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Selling Your Property

StagingIt goes without saying that selling your property is a large undertaking. Arming yourself with as much information as possible, surrounding yourself with knowledgeable professionals, and exercising due diligence when it comes to pre-sale property preparation can make all the difference in the world between a smooth, profitable sale and a stressful selling experience. Your REALTOR® is your best friend. Or at least he should be. Picking a REALTOR® is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to selling your property. Do your research and make sure to speak with other property owners and trusted friends for recommendations. After you have created a short list of potential REALTORS®, bring a few of your top choices in to take a look at your property and to “interview” with you. During this interview, you’ll want to gauge not only their industry knowledge and neighborhood expertise, but also determine how their personality and sales style meshes with yours. After all, this is someone you’ll be working closely with and entrusting with one of your most valuable financial assets. This is the time to be picky. Make sure the price is right. While it’s obviously important not to undervalue your home, it’s just as crucial not to overprice it. Generally speaking, overpriced properties linger on the market, potentially developing a bad stigma with agents and buyers. In short, an overpriced property is far more difficult to sell in the long-run and chances are the price will ultimately have to be......
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HUD 223 (f) – Pros and Cons

Borrowers who never considered FHA/HUD are now being told they need a FHA/HUD 223 (f) loan.  However, most borrowers, and brokers who are selling this product, don't understand the issues relating to these loans.   The 223 (f) is FHA/HUD's acquisition/refinance program for conventional apartment projects.  With limited sources for apartment financing today, this program is being pushed by most mortgage brokers and bankers as the way to refinance your apartment project.To get a complete, but very dry, description of the program visit the HUD web site at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/progdesc/purchrefi223f.cfm.   The summary of this program states that "Section 223(f) insures mortgage loans to facilitate the purchase or refinancing of existing multifamily rental housing."  So first things first, this is not an FHA/HUD loan, because HUD does not lend money, FHA provides insurance on the loan allowing the lender to sell a security to fund the loan.  So while FHA/HUD underwrites and approves the loan they do not fund it.  It's really the original conduit loan. FHA/HUD underwriting, loan terms and restrictions are not like conventional loans.  They look at the numbers differently and limit loans based on things other than just LTV and DSC.   Because of this you really need to deal with someone who has experience in HUD lending and knows how to process your loan.  There are many approved FHA/HUD lenders and a list can be found at the HUD web site.  Some lenders are just small shops and some are FHA/HUD departments of national or regional mortgage bankers.  As long as they......
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Which is more important? Price? Quality? or Service?

What is more important to you as an apartment investor, owner, or contractor doing a remodel in a rental property?

Is everyone only looking at price now because of our economy? Or do some people still give credence and importance to quality of materials, loyalty to the vendor they are getting a bid from, timeliness of receiving the bid, the delivery, and installation?

 I would really like to know what is more of the  driving force in the market. We have seen a large upswing in people wanting a bid, but putting more emphasis on Price than anything else. What does that say about the relationships you have built with your vendors? About our society as a whole?


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Coupon Craziness with Craigslist!

 When the Apartment All Stars were in Seattle last week, the amazing Toni Blake mentioned in her great presentation how people LOVE coupons. She's right.  People do love coupons.  I remember when I was younger I used to love the Sunday paper just because you could cut the coupons out of it.  It was like this frugal and fun art project.  There's something about holding a piece of paper in our hands that gets us a better deal than the person behind us that is just...well it makes us feel special, smart and important.  Recently I found a site with some tips on frugality in this market and one of their tips was to buy an "Entertainment 09" book for the area that you live in.  It was $15 dollars to get the book and I've already found over $700 in savings on stuff we would buy any way.  I wish my stock investments had that kind of pay off right now!People are coupon crazy in our economy right now.  They want a great deal and you can up your occupancy just by knowing this.Why not run a craigslist ad with a coupon attached that they can print out and bring in to your property?  Put your current special on it, and make it only valid for this weekend or next week, etc.  If they have to clip it, and print it... they'll want to see what you've got!  I have bought things I didn't even need JUST BECAUSE I had......
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"NOW LEASING!!!" When are you NOT?

I have to unload a pet peeve. It is the peeviest of my marketing pet peeves for on site teams.  I feel so strongly about it that whenever I see it, I want to grab the object of my ire and rip it up in to itty bitty pieces that can never EVER be put back together.  Do you want to know what it is?A large banner, costing a lot of money, that says "NOW LEASING!!!"Yes, I'm serious.  This fills me with a sense if annoyance that is only second to being given a tour while the leasing consultant cheeks a jolly rancher.  I mean, come on.  When are you NOT leasing?  And, how much did you pay for that banner that announces what you do on a daily basis in the marketing equivalent of a Ben Stein monotone voice?  $30?  $50?  $100?  If it was more than a buck-two-five, you paid too much!  Here's a short list of things I find FAR more banner worthy:NOW RENEWING ALL LEASES!  (Just because I've never seen it before and think it would look cool!)NOW ACCEPTING NEW NEIGHBORS! (As people stay closer to home, who they live by matters more.  "Neighbors" is better to say than "renters" or even "residents" right now)IT TAKES ALL KINDS, AND SO DOES OUR COMMUNITY! (You've gotta celebrate fair housing!)DO YOU NEED NEW NEIGHBORS?  WE HAVE PLENTY OF GREAT ONES IN STOCK!WINDOWS IN THE KITCHENS, STORAGE IN THE BEDROOMS & SMILING CUSTOMER SERVICE!  (A higher level of service is......
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