2012-2-3 9:46:41 版主
The real secret is to buy only in situations in which debt servicing costs are less than rental income minus expenses . Investors most often get into trouble in negative cash flow situations . A bankruptcy in real estate terms is known as a foreclosure . This is when the bank or other lender takes possession of the building because the buyer can’t meet payments for a period of time . Foreclosures are the closest thing to personal bankruptcy , and stay on a person’s credit record for seven years . (bankruptcy stays for ten .) A more amicable situation is one in which the owner hands title (as symbolized by the keys and deed ) to the property to the lender in lieu of foreclosure , but this also involves a seven-year record . One or more missed payments followed by a catch-up will not lead to foreclosure , but this information does damage a credit record for some years .
To buy in a turnaround , the most promising situation is one in which the neighborhood and properties are already being improved by the current owners . It is good sign if developers are moving in . (But this is smart money . ) The largest profits are made just before the developer stage , when individuals are fixing up the property . The quality of the people is even more important than the quality of the buildings . A blue-collar neighborhood with stable incomes and families may be a better bet than one inhabited by young singles who move out every few years . Seattle , Washington , was a case in point when the aerospace industry laid off people .
Before buying any property , you should get an engineering report , to make sure that the main systems work ; electric , gas , and water . There should not be any structural problems with these , the foundation , or the beams . There may be plenty of minor faults such as chipped paint , but there should be reflected in a lower selling price . You should welcome such defects because you can increase your profits by fixing them.
The bank will do an appraisal , but it will be a cursory one . Instead of trying to pinpoint the exact value for your house , the bank appraiser will use the selling price as a starting point , and then test it for reasonableness . A good (well done , not necessarily favorable )appraisal will tell you what the market thinks of the house and why.
Cash flow on real estate is pretty much discretionary , at least after the minimum debt service charges are paid off . You can reinvest it in the property to maintain or improve it , you can prepay your mortgage or you can spend it ,either on more real estate ,or on other items . A property can even be “ milked ” for short periods of time by deferring maintenance , but that is not a wise long-term strategy . Any way you slice it, cash flow is what ultimately drives the return on real estate . If cash flow after expenses and debt service is negative , the property is priced too high and likely to go down in value . For this reason , one should not think in terms of sacrificing cash flow for “appreciation .”
Real estate should be bought for intrinsic(i.e., cash flow) rather than resale value . This is true of stocks, but particularly told in numerous places, most notably by John Paul Getty , of Florida swamp land in the 1920s; in which “ investors ” bought and sold binders, or contracts, on real estate ; with the intention of “flipping” them within a short time . When one skeptical investor asked the agent to show him the land ,which was under a swamp, the agent explained ,“ This real estate is for trading , not for owning .” When the craze is over , some hapless investor will be left with a worthless piece of property . An only slightly less insidious form of “real estate ” is one that is uneconomical , except for tax breaks . Then the investor is hostage to changes in the Tax Code .