Get the Most Out of Your Real Estate Investment

The whole idea behind investing in real estate is to make some cash. Obviously. But there are things you can do to reap the most rewards from your investments.

Real estate has long been a sound way to collect some cash through investment, even long after we can or want to work. It’s a great way to accumulate enough money to compensate for inflation and taxes that can quickly and easily eat away at our savings. Even in a crappy economy, real estate tends to do a lot better than stocks. It’ll still appreciate over the long haul, and has proven to be the best way to accumulate wealth.

The best part? You don’t need a Master’s degree or decades of experience to make it big with a real estate investment.


Scope Out a Number of Properties

It might be tempting, but it’s important not to jump at the first property that you see. This is especially true for the newbie investor. Instead, you should ideally check out a few properties and compare each. Sure, it takes more time and work to look around, but it’ll all be worth it in the end to avoid money pits and land the real gem in the pack.

Keep in mind that you won’t be living there, so don’t base your decision on what you specifically would want in a residence. Think about what renters are actually looking for, and give yourself a spectrum of options before narrowing them down based on a set of requirements you’ve set from the get-go.

Look For Properties That Make the Most Financial Sense

Be realistic about the financials when you’re looking for an investment property. Not only should you be looking at what you can afford to buy, but you should also consider how much residual income each property can bring in for you every month. Conducting a thorough financial analysis is critical here.

Do the number crunching, and identify important figures such as income versus expenses (net income), cash flow, capitalization rate, return on investment, and net income versus purchase price. Get some help from a financial advisor or real estate agent to help you determine these figures and make sense of them.

After you’ve become acquainted with these numbers, you’ll have a solid base to help you decide if a specific property matches your criteria and financial goals. If you’ll wind up with a negative cash flow on a specific property after performing these calculations, keep looking.

Look in the Right Neighborhoods

The type of area that you buy in will heavily influence not only how well your property will appreciate over time, but also the kind of tenants that the property attracts and the number of vacancies you experience. It can be tough to decipher what will happen to a specific area over the years, but there are ways to tell how healthy it is today, and will be at least into the near future.

How close is the area to the downtown core and amenities? What are the school ratings like? Are there new developments taking place at present or in the near future? How well do area residents take care of their properties? Are there lots of vacancies? What is the crime rate like? And what about the job market? The answers to these questions will give you a solid idea of how healthy the neighborhood is, and if it’s worthy of your hard-earned dollar.

Take Advantage of Allowable Tax Deductions

You can really save a boat-load cash if you’re smart about what you can write off on your investment property. When Uncle Sam comes knocking, make sure you tap into any one of the following tax deductions (where applicable):

Interest – This includes mortgage interest payments and interest on credit cards for items or services used for rental activity.

Depreciation – You can get back the cost of your property through depreciation and deducting part of the property’s cost over a number of years.

Repairs – You can claim the entire cost to renovate the property in the year that this activity occurred.

Employees and contractors – Any time that you need to hire someone to take care of your investment property, you can write off the expense.

Theft and loss – If your investment property is ever damaged or destroyed, you might be able to get a tax deduction for all or part of the loss. The amount you can deduct will depend on how much of your property was destroyed, and how much of it is covered through insurance.

Insurance – Speaking of which, you can deduct the premiums for just about any insurance for rental activity, including fire, theft, flood, and landlord liability insurance.

Snag Ideal Tenants

You want good tenants to occupy your property. Tenants that pay on time every month, take care of the property, don’t complain, and aren’t a nuisance are the ones you’re looking for. And when you find those tenants, you want to keep them. It’ll make your life as a landlord a lot easier and less stressful.

But you play a part in how your tenants behave, too. A happy tenant is less likely to be a bother. So make sure the property you’re offering is in good shape, and is well taken care of. Offer them a competitive rent price, and don’t nickel and dime them on it. Trying to make an extra $100 a month from rent isn’t worth it over the long haul if it winds up leading to a frequent turnover rate.

Use a Property Management Service

Managing an income property involves a lot more work than you might think. And if you’ve got more than one property, it can essentially turn into a full-time job. Sure, you need to pay these professionals, but it’ll save you a great deal of time and headaches. They’ll deal with the maintenance of the property, finding tenants, collecting rent, and so forth.

Fees for this service tend to range around 5 to 10 percent of your rental income, which really isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. For instance, if you collect $1,500 a month and the management fee is 6.5 percent, that’s less than 100 bucks a month to get a skilled professional to deal with everything on your behalf. A good investment isn’t entirely about maximizing your income; it’s also about maximizing time and energy saved.

The Bottom Line

​Every city across the country has good neighborhoods, and each neighborhood has good properties that are ideal for investments. But a little legwork and know-how are needed to make sure you find the right property and make it work to its highest and best use. Make sure your expectations are realistic and that your finances are good enough to allow you to wait a little while for your investment property to start generating a healthy cash flow instead of desperately needing the money. And of course, team up with the right people to help make sure your investment is as solid as they come.

10 Ways to Cut Back Waste at Home

Take a guess at how much waste the average American produces in just one day. If you said 4 pounds, you’re bang on. Considering there are about 320 million people in the country, that’s a lot of waste! Even when you take into consideration recycling efforts, you’re still looking at about 3.5 pounds per person.

Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is. But luckily there are simple things you can do to reduce the amount of waste you generate, and lower your carbon footprint on the Earth.

1. Compost Your Food Scraps

Composting is extremely helpful at scaling back on the amount of garbage that piles up at landfills. Food scraps like fruit peels, egg shells, and fish skin can easily be chucked into a compost bin instead of the garbage can. Even lawn clippings and other types of yard waste can be composted. Considering the fact that this type of waste accounts for almost a quarter of the country’s solid waste, you can really cut down on the amount of trash that winds up at our landfills.

2. Use Fabric Grocery Bags

Plastic isn’t exactly easily broken down, and that includes grocery bags. Think about how many times you hit the supermarket, and how many bags you use to carry your groceries from the store to your kitchen. It’s a lot. Rather than filling up your garbage with plastic grocery bags, use reusable bags instead. You might have to pay for them up front, but the amount of waste that you can reduce by using them makes them worth every penny.


3. Grow Your Own Food

Aside from using less plastic grocery bags, you can further reduce this kind of waste by growing your own food. You don’t need to be a farmer or live on acres of land to do your part. Even a small tomato plant on your deck or a herb garden along your window sill can work. And you know that compost you’ve been working on? You can use it to feed your garden too!

4. Donate to Thrift Stores

Before you throw out that old tea pot or dusty old 80s glam rock CD, consider donating them to a second-hand store instead. Once you start doing this, you’ll wonder why you never started earlier. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure; there’s always someone out there who’ll want your discarded goods. Better to be used than trashed!


5. Buy Used

Someone’s buying and using your old stuff, so there’s no reason why the reverse can’t be true. In fact, buying used goods is simply another way to recycle. It keeps things out of landfills, and uses a lot less untapped resources. And let’s not forget how much money you can save buying used versus new. It’s a win-win!

6. Skip the Single Servings

Even if you’re a singleton, try to resist the temptation of buying single serving food portions. Packaging for things like juice, TV dinners, applesauce, and the like can really add up quickly. Go for food products that come in bigger packages and use glass tupperware or stainless steel containers to house whatever you don’t consume right away.

7. Forget the Paper Plates & Plastic Cutlery

Don’t be lazy. Forget about using utensils and dishes that you can throw away after one use just to avoid having to wash some dishes. Even if you’re heading off to a picnic or are packing lunch for work, bring the real deal whenever possible. Bring it back home with you to wash at the end of the day, and presto – no garbage!

8. Put a Stop to Junk Mail

How many times have you trashed flyers without even looking at them? That’s a lot of waste for no reason. If you’ve got no use for solicitation-type mail, then put a stop to it right away. Inform the local post office, or call each company directly to stop the mail. If worse comes to worse, slap a “No Junk Mail” sign right on your mailbox – the mail deliverer will get the picture.


9. Switch to Paperless Bills

Just like junk mail can fill up the trash really quickly, so can your old bills. You’re not going to keep your phone or electricity bill forever. And when it’s time to shred and discard them, they’ve got to go somewhere – right to the landfill. Getting paper bills in the mail is so archaic – instead, call each creditor and ask to have electronic versions of your bills sent to you instead to eliminate such unnecessary waste.

10. Recycle

Well, duh! As if anyone has to be told to recycle these days! As obvious as it sounds, it’s still worth mentioning. Despite knowing how much waste can be reduced through recycling, Americans are still guilty of trashing upwards of 9 million tons of glass every year! Why is that? It takes just as much effort to toss that glass bottle in the recycling bin as it does to drop it in a trash can.

All these actions are easy, fast, and free. If everyone did their part, we could be looking at a lot less waste, and a healthier planet.

9 Out of 10 of the Priciest Real Estate Markets in the Country Are in California

There is so much that attracts people by the hoards to California. From the climate, to the cultural diversity, to the employment opportunities, California certainly has a lot to offer. With such popularity, it’s no wonder that housing prices in many communities throughout the state are comparably more expensive than other parts of the country.

But some areas are more expensive than others. In fact, according to a recent report, 9 out of 10 of the most expensive real estate markets are located right here in Cali. 

Have a look at the top ten priciest markets in the US based on the median listing price of homes of similar size, and you’ll quickly notice that just about all can be found in the Golden State.


10. Redwood City, CA

Situated smack dab in the middle of San Francisco and San Jose, Redwood City dropped a little bit on this list. In 2014, they were listed as the 4th most expensive housing market in the US, and this year, it’s tumbled a bit to #10. It’s a great spot to call home, with employment opportunities running rampant. Techie conglomerates like EA and Oracle have planted roots in Redwood City, where the average listing price for an average house is tacked at $1.36 million.

9. Orono, MN

Don’t get comfortable with a market outside California on this list, because it’s the only one you’ll see. Orono is a quaint little town located on the glistening waters of Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. But don’t let the small size and population of 8,000 fool you. Orono boasts some of the most expensive properties in the country. With a median household income of just over $68,000, homeowners can certainly afford the average listing price of $1.38 million.

8. Sunnyvale, CA

Redwood City isn’t the only Californian area that centralizes tech-based companies. Sunnyvale – which happens to be located in the tech-heavy area of Silicon Valley – also has its fair share of these firms, including the likes of Yahoo, Juniper Networks and Fortinet. With giants like these paying decent salaries to area residents, it’s really no surprise that the average home here is listed at $1.45 million.

7. San Mateo, CA

Another Silicon Valley area listed here is San Mateo, which inched its way from the 9th priciest city in the country to 7th this year. It’s conveniently located near both San Fran and San Jose in the high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, and is one of the bigger suburbs on the San Fran Peninsula. The commute into work is an easy one for area residents, who pay a median price of $1.46 million for the average home.

6. Arcadia, CA

Located north-east of LA, Arcadia residents have the privilege of earning a handsome household income of nearly $81,000 annually. They’ll need a sizeable income in order to help them pay for the average home, which rings in at $1.54 million on average. Arcadia – which is named after the city of the same name in Greece – was ranked one of the “Best Places to Raise Your Kids” by Bloomberg. The city’s Upper Rancho neighborhood was listed as the 23rd richest community in Southern California by Business Insider in 2014.

5. Los Gatos, CA

A theme appears to have solidified on this list. It seems as though tech giants and expensive housing markets go hand-in-hand, as #5 on this list goes to yet another Californian city with a heavy tech influence. San Gatos is located within the San Francisco Bay area, with tech titans like Netflix calling it home. As the average home price increases, so does the median household income. In San Gatos, area residents can use their average income of about $130,000 to put towards a median price of $1.57 million for the average house.

4. Cupertino, CA

Continuing on with the tech-slash-expensive-market theme is #4 on this list, which goes to Cupertino. Located in the hub of Silicon Valley, Cupertino is home to none other than Apple’s international headquarters. The median household income in the area is just over $127,000, and the average listing price for a property is $1.66 million..

3. Saratoga, CA

Rounding off the top 3 on this list is Saratoga, which is also located in Silicon Valley and boasts a median price of $1.98 million for the average home. This area is keeping steady on this list – it also made #3 for the last three years. Saratoga is tucked neatly within the gorgeous Santa Cruz Mountains, and boasts a unique combination of big-city amenities with a small-town feel. It offers those who need to be close to work in Silicon Valley with a quiet escape at the end of the day.

2. Palo Alto, CA

If Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg himself calls Palo Alto home, you can just imagine how expensive the homes are in this city. Mr. Z isn’t the only tech exec to plant some roots here – Tumblr founder David Karp and Google CEO Larry Page also lay their heads at night in Palo Alto. There’s something about the glory of California that’s attracting tech gurus of all sorts. The median price for an average house in Palo Alto currently clocks in at $2.06 million.

1. Newport Beach, CA

And the winner is . . . Newport Beach. This stunning beachside town in Orange County is always making an appearance on this list, and for good reason. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in all its the bike trails, surfing, and sailing. Wine lovers can use up all their free time to sample a few reds and whites among all the area’s wineries, and the sophisticated type can enjoy the plethora of boutique shopping and yacht adventures. The average listing price in Newport Beach stands at $2.29 million. In fact, Newport Beach is more than 7 times the national average! 


And there you have it, folks. There’s definitely a lot of cash flowing in California, which is reflected on the expensive housing markets in the state. Plenty of wealthy techies currently call this southern state home, which is certainly helping to fuel housing prices here. And the sheer beauty of California cities coupled with the bustling tech sector is fueling California’s takeover of the most expensive communities the US.

7 Interior Design Trends to Look Out For in 2016

Ready to revamp your home’s interior? Even if a redesign hasn’t crossed your mind, you might have a change of heart when you take a gander at the following interior design trends that the fussiest top designers in the industry say will be big in 2016. And it seems as though this is going to be the year of simplicity and calmness based on the following novelties for the new year.

1. Warm Metals

They were already becoming pretty popular in 2015, and will continue to be well into 2016. Warm metals like copper, brass, and the increasingly popular rose gold are sure to continue to experience their rising stars this year, especially in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. In fact, you can think of these metals as more classic in nature rather than trends, as they really never go out of style. They’re excellent quality, and pair especially well with raw materials like wood and stone.


2. Geometric Tiles

Whether on a kitchen backsplash or bathroom wall, tiles are becoming increasingly decorative. This year, geometric patterns are where it’s at. There’s something psychedelic and fluid about geometric patterns made with tiles, and it’s a trend that we can expect homeowners to embrace in 2016.

3. Outdoors Indoors

Who doesn’t love an outdoor oasis? There’s something absolutely serene about being surrounded by Mother Nature’s finest, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave it all behind when you step foot inside your home. There are lots of creative ways that homeowners are bringing the outdoors in, from palm tree-printed wallpaper, to raw wood table tops, to beach water-colored furniture pieces. The sky’s the limit when it comes to experimenting with bringing nature indoors.


4. Sustainable Materials

You’d have to be living under a rock not to recognize how important and popular ’going green’ is to living a carbon footprint-free lifestyle these days. And that includes how we construct and outfit our homes. From the floors we walk on to the fabric our sofas are covered in, sustainability is at the hub of considerate interiors of today. Homeowners are really keeping a focus on the purchases they’re making for their homes. If it’s recycled, reused or repurposed, it’s worthy of consideration for the environmentally-conscious consumer.

5. Anything Artisan

Expect to see a mish-mash of locally-crafted and internationally-made items living in harmony under one roof in 2016. Weaved textures will be super-hot this year, from crochet, to drape tassels, to hand-woven area rugs. Unique finds like these can also be paired with more conventional pieces from your average big-box store with success. For instance, interior designers aren’t afraid to couple a Persian rug with a coffee table from Sam’s Club.


6. 1970s Inspiration

Remember the carefree, easygoing feel of the 1970s? It’s making a comeback in interior design this year. The fashion industry has already embraced it, and now the interior design realm is perking up and taking notice. Lots of 1970s elements were audacious and socially-influenced in that iconic era, and we can expect to see such factors in homes in 2016, including geometric patterns, elegant metals, animal prints, and funky colors like oranges and greens.

7. Serenity and Rose Quartz

Pantone spoke late in 2015 with their announcement of the colors of the year: serenity and rose quartz. At first glance, one might think these colors are reminiscent of the mid-1980s when shades like these (which are essentially pastel blue and dusty pink) were all the rage on everything from wallpaper to upholstery.

While these hues might not seem like the type that the modern interior designer would use in home decor, they make sense when you think about their social and political undertones: pairing pink and blue together speaks to the societal objectives of today when it comes to gender equality and ambiguity. And even if you’re apathetic about political statements like this, the color combo definitely works to create a serene and subtle interior that’s conducive to tranquility.

While 2016 barely started, the above trends have already made their marks in the world of interior design. Centered around harmony and serenity, the interior trends of 2016 echo our yearning for something a little more relaxed. Natural textures, warm colors and visceral furniture are becoming more embraced in the home.2016rosequartz

5 Key Stages of a Major Home Rehab Job

So you want to rip out your old kitchen in favor of a more modern one. Or maybe you want to completely revamp the layout of the main floor of your home. These are major rehab jobs that, while requiring a lot of work and money, can do wonders to enhance the look of your home and boost is value.

But how you tackle these massive home reno’s is critical. You’ve got to plan right, and get the proper team in place to make sure the final result – as well as the journey to get there – is as seamless as possible.

These are the 5 main phases of a rehab job that’ll take your home from drab to fab.

1. Getting Coordinated

After you’ve determined your budget, your first step in the actual project itself is to get organized. Make up a checklist of all the tasks that need to be completed – and in the right sequence – in order to reach your final goal. This list will depend on the exact type of rehab job you’re diving into, but many of the questions can overlap.

Will the floors need to be covered? Will you be leaving anything intact, or ripping them out completely? Which major systems will need to be totally replaced? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself before you start ripping things out.   

It’s important to know which tasks need to be done first so you don’t wind up adding more work to your already-long list of things to do. For example, installing your major systems before putting up drywall is a no-brainer – you don’t want to have to make holes in your new walls after-the-fact.

Make sure every task on your list has a timeline attached to it, and verified with your contractors. That’ll help keep you on track to completing the job on time without it dragging it on forever.5stageplan

2. Drafting a Design

You’ve got a good idea of what you want to see in your home, and now’s the time to really get into the nitty gritty. You don’t want to have to endure a remodel more often than necessary, so get it done now. This is your chance to really spice up your home and bring the finishes and designs up to today’s standards, so go for it.

These days, modern home design is all about open concepts, spa-like bathrooms, gourmet kitchens, massive laundry rooms, entertainment-worthy patios, and so on. OK, so you don’t necessarily have to blow your budget vamping up your home to mimic a celebrity home, but you can still achieve a modern design within your budget. Your contractor should be able to help you do that.

And don’t forget about the behind-the-scenes components that really enhance your home’s ambience and convenience, like more abundant lighting and technological doodads throughout your home. Not only will they cast a better light on your space, they can even boost its overall property value. Dimming pot lights in the kitchen and electronically-controlled room temperature can go a long way.

Take some time to think about what your specific plans are. Start off with general considerations, such as whether or not a wall needs to be removed or if a new bathroom should be installed. As you continue to lay out your project, it’ll start to take on a more refined shape.

As you get more specific, make sure you communicate clearly with you contractor. Don’t just say the fridge will go “here” or the sink with go “there”. Contractors have to know specifics, so make sure you tell them precisely how and where you want things so there are no unpleasant surprises at the end. The more specific you can be from the get-go, the better.5stageblueprint

3. Setting Up All Systems

So now that you’re all organized and have come up with a solid design, now’s the time to get into the dirty work as far as systems are concerned. All the electrical wiring, plumbing lines, and air ducts that’ll be meandering behind walls and under floors need to be established.

It’s not the prettiest job, but it’s a critical one nonetheless. This is the good part where your contractor will be tearing the place apart, and making holes in places you never would have dreamed of. Getting these systems in place is a bit of a challenge, especially when different teams are all there at the same time. Your plumber, electrician and HVAC specialists all need to get their jobs done, but how they work around each other is essential. That’s why having someone there to coordinate all these efforts is present at all times to make sure one system doesn’t get in the way of the other.5stagesystem

4. Framing and Trimming

So the really messy part is over, but the tricky stuff continues with the framing and trimming. This is the part when the finished project really starts to come together, and you can actually sort of see what the end result will look like.

And this is also the time when a skilled carpenter, drywall installer and taper could really come in handy. Making sure the wood frames are straight and the drywall is smooth is no easy task. In fact, some might even say it’s more of an art form than anything. Trim can be a bit complex, especially when we’re talking about rounding corners or joining walls from one room to another. Again, skilled workers are a must to make sure the job is a seamless one.5stagedrame

5. Adding the Finishing Touches

Finally – you’ve ripped out the old, and installed the new. Now’s the time to add those finishing touches you’ve been waiting so long for. This is the real fun part, but perhaps the most important. This is what you’re actually going to be looking at. As important as the plumbing and electrical lines are behind the walls, no one sees them.

It’s the observables that makes a huge visual impact, so make sure you get your finishes right. From your kitchen countertops, to your light fixtures, to your flooring materials, these are the touches that pull everything together.

Every home is different, and will have its own unique issues. But having the right professional team in place and taking the time and effort necessary to make sure everything is planned out well in advance is key. And once it’s all done, it’s pretty awesome to take a step back to marvel at the transformation.5stagefinish

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time Without Going Insane

insanitysanityFirst-time homebuyers might have their own unique set of challenges, but one thing they do’t have to worry about is dealing with the sale of a current home while looking to throw the mortgage onto another.

Unless you’ve got the cash to carry two or more homes at once, things can get tricky when it comes to repeat home buying. In a perfect world, you’d find a new home, put yours on the market, and close both deals at the exact same time so there’s no worrying about carrying two mortgages at the same time or having to find a temporary place to lay your head if there’s a gap between closings.

While this is possible, it’s not going to happen without a little suaveness on your part – and a little luck. The truth is, you’ll probably have to put up with a little bit of juggling when buying and selling at the same time.

The good news is, this doesn’t have to be a pull-your-hair-out type of scenario. You can survive the buying and selling process at the same time, and here’s how.

Get a Good Handle on the Market

Should you buy first or sell first? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer. The best way to answer this question is to start off researching the real estate market in your area. 

Identify if you’re in the middle of a buyer’s or seller’s market, which will help sway your decision whether to buy or sell first. For example, if you’re in the midst of a buyer’s market, it might be a better idea to put your home up for sale first, since it might take longer to sell than to buy in that type of a market. You don’t want to be stuck paying interest on two mortgages that you’re carrying because you managed to find and close on a new home while your current home sits on the market waiting for an interested buyer.

The opposite is true in a seller’s market. In this case, looking for a new home first might be the better option, since you’ll probably be able to sell faster than find your next home.

Do Your Best to Keep Both Closing Dates in Sync

As mentioned earlier, having both closing dates happen one right after the other would be ideal, but it can be pretty tough to make that happen. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. There are some things you can do to try and bridge these two dates as closely as possible.

For starters, consider listing your home for sale and start the search for a new home at the same time. Research all of your options, make sure your credit score is healthy, and start getting pre-approved for a mortgage. The sooner you get your finances in order, the better.

Think about adding a contingency in your buyer contract – whether it’s the purchase agreement for your current home or the one you’ve put an offer on – to get the closing dates to line up. For the contract involving the home you’re buying, ask the seller to make the purchase conditional upon the sale of your current home. This could work if the sellers aren’t able to find a buyer in a decent timeframe. Just make sure you can give them reasons why your home should be sold quickly.

When it comes to the contract involving the sale of your home, wheel and deal with the buyer, and ask for a contingency to be added to the contract to make the closing date line up with the closing date of your new home. While this might not work with many buyers, those that absolutely love your home might be willing to make a sacrifice to ensure their name ends up on title. So make sure you paint your home is the best light possible with some professional home staging to up the odds of making this plan work. 

Offer a “Rent-Back” Option

If you’ve managed to snag a buyer who wants in, but you haven’t found a new home just yet, consider offering a “rent-back” option to the buyer. In this scenario, the buyer agrees to rent out your current home to you for a stipulated time period while you continue your search for a new home. You can negotiate a lower selling price or pay rent in exchange for being able to stay in your home until you find a new one.

Just bear in mind that some lenders might have a problem with this arrangement. But this can be a lot more convenient then shacking up with your parents or renting an extended-stay hotel room, so it’s worth a shot.

Tap Into a Bridge Loan

Bridge loans are specifically designed for those who have closed on a new home before closing on the sale of their current property. In this case, you’re given a short-term mortgage to cover the down payment on your new place before you sell your current one. This temporary arrangement essentially “bridges” the gap between the purchase of a new home and the sale of an old one, hence the name.

Bridge loans are secured by the buyer’s existing home, and the money from the bridge loan is put towards a down payment on the next property. When your current home is finally sold, the loan is repaid using the proceeds from the sale.

This is an attractive option, because it eliminates any restrictions that you would have otherwise faced worrying about lining up both closing dates. Not everyone’s got the cash to pay two entire mortgages, but a bridge loan can cover them both for a temporary amount of time in an affordable way.

Just the thought of buying and selling at the same time might sound incredibly stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little research and preparation – and the help of a professional real estate agent and mortgage specialist – you can totally minimize the hassle of buying and selling a home at the same time.