Porcupine Real Estate


Posted by Mark Warden on 3/19/2016

 With low home prices and low interest rates, now is a great time to consider investing in real estate. An investment purchase is different than your typical single family home purchase. Here are some tips if you're considering making the move to real estate investor:

Have a strategy. What kind of investor do you want to be? Do you want to be a landlord, or do you want to fix up and re-sell homes?

What types of properties are you interested in? There are many choices from apartment buildings to residential housing.

Partner with experience. Team Porcupine Real Estate's Mark Warden not only has experience working with investors, but he is also an investor himself, and can assist with everything from analyzing the financials on a property, as well as recommending property management services. 

Consider locations. Homes in high-rent or highly populated areas are ideal; stay away from rural areas where there are fewer people and a small pool of potential renters. Also, look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, in areas near public transportation, shopping malls or other amenities. 

Have capital lined up. Speak to potential lenders or a financial planner about what you will need for assets and cash flow. You will need to have enough assets to handle the ups and downs that could come with investing. Most experts suggest a fallback of about six months of mortgage payments for landlords. You will need this in case of vacancy or repairs.  

Becoming a real-estate investor is much different than being a residential homebuyer, and Team Porcupine Real Estate is here to help you. 





Posted by Mark Warden on 9/30/2015

 When you are buying a home the costs really add up and you may start thinking about where you can save money. One expense that buyers may be tempted to skip is the home inspection. But, take it from us, a home inspection has saved many buyers money in the long-run. How? Well, a home inspection is an objective examination of the home and its systems. The inspection covers the entire house from the roof to the foundation. A home inspection will cover the home's foundation, basement, structural components, roof, attic, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors. It will also examine the heating system, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. Because a home is often the largest single investment you will ever make, it is important to know as much as you can about the home before you buy it. A home inspection will help you identify any needed repairs as well as what is needed to regularly maintain the home. The home inspection will help you proceed with the purchase with confidence.

When choosing a home inspector, cost shouldn't be your first consideration. Look for the inspector's qualifications, experience, training and compliance with state regulations. Remember, no house is perfect. There are bound to be issues with almost any home, but use the information provided by the inspector to decide if the house is right for you.





Posted by Mark Warden on 5/8/2015

Are you thinking of buying a home with a septic system? Septic systems are common in the suburbs and more rural areas where municipal sewers are not available. So what is a septic system? It is a self-contained, underground waste water treatment system. It consists of a septic tank and a drainage system. The septic tank is a large, watertight container. It can be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, or polyethylene. The septic tank is connected to your home's sewer line and collects all water and the waste in it. The drainage system has several parts; an outflow pipe, a distribution box, a network of perforated pipes, and a leach field. When liquids inside the septic tank get high enough, they flow out of the tank into the outflow pipe. The outflow pipe leads to the distribution box which then channels waste water into the perforated pipes. The waste water is then distributed into the leach field. There is usually no cause to worry when buying a home with a septic system. It is prudent to have the septic system inspected or ask for proof of inspection during the purchase process.  If maintained properly, a septic system can last between 25 to 35 years.





Posted by Mark Warden on 10/31/2014

Is a condominium right for you? The market has been steadily rising for the past few years but condo living may not be for everyone. Condo buyers typically fall into three categories: -First-time buyers -Second home or vacation home owners -Retirees looking for a low-maintenance alternative Under the right set of circumstances a condominium can be a great purchase. Before you run out and shop for condos you have to be comfortable living with rules and restrictions, and in close proximity to others. There are different types of condominiums. They can take the form of apartment-style complexes, townhouses or converted multi-family dwellings. Most condominiums have common areas, such as stairwells, dividing and outer walls, fitness centers, pools, walking paths and gardens. These common areas are under shared ownership. Each unit owner holds an interest in these spaces. Because space is shared there needs to a way to manage the maintenance, repair and costs of these common areas. To deal with that and other issues that involve space sharing every condo development has a condominium association. The association is typically elected by condo owners and makes communal decisions in the interest of the community. When you find a condominium you are interested in you will want to inquire about the association: Some questions you may want to ask are:

  • Does the association maintain reserve of funds to pay for unexpected and potentially expensive repairs? If so, how much is in reserve and how is it managed?
  • Has the association maintained the building in good repair? Are there currently or any planned special assessments?
  • Does the association have plans to add any facilities, such as a swimming pool or gym, in the near future?
  • Does the development have any pending legal actions? Are there any disputes between owners, with developers or with the association that you should know about?
  • Buying a condo also comes with costs some are similar to a single family home purchase while others are condo specific. These costs include:
    • Down payment, mortgage and property tax
    • Condo fees, otherwise known as maintenance fees. Condo fees are paid by every resident to help with the maintenance of the building, pay the salaries of groundskeepers, concierges or handymen, and provide luxury facilities such as a pool, gym or rooftop garden. Condo fees are paid monthly and are subject to change. The condominium association budgets and determines the condo fees for all units. Condo fees are typically determined by the size of your unit, how many units are currently occupied, and the projected expenses for building maintenance and repair.
    • Special assessment fees. These fees may be requested when an unexpected repair or planned modification exceeds the cost of the condo fees collected
    • One of the most important considerations is to determine if you can live with the condominium rules or covenants. The rules vary from one condo development to another. Some condominiums may impose restrictions on pet ownership, noise levels, remodeling projects, and renting. Always read the condo rules and regulations to make sure that you are comfortable with them before you make a commitment to purchase.





Posted by Mark Warden on 4/25/2014

If you are thinking of adding an addition to your home there are some things you will wants to be aware of. If you decide to add a new space, ask yourself the following questions: * Can I finance the home improvement with my own cash or will I need a loan? * How much equity is in the property? A fair amount will make it that much easier to get a loan for home improvements. * Is it feasible to expand the current space for an addition? * What is permissible under local zoning and building laws? Despite your deep yearning for a new sunroom or garage, you will need to know if your town or city will allow such improvements. * Should I make the improvement myself or hire a contractor? Many homeowners consider going to job alone to save money. Consider how much time you have, your level of expertise or willingness to handle the job, amount of help from friends or relatives, and how much you want, or need, to save by doing the job yourself. You could save up to 20 percent of the project cost through your own hard work. Be aware, however, that you may need to call in the pros. Going it alone can sometimes lead to spending more time and money. if problems arise. Most home improvement experts suggest that homeowners who do not have a lot of experience should stick to painting, minor landscaping, building interior shelving, and other minor improvements.