|Real Estate Information|
Understanding Opportunity Cost When Investing In Property
While most investors have got involved in property investing because they understand the opportunities to make money through leverage and capital growth or high yields, I still see and hear of many who do not fully understand opportunity cost.
Remember anyone that gets into property is usually in it to generate money or income - how many deals/properties you own is insignificant.
So what does opportunity cost mean?
Well according to the encyclopedia, "Opportunity cost is a term used in economics, to mean the cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone (and the benefits that could be received from that opportunity), or the most valuable foregone alternative. For example, if a city decides to build a hospital on vacant land that it owns, the opportunity cost is some other thing that might have been done with the land and construction funds instead. In building the hospital, the city has forgone the opportunity to build a sporting center on that land, or a parking lot, or the ability to sell the land to reduce the city's debt, and so on."
So in property investing terms, if an investor decides to invest Ł50k in a property in for example Wales, the opportunity cost would be what he could have made by investing in Spain, Ireland or Dubai. Or similarly if an investor decides to keep equity of 50k in a property, the opportunity cost is what he/she could alternatively have invested this money in and the resultant value.
Now again this will depend on your specific strategy - and many people are not too concerned about opportunity cost, they are just keen to buy 1-2 properties that can hold onto for 15-25 years to use as a pension. That is fine if that is your strategy - but for me that is too broad a strategy, carries risks and is not maximising the opportunities available.
For me I have always had a philosophy, rightly or wrongly, that I should always be working my money hard. What does this mean? Well as soon as I feel my money has made a significant return and the returns are likely to drop off, compared to other possibilities, then I will look at realising my profits and investing elsewhere ie when I feel the opportunity elsewhere is greater than the current opportunity.
The great thing with property is this does not necessarily mean selling, as you can refinance, and invest money elsewhere.
This is no different to any other type of investing, such as buying stocks and shares - you make/lose your money depending on what price you paid, and what price you sold at - although clearly with property is good opportunity to earn a regular income as well - if hold onto for 15-25 years you should make money, but most likely will be a few scares along the way!
To be a successful investor, must know when to enter the market, and leave the market. And the people that do best buy low, and sell high!
I'll give an example - while buying off plan has now got a bit of stick in the UK - I have done it successfully over the last few years - but the key is having a clear strategy.
For example, by doing all my due diligence I have managed to buy property at the right price in right location, but then sold on within a year of completion as I felt that was the period I would see the maximum returns in - and opportunities would be greater elsewhere over the next 3 years.
So to go through the numbers, I have just sold one that I bought off plan last year 12 months before completion. I bought at a price that was already Ł10k below market value based on my research in an area that had little buy to let competition. This was secured with only a Ł5k deposit. On completion, I put another Ł28k into deposit - so tied up Ł33k of my own money. There was no stamp duty in this area.
I then put on market on completion, now even with things slowing down in the area, I have just sold it for a Ł23k profit. So I tied up Ł5k for 1 year, and a further Ł28k for 6 months, to get back Ł56k.
Why did I sell? Did I consider refinancing?
My first choice would have been to refinance and let out, but the rental would not have stacked up. So while the rental would have stacked up at the price I paid for the property, I would have had 56k in equity sat not doing very much for me. So as I do not forecast huge capital growth in the area over the next 3-5 years, and the yield was not attractive enough for me it was best for me to release this equity and find another investment - ie I felt there were better opportunities for me to spend my Ł56,000 on, to generate more money.
Now clearly when are looking into the future is element of risk and speculation and are no definite answers - so you are having to forecast as well as you can with the data currently available ie how you forecast interest rates, buying/selling costs, supply and demand, employment, the overall economy and market sentiment over the next time period in the markets/regions you are investing/looking to invest in.
Although opportunity cost can be hard to quantify, its effect is universal and very real on the individual level. The principle behind the economic concept of opportunity cost applies to all decisions, not just economic ones, for example when Steven Gerrard decided to stay with Liverpool last summer, his home club and where he is captain, the opportunity cost was what he could have achieved if he had moved to Chelsea. It will be interesting to see what he decides this summer- he may now feel the opportunity cost is too great to turn down.
Hope this makes sense, and remember to consider opportunity cost when next making an investment decision.
Alan Forsyth is a full time investor with 10 years experience of UK and overseas markets. He also runs 2 websites, http://www.property-investment-tips.com, and http://www.property-investment-deals.com.
He has over 1500 investors subscribed to his free newsletters for his latest investing tips and recommended property deals - check out the sites, and sign up! If have any questions, can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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What do the Californians know that we don't?What is so special about California? Why is the average price of a house there five times higher than nationwide? Why on a salary of $100,000 per year, you can hardly afford to rent a decent apartment in the large cities there?It is true, Californians have a nice looking Pacific coastline. They also have a pleasant climate.
Buying Property in Spain
You have made the decision to move to Spain and are now looking for a property to buy? Where do you start?Firstly, I would suggest you go on to the internet and look at the various agents that are offering properties for sale in Spain. Many of these companies are run by people who have already emigrated to Spain and will know the many problems and pitfalls that arise when buying a property in Spain.
Home Owners: Disclose the Facts!
One of the most common causes for disputes occurring after the sale of a home arise from the buyer finding defects in the property, defects which were not disclosed to him by the owner before the sale of the property. If you are the owner of a home that you are looking to sell, please be aware that you may be held liable for not disclosing any known defects in your home.
The Secret Jewel in the Mediterranean Crown
Since the Northern Cypriots famously voted 'yes' to the UN backed Annan plan for the peaceful reunification of Cyprus in 2004 the world has awoken to the secret and hidden beauty of this untouched jewel in the Mediterranean crown. Those open-minded and individual thinkers seeking elegant living, unrivalled Mediterranean-region investment property opportunities or their own hideaway are today embracing Northern Cyprus.
Let the Broker Show the House
Of course you're curious, and you'd like to see what goes on when potential buyers come into your home.But real estate brokers are just about unanimous in asking that you be absent when they bring people in.
Why Average Sale Price Statistics are Misleading
One of the most common statistics used when gauging the strength of an area's real estate market is the average sale price of its homes, but looking into that figure more deeply reveals just how misleading it can be.When listing a home for sale, most realtors establish a price for the home based on market comps of the area - taking into account what other houses sold for and how the home they are listing compares to those.
Fantasy Gap [fast money in real estate]
I was in the rental business for seven-years, made 1.3 million dollars the first five years, got ill, and had to get out of it slowly, but had the money to do it.
7 Marketing Methods for Real Estate Coaches
You shower, shampoo, dress your best, check to see if you have plenty of business cards, drive about an hour, introduce yourself by saying "Hi, I'm Mary and I'm a coach" and the other person says, "Hi, I'm Jack and I'm a coach, too!". You meet more coaches than you knew existed.
Dont be Tempted by We Buy Houses (Updated)
Do you want to sell your home right away? Don't be tempted by "We Buy Houses" or "Sell Your House in 9 days for Cash" ads and billboards.Savvy real estate investors run these ads and put up posters looking for sellers under duress.
Real Estate Bubble Adding Price and Risk to Location, Location, Location Mantra
Real estate investors familiar mantra location, location, location are nervously replacing the second and third locations with price and risk. As home prices rise to new levels daily and worries that some markets homebuyers are jumping into might start to loose air, their appetite for risk is creating some sleepless nights.
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