Our Real Estate Blog
A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a specialty corporate entity that owns and operates real estate to generate a profit. Several types exist. An Equity REIT typically generates income by leasing and managing income-producing property. The type of property makes no difference -- commercial, multi-family residential, retail, office, industrial, or a mix of specialty developments, including medical facilities and retirement communities.
Shares are sold to individual investors, who then receive a steady income based on operating earnings. According to some estimates, at least 225 publicly-traded REITs exist in the United States, all traded on a national securities exchange and regulated by the SEC. Public, non-traded REITs also exist, and are SEC-regulated. Private real estate investment trusts are not registered and not publicly-traded, offered instead only to a select group of investors. Picking the right type for individual investment goals can involve extensive homework.
Internal Revenue Service regulations are strictly applied. They stipulate that an REIT must be a taxable corporation, and derive at least 75% of its income from real estate sales, rents or mortgage interest. The corporation must then return at least 90% of taxable income to shareholders on an annual basis. There are additional requirements, in addition to holding at least 75% of assets in real estate, U.S. Treasury bonds or cash.
An REIT can provide important liquidity to an investment portfolio, with a typically steady annual income stream, although there may be little capital appreciation. The yield from different types of REIT can vary substantially. Equity REITs own and manage real property, while Mortgage REITs deal in financing products and mortgage-backed securities; both can be affected by the market, interest rates, the economy and consumer confidence. In addition, dividends paid to investors are treated as regular income by the IRS.
As with any form of investing, it's important to investigate the pros and cons, not only of REITs in a general sense, but the performance over time of a specific investment trust. On the plus side are the ability to diversify an investment portfolio, and the relatively secure potential of a steady return and low risk in tandem with the transparency that comes from regulatory oversight.
On the minus side are the low potential for actual growth in value, the REIT's reinvestment and expansion potential which is capped at 10% annually, and the unknown effect of real estate market volatility over the term of the investment. High management and transaction fees can also affect the financial return.
Investing in an REIT, however, is a viable way to gain knowledge and establish a presence in real estate, especially in currently hot segments of the market. Especially for a beginner, REIT investment can represent a path to future growth and security, leading to additional real estate options over the long term.
Whether you’re selling your home or just need to spruce up the front of your home because it’s lacking curb appeal, you can make a difference in a few simple steps. Below, you’ll find some great suggestions to help you bring the curb appeal of your home to a new level to make your home more inviting.
Paint Your Door
You want your front door to grab attention. That means that you can take a risk when it comes to choosing a front door color. You’ll need to match the front door with your existing exterior home color and style, but don’t be afraid to go bold. Find the right balance for some great curb appeal.
Light The Outdoors
If you really want to add some curb appeal to your home, you should make it visible both day and night. There are plenty of great ways to add charm to your yard all while adding practical lights to highlight your landscapes and provide safety at the same time. Solar lighting is great for any yard because it doesn’t require any type of electrical work.
Redo The Driveway
Your driveway is an overlooked part of the outside of your home. You usually just drive in and out to get to your home. Filling in your driveway, repaving it, filling in the cracks and landscaping alongside the driveway can really make a difference. You can bring your driveway from unsightly to an asset with a little TLC.
Keep Up With The Landscaping
You should never let your landscaping grow tired. Make sure you keep the bushes, flowers, and shrubs along the front of your home updated. Every so often add a new bush or change out your flowers. It can seem like a big project but it really can be rewarding at just how far small changes can go. You even have the option of making these changes gradually. There’s no reason they need to be drastic.
Change Your Mailbox
This idea seems incredibly simple but it can really add a lot to your home. Your mailbox doesn’t need to be boring. It should be one of the features that gives your home some character. You can shop for a unique mailbox to suit your style or you can create one of your own.
Take A Second Look At The Walkway
Your front walkway should be a place that’s inviting and gives an overall feel for your home. Lay cement or stone on the walkway to create a decorative pattern. Line the walkway with cedar, wood chips, or other types of mulch to bring an inviting scent as you walk into the home.
50 Green St, Bridgewater, MA 02324
Home renovations are generally thought of as a good thing. You can update your home for your own comfort. New amenities will make your life easier. Your home can expand in size. Whatever you are planning to do in your home is bound to have a positive affect. One thing to be aware of when you’re gearing up for the process of any type of home renovation is that of your home insurance. You want to protect yourself and your home as your go through the stages of home renovations. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you complete renovations you desire in your home without having surprise insurance bills.
Check That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage
Before you sign a contract with any contractor be sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage. In particular you want to be sure that they have workers‘ compensation coverage and liability insurance. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for the necessary certificates and confirmation of insurance coverage before you even sign the contract. It’s your right as a consumer to know that your contractor is covered properly.
Beware Of Subcontractors As Well
Just because your general contractor is covered doesn’t mean that all subcontractors that are hired have the correct insurance. Electricians, plumbers, and other specialty contractors will need their own insurance on the job. The same rules apply as when you’re hiring any other contractor. Check with the general contractor to understand if their policy will cover all workers that are hired, or if these individuals need to carry their own insurance policies. Check with your home insurance company to see what your home insurance does and doesn’t cover during a renovation period on your home. The more knowledge that you have going into the process, the better it is for you.
For Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Once the renovations are complete, you’ll need to reassess the policy coverage amounts that you have for your home insurance policy. The renovations that you have completed will undoubtedly increase the value of your home causing you to need to increase the replacement value of your home on your insurance policy. Don’t forget to include everything from new appliances to furniture that has been replaced in the renovation. This will help you to avoid any gaps in coverage. This way, you’ll know that your home will be fully covered. With the right insurance coverage you’ll know that your home is can be rebuilt to the same specifications in the event of a complete loss. You always want this peace of mind as a homeowner.