. My team and I will be on-site for a 3 day training event where we will dissect my formula for success in an easy to follow format.

 You will experience live calls to see how we are making money in our Jacksonville office every day. We are going to show you where to find sellers, attract buyers with money, and implement systems that lead to closings which equal paydays!!

 In closing, I wanted to share one final thought before we meet….The best nights of sleep are ahead! It’s amazing how becoming financially free increases your ability to sleep at night!

    Rest well Tampa, we have work to do!!

Visit our website to learn more or to register for this event: www.ablementoring.com