Millennium Realty



Posted by Millennium Realty on 2/27/2020

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

For anyone interested in investment diversification, real estate is one of the preferred holdings in addition to stock and bonds. However, many investors possess neither the cash nor the knowledge and interest to actually buy, sell, rent or manage real property. Such investment involves more than cash; it also requires in-depth market knowledge, and hands-on time, energy and effort.

Investment in a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) or a Real Estate Mutual Fund (REMF) are popular alternatives, with specific advantages that are attractive to small investors and to those who seek investment diversity.

Considering an REIT 

While there are three types of Real Estate Investment Trust, Equity REITs are the most common. These entities own and manage revenue-generating property, including shopping malls, office and apartment buildings, hotels and specialty properties. Niche markets today include medical developments, senior and targeted healthcare communities, retirement developments, and multi-use developments, including live-work centers in urban environments.

An REIT may also generate income by purchasing or trading in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, known as a Mortgage REIT, or through a combination of equity and mortgage holdings, termed a Hybrid REIT. Although shares may be traded publicly or sold privately, an REIT is bound by Internal Revenue Service rules to pay out most of its earnings to its investors. Although an IRS is treated as a corporation and must be managed by a board of directors or a group of trustees, it pays no corporate income tax.

What Are Real Estate Mortgage Funds?

Mutual funds, by definition and practice, pool investment funds to purchase stocks and bonds. Investors purchase shares or units based on the current net asset value (NAV) of the combined assets. Real Estate Mutual Funds invest solely in real estate-related stocks, REITs, or a combination of both. Investing in such a fund offers an investor a low-cost, relatively low-risk option to traditional real estate.

Transaction costs associated with investing in mutual funds are typically minimal, and there is a high probability that the funds will be professionally managed and researched, an advantage for most investors. 

While an REIT only pays dividends, based on the number of shares an investor holds, the REMF carries the expectation of regular dividend payments as well as capital appreciation. 

Because shares of both the REIT and REMF are readily traded, such investments are considered highly liquid, and carry minimal risk. They offer an excellent opportunity for the small or new investor to diversify into the world of real estate, and they are considered by some proponents to be a hedge against inflation. As home values and rental incomes climb, investment dividend payments are likely to increase.

The flip side is that as interest rates rise, corporate costs increase and profitability might be affected.

As with all investments, a decision will depend on personal circumstances, considered judgment, and careful comparison.




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Posted by Millennium Realty on 2/20/2020

Selling a home may prove to be difficult, particularly for individuals who strive to maximize their day-to-day productivity. In many instances, the time and costs associated with listing a home, promoting it to potential buyers and performing other home selling tasks can add up quickly. But if you know how to act as a productive home seller, you should have no trouble maximizing the time and resources at your disposal.

What does it take to become a productive home seller? Here are three tips to help you maximize your productivity throughout the home selling process.

1. Remove Clutter

Clutter will only slow you down during the home selling cycle. As such, you'll want to do everything you can to minimize clutter prior to listing your residence.

Artwork, photographs and other personal mementos in your home should be placed in storage until you sell your residence. That way, you can free up space in your house, as well as make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they acquire your residence.

Also, if you have items that you no longer need, don't hesitate to sell or donate these items. And if you own items that are broken or damaged, you should dispose of these items altogether.

2. Understand the Home Selling Process

When it comes to the home selling process, it pays to be diligent. If you understand what to expect before you list your house, you'll be better prepared than ever before to handle any home selling challenges that might come your way.

Furthermore, think about the buyer's perspective during the home selling cycle Ė you'll be glad you did. A homebuyer wants to find a home that delivers exceptional value. As a home seller, you'll want to do whatever you can to show a buyer that your house is the ideal choice.

For home sellers, it pays to consider what you'll need to do to promote your house to the right groups of potential buyers. If you plan ahead and learn about the home selling process, you can make informed choices that may help you get the best price for your residence.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is committed to client satisfaction, and as a result, will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you maximize your productivity. This housing market professional will offer expert recommendations throughout the home selling journey to make it simple to achieve your desired results. Plus, he or she will set up home showings, keep you up to date about offers on your house and much more.

It helps to hire a real estate agent who understands the ins and outs of the housing market in your area. With this real estate agent at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling cycle.

Stay productive as you sell your house Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you can increase the likelihood of a quick, seamless home selling experience.




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Posted by Millennium Realty on 2/13/2020

Photo by Christian Heitz via Pexels

Sometimes, small town life is just what you crave. If you’re considering a move and want a community with that feel, there are several in the East Coast that deliver it beautifully. From New York to Pennsylvania, here are some of the top small towns that you need to see for yourself.

1. Thomas, West Virginia

The beautiful Main Street of Thomas, West Virginia, is the highlight of life here. With a population of just around 600, this is the essence of a small town. Its location in the Allegheny Mountains means beautiful views from nearly every corner. You’ll love the vintage record store, coffeehouse, brewery, and many antique shops, as well as the quiet that comes from living in a historic mountain community.

2. High Falls, New York

If life is taking you a bit farther north, consider this town of 627 people. High Falls has the vintage stores you expect in a small town, and also has a growing list of attractions for foodies. Get your fill of comfort food at Kitchenette, a popular local restaurant, and enjoy life in a town where you can truly know all of your neighbors, and know them well.

3. North Adams, Massachusetts

If you’re looking for small-town living but want something a little larger than 600 people, consider North Adams, Massachusetts. With a population of over 13,000, it offers quite a bit more in terms of amenities, but it still maintains a small-town feel. This community is home to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and since the museum’s opening it has grown into a cultural center in the state. Artists feel right at home, and art lovers will appreciate the many galleries that showcase the work of local talent.

4. Lititz, Pennsylvania

Home to just over 9,000 people, Lititz, Pennsylvania, calls itself the coolest small town in the country. Residents appreciate the mature trees that line its streets, and visitors come to shop at antique shops and boutiques while dining at exceptional restaurants. Only in Lititz can you cozy up to an old soda counter and order your latte in old-fashioned style.

5. Stowe, Vermont

If you’re going to visit Stowe to check it out, visit in the fall. Brilliant colors make this small community in the Green Mountains transform into an artist’s paradise. You’ll also appreciate the boutiques for shopping and the locally-owned restaurants. Stowe has a population of around 4,400 people, so it’s not a tiny town, but not overly large either.

Whether you’re looking for a tiny, tranquil community or one that’s on the smaller side, but still large enough to offer some amenities, you’ll find something to fit your needs along the East Coast. Check out these five, and figure out where you feel at home.




Tags: Travel   small town   relocation  
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Posted by Millennium Realty on 2/6/2020

You know when you buy a home that your credit score matters, but do you see all of the numbers that matter to your financial picture when youíre buying a home? Your debt-to-income ratio is one of the most critical figures that will influence if you can get a mortgage and what type of rate you can get. 


What Is A Debt-To-Income Ratio?


This number is exactly what it states: the ratio of debt divided by your gross monthly income. Your credit report doesn't include any of this income information. This number is actually the best way to see if youíre living within your means or not. This way, your lender will know your monthly debt payments along with your monthly income.  


If your ratio of debt is high, you may not get a loan or get less desirable interest rates than if you had lower amounts of debt. Even if you have a high credit score, your debt-to-income ratio could affect these things. In reality, a higher debt ratio will make it harder for you to pay back your debt, so itís important to you. 


How Itís Calculated


You can use an online tool to help you calculate your debt-to-income ratio. You can also use a simple formula if youíre up for doing some math yourself:


Divide your monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income then multiply that number by 100. For example:


Student loans: $400

Car loan: $300

Rent: $700

Income: $4,000 


1400/4000= 0.35 x 100= 35%


Household Ratio


You should also be aware of something called your household ratio. The household is the amount of home-related expenses which includes property taxes, prospective mortgage, home insurance, and more. These costs are divided by your monthly income to get this ratio as well. Obviously, your household debt adds to your financial commitments and is also put into consideration by your lender.    



Whatís A Good Debt-To-Income Ratio?


Itís ideal that you keep your ratio less than 36%. Your household ratio should be even lower than this. Itís great to be debt free, but in the real world, thatís not always possible. Your best bet is to be responsible with your finances and work on paying your debt down as much as you can. Then, little by little all of the critical numbers that are required to get a mortgage will fall into place.  

    






Posted by Millennium Realty on 1/30/2020

When you have a small yard, you may feel like thereís not much you can do with your landscaping scheme. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to perk up your yard and give it some character. Read on for tips for your small yard. 


A Yard With A View


First, you should create a focal point in your yard. You want a place that your eyes are drawn to each time you enter your yard. This focal point could be a fountain, a pergola, a tree, or even some outdoor artwork.


Create An Intimate Spot


Even though your backyard might be small, having a spot for intimate conversation and entertaining can be a nice touch to your yard. When there is a space that exists for reading, relaxing, eating, or whatever you like to do outside, it becomes more inviting. This is landscaping with a purpose.   



Use Color To Your Advantage


Make bold colors pop in your yard. Attention will be detracted from the size of your yard and the focus will switch to the beautiful blends and colors that are in the space. Placing bright colors strategically will even make your yard appear larger. 



Trick Imagery


By creating a focal point and allowing your yard to form in long, clean lines, the perspective of the outdoor space will change from small to just right. One trick is to use fences to define your yard. If you have a garden, you can use a small fence to define this area. Define the boundaries of your backyard with a fence as well. Repeating rows of flowers or bushes is another way to create those straight, defining lines. 


Use Vertical Features


When space is limited, just as you would in the inside of your house, donít be afraid to go up! You can plant things that grow on a vine and can be tamed with a trellis or pergola. This creates and elegant effect in your home. 


No Lawn No Problem


If your yard is small enough that you may not even have much grass, donít fret. Any kind of greenery can help you to enjoy nature. Whether you live in a rural area or a large cityscape, thereís always room for plant life and green natural accents.      


Donít Forget To Add What You Love


If you have an admiration for sitting by the fire, you certainly should install a fire pit. If you want a fountain, you should install it. No matter what the size of your yard, itís a place that you love and should serve you and your needs. No yard is too small for enjoyment. The key is that your outdoor space allows you to bask in the glory of your own little piece of natural heaven.    


 





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