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How to Start Investing in Real Estate: Beginner's Guide

How to Start Investing in Real Estate: Beginner's Guide
Being a real estate investor is one of the leading wealth creators in the United States so many of us want to know how to become the next great real estate investor. Some have bought books and watched videos on how people have made their fortune in the industry, others have applied what they know to works in their business towards real estate. We have learned over the years that there truly is no better way to learn the real estate industry than simply going and being part of a property management team. PLUS…. you are getting paid to learn!  By being part of a property management team you can learn everything you should know from marketing, maintenance, leasing and operations. When you find a company that you feel is a good fit for you sit down with the management and tell them that you want to learn everything from top to bottom about real estate investing from them and if they seem receptive to your idea then jump in and prepare to learn. We would recommend you start at the bottom and work you way up.  In their leasing department, learn how a vacant unit is prepared for market. Price the unit and then learn how to advertise the unit to the right individuals. After you have spent enough time in leasing look into moving to an assist manager position, while in this position learn the ins and outs of the daily operations of the property and how you can i......
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Graduate Student Housing Shortage: An Underserved Market?

Graduate Student Housing Shortage: An Underserved Market?
In many college and university communities, there are complaints about too much student housing, but this problem tends to be the polar opposite for graduate student housing. In numerous rental markets across North America, there is a lack of on-campus graduate student housing available, often resulting in fierce competition and long application wait-lists.   The shortage of graduate student housing at many campuses has become a contentious issue, as the following cases illustrate.   At UC San Diego there was a reported 2,500-person wait-list for graduate student housing. Many are left to find alternative options in the off-campus housing market. At Brown University campus housing is not guaranteed for graduate students and only 100 of the university’s 2,000 graduate students live in Brown-owned housing, due to lack of options and availability. McMaster University, boasting a graduate student population of over 4,000, has no designated graduate housing at all. However, the university is exploring options to build their first graduate residence in the very near future. The University of Miami has foregone the idea of providing graduate student housing in their ten-year housing plan and opted to prioritize the undergraduate population.   Problems relating to a shortage of graduate or family housing are nothing new; however, the earliest mention of the issue we could find dates back to August 1947 at Harvard University.So why is there such a shortage of graduate student housing?   There are a few reasons that potentially attribute to the shortage:  Undergraduate student populations tend to be significantly larger than the amount of graduate s......
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Overcoming “the dip” in Multifamily Investing

Overcoming “the dip” in Multifamily Investing
There are many challenges in multifamily investing, but depending on the type of investor you plan to be there are larger challenges that typically keep investors from getting their first deal done.  Seth Godin wrote a book called "the dip" that articulates how to view these large challenges.  Excerpts from Seth Godin’s book: ·        The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery.     ·        Organic chemistry is the dip for pre-med students. ·        The dip creates scarcity and scarcity creates value.  ·        Biggest mistake in school is being well rounded is the key to success. How often do you look for someone who is good at things you don’t need them to do? We reward the exceptional. ·        Successful people lean into the dip, they push harder, and are rewarded by the marketplace as being the best in the world. ·        While starting is thrilling, it is not until you get through the dip that your effort pays off. If you are not able to get through the dip, you must quit. Now that you know what the Dip is, let’s see how it applies to the 3 ways of investing in multifamily (Independent Rental Owner, Lead Investor, and Limited Partner). This article will look at the biggest dip for each type of investor and how to overcome them.  Independent Rental Owner- Independent rental owners are individuals with strong balance sheets looking to own their own properties without partners. The Dip: Creating the Balance Sheet Saving enough money with your "day job” so that you have enough money on your own for the d......
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A 5-Year Property Improvement Plan for Smart Investors

A 5-Year Property Improvement Plan for Smart Investors
Just because rents are up is no reason to become complacent with your property investment. If you’ve chosen to hold onto your assets, now is the perfect time to get ahead of the inevitable tapering off of rent growth by instituting a five-year property improvement timeline. It’s easy enough to start with smaller changes that add a high-end feel at a lower price point, and then go for bigger upgrades as you reinvest naturally rising rent surpluses back into your property. Year One: Add More Units Depending on your location and the market forecast for your area, now’s the perfect time to add more units to your multifamily property. Take advantage of a booming market to invest in generating more income in the future. Year Two: Surface Upgrades Regular move-out maintenance is a great time to give your property a facelift with durable and attractive upgrades to countertops and floors. Vinyl, wood-look flooring and man-made countertops that add the look of granite without the cost are your best bet for the highest ROI. Opt for surfaces with proven applications in multifamily—time-tested durability and ease of cleaning are a must. Year Three: Big-Ticket Investments This is the year when you’ll need to think long-term. Those new countertops won’t do much for outdated cabinetry. Simply re-facing existing cabinets with a sturdy skeleton is one way property owners can save money while adding a “wow” factor to kitchens and baths. Replace roofing with durable and attractive materials that will see your property through the next downturn. ......
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Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?

Is Student Housing Still A Niche Market?
Rewind to a decade ago and major REITs would have quickly dismissed student housing as a small niche market with minimal investment potential. The concept of purpose built student housing was almost exclusive to on-campus housing; aside from a few early adopters who helped usher in a new era of student focused accommodations. Outside of on-campus housing, students would by and large rent properties from independent landlords or local apartments. However, in 2015, the student housing sector has seemingly outgrown its status as a small niche market.   A niche market is typically characterized as serving a very specific need to a relatively small market segment. While student housing can still technically be considered a niche market, the size of the market has grown to a point where it’s drifting from this characterization.   This holds particularly true in the United States, where in 2014 alone, nearly 60,000 new private student housing beds were delivered to the market. The Canadian market, on the other hand, has seen slower growth; but it too is developing quickly. Rock Advisors stated that in 2013, there were over 950,000 full-time students enrolled at the 82 largest university campuses in Canada and 55% of these students attend universities outside of the communities they grew up in. Rock Advisors go on to say that there are over half a million students in need of places to live. This number will continue to increase, and as it does, the Canadian student housing sector will inevitably follow a similar path to its American counterpart. ......
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The Best Cities in Canada To Invest In Student Housing - Province by Province

The Best Cities in Canada To Invest In Student Housing - Province by Province
It’s a widely known fact that many Canadian cities suffer from a shortage of off-campus & purpose-built student housing. There are a handful of Canadian cities that have capitalized upon the demand for student housing, but there is still a great deal of investment potential within the student housing market across the country.   Here’s a look at each of the provinces, with the leading student housing cities highlighted, based upon a variety of criteria. The criteria includes: student enrollment & projected growth, rental rates, availability of on-campus housing, vacancy rates, number of academic institutions and more.   Ontario – Guelph:   Without question, Ontario is the most developed province in terms of student housing. Ontario is home to approximately 40 universities (both publicly and privately funded) and over 25 colleges. Choosing a top city for student housing in Ontario is difficult, as there are many profitable markets for student housing investments.At one point in time, Waterloo was the champion; however, it has been contended that Waterloo has become overbuilt with student housing since then. Henry Morton, President of Campus Suites, claims that there is a trio of southern Ontario markets that are being overbuilt: Waterloo, London and Oshawa. These three cities previously were in contention for the top Ontario city for student housing, but in recent years have become less attractive markets. These three cities still do have a great deal of investment potential, but the competition has heated up dramatically, making it less appealing to investors.  In November 2014, Rock Advisors indicated that ......
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Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?

Is Buying Student Housing For Your Children a Good Investment?
The number $22,958 represents the average cost of tuition and fees in 2014-15 for out-of-state students attending a public university, according to the College Board. On top of that, room and board is estimated to cost $9,804 per year, bringing the grand total to $32,762 per year to attend a public, out-of-state university. These figures explain why many students will rely on their parents for financial assistance with their academic careers.   In many instances, parents will not only help finance a student’s tuition, but also their rent. In 2012, the National Apartment Association surveyed 3,605 parents with children attending college or university and found that 56% of respondents paid for 100% of their students rent. Only 13% reported that their children paid for rent entirely by themselves.   This is likely why some parents contemplate the option of purchasing student housing, instead of paying rent to landlords. But is it a smart financial move for parents to purchase student housing for their children?   The answer isn’t exactly a definitive “yes” or “no” and several considerations come into play. There is a calculated risk involved with making a financial commitment and investing in student housing. Too often, parents make their decision by only looking at the “potential” amount of money they could save, but fail to take into account other important factors.    Here are several factors that need to be assessed before making the decision to invest in student housing for your children.   1. Profitability: In certain instances, inexperienced student housing landlords can overshoot the profitabili......
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Is Your City A Good Place To Invest In Student Housing?

Is Your City A Good Place To Invest In Student Housing?
As enrollment numbers for colleges and universities across North America continue to rise, so does the interest to invest in the niche student housing market. As Axiometrics stated, student housing is in and investors are flocking to the sector.While many investors and independent landlords are eager to enter this niche rental market, it’s important for them to do some market research first, as well as analyze their local universities and colleges.Here are some key considerations to think of when determining if your city is a good place to invest in student housing: 1. Student Enrollment & Growth:The first consideration to analyze should be the potential size of a tenant pool. Just because there is a college or university in a city, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good place to invest in student housing. Cities that boast a student population exceeding 10,000+ are ideal, as this makes the student housing sector a larger and more appealing niche.Another factor to consider is whether or not the schools within that city are steadily growing or if their student population is remaining stagnant. Growth is particularly important when planning for the future.  2. Residential vs. Commuter School:The second consideration is to determine if the schools within that city are residential or commuter schools.Residential schools are ones characterized by a very strong sense of community, typically fostered by having the vast majority of students living on-campus. Residential schools usually have a very low percentage of students who live off-campus, making them unattractive to student housing inv......
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Investing For Success In Student Housing

Investing For Success In Student Housing
As enrolment rates at colleges and universities across North America continue to rise, the demand for off-campus housing is also rising. As a result, investors and property owners are recognizing the financial opportunities available within the off-campus housing market.      Before making an investment in student housing, property owners and investors should analyze the market that the rental accommodation(s) is located in. There are many situational factors to consider:   How many college or universities are in the surrounding area? Are enrolment rates increasing or decreasing at these schools? How much on-campus housing is available? Are there restrictions regarding which students can live off-campus at these schools (do freshmen & sophomores have to live on-campus)? What is the academic calendar for these schools (start and end dates for each semester)? What is the leasing cycle like?   Other market factors to pay attention to include:   What are the going rental rates? How competitive is the rental market? Is rental licensing required?   This information can help property owners and investors get a firm understanding of how in-demand student housing is within a given market.   In relation to market research, investors and property owners should also consider the leasing habits of student renters. Every rental market is a little different and the tenants will have certain nuances. For example, it’s important to know exactly when student tenants are looking for housing. In highly competitive rental markets, students may be signing leases up to a year in advance of the r......
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Is There an Oversupply of Student Housing in North America?

Is There an Oversupply of Student Housing in North America?
With each passing academic calendar year, more and more student housing is being made available for colleges and universities across North America. There has been a great deal of speculation within the multifamily housing industry on whether or not there is an oversupply of student housing hitting the market. Some industry insiders have proclaimed that the student housing market is becoming oversaturated, especially within the United States. Others believe this is a myth. Let’s examine some facts. Beginning in the late 2000’s, REIT’s and private-equity firms began adding a great deal of purpose-built student housing to their portfolios, as they saw great investment potential. The Wall Street Journal claimed that some developers overestimated future enrollment rates and didn’t consider other student housing developments, which led to an oversupply in some markets. This is perhaps what sparked the discussion about national oversupply in student housing. However, this oversupply was only occurring in a select few markets within the United States. It’s imprecise to attribute a national trend of oversupply, based on only a handful of markets. While it may hold true that certain popular college towns are in a state of oversupply, there isn’t enough quantitative data to demonstrate oversupply on a national basis. AxioMetrics estimated that in 2014, a total of 60,000+ beds, both on and off-campus, would be delivered nation-wide for the fall. This has created concern. However, it should be noted that while student housing deliveries are increasing, they are being spread across more universities and states than in the past (s......
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