Archive for April, 2011

Succeeding In Real Estate Today
April 29, 2011

Success in real estate does not come easily and requires a great deal of hard work.  With patience and perseverance, however, it is still possible to make an above average income in real estate even in today’s challenging real estate market.  A real estate agent must be personable and must have an innate drive to succeed.  They must also be willing to work hard to build their business and their brand.  If they are dogged and persistent, the hard work will pay off and their business and income will grow.  Very few career opportunities offer the same unlimited income potential as real estate.  Those who get into the real estate business believing in overnight success usually don’t fare well.  You must have a plan and must be ready to work that plan daily.  Only then will you see the return on your investment of time, energy, and effort.  You must also position yourself in a brokerage that has your back and is ready to help you reach your fullest potential.  That means the company you partner with should have a comprehensive training program designed to help you reach your goals.  Requirements do vary from state to state but Texas licensing requirements are straightforward.  Get started on your path to a career in real estate today!  There are many traditional and online real estate schools who are eager to help you pass the licensing exam.  Compared to two-year or four-year colleges, tuition for real estate is very minimal.  Upon completing your courses and passing the licensing exam, the final step is to partner with a sponsoring broker who is just as serious about your success as you are.  Email your questions about starting a career in real estate to blueleafrealty@gmail.com.

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Residential Developments That Stand Out
April 29, 2011

Planning and constructing a residential development in such a way that it stands out is very difficult.  What makes one residential development better than the next is both objective and subjective. First and foremost, it has to do with location.  Location is a major factor in the ultimate success of a residential development.  Once a good location is selected, however, it becomes increasingly more difficult.   Suddenly, the challenge becomes striking the right balance between enhancing profit and creating a sustainable lifestyle for the future residents.  This is where it becomes essential for the developer to capitalize on the property’s strengths while minimizing the impact of its negative attributes.  During this process, many decisions are made that will impact the overall long-term success of the subdivision.  Everything from marketing and design to grading and infrastructure must be considered from the outset.  One local example of an outstanding residential subdivision in BlueLeaf’s marketplace is the master-planned community of  Heritage, developed by Hillwood.  Check out the Heritage development and you will see why the quality of the builder is certainly important but the influence of the property developer will also have a significant impact on future home property values.

Blue Leaf Realty Finds its Slipstream
April 21, 2011

Blue Leaf Realty finds its slipstream in the bustling Alliance Corridor of North Texas and aims to expand in 2011/12.  In     spite of all the negative media attention surrounding real estate, Blue Leaf has continued to grow and is bullish on real estate for the forseeable future.  After a steep downturn in the residential market, a bottom has finally been reached in real estate, and BlueLeaf is looking forward to growing its brand in North Texas by fulfilling its Mission to Deliver Remarkable Service. “We are poised to take advantage of the real estate renaissance and look forward to growth in the years ahead,” says Blue Leaf’s cofounder, Liana Oram.  “Also,  I think today’s consumer is looking to partner with smaller, more responsive companies who can deliver the same service as a bigger company plus something more.”  Douglas Adams may have captured this idea best when he coined the phrase:

“To give real service you must add something which can’t be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

 
We hope that communities across North Texas will embrace Blue Leaf Realty and partner with us as we carefully grow our brand by layering our service with sincerity and integrity.  If you live in North Texas, remember the real estate company with the distinctive logo – the blue leaf –  and visit BlueLeaf Realty  today to learn more about what it means to receive REMARKABLE service from a real estate company that really cares.  In addition, watch for Blue Leaf Realty to open offices in Granbury, TX and Austin, TX in the near future.  “For now, it’s all about swimming in our slipstream and satisfying our customers here in North Texas,” says  BlueLeaf’s cofounder, “and we look forward to doing just that.”   
 

Building Green: It’s Not For the Faint-Hearted
April 19, 2011

Green building has definitely become a hot topic in the construction and real estate industry.  Whether a building is really green depends on many factors.  In fact, green building means different things to different people.  Some people see green building as a starting place where every construction decision is made with sustainability in mind.  Others give consideration to green building in the latter stages of construction where decisions such as which appliances will be installed are considered.  Real green buildings require the former and not the latter.  For a building to be truly green, thought must be given to pre-construction issues such as grading and site placement, as well as issues relating to interior finish-out.  Working with an architect who is skilled in green building design principles and construction will allow you to have a home that is as green as this year’s HGTV green home.

Real Estate – Price vs. Value
April 17, 2011

Years of poor judgement on the part of lending institutions and shoddy appraisals led to inflated real estate values and an ensuing market decline  which has resulted in short sales and foreclosures across the nation, making real estate increasingly more challenging to value in today’s marketplace.  When attempting to determine a property’s value, it’s important to recognize the distinction between market value, price, and cost.  Market value is the price a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept in an arm’s length transaction.   Price, on the other hand, refers to what a property actually brings, and cost is the amount paid to create or improve the property.  Although price and cost can be utilized in determining market value, the three are not the same.  Ultimately, the goal is to arrive at a fair and reasonable estimate of market value.  Hiring a qualified appraiser is the best way to derive a property’s true market value.  To learn more about the appraisal process, visit the Appraisal Institute’s website and partner with an experienced Realtor.

Rewarding Returns for Home Updates
April 7, 2011

If you, like many people, are planning to put your home on the market this spring/summer, it pays to know that some renovations are better than others.  Although there are no hard and fast rules, research does suggest that certain renovations bring a better return on your investment.  Knowing how these updates stack up will help you better prepare your home for today’s competitive real estate market. 

Minor Bathroom Remodel – Updating the bathroom tops the list of updates that offer a good return for your investment.  According to the research, buyers will pay handsomely for bathrooms that are clean, bright and updated.

Landscaping – Landscaping is another highly valuable update.  New and appropriate landscaping can really help a home stand out in a crowded buyer’s market.  Buyers value homes where the landscaping is already established. 

Minor Kitchen Remodel – A minor kitchen remodel is a good way to help your home rise above the rest without breaking the bank.  The key word here, of course, is minor.  In most cases, changing the floor plan is not necessary or cost-effective, especially when cosmetic updates go a long way.  Simply look for ways to enhance what is already there by refacing old cabinets or replacing old and outdated light fixtures.  Don’t forget that changing small things such as an old sink faucet or cabinet hardware can really help stretch your budget in the kitchen.

Exterior Improvements –   Exterior improvements offer a solid return on your investment, especially if you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity.  Things to consider here are a fresh coat of paint, replacing or adding shutters, and removing worn items such as old awnings.  Make sure to allocate a good portion of your exterior renovation budget to the front entry way.  Remember that first impressions really do matter.  

Deck, Patio or Porch Addition – Adding or revitalizing a deck or patio on the back of the home makes good financial sense.  Today’s home buyer looks forward to backyard cookouts in their new abode.  This renovation is not for the faint of heart, but if done well, it can lead to a nice return. 

These are a few home projects that will help your home stand out in today’s market.  It does not necessarily pay to go overboard when renovating a home for resale and nothing turns a buyer off more than a half-finished project, so choose your updates carefully and don’t get in over your head.  If you have questions about home selling strategies, be sure to ask your real estate professional for help.  He or she can offer invaluable insight that can help you plan your budget wisely, market your home effectively, and attract qualified buyers for your home.  Here are some additional cost-effective tips from Blue Leaf Realty to help you sell your home this spring/summer:  Simple Home Seller Tips

Real Estate — Is now the time to jump in?
April 6, 2011

Among other things, the answer depends on where you are in the country, but good real estate deals are out there if you know where to look and the time to start looking may have finally arrived.  The patient RE investor has been waiting on the sidelines and for good cause.  For a number of reasons, however, it’s now time to take to the field.  Opportunities are showing up in both the residential and commercial segments of the industry and interest rates are at historic lows.    So whether you are looking to invest in raw land, multi-family, commercial or residential, find a real estate professional who is knowledgeable and is willing to help you with the search, the due diligence, the negotiations, and the closing and make real estate a major part of your investment portfolio.  View WSJ poll results on whether now is the time to invest in real estate at http://on.wsj.com/hQzwVk.

Real Estate – It comes down to knowledge and education!
April 1, 2011

Making a wise decision when you purchase real estate is critical.  In real estate, there is very little margin for error.  Whether you are buying your first home or investing in commercial real estate, you need someone on your side who understands the 20% that matters.  That’s where a good real estate professional can be the difference maker.  Remember, being informed and getting educated is more than just understanding that location is important.  Location matters and it is, of course, a great starting place.  However, there are many other factors that should and will influence your decision.  Real estate is a major investment and should be a significant part of everyone’s investment portfolio.  At BlueLeaf, we offer a variety of FREE workshops that are designed to help our prospective clients make savvy real estate decisions.  We have a real estate workshop for everyone from sophisticated investors to 1st time home buyers.  Don’t get left behind or wind up with a pig in the poke.  Learn more about Blue Leaf’s extensive selection of FREE Real Esate Workshops.  If you don’t get education at Blue Leaf, please get educated somewhere – your net worth depends on it.  Hopefully, your next real estate transaction is a smooth and successful one.  In real estate, it all comes down to knowledge and education and that’s no April Fool’s joke.