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Showing posts with label real estate investments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate investments. Show all posts

August 2, 2011

Amazing! A Real Estate Investing Social Game

Hi Everyone,
   Hope your week is going well !
   Well, it had to happen. It was a matter of time.

   A Golden Idea...yes, I'm talking about a Real Estate Investing Video Game !

   "Commonwealth Bank’s Investorville... Build a property portfolio without spending a cent". This is how the product was introduced in a Press Release from Commonwealth Bank in Australia.

   The program, Investorville", is billed as an "online simulation tool for budding property investors" as per the Press Release, and it operates in a "social game-like environment that uses gameplay to simulate scenarios", as per the story titled, "CommBank releases investment game", written by Laura Parker for GameSpot AU on ZDNet.com.

   Investorville is the product of both Commonwealth Bank and creative agency BMF, and incorporates market insights from RP Data. The game "mimics reality to provide people with real-time exposure to the property market, allowing them to make more informed property decisions.", per the Release.

   The game was created for both Existing Homeowners and also for those who already own an investment property. The online site is designed to be as, "fun and engaging as it is educational and informative.", says the Release, and it permits users to simulate "ongoing costs, without ever putting any of their own capital at risk".

   How does it work?

   Parker describes it as follows: Users start by making an online profile with personal relevant information on current budgets and existing real estate investments. Users can then search for investment properties in suburbs across Australia based on their target price; after a property is found, users will have a simulated 15-year period in which they must set rent, decide when to repair or renovate, and deal with events such as changes in interest rates, pay increases or decreases and bad tenants. Users can also choose to purchase more properties as the simulation advances, based on how well their investment is going.

   Mark Murray, General Manager Commonwealth Bank Consumer Marketing, explained "the rationale behind the development of Investorville" in the Release as follows: “Making the leap from owning your own property to buying an investment property can seem quite daunting to a lot of people. Investorville helps to break down common misconceptions and show the practicalities of property investment.", and adds that the, "really beneficial part of Investorville is that users can, in the true sense of the term, try before they buy", since, "The properties and data are reflective of the Australian property market and the types of properties available”. Aaron Michie, Interactive Concepts Director at BMF (the creators of Investorville), says the following regarding Investorville; "Investorville combines sophisticated economic modelling and real market data with a simple user-friendly gameplay to give people realism and simplicity.”

   The first real estate-oriented application that was developed by the bank was the "Commonwealth Bank Property Guide iPhone App", which was launched in 2010, and it uses "augmented reality to overlay data and tools onto the phone’s screen, providing property information on almost any premises the phone is pointed at"

   Does anyone out there think there is a version for the Wii or Xbox on the horizon? As silly as it may be for me to admit, I think it is a very good possibility.

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #RealEstateInvesting #socialgame #propertyinvestor #Australianproperty #iPhoneApp

August 6, 2010

UPDATED: Right Time to Buy? Top Real Estate Investing Markets

Good Morning,

Happy Friday! With the dreaded humidity taking a swan dive here in New York, it should make for a nice and dry weekend...finally !

As we discussed on Wednesday, we had a ton of requests for us to discuss the hottest markets for Real Estate investments. Keep in mind that these requests were NOT for the hottest housing markets for the standard property buyer, however, for the top Real Estate investing markets.

We warn you - this is a long post - but there is valuable information here !

We have turned to some experts in their given regions, and we have summarized these markets below. However, keep in kind that they are not in any specific order, and we would need to compare apples to apples in order to put them in top to bottom order, which for our purposes here, is outside of the scope of this Blog post. However, some corroborating reasons are given along with each city/region listed below.

Detroit: We had two experts weigh in on the Motor City. Dennis Fassett, a local investor, tells us that, "Nice brick houses in the suburbs with three bedrooms, basements, appliances, garages, and fenced yards can be bought for $40-50,000 or even less in some cases depending on the area. And the properties I have bought like that rent for $1000 per month and up. The ROI is off the charts.". Fassett says that he currently has, "11 houses and 43 apartment units here, and two more deals in process, and I'm looking to buy as much as I can while the market stays depressed."

Drew Sygit of The Lending Edge at First Michigan Bank , concurs, and states that, "Detroit the city is pretty hot. Meeting today with an Australian CPA who's clients all want to buy $30-50k properties they can rent for $900/month. We've got more foreign demand than domestic!"

Memphis: We spoke with Ryan L. Hinricher, a Senior Housing Analyst with Investor Nation, and he said that, "In Memphis an investor who's looking for income property can purchase pristine investment homes at or near median home prices of $115,000, which offer a positive cash flow, or properties as low as $5000 in areas typically higher in crime and lower in income for section 8 rental purposes". Hinricher also reminds us that, "Memphis was recently named one of the 5 best housing markets for 2010 by MSN, Realty Tracs best places to find a foreclosure in 2010, US News and World Reports #1 place for real estate steals in 2010, and Smart Moneys 5 markets expected to fare best in 2010. This is primarily because the transportation industry is one of the first to lead an economic recovery.".

Orlando: Phil Peachey, a Realtor with Regal Real Estate Professionals in Orlando, Florida, says that, "I have apartments at present at $20,000 and 4 bed 3 bath homes with pools near Disney for $100,000. These were 3 times the price a couple of years back.", and that, "Savvy investors are snapping these up in large numbers as they know the market has to come back at some time". I have to concur, as we got our start in the Orlando/Central Florida market, and that seems like a perpetually favored region.

St. Louis: Adam Kruse, a St. Louis Realtor of The Hermann London Group, advises that a lot of the investors are making their own rules on the purchase criteria in that city. Kruse says that, "There are areas of St. Louis where people just don't really buy as primary residence, but they buy them all the time to hold for rental",and says that he has a client who advises him to, "Take the purchase price, subtract off the last 2 zeros, double that number, and I want to be able to get that for rent.", and that they have helped him buy at least 15 places with that criteria. (example: purchase price $35,000, rent amount $700+ per month.)

California: Griff Straw, President of Solidifi, a technology-based appraisal management company, tell us that in California, "Coastal areas continue to offer good opportunities for investors, especially in California, where San Diego has been among the strongest areas in the country. The more remote coastal areas like Oxnard, north of Los Angeles, are less of a sure thing for shorter term appreciation, but may offer potential.

Some Additional Areas that show promise for the Real Estate investor have been identified by Alfred Miller President of Private Lending Solutions, LLC. Miller has, "identified the discount and cash flow properties as well. These are investor friendly markets". The markets he mentioned are Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (Texas), Houston (Texas), Tulsa (Oklahoma), San Antonio (Texas), Salt Lake City (Utah), Phoenix (Arizona), Indianapolis-Carmel (Indiana), Denver-Aurora (Colorado), Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord (North Carolina/South Carolina)

We hope that this list will be of significant help to you. We welcome your comments on any and all of the cities mentioned above.

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !

UPDATED: Top 5 Blog post for 2010 (For more information, CLICK HERE)