Five Tricks to Increasing Community Development

Community development encompasses the creation of social and economic progress for an entire neighborhood. It relies on active participation from members of the community, as well as dedicated, driven strategies. Organizing events for bettering the neighborhood and getting people together for volunteer efforts can be daunting, but here are some tips for any community member or official to get a strong group together for enhancing everyone’s quality of life.

1. Hold Regular Meetings

It is crucial for your town hall or community organization to hold frequent (at least every bi-weekly or monthly) meetings. The more everyone gets together to discuss neighborhood issues, the easier it is to brainstorm solutions and activities that can make a difference. It also holds people accountable, and when a pattern is established, it’s easy to make the meetings a routine part of everyone’s schedule.

2. Be Open to New Ideas

Meetings often bring up ideas for volunteering and events. The best way to make progress for all members of the community is to listen and be open to compromise. Perhaps this means holding multiple events for different religious groups around the holidays. It could also just mean that two different ideas are merged to make a larger event with more diverse activities.

3. Try to Work With the City

Depending on available funding and priority items, it can sometimes be difficult to get city projects underway. Be realistic about your goals and remember that projects can become delayed for any number of reasons. Stay pleasantly persistent.

4. Don’t Give up

There will be times when councils or other governmental groups will reject proposals, but it is important to continue working on projects that you believe in. Those who speak up are often the only ones to be heard. Patience and optimism go a long way when it comes to getting important projects completed.

5. Advertise

Marketing strategies for community development meetings may sound strange, but they can be a good way of getting everyone together to discuss relevant topics and concerns. Think about flyers and Facebook pages that advertise meetings and future volunteering opportunities. A group page on Facebook, or even an Instagram page, can help to show what issues are at stake and provide photos of changes as they are made. Advertising is also a great communication tool. If some people are unable to attend recent meetings, they can use this as a way to catch up and to still voice their opinions.

Gathering a group of people together for bettering community development is an admirable goal, but it can be a challenge at times. With these tips, you can help your area come together in productive, meaningful ways.

Getting the Seller to Sign Your Agreement

We have been talking a lot recently about how to locate great deals. When dealing with individual sellers I recommend following these steps:

· Make contact (advertising)

· Speak on the phone and set an appointment

· Negotiate the deal

· Due diligence

· Closing

In the above list, closing refers to actually buying the house. There is no turning back after you close the deal. In the negotiation process there is also a close. What I mean by this is getting the seller to agree to the deal and sign the contract. I want to talk today about how to actually close the negotiations and get the seller to agree to your offer. This will only come AFTER you have verbally agreed to the offer.

For some reason people get scared of this. I have actually been in the house with other investors when they had a deal but did not get the seller to sign (they objected to their own offer), that is crazy. There are many rules, especially dealing with pre-foreclosures that give the seller time to back out after they sign. The right thing to do is to give them this time but your chances are much higher if they sign a contract on the spot. Always, always get a written commitment when you can.

I never bring anything in the house with me so once we are at the kitchen table and ready for the paperwork I go over all the terms we talked about again and ask them if I should go get the agreements. It goes like this:

Investor – “I think we can agree to those terms. So you want to sell us your house for $90,000 cash and you want all your money within the next two weeks. Did I get that right?”

Seller – “Yes that is what we agreed to”

Investor – “I am sure that will not be a problem, does it make sense for us to go ahead and write this up on an agreement?”

Seller – “yes, do you have one?”

Investor – “I normally carry a few in the car. Do you mind if I go check?

Seller – “no”

Investor – “I will be right back. When I come back should I just come right back here or would you like me to knock again?”

Seller – “No don’t knock, just come back here.”

At this point you will go get your contract and come back in. Sit down and pull the agreement out. NEVER call it a contract because that word scares people. Go through the agreement and complete the blanks BUT ask the seller for input on every line you can. For example you would say “How is your name spelled? And is that how it is listed on title? What is today’s date? What is the address here?”

Even if you know the answers, ask as many questions as you can so they feel as if they participated in putting the agreement together. Once the agreement is done say out loud “it looks like I put my name here” and sign it. Pass the agreement and say “it looks like you put your name here”, at this point hand them the pen.

They may or may not read it. If they start to read it and it takes a while you need to become very reluctant. You will want to start asking questions like these:

“How is the school system?”

“When was the last time the roof was inspected?”

“How about the furnace?”

“I noticed a problem with ___________, how long has it been like that?”

As you ask questions, especially ones about the house, they will want to sign it quicker. They don’t want to lose you as a buyer. I am OK putting pressure on them like this because they have time after I leave to review everything. You might even tell them to call you the next day if they have any questions about the agreement.

Be upfront with them as you go through the agreement and explain things that they should know, like the inspection period, what they can expect in closing costs, etc.

After you leave get your financing lined up and do your inspection and due diligence. If anything comes up that will cause a delay or a reason for you not to buy the property, call the seller right away. It is also a good idea to call every week or so leading up to the closing letting them know you are excited to work with them. Give them updates on the progress with closing.

I don’t want to hear about anyone going into a house negotiating a great deal and not getting an agreement signed. Follow these steps and grab your next great deal.

The Power of Momentum

3 Steps That Will Guarantee Your Success

I am a big football fan. I watch every Bronco game, and the one thing that really stands out to me week after week is that momentum can often times win or lose a game. When a team can get the momentum on their side and stay motivated and consistent, they should always win the game. They only lose if the momentum shifts. Real estate is no different.

Once you get the momentum, you need to stay motivated. When you start to experience success, the last thing you should do is take it easy, which is probably what you will want to do. It is a good idea to reward yourself for your success, but do that and come back focused.

Sometimes it is hard to get the momentum in your favor because you are not sure what activities will get it going. Momentum always starts with a single success and builds from there; and it should be able to build as your confidence goes up. You should feed off your accomplishments. Here are three sure fire steps to get momentum in your real estate business.

Set your goal

This needs to be a short term goal that is challenging but realistic. Short term is thirty days or sixty days at most. An example would be to have a house under contract in the next thirty days.

Believe you have already accomplished your goal

I cannot overstate the power of this. You will accomplish the goals you believe you can, or better yet, believe you already have accomplished. The concept is simple, but the implementation is challenging. If you have never done a deal how can you believe that you will have one in the next thirty days? There are several strategies for this, but something that I have used with a lot of success, are affirmations.

Affirmations are statements that are repeated to yourself over and over until you believe it to be true. This works best when the statement is specific, personal, in the present tense, and positive. It is even more affective if the statement includes the goal as if you have accomplished it with the steps you took to get there. Here is an example of a statement that could be used to get a deal in the next thirty days:

“I got this house under contract that will net me $30,000 within a thirty day period by calling at least ten potential sellers every day from lists including, FSBOs, FRBOs and foreclosures.”

Once you have structured a quality statement print it out and put it in your car and one on the bathroom mirror. Say it out loud at least fifty times a day.

There are entire books and home study courses teaching this stuff, and all of it works. I recommend studying the law of attraction and picking up one or two strategies that works for you.

Massive action

Do ten times as much as you think you need to. If you think you need to knock on twenty doors a week or make ten calls a day, do that, but also send out mail, put up signs, call all potential referral sources and go to networking meetings. Focus all of your energy on accomplishing this one small goal.

To me, massive action means not watching any TV, not hanging out with friends, and not going out to eat. To me, massive action is working long and hard hours on productive activities. To me, massive action is doing what others are not willing to do. I know this is harsh, but it is temporary and could be necessary to get the momentum going. I like to compare this to flying a plane. The plane takes ninety percent of its energy to get off the ground but once it is in the air it stays consistent and gets results.

Once you accomplish your goal, set another one and do this process again. The momentum will build and once you have it you just need to maintain. While you maintain the momentum you need to stay consistent with your activities. I want to be clear that maintaining is not the same as massive action and you will not be working as hard, but if you feel the momentum start to slip, I suggest starting the process over again. It is really amazing how easy success comes when you get momentum that you can build on.

Your Big Why and Planning the Future

A while back at an event I got the opportunity to sit across from a couple of brand new investors. As I usually do, I asked them what they were investing in; they admitted that they were newbies and weren’t really sure where to begin. We discussed their level of knowledge and expertise, and I found the conversation drifting away from real estate and more into the lifestyle design arenas. I started asking them about their “Big Why” – why were they wanting to leave their corporate jobs, what they wanted to do with their time, and what would make them happy.

We started putting a dollar value to that lifestyle and level of comfort. I saw their eyes get a bit wide as the reality of what they were up against hit them. I quickly reassured them that real estate was a great choice to attain the lifestyle they envisioned if they were willing to work hard and put in the hours, but how? We didn’t get into too much detail on the spot, but we talked about breaking those big goals down into time frames and smaller milestones. We discussed assigning how many and what type of deals could get them to those milestones, as well as what were they comfortable doing and how their personalities would help them to achieve their goal. They made notes on what types of marketing and how many offers they would have to make each month, week, and day in order to acquire the number of properties to hit their goals.

We then went back to their “Big Why” and discussed if it was really big enough. By that, I meant to talk to them about whether their choice to pursue real estate would be big enough to get them up and out of bed every day? Big enough to push them to tackle that daily task list? Big enough to hit those smaller goals knowing that as each milestone is hit that they are that much closer to the lifestyle and freedom they want? They made some more notes, and I think they had some talking points to consider as they pursue their real estate vision.

So what is your “Big Why”? Why are you a real estate investor? Is it big enough to get you out of bed each morning with a smile on your face, ready to face the day? Is it big enough to motivate you after 3 months of busting your butt without finding the right deal? This isn’t something you can come up with overnight if you haven’t spent any time on it already, so let your mind wander. Dream big! Dream really big and write it down. Look at it every day and see yourself living that lifestyle. Then break down how you will get there. Get really specific, all the way down to daily tasks. Now you’ve put goals and milestones on paper and you have created a map showing you how to get to that big dream and lifestyle you desire.

To be honest, this isn’t easy. The dreaming part of this puzzle may be easier than identifying the “Why”, especially when you analyze and determine if your “Why” is a solid vision to which you can remain dedicated. Nevertheless, I promise, if you work hard to identify the “Why”, develop your vision, and stay focused, you will be set up to achieve the vision you set for yourself.

4 Advantages of a Virtual Doorman System

Virtual doormen are fast becoming a popular alternative to hiring a regular physical presence for many commercial properties, and their popularity is also rising for residential buildings. The reasons for this are numerous, as are the many advantages that this kind of service can offer.

Although there are several concerns that people may initially have with this kind of remote solution, the reality is that if put in place effectively, people can benefit from the following plus points that automatically come with adopting this kind of system.

Firstly, one of the main advantages of a virtual doorman solution is that it is far less expensive than hiring a physical presence when it comes to commercial properties. Many commercial buildings like to have a physical security presence, but in some cases this can be costly for something that is not entirely necessary.

A virtual system is a more affordable option as it involves only using the service when someone tries to enter a property to make a delivery or carry out some other necessary task. A link is established by video and audio so that identification measures can be made before access is allowed; this means that no full time staff member needs to be employed to complete this identification task.

A second major advantage is for tenants, rather than commercial building owners or users. Millions of parcels and packages are attempted to be delivered each year, yet often the tenant is not present to accept the delivery and therefore this results in a failed delivery.

This is especially important considering that so many people do their shopping online these days, meaning more and more parcels are being delivered at hours when people are at work or at school. A virtual doorman can assist in this instance, allowing parcels to be delivered first time, every time.

This can save a great deal of time and stress, especially if the delivery is urgent. Many residential property owners looking to improve the experience of their tenants would be wise to consider using this simple and highly convenient solution in their buildings.

Another major advantage is that this type of system can actually be used for different reasons other than allowing access for deliverymen. Although the delivery of packages and parcels is a major issue for many tenants, so is allowing repairmen to enter the building for work, or allowing access to emergency services.

A virtual doorman solution can assist in both of these two cases, and in fact entry to a property can restricted in any way that the building owner likes. This can involve using more or less stringent security checks, and can allow access for any number of reasons. This tailored approach can be very efficient in allowing repair work to be carried out or allowing emergency services in during a crisis.

Fourthly, a major advantage of this type of system is that it allows building owners to take advantage of the latest technologies, which are improving each and every day to be safer and more secure. The aiphone intercom systems now used in virtual doorman services mean that identity can be checked in a number of ways.

These technologies are sure to improve in the future, which means that investing in this type of system now can only bring further security gains and advantages in the coming years too. This is another convincing reason why choosing a virtual doorman could be a great choice for modern day property owners.

These are just four of the major advantages of investing in a virtual doorman service. From allowing commercial property owners and tenants to gain significant benefits in the way of allowing access to deliverymen, repairmen and the emergency services, the popularity of this solution looks likely to grow in the future too.

Doorman24 is a service provided by Visentry LLC and is a result of 12 years of experience in remote video and audio monitoring. Visentry LLC was founded 12 years ago by experienced security professionals to address the needs of businesses for cost-effective services for perimeter, asset, data and critical infrastructure protection. Visentry introduced a unique and groundbreaking service, named Virtual Sentry, which delivers around-the-clock, real time remote video and audio monitoring service. Virtual Sentry integrates “intelligent” video and audio technology with the most comprehensive central monitoring station. Based on its experience with Virtual Sentry which is presently installed at hundreds of customers, Visentry developed Doorman24 to provide an affordable and technologically advanced solution for remote access services for residential and commercial buildings.

Realtors Need a Unique Success Mantra

The real estate demand has reached around 1.35 billion square feet by 2020 in India. This is said to be up from around 900 million square feet currently. Out of the total numbers around 85% will be for the residential properties in India.

According to the reports, the sale of residential properties have slowed down due to low demands by customers at the current rates. This is leading to an inventory overhang is metropolitan and other major cities. Due to this slowdown, the builders have increased the discounts and are offering attractive offers so that there is some improvement that is seen in the condition of residential properties in India. However, the developers as well as the real estate sector needs to do something very differently to achieve success in this sector.

There has been a change in the real estate model and this will change more often and continuously and at a more rapid speed. However, the developers need to find the ways that these changing scenario can be a profitable one for them as well as the buyers. The builders are not able to understand this changing scenario and how should they cope-up with these changes. Once they get a hand on experience about these changing scenarios, definitely, there is no looking back for the residential properties in India.

Traditionally the charges that were attributable to the real estate firm was in managing approvals, land acquisition and agglomeration. However, now people are constructing sustainable, concrete business and value creating industries around very good process managed real estate along with very good execution skills. These definitely are the ways one can be successful in this changing scenario of the real estate in India and with this the developers need to understand and cater to the demands to the buyers so that they do not hesitate in buying their dream home. Thus, the real estate firms needs to upgrade themselves with the changing environment and reach new heights.

There will be financial protection for the home buyers whose projects do not complete on time. Any delay in the construction will provide benefits to the buyers. The buyers are allowed to claim for tax benefits of Rs 2 lakhs after possession if they invest in any under-construction building and it does not complete within 3 years. However, there will be a reduction of 30,000 if the builder delays the construction beyond the limit and thus they will have to pay higher interest. Also, the first-time buyers have to pay additional rent if they are buying homes for self-use.

How to Assess Any Real Estate With the Approaches to Value

The valuation steps applied to create a supported conclusion of a defined value based on an analysis of applicable general and specific data. Assessment in creating an opinion of real estate value follows specific sets of processes that reflect 3 different methods. These include:

– Cost Method
– Direct Comparison Method
– Income Approach Method

One or more of these methods can be used in the assessment of real estate valuation. The methods to be used will rely almost entirely on the type of property being assessed or appraised; however may also factor in the use of the appraisal, the scope of work involved, and the data availability for the analysis.

Cost Method

The cost approach to assessment and appraisal is established by understanding the construction methodologies and property attributes related to cost. The cost approach is estimated by adding the cost of land to the current cost of construction related to all improvement on land, and subtracting depreciation in all improvements on the land. The construction costs of buildings would include a reproduction cost or a replacement cost of the same or similar like materials or systems. This approach works best when it used for the assessment of new or newer properties that are not frequently exchanged in the market. The actual costs are usually derived from cost estimator software, cost manuals, builders, and contractors. Note: The land would remain a separate value when using the cost approach.

Direct Comparison Approach

The direct comparison method to assessment of real estate is most useful when there is a large number of similar like properties that have recently transacted on the market or are currently listed on the market. Using this method, the assessment would come from identifying the subject with similar properties, called comparables (or comps). The sale prices that most identify with the subject would have a heavier weight on the value, oppose to one that is further from the subject characteristics. Most of the time the comparables would create a range of value, upon which; opinion must be used to find an exact value. Several elements or factors are used to qualify the degree of similarity between comparables and the subject. This would include: real property rights, financial terms, property conditions of the sale, post sale expenditures, location, market factors, physical characteristics, economic characteristics, use/zoning, non-real estate components of sale (chattels, fixtures). After the best comparables are set, a dollar figure or percentage is applied to the sale price of each property to estimate the hypothetical value of the subject. For instance comparable A has 1 more bathroom than the subject; therefore subtract $9000 from the comparable to hypothetically get the sale to reflect the same characteristic as the subject.

Income Approach

The income method to the assessment of real estate would be from an analysis of present value of the future benefits of property ownership. A property’s income and resale worth upon return may be capitalized into a current, lump-sum amount. There are two methods of the income approach; one is direct capitalization and the other yield capitalization. Direct capitalization is the relation between one year’s income and worth indicated by either a capitalization rate or an income multiplier. Yield capitalization is the relationship between several years of stabilized income and worth at the end of a specified period reflected in a yield rate. The most commonly used yield capitalization method would be the discounted cash flow analysis.

Time to Get Out of Real Estate

Talk about exquisite timing.

Even today, a decade after the fact, the leveraged buyout of Equity Office Properties Trust remains one of the largest of all time: $36 billion for nearly 600 office buildings in New York, Washington D.C. and dozens of the nation’s largest cities.

But in late 2006, some wondered if the billionaire who sold the REIT was being a little rash. After all, the real estate boom was in full swing, and the S&P 500 was primed to hit new all-time highs. “Is he cashing out too early?” asked a Bloomberg headline when the deal was announced.

We all know the answer, of course.

Billionaire Sam Zell deftly sidestepped the coming real estate carnage. Then, with prices at generational lows a few years later, Zell bought hundreds of apartment complexes at dirt-cheap prices.

And today? Well, that’s the ominous part…

Once again, Zell is selling his real estate holdings. Last fall, he unloaded a quarter of his portfolio, buildings totaling about 23,000 rental apartments, to Starwood Capital Group for more than $5 billion.

Zell next sold off apartment buildings in South Florida and Denver, with complexes in Phoenix, Boston and other metro areas expected to be sold before the year is out.

“No one has ever accused me of not being a realist,” Zell told CNBC’s talking heads recently.

Reality Bites

Few things are more real than the threat of rising interest rates. Concerned about the Fed’s late-to-the-party threats and distorted capital markets drunk on years of zero-interest-rate policy, Zell is getting out while the getting is still good.

In the past few months, new-home sales hit their highest level in eight years. Pending home sales rose by the largest percentage gain in a decade.

Even home flipping is back in vogue again. RealtyTrac, measuring 2015 data, estimated a 75% increase in active home flippers – the highest since 2007.

Nationally, the average gross profit on a flipped home was $55,000 – the largest since 2006.

But for the realists like Zell, the widening cracks in the facade are plain to see.

For instance, apartment rent is starting to come down in New York and San Francisco – two of the hottest markets in the country. There is simply too much supply and not enough demand.

A few weeks ago, the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston warned about overheated speculation in the commercial real estate market. “We care about potentially inflated commercial real estate prices,” said the bank’s president, Eric Rosengren, “because they might risk a bout of financial instability.”

Translated from “Fedspeak,” Rosengren was saying: Get out now.

Even those ultra ultraluxury homes in the $100 million and up range aren’t selling. It’s a rarefied market, for sure, but The New York Times recently noted that a record 27 properties, each with a nine-figure price tag, are languishing unsold on the market. According to figures kept by Christie’s International Real Estate, 19 such homes were on the market in 2015 and 12 in 2014.

Late last year, I wrote about one of those massive palazzos here in Florida – the beachside $159 million, 60,000 square foot Le Palais Royal. It’s still for sale.

Perhaps the extra gold leaf they painted on the front security gate will help.

Beware the Peak

I can’t see Sam Zell taking up residence in Le Palais Royal. But then again, he sold his office properties in 2006, and watched the market crack wide open a year later. Now he’s unloading his real estate portfolio again, so, who knows?

If history repeats, Zell just might find his next great distressed real estate bargains in the palatial homes of the (once) superrich – dazzling jewels of the “new” gilded age now past its prime.

Real Estate Statistics Explained

Basic Real Estate Statistics Explained

We are going to define some of the basic real estate statistics that get thrown around on a regular basis. To do that, we will use one real estate market, located in Hood County Texas. Even more granular, we will use the single family numbers for homes in Granbury Tx, a small town of approximately 8,000 residents which has seen substantial real estate growth in the past 12 months. It is important when reviewing real estate statistics to use a group of numbers large enough for consistency, but granular enough to tell your story.

The statistics that we will be referencing are true and accurate for the year discussed but are being used to define the real estate statistic itself.

We have chosen Granbury Tx as our example because the growth of the local real estate market there make the statics stand out.

Anytime you are evaluating statistics, especially in real estate, the source of the numbers are extremely important. In most instances, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) provides the most accurate numbers when referring to real estate. This is because they have all listings by all local real estate brokers in their database. For the sake of explanation of the data, we will be looking at the numbers for home sales in Granbury Tx, directly from the MLS. These numbers are meant to give an example of how to read the statistics themselves. Anytime you evaluate real estate numbers, its important to pay close attention to how the numbers are gathered. In this instance, we will be using ONLY single family properties in the city of Granbury.

Basic Real Estate Statistics

  • Number of Sales – This one is pretty self explanatory. It is simply the number of single family homes sold in a particular month. In January of 2015, they had 51 single family homes sold. One thing to pay attention to when looking at this statistic is are they using the Under Contract date or the day the property actually went to closing. These two dates are usually between 30 and 60 days apart, so its critical that you know which one is being referenced. In addition, many of the homes that get calculated, if you are using the “under contract” number may not actually close! In our example, we are using the number of homes that actually closed. In January of 2016 they had an increase of over 49% which brought the total to 77 from 51. Growth of that level is very seldom ever seen.
  • Sales Volume – Sales Volume is simply the total amount of dollars spent on single family housing within that month. Once again, when reviewing this statistic, its important to keep the property types consistent. If you are comparing two areas to see which one has grown more and you include vacant land in the number for one area, you must include it in the other too. As previously mentioned, our examples only include single family properties. With Number of Sales looking at the units, you would expect the Sales Volume to go up appropriately, but in this instance, it went up even more than the units (by percentage). The total Sales Volume of single family homes in Granbury in January of 2016 was $15,191,500 as opposed to the January of 2015 number of $9,281,915. That is an increase of over 63%. Because the Sales Volume went up at a larger rate than the number of units, this reflects the average home sale being much larger in 2016 than 2015.
  • Months of Inventory – This is a commonly referred to statistic when examining a real estate market. This statistic refers to at the current rate of sales, how long will it take to sell through the existing level of inventory. This reflects the supply and demand for the market. In our example, in January of 2015 the level of inventory was 9 months and in January of 2016 it had dropped to 6 months. That is a 33% drop in available inventory! This means if you are looking to buy a home in Granbury Tx, it will be a little tougher in 2016 as there is less inventory available to buy.
  • Median Days To Sell – This stat simply refers to how long it takes for single family properties to be put under contract. Don’t let the “to sell” confuse you. To accurately show the demand for active homes, you really want to track how long it takes to go “under contract”. The process of acquiring final lender approval, insurance and getting to a closing can vary on a variety of factors. In January of 2015, the Median Days to Sell was 88. That number dropped by over 30% to 61. Once again, this tells you if you are looking for homes in Granbury TX, you better get your offers in quickly as the most desirable homes are going fast!
  • Average Price – This statistic can be derived in a variety of ways. We are going to use it in its most raw form and simply be the Average Price of Homes Sold within that month. Be careful when looking at this statistic printed anywhere as how the user defines the date sold can vary. Needless to say, Average Price can be used for active homes for sale or for the homes that sold. The Average Price of ACTIVE homes for sale is generally a pretty useless number as you can list a home for any price, without any possibility of it ever selling. Many homes listed for sale are at unrealistic prices thus the Average Price of Active homes for sale can fluctuate dramatically and give little insight into the market. You will want to look at the Average Price of SOLD homes. In January of 2015, the Average Home Sale was $181,998 and it jumped to $199,888 in the same month in 2016. This is an increase of almost 10%. This is not a number that truly tells the increase in home values across the board, but simply of the homes sold in that month, what the average was.
  • Median Price – The Average Home Sales Price can be skewed by a variety of factors. All it takes is one 5 million dollar home sale to throw those numbers off. To get a better view of the overall increase in value, it can be better to look at the Median Sales Price. Median Sales Price takes the number that is perfectly in the middle. For instance, if you have 11 homes that you are using in your statistic, you would take the sales price of the 6th one. This leaves 5 homes sold higher and 5 homes sold lower. In this instance, they are pretty close as the Median Sales Price increase from January 2015 to 2016 was 9.69%. This shows that we didn’t have the Average Price skewed too much because of an extremely large or extremely small sale.

There are hundreds of ways to look at the same numbers, when referencing to real estate, so be very careful to read the fine print on exactly what numbers they are using. When making comparisons, you will want to make absolutely sure that both are referencing the same property types, dates etc. It like the old saying says… there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

In an effort to describe some of the most basic real estate statistics, we are using the market statistics from Granbury Tx as they have seen some extraordinary growth.

Pressures That Dominate Real Estate Value

When people usually think of real estate value they think of two forces; supply and demand. Yes, this is correct; however supply and demand only fall under the one of the four main categories that drive/depress real estate value. Supply and demand fall under the economic category of influences in real estate value. The other three include; social impact, government subjection and environmental forces.

When looking at social impact, there are a few things one would want to consider determining the effect it will have on real estate value. Most of all the value would fluctuate accordingly with population characteristics. This tie into the potential for demand in the economic section of value; the more demand, the more value a property can derive. Population however should be looked at in more depth by breaking down the sample by age and gender, rate of household formation and partition, as well as analysis of the social values such as education, law and order, and lifestyle preferences. Careful consideration of these factors will help establish trends in what would be reflected in real estate values.

Next is the government subjection, accounting for a large aspect of real estate value. This includes political and legal activities on several levels of government. These government influences have the power to overwhelm natural market forces such that you would find in the economic category. Government has their hand in providing facilities and services that affect values as well as a one of the main contributors to patterns of land use (zoning, by-laws, etc). The following are some things to look out for when assessing the government subjection of a market; fire and police services, garbage collection, transportation arrangement, utilities, zoning, building codes, health codes, and fiscal policies. Also the legislation that is set forth by the governmental factor must be accounted for, this would include; rent control laws, rights to farm, rights for managing forest, rights to agricultural land, restriction on ownership, new development laws, control of hazardous and toxic materials, and laws affecting investment power, loan terms, and mortgage lending institutions. All in all this is quite the category and its understanding will provide for a great idea of where values are currently and where they are headed.

In addition to the social impact, as well as government subjection, the environmental forces also play a part in real estate values. These can be natural or man-made and are analyzed by observing several aspects. Climatic conditions (snowfall, rainfall, temperature, humidity) would be an obvious one that would affect the values of building somewhere as well as maintenance and carrying costs, as well as the quality and type of build. Topography, soil and consideration of any toxic contaminants would also be of great importance as well as natural barriers, such as rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.

Just to get out of the 4 factors of real estate value; it is important to mention that there are some overlying factors that would be part of 2 or more of the categories. Once such factor is location, this is the link of a property in time/distance to any given origin or destination of a resident/user of the property. Location could fall under for environmental and economic, if not all categories. Due to the area and property type, properties access to public transport, schools, hospitals, stores, employment, suppliers, recreational and cultural facilities, parks, and places of worship would of importance.

This would also lead us back to the economic factor of influence on real estate value. The fundamental aspects to look for here include: employment, price levels, wage levels, industrial and commercial expansion, mortgage credit availability and cost, stock of vacant property, stock of improved property, occupancy rates, construction costs and rental/price trajectories of existing properties.

And there you have it, the 4 major pillars of real estate value; social, governmental, environmental, and economic. Taking a deep look at each of these sections one would assemble the entire spectrum of current real estate values and more importantly future real estate values.