On-Trend Investing: Affordable Housing

Warren Buffet provides one of the best answers as to whether investing in the mobile home community arena is worthwhile. He bought Clayton Homes more than a decade ago, seeing the housing crisis that was fixing to befall the nation. The foreclosure disaster is still affecting the market and causing former homeowners to scramble in search of affordable housing options.

Roots of the Mobile Home Market

The roots of the affordable housing market

The roots of the affordable housing market

The modern mobile home began as a travel trailer used by wealthy people to live comfortably as they roamed the countryside on family vacations. The military grabbed onto the usefulness by stationing these temporary housing units near factories that were producing products for the troops away in combat. They continued use for GI’s that returned and decided to go to college with their earned benefits. By the 1950’s, mobile housing was finding a permanent spot in the American landscape of affordable housing options.

The mobile homes of today are nearly unrecognizable to the predecessors. Most have pitched roofing, high-levels of insulation and stylish interiors. A few offer built-in storage areas, kitchen islands, fireplaces and garden tubs. They can be moved from one park to another, but it is generally cost-prohibitive to do this. Most tenants look for a great park to call home and stay planted there to avoid a $3,000 or more charge to move.

The popularity of mobile home park living has increased for several reasons. The housing bubble and foreclosure waves left many people with no housing and decimated credit scores. Those on annual fixed incomes can rarely afford the rental prices of traditional homes or apartments. Many people enjoy the feel of community and like the idea that they do not have to deal with lawn care and maintenance. The idea that once the mobile home is paid for, all they are responsible for are lot fees and utilities. This is something that is incredibly appealing for growing families. The 2013 census showed that there were 8.6 million mobile homes scattered in a variety of locations across the United States.

The affordable housing market today

The affordable housing market today

Who Lives in Mobile Home Parks?
Mobile home communities come in many varieties. There are more luxurious areas that offer clubhouses, pools and community centers, while there are also bare-bones parks that have been neglected and remain in poor condition. A well-managed park moves out the older trailers and sets rules and regulations to control disruptive activities or behaviors from tenants.

The primary residents of mobile home communities are those that are at or below the national poverty levels. They are generally the ones that are unable to afford down payments for traditional home ownership. The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that 14.8 percent of Americans live at or below the poverty level of $24,300 dollars for a family of four. This translates to 46.7 million people. This leaves a lot of potential growth in the market for affordable housing options.

Benefits of Staying in a Mobile Home Park
The reasons people choose to stay in a mobile home park are individual, but most revolve around housing stability, economic factors and a feeling of community. If an individual or family has sought out affordable housing and found a solution, they are reluctant to try reaching forward to more expensive options right away. Having housing that is affordable and leaves a little money at the end of the month becomes a dependable way of life. Long-term tenancy breeds familiarity. People get to know one another and tend to look out for each other. The sense of community is tight in an enclosed park environment.

 

Growth Potential for the Mobile Home Park Market

affordable housing developments

Growth potential for affordable housing developments

With 8.6 million mobile homes in the U.S. as of 2013 and the estimated 46.7 million people at, or under the poverty level, the potential for continued growth is astounding. As baby boomers continue to age, retirement can mean living on a fixed-income, which is often shockingly low. There are plenty of available mobile home parks that are in desperate need of upgrades, whether it’s in plumbing, interior work or trailer upgrades. Creating a pleasant and affordable housing option will always bring back a great return on your investment.

There is no time like the present to get out there and explore your options in mobile home park ownership. Visit parks that are already functioning well. This will give you an idea of the goal mark to reach when purchasing ones that need a little extra TLC.

Dollar-for-dollar, mobile home parks are one of the easiest real estate housing markets to invest in, offering quick and steady returns. This is an option you should fully explore if you like the idea of a more hands-off approach to tenancy and property upkeep.

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5 Best Real Estate Markets in Florida

If you are searching for the best real estate markets to invest in, you may want to consider Florida. In a recent report on Forbes.com, the online real estate site Trulia ranked the top markets for real estate investing based on the following criteria:

  • High Affordability
  • Strong Job Growth
  • Low Vacancy Rates
  • Number of Home Searches on Trulia
  • A Large Population of People Satisfied with the 2016 Presidential Election Outcome

Five out of the ten real estate markets mentioned in the report are located in the Sunshine State.

1. Jacksonville

Coming in at No.1, this northeast Florida city of 1.3 million residents along the St. Johns River showed an impressive job growth rate of 3.8 percent in 2016, leading to a high ratio of inbound home searches on Trulia versus outbound searches by people wanting to leave. In addition to strong economic stability, the area also benefits from great schools, beautiful weather and close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Cape Coral/Fort Myers

It wasn’t only the 80 degree weather that made this city along Florida’s southwest coast rank No. 2 on the list. The area has also had the fourth highest job growth in the nation. Another contributing factor was the sharp drop in vacancy rates over the past year.

3. Daytona Beach/Deltona/Ormond Beach

Due to a low unemployment rate of 6.2 percent and predicted job growth of 36.96 percent over the next ten years, this area of northeast Florida ranked No. 3 on Trulia’s list. The area benefits from some of the best weather in the country.

5. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida

Strong job growth with a large number of education related jobs propelled the Tampa market to No. 5 on the list. Of course, much like the other locations, the beautiful beaches and weather didn’t hurt.

10. Bradenton/North Port/Sarasota, Florida

Rounding out the list at No. 10 were these beautiful beach communities along Florida’s southwest coast. Unlike other Florida communities, this area is not a vacation-driven community. “Not only does it deliver on the natural beauty of its beaches and weather, but it also has the critical infrastructure — the arts, great schools, small to medium-size companies, small universities — that is critical to making a great community,” the study said.

Investing in Florida Real Estate

Crowdfunding is a simple way for investors to grow their personal wealth and diversify their portfolios.

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company based in Jacksonville. Being in the heart of one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the nation, the company has the advantage of being close to its sponsors and investment opportunities.

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The Secret Untapped Market of Assisted Living

Knowing that we cannot turn back time — at least in this day and age — growing old is inevitable. So, how would you feel about investing in your future retirement before you reach that point in your life?  Investing in retirement means more than securing a large IRA. It means putting that hard earned savings to work.
cup of coffee

Growing your savings within the assisted living sandbox will help you reach your retirement goals faster and with ease.

The first members of our Boomer Generation started turning 65 in 2011.  A report released by The Pew Research Center found that over the course of the next 19 years, Boomers will account for 79 million retirees, which equates to over one-fourth of the total U.S. population. Research also shows that every day about 4,000 retirees will be turning 85 and an average of 70 percent of those seniors will need roughly 3.5 years of assistance for daily living. In 2005, the assisted living industry was worth $139 billion. By 2020, it is projected to reach $207.3 billion. Assisted living services and nursing homes will account for more than two-thirds of revenue.

The growing industry of assisted living creates great opportunities for investors, as well as for those that require special services. Most people are willing to pay whatever it takes to remain in their comfort zones. Assisted living provides such care as semi-independent living, transportation and, best of all, peer-to-peer relations.  Additionally, the opportunity for investors to take part in this industry is phenomenal. Currently, operating a small assisted living facility can have a potential gross income of more than $300,000 in its infancy.

You might be asking: “What is the difference between an assisted living facility and a nursing home?”  Sure, they both offer the same benefits: taking care of loved ones. But nursing homes are more like hospitals, designed to focus on those that cannot function independently.

Assisted living facilities focus more on helping elders enjoy their lives and independence. Not to mention, rental rates at assisted living facilities are generally lower than nursing homes because they do not provide the comprehensive care that nursing homes are permitted to manage.

So, what does this mean for an individual looking to invest in an assisted living facility?

It means that it’s a great time to capitalize on this growing market. With the improvements in technology and science, people are living longer and shying away from traditional retirement facilities.

residential assisted living retirees

Assisted living facilities allow retirees in reasonable shape to socialize and maintain their independence with minimal supervision. The untapped market is “not” the retirees themselves, but their children. In most cases, the children are the first to recognize when a family member(s) can no longer live without assistance. The willingness to seek help completely changes the dynamics of assisted care. This affords the industry further expansion and larger investment opportunities.

Growing your investments within the assisted living industry is likely to propel an investor’s portfolio to new heights, creating new opportunities and stable incomes.  This industry is growing rapidly and will continue to grow over the next 20 years.  Do not hesitate to invest in this revolutionary opportunity.

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company that offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on residential, multifamily and on-trend properties across the United States.

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Why Florida’s First Coast Is Ranked the No.1 Real Estate Market

Jacksonville, Florida is topping the list of several recent surveys predicting the hottest real estate markets for 2017.

In an article published by Forbes online magazine titled the “10 Hottest Real Estate Markets To Watch in 2017,” Trulia ranked Jacksonville no.1 on their list.

According to a survey on Realtor.com called “The New Hot Spots Where Americans Are Moving Right Now,” Jacksonville came in second for cities gaining the most residents as well as the no.2 destination for millennials.

Employment

Jacksonville continues to show a strong job market with growth of 3.8 percent in 2016.  This has led to a low unemployment rate of 4.4 percent and a larger amount of inbound searches on Trulia.com, versus outbound searches of locals leaving the area.  Jacksonville also offers a year-round economy and is the only Florida city with four different company headquarters on the Fortune 500 list.  The city has seen a 20 percent population growth over the past decade and its workforce is expanding at twice the national average.  In 2013, Forbes ranked Jacksonville as having the second fastest growing technology services base in the nation in a survey titled “The Cities Winning the Battle for America’s Biggest Growth Sector.”  Other notable industry sectors include finance and healthcare.

Healthcare

A strong healthcare industry leads to a better quality of life and makes Jacksonville a magnet for senior citizens.  Five of the city’s top ten private companies provide, or are affiliated with, healthcare services, such as Baptist Health — Jacksonville’s largest private employer.  It is also the home of one of three Mayo Clinics in the United States.

Education

Seven of Jacksonville’s high schools have appeared in Newsweek magazine’s top schools in the nation including Stanton College Preparatory School and the Paxon School for Advanced Studies.  The area is also home to several universities/colleges including the University of North Florida, Florida State College of Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, Florida Coastal School of Law, the Art Institute of Jacksonville and Edward Waters College. Nearby, Saint Johns County has been ranked the no. 1 school district in Florida for the past 10 years.

Affordability

Jacksonville’s cost of living ranks below the national average, making it more affordable than many other American cities.  Housing, healthcare and groceries all cost less than the national average.  The local housing market is still recovering from the recent real estate market collapse, making it a great place to find homes for personal purchase and investment.

Weather

The city has an average of 221 days of sun and a close proximity to beaches and the Atlantic Ocean — two reasons Sperling’s Best Places gave Jacksonville a score of 77 out of 100 on its comfortable year-round climate index.  The U.S. average for the comfort index is 54.

Trends indicate that Jacksonville will continue to benefit from strong population and economic growth, and a growing demand for real estate.  This makes it a great location for investors who will likely see larger returns on their investments.  Crowdfunding has made it easier than ever to invest in profitable real estate properties.

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The company offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on residential, multifamily and on-trend properties in Florida and across the United States.

Visit the company’s website to see how they can help you invest in real estate today.

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The Best Self Directed IRAs for Real Estate Investing

Today, real estate is considered one of the most popular forms of investing in with a self-directed IRA. This is because it is a simple way for investors to grow their personal wealth and diversify their portfolios.

But when it comes to your retirement plan there are hundreds of self-directed IRA companies to choose from and making a decision can be difficult to say the least.

It’s best to think of an IRA as a trust and the custodian as a trustee, so when making an investment the trustee is the one who actually carries out the transaction.

Important Rules to Know  

First, it is important to know that your IRA is the owner of the property so the title of the asset must be in the name of the IRA administrator.

Second, you’re not allowed to invest in a property for personal use. This means that the real estate you’re purchasing using your IRA is for investment purposes only. In addition, you must be careful you are not doing business with “disqualified parties,” such as your spouse or family members.

Third, since the IRA is the owner of the property it must pay the bills and collect the income. For instance, if the investment is in a rental property than all rental income should return to your IRA account. Also, any bill payments including property taxes or renovations must be paid with the cash in your IRA.

How to Start Investing in Real Estate 

  1. You’ll need to set up a self-directed IRA account with one of the companies listed below we have provided a short self-directed IRA review for each of the custodians.
  2. Fund the account by either making a contribution, transfer or rolling over your funds from an old 401k, 403b or pension plan.
  3. Select the real estate investment you want to purchase and one of the companies will guide you through the process.

Best Self Directed IRA Companies 

Advanta IRA Review

Advanta IRA is a self-directed IRA retirement plan custodian serving clients nationwide. Advanta provides their clients exceptional personal service, experience and knowledge that is paramount in administrating self-directed IRAs.  Advanta IRA allows their clients to take full control of their investment retirement plan as well as provided education on using their retirement plan to grow wealth through providing helpful webinars, alternative investments and support.  Advanta has been providing self-directed IRA services for over 20 years.

CamaPlan IRA Review

A CamaPlan self-directed IRA account is the faster, safer way to true financial freedom. Grow your wealth and secure your future by deciding what types of investments you want to hold in your individual account.  Camaplan IRA provides exceptional service to its clients while allowing Self-directed IRA holders the freedom to grow their retirement plans as they see fit. CamaPlan considers itself in a “unique position of being a nimble, responsive player among the larger financial firms that are beginning to enter the self-directed IRA market.”

NuView IRA Review

NuView IRA joins several organizations to better service the community, including investor clubs, professional associations for attorneys and tax planners and the Better Business Bureau. NuView IRA has over 10 years of experience managing self-directed IRA accounts.  They are highly recognized among the industry leaders of self-directed IRA custodians.

New Direction IRA Review

New Direction is a trusted provider of Custodial and Administrative services for traditional and Roth IRAs, HSAs and other tax advantaged plans. Physical custody and administrative oversight in provided by Mainstar, in Kansas. The office of the State Bank Commissioners of Kansas regulates Mainstar and its oversight extends to New Direction’s accounts. New Direction IRA custodian is a growing company.  They have managed millions of dollars in their client’s assets, and are eager to help clients find new and exciting opportunities to invest their self-directed IRA

As you can see, any of these provides would be a good choice if you choose to start investing in real estate using a self-directed IRA account.  Defining the best self-directed IRA custodian would be a hard task unless you signed up and starting investing.  Before you select any of the above IRA custodian, be sure to get them to disclose their fee of service.

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Why Assisted Living Is the New Investment Opportunity of 2017

IHT Realty Crowdfunding has rebranded itself as RealtyeVest.

Assisted living has recently become a desirable asset for many new and experienced investors.

With waves of Baby Boomers reaching retirement, assisted living is rapidly moving into the spotlight of real estate investing.

It’s no surprise that the target demographic for the business platform has grown exponentially, with more than 10,000 Baby Boomers hitting 65 every day until 2030, according to a study by The Pew Research Center.

The study found that 76 million people were born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1964. If you factor in the influx of immigrants and the amount of people who passed away during that same period, there are about 79.6 million seniors in the United States. If you divide that number by 19 years and then again by 365 days, you’ll find there are about 11,476 Boomers turning 65 each day.

All the same, over the next 20 years, the amount of seniors moving into assisted living homes is projected to rise. This is expected to increase demand for assisted living services and facilities, and provide an exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and on-trend investors.

In a blog post on Tony Robbins’ website, Ajay Gupta, Robbins’ personal advisor, lists senior housing as the No.2 safest place to invest right now — “meaning they’re not as susceptible to the fluctuations in economic conditions,” Gupta said.

“We are currently facing the largest demographic shift we’ve ever seen — a tidal wave of demographic inevitability as Baby Boomers reach their Golden Years,” the article said.

Today, there are 45 million Americans that are 65 years or older  — a number that is projected to grow to 80 million over the next 25 years.  And with life expectancy continuing to increase, seniors will have to decide where to spend their remaining twenty or more years.

“It doesn’t matter if interest rates go up or down, it doesn’t matter who the President of the United States is, or what is happening in China or Greece; every single day, 12,000 Americans are turning 65 years old,” Gupta said. So, if you can own real estate that is catering towards this demographic, you are almost guaranteed (high) occupancy over the next 25 years.”

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company that offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on residential, multifamily and on-trend properties across the United States.

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IHT Realty: One Man’s Plan to Grow Affordable Housing by Crowdfunding

IHT Realty Crowdfunding has rebranded itself as RealtyeVest.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 21, 2017 — Park Place Communities (PPC) is taking a major step toward growing the stock of affordable homes in the United States.

PPC, a national real estate investment company that specializes in affordable housing, is seeking $1 million in capital to facilitate a large-scale affordable home project.

The company plans to take existing mobile homes, renovate them and sell them to qualified buyers using five-year amortized mortgages. The buyer will make monthly payments for five years at 12 percent.

“This allows buyers to purchase the mobile home for about the same monthly cost of renting,” said CEO Andrew Lanoie of Park Place Communities.

IHT Realty Crowdfunding, a real estate company that helps sponsors raise capital for their acquisitions, will be assisting PPC in securing funds as it looks to expand its operations and acquire an additional 15,000 to 20,000 mobile homes over the next few years.

“There is a huge demand for affordable housing right now and there are not enough parks to fill that void,” Lanoie said. Right now, there are roughly 50,000 affordable housing parks in the United States.

And with housing costs projected to rise by 5.4 percent from July 2016 to July 2017 — according to a study by CoreLogic Home Price Index — mobile homes are becoming a practical alternative.

“As the wage gap in the United States widens, there has been a shift towards lower paying jobs, which leads to an increase in demand for affordable housing,” Lanoie said.

According to the most recent report by the Social Security Administration, 36 percent of U.S. wage earners make less than $20,000 per year and 50 percent earn less than $30,000 per year.

“With 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day, 47 percent of which don’t have any retirement savings,  affordable houses are their last opportunity of home ownership,” said CEO Dan Summers of IHT Realty Crowdfunding.

PPC, a national Top 100 owner-operator of mobile home parks, currently owns 13 affordable housing parks in eight states with nearly 1,000 total homepads.

The company is looking for a $1 million mortgage pool to issue fixed-rate mortgages to buyers. It is offering a debt investment opportunity secured by a first lien, which is also backed by a corporate guarantee with a 10 percent interest rate paid to investors.

The first step will be to renovate more than 125 units, Lanoie said.

Contrary to popular belief, mobile homes are not really mobile. It costs over $3,000 for a resident to move their home out of a park, Lanoie said, which is the reason 98 percent of mobile homes will remain in the same location.

“Mobile home parks are one of the most stable and predictable investments during a recession and recovery,” Lanoie said.

RealtyeVest is a real estate crowdfunding company that offers investors the opportunity to capitalize on residential, multifamily and on-trend properties across the United States.

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The Real Price of Tesla Solar Shingles Is Through the Roof

Tesla Solar Shingles

Tesla’s announcement to start selling its long-awaited solar roofing system was met with mixed reviews last week when the automaker published a cost comparison blog on its website.

The news of the announcement follows the 2016 merger between Tesla and SolarCity — one of the largest solar energy companies in the United States — and further implements Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a future defined by carbon-free energy.

In the blog post, Tesla said the new solar roofing system will cost $21.85 per square foot for an average American home — roughly 2,500 square feet.

While the product might be pricier than a traditional roof ($4.00-$7.00 per square feet,) it will ultimately pay for itself in reduced electric bills — a process Tesla says will take about 30 years to realize.

And if that isn’t enough, in reality, the price might nearly be twice that amount.

The Real Costs

The true cost, according to the blog, will be about $42 per square feet for solar tiles and $11 per square feet for non-solar tiles. Although Tesla recommends at least 50 percent of solar coverage to meet your home’s energy needs, the automaker factored in only 35 percent of the roof being covered with solar tiles when determining the average price.

Tesla even published a cost calculator for customers to price out their own roof with coverage of up to 70 percent of solar tiles.

tesla solar shingles

The price was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar, in order to generate $53,500 worth of electricity, which according to Consumer Reports would make a solar roof more affordable than an asphalt shingle roof.

Regardless of the percent of coverage, costs will vary significantly depending on customer choice and the size of the roof.  But one thing is for sure, the installation before factoring in the cost of energy will be much higher than a conventional roof.

Energy Wave

Fifty years ago, the idea of building eco-friendly modular homes, using energy-efficient products, renewable materials and solar panels was impractical. Today, the momentum is with renewable energy, and because of proven tax benefits, more developers are opting to build energy-efficient homes and facilities.

For example, this assisted living facility in Carriere, Miss. will be developed as a “Green” building, which will significantly reduce its monthly utility costs.

This is all part of the global shift designed to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, eliminate pollution and promote green energy alternatives. So, even though solar roofing isn’t cheaper than other current options, it may be a practical alternative for some energy conscious consumers.

The Bottom Line

But here’s the bottom line: although the installation includes materials and the removal of your old roof, taxes, fees and additional construction costs such as skylight replacements and structural upgrades are not included.

Even if someone decides to purchase Tesla’s Solar Roofing, most Americans live in their homes for less than a decade before selling. This means the majority of homeowners who purchase the new product will have relocated long before the investment pays for itself.

This feature is made possible by using two types of glass tile, solar tile and non-solar tile. Both appear the same from street level.

It’ll be interesting to see how much success the automaker has selling to different markets, with a price tag that can range from $30,000 to upwards of a $100,000 per installation.

I guess the market niche for Tesla’s solar roof product is that it turns sunlight into electricity, while maintaining the appearance of a traditional shingled roof. Nowadays, some solar panels cost less than $3 per watt for installation, and can pay-off in more than half the time (7-10 years) than the projection for a Tesla solar shingles roof.

Made with tempered glass, this product, unfortunately, will likely be limited to the more affluent suburb market.

So far, other companies have had little success incorporating solar technology into roofing tiles or shingles. As for the bigger picture, it remains questionable if the automaker’s newest gimmick will appeal to consumers as much as its vehicles do.

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