2016 Must-Knows for Real Estate Investors

Red Team’s Year in Review

What a year! I hope that you found 2015 and all its new developments to be as exciting and rewarding as we did.

Among the changes this past year is the implementation of what is called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, which has literally changed the way we’ve done business over the last several decades.

The ball started rolling back in 2011, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began working on making the loan process more transparent than it had been leading up to the foreclosure crisis.

As of October 3, 2015, the two “Know Before You Owe” forms have replaced the four disclosure forms you’re probably accustomed to: the Good Faith Estimate and the initial Truth-in-Lending disclosure (provided when you applied for a loan), and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and the final Truth-in-Lending form (issued just before closing).

By introducing forms that are expected to be less confusing, they hope to make sure consumers understand at every step along the way, the terms of their loans and the fees that they are paying. The following new forms will be used in every mortgage transaction:

The Loan Estimate form includes the interest rate, the fees for both lender and third-party services such as appraisals and title insurance, estimated closing costs and whether the borrower has the right to shop for services like title insurance. It also lists any prepayment penalties or future expected changes in interest rates. Lenders will be required to provide this form within three days of a loan application.

The Closing Disclosure includes the final figures for closing costs, prepaid taxes and insurance, payments, fees and mortgage terms, plus what costs are being paid by buyer and seller—and for the first time, how much is paid to each real estate company involved in the transaction.

Although it should make understanding what fees are being charged and what amount of money is needed at closing much easier, the new variables are going to create some problematic confusion as well.

We’ve already witnessed many delays of the closing process, especially with Investors who were working with Real Estate Brokers who are not yet familiar with the new rules and forms. And it’s also creating fundamental challenges for the Lending industry as well…

Rather than waiting until the day of the closing to see the final figures, Borrowers now receive the Closing Disclosure three days in advance. If the type of loan changes, a prepayment penalty is added, or the rate changes more than one-eighth of a percent, another waiting period of three business days is required again—after the redrafted documents have been sent out and received by the buyer.

Another big change is that you’ll be seeing the closing documents drawn up by lenders, rather than by closing agents. While the law doesn’t require the lender to draw up the documents, it now holds the lender accountable for any errors.

The National Association of Realtors has advised its members to add 15 days to contracts.

The good news is that these forms have built in many protections for borrowers. But for Investors who are not paying cash, it can make the time to close from contract execution take somewhere around 45 days. With zero tolerance for error throughout most of the disclosures, it’s vital you’re working with both Real Estate Brokers and Lenders that understand the multiple new systems that have been introduced with these forms.

For those of you looking to navigate through this new process both smoothly and effectively, we invite you to connect with us at Red Team Real Estate. We work for our owners, making your investment in your rental property create as much value as possible!

Winning. Clients.

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

New Trends in Property Management

Tax Time is Almost Here… Are You Prepared?

Part 2: Technology for Investors

The objectives of investment in Real Estate have traditionally been income and appreciation in the value of the property. But there’s much more to the story—there can be lucrative tax advantages as well: IF YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT!

What’s an operating expense?

For tax purposes, you will figure your profit or loss each year from operating the rental property. Generally, you can deduct all expenses incurred to operate the rental. The following are potential operating expenses that are deductible:

  • Advertising
  • Cleaning & maintenance
  • Bank charges – if a separate account is maintained
  • Insurance – fire, casualty and liability
  • Utilities – gas, electricity, water, cable, etc.
  • Services – yard care, pool service, pest control, etc.
  • Rental commissions
  • Property Management fees
  • Mortgage interest – on debt to acquire or improve the rental
  • Property taxes
  • Repairs
  • Local transportation expenses
  • Homeowner’s or association dues
  • Tax return preparation fees
  • Depreciation allowance

There are so many variables when it comes to operating expenses, and because taxation can have such a significant impact on your cash return as an Investor, it only makes sense to have both knowledge and technology working for you!

The fact is, being aware of the tax laws which affect Real Estate is a major first step in making the most of your property, but that’s only part of the puzzle… There’s a lot of labor, paperwork, and “red tape” associated with this type of investment, so unless you are leveraging the benefits of the best technologies, you’re probably spending an excessive amount of time “saving” money.

C’mon, you know the saying – Time is money. So the real question should be… How much money are you spending on your investment?

Property Management Companies like ours at Red Team Real Estate, use advanced technologies and industry leading practices to help you and your investments operate at their fullest potential.

Are you ready to learn more about no-stress reports, augmented cash flow, taxable income, tax breaks for repairs, and how to save more through overlooked deductions? Contact us today and start up the conversation— this is one call that will be well worth your time!

Winning. Clients.

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

**Disclaimer: Red Team Real Estate is not a Tax advisor or CPA, and more specifically, we are not giving and cannot give tax advice. We do, however, work with CPAs and Tax Advisors to make sure our clients have the most current information for success.

Client Spotlight: SafeHaven of Tarrant County

Red Team’s December Spotlight features: SafeHaven of Tarrant County. Here’s their story!

“The mission of SafeHaven is to end domestic violence through safety, support, prevention and social change.”

This is a group that Michael Mayes supports and has even raised money by performing cartwheels at Holiday Events. Consider giving money to help those who are trying to get away from the horror of domestic violence and onto a new and better life.

We would love to help you too! Contact us today.

Educating for REAL Greatness,

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

Client Testimonial: Kristie C.

“My experience with Red Team has been more than wonderful. Working with Michael and his team made the process of moving from out of state less of a nightmare. When challenges came up, they were professional and helped me work through the solution. In the future, if I need to buy or rent a property in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Michael and his team will be the first call that I make and I encourage everyone to do the same.”

-Kristie C.

Red Team News: The 7 Rules of Selecting a Property Manager sneak peek

Are you a current property owner who wants to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment?

Red Team Real Estate is proud to announce that our very own Michael Mayes is publishing his first book, The 7 Guides When Selecting a Property Management Company. Set to debut in 2016, this book goes far beyond simply selecting a property manager. Inside you will find a wealth of information, tips and secrets that all current and would-be investors should know. Ready for more? Here’s a sneak peek of one of the topics Michael will cover:

Owners Technology

In today’s market it only makes sense to have technology working for you. Any Property Management Company worth their weight in salt will be giving your properties the leverage they deserve by using technological tools that will nourish a successful investment.

Show me the money!
Collecting rent shouldn’t be a hassle. If you’re still going door-to-door, or only accepting cash and check payments, you’re doing too much work. Every Property Manager needs to invest in technology that will allow tenants to pay in whatever manner is convenient for them. And remember, the rent you receive must be reported on your taxes, and the right software will keep detailed records of all payments. This includes monthly owner statements, cash flow reports and other information that owners need to confirm your “Rental Business” is working.

Welcome to the Inter-Web…
One of the latest and most effective tools for potential tenants and property managers to showcase their properties is online and through social media outlets. 87% of electronic device sales will be tablets and smartphones…which means property owners (or their managers) will need to accommodate this new generation of prospects and applicants with mobile online leasing tools. Investing in mobile online leasing tools allows potential tenants to do the whole application process online and saves you a heap of a paper mess!

There are only 168 hours in a week and your Property Manager should be working smart and using them wisely! Owning real estate is a business and should be treated as such. Just because someone agrees to collect the renter’s check, does not ensure they are looking out for you best interest…

The 7 Guides When Selecting a Property Management Company, coming soon in 2016!

Winning. Clients.

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

New Trends in Property Management

Which ones are shaping the future of your investment?

Part 1: Technology for Owners

Technology is changing the Property Management industry for both Landlords and Renters alike.The question is…which trends are shaping the future of property management right now, and most importantly, how can you use them to make the most of your investment? Here are Red Team Real Estate’s top two trends and the “must haves” for Investors or their Property Managers.

Management Software

Every REAL Property Management has to invest in Management Software to assist them in their account management. There’s so much paperwork and documentation involved in this business—it only makes sense to have technology working for you. Here are some of the most helpful and valuable tools for managing your property:

  • Accepting Payments via ACH
    Every month property owners and management companies spend a great deal of time and energy collecting rent from their tenants. All the while, costs for accepting, processing and depositing checks continue to escalate. Using a service like ACH saves you time, money and all the headaches typically involved in rent collection.
  • Reporting
    When you invest in technology and the management systems, it enables you to have clear and concise reporting. This includes monthly owner statements, cash flow reports and other information that owners need to review to confirm that their “Rental Business” is working.
  • End of Year Reporting
    Realtors that “do property management” have a hard time with end of year reports as well as with 1099s. When a Property Management Company invests in technology the 1099 process is automated and accurate. No hand completed 1099s for your owners or vendors!

Investing in technology for your Rental Business just makes good sense! Here are just a few other benefits you’re sure to appreciate:

  1. Web-based solutions available 24/7/365
  2. Risk management tools to help reduce losses
  3. Ability to edit payment information and schedule
  4. Robust reporting

Harness the Power of the Internet & Social Media

One of the latest and most effective tools for marketing to potential tenants and assisting property managers with showcasing their properties is online and through social media outlets. Sorry, folks…the world wide web isn’t going away, so if you’re not already proficient in rental property marketing, it’s time to hop on board!

  • Mobile Leasing Tools
    According to an article in Apartment Management Magazine, 87% of electronic device sales will be tablets and smartphones…which means property owners (or their managers) will need to accommodate this new generation of prospects and applicants with mobile online leasing tools. If you’re not already targeting mobile users you’re missing out on a huge slice of the renter demographic.
  • Application Process
    Most companies, regardless of industry, have embraced the Internet. It is amazing how many owners and “part-time” property managers are still using paper applications. What a mess! Investing in software systems allows you to do the whole application process online. With mobile online leasing tools, you’ll even have the ability to have a prospective tenant complete an application on an iPad or smartphone before they’ve left the property. Talk about efficiency!
  • Ratings and Reviews
    An online rating can carry a lot of weight with many potential tenants, and bad reviews tend to get much more attention than the good ones. Property management companies need to develop a program to get satisfied renters to post positive reviews and give good ratings. It may seem frivolous, but we’ve found that these types of programs are a worthy investment that can provide a good return.

Purchasing and learning how to use all this new technology may seem overwhelming to an Investor. Red Team Real Estate has a proven track record of giving their clients the leverage needed to stay on top of the most current trends. If you’re not already using a Property Management service, or your current company isn’t keeping up, we invite you to give us a call and speak with one of our experienced agents today.
  Winning. Clients.
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

Red Team News: Are you thinking about purchasing a rental property?

Are you a current property owner who wants to ensure you’re getting the best return on your investment?

Red Team Real Estate is proud to announce that our very own Michael Mayes is publishing his first book, The 7 Rules of Selecting a Property Manager. Set to debut in 2016, this book goes far beyond simply selecting a property manager. Inside you will find a wealth of information, tips and secrets that all current and would-be investors should know. Ready for more? Here’s a sneak peek of one of the topics Michael will cover:

Real Estate Agent vs. Property Manager

Did you know that in Texas (and many other states) you must be a licensed real estate agent in order to be a property manager? While this law makes sense and has its benefits, there are some big downfalls that can arise from it as well.

Are you aware that something as small as a missing peep-hole could end up costing you up to $500 in rental code violations? Most of these “sign in the yard” type agents don’t really have the time or motivation to stay on top of the latest laws, or even the most basic ones for that matter.

There’s just no way that a part-time agent can manage and protect your investment as it should be, and most likely, they won’t be readily accessible or available when a crisis does occur. More times than not, the part-time “manager” usually views the property owner as a short-term revenue stream, not a long-term partner, which ends up costing investors more than they bargained for.

Owning real estate is a business and should be treated as such. Just because someone agrees to collect the renter’s check, does not ensure they are looking out for you best interest…

The 7 Rules of Selecting a Property Manager, coming soon in 2016!

Winning. Clients.

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

Where did my HUD-I Settlement Statement go?…The money is there, so why am I waiting 3 days to close on my house?!?!

Hey there folks!

Well, there’s a lot going on in our corner of the real estate world right now. Although fall is usually a time when things slow down enough for us to catch our breath, there are new “rules” that may be keeping some of you pretty busy. Fortunately, I know someone who has these changes all figured out, and she was kind enough to share her knowledge with us! Please enjoy the following article, by Ms. Jenni Jones, from Legacy Mutual Mortgage. — Michael Mayes

Where did my HUD-I Settlement Statement go?…The money is there, so why am I waiting 3 days to close on my house?!?!

These are just two of the questions many homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals are asking right now. And, no Chicken Little, the sky is not falling! But…buying or selling a home may just take a few more days…

The mortgage industry is changing again, and this time it’s affecting the day you’re actually closing on your home. These recent developments are a result of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID) Rule, and it’s taking effect for mortgage applications signed on or after October 3rd, 2015.

Let’s simplify…

  • The existing HUD-1 Settlement Statement and final Truth in Lending Statement will be combined into a single Closing Disclosure form (CD for short)
  • The new Loan Estimate (LE) form replaces the current Good Faith Estimate of Settlement Costs (GFE) and initial Truth in Lending Disclosure (TIL)

The intention of both document changes is to provide a more consolidated document to the consumer—in an attempt to simplify the process. In addition, it is required that the CD be provided to the consumer a minimum of 3 full business days PRIOR to consummation, allowing them ample time to review the terms and fees of the loan.

Good to know…

These changes should be POSITIVE for the consumer IF the correct expectations are set up front!

The Texas Association of Realtors is recommending real estate contracts to have closing dates set a minimum of 45 days from contract execution. As we all know, closings can occur “on or before” the date listed, and there is rarely a situation where both parties won’t agree to close earlier if possible.

Here’s what we can do for you…

All real estate professionals (including realtors, escrow officers, and lenders alike) need to set realistic expectations for the buyers and sellers, allowing both parties sufficient time to meet the deadlines while still creating the smooth buying/selling experience everyone desires.

As with all the new things, there is sure to be a little chaos and a few mishaps at the start, but hopefully there won’t be too many consumers feeling like these changes are of the “end of the world” proportion. Of course, you can save yourself the headache… Working with experienced professionals like Red Team Real Estate and Legacy Mutual Mortgage when buying or selling your next home is the key to a painless process…contact us today, and learn how we can help!

Regional Operations Manager and Loan Originator
Legacy Mutual Mortgage

Being in the same marketplace has awarded me the pleasure of working with Jenni on several occasions. Each time, I have been impressed by her communication with the client, her focus on closing the deal and most importantly, making sure it’s done right. Ms. Jones was the featured speaker at our local association of NARPM last month and she did such a fantastic job of laying out the CFPB’s changes for us. Thanks again Jenni, all of your information was such a big help!

Winning. Clients.

Red Team Real Estate and Property Management
Red Team Real Estate and Property Management was started in 2012 to focus on being the provider of quality service that has never been seen before in property management. Our approach is to serve our owners by providing professional, knowledgeable service with maximum value.

Red Team News

Ever found yourself having the will, but not the means? Right now DFW’s Real Estate market is paying out big for those who already own properties, but for those wanting to get in—well, it seems like you have to pay in big if you want to play. But hey, you know the saying…Where there’s a will, there’s a way—and this is definitely true of the current market. If you’re determined, if you’re ready, but you think that buying in isn’t a realistic option, you might be pretty surprised to hear that money isn’t everything! There are other factors that can change the odds in your favor, and it really comes down to how well positioned you are coming into an offer. If you’re hoping to get into our booming market, check out our latest article, A Well Positioned Offer: A Real Estate Investor’s Ace In The Hole

Winning Clients,

If you’re ready to start making money in this hot market, it really comes down to how well positioned you are coming into an offer. Red Team Real Estate has a proven track record of giving their clients the leverage needed to make the deal and make the money. If you’re considering a new purchase, we invite you to give us a call and speak with one of our experienced agents today.

Knowing the REAL Numbers

3 Easy Steps for Buying Profitable Properties

Just like buying a home for themselves, there is a full spectrum of reasons investors may have for buying a specific rental property. Some will buy strictly for the rental income, some will strategically buy into a neighborhood because of an expectation of appreciation, some need the tax savings and others are simply buying for the long term equity gains.

If you are interested in real estate investing, the following three steps are going to be fundamental in choosing a profitable property, as well as making it a heck of a lot easier!

  • You’re not ready to start moving forward until you’ve established where you want to end. Know where you are going in advance. Set clear goals and expectations of what you want to gain from your properties.
  • Finding an agent who knows your area and understands property investments is crucial! In addition, regardless of your reason(s), it is essential that the agent buying for you understands your specific short and long-term goals. Only then can they help you discern the pros and cons of individual properties.
  • Do the research and project ahead. In the ever changing world of real estate there may not be any guarantees but there are many ways to ensure you’re making the right decision. If real estate investing is new to you, don’t just jump into the deep end—find someone who can help educate and guide you into the right investment.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Over the years we have worked with many clients that were ready to jump into a property that, at face value, looked like a profitable investment. But even a peach of a property can turn to a lemon without drilling out the real numbers based on your individual reasons. Red Team Real Estate has created a 12-month worksheet that will measure your goals against your purchase. This unique and valuable tool will help you visualize what a property purchase is going to look like so you can ensure you’re making the most of your investments. Call us today @ 817-921-3545 for more information and a FREE 12-month investment worksheet!

Winning. Clients.