Home has to be more than just a place you go to to get some sleep between working and playing. It needs to be a place of refuge where you can relax, feel safe and enjoy spending time there. This is why home ownership has been a big part of the American Dream for so long. Now you can have that and more in apartment living. I never thought that would be possible. Many years ago I was adamant about never living in an apartment, now there are apartments in Henderson that have much more in the way of amenities than what I could ever afford when buying a house.

My wife and I found luxury resort-style apartments in Henderson that are everything we wanted. We have a beautiful kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Our living room is big.Continue reading

When I moved down here I thought that I would look for a place by the beach, they have a couple of them right in the middle of the Tampa Bay area. However none of them were very close to where I am working and obviously I am not the first person to have this thought, it is pretty expensive to live the fantasy. In fact it would also be pretty crowded in these areas, so I started to look at apartments in South Tampa and I found something that was a great deal more practical to be honest. If all goes well I can get to the office in less than ten minutes and it is not much longer than that if things do not go perfectly well. In fact I could ride my bike there, but the traffic sort of makes that a lot sketchier than I would enjoy.Continue reading

It is really exciting to be honest, because I have gotten a good teaching assistants job with one of the most prestigious professors at Vanderbilt. I am not really studying to be a physician, although I have to learn nearly all of the things that a doctor does. In fact I am trying to learn about biological engineering. I am really interested in some of the projects they have working on artificial organs here right now. Of course I have been focused on all of the mundane stuff like apartments in Nashville TN. I need one that I can afford that is relatively close to the campus.Continue reading

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Let’s start with the fact that 80% of all searches start on line, that being said when you do a search on Google or Yahoo for the terms “rental apartments” or “apartments for rent” you are faced with two basic options; apartment locator that offers their free service ether from their internet sites or using classified ad postings and other internet sites that offer the use of an apartment database. Which is the best for you? Well, that depends on what your needs and wants are and whether you like the “do it yourself” apartment hunting or being helped by a professional Apartment locator.

The Apartment Locator: If you are relocating to a new area or a new city, a place you are unfamiliar with, you don’t know the neighborhoods, schools, job centers, transportation, etc, the apartment locator may be your best choice.They respond to your request by phone or email (you decide) to ask you some details about your ideal apartment. You want to give them as much information about your wants and need as far as: budget, date of move part of town and more. The apartment locator is knowledgeable about the area of his local rental market. They will be very helpful in finding you rental property that suits your particular needs, best of all, in most cases this will be a totally free service. The apartment locator is normally paid “finder’s fee” or “referral fee” from the landlord apartment complex or landlord.

The Apartment Database Search: Unlike apartment locators, the typical apartment database offers an extensive choice of apartment listings. You can read the descriptions of apartment communities see maps, amenities, rent ranges, photos of inside and out and in some cases contact information. All this information helps you understand if a particular rental apartment or complex meet your needs and wants. If you like the “Do it yourself” method an apartment database site might be the one for you. Most require a simple registration which asks for name email and date of move. You do not submit your telephone number and you will not be contacted personally by anyone.

Same as apartment locator, most apartment database are free to use, in some cases you are even offered an Apartment Rebate of $100.00 or more if you tell the property you visit and/or lease that you where sent by a specific referring source ( apartment locating database or website). So, which is better for you? The apartment locator or the apartment database?

Those in the field of real estate investment know that it is a wiser option to spend money for apartment buildings than buying houses. It is less risky, much easier, and more profitable. Owning a multi-family apartment is considered as a fabulous real estate investment idea today, especially when the world economy is going through a dreadful low-phase. When prices increase, people need more money. There need to be more choices for a long term financial security than stocks and bonds. Apartment buildings prove to be the right investment vehicle that offer a steady flow of cash even at the times of economic downturn.

A lot of facts go into making apartment buildings the most desired real estate investment option. First and foremost, the truth remains that even though the value of assets have gone down considerably low, rents are on the rise. In the view of the increasing rents, the decision to invest in multi-family apartment is sure to bring pots of money for the buyer. Another fact is that more and more people are forced to live in rental property as a result of mortgage and foreclosure issues; many consider living as renters a less expensive option. There is a great demand for rental property. It is expected to continue to rise in the coming years too. And, no one else can make more profit from this trend than the wise investor who has bought an apartment building.

There is an obvious benefit in buying an apartment building. The cash flow is quite stable for an apartment building owner. Even if one tenant fails to pay or leaves the apartment, there are many others who live there and pay on time. That is not the case with single family homes; if the tenant does not pay, that is the end of your profit. If the single family moves, the owner has to find another one to live there to continue to get rent. Though you may be dealing with many tenants in a multi-family property, it is good as it provides a steady income when compared to the uncertainty of cash flow with single tenants.

Again, rent is higher for single homes and many would prefer to rent a place which is cheaper like apartments. Maintenance cost is also less in the case of apartment buildings. Banks are willing to provide loans for buying apartment buildings. Most banks provide up to 80% of the price for buying multi-family properties. As you own more apartment buildings, your profit increases and it is also easier to pay off the mortgages. If the money you earn after paying monthly mortgage installments and operational costs is considerable, then be sure that you are in the right path of investment.

When you have bought a multi-family property, it is always better to get the services of a property management company to take care of the day-to-day issues of the tenants. This will give you more time to concentrate on your investment matters than worrying about managing your property and its residents.

With the real estate market in the unstable state that it is, investors need to look further than the tradition methods of gaining capitol. One of these investment opportunities that is little known, but is worth taking a second glance at is the purchase of a multi-family apartment building. Surprisingly, owning an apartment building doesn’t mean the tradition misconceptions of hounding tenants for rent, and spending weekends performing upkeep on the property. Owning an apartment building is great for novice investors, or those looking to diversify their portfolio.

With foreclosure rates at an all time high, financial connoisseurs are investing. Warren Buffet, one of the biggest names in investing prefers times like this when the real estate market is in an uproar. Like all things, the real estate market will inevitably turn around – and this is when the gurus look for investments, and find some of the best ones – when others aren’t looking!

Many people are making the transition into multi-family investing with the high foreclosure rate, and the high cost of owning a home. Savvy investors are taking advantage of this information. As prices decline in homes, multi-family prices continue to remain steady. There are always going to be people seeking shelter, it is a fact of life. Why not buy into an investment that can provide shelter to as many people as possible, creating larger value for the investor.

Rental property has never been at a higher demand. According to the most recent census more than a third of the country is residing in rented housing. This is thirty six million households choosing to rent, rather than own, in this uncertain time. 83% of those under 25 are currently renting their home. 55% of those over 25 are renting their home – and as well, growing numbers of senior citizens are choosing to rent their home. Demographics are on the side of the investor choosing to purchase a multi family apartment building.

Purchasing newly developed multi-family buildings may come at a high cost, but the rent will also be higher – this makes older apartment buildings more manageable, cheaper and more popular with those seeking ap lace to live. There are many ways that the investor can increase the value of the home – or raise rent to increase monthly cash flow. Contrary to popular belief, older buildings are indeed in competition with those newly developed buildings.

The banks are also on the side of investors that choose to use their money to purchase multi-family buildings. Lenders are willing to finance up to eighty percent of most multi-family properties. The bank will often make adjustments allowing the homeowner to put as little as ten percent down towards the cost of the apartment building. This is done by creating a second mortgage, allowing the owner flexibility within regards to payments.

Seeing as the bank will provide up to eighty percent of the purchase price, leverage becomes one of the main benefits to owning an apartment building. Purchasing a property for as little as ten percent down can increase your initial investment up to four times per year, if the apartment building gains value.

A multi-family property becomes an even more attractive investment option when the cash flow theory is introduced. Cash flow is the amount of money that is left over each month after the mortgage and operating expenses have been paid. Cash flow can be used in a high interest saving account, or can be used to pay down the mortgage increasing the equity within the investment.

If you are looking to expand your investment portfolio and you would like to learn more about the many benefits of an apartment building investment then I suggest that you read my free mini course on apartment building investments that can be found at Apartment Building Investor

If you are really serious about learning exactly how to find, buy and manage very profitable apartment buildings then you must enroll as a student in my Buy Your First Apartment Building E-Course

All residential mortgage lenders have tightened their standards; fewer people can qualify for home loans today. Consequently, the multi-family (apartment buildings) sector of the commercial real estate industry is booming. Nearly 15% of all Americans now live in rented housing and that number is projected to grow.

Many smart real estate investors are thinking about entering the apartment building market or, if they already own apartments, expanding their rental portfolio. There are several hot categories of apartment units, each with much opportunity for profit.

Standard – Market Rate Multi-family

Small families, baby boomers and the new “echo boomer” generation are fueling tremendous growth in the multi-family, rental housing. There is a growing demographic in America that has consciously deferred the American dream of home ownership and prefers the lower maintenance apartment lifestyle. Even today in the middle of a “credit crunch” leased-up apartment buildings are fairly easy to get financed. Lenders are also willing to fund well thought-out apartment rehab projects in growing or developed areas.

Affordable Rental Housing

Without doubt affordable apartments are in the greatest demand in the entire multi-family sector. The lower income population has the least options when it comes to housing. Many simply must rent. The opportunity in affordable units is tremendous but I don’t recommend it for the beginner or those looking for an easy buck. The regulation, tax credit laws and Federal as-well-as State oversight make this category of commercial real estate among the most cumbersome. Getting a mortgage loan for affordable housing is complex and difficult but it can be accomplished if investors work with specialists in that market segment.

Senior Housing

Life expectancies continue to rise and the baby boom generation is getting older at a rapid pace. The demand for senior rental housing is strong and fast growing. Developers are building assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, skilled nursing facilities and even apartments specifically for seniors with various forms of dementia, such-as Alzheimer’s. Real estate investors with the ability to team up with knowledgeable elder care specialists will find their projects enthusiastically embraced by renters and the financial community.

Student Apartments

College enrollment rates are strong (especially among females) and are projected to grow by double digit percentage rates over the next several years. Investing in student housing can be very profitable and is an exciting and expanding market. Students are easy to please. They want an reasonable rent, a central location and to be near their friends. But, keep-in-mind, it is very often the parents who pay the bills. Parents want safety and security for their kids more than anything else. Apartment investors who can find a way to please both the student and the parent will never lack for positive cash flow, and positive cash-flow is the key to getting a commercial mortgage application approved.

Consider Multi-Family

After years of great expansion, the economy is slowing, there is no denying that. However, weaknesses in home sales and residential lending have created a boom in the apartment sector. After all, people have to live somewhere. Now may be the time to enter the multi-family market or to acquire more apartment buildings. Mortgage lenders love rental income and will approve and fund apartment houses faster than any other type of property. High, sustainable income is available to the savvy apartment investor.

In today’s volatile financial markets the savvy investor needs to look beyond traditional financial vehicles such as stocks and bonds to ensure long term capital growth and security. Ownership of a multi-family apartment building can be a great investment strategy as part of a larger well diversified portfolio. Unfortunately, many novice commercial real estate investors have been deterred from apartment building investment with thoughts of weekends spent painting or even trying to collect past rent from overdue tenants. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are some surprising facts about apartment building investments that will completely change the way you view this unique investment vehicle.

Warren Buffet once famously said that he prefers to invest in a market “when there is blood in the street”. In other words, the investment guru looks for opportunities while others are looking away. Residential real estate markets across the United States are in a tail spin. Foreclosure rates are at record highs in many metropolitan markets.

Nobody knows if there is an end in sight or if more families will be pushed from their homes due to rising mortgage payments and an economic slowdown. Instead of buying into a weak residential housing market while prices are still declining, a strategic investment made in a medium sized apartment building allows the investor to provide much needed housing, to a potential base of millions of displaced people.

Even with a slowing economy and business cutbacks people always will need a place to live. Demand for rental property has never been higher. According to a recent United States census, currently one-third or 36 million of all households in the United States are renter-occupied. In fact, a full 83% of all households under age 25 rent and 55% of households between 25 and 35 are renters. The growing population of senior citizens will also continue to depend on rental housing as a less expensive and less burdensome alternative to home ownership.

In contrast to residential homes, many multi-family properties can be purchased for a price that is well below he replacement cost. This makes older, well run multi-family properties more competitive with newly constructed properties that must charge higher rents to cover their mortgage payments. In addition, newly constructed multi-family buildings can bring up the value of existing properties and increase the value of your investment.

One of the greatest advantages of an investment in an apartment property is the fact that you will be able to leverage your investment. Even as the sub prime residential mortgage market is crumbling, banks are more than eager to lend money on a good apartment building. Banks will generally lend up to 80% of the purchase price and in some cases will actually allow the existing owner to hold up to 10% of the purchase price in the form of an owner financed second mortgage. This allows the investor to purchase the property for as little as 10% down. Try getting a bank to loan you 80% for the purchase of common stocks.

As with any real estate investment, apartment buildings not withstanding, leverage is one of the primary benefits to ownership. A bank will supply you with 80% of the purchase price on an apartment building. For example, if you purchase an $800,000.00 property with a $600,000.00 mortgage and $200,000.00 cash, and the property increase in value by $24,000.00 after one year, that’s a 3% increase in value but a 12% increase on your $200,000.00 investment.

Don’t forget about cash flow when tallying your potential rates of return on an apartment building investment. Cash flow is simply the money left over each month after you pay your operating expenses and mortgage. You can put that money in an interest bearing account to increase your overall rate of return or make improvements on the property to increase its value.

Mending the broken family unit begins with just one person. It may be you especially if you have been the rock of the family so far. You may be the mediator of the household. If so then you need to make use of this role, and instead of using it to smooth things over use it to assess and rectify the problems that are ripping your family apart. Start with dealing with each of the family members individually. Talk to them to find out what is bothering them, why they are doing the things they are doing that is upsetting the other family members. Even if they can’t provide the answer right now determine if they are willing to help put the family back together again. You need to do this with everyone that lives within your home.

The next thing to keep in mind is to take small steps. What may have started out as a very small incident a long time ago that was left to fester could be the root cause of all the damage that has been done to your family. You need to work both ends against the middle here. You need to go back and mend the gap that first started to ruin your family, and at the same time you need to begin to undo the damage that is taking place now as a result of it.

This is no easy task and the biggest mistake would be to believe that just because everyone has come to the agreement that they want to pull the family together again that you will all live happily ever after. There is a lot of hard work ahead of every person in the family.

A mistake that you don’t want to make is to forget about yourself either. You are part of the family, and even if the relationship strengthens amongst the rest you have been wounded along the way, but just too busy to deal with it. You must include yourself in this healing process as well.

Mending the family is like trying to put together a huge puzzle. Each piece interlocks and its just a matter of finding the right pieces and where they fit. Think about it though, if you have ever put a puzzle together how did you begin? First you laid out all the pieces so you know what you had to deal with. Then you grouped the pieces together that were similar. By identifying all the issues in the family you are laying out the pieces. Then by putting these issues into categories you are grouping them. Then the next step in the puzzle is to do the outside frame. In your family the framework is built around calling a truce while you work on fitting the pieces together.

If you currently have a trust, or are thinking of setting one up, this checklist from my book, The 7 Biggest Mistakes Trustees Make and How to Avoid Them, will show you what the most common and serious mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Each one of these seven mistakes has the potential to ruin your financial plans and to turn family members against each other. Here they are in brief:

Mistake #1 – Failure to Communicate: Failing to communicate properly with all the parties involved with the trust is, perhaps, the biggest mistake trustees make. From my experience, parents must deal with three important predicaments before considering advanced planning:
1.Do we have enough money to last the rest of our lives?
2.Do I want my spouse to know all the financial details of the estate?
3.Do we want our children to know all the financial details of the estate?

I have also found that once planning takes place, children must also deal with two common reservations:
1.I don’t feel I should interfere with my parents’ finances.
2.If I take an interest, will I be perceived as being greedy?

Through my experience, families that avoid mistake #1 have a foundation that is able to withstand almost any type of problem in the future.

Mistake #2 – Failure to Hire the Appropriate Advisors: Estate planning is a growing sector that is becoming more complex with its constant changes. Every year laws are revised and added. It’s important that when it comes to making important financial decisions that you consult professional advice from a team made up of: attorneys, accountants, and financial planners.

Mistake #3 – Failure to Follow the UPIA: This mistake is more legal in nature than the previous two. It involves the UPIA, or, more specifically, the lack of knowledge of it. UPIA stands for Uniform Prudent Investor Act. Do not ignore this new law! Ignoring this law increases your chances of being sued. It provides an easy way for a disgruntled heir and a slick lawyer to prove that a trustee is unfit to manage the trust, and owes significant amounts of their personal money back to the trust.

Mistake #4 – Failure to Follow the Terms of the Trust: The most important part of estate planning is the trust. The trust is something that should not be taken lightly. It must be well thought out and written to express your exact desires. There can be no ambiguity in a trust. There can also be no assumption that your heirs will know what your intentions are. You must be as specific as possible when writing this document.

Mistake #5 – Failure to Minimize Liability and Risk: The trustee has many duties and responsibilities to the beneficiaries. The trustee is the protector of the assets. He is responsible for not only maintaining the current level of investments, but also ensuring that the investment will grow at a reasonable rate of return over the years. When planning for future finances that involve minimizing liability and risk, there are three areas to be considered: long-term sickness, taxes, and general lack of knowledge.

Mistake #6 – Failure to Review Regularly: A common mistake among trustees is the failure to review the trust regularly. Your life changes over time. So it is necessary to keep on top of these changes. The review process is divided into three critical areas: investment strategy, trust assets, and advisors.

Mistake #7 – Failure to Treat it like a Business: As a trustee, you need to think of yourself as a manager. You have a finite number of assets to manage, and your long-term goal is to make them grow. This is your business. Separate yourself from the beneficiaries, even if you are one. Think of them as shareholders, and it is your job to maximize profits without taking on too much risk.

You are accountable to the beneficiaries for your actions. It is your job to protect yourself and do the best job possible. You are taking on a great liability, so you need to make sure you get good advice. There are many decisions that need to be made over the life of the trust, many which are not pleasant to make. Some even have absolutely nothing to do with assets or money. Yet, they must be faced. The more aware you are of the potential problems, the better trustee you will become.