Category: Real Estate

The Falls Hua Hin is dedicated to the lost art of real estate. Check out out website for articles about real estate, property buying, investments, and other related posts. Thank you for stopping by the Real Estate category!

Real Estate, What Is It?

In this sense, “real estate” is defined as property comprised of land and the buildings that sit on it. Real estate is also the natural resources of the land, including uncultivated flora and fauna, water, minerals, livestock, and farmed crops. The media often refers to the “real estate market” as assumed residential living. However, real estate can generally be grouped into three larger categories based on the proposed usage: Residential, Commercial, and Industrial.

Examples of real estate falling into the residential category are houses condominiums, townhomes, and undeveloped land. Generally, examples of real estate falling into the commercial category include warehouses, retail store buildings, and office buildings. Industrial real estate examples are farms, mines, and factories.

Ready, Get Set, Sold: The Advantages of Home Improvement

If you are planning to sell your home, you may want to consider doing some upgrades on your real estate property first before you list it in the housing market. You will definitely lose money if you ignore this strategy because your real estate agent will only be able to attract apathetic buyers with a property which is deficient in improvements or upgrades. Many other residential properties competing in the housing market industry are able to capture the interest of qualified buyers since those properties have been remodeled or improved in one way or another. That supplemental step put those real estate properties ahead of the competition because that is what most buyers are looking for when buying a new home.

Advantages of Home Improvement

There are a few advantages and benefits when you upgrade your home before putting it out in the housing market. Oftentimes, this is the only thing you must do to guarantee the selling of your house, whether you use a real estate agent or not. Yes, you can sell your house without using or hiring a real estate agent to represent you, but you should be totally familiar with the housing laws and real estate guidelines if you are planning to go this route. Having formal training in real estate principles and previous experience in selling a home will play a great factor if you decide not to use a real estate agent. If you find yourself lacking the experience in dealing with buyers, it would be better for you to work with an agent, but don’t forget to perform the improvements your home needed to make it more marketable and primed for showtime.

 

Find a Real Estate Agent Faster

You will definitely find it easier to hire a real estate agent who will promote and market your property because the agent knows that buyers will be pouring in to see what kind of remodeling or upgrades have been performed to your home. All your agent has to do is include that extra line in his or her banner or any marketing material stating the fact that your home has been upgraded and surely, buyers will look at your property.

 

Improved Home Versus Old House

As mentioned earlier, home buyers are more interested in buying a residence that is more appealing and one that is kept up-to-date with the modern styles and fashion of the real estate industry. Remember, nobody would purchase an old, unimproved house for $500,000 when they can buy a property with an upgraded kitchen and living room for $550,000, which could worth $700,000 two or three years down the road.

 

Higher Profit/Better Appreciation

Fortunately, should you decide to postpone the selling of your home, its value will definitely increase as the housing market flourishes over the years because of the home improvements you conducted. You will see that reality when you actually place your home back in the housing market, or by simply having it appraised.

 

Home improvement is vital if you are contemplating on selling your residential property. You will be amazed on how much more money you’ll earn when you’ve done even just a few renovation to your home, probably in the thousands. With reasonable investment, many wonderful things can happen, like a bigger profit margin or the possibility of your home becoming the talk of your community. So, what are you waiting for? Get started in renovating your home now for a better profit tomorrow.

Is Saratoga Springs’ Real Estate Market Finally Cooling?

Real estate

You hear it all the time in Saratoga Springs, NY, “So and so bought their house for pennies fifteen years ago, and just sold it for a fortune!” Will we be hearing much more of this kind of talk though? In the past ten years, Saratoga Springs residents have seen the downtown buildup, the historic neighborhood homes get bought up and its charecter get just a little beat up. In this flurry of change, home prices soared and many people who have lived in Saratoga Springs all their lives were simply priced out of the real estate market. Lately though, prices on existing homes in Saratoga Springs, NY seem to be dropping. What is going on in Saratoga’s real estate market?

First, it may be possible that post 9-11 migration from New York City has slowed in the absence of any more terrorist attacks. For sure, many New Yorkers were scared by the threat of violence and driven to towns like Saratoga Springs, NY, which offer many cultural benefits, are a reasonable drive or train ride from the City, and are comparably much easier and safer places to live. It is no secret that in the past five years, many of our new neighbours in saratoga Springs, NY have hailed from Manhatten and the other New York City boroughs. It is widely believed that their “big city dollars” have driven Saratoga Springs’ real estate market up to unnatural levels.

 

Secondly, Saratoga Springs is famous for and brings a very large temporary population in with its horse racing. In the past, these people returned season after season and rented homes from the locals at a premium. With the low morgage rates of the past five years this made little sense. Instead, these people bought second homes in Saratoga Springs, which serve as an investment or future retiring spot. At some point, all of these people who wanted to purchase a home in Saratoga Springs may have done so.

 

Another factor in the cooling of Saratoga Springs’ real estate market is the ubundance of land surrounding the area. There is plenty of wood and farm land to be taken advantage of. All of the new neighbourhoods poppng up on the outskirts of Saratoga Springs are proof of this. Why would someone want to buy an overpriced home in Saratoga Springs proper, with little land and the problems that accompany older homes, when they could spend less or the same money on a place very near Saratoga Springs, which is new and has all the ammenities they have personally chosen?

 

Finally, you must factor in the summation of all the above factors. That is to say, simple economics would lead one to assume that supply in the Saratoga Springs housing market has begun to outstrip demand. The much talked about over development in Saratoga Springs, NY may have finally reached its enevitable conclusion. Too many houses and condos in the Saratoga Springs housing market and not enough people to fill them. Hey, this is all ok with me though, I’m shopping for a new place.

 

Nearly 80 Percent of the Real Estate Sales Give a Discount in Beijing ,China

China

Chain-estate market research and development centers showed that 79.5% of real estate sales project give a discount in Beijing at present. The discount rate is generally between 95% and 99% .

The experts point out that the discount promotions is relatively common in the real estate sales. But the discount sales almost disappeared in “the bull market”last year. The discount range is expanded day by day, and the rate is being strengthened now. This indicates that the real estate market of Beijing has begun to enter the peak period of adjustment.

 

15.7 percent of the real estate project initiate small adjustment.

 

According to the sale experience ,98-99% discount is normal. Therefore, It is generally believed that 96-97% of discount is slightly reducing its profit margins, and It is for the developer to make changes in order to adapt to the market.

 

The survey data show that 96-97% of discount account for 15.7 percent of the survey project which is mainly in Chaoqin and Wangjing area apartment projects. For example , AZ Town, the Beijing Star River, the Beijing-Chung projects, these projects have very large price increases early stage of the project, but the large area and the high price result in sluggish sales. Chain-estate market research and development centers believes the developers have made some adjustments, but it is still small adjustments in the current market environment.

 

10% of the project give a below 95% discount.

 

The discount rate (below 95% )has been relatively large. It indicated the developers have a certain sales pressure, the return of funds intent is relatively clear. Survey data indicates the sales discount below 95% accounts for 13.2% of the total survey project in Beijing.

 

There are other means of promotional items accounted for 8.1%., such as sending property fee, or delivery vehicles, delivery of parking spaces. Experts point out that if this way is converted into cash , a number of projects has reached about 95% of discount, but most of these approaches is limited or only old customers can enjoy.

 

In addition, the data show that no discount items accounted for 20.5 percent which half are concentrated in the CBD, the Asian Games Village area. The individual items plan to raise the price, which is basically concentrated in the two regions.

Bay Area, California Real Estate Market – Is it Time to Sell or Should I Wait?

Bat

The local and national media are “blowing the bubble” out of proportion. Listen to the experts and read the statistics as reported by NAR (National Association of Realtors) and CAR (California Association of Realtors).

 

The reality is that the market is balancing out, normalizing, flattening a bit, but experts are still predicting a continued appreciation (at least 10% if not more, compared to 20% + enjoyed here in recent years). Of course, there are no guarantees and no one knows for sure.

 

As a Realtor in the East Bay Area of California, I am seeing some price reductions on properties that have been on the market over a month, but this is because it is a Buyers market now. Agents are trying to find a starting price point after coming off of years of “throwing any price out there and getting it.”

 

Good agents do their homework and put a realistic price on the house in the first place, thus eliminating the need to broach the subject of price reduction with the Sellers. Since the Sellers ultimately call the shots,if they are properly educated on the current market (not the market 2 months ago or 6 months ago) then they are more apt to be realistic and follow their agent’s advice.

 

If you currently have or are soon to put your property on the market, and you have a good price on your property, just be patient; don’t be quick to reduce the price. Your property will sell, eventually; it’s just not a “quick-sell” market like we have enjoyed in recent years.

 

However, we are still seeing full price and near-full price offers being submitted, and even seeing some multiple offers here and there. Overall, real estate is still a great investment and experts are not predicting a loss, simply a slow decline in appreciation.

Millionaire City: A Real Estate Building Game Review

City

Digital Chocolate introduced the Millionaire City game in May 2010 and brought the online world a taste of real estate building. The game allows players to quickly become a millionaire but it is challenging enough to keep one interested.

In the game players create a city that is flourishing and race unlock new levels, which in turn unlock new houses, business, and decorations. All of these items enhance the game play.

 

Rental coins add up quickly if the player homes around the business, this way when the business is ready to pay out the surrounding homes will increase that payout.

 

There is no need to bug your friends about joining you in the game. If they already play, they are added to your game when you begin. It’s easy to get lost in this fame. I wish all the games on Facebook did this, as it would make playing all of the many games out here much better.

 

On the Millionaire City game, one can also make the game screen full size, so that t stretches over the entire monitor. This ways it’s easier to see what area is in need of routine work or expansion, without having to scroll all over.

 

It’s easy to collect rents as they come available on the small plot you are given . A player can click on all the homes and business that will fit in that area within a few minutes, but it maybe harder then the new plots of land are bought. Thank goodness, you can hire a rent collector.

 

The extra plots of land will costs you four million dollars in Millionaire City but once you out grow the starting plot you will have the money to purchase the adjacent plots easily. The money that can be made here is vast and come easily.

 

I think this game will be enjoyable to people of all ages. It’s simple enough for a child of 6-8 to learn how to place house quickly, and collect the rent. The cars will appeal to the younger kids as will the animations. Adults will enjoy the overall game experience of being a real estate tycoon on Millionaire City.

Russia’s Quietly Acquiring Some Very Prestigious International Real Estate. Not Buying It. Just Getting It..

Russia

Russia’s government is quietly acquiring some very prestigious international real estate. Not paying for it. Just getting it.

The latest example is the gorgeous Russian-style Cathedral of Saint Nicholas on the French Riviera. A blaze of colour, pattern, domes and spires on the outside and richly embellished inside the cathedral is undeniably a religious and architectural work of art. Designed and built in 1912, it was constructed on land that had been bought 50 years earlier by Tsar Nicholas II’s grandfather, Alexander II.

 

The cathedral was intended to cater to the Russian orthodox elite – aristocrats and industrialists in the main – who’d fled Russia for the French Côte d’Azur before the 1917 revolution. Many of those exiles took up residence in the lovely Mediterranean town of Nice so the cathedral became their local place of worship.

 

After the fall of the soviet regime two decades ago many new Russian exiles have arrived on the Riviera, many settling in and around Nice. This new Russian elite, fattened by post-Soviet governments, has made quite a splash with their huge wads of cash, buying up expensive villas with nice sea views and spending oodles of money in Riviera casinos. Whether they spend a lot of time in church is anybody’s guess.

 

The Russian government however, under Putin, was sufficently interested in the St Nicholas Cathedral to file a lawsuit in France requesting ownership. The grounds were that, well, the ground is theirs. And Russian money built the church. The French judges duly scratched their heads, turned the arguments about and inspected them and agreed Moscow could have ownership of the St Nicholas Cathedral on the Provencal coast at Nice.

 

Until the judgement, the church had been looked after for 99 years by the Nice Russian Orthodox Cultural Association (ACOR). They managed the 99-year lease granted by Russia’s czarist regime in 1909. Their legal argument, rejected, was that ACOR had in practice inherited the cathedral once the Russian royal family was executed by revolutionaries.

 

The cathedral in Nice is only one of a number of prime pieces of real estate that has had Russian state lawyers reaching for their books on international property law. In 2009, they snapped up another wonderful cathedral in Bari, Italy. Plus a building in Israel, “Sergei’s Courtyard”, that was built for Russian pilgrims in 1890. In 2008, they took possession of a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Paris. They’re now at work to win ownership of London’s St. Andrews Cathedral.

 

But Putin’s lawyers and Putin’s government are being far from even-handed when it comes to rights and responsibilities dating back to the days of the Tsarist regime.

 

A group of thousands of French citizens has been fighting for reimbursement of billions of euros in today’s money which have accrued in bonds their families owned in Tsarist Russia but that the Bolsheviks snatched. Vladimir Lenin refused to honour these debts owed by the Tsar. Despite an (unsatisfactory) settlement in 1996, 316,000 bondholders continue to claim reimbursement of up to 100 billion euros. A spokesman for the bond holders, Eric Sanitas, said:

 

“…when Russia owes money from the tsar-era we should forget about it – but when they want to claim property that belonged to the tsar we mustn’t forget that.”

 

In a nicely ironic twist to the soviet tale, the French bond holders have decided that – now that Russia owns the St Nicholas Cathedral in Nice – the group will legally claim it back in part-compensation for the bonds.

 

Source: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1956045,00.html#ixzz0l5fD1aer

 

Source: http://www.connexionfrance.com/index.php

Rent Subsidies Make Tenants Attractive: Rental Assistance Programs a Boon to Landlords in Hard Times

Rent Subsidies

Rent SubsidiesSome areas of the United States are seeing a glut of vacant rental properties. With increased competition for a decreasing number of tenants, many landlords are trying to entice applicants with goodies such as appliance upgrades or one or more months of free rent. Other landlords are willing to accept less rent for their units than they did in better times, when demand was up.

By some accounts, high vacancy rates and low rents will continue through the end of this year, when the jobs market is expected to begin to recover. This is bleak news for investors in residential rental properties, particularly for those who do not seize all available opportunities to fill their rental units. One such opportunity is in the form of prospective tenants who receive rental assistance through government programs. Due to biased opinions and generalizations, some landlords refuse to consider renting to such tenants. This is a costly mistake.

Section 8 Program

The largest and most well known rental assistance program is the “Section 8” housing voucher program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The amount of the voucher, or subsidy, that is granted is based on how much rent the tenant can pay in the private market. The program is designed to help families, the elderly, and the disabled whose incomes fall below 30 to 80% of the median income in the particular area.

HUD sets the fair market rental amounts each year in metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan counties for units depending on how many bedrooms a unit has. Usually, the fair market rent is set at an amount that is enough to pay rent and utilities at 40% of recently rented units in an area (but not including new units).

There are 28 metropolitan areas for which HUD has determined that 40% is not enough to allow voucher holders to rent housing outside a few low-cost neighborhoods; for those 28 areas, HUD sets the fair market rent on the basis of 50% of the recently rented units. Because HUD is not quick to lower the fair market rental amounts it has already set, landlords may find that the amount of rent approved by the Section 8 program in their areas exceeds the amounts that other landlords are asking.

A landlord can count on receiving a Section 8 check each month because the money comes directly from the government. Moreover, it is difficult for applicants to obtain Section 8 assistance. As a result, many tenants who receive it are highly motivated to fulfill their obligations under a lease for fear of losing their subsidy.

Other Rental Assistance Programs

State and local government housing agencies administer the Section 8 program. Some states and municipalities have rental assistance programs of their own, and the eligibility criteria track that of the Section 8 program. These are some examples:

Connecticut– The Rental Assistance Program of the Department of Social Services is the state’s principal program for assisting families with very low incomes in paying for safe and clean housing in the private market.

New Jersey– The State Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Community Affairs is similar to the Section 8 program in eligibility criteria and operation. It includes set-asides for qualifying families as well as homeless, elderly, and disabled individuals.

Oregon– The HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program is administered by Community Action Agency Centers. Those who qualify receive housing assistance in renewable six-month or one-year terms; the assistance may include a refundable security deposit.

Due Diligence Prevents Tenant Problems

Landlords can overcome their hesitation about renting to low-income tenants by doing their due diligence before agreeing to rent to them. This means using the same process that they use for any other prospective tenant: proper screening,.

If a prospect with a rental subsidy passes the screening, the landlord can fill a vacant rental unit with a paying tenant and ride out the negative rental market.

Rent Subsidies Make Tenants Attractive: Rental Assistance Programs a Boon to Landlords in Hard Times

Rent Subsidies

Some areas of the United States are seeing a glut of vacant rental properties. With increased competition for a decreasing number of tenants, many landlords are trying to entice applicants with goodies such as appliance upgrades or one or more months of free rent. Other landlords are willing to accept less rent for their units than they did in better times, when demand was up.

By some accounts, high vacancy rates and low rents will continue through the end of this year, when the jobs market is expected to begin to recover. This is bleak news for investors in residential rental properties, particularly for those who do not seize all available opportunities to fill their rental units. One such opportunity is in the form of prospective tenants who receive rental assistance through government programs. Due to biased opinions and generalizations, some landlords refuse to consider renting to such tenants. This is a costly mistake.

Section 8 Program

The largest and most well known rental assistance program is the “Section 8” housing voucher program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The amount of the voucher, or subsidy, that is granted is based on how much rent the tenant can pay in the private market. The program is designed to help families, the elderly, and the disabled whose incomes fall below 30 to 80% of the median income in the particular area.

HUD sets the fair market rental amounts each year in metropolitan areas and non-metropolitan counties for units depending on how many bedrooms a unit has. Usually, the fair market rent is set at an amount that is enough to pay rent and utilities at 40% of recently rented units in an area (but not including new units).

There are 28 metropolitan areas for which HUD has determined that 40% is not enough to allow voucher holders to rent housing outside a few low-cost neighborhoods; for those 28 areas, HUD sets the fair market rent on the basis of 50% of the recently rented units. Because HUD is not quick to lower the fair market rental amounts it has already set, landlords may find that the amount of rent approved by the Section 8 program in their areas exceeds the amounts that other landlords are asking.

A landlord can count on receiving a Section 8 check each month because the money comes directly from the government. Moreover, it is difficult for applicants to obtain Section 8 assistance. As a result, many tenants who receive it are highly motivated to fulfill their obligations under a lease for fear of losing their subsidy.

Other Rental Assistance Programs

State and local government housing agencies administer the Section 8 program. Some states and municipalities have rental assistance programs of their own, and the eligibility criteria track that of the Section 8 program. These are some examples:

Connecticut– The Rental Assistance Program of the Department of Social Services is the state’s principal program for assisting families with very low incomes in paying for safe and clean housing in the private market.

New Jersey– The State Rental Assistance Program, administered by the Department of Community Affairs is similar to the Section 8 program in eligibility criteria and operation. It includes set-asides for qualifying families as well as homeless, elderly, and disabled individuals.

Oregon– The HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Program is administered by Community Action Agency Centers. Those who qualify receive housing assistance in renewable six-month or one-year terms; the assistance may include a refundable security deposit.

Due Diligence Prevents Tenant Problems

Landlords can overcome their hesitation about renting to low-income tenants by doing their due diligence before agreeing to rent to them. This means using the same process that they use for any other prospective tenant: proper screening,.

If a prospect with a rental subsidy passes the screening, the landlord can fill a vacant rental unit with a paying tenant and ride out the negative rental market.

How to Open Your Very First Real Estate Office: Homes and Properties for Sale

All salespersons have dreams of glamor and money. They all want to be like the successful Broker who drives the Mercedes, wears the diamonds and dresses like a movie star. As you think about where you are in your life, you make a decision to further your career and open your own office

The basic salesperson makes between 55-70 percent in commissions. The salesperson must pay all of his expenses and still give the Broker a percentage. A salesperson or Agent must be a licensed Real Estate Agent for two years before they can be a Broker in most states.

The reason for this is to get as much hands on experience as possible. But after that time, they may open their own office. Obtaining a Broker’s license is fairly easy and you can go through a internet online course and take the study and then go to a state office for the final exam.

Allied Real Estate

After you pass the board exam, you will get your license in the mail. But during this time, you may look for a suitable office. A office in a good location, at the right price and with much available traffic. The cheapest office in the worse area is a waste of money.

Steps involved

So once you sign a short lease, have your sign put up and apply for your business license, you are set to begin. Never consider placing a sticker sign on the window. If you want a professional office, then look that way.

Go to the auctions and buy the best furniture that you can afford with beautiful accessories, such as pictures and vases. The Broker’s office should be in top condition, as it is the meeting place of many deals. Putting many desk in the office and setting up a phone system is your next step.

The phone company generally will install all the phone system for a free or minor cost as the monthy cost is expected to bring much revenue. A smart Broker in today’s times will charge the agent for the phone. The Broker sets up the basic installation and the agent is responsible for contacting the phone company and setting up their own phone.

So now you have the office, furniture, phones and signs. Your next investment will be in computers and office equipment. Always, buy good quality equipment as this will be used daily. There are many used computers that are top of the line, that can be place in the office. All computers need to be set up with the MLS (Multiple Listing Service.)

Smart Business Sense

Many Brokers begin their business on their own and intend to hire agents along the way. It is not necessary to have agents on role when you open. Setting up a business plan, offering discounts to regular clients and hosting welcoming parties are much more important in the beginning.

Letting people know who you are through many local newspaper advertisements, holding open house and of course having high quality signs. Never think about using paper signs as they are a sign of a Broker in trouble.

Many Brokers of independent offices, offer discounts in commissions and they ask for referrals in exchange. This is highly profitable in a world of many foreclosures and impending bankruptcies. Having experience in Short Sales and REO’s is desired. A well planned office and pleasant atmosphere will return much financial reward.

Pros and Cons of Investing in Vacant Land: Buying Oceanfront or Golf Community Lots for Investment

Investors who are looking to diversify from stocks and bonds often look to real estate to provide stable long term returns. Some of the potential vehicles for real estate investment are rental properties, both commercial and residential, and vacant land.

Vacant land may be in the form or large tracts of farm land, undeveloped industrial property or single lots for homes. Vacation areas may have unfinished developments, where there is a substantial potential for growth and capital appreciation.

Oceanfront locales and golf communities often divide up large areas for housing development and sell the individual lots to people wishing to build homes. The lots can be used immediately to build vacation or permanent homes, or can be held for capital appreciation.

An Example of Land Investment

Using the example of a oceanfront or Oceanside property, an investor may look at housing developments in a vacation area (such as Hilton Head Island). There are often a number of developments that have yet reached completion, and investors may have the option to buy a lot before the property is built up.

If there are no restrictions on building, the owner can choose to build on the property or hold it with the hope of capital appreciation.

Positives of Owing Investment Land Property

  • Land that has not been built on is likely to be much cheaper than prime vacation area property that already has been improved. It provides an opportunity for those with minimal capital to acquire a piece of desirable location.
  • This provides a lower cost way for people to buy a lot at today’s prices with the intention of building their dream home sometime in the future.
  • In times of capital appreciation, the smaller price allows for a much higher percentage return when sold. Even if there is no increase in the value of the land, the owner still has the option to build on it. If there is significant deflation in prices, the amount at risk is less than a lot with a house.
  • If the land can be bought for a low price, it may be possible to turn around and resell it quickly, that is, flip the property. Flipping works during high growth periods (sometimes called “bubbles”).

Negatives of Land for Investment

  • Unlike commercial or other residential real estate, no rent can be collected on vacant land, since there are no structures. It is possible to collect something if there are easements for power lines or other utilities, but this may compromise the ability to build or sell the land.
  • There are expenses associated with land, primarily taxes, but there may also be costs of maintaining the property (cutting grass or other upkeep). Lots in desirable developments may have owners’ association fees or mandatory country club memberships.
  • If the property cannot be flipped, the owner expecting a quick profit may be stuck with a property they have to sell at a loss, if they can sell it at all. If the property is financed, the investor may be forced to default on the loan and lose the entire amount of his equity.

Buying a lot is a quick way to invest in real estate, but without the income that comes from renting the property is a risky strategy for the novice investor.