Sept. 6, 2022

5 Tips for Starting a Small Business in Your New Home

The following article was written by guest contributor, Katie Conroy:

 

Every small business owner starts with plans for growth and expansion. However, when you run your business from home, part of that process includes growing your home as well. These simple tips can help you find the right house to accommodate your expanding business goals.

 

1. Know What You Need From Your Home

Your new home should accommodate your current and future business plans as well as your personal life. Make a list of your must-haves to narrow down the search. For example, if you have inventory, you'll need a large space for storage. If you have children, you'll also need space for them to enjoy the home without interrupting business operations. Talk to a realtor about your needs now and your plans for future growth. You can even search listing online using The Flynn Team's website to search and compare properties across their multiple listing service.

 

2. Create a Business Plan

Every successful company starts with a solid business plan. Research shows you can use a business plan to better understand how your business operates and monitor your goals. Your plan should include a detailed summary of your company, including products, services, funding plans, and financial projections. You should also discuss your business structure. Most small businesses register as LLCs for minimal paperwork and tax benefits. You can avoid lawyer fees and register yourself using a formation service online through your state.

 

3. Hire a Moving Crew

Hiring a moving crew may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can save you time and stress. For example, a full-service moving company will come to your home and assess your moving needs before providing you with an estimate. Then, they pack your belongings before loading and transporting them to your new home. You can even pay them to unpack everything as well. Research companies by searching reviews online from unbiased sources and comparing quotes before signing any contracts. Should you decide to pack for yourself, make sure you start at least two months in advance to give yourself plenty of time to pack properly.

 

4. Prepare Your Business Website

Your business website is extremely important to your success. You can hire a professional web developer to create it for you. However, you can save by doing small DIY projects, such as creating your own website banner to increase brand awareness. Design banners online with this free template and alter it to fit your business. You can adjust the text, colors, images, and font before placing it on your website and social media pages.

 

5. Set Up Your Home Office

If your home office is crucial to business operations, you'll want to set it up first. Start by finding a spot in the house with plenty of space, natural lighting, and distance from the areas with high traffic, such as the kitchen and living room. Label everything and keep your desk or workspace free of clutter. Be sure to include plants and neutral colors in your decor to help boost productivity and create a stress-free area to work.

 

As you set up your new home and get into a routine again, remember to take some time to appreciate all your hard work. Being a homeowner and a business owner can be overwhelming at times. If you're happy and healthy, you're better equipped to tackle obstacles.

 

 

Image via Pexels

 

 

Katie Conroy is a writer at advicemine.com, the opinions and or advice contained in this article are hers and not those of the Flynn Team, or any of its agents or employees. 

 

Posted in Lifestyles
Jan. 31, 2022

Creating a Healthy Home by Making the Right Positive Changes

The following article was written by guest contributor, Katie Conroy:

 

If you want to create a healthy home, making the right positive changes is essential. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some points to consider that make choosing projects easier.

Projects That Improve Your Experience at Home

 

If you feel overwhelmed and stressed at home, the first project you might want to take on is decluttering. For one, it’s completely free. For another, eliminating excess stuff can reduce stress, lower the amount of time you need to spend cleaning, and make it easier to stay organized moving forward. If you aren’t sure how to begin, give the KonMari Method a try. It’s a straightforward approach that focuses on what brings you joy, ensuring you keep the items that matter to you.

 

Improving your air quality is also a simple way to experience a real difference in the health of your home. By simply replacing your existing air filters with new ones featuring higher MERV-ratings, you’ll be removing more contaminants, keeping you healthier.

 

Another great option is remodeling your kitchen. By turning it into a more functional space, you’re more likely to cook nutritious meals at home, making it easier to eat healthily. For this project, you’ll need a licensed and insured plumber. Make sure to check ratings and reviews to find the ‘best plumbing services near me.’ That way, the $45 to $150 per hour you’ll spend for their expertise is worthwhile.

 

Changes to Make If You’re Considering Selling

 

For homeowners interested in selling soon, you’ll want to keep buyers in mind when choosing projects. That way, you can address their needs, making your house a more attractive property in their eyes.

 

For inexpensive options, consider a new coat of paint. You can choose colors that align with trends or that make your home feel brighter or more welcoming. Plus, if you’re willing to DIY the project, it’s a very low-cost way to renew the look of your interior completely.

 

Another inexpensive option is easy kitchen updates. Simply changing out doorknobs and pulls on your cabinets can transform the room. The same goes for adding a backsplash.

 

If you have money in the budget for something bigger, consider replacing your windows with modern, low-E windows. You’ll update the look of your home’s interior, enhance your curb appeal, and improve energy efficiency all in one project.

 

You could also consider other exterior modifications. A new deck, fresh siding, or similar project can ensure buyers get a great first impression when they arrive at your property, potentially leading to more interest and a higher selling price.

 

How to Pay for Home Updates

 

Don't default to a personal loan or credit card when you’re trying to figure out how to pay for home updates. While you can technically use them, they don’t necessarily have the best interest rates, which isn’t ideal.

 

Additionally, while a HELOC may have a lower interest rate, it gives you an extra payment you’ll have to make every month. If tracking your budget already feels challenging, that might not be a great match for you.

 

Instead, check out cash-out refinancing options. What does it mean to refinance your home is you replace your old mortgage with a new one that has a higher balance, so you don’t end up with an extra payment. Plus, you receive the difference between the two loans as cash, giving you money for your updates.

Image via Pexels

 

Katie Conroy is a writer at advicemine.com, the opinions and or advice contained in this article are hers and not those of the Flynn Team, or any of its agents or employees. 

 

Posted in Lifestyles
Nov. 23, 2021

Steps for Buying and Managing Your First Investment Property

The following article was written by guest contributor, Katie Conroy:

Steps for Buying and Managing Your First Investment Property

The reason many cite for wanting to get into the world of property investment is simple: passive income. And there’s good reason to believe it: in 2016, the average gross yield was 9.4%, far higher than the 4% to 5% average stock market return. Still, there are plenty of potential pitfalls. Here are some steps the Flynn Team recommends you consider before diving in:

Get Your Finances in Order

Generally speaking, you want to be free of any financial debt or obligation aside from possibly a mortgage. That means student or car loans, credit card debt, and the like need to go.

Finance or Pay in Cash?

When you go to purchase your investment property, the most pressing decision is whether to pay in cash or finance the purchase. Some financial advisors, such as Dave Ramsey, say that under no circumstances should you go into debt to buy rental properties. Others, like Robert Kiyosaki, believe debt in this kind of circumstance is okay. A good compromise? Don’t begin until you've paid off all debt aside from a mortgage and have put approximately six months' worth of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance payments into a savings account.

Features of Profitable Properties

Knowing the community you’re thinking of investing in is key. Some aspects to consider include:

  • Livability and amenities: Is the location miles from the nearest grocery store? What about shopping, dining, and entertainment options? 

  • Vacancy rates: An area with a high vacancy rate is a definite red flag.

  • Property taxes: This is money that won't be recouped, so it’s important to know how much is going out each month.  

You might also find it helpful to consult an analysis of where the highest-grossing rental markets are located, such as ATTOM Data’s 2020 study. If you’re purchasing in Long Island, the Flynn Team will tell you everything you need to know about the area you’re interested in.

Multifamily versus Single-Family Homes

Single-family homes can be a good place to begin, since they’re generally more affordable than multi-family homes (those with multiple units under different ownership, such as condos and duplexes). There are also more of them. Historically, single-family homes appreciate more than multi-family buildings. On the other hand, if improvements are needed in a multi-family home and can greatly increase the income, you stand to increase the value of your multi-family property. Returns may also be greater.

Questions Every Property Investor Should Ask

Despite the potential income to be made from real estate investing, the process can also be expensive and take significant amounts of time. For these reasons, every potential landlord should ask themselves these questions: 

Am I Landlord Material?

Are you handy around the house? Does the idea of hands-on work, such as repairing fixtures or updating materials, sound feasible or torturous? 

Manage Yourself or Outsource? 

If your time is scarce, you might be thinking of turning to a property management company for help; however, the cost may not be feasible unless you have multiple income-producing properties. That’s because most companies ask for between an 8% and 12% share of the income.

Is Property Investing Right for You?

If you’re seriously considering investing in rental properties, take time to go through the steps needed, one at a time, as opposed to rushing in. Although property management can be lucrative, without careful planning it can also be challenging at best and financially disastrous at worst, so don’t rush the process. 

 

Katie Conroy is a writer at advicemine.com, the opinions and or advice contained in this article are hers and not those of the Flynn Team, or any of its agents or employees. 
Posted in The Market
Feb. 11, 2021

5 Steps to Getting Started as a Real Estate Investor

Source: Unsplash

 

5 Steps to Getting Started as a Real Estate Investor

 

If you’re interested in investing in an asset that will bring you significant returns, becoming a real estate investor could be your next step. Because rental payments are often referred to as “passive income,” it’s easy to get the idea that investing in real estate is a simple process. But if you want to find a good property and land the right tenants, you need a smart strategy. The experts at the Flynn Team hope the following guidelines will help you purchase your first investment property. 

 

Getting Your Business Started

 

Once you’ve decided to start your own rental property business, you’ll need to decide what type of business entity you plan to pursue. Most rental property businesses choose to establish an LLC for the legal protection it offers them. You’ll need to fill out paperwork and address any copyrights or trademarks you may require. All that paperwork can get overwhelming, so hire a company that can file all that paperwork for you.

 

Work With the Right Agent

 

If you purchased a home for your primary residence, you probably worked with a real estate agent. As an investor, connecting with a qualified agent is a savvy move, but you need to take the extra time to work with an agent who has specific experience with investment properties. An “investor friendly” agent like the experts at the Flynn Team can provide insight on which neighborhoods you should consider, and they might even let you in on some deals that aren’t on the market. 

 

Smart Budgeting

 

According to Lendova, you should expect to spend about 20 percent of your property’s listing price on the down payment, but you may secure a better interest rate if you put down 25 percent. 

 

Remember, your goal is to work within the limitations of your personal budget to find a property that will provide long-term returns on your investment. This can mean renovating a property that has some maintenance problems. Your property may not look aesthetically pleasing when you buy it, but you can transform it into a very desirable rental. 

 

Make Necessary Repairs

 

You probably have lots of ideas for renovations and new fixtures for your property. If you want to increase your property’s value, start the renovation process by installing wood flooring. Wood flooring is durable and hardy, and it brings a certain warmth to your property’s interior, which can make a great impression on tenants. Plus, it’s easier to clean and maintain wood floors than carpet, so as the landlord, this option will likely be cheaper for you in the long run!

 

Market Your Property

 

Your methods for marketing your property will vary on the location and the kind of tenants you would like to rent to. For example, if you purchased a condo in a downtown area that will attract young professionals, utilize popular rental sites. If you invested in an apartment in a college town, you might also want to hang up some flyers around the local campus. This is also the time to draw up a lease that will protect both you and your