Lessons Learned from Buying and Selling Real Estate


posted Oct 2, 2015, 2:10 PM by Jenif OK   [ updated Oct 2, 2015, 2:12 PM ]

We have had many friends lose everything investing in real estate. In every situation they were over-leveraged and the market dropped. The real estate market will always fluctuate, there will be highs and lows. We are very conservative and follow some basic principles as investors.

First, if we get a mortgage on a property, we do our homework and make the sure rent will easily cover the mortgage, taxes, insurance with money left for repairs. Even if we are buying a home to fix and flip and the market drops while we are fixing up the property, we make sure we can rent it and cover our costs.

Second, over the years we have focused paying down our home. This has given an edge when we sell our home because we then have the ability to be able to purchase the next home for cash. Also, in a hot market, the cash offer will usually win the bidding war.

I also caution people to be careful with real estate investments as you get older. Be sure to not get caught in a situation where the market drops and you need your money. You might need to flexibility for the market to come back and that can take years.

Boundary Dispute

posted Sep 30, 2015, 12:42 PM by Jenif OK   [ updated Sep 30, 2015, 2:37 PM ]

April of this year we purchased our first new, never lived in home. After a few months after moving in, the next door neighbors came over to tell us there was a boundary dispute with the builder regarding our home and their property line.

Needless to say this was really upsetting to us. We were at a loss of what to do and even how to respond. They told us they were getting a survey so we asked to continue the conversation after the survey was complete.

We went to work and first contacted the City of Denver. The City let us know of previous surveys that had been done surrounding our property and told us what the survey markers looked like (see pic below).

We then contacted our builder and he sent us the Improvement Location Certificate (ILC) which provided the dimensions of our property. We then were able to go out and measure the closest survey marker to our house and see that our property was indeed within its boundaries.

The City also told us that it is a new rule in Denver to now require a survey when building. Our builder had only done and ILC which does not place a historical marker on the property. I am glad this rule has changed since having a survey completed would have eliminated the disagreement while the builder still owned the property.

Every time we purchase a home we learn new lessons. The lessons with this were to first, ask the owner for the survey or ILC for your property, contact the City to see what they have record and finally, meet and talk to neighbors about previous boundary disputes before you purchase the property.

Active vs. Passive Realtor

posted Sep 28, 2015, 7:00 PM by Jenif OK   [ updated Sep 29, 2015, 3:31 PM ]

A passive realtor responds to me finding a home I want to purchase. If I find a house, do I really need a realtor? I can hire a real estate attorney to review the contract. What service is a passive realtor providing me that justifies their high commission?

An active realtor scours neighborhoods and sites to create a portfolio of houses to match to their buyers. That is a realtor that can provide me value. An active realtor connects buyers and sellers without relying on the MLS. As a buyer, I want to work with an active realtor that can find me a home before it has hit the MLS.

As a seller, I can list my house on Zillow and CraigsList. I will gladly pay the buyer realtor 2.8% commission if they bring me a buyer. It is also an opportunity for buyers and sellers to not use a realtor. In this scenario I do recommend using a real estate attorney.

The role of a realtor needs to be disrupted where realtors become match makers with buyers and sellers. Realtors can no longer be just a tool that sends and responds to MLS listings.

About Me

posted Sep 28, 2015, 1:18 PM by Jenif OK   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 6:59 PM ]

My name is Jenif and I will share my lessons learned from buying and selling real estate. By profession I am an Agile Coach, I spend time in my line of work thinking about innovation and disruption. The role of the Realtor is due for disruption and some of my thoughts will be about that topic.

Since my career is in technology and not a real estate, I have the opportunity to share my honest and conflict free opinions. Stay tuned to read my stories and thoughts.

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