Archive | August, 2014

How to Find Investment Properties

28 Aug

How to Find Investment Properties

Although the rise in foreclosures and distressed properties has had negative repercussions over the past several years, for real estate investors, there has been a silver lining because it has resulted in an increase in the inventory of investment properties in the market.

If you are a real estate investor wanting to capitalize on this current market trend, first and foremost it is important to establish connections with many real estate agents. Seek out real estate agents who specialize in foreclosures because they will be a great resource for you when scouting out available properties. Don’t just work with a couple of agents – make a list of local REO, or Real Estate Owned, agents, and proactively establish a good professional relationship with them, so they know you are a serious potential buyer for their properties.

Promoting yourself to your general network is also important. There are a lot of families who experience money problems that might be considering selling their homes. When people know that you invest in properties, they will be likely to talk to you about selling their properties before they foreclose, which means that you will be able to snag up deals that other investors don’t even know about.

Work with asset managers. They often have information on potential properties before they reach the MLS. By having the “inside scoop”, you can find great deals with limited competition from the general real estate community because you can purchase properties before they are even made public.

Reach out to For Sale by Owner sellers. This usually opens up a huge area of opportunity because when sellers do not formally list their homes with a real estate agent, they don’t get as much activity. If a homeowner is unsuccessful at selling their house on their own, they usually start lowering the price to try to make their property more attractive to buyers. If they become more open to negotiations than they initially were, and if you have been in regular contact with them, they will naturally think of you as someone to contact first, which can open up opportunities for you to receive great deals on properties that other investors don’t know about, since they aren’t listed on the MLS.

Regularly check advertisements and respond quickly when properties come up for sale. Check the local newspaper and other publications for motivated sellers that are advertising their homes. Craiglist even has real estate listings. By doing this regularly, you will be able to stay on top of the currently inventory and be prepared to act on new properties as soon as they go up for sale.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


More Trees Planted by the Edmond Urban Forestry Department

26 Aug

More Trees Planted by the Edmond Urban Forestry Department

More trees in the community means that there is a chance of reducing pollution in the air. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide emitted in the air and replace these with oxygen. If there are more trees, there will be cleaner air to breathe.

To promote the planting of more trees in the city and encourage the participation of willing residents, the Edmond Urban Forestry Department is offering a Foster-A-Tree program, which enables anyone to foster a tree placed near their property. The program will offer different trees to anyone who desires to have a tree adjacent to their property and is willing to maintain it.

There will be more than 80 trees available this fall. Participants can sign up for the program so their selected tree species will be planted in the street right-of-way adjacent to their home or building. Once part of the program, participants will be watering and caring for the tree over the span of two years.

According to the department, the new trees will be used to replace trees that have been lost in disasters. The program will be enhancing the natural beauty of the city as well as providing tree canopies for shade in selected areas. Participation of the residents will help reduce city’s expenses.

Those who wish to sign up for the program can register online. Registration ends on Sept. 19 or once all trees have already been reserved. Once signed-up, participants will receive a Foster-A-Tree Maintenance Guide, a watering and irrigation bag.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

25 Aug

Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Home

Electrical problems in your home can range from simple shortages that are easy to fix to massive issues which can lead to electrical fires and other hazards if not addressed in a timely manner.  In order to keep the electrical systems in your home functioning properly, be aware of signs that could be indicating there are problems, and address them as soon as possible.

Here are the most common signs of electrical problems:

  • Flickering Lights – This usually indicates that you have a loose or defective light bulb. This is a quick and easy fix, and all you have to do is either tighten the bulb or replace it if necessary.
  • Tripped Circuit Breakers – Circuit breakers are devices that prevent wires from overheating and causing damage to your electrical system. These devices are made to shut off the electricity supply when a circuit overheats or is overworked. However, circuit breakers can malfunction when they begin to wear out, so in order to prevent that from happening, try to not overload electrical outlets by only using the plugs available and not adding multiple-plug power strips to them.  They are designed to transfer a certain amount of energy, so do not push them beyond that.
  • Hot Ceiling Fixtures – A hot ceiling is an indication that you need better insulation. Most fixtures that are not insulated will overheat, which can lead to fires. The best solution is to change your lighting to compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.  They are cost-effective lighting options that produce minimal heat without affecting the quality of light.
  • Burning Odors or Sparks – If you smell a lingering burning odor that you suspect is coming from wires or switches, turn off the main power source immediately. The main reasons for burning are overload problems and wiring problems. A faulty device can also be another reason. A burning smell that is distinctively electrical needs immediate attention from an expert electrician. Sometimes small sparks appear when you plug in an appliance, and that is not cause for alarm. However, if the sparks are large or begin happening more frequently, call an electrician.  The same is true if you notice a popping sound when you plug in appliances, as that can be due to loose wiring.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

The Damaging Consequences of Foreclosure

21 Aug

The Damaging Consequences of Foreclosure

Foreclosure is always a nasty experience not only to a homeowner, but to everyone involved. There are many effects that are overlooked, and we’ve taken the time to outline them here.

  1. Family Effects. Foreclosure deals on an obvious and tragic blow to the family. Divorce is a common result. There are actually a lot of cases of broken marriages due to the fact that it cannot withstand the stress brought about by foreclosure. This greatly affects any children involved, which will affect their development and even create emotional scars. Children who can’t cope well may even develop behavioral issues thus affecting performances in school and personal lives.
  2. Health Effects. Foreclosure can affect the psychologically of a person, and not just their family life. Studies have proven an increase in the suicide rate of 40% in those individuals who have undergone foreclosure. Depression is the most common aftershock along with a number of anxiety and stress related conditions. This worsens certain health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and alcohol abuse.
  3. Work performance effects. For those who have managed to save their jobs even after foreclosure, it is highly recommended that they mentally accept the fact that they must move on. There are even companies that consider employees undergoing foreclosure as a possible case-builder for termination.
  4. Neighborhood effects. When foreclosure is experienced by a homeowner, it affects the whole neighborhood. The home that is abandoned and unmaintained might become an annoyance to some. This could also attract opportunists such as criminals. Therefore the neighborhood is prone to criminal activities. There are some foreclosed homes that have been transformed into a dumping ground for hardheaded individuals who refuse to pay for proper waste disposal. All neighborhoods are hugely affected by this. Even upscale areas can suffer $300,000 worth of reduction in property value.

To avoid foreclosure, it is best to assess your payment capabilities and plan well. Choosing the right sort of real estate agent is also important. Don’t be overwhelmed with the beauty of your dream house; make sure that you’ve considered every option and aspect before deciding on a deal. If foreclosure is really happening, the best there is to do is to find a good, trustworthy real estate lawyer to lessen the damages.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

OKC Schools Now Giving Free Lunches to All Students

19 Aug

OKC Schools Now Giving Free Lunches to All Students

Students need all the nutrition they can get to help them grow faster and think smarter. Because of the pressures in school and busy schedules, they need all the healthy food they can eat to supplement their bodies and minds.

Unfortunately, not all kids are able to bring enough money for a full tray during school lunches. In some schools, there are kids who can only afford one sandwich for lunch.

Now, students in 52 public schools in Oklahoma City will not go hungry and unsatisfied during lunch time thanks to free lunches. OKCPS are now giving free lunches to all students under the Community Eligibility Provision by the US Department of Agriculture. Free lunches will allow each student to enjoy a good lunch every day of the week. The USDA program offers the free lunch initiative to all hungry students.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Advertising Sign Tips

18 Aug

Real Estate Advertising Sign Tips

The real estate industry is very competitive, and it takes constant, proactive work to get customers.  You must spread the word about your services, so that people begin to recognize you and think of you as the “go to” person for their real estate needs. Once you have customers and you are selling someone’s property, you must also get the word out about their property listing to as many people as possible, so you increase its chances of selling in a timely manner. One of the most common ways to do that is by using yard signs.

Real estate signs are strategic tools that should include very specific elements to maximize their impact. Be sure that that your name and that of the brokerage are clearly visible. Include the company logo, your contact number, and website information. Additional information  can also be added with separate attachable signs, such as the property’s sales price or notifications such as “New Listing”, “Reduced Price”, etc.

The sign should be clear and visible from the street. When placing your sign, take into consideration things like parked cars, tree, poles, etc. so you can place it in an area that will not be blocked from sight. Placing signs by sidewalks is ideal if street parking is not common. For homes that are located on corners, it is a good idea to place a sign on each street side, so people traveling from all angles can see them.

If the property you are selling is in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, check with them first to see if they have any rules or regulations about sign placement, so you do not violate their codes.  Also be sure you comply with any signage size restrictions that may be  applicable in your area.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

The Types of Bargains in the Real Estate Business

14 Aug

The Types of Bargains in the Real Estate Business

For good profits in real estate, the right techniques must be utilized. Distressed properties are those bargains that you should be wary of. Such examples are work intensive and unwanted houses. Houses may become like this due to divorce, job transfer, job loss, financial difficulty and even death, which makes the sale price less than its actual market value.

  1. Repossessed properties. It is important to inspect repossessed properties. These might seem like a great bargain, but be careful. Scrutinize every detail of the property before deciding to purchase.
  2. HUD. These are those properties that were not sold while the bidding happened, which in turn placed these properties on the daily list. Make sure that your realtor is familiar with selling HUD homes. Never get too attached to a specific property when the house may have a good chance of coming back on the list.
  3. REO properties. These properties are offered by banks at bargain prices. The conditions, financing and resale policy depend on the type of bank.

The properties on multiple listings are those that offer the best deals. This can be achieved by checking the listings which have been available in the market for a lengthy period of time. It is recommended to make an offer for much less than asking the price immediately.

There are also those properties that are for sale by the owners themselves. The priority with this type of property is to earn first the owner’s trust with compassion and honesty.

What makes famous real estate entrepreneurs successful is that they let kindness and honesty guides their actions. Help out the seller by examining the problem and presenting a solution through the seller’s needs. To properly achieve this, listen to the situation of the seller before you speak. It also important to be always ready to make an offer when a bargain is found.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent