Diamonds are not forever but Real Estate Is … Make Wise Investing Choices!

Would you ever think to compare diamonds and real estate? At first glance, they seem like two completely different things.  However, they are both hard assets that are cost-prohibitive to acquire for the average US worker.  However, you can sell both “assets” quickly and not realize their full value in the marketplace.    Let’s first compare the similarities and then differences from an investment perspective.

Real Estate is a better long term investment than diamonds

Similarities

Hard Assets:

  • Both Diamonds and Real Estate are Hard Assets similar to other commodities
  • Negatively correlated with bonds and stocks, so when stocks crash both appreciate in value

Long Term Investments

  • Suitable for investors who are not looking for fast returns on their investment
  • Risk losing money if you try to “flip” your investment too early or didn’t acquire at the right price below market value

Additional Utility

  • Provide the investor with enjoyment and value
    • Diamonds are pretty to look at and make the person or people associated with the diamond have better social value 
    • Real Estate provides rental income and in the case of short-term rentals – owners can enjoy the property and generate revenue when not in use.

Differences

As investors, we all know that not all hard assets, such as real estate or diamonds, have the same return on investment.  In fact, ROI performance varies greatly even among real estate classes:  residential property, commercial real estate, agricultural property, etc.  Financial crises prove time and again that real estate is a highly volatile asset.   Diamonds are a closed market that is stable and less risky.  However, there are still differences among the rate of returns on diamonds such as the colored diamonds are less risky.

  • Maintenance Fees
    • Diamonds don’t have a maintenance fee … you’re ROI is based on the price you paid upfront for the diamond
    • Real Estate requires maintenance and repairs and possibly property management fees.  All these factors need to be carefully considered before acquiring property and affect your return on investment.
  • Portability
    • Several millions of dollars can fit in your fist and transport in a pocket … the irony for not being the rarest stone they have the highest size to value ratio of the natural resource category.   This is how historically (since the silk road trail) wealth was transported long distances and across borders.
    • Real estate can’t be moved. Real estate is not physically portable and the value does not transfer easily either.  However, 1031 exchanges are a great way to transfer appreciation as you sell your property.

At REI Capital Resources, we prefer real estate investing to diamonds.  In fact, diamond prices are extremely volatile – shooting up 249% from 1978 to 1980 before falling 77% by early 1986 – but the value of diamonds has also long been propped up by a number of artificial sources.   Real estate can be utilized and provide rental income.  As the number of cloud and work from home startups rise, commercial real estate is increasingly valuable to investors to provide “server farms” to meet bandwidth demands.

We are not saying diamonds aren’t valuable or important – especially as emergency currency and making your future or current spouse a little happier this valentine’s day.  We’re saying don’t buy a diamond as an investment with the idea of retained value.  If you look at diamond prices since the 1970s, there has been “Too Much Price Volatility & Demand Uncertainty To Be Considered Investable” by numerous sources.  Also, the use of diamonds as a symbol of a woman to be married is only about a 100-year-old custom.  There are numerous other stones considered rarer.  Thank you, Madison Avenue for making weddings a thing to save money for and cause the intelligent investor to consider generating a new stream of revenue.

We love this quote by Milton Friedman, “The speculator is looking for hidden weak spots in the market,” and acts as “the advance agent of the investor, seeking always to bring market prices into line with investment values.”   Diamonds don’t provide an adequate hedge against inflation, and most people would be better off with more practical financial planning, than investing for catastrophe purposes.  The diamond while a modern symbol of one’s love and commitment to another is expensive and ranks low when compared to value stability.

Diamonds vs. Gold vs. S&P 500

YearGold ROI  %Diamond ROI  %S&P500 ROI  %
2004000
200536-110
200657323
200797291
200811911-22
200917619-7
2010254507
20112763915
20122182437
20131852061
2014172873

*Data courtesy of the Rappaport Diamond Index, Kitco, the World Gold Council and Yahoo Finance. Diamond prices reflect monthly averages based on a 1-carat diamond. Gold prices are based on average annual London PM fixed prices. S&P 500 prices reflect average monthly adjusted closing prices. ROIs are cumulative.

The chart shows when the stock market suffered historic losses, diamonds at best served as a short-term hedge and very quickly fell behind the returns of alternative investments.

Therefore, I would recommend a 3 bedroom house that generates a positive return on investment that you can set aside the money after a year to buy your sweetie her diamond.  If she loves you, she’ll wait a year knowing a diamond is coming.

3 Ways Real Estate Investors Can Owner Occupy Their Rentals

by Patrick St.Cin

Property investments potentially have excellent returns and can diversify your portfolio to insulate you from recessions and other adverse economic conditions. There’s no single right answer on the best way to invest in real estate. Are you getting started in Real Estate Investing and wonder how to live in your investment property? 

Tip 1:  House Hacking

This can mean a few different things. House hacking is essentially a hybrid of buying a home to use as a primary residence and buying a rental property. In general, the term refers to buying a residential property with two to four units or with a Granny Flat/Additional Dwelling Unit in the backyard and living in one of the units while renting the others out. In theory, if you have the money you could purchase an entire duplex or four-plex and rent out any apartment to tenants. Keep your expenses low so you can keep rent affordable to entice prospective tenants.  You also could purchase property that you live in while renting out other rooms in the property. 

Either way, you’re the landlord. Be a good one, and you’ll be in a much better position to succeed in this investment. Keep the property in great condition, be readily available to your tenants when needed, and if necessary hire someone who can help with repairs.

Let’s say you find a quadruplex (four units) for $200,000. Including taxes and insurance, we’ll say your mortgage payment is $1,500 per month. After you buy the property, you rent out three of the units for $600 each and live in the fourth. Not only do you live for free (the rent covers your entire mortgage payment), but you’re generating a positive cash flow of $300 per month and are building equity in a more valuable property than if you had bought one unit to live in.

House hacking can be an excellent low-cost way to start building a portfolio of rental properties. Because you live in the property, even a multi-unit residential property can qualify for primary residence financing, which comes with lower interest rates and lower down payment requirements than investment property loans. You’re typically required to live in the property for a certain amount of time after you buy it, but once that period expires (usually a year or two), you’re free to repeat the process with another multi-unit property.

The obvious downside is privacy. There’s value in having your own yard, and it can create some awkward situations when you live in the same building as your tenants. Even so, if you’re a new real estate investor and don’t really need your own house, you may want to consider house hacking. This isn’t as much of an investment strategy as it is a side hustle, but it’s still worth mentioning here. With the emergence of platforms like Airbnb, it’s easier than ever to rent out your home when you aren’t around or to rent out a spare room in your home for a few days here and there.  

Tip 2: Tax-Free 2 Weeks Income 

One interesting aspect of this strategy is that if you rent out your home for fewer than 14 days in a year, you don’t pay tax on the money you collect. If you go out of town for the holidays or take a summer vacation, using your home as an occasional short-term rental can offset your travel expenses with tax-free income.

Landlord Tax benefits: 

  1. The mortgage interest deduction for the mortgage interest you pay to buy and/or fix up your properties. 
  2. Deductions: insurance premiums, repairs, utilities (that are not paid for by the tenants)
  3. Depreciation: You are allowed an annual deduction for the wear and tear your property experiences over time, spread out over 27.5 years for residential properties. Land cannot be depreciated.

Living with Tenants is Too Much – What is a Traditional Landlord? 

Owning rental properties is an excellent way to invest in real estate while building wealth and generating income. The return potential is strong thanks to a combination of income, equity appreciation, and the easy use of leverage when buying real estate.

However, owning rental properties isn’t right for everyone, so consider these drawbacks before you start looking:

  • Cost barriers: It can be very expensive to buy your first rental property. Most lenders want at least 25% down for an investment property loan and it’s smart to keep several months’ worth of expenses in reserves.
  • Uncertainty: When it comes to rental properties, vacancies happen and things break. While the overall return potential can be great, rental properties have considerable short-term risk.
  • Time commitment: Even if you hire a property management company, owning a rental can be a time-consuming form of real estate investing.

Tip 3: Vacation or Short-Term Rentals

A vacation rental tends to bring in more income per rented day than a comparable long-term rental property. However, there are some potential drawbacks to owning a vacation rental. Marketing and managing a vacation rental is more involved than a long-term rental. As such, property management is far more expensive — expect to pay a property manager about 25% of the rent on a vacation rental. That’s more than double the 10% industry standard for properties with long-term tenants.  Furthermore, you may need a special license in your preferred locations, which can be very expensive.

On the positive side, you may be able to use the home when it isn’t occupied. It can also be significantly easier to finance a vacation rental, especially if it meets your lender’s definition of a second home and you don’t use the rental income to qualify. There are loans options available for short-term rental funding.

Always buy property for the best possible price. You want to buy those properties that offer specific challenges that match your personal talents so you can use your skills to upgrade and enhance the value of the property and increase the Net Operating Income over time.  Obviously, the higher the rents and the lower your total monthly expenses, the greater your net income from the property will be. Costs that affect cash flow include principal & interest payments; property taxes; insurance; maintenance/repair costs.

Although we’re always quick to advise against borrowing too much and overleveraging your real estate investments, you also don’t want to be too conservative and underestimate your cash needs. The cost of refinancing is such that you may be able to refinance the property no more than once every several years, and if you suddenly need cash to overcome some unanticipated problems, the costs of short-term funds can be high. Borrow extra money or have an untapped line of credit available (which some lenders offer at no carrying cost to their best customers) to allow for reserves.

Joint ventures, wholesaling, fix-and-flip, and property management are just a few of the other ways investors can profit from real estate.   

If you need funding, apply now. I am working online with the rest of you.  

Patrick St. Cin

W – 512-213-2271

Patrick@REICapitalResources.com

http://www.reicapital.cash/

Migration Boom

People are moving. Single-family houses in the suburbs are opportunities real estate investors should consider.

According to an article in Mansion Global, apartment living in densely populated urban areas is already losing its appeal to Americans as they process their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. Many people are eyeing options for relocating to the suburbs and a single-family home after facing the challenges of coming into contact with infected individuals in apartment building common areas and restrictions on their use of outdoor spaces like pools and game rooms.

Buyers crave —ROOM— living space, outdoor space, privacy, flexibility, and safety.

When you are researching a purchase of a rental property, evaluate:

  1. Is there room for an office in the house?
  2. Does the house have a good-sized yard?
  3. Is there a pool in the backyard?
  4. Is there a deck or porch that offers a sheltered option to living indoors?
  5. Is the neighborhood safe to walk around in at night?
  6. Is there a neighborhood association and is it restrictive?
  7. Did local authorities try to restrict people’s use of their yard during the pandemic?
  8. Consider taxes. People are richer in states where taxes are lower.
  9. Big or tiny, single family homes in suburbs near major cities offer good opportunities for people to escape living in densely populated apartment buildings where entrances and recreation space is shared and access is restricted. If you need funding, apply now. I am working online with the rest of you.

Patrick St.Cin

W – 512-213-2271

M – 505-239-3026

Patrick@REICapital.cash

http://www.reicapital.cash/

graphic:tsca / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Investing in Apartments – Commitment and Study

Even in the coronavirus pandemic crisis investing in rental apartment property can still be a good way to add thousands of dollars to your income in the long term. If you buy apartment real estate that is in a good location with growth potential, but that is not too expensive, this real estate investment will likely recover after the crisis passes according to (Brad Hunter, Forbes.com). However, the investment takes funds and commitment over the long haul.

Appreciation

There are two way to make money from rental real estate. The first, appreciation, is a rise in value over time. This profit can only be realized by reselling the property after some time has passed or after you have made upgrades that add to the value. Generally, real estate appreciates in value over time if you are in the right location. Be sure to study employment and home buying trends in your local area before purchasing rental property.

Cash Flow & Coronavirus

You can also make money in the form of cash flow by collecting rents as income. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting the apartment rental real estate industry because many people, more people than we have ever seen before, have lost their income in only a few weeks, unemployment claims are up all over America, and tenants may not be able to pay their rents for the next couple of months. This will impact the ability of landlords to make money. Either the landlord forgives the rent and eats the loss for a while to keep the tenant, or the renter is evicted, and the property becomes vacant. In either case, the landlord is not receiving income on the property and may have to seek forbearance from their own lenders.

If a landlord has paid off his or her own mortgage on the property or if he or she has established an emergency fund as Dave Ramsey suggest (daveramsey.com), they will be able to weather the storm caused by the jobs lost in the pandemic shutdown.

Jobs and Renting

Either the jobs come back after the danger from the virus is past and businesses reopen, and the renters stay, or a new set of renters materialize because those people who are no longer able to afford their own homes move to apartments and construction of new homes slows because of coronavirus-driven delays caused by labor shortages, and supply shortages. More people may need to rent. In this case. It is likely the landlord’s income will return after some shaky months.

Photo by Michael (Black) Ritter on Pexels.com

Asset Rebound

Because the income potential should rebound, rental apartment property should not lose its value overtime as an asset. If the building itself remains sound, there is no reason why the property value will not increase as other investments tank and real estate once again looks solid and reliable compared to stocks. Also, if interest rates remain low, investors will be willing to take on more debt and are not restrained from purchasing property at higher prices. This will help investors who plan to sell their rental properties make a profit.

Single-Family Rentals

Investments in single-family rental homes may also benefit in the long run as more people work from home and need more room than apartments afford. Brad Hunter also suggests in his article on Forbes.com that the single-family-built-to rent-industry may benefit as people need that specially designed home office space with its own door and bathroom.

Due Diligence

Investment in rental real estate should remain attractive but be sure to do your due diligence.

Study everything from location, jobs, virus hotspots, distancing trends, supply chains, virus rebounds as they occur, and what the kids are doing now.

References:

Dave Ramsey online at https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/how-to-invest-in-real-estate

Forbes online: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradhunter/2020/03/24/coronavirus-impacts-on-real-estate–why-you-need-to-think-short-term-and-longer-term/#6f2133345f6f

Investopedia, The Impact of Interest Rates Changes by the Federal Reserve. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/010616/impact-fed-interest-rate-hike.asp

We have funds available so let us invest in something together.

I would be pleased to have you call or e-mail too.

Patrick St.Cin

W – 512-213-2271

M – 505-239-3026

Patrick@REICapital.cash

www.REICapital.cash

REI Capital Resources is in accordance with the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act, REI Capital Resources employs business practices that promote fair lending and will not tolerate discrimination relative to borrower race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, age, national origin or ancestry. REI Capital Resources fully supports the letter and spirit of these laws and does not condone discrimination in any mortgage credit transaction.

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Single-Family Rentals: Build to Rent

The single-family rental is the fastest growing segment of the housing market according to research done by the Urban Institute. This is a very interesting area of opportunity for private lenders and it pays to keep up-to-date on the market so that no opportunity is missed.

Single-family rentals have outpaced single-family ownership and multi-family housing in recent years. This is partly due to millennials that are forming households and entering the single-family housing market, moving up from multi-family living to single-family rentals to gain additional space for a growing family. Renting still works for them because they need the ability to be transient and move if their jobs require them to, and many cannot afford single-family ownership because they are carrying massive student loan debt, have not been able to save for a down payment, and are faced with stricter lending terms. Downsizing baby boomers are also attracted to single-family rentals for some of the same reasons, including no down payment, maintenance services, and the ability to move if they choose.

Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on Pexels.com

Wholesale Sales

According to an article on Builderonline.com by Lauren Shanesy, the demand for single-family rentals has allowed builders to increase sales by selling to rental operators on a wholesale basis and has prompted a number of developers to tap into the market with a new product, the cohesive single-family rental community filled by niche renters with lifestyle needs that are unlike those of apartment renters.

Planned Rental Home Communities

AHV Communities is one community builder that is building in Texas, offering resort-style amenities, energy efficient homes, maintenance-free living, and professional management with the freedom and flexibility of a lease. One of these communities is Pradera, luxury rental homes in San Antonio. Another is Creekside Ranch in New Braunfels. Both offer club house, pool, green space, maintenance services, and sophisticated floor plans.

Management Efficiencies and Flexibility

Shanesy continues, “Many individual investors who bought distressed or foreclosed single-family rental homes have been priced out of the market by competition from institutional investors in recent years.”  However, these individual rental homes are spread out and not located in communities, so the institutional lenders have a more difficult time managing them efficiently. Some investment companies have begun looking to builders to purchase whole communities of new homes that they can manage. They sell some of the homes and rent others, allowing the investors the flexibility to sell if homeownership goes up or rent if homeownership goes down.  

A Mature Market

Samantha Goldberg, in the article “Top Trends to Watch in the Single-Family Market,” at Arbor.com/blog/ reports that panelists at the State of the SFR Industry panel at the IMN’s 7th Annual Single-Family Rental Investment Forum, held in Hollywood FL say that incoming capital, new private lenders and institutional lenders, and technological innovations helpful for management are the top trends to watch in the single-family rental market over the next few years.

According to the same article, the single-family rental market sector achieved 3% year-over-year rent growth in 2018 and 2% year-over-year rent growth so far in 2019. The West Coast and the South East had the biggest rent gains in the last year.

There is still a shortage of housing for the U.S. workforce and this means that the nonluxury single-family rental market has room to grow, providing opportunities for private lenders, developers, and investors to add inventory in the workforce living space.

REI Capital Resources Long-Term Rental Funding Program

REI Capital Resources is a funding source for SFR Fix-n-Flip, Fix-to-Rent, build-to-rent, and Refinance projects as well as larger commercial projects such as office buildings, 5-40 door multi-family buildings, and many others.  These programs vary wide and far throughout the gamut of lending. Call or e-mail for more information. I’d like your business.

We offer asset-based and experienced-based long-term rental program loans on the following terms: at a min FICO of 650, a BPO is required, up to 85% of purchase price, Max of 80% ARV, Interest rates starting at 6.5%, and points as low as 2.25%.

REI Capital Resources Residential Construction Loan Program

We offer asset-based and experience based loans for residential construction on the following terms: Min FOCI 650, appraisal required, up to 90% of cost of lot + build, Up to 100% of construction costs if lot is free and clear, Max of 70% ARV, interest rates starting at 8.25%,and points as low as 3.5%.

Give me a call or send me an e-mail.

Patrick St.Cin

W – 512-213-2271
Patrick@REICapital.cash

References

Lauren Shanesy on Builderonline.com, “The Rise of the Single-Family Rental.”

Samantha Goldberg, “Top Trends to Watch in the Single-Family Market,” Arbor.com/blog/

http://www.urban.org/research