advice: ‘Rules of the Game’ for Owning a 2- to 4-Flat - 07/22/11 12:08 PM
Many people know that owning a 2- to 4-Flat can be a very good thing, but may not know the ’rules of the game,’ like the THREE ways to judge any investment property purchase. 
1.  Pre-Tax Cash Flow is never large on a 2-4-flat unless you put a lot down. But, if you are going owner-occupied, we promise that we can get you into a multi-unit for a much lower net payment than if you were to buy a comparable single-family home. And we will show you how, if you are already a home owner, you can leverage the equity you … (0 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: Financing 2- Flats to 4- Flats - 06/22/11 01:06 AM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 4: Financing Two Flats to Four Flats is Different. Are you going owner-occupied or non-owner occupied? The web site section on Financing and our lending partner (Guaranteed Rate) can help you custom fit financing to your property goals and financial situation. For certain, we think you will be interested in seeing the … (2 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: Analyzing Value - 06/18/11 12:22 AM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 3: Analyzing Value is Different. Our unique Property Analysis Worksheet under Tools / Resources can help you quickly check listings to identify those that offer the best value. All you do is type in the purchase price, tax, and rent information, and the rest of the worksheet self-populates.
To see all the … (0 comments)

advice: ‘Rules of the Game’ for Owning a 2- to 4-Flat - 06/18/10 01:35 PM
Many people know that owning a 2- to 4-Flat can be a very good thing, but may not know the 'rules of the game,' like the THREE ways to judge any investment property purchase. 
1.  Pre-Tax Cash Flow is never large on a 2-4-flat unless you put a lot down. But, if you are going owner-occupied, we promise that we can get you into a multi-unit for a much lower net payment than if you were to buy a comparable single-family home. And we will show you how, if you are already a home owner, you can leverage the equity you … (0 comments)

advice: Law 4 of Real Estate: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - 12/10/09 03:01 PM
We think there are FOUR "Laws" of Real Estate that, if you have been looking for property for any length of time, your own experience probably confirms. This blog post covers Law 4: The Good, the Bad, and Ugly. Other blog posts cover the other three.
4.  The Law of the Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Expect 20% of the listings to be good, 60% bad or okay, and 20% outright ugly. With those proportions in mind, 50 becomes a magic number: If 50 possible listings fit your criteria, you should expect to find ten good properties worth seeing, probably … (1 comments)

advice: Law 3 of Real Estate: Two Goods and a Great - 12/08/09 09:46 AM
We think there are FOUR "Laws" of Real Estate that, if you have been looking for property for any length of time, your own experience probably confirms. This blog post covers Law 3: Two Goods and a Great. Other blog posts cover the other three.
3.  The Rule Of 2 Goods And A Great: Property, Price, and Location-TWO of the three must be good and ONE must be great for a property to be a winner.
Don't ever buy if one of the factors is bad or all are just okay. On the other hand, you can't expect ALL to be … (0 comments)

advice: Law 2 of Real Estate: The Barrel Rule - 12/07/09 01:29 PM
We think there are FOUR "Laws" of Real Estate that, if you have been looking for property for any length of time, your own experience probably confirms. This blog post covers Law 2: The Barrel Rule. Other blog posts cover the other three.
2.  The Barrel Rule: Rarely, if ever, does it make sense to scrape the bottom of the barrel in a neighborhood. Most people have a choice in neighborhoods-we always recommend staying away from neighborhoods where all you can do is scrape the bottom of the barrel:
The bottom 10% or so of the listings will probably all be … (2 comments)

advice: Law 1 of Real Estate: Big and Cheap never equals Wonderful - 11/24/09 03:45 PM
We think there are FOUR "Laws" of Real Estate that, if you have been looking for property for any length of time, your own experience probably confirms. This blog post covers Law 1: Big and cheap never equals wonderful. Other blog posts cover the other three.
1. The FIRST law in real estate: Big and cheap NEVER equals wonderful. Many people, when they first start picking property to see, focus on properties that are big and cheap... They are hoping, of course, for big, cheap AND wonderful, but that is like winning the lottery-and never applies to properties that have been … (2 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: #4 - 11/17/09 03:31 PM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 4: Financing two flats to four flats is different. Are you going owner-occupied or non-owner occupied? The web site section on Financing and our lending partner (Guaranteed Rate) can help you custom fit financing to your property goals and financial situation. For certain, we think you will be interested in seeing the … (0 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: #3 - 11/16/09 02:50 PM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 3: Analyzing value is different. Our unique Property Analysis Worksheet under Tools / Resources can help you quickly check listings to identify those that offer the best value. All you do is type in the purchase price, tax, and rent information, and the rest of the worksheet self-populates.
To see all the … (0 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: #2 - 11/12/09 01:13 PM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 2: Picking property is different. We think you will love our Property Search section with its public search - the Property Search with 'Magic Map' - and the even more advanced connectMLS search we can set up for you.
To see all the Rules of buying investment property, go to the home … (0 comments)

advice: Four Investment Property Rules: #1 - 11/11/09 02:34 PM
A home or condo lets you own property, but 2- to 4-flats take it to the next level: building passive income and wealth. But the rules in buying multi-unit property are NOT the same as with a condo or home, as you may already have begun to learn:
Rule 1: Picking a neighborhood is different. When you shop for a condo, it's where do you want to live and what can you afford. But with multi-units, it's as much (or more) what kind of an investment will this be. Our section on Sales / Demographics can help you make the right … (0 comments)

advice: Inspection Issues: ‘Contractor’ vs. ‘Handyman’ Repairs - 10/22/09 12:41 PM
Issues for a Licensed Contractor
There can be issues where a licensed contractor who specializes in that area must come in to fix the problem. These are what we call the BIGGIES! Most fall into one of these seven categories:
1) Roofing2) Masonry3) Foundation4) Electrical5) Plumbing6) Heating/AC7) Porches.
Issues for a "Handyman"
NOT ALL problems listed on the left require a licensed contractor. Much typically falls into a HANDYMAN REPAIR list. Case Handyman Services, one of the larger ‘handyman' services in Chicago, for instance, says on their website that they can handle REPAIR work for ALL of the following:
Baths, Basements, … (3 comments)

advice: Deciphering the Listing sheet: All That Glitters Is Not Gold - 10/20/09 03:14 PM
We'll set you up with all listings that fit your price, size and neighborhood goals-and ask you to pick which properties to go visit. But therein lies a dilemma... how will you know which ones to prioritize on? It's important to understand both what the listing sheets DO say and DON'T say.
What to watch for:
•§         You'll see the terms: ‘new', ‘newer', and ‘updated'? What's the difference? ‘Newer' and ‘updated' are NOT new! A newer kitchen may be 7-10 years old. Put a new countertop in an old kitchen and it's been updated. Sometimes the terms ‘rehabbed' or ‘Gut rehab' … (0 comments)

advice: Moving Tips for Pets – 6 of 7 - 09/24/09 11:59 AM
6.  Give your pet lots of attention during the first couple weeks of settling into your new home.  Watch how much he/she eats and keep an eye on his/her stools and urine.  Quite often, the stress of moving can affect your pet's immune system and cause a bladder infection, digestive problems, or even some form of dermatitis.
Visit our website to read more about Chicago multi-family homes.  Click here if you are interested in selling or buying multi-units with two or more flats.
(2 comments)

advice: Nine Security Tips for Sellers — #9 - 06/26/09 03:40 PM
When you put a home on the market, it's important to practice some common-sense security tips:
9. Never leave strangers alone, and watch their every move while they're in your home. One of the latest scams, according to Real Estate Today magazine, involves prescription drugs. A nice-looking, clean-cut couple will make an appointment to view your house. Once inside, one of them will ask to use the bathroom and will search for prescription drugs while inside. There is a huge market for such drugs. So make certain your prescription drugs are well-hidden before anyone looks at your home.
Visit our website … (0 comments)

advice: Nine Security Tips for Sellers — #8 - 06/25/09 11:43 AM
When you put a home on the market, it's important to practice some common-sense security tips:
8. Remove from sight all valuables, including guns, jewelry, silverware, and collections. Recently, there was an incident in South Florida where a couple was going around with a real estate agent and stealing things from houses they visited. The couple actually stole over $150,000 worth of valuables. If possible, screen all potential buyers via a thorough pre-qualification process before you let anyone into your home.
The last tip will be in following post.
Visit our website to read more about Chicago multi-family homes.  Click here … (0 comments)

advice: Nine Security Tips for Sellers — #7 - 06/24/09 09:26 AM
When you put a home on the market, it's important to practice some common-sense security tips:
7. If you make a flyer to advertise your home, don't include any information that might breech security.
There will be more tips in following posts.
Visit our website to read more about Chicago multi-family homes.  Click here if you are interested in selling or buying multi-units with two or more flats.
(0 comments)

advice: Nine Security Tips for Sellers — #6 - 06/19/09 12:22 PM
When you put a home on the market, it's important to practice some common-sense security tips:
6. Keep a log of everyone who has looked at your house. Get their name, telephone number, address, car description, tag number, and any additional information that could be helpful in the event of a future burglary. All of these people would be suspects.
There will be more tips in following posts.
Visit our website to read more about Chicago multi-family homes.  Click here if you are interested in selling or buying multi-units with two or more flats.
(0 comments)

advice: Nine Security Tips for Sellers — #5 - 06/18/09 03:45 PM
When you put a home on the market, it's important to practice some common-sense security tips:
5. Never let a stranger into your home without seeing some identification. If the person says he/she is a real estate agent, ask for a card, then call his/her office to verify the information if you don't recognize the person.
There will be more tips in following posts.
Visit our website to read more about Chicago multi-family homes.  Click here if you are interested in selling or buying multi-units with two or more flats.
(0 comments)

 

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