Guest Writer: Amy Collett
Photo via Pexels
You’re preparing to launch a home-based business, but you’ve realized that your current property lacks the necessary space to accommodate your needs as an entrepreneur. You’re ready to start looking for a new house, and while you’re excited about this big step, you’re also nervous about navigating the home buying process and your business launch at the same time! With the help of an accomplished realtor like Jason Gelios, you can find a home that will allow you to thrive as a business owner. Here’s how to search for the perfect home, tackle your big move, and get your business off the ground simultaneously.
Finding the Right Home
If the home you’re living in now just doesn’t have the space and features you’ll need to run your business efficiently, you’ll want to identify your desired features and look for homes that have these amenities. Get an idea of exactly how much square footage you’ll need to accommodate your business, too! When you’re ready to start scheduling viewings, connect with a real estate agent who knows your local market. You may want to ask them if they have worked with small business owners previously.
You’ll also need to think about your budget. Remember, you’re also going to be spending some money to cover your business’s startup expenses in the coming months, so it’s important to factor in these costs when you figure out how much you can spend on a home. Talk to your agent about your budget and find out what you can expect to get within your price range.
Managing Insurance and Taxes
In addition to your monthly mortgage payments, you need to consider how much you’ll be responsible for paying towards homeowner’s insurance and property taxes. And remember, in order to qualify for a home loan, you’ll need to enroll in the right homeowner’s insurance coverage. Make sure to research different policies to choose coverage that will suit your needs.
When it comes to paying for these expenses, you’ll have a few options. You can pay for your tax loans and insurance coverage separately, or if you’d prefer, you can work with your lender to set up an escrow account which you can use to pay for both bills.
You’ve found a home that you can’t wait to move into, and you’re ready to start packing! Apartment Therapy states that if you’re short on time before moving because you’re juggling other responsibilities, hiring movers will ease your stress. You’ll want to hit the ground running to officially open your business, so budgeting for movers is definitely worth it. Place labels on every box, and try to keep all of your business supplies together so that you can start setting up your home office as soon as you move in.
Launching Your Business
You’ve arrived in your new home, and you’re finally in a position to open your business! First, you’ll want to organize your home office. Homes and Gardens recommends putting together your desk first and arranging artwork and decor around the space that makes you feel inspired. You’ll also want to ensure that the space is well lit, so you could install wall sconces, set up a desk lamp, or even hang a chandelier!
And now that you’re settled down, you can start networking to connect with other entrepreneurs in your area and online. Look up local business organizations to begin getting involved with the entrepreneurial community!
If your current home just isn’t the right fit for your business, it’s time to start your house hunting journey. With these tips, you don’t have to get overwhelmed by the process! Instead, you can tackle each task with the support of a reputable realtor and pull off a seamless business launch in your new home.
Looking for a home in Southeast Michigan where you can comfortably run your business? Turn to Realtor Jason Gelios for guidance! Call us at 586-419-2231 to get started.
Amy Collett is the creator of Bizwell.org, a website that helps professionals and entrepreneurs build and strengthen their personal brand. She is also the author of the upcoming book, You, Exemplified: The Role of Personal Branding in Your Professional Life. When she’s not busy with helping her clients she enjoys coaching her daughter’s soccer team and is training to become a yoga instructor.
Guest Writer: Sally Norton
One of the biggest dilemmas of real estate is regarding the difference between a second home and an investment property. Even though they seem similar, there are some crucial differences between the two. So, if you're looking to buy a new property, the first step is understanding those distinctions. After all, it's only logical to know what type of property suits your real estate needs. The choice you make will affect down payment requirements, mortgage rates, and even tax treatment. Therefore, you have to be adequately informed before you make any decisions. That's precisely why you need to read this article. We'll thoroughly explain everything you need to know about a second home and investment property. So, let's begin!
A second home vs. an investment property
A second home is simply a property you buy to spend time in during vacations and holidays. It's a part-time home to your full-time home. According to the IRS, "a second home is a property you live in for more than 14 days per year or 10% of the total days you rent it to others". Therefore, this property is solely yours, but you can decide to rent it when you're not spending time in it. How often you rent your second home will determine your tax treatment. Besides vacation homes, second homes can be pied-à-terres or properties used for work.
The primary purpose of investment property is renting or flipping and selling for a more significant profit. While second homes can consist of only one unit, you can turn your investment property into two to four units and rent it to multiple tenants, thus, have a bigger investment income. Another form of investment property is commercial property. In addition, using the rent received from tenants, you may generate equity in the housing market by developing an investment property portfolio. This is a fantastic long-term profit approach.
Understanding the difference between a second home and an investment property
is the first step of being in a real estate market.
Difference between a second home and an investment property
As we mentioned before, there are a few significant differences between a second home and an investment property you should consider before purchasing a property and signing any formal documentation. So, without further ado, let's see what you should focus on!
Down Payment Requirements
Lenders often consider investment properties to be riskier than both primary properties and second homes. That's why they ask for a bigger down payment right away. To put it in numbers, the down payment for investment properties usually varies from 15% to 25% of the total sale price. However, this can easily change and vary due to the size of the property.
When it comes to a second home, the down payment is higher than the one for a primary home but lower than the one for an investment property. It can go as low as 10%. It depends on your lender and their requirements.
Mortgage rates for a second home and an investment property are usually higher than those for primary residences. However, the mortgage rate may vary depending on criteria such as your credit, DTI (debt-to-income) ratio, type of mortgage you're applying for, and its duration.
When it comes to the difference between the mortgage rates for second homes and investment properties, you often receive higher rates for the latter. Why? Again, mortgage lenders see investment property mortgages as the riskier ones. Since you're not using this property you purchased, they may think you'll easily walk away from paying off your mortgage for it.
Mortgage rates are different for second homes and investment properties.
Other qualifications and requirements
If you want to qualify for a mortgage on a second home while still paying off the mortgage for your primary residence, you'll have to prove to your lender that you're financially stable enough to pay for both. On the other hand, if you're purchasing an investment property, some banks may accept up to 75% of your expected rental income as part of the qualifying income. In this situation, you'll be able to lower your DTI ratio and simplify the process of qualification for the investment property mortgage.
Furthermore, lenders may require your second home to be at a certain distance from your primary residence. In other words, they can set some geographical limitations. There are no such limitations for an investment property.
Taxes are one of the most dreadful parts of both second homes and investment properties. When it comes to the return on investment property, you'll have to report every bit of the income you receive, in most cases. However, expenses such as mortgage interest, utilities, repairs, and cleaning may be deducted.
On the other hand, if you're renting your second home when you're not using it, things can get a bit complicated taxes-wise. To understand your tax treatment in this situation, you'll have to calculate the difference between the personal and rental use of your second home. If there are more than 14 days of personal use or this personal use exceeds the rental use by 10%, you can't deduct all of your rental fees. However, if you rent your second home for less than 15 days a year, you are in no obligation to disclose your income to the IRS should you not deduct any rental expenditures.
There are different tax treatments for different types of property.
Should you purchase a second home or an investment property?
The answer to this question is pretty simple. If you want to purchase a property whose purpose would be solely to generate income, then an investment property is the right path for you. You can build a few units and rent them out, or flip it and sell it for a more significant profit. Either way, this is a fine strategy for a future income. On the contrary, if your goal is to purchase a property where you will spend your vacations and holidays, go for a second home. In addition, you can rent this second home when you're not using it. However, pay close attention to the tax section in your final agreement.
So, if you decide to purchase a second home, you'll have to relocate some of your belongings there. Therefore, making a packing and moving checklist is a must. You don't want to forget anything, right? If you want to prepare everything on time, you'll have to organize this process from A to Z! This implies everything from contacting a moving company to unpacking in your new vacation home.
The Bottom Line
Even though it might seem minor, the difference between a second home and an investment property is crucial. You can't overlook different treatments regarding taxes, mortgage rates, and down payment requirements. This is something that you must take into consideration when deciding what type of property you'll purchase. However, it all comes down to one thing - your end goal, whether you want a vacation home or a property you'll profit from.
Article By Daniel Bortz | Money Magazine
Featured Expertise by Jason Gelios
Your real estate agent can’t make more housing supply appear out of thin air or double the value of your home overnight. But they should make you feel supported and well represented in a crazy market. If not, it may be time to cut ties.
This is not a decision to make lightly, but if you do you certainly have no shortage of options. As of October, the National Association of Realtors, the real estate’s largest trade group, had 1,564,547 members — a 7% jump from the end of 2020. And many more real estate agents aren’t NAR members.
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Article By Jennifer Taylor | GoBankingRates
Featured Expertise By Jason Gelios
No doubt about it — the real estate market has been white hot in 2021. But if you didn’t make a move this year, and you’re thinking about buying or selling — or both — next year, you’ll want to know what to expect.
As of Nov. 10, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.98%, which is actually the lowest it’s been since Sept. 23. If you’re planning to buy a house, you’re almost definitely pleased that rates aren’t exactly skyrocketing — but will it last?
Click here to read more
A brief look at what the housing market is doing for the month of November.
Guest Writer Amy Collett
Image via Pexels
Whether you operate an established business and need to relocate or you're aspiring to build a new business from the ground up, finding the right location is crucial. In a city like Detroit, factors such as a low cost of living and a high population can give you the opportunity to expose your goods or services to more consumers while investing less in overhead costs. Overall, Detroit is a great place to open up shop.
Conducting Business in Detroit
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Detroit is rated among the top 10 cities for economic growth. If you're looking for a great place to take your business, Detroit has loads of potential. Entrepreneurs who call the city home have access to plenty of networking clubs and opportunities that provide mentorship opportunities for business owners.
•Detroit Entrepreneurship Network
•Sunrise Networking Group
•Business Networking International - Detroit
Apply for a business license and any necessary permits with the city and be sure to adhere to any state and federal business laws. It's important to protect your personal assets when you own a business. Consider using a business formation service to form a limited liability company (LLC), which prevents you from being personally liable if your business faces lawsuits or other legal issues. It also offers tax benefits and means you'll have less paperwork to weigh you down, letting you focus more energy on your business.
Once you have your business structure in place, you can start thinking about your business’s branding. Usually that starts with creating a logo that you can use across your marketing materials to create a consistent image that potential customers come to associate with your business. You don’t have to be an expert graphic designer to create a great logo. In fact, all you need to do is use Adobe Spark’s free logo maker online. There you can choose from thousands of templates and create something truly wonderful for your business.
Detroit's workforce is rife with educated and experienced workers. An array of local colleges contributes skilled talent to the local economy. Post-secondary institutions in the area include:
•University of Michigan
•College for Creative Studies
•University of Detroit
•Wayne State University
•Lawrence Technological University
Life in Detroit
As a business owner, knowing that your workers and your family can enjoy a high quality of life is important. Detroit residents have plenty to enjoy, including the city's vast selection of parks, amenities, and events that occur throughout the year. These include:
•Grand Circus Park
•Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Seasonal weather keeps residents comfortable, with relatively snowy winters and warm summers that offer plenty of opportunity for time outdoors spent boating and fishing on Lake Michigan or strolling through downtown Detroit. Public schools are plentiful, providing an enjoyable learning environment for children of all ages.
Housing in Detroit and the Cost of Living
Those living in Detroit benefit from an overall cost of living that's 12.4% below the national average. As a business, this low cost of living means paying less to operate your business while accessing great talent at more affordable wages. Housing is dramatically less expensive than in most U.S. cities, sitting at 76.2% below the national average. As of 2021, the vacancy rate for rentals was about 2%, with the average two-bedroom house or apartment costing $821 per month. More than 25% of the city's homes sit vacant, resulting in a significantly low housing cost. In Detroit, the average home cost just $68,600 to purchase in 2021. Get help finding your Detroit home from expert REALTOR® Jason Gelios.
Making the Move to Detroit
Calling Detroit home can be a great move for both your company and your family. A strong network of entrepreneurs, along with a high quality of life and low cost of living, can help you succeed in business and in life.
Editor’s List: Authority Magazine’s Favorite ‘Five Things Videos’ About How To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times
Original interview by Savio P. Clemente
Featured Interviewee: Jason Gelios
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? Authority Magazine started a new series about “Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times.”
In this interview series, we interviewed mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, as well as business leaders who spoke about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives. Some of the experts we interviewed put together some fantastic videos sharing their five tips. Please enjoy these videos and interviews below.
Click Here To Read The Full Interview
Article by Erica Sweeney & Realtor.com
Featured expertise by Jason Gelios
Pop quiz: What’s the average age when most people buy their first home? Thirty-four, according to the credit reporting company Experian. And if you’re near that age and thinking of buying a home, the decision to proceed probably has a lot to do with your life’s journey thus far.
“Homebuyers in their 30s tend to be more financially mature,” says Jason Gelios, a real estate agent with Community Choice Reality in Southeast Michigan. “They usually have a larger amount of savings and a partner who’s involved with the purchase. Plus, they’ve had time to establish credit, which can qualify them for a better mortgage rate.”
If you’re in your 30s and thinking about buying your first home or upgrading to a larger house, here are crucial things to consider to make your homebuying dreams a reality.
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Article By Erik J. Martin | The Mortgage Reports Contributor
Featured Expertise By Jason Gelios
VA home loans are arguably the best mortgage available.
With zero down payment required and ultra-low ongoing costs, the VA mortgage program is more affordable than almost any other. And it’s only available to those who have served in the U.S. military.
And yet — only 24% of current military homeowners are tapping those benefits. Which means many are leaving money on the table.
If you’re planning to buy or refinance, here’s why the VA loan should likely be your first stop for financing.
Click Here To Read More
Guest Writer: Sally Norton
As the housing market continues to be strong despite the pandemic, this might be a good time to sell a property. However, if you want to sell the house quickly and for a higher price, you should consider the home features today's buyers want most. Even if it might not come cheap, investing in the property will all be worth it. Homebuyers aren't willing to compromise on the features they want. Moreover, they are often willing to pay much more for modern homes that are in top condition. As a result, we tried to identify which house features would satisfy even the most demanding buyer. Read this article to find out which features are worth investing in and will increase the value of a property.
An upgraded kitchen
Your kitchen is more important than you might think. As a matter of fact, it can help sell your house or be a deal-breaker. So, pay attention to the home features that today’s buyers want most in their kitchen. A double sink, a walk-in pantry, enough eating space, and a kitchen island, for example, are highly valued. In addition, updating the kitchen with high-end cabinets and countertops is also a good idea.
Furthermore, today's buyers want a kitchen that is not only stylish but also practical. Therefore, make sure to update the kitchen appliances with smarter ones that are energy-efficient.
A clean bathroom
The bathroom is the second most important room in a house. As a result, remodel your bathroom and then keep it clean and hygienic. For example, you can change the medicine cabinet and mirror, put in a new shower surround and toilet. If you have a bathtub, make sure it is in good condition and free of any limestone deposits. Also, to avoid failing a home inspection, ensure that the plumbing is in good shape. Fix or replace whatever is broken and even upgrade the plumbing fixtures. Even though upgrading a bathroom might be costly, you will most likely recover your investment when you sell the home. Moreover, if the bath is near the main living area, you will undoubtedly satisfy today's buyers. It’s one of the home features that are very popular these days.
A clean and hygienic bathroom is much more attractive to homebuyers.
A laundry room
Many homeowners want a separate laundry room to keep the mess out of their living space. A place where they can hide dirty clothing while ironing and stacking clean ones before putting them away. So if you have a spare room in the house, transform it into a laundry room. Even the basement can be a good location for it as long as it is easy to access from the main level. First, repaint the walls of the room. White is usually the color of most laundry rooms, but you can also choose colors that aren't too bright, like cream or soft grays. Then, add some shelves, cabinets, drying racks, and an ironing board. Last, you can buy a new washer and dryer that are energy efficient. In addition to having a money-saving washer and dryer, you can also have space-saving ones using stackable models.
More storage space
Most of today's homes have a common problem, not enough space. Therefore, it's no wonder that one of the home features today's buyers want most is more storage space. Making investments in building a walk-in closet, for example, will not only sell your home faster, but it will win you more money. Homebuyers are willing to pay much more for such luxury features.
At the same time, you can relocate the extra furniture to another property you have or even a storage unit. Get in touch with professional moving companies and ask for a moving estimate. Learn all there is to know about this procedure and choose the movers that provide you with the most favorable estimate. This way, you can be sure that you'll be working with movers who are a perfect fit for your needs.
One of the home features today’s buyers want the most is a walk-in closet.
A safe house
And when we talk about safety, we aren't referring only to installing a modern security system. Buyers who want to feel safe in their new home want much more than just protection from intruders. Therefore, do a complete checkup of the house and make any required improvements. Install smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, change the filters on the air conditioning, and check that the heating system is in good working condition. In addition, if you are selling a waterfront property, for example, make sure to floodproof the basement. Buyers will appreciate any upgrades you make that will improve the quality of their life.
A nice looking exterior
Some home features that today's buyers want are related to the exterior of the house. After all, most of your potential buyers will make up their minds in the first minutes after arriving at the property. If it has great curb appeal, they might consider seeing the rest of the house. If not, you can probably say goodbye to the sale. As a result, investing in some exterior home features can only be beneficial. Some of the more expensive options include a front porch, a patio, a pool, a fire pit, or an outdoor kitchen. But, there are also budget-friendly curb appeal ideas that you can put into practice. Power washing the driveway and the sidewalk, making a herb or flower garden, changing the mailbox, and so on. In addition, try to keep the yard clean of any debris that the wind might bring and mow the lawn periodically.
A backyard with a pool and good night lighting is a home feature
that will impress today’s buyers.
Knowing what home features today's buyers want most can help you sell your property faster. Not to mention that it can even help you earn more money. But, of course, that you first need to make some investments. And while some home upgrades might be less expensive, like painting the walls, others can prove to be rather costly, such as replacing all the kitchen appliances. As a result, avoid investing in any features about which you are unsure. It is better to find an experienced real estate agent who can give you the best advice and help you make the best choices.
Jason Gelios is a Husband and Father. After that, a Top Producing REALTOR®, Author of the book Think like a REALTOR®, Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show and Expert Media Contributor to media outlets across the country.