MReport January 2018

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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24 | TH E M R EP O RT FEATURE W e are living in an era of self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. The political climate is strenuous, but the stock markets are hitting record highs. Yet, through these technolog- ical advancements and unpredict- able environments, residential real estate continues to be one of the most stable and attractive invest- ments. While most markets see commercial and large multifamily cap rates in the low single digits, single-family and small multi- family investment property in certain markets offer the chance to double and even triple those rates of return. Consequently, in - vestors of all sizes are riding this wave and seeking to jump-start or further expand their portfolios. The following tips will help you guide your clients in this space: Benefit Analysis: Top 5 Reasons to Invest in Residential Real Estate 01 Range of Assets W ithin the residential real estate spectrum, there are a range of assets and property types available to investors. This asset class is mainly driven by single-family residences, or SFRs, as they account for over 11 percent of the U.S. housing market and roughly 30 percent of total rental housing. A broad definition of SFRs includes condominiums, townhouses, and small multi- family units. There are even sub types within residential real estate. For example, residential properties can be classified as ei - ther luxury or affordable housing, both of which have their distinct advantages and can provide a stable income stream. Residential real estate also provides inves - tors with the opportunity to own multiple properties at scale, such as a portfolio of SFRs across different cities, counties, or even states. Investors can manage their portfolio to match their budget, goals, knowledge, and strengths. 02 Flexibility and Ease of Ownership W hen compared to other investments, residential real estate is unique in the fact that it strikes an ideal bal - ance between flexibility and ease of ownership. For flex- ibility, property owners can be hands-on with their investment, make repairs, and add tangible value whenever they deem fit. Inversely, they can also choose to take a passive approach and hire third parties to manage their assets at a lower cost and much less complexity than a commercial asset, for example. In terms of ease of ownership, residential assets typically re - quire much less capital in order to operate. During operation, residential properties face less liability because they are not in the public eye and do not serve patrons, unlike commer - cial properties. Residential lease terms are more straightforward due to simple lease structures, therefore making it easier to find tenants. This ease of ownership makes the buy-and-hold strategy very attractive, as investors can increase their equity while receiving residual income. 03 High Liquidity U nlike their commercial counterpart, the market for residential real estate is more liquid. Typically, it is much easier to bring a residential asset to market than it is to sell an office building or retail center. Furthermore, the purchase of a residential property, say a townhome, is much less compli- cated than the purchase of a com- mercial property. Currently, there are more than 326 million people in the United States. That num- ber increases every day, and thus, creates an everlasting market for residential real estate. This liquidity gives assurance to hesitant investors and confidence to those especially focused on the fix-and-flip strategy. 04 High Rental Demand T he rental market has been on a steady rise. In fact, it is at an all-time high and shows no sign of slowing down. Conversely, home ownership is losing its appeal. People do not necessarily associate buying a home with the American Dream, and demand for home ownership is at an all- time low at 63 percent, per the U.S. Census. In general, we are experiencing a large demographic and ideological shift in relation to homeownership. The new working class, especially millen - nials, value flexibility in their occupation and change jobs more frequently. They don't see a need to own a home and do not want to be locked into a traditional 30- year mortgage. 5 Pros and Pitfalls Investors Face When Jumping Into Residential Real Estate Residential real estate continues to be one of the most stable and attractive investments today; however, investors new to the field could benefit from understanding the pitfalls, as well as the pros. By Carter Jones and Dennis Spivey

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