Building Wealth in Real Estate

Building Wealth in Real Estate


More millionaires are made through real estate than in any other industry!

Did you know…

  • 60% of homeowner’s wealth is from the equity they have built in their home.
  • The average homeowner’s net worth is 46 times the net worth of the average renter.
  • During the last three decades, home values have increased an average of more than 6.0% per year.
  • There have been more millionaires made through real estate than through any other wealth building medium anywhere in the world!

A wealth of housing data clearly demonstrates that housing is a good long-term investment. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 60 percent of a homeowner’s wealth is from the equity they have built in their home. A Federal Reserve study has shown that the average homeowner’s net worth is 46+ times the net worth of the average renter.

You might be wondering if buying a home right now is a smart financial decision. The fact is, homeownership is key to building long-term wealth, no matter when someone buys. Studies show that, over time, most homeowners will steadily build equity. For example, during the past three decades, home values have increased an average of more than 6.0% per year*.


Can the average person really build wealth with real estate?

  • Utilize a long-term growth strategy
  • Buy then sell to make a quick profit
  • Hold properties over a long period of time
  • Never run out of money! Spend less and save more

There have been more millionaires made through real estate than through any other wealth building medium anywhere in the world. It is based on one simple premise. That premise is the cost of land which appreciates through time. You cannot build more of it because there is a finite amount of it. As the demand for the land increases, so does it’s value. The world population is growing by leaps and bounds and people need places to live. As cities grow, land gets developed; the infrastructure built around it raises the value of the land a great deal because of its increased utility. The location of plot of land and the building situated on it also increase in value due to the demand.

Can an average person do this? The answer is yes. What do you have to do?

  1. You must work to have an income
  2. You must keep that income
  3. You must put savings program on cruise control, in other words, make your money, make money

Some choose to utilize a long term growth strategy by buying single family and multi-unit properties, renting them out and letting them appreciate thru time.

Others prefer to buy and sell to make a quick profit and then repeat the process over again. This strategy works on the basis of finding properties below their market value and selling them at market value for a profit. A variation of this is to buy properties and make improvements on the building or land and then sell at a higher value. Or you can hold properties over a long period of time and watch your investment grow!

If you’re one of the millions of people who will list their home for sale this year, it has been shown that when it comes to selling a home, you’re better off using a real estate professional. Someone who can get the job done in half the time and can sell it for more than if you sold it on your own. That’s because a professional Realtor like Norma Langston is an expert in her field – Norma has extensive experience staging the home, marketing it, showing it and attracting qualified buyers to view it. She can explain options in your area that best fit your situation. Every market is different, contact Norma before you embark on buying or selling real estate.

*NAR existing home sales historic series.


Back-to-School Helpful Hints

Back-to-School Helpful Hints

Make Life Easier!

  • Pack lunches the night before and refrigerate!
  • Make sure backpacks are packed and ready to go the night before.
  • Create a homework center. Stock with extra crayons and supplies needed to complete homework. Make sure it’s not near a TV.
  • Lay out clothes the night before.
  • Remember kids need to make as many decisions as possible. Avoid power struggles by letting them make small decisions.
  • Create a special hamper in the laundry room for uniforms and other rush items.
  • Fold T-shirts so that the design is recognizable without unfolding.
  • Each evening have a 30-minute family clean up time to get everything back in place.

Back To School Shopping!

  • Buy smaller glue and crayons. Space is limited and teachers stress children sometimes lose these items easily.
  • Remember school dress rules when buying clothing. Some schools have rules about the verbiage appearing on t-shirts.
  • Don’t buy plastic scissors for your school aged children as they just don’t perform up to standards.
  • Consider the Velcro straps for books as some schools require backpacks be stored upon arrival at school.
  • Buy socks that are all the same for easy matching at laundry time.
  • Again when possible let kids choose their own items or at least the color or design.
  • Buy a good backpack and lunch box as these are probably the most abused. Save on the trendy stuff.
  • Make sure you buy a lunch box or backpack that your small child can open easily.
  • When buying shoes buy extra shoe-strings and polish if necessary.
  • If you have trouble telling your kid’s socks and underwear apart; Buy different brands as they usually have a different colored stripe, or band on them.

Getting Psyched For Back To School!

  • Before school starts, begin going to bed and getting up on a school schedule.
  • The weekend before school starts: Don’t make any stressful plans for big events or trips.
  • Don’t forget to check out that bus schedule!
  • Call your school or organization and get the facts about fall sports teams and social clubs. Don’t be late or miss something!
  • Make sure to get all immunizations and physicals completed.
  • Make a master list of Mom and Dads phone numbers along with doctors and emergency numbers. You are sure to need these several times.
  • If you have medical concerns make sure to meet with the school nurse prior to the first day, especially if medicine must be given at school.
  • Get a couple of rolls of quarters and dimes. Put them in the cabinet so you don’t have to hunt for change at the last minute.
  • Make a check list of items easily forgotten at the last minute and hang it in an obvious place.
  • Put up several hooks for backpacks, jackets, and lunch boxes. Don’t hang them too high!
  • Make up some freezable lunch and breakfast items for those crazy days. Thaw and nuke!
  • Label, Label, Label; All items that will be taken to school or worn and taken off at school!
  • Make a list of rules and adjustments for school days: Homework schedule, TV schedule, bath time, bed time etc…
  • Make sure to arrange after school daycare!
  • Try to set up a time to meet the teacher; some schools provide this occasion.
  • Go over school rules with your child.
  • Make a calendar to place in a visible spot; fill in events and school vacation days.
  • Make a special box for your children to place forms from school that need special attention.
Smart Technology and Millennials Setting New Home Standards

Smart Technology and Millennials Setting New Home Standards


The millennial generation is defined by their ability to quickly adapt to technology, and to access just about any service they could possibly need with just a click of a button. In fact, 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis — it makes sense that these technology trends are creeping their way into the realm of real estate. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the millennial generation is specifically looking for homes that cater to their advanced technological needs. Because millennials are leading the way in implementing smart home technology into their daily life, homes on the market are now being held to new standards.

Internet connectivity and smartphones are two of the driving forces in the development of smart home devices.  Millennial consumers value a device based on its ability to sync with multiple electronics. Smart home systems boast advanced technology with lighting systems, integrated security, blinds automation, home cinema and digital door locking technology;  all accessible on the go thanks to smart phones. One in four Millennialshave already installed at least one of these smart home devices in their home, compared to only 12% of the total population. Not only do millennials appreciate smart technology for it’s usability, but they love how it benefits the environment by saving buyers as much as thirty minutes worth of energy a day.

This growing demand for smart homes from this younger generation is quickly changing the state of the  housing market.  Along with other typical factors that determine a home’s value, so will the presence of smart technology in a property. In a 2016 survey by Coldwell Banker, 72% of millennials said they would pay $1,500 or more for properties with smart home systems, while 44% said they would pay up to $3,000 more.


Flat design style modern vector illustration concept of smart house technology system with centralized control of lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, security locks and video surveillance, energy savings and efficiency. Isolated on white background.

As a seller trying to appease to millennial buyers, you may want to consider making environmentally friendly upgrades to your home before putting it on the market.  Upgrades like installing a Smart Thermostat, or even motorized window shades that can be controlled by a smartphone app are very appealing to millennial home buyers.

This customization though, is not reserved just for homeowners– millennial renters also look for these smart advancements in their rental properties. If you are planning to rent out a property, chances are you’ll attract more renters by adjusting the property to be more technology friendly.

As more and more millennials become homeowners, the more you will have to stay on top of technology trends as a seller. Before you put your home on the market, consider making necessary upgrades to your home in all contexts.  As smart technology is getting implemented more and more into homes on the market, it will prove to be instrumental in the ushering of the next generation of connected consumers and future homeowners.

What are some smart technology that you’ve implemented in your home? If you haven’t what would you consider?


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4 Pet Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home

4 Pet Tips for Buying and Selling Your Home

With 56% of American homes housing furry family members, many pets go through the moving process at least once in their life-time. Buying or selling a home while taking care of your pet can easily become overwhelming. Consider the following tips to ease your stress as well as theirs.

Remove your pet while showing your home.

First off, removing pets from the home is likely to get your home sold faster.  If people looking at your home see that a dog or cat lives there, they may assume there’s damage to the home or that it’s unclean.  Take the time to put away any toys, cages and even food bowls during the time potential buyers are going through your home. It’s also wise to give your home a deep cleaning to get rid of any lingering odors and pet dander your pet has left behind.

Secondly, removing your furry friend from the home temporarily during open houses and private showings is a good idea due to the fact that it can really stress them out. Seeing new faces coming in and out of their territory can make them feel defensive and scared. The last thing you want is a pet to attack a child visiting because they’re frightened. If you have a dog consider taking the dog to a family member’s house, a trip to the park, or a dog-sitter.

Pay attention to pets during the packing process.

Even before you make the big move, cats -and especially dogs- will sense that something off is about to happen. They see you packing boxes, letting strangers into the home and may even sense that you’re stressed. If dogs feel anxious or scared, they will appear lethargic and may even become destructive. If you notice your dog is being affected by the move make sure to do the following:

  • keep meal times the same as normal
  • take an hour to play with your pet and give them undivided attention
  • if they’re used to going to the park or on car rides, take them on outings once in a while to get them away from the chaos at home

Establish rules the second you move to your new place.

No matter what, an animal is going to be somewhat confused upon moving to a new home. In order to prevent them from having an accident or getting sick in the house, it’s important to be mindful and cautious of their behavior. During the first couple days in a new home, your pet may be more skittish than usual– which could be a form of anxiety that can make them more likely to run away.  For this reason, keep them on a leash or in a cage until they get used to the new space. Be sure to set up their food bowls, bed and toys right way so that they have something familiar to comfort them.

As weeks progress in your new home, continue to keep an eye on them and get them back into a familiar routine.  Avoid any housewarming parties right away, as it can be overwhelming for them in a new environment.

When in doubt, talk to your vet.

Pets can’t tell you when they’re anxious, depressed or uncomfortable. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before your family does anything that could put any stress on your pet. If you have a senior dog or cat, find out how they’re expected to react to change and what you can do to help ease the process.


Open House: The Kitchen Inspection That Everyone Needs to Know About

Open House: The Kitchen Inspection That Everyone Needs to Know About


Open House: The Kitchen Inspection That Everyone Needs to Know About


Attending an open house gives you the perfect opportunity to take a close look at every room in the house–especially the kitchen– to determine right off the bat if the home would be a good investment or not, because generally speaking, the kitchen happens to be one of the most important rooms that is a determining factor in attracting buyers (should you want to resell the home in the future). While the design and style of a kitchen can often be subjective, logically determining its functionality is also an important step in deciding whether or not you would want to buy the home. So the next time you walk through a home for sale, consider the following when evaluating the kitchen.

Appliance Updates

When going through a kitchen in a home for sale, be sure to test every appliance. While this may sound like an obvious step, plenty of buyers fail to do so and get stuck having to make a costly repair or replacement.  Test the stove-top and oven. If the home will be coming with a refrigerator, be sure it’s keeping the food as cold as it should be. Check out the inside of the dishwasher—does anything look damaged? Does it look neglected at all? If you see any problems at all with any of the kitchen’s major appliances, be sure to communicate that to your agent and decide whether or not to bring them up when it comes time to negotiate.


Replacing counter-tops can be extremely costly– all the more reason to make sure they’re in good shape and that you’re happy with the state they’re in. Be sure to inspect for chipped tiles or badly stained grout. If the counters are laminate, take note of any scratches or stains. Again, be sure to note everything you see and make sure your real estate agent is aware of it. If you’re planning on replacing the counter-tops in a restoration project down the road, be sure the kitchen is compatible with the materials and style you have in mind.

Cabinetry and Hardware

While most buyers judge kitchen cabinets based on their particular design taste, it’s important to determine their level of functionality.  Cabinets made of man-made materials (plastic, melamine or thermofoil) are likely to have a shorter life than cabinets made of solid wood. Be sure to take note of any wear and tear or water damage that may be present. Take into account whether you like the style of the cabinets. Would a fresh coat of paint fix the problem, or would you want to replace them all together? Perhaps new handles would give the kitchen the upgrade it needs.  These are important details to factor into your decision to invest in the property or not.

Electrical and Plumbing

If you’re interested in a home, both an appraiser and an inspector will run tests to make sure the plumbing and electrical systems are safe and high-functioning.  Before putting the home through those inspections, there are a couple things you can do yourself initially at the open house to see how things are working.  Bring a night-light or phone charger with you and test the kitchen’s outlets.  This is a quick way to see if they’re connected and working or not. Take the time to check the sink’s water pressure to make sure it’s up to your standards (the same goes for the bathrooms or laundry room sink as well). Poor pressure can be a sign of plumbing issues.  Again, an inspector and appraiser will check the plumbing and electrical systems and let your agent know if there is anything to be concerned about.

What do you look for in a kitchen when shopping for a home?