Land Investing: What You Can Do to Get Started in 2021

Land and real estate continue to be popular investments for people across the United States. If you’ve been considering making investments in property, this could be your year to get started.

Of course, if you’ve never purchased investment land before, you might not know where to get started. Here’s a few things to know about beginning with this type of investment and some of the steps you can take in 2021.

There are several ways you can invest in land in Alpine, TX. Here are a few examples of some of the land investing strategies experienced investors take.

Land flipping

This is one of the more popular forms of land investing. It involves purchasing a parcel of land at a low price when you can get a good deal, and selling it for a higher price later. You might be able to find great deals at foreclosure auctions or tax sales if you’re interested in flipping.

Some of the best profits in flipping can be made if you get the proper entitlements for the property to make it more marketable, and thus more valuable. This could involve getting the property zoned (or re-zoned), clearing it for development, subdividing it for multiple developments, or getting it permitted. This work saves a new prospective buyer time and risk, and also makes the land more valuable.

For example, if you purchase a five-acre property, you might consider separating it into five separate parcels that you can sell individually, resulting in significantly more money than selling the single plot as one property.

Buying and holding

You might consider purchasing raw land and holding it long term, believing there to be some potential value for that land in the future. You could, for example, wait for demand in the area to increase, or simply hold rights to water, air or minerals on that land. Keep in mind that as long as you hold the land, you are responsible for paying taxes on it and keeping up with whatever maintenance is required.


Development of raw land can also be very profitable for investors, though it is likely to take a lot of time and money. If you’re interested in development, it’s very important to make sure you have a long-term plan for how you will turn a profit, and that there is demand for whatever kind of development you will be producing on the property.

Buying and leasing or financing

You may wish to purchase the land to create an income stream by leasing it out to another party to use. Say, for example, you have several dozen acres of farmland, but don’t wish to farm it yourself. You could lease the land to a farmer, who pays you rent and then is responsible for all development, maintenance and taxes.

You could also purchase the land and then sell it with owner financing, in which you carry the financing for the buyer, acting as a bank.

For more information about how you can get started with land investing and for the best land investing strategies to use in Alpine, TX, contact the team at Carpenter Real Estate today.

Risks and Strategies of Land Investments

Any veteran real estate investor understands that there’s a bundle of money to be made for the savvy entrepreneur eyeing a career in real estate. However, before you can start raking in your fortune, you should be aware of the various risks at play, as well as some of the most successful land investing strategies in Alpine, TX.

Here’s your primer.

Expect a wait

Many forms of investment are popular because they seem to promise a quick return. The stock market, for example, makes and breaks fortunes on a daily basis. Real estate investment is another beast entirely. Often, it requires a longer wait time between your initial investment and your ultimate payout.

Whether you’re hoping to rent out your land, opt for a fix-and-flip or sell it outright, you’re going to need to be patient to achieve maximum profit.

Understand your purpose

Why are you getting into the real estate market? There is an enormous number of potential ways to make money in real estate. Before you can determine the most effective land investing strategies in Alpine, TX, you should figure out what kind of real estate investment interests you. The same methods that yield results in commercial real estate don’t work for residential real estate and vice versa.

Don’t sink all your cash

Regardless of which kind of investment strategy you decide to pursue, you should ensure you don’t spend all your investment capital on a down payment and initial preparation. When you’re in real estate, the odds are solid that some unexpected (and costly) hurdle will pop up. After all, there are risks associated with buying land in Alpine, TX. When that happens, you’ll be happy you have some excess capital on hand to remedy the problem.

Look to the future

Those people who make the most on their real estate investments don’t purchase in active areas. They purchase in areas that will likely become active in the next year or the year after that. In addition to being patient, do your homework to determine which areas close to you show signs of revitalization. Look for land close (but not too close) to new developments or commercial installations.

Go local

If possible, look at your local community to determine strong real estate investments. Consider this: success in real estate comes from knowledge of the area and the surrounding communities. If you choose local real estate options, you’re already one step ahead of the game in terms of research. Plus, when you invest in local land, you can visit the property without hassle.

Trust your real estate pros

Of all the land investing strategies in Alpine, TX, the smartest thing to do is enlist the help of a professional real estate agent, like the team at Carpenter Real Estate. We’ve built our reputation for excellence on the back of seven decades of research, investment and service to our community. Let us guide you through the world of real estate.

At Carpenter Real Estate, we work alongside you to build your best future. Contact us today to find out more.

Five Things to Know About How to Avoid Lowball Offers on a House

Are you getting ready to buy a home? The last thing you want to do is make a lowball offer—that is, offering something well below the asking price. Sure, you want to get the best deal possible for your budget, but you also don’t want to offend the sellers. They might disregard your offer completely rather than working with you to come to a reasonable price. It’s a fine line, but it’s important to find the right balance between a great deal and something that makes the seller want to walk away. Here are our best tips to avoid a lowball offer on a house in Alpine, TX:

  • Decide whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market: Knowing whether you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market can help you determine how much to offer. For example, if you’re in a buyer’s market—in other words, there’s more house supply than demand—you could offer up to 10 percent lower than the asking price. If you’re in a seller’s market—that is, there aren’t enough houses for the number of people who want to buy them—you can expect to pay more than the asking price.
  • Look at how the price compares to similar homes: One great way to price your offer is to look at how much similar homes in the area have sold for recently. This will give you a sense of whether their asking price is reasonable, and how low you can go.
  • Figure out how long it’s been on the market: Knowing how long a home has been on the market can make a big difference in avoiding a lowball offer. Generally, the longer a home has been available, the more desperate a seller will be to get rid of it.
  • Call the listing agent: A listing agent helps the seller get the best price and terms possible. It’s always a smart idea to call the listing agent (or have your real estate agent reach out to them) first. For example, they might tell you that the home has already sold, or that it has multiple offers on the table already. Alternatively, you may find out that it’s available for a short sale (when a distressed home sells for less than the seller owes on it). Making the call almost always pays off, and can give you a better sense of what’s a reasonable offer.
  • Ask yourself how badly you want the home: Finally, think about how badly you want to purchase the home. Is this your dream home in your dream location, or is it just good enough and in a place where you wouldn’t hate living? That can make all the difference in your offer. Sometimes it’s worth putting in a lower offer if you’re willing to walk away.

When you need more advice about how to avoid your house offer being declined in Alpine, TX, Carpenter Real Estate can help. Call us today to learn more about our services or schedule a consultation with one of our realtors.

Eight Tips to Know When Making an Offer on a Home

Are you getting ready to buy a home? If you’re brand new to the process, or it’s been a while since you last took the plunge, there are some tips you need to know. The more you know about how the process works, what goes into a successful bid and how to get the concessions you want, the better off you’ll be and the more likely you’ll be to get the home you want. Here’s how to make an offer and negotiate a house offer in Alpine, TX:

  • Work with an agent: The best thing you can do to make sure you get a great deal is work with a real estate agent. They’ll be able to help you identify great homes that fit within your budget, the level of renovations you’re willing to perform and your absolute must-haves.
  • Know your budget and your limits: This is the time to review your “must-haves” along with your budget and lifestyle. Your agent will help you make an offer, but they have to know what they’re working with first. For example, if you want to avoid the hassle of an HOA, tell them ahead of time. You’ll also need to know how much you can afford to pay per month and put down as a down payment.
  • Review sample contracts: Although your real estate agent will the be resident expert, it behooves you to get familiar with sample contracts. Google or ask your agent for some sample contracts so you can learn the language, terms and conditions used.
  • Figure out your initial offer price: How much are you willing to offer on your dream home? Your agent will help you determine a fair price by comparing your potential home and offer price to similar winning bids in the area.
  • Look at the contingencies: Most home contracts have contingencies, like home inspections, that must be fulfilled before the contract can be finalized. Otherwise, either the buyer or the seller can walk away. Things like financing, home title, inspections and home sale contingencies are all common.
  • Make a deposit to show you’re serious: If you want the seller to know you’re serious about your offer, have your agent help you put a deposit down.
  • Write a letter to the seller: Another way to show the seller you’re serious—and maybe even tug at their heartstrings—is to write them a letter telling them why you want to buy the home. Is it the perfect place to raise your family? Do you have special ties to the community that make this your ideal home? Tell them why their house, in particular, is so attractive to you.
  • Read the fine print: Finally, make sure you read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. Not only will it tell you what you’re dealing with in terms of utilities, appliances, fixtures and more, but it can also be a great negotiation tool.

Are you looking to make or negotiate an offer on a house in Alpine, TX? Call Carpenter Real Estate today. We can help you find and make a great offer on the house of your dreams.

How to Read an MLS Listing and What to Look For

When you’re looking into buying local real estate in Alpine, TX, you might encounter MLS listing sheets. If you’re unfamiliar with the abbreviations and terms used in these listings, it might come across as a completely different language. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the terms you’re most likely to encounter:

  • Status: This is the listing status of the property: active, pending or sold.
  • APN: Assessor’s Parcel Number, the number the county uses to track the property.
  • APX SF: Square footage in the property.
  • APX LSZ: Square footage of the lot.
  • YB: Year built.
  • FP: Number of fireplaces.
  • Zone: How the property has been zoned, which determines the kind of structures that can be built on the property.
  • STO: Number of stories.
  • DOM: Days the property has been on the market.
  • LP/SF: Listing price per square foot.
  • LP/OLP: Listing price and original list price. Compare these to see if there have been any reductions or other changes in listing price.
  • Sale type: This could include a standard sale, short sale, foreclosure, auction or other type of sale.

Other things to look for

Of course, reading a property listing will also require you to read between the lines in some cases. Beyond the specific facts such as those listed above, there are other things you should look for in an MLS listing that could make you more or less comfortable with purchasing the property.

The photos in particular will reveal a lot about the property. The verbiage in the listing will try to make the property sound as appealing as possible—that is the job of the realtor who wrote it. The pictures will determine whether or not the property is truly as good as it sounds.

Some things to look for include:

  • Number of photos: Ideally, you’ll want to see around 20 photos for a standard house. If there are just a couple photos, it’s hard to trust the property is truly as appealing as the realtor is attempting to make it sound. It’s reasonable to wonder what they might be trying to hide.
  • Quality of photos: While professional photos don’t necessarily mean the home is a high-quality home, it does indicate that more effort has been put into the listing, and thus it is reasonable to expect that more effort has also been put into taking care of the home.
  • Location of photos: If the focus of the set of photos seems to be the exterior of the house over the interior, this could be a red flag. Generally speaking, you’ll want the interior of the house to be the main focus. A good listing will show a couple exterior shots of the house and then bring the buyer inside.
  • Strange angles: Unusual angles in photos, especially when compared to other photos in the listing, could indicate the realtor is attempting to hide something.
  • Wide-angle lens: The wide-angle lens can distort the image to make the space look much larger than it appears.

For more information about reading and deciphering MLS listings when buying local real estate in Alpine, TX, contact the team at Carpenter Real Estate today.

Important Qualities to Look for When Choosing a Real Estate Company

The process of buying or selling a house can be quite overwhelming, even if it’s not your first time doing it. Working with a good real estate agent can make the process go a lot more smoothly and remove a lot of the emotional burden you might otherwise feel.

But how can you find trustworthy and reliable real estate agents to work with in Alpine, TX? Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important qualities to prioritize in your search:

  • Honesty: Your realtor’s priority should be helping you find the best fit for you, and not making a quick sale. They shouldn’t attempt to force you into making a purchase you’re uncomfortable with, or push a home that has any clear defects. Realtors should be up front about any issues they see with a potential home and make sure they’re setting you up for years of happiness.
  • Responsiveness: The process of finding a house and then going through the purchase process requires a lot of back-and-forth communication with your realtor. It can be extremely frustrating to work with a realtor or real estate company that is not responsive to your questions.
  • Communication skills: Going beyond their responsiveness to your needs and questions, it’s also important to be able to carry on a good conversation with your realtor. How well do they explain the processes you will need to go through? What do they say to help put you at ease during what can be a stressful process? Great communication skills separate great realtors from average ones.
  • Knowledge of the process: One of the biggest stressors home buyers or sellers experience is their lack of personal knowledge about how the home buying or selling process actually works. Realtors can assuage those feelings by handling much of the process themselves, and guiding you carefully through the processes you need to handle on your own. A knowledgeable realtor is an outstanding resource when buying or selling a home.
  • Negotiation skills: Your realtor should serve as an advocate for you at the negotiating table. Depending on the circumstances of your sale or purchase, there may be a bit of give and take. A realtor with excellent negotiation skills will be able to find you the best deal possible in the sale without getting too far away from your own price goals.
  • Knowledge of the local market: A realtor who is knowledgeable about the local market will be able to leverage that knowledge in their negotiations, and will also have some insight into local ordinances or regulations that might influence your purchase decisions. They’ll also be able to compare the home to other homes in the area and determine what is a reasonable asking price.

In general, you should seek out a real estate agent who cares about delivering high-quality service to their clients and is an expert in their market. If you’re looking to work with a reliable real estate agent in Alpine, TX, get in touch with Carpenter Real Estate today.

Five Etiquette Tips on Kids and Open Houses

If you are moving as a family, it’s natural to want to bring kids to see their potential new homes. However, even older, well-behaved kids may find visiting house after house a giant bore, and that can cause issues as you visit open houses. The best advice for real estate etiquette for parents in Alpine, TX is to hire a sitter and leave children at home, but if they must accompany you, here are five tips on bringing children to open houses:

  • Remember, it’s not yours yet: Open houses need to be treated with respect. That means no running around, no touching things without permission and if your teenagers get bored, no turning on the home’s electronics and hoping to see a movie. You know your children best, and if they cannot handle these basic rules, it is best to go without them. But if they are genuinely interested and want to participate, they are welcome.
  • Bring help: If kids must accompany you, bring a friend, spouse, partner or babysitter. One adult with three small children will not be able to properly supervise and assess a home at the same time. Even with this supervision, do not be ashamed to use mobile devices to entertain them with movies or games. You are making a big decision, and viewing and considering homes requires your full attention.
  • Don’t forget who pays the mortgage: While kids may have some input, your home choice is not ultimately their decision. Making kids decision-makers places pressure on them that is not appropriate. Many parents often elect to only bring kids to second showings, or even keep them out of the process until the home inspection. Just like bringing kids can be a distraction while trying to see homes, they can also derail the decision-making process with opinions that are more disruptive than helpful.
  • Narrow down your search: Many adults are more than happy to look at homes all day long. However, your children will likely not have the same interest and attention span. Narrow your search down so house hunting is a half day rather than a full-day endeavor. That way, you are less likely to tempt fate with outbursts or boredom. If your child’s temperament is not going to cooperate that day, reschedule for a better one.
  • Be prepared: Keep in mind that not every home you will view will be childproof. This is another reason to leave young children at home, but also know you cannot trust current homeowners to be prepared for your child’s visit. Before you leave, give your child ground rules for when you are visiting these homes. This includes staying away from other people’s possessions, not hanging on railings and never handling electronics that do not belong to them. Again, if you do not feel your child can respect these boundaries, make other arrangements for them.

Carpenter Real Estate hopes these guidelines for real estate etiquette for parents are helpful during your home search in Alpine, TX. Contact us today if you seek a new home or ranch.

Home for Sale? Prepare for Your Upcoming Move Now!

It’s so easy to get caught up in listing your home that you overlook preparing for the inevitable: the big moving day. Moving is stressful for most people, but knowing how to prepare for moving when selling your home will reduce much of that tension. However, do not put this off until the last minute—there are some things you can do now. Here are five tips for packing up your Alpine, TX home post-sale:

  • Declutter now: Old furniture in your garage, items you never use and clothes that no longer fit don’t need to follow you into the new house. Start getting rid of items now so you have less to pack later. This can be especially overwhelming when you’ve lived in one place for years, so go room by room or declutter based on types of items, like clothes, books, kitchen items, etc. Basically, if you do not need or want it for your new home, sell it or give it away.
  • Pack less immediate items first: After you declutter, start packing what you do not need every day. Start with items like books or wall art, and move boxes into the garage or a storage unit as you fill them. The kids’ playroom, the basement and closets are the best places to start. As you go through this process, you may find more items you no longer need and can combine this step with decluttering.
  • Store and organize: If you organize your everyday items, that will make it easier to pack them. Home offices, bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas that are often full of stuff. Use decorative baskets, bins and containers to organize but also keep it attractive. This can also help with staging as potential buyers start visiting your home.
  • Scrub appliances: If any of your appliances are making the move with you, clean them out now so it does not become an issue on a high-stress moving day. Ovens and stoves should be clean, as well as refrigerators, washers and dryers. Also, you likely do not want to move dirty appliances into a new house, so this helps with your moving-in steps as well.
  • Check HOA regulations: When you are moving out of a condominium or a neighborhood with strict HOA regulations, check to see what you can and cannot do when the moving truck arrives. For condos, there are likely load limits on elevators and certain doors your moving crew must use. Neighborhoods may have limitations on where trucks can park and for how long. While moving can be disruptive to you and your neighbors, it is only considerate to reduce that as much as possible. Know the rules, and if you must deviate from them, communicate that clearly and apologize when necessary.

Carpenter Real Estate can help ensure you need these tips for packing up your home post-sale sooner rather than later. We can focus on selling your home while you focus on how to prepare for moving when selling your home in Alpine, TX and moving on to the next step. Contact us today to list your home with us.

Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home

Buying a home is a huge financial commitment, and many first-time homebuyers don’t understand all the implications involved. From getting rid of debt and saving for a down payment to having enough on hand to deal with the inevitable repairs, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s how to decide whether to buy a home in Alpine, TX.

Can you afford a mortgage?

The biggest factor in buying a home is, of course, whether you can afford to do so. If you have enough money saved up to pay cash, you certainly can feel comfortable purchasing now. However, most people need a mortgage in order to buy a home.

Typically, your mortgage company will look at your credit, your debt-to-income ratio and how much you can truly afford. Mortgage brokers prefer to keep the front-end debt-to-income ratio at about 28 percent or less—after all, if you lose your job, have unexpected expenses or need major repairs, you don’t want all your disposable income going to a mortgage. Plus, since they’re usually 25- to 30-year commitments, you’ll also need to consider how reliable your employment is.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a better idea of what you can afford.

Do you have a down payment saved?

The more of a down payment you have saved, the better—you’ll have lower monthly payments and interest rates. Experts suggest having at least 20 percent of the purchase price saved up. However, if this isn’t a possibility, there are other options. Ask your real estate agent and mortgage broker about other sources of financing.

How will you handle repairs?

As a homeowner, you’re financially responsible for taking care of your home—if you’ve been used to renting, this can come with sticker shock. What happens if you spring a leak or find out that there are foundation problems? What can you fix yourself, and what will you need to outsource? How will you pay for it? Don’t forget to factor in increased utilities, lawn care supplies and other hidden costs.

What does the market look like?

The housing market is another major factor in readiness. If it’s cheaper to buy than rent, you are likely making a smart decision in purchasing. You’ll also want to consider whether the market is appreciating and growing and how depressed real estate prices may be—a depressed market can mean that your bargain home will grow in value as the market rebounds.

Do you plan to settle down?

Finally, are you ready to settle down in one spot? Consider how steady your job is, your ties to the area, potential family planning concerns (especially if you’ll need extra bedrooms), whether you’ll be taking care of aging parents and other lifestyle considerations. Remember that if you sell your home before living in it for two years, you may be subject to capital gains tax.

If these tips for buying a first home in Alpine, TX have reassured you that you’re ready, contact Carpenter Real Estate to get started!

How to Avoid Common Home-Buying Mistakes

Buying a new home—especially if it’s your first one—is a milestone in anyone’s life. It’s also a time when your emotions can outweigh your more prudent nature. Homeownership is more than signing a contract and moving in—it has many consequences that can take new owners by surprise. Here are some of the main home-buying mistakes to avoid in Alpine, TX:

  • Know what you can afford: It’s easy to fall in love with houses, but the last thing you want is to fall in love with one that you really can’t afford. Instead of attending open houses indiscriminately, figure out your budget and limit your search to places you can afford.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage: In the same vein, it’s very helpful to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start looking. This allows you to see the difference between what the mortgage company will approve versus what you can afford. It also allows you to put in an offer quickly when you do find your dream home.
  • Know what you want: Just like you need to know what you can afford and know that you’re approved for a mortgage, you should also have a good idea of your non-negotiables. For example, do you absolutely need a three-bedroom home in a good school district? Look at places in those categories—don’t make the mistake of settling for two bedrooms. You’ll end up unhappy, no matter how great a deal the property may seem to be.
  • Get an agent: Working with a real estate agent is a smart idea—they’re ethically bound to advance your interests. You’ll also have an advocate on your side to advise you about whether a purchase is a smart one, whether a location is increasing in value and other important, expert advice.
  • Shop around: Don’t buy the first house you tour, no matter how perfect it seems, and keep a healthy sense of skepticism about you. Staging and cosmetic fixes can be deceptive, eliciting a much higher price tag than a home without them. Ask your agent if you’re unsure. You should also be wary of fixer-uppers—don’t buy a home that requires more time than you can devote.
  • Get all the right inspections: Never skip inspections, no matter how honest the seller seems. Before you make a major purchase, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any expensive, hidden flaws that could lead you to regret the sale.
  • Be ready to say no: At the end of the day, the biggest mistake you can make is buying a house with glaring red flags, whether it’s in a bad neighborhood, doesn’t have enough bathrooms or doesn’t pass inspection. Desperation leads to poor decisions. Even if you’re able to turn around and sell the home right away, you’re going to end up paying additional closing and moving costs, as well as the agent’s commission.

Carpenter Real Estate can help you find the perfect home at a price you can afford. Get in touch with us to start your search and avoid the most common home-buying mistakes in Alpine, TX.