Archive for category real estate

Almeida Real Estate Hamburg, NY

Almeida realty book section 002

The Book “The 4 Routes To Entrepreneurial Success”

written by John B Miner

The book “The 4 Routes to Entrepreneurial Success” can be downloaded or read here for FREE at

This book is being used by many colleges to teach business or as part of an MBA business degree. On pages 45 and 46 the author talks about Almeida Real Estate. My older brother and I were both Real Estate Brokers and an important part of the real estate community in Hamburg and western New York at the time. I have since moved my family to DFW Texas. Almeida Realty is mostly involved in real estate consulting and investments, I’m also CEO of World News US and an aspiring writer among other things. cj Almeida

cj World News US

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New York City Landmarks

“Skyscraper National Park.”

That is what Kurt Vonnegut famously labeled New York City in his 1976 novel Slapstick. It’s true, the city is filled with tall buildings, and many of them stunningly beautiful. Yet, New York City also has other, lesser-known landmarks that don’t necessarily touch the clouds. And these locations—such as Warren Place Mews in Brooklyn or the Cloisters on Manhattan’s northern tip—are just as worthy of a trip to the Big Apple as any of its iconic buildings. Whether you’re a New Yorker or planning your maiden trip to the city, AD rounded up 27 of the best architectural landmarks to visit while walking the streets of the city. Some you will recognize instantly, but there are sure to be a few that will leave you impressed by the New York you never knew existed.

a view of Jane's Carousel with the Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center in the background.

Photo: Getty Images/Pawel Gaul

Originally built in 1922 and located on the banks of the East River, Brooklyn’s Jane’s Carousel has become a popular destination to visit. After extensive renovations, the carousel reopened in 2011 and featured, among other additions, a jewel-like glass exterior that was designed by architect Jean Nouvel.

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Referral or Finder’s fee: get paid big for making a business introduction.

  1. Referral fee
  2. Consulting fee
  3. Finder’s fee

Who wouldn’t like to receive a wad of cash for thinking up a deal? It can — and does — happen, but you’d better know the rules

What kind of finder’s fee would one get for making a strategic introduction that concludes with the acquisition of the seller’s company or commercial property by a buyer? The circumstances vary widely when it comes to making business introductions. Hard-and-fast rules don’t apply here, experts say, and unless the parties have agreed to a finder’s fee up front in a written document, there would be no evidence of an obligation to get paid.


In the spectrum of people who make introductions, on the high end you might find a licensed agent or business broker who actively represents the seller’s company or property, willing to pay a referral or finder’s fee. The person supplying the referral should definitely require a contract at the outset of the sales process that would specify his fee, typically a percentage of the sales price, says Gene Pepper, a Glendale (Calif.)-based business broker.

Whenever a deal involves a professional, the payment is typically called a “referral” fee, rather than a finder’s fee. How much the person gets paid depends upon the up-front negotiations with the seller’s broker, and it usually correlates to the sale price and how much commission the broker is receiving. In terms of your example, “I would ask for 2% of the selling price, and settle for as little as 1% ” Pepper says.

World News US


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Commercial Loans and Loan Types

Secured or Unsecured Debt

Debt financing can also be secured or unsecured. Unfortunately, these terms don’t mean how secure or unsecure the debt is to you, but how secure or unsecure the debt is to the lender.

The Price of Secured Loans

No matter what type of loan you take, you promise to pay it back. With a secured loan, your promise is “secured” by granting the creditor an interest in specific property (collateral) of the debtor (you).

If you default on the loan, the creditor can recoup the money by seizing and liquidating the specific property used for collateral on the debt. For startup small businesses, lenders will usually require that both long and short-term loans be secured with adequate collateral.

Because the value of pledged collateral is critical to a secured lender, loan conditions and covenants, such as insurance coverage, are always required of a borrower. You can also expect a lender to minimize its risk by conservatively valuing your collateral and by lending only a percentage of its appraised value. The maximum loan amount, compared to the value of the collateral, is known as the loan-to-value ratio.

Revolving Debt and Unsecured Loans

In contrast with secured loans, your promise to repay an unsecured loan is not supported by granting the creditor an interest in any specific property.

The lender is relying upon your creditworthiness and reputation to repay the obligation. The most ubiquitous form of an unsecured loan is a revolving consumer credit card. Sometimes, working capital lines of credit are also unsecured.

While your property may not be at direct risk, defaulting on a secured loan does carry serious consequences. True, the creditor has no priority claim against any particular property if you default, but the the creditor can try to obtain a money judgment against you.

Unfortunately for startups, unsecured loans (at least ones with reasonable interest rates) aren’t usually available to small businesses without an established credit history.

Common Applications for Long-Term and Short-Term Financing

Long-term debt financing is commonly used to purchase, improve or expand fixed assets such as your plant, facilities, major equipment and real estate.

If you are acquiring an asset with the loan proceeds, you (and your lender) will ordinarily want to match the length of the loan with the useful life of the asset. For example, the shelf life of a building to  house your operations is much longer than that of a fleet of computers, and the loan terms should reflect that difference.

Short-term debt is often used to raise cash for cyclical inventory needs, accounts payable and working capital.

In the current lending climate, interest rates on long-term financing tend to be higher than on short-term borrowing, and long-term financing usually requires more substantial collateral as security against the extended duration of the lender’s risk.

Financing Through Longer-Term Commercial Loans

As the name implies, long-term commercial loans are generally repaid over more than one to three years. Because more time for you to repay a loan equals more risk for the bank extending the loan, long-term commercial loans are typically more difficult for smaller businesses to obtain.

With small businesses, a lender may not be willing to assume the risk that the business will be solvent for, say, 10 years. Consequently, banks will require collateral and limit the term of these loans to about five to seven years. Occasionally, exceptions for a longer term may be negotiated, such as loans secured by real estate.

The purposes for longer commercial loans vary greatly, from purchases of major equipment and plant facilities to business expansion or acquisition costs. These loans are usually secured by the asset being acquired. Additionally, financial loan covenants are regularly required.

Financing Through Short-Term Commercial Loans

Although short-term commercial loans are sometimes used to finance the same type of operating costs as a working capital line of credit, they’re not interchangeable. A commercial loan is usually taken out for a specific expenditure (for example, to purchase a specific piece of equipment or pay a particular debt), and a fixed amount of money is borrowed for a set time with interest paid on the lump sum. In essence, a commercial loan is close to the loans you’re most familiar with, like student loans, home loans, etc.

For nearly all startup businesses—and most existing businesses—a short-term commercial loan from a bank must be:

  • secured by adequate collateral
  • supported by a reasonable cash flow and a regular sales history

A fixed interest rate may be available because the duration of the loan, and therefore the risk of rising rates, is limited. While some short-term loans have terms as brief as 90-120 days, the loans may extend one to three years for certain purposes.

World News US


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Real Estate Property Depreciation Basis

Depreciation basis: 1. 27.5 yr. residential property/39 yr. commercial property. 2. Furniture, appliances or equipment five or seven years.

The time period for deducting depreciation depends on the type of investment. If the property is a commercial property, then the depreciation period is 39 years (as opposed to 27.5 years for residential property). Using a straight line depreciation method for a commercial property costing $2 million dollars, for example, you would receive an annual deduction of $51,282 ($2M / 39 = $51,282). Your annual net income is thereby reduced by that amount, for tax purposes, reducing the amount of taxes you owe to the IRS.

Unlike the building itself, items such as appliances or equipment typically fall on a shorter five- or seven-year depreciation schedule, because of their expected life. Furnaces on the other hand typically carry a depreciation schedule in line with the building itself, whether it is a residential or commercial property.

Not only can you depreciate the building, but you can depreciate any additional capital investments you made as well, which carry a minimum depreciation schedule of three years. These are commonly referred to as capital expenditures or CAPEX improvements. Here are some examples of what can be depreciated besides the building itself:
• appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and stoves
• furnaces
• capital improvements such as a kitchen or bath remodel
• new windows
• full roof replacement
• leasehold improvements such as electrical system overhauls or new septic systems
• landscaping improvements
• legal fees, if carved out separately from the original purchase amount, and
• equipment used to maintain the property, such as landscaping equipment or cleaning appliances

For a breakdown of depreciable items and their corresponding schedules, see Chapter 2, Depreciation of Rental Property, in IRS Publication 527, Residential Rental Property. Chapter 2 is relevant for commercial properties, however, additional detail can be obtained on commercial investments from Chapter 4 in IRS Publication 946, How to Depreciate Property.



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10 Cities Selling the Most Distressed Homes 2013-2014

By Alexander E.M. Hess, Michael B. Sauter and Thomas C. Frohlich

10. Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, Calif.

> Pct. distressed sales: 25.4%
> Unemployment rate: 8.2%
> Pct. change in home prices: 22%

More than one-quarter of Sacramento area homes sold in December were distressed, versus slightly more than 16% nationwide. Additionally, 18.6% of home sales were foreclosure-related, meaning they involved either a bank-owned property or a sale at a foreclosure auction. This was among the highest rates in the country for a major metropolitan area. Foreclosure-related properties were sold at a 22% discount over other properties sold that month, lower than the 38% discount for such homes nationwide.

9. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.
> Pct. distressed sales: 26.9%
> Unemployment rate: 8.7%
> Pct. change in home prices: N/A

Chicago is one of the largest housing markets in the country, with an annualized total of than 170,000 homes sales as of December, according to RealtyTrac. Of area sales in December, more than a quarter were short-sales or foreclosure-related. One reason the city may have so many distressed homes is its long-term struggle with high unemployment. The metro area’s November unemployment rate was 8.7%, sixth highest of any major city measured. Perhaps showing early signs of recovery, foreclosure starts in Cook County, the metro area’s most populous county, fell by more than 40% in 2013.

8. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio

> Pct. distressed sales: 28.6%
> Unemployment rate: 7.3%
> Pct. change in home prices: 12%

Foreclosure-related sales accounted for 21.7% of all home sales in the Cleveland area in December, more than any metro area considered except for Las Vegas. However, institutional investors — who often buy homes that have been foreclosed — do not appear to be targeting distressed properties in and around Cleveland. Institutional sales accounted for just 4.5% of all homes sold at the end of last year, lower than in many other metro areas considered and below the national percentage of such sales. While this suggests individuals and families account for most home buyers, it may also indicate investors’ lack of interest in the local economy. Incomes in the metro area are fairly low as well. The Cleveland area’s median household income was just $46,944 in 2012, versus more than $51,000 nationwide.

7. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.
> Pct. distressed sales: 28.8%
> Unemployment rate: 9.6%
> Pct. change in home prices: 23%

While the housing crisis may be in the rear view mirror for much of the country, the housing market in the Riverside metro area continues to process its effects. Foreclosure-related accounted for more than 21% of all homes sold in the area at the end of last year. Additionally, many area residents were unemployed. The area’s unemployment rate was 9.6% as of November, higher than any other major metro area. However, not all news for the area has been bad. Riverside area homes had a median sales price of $232,000 in December, well above the U.S. median of $168,391. Additionally, sales prices were up 23% compared to the year before, one of the largest increases among major metro areas.

6. Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

> Pct. distressed sales: 29.5%
> Unemployment rate: 9.5%
> Pct. change in home prices: N/A

Nearly 30% of home sales December in the Memphis metro area were either short sales or foreclosure-related sales. While according to figures released by the Federal Reserve in its Beige Book both home sales and housing permits had risen considerably in 2013, part of this activity may be investor speculation rather than families buying a home. At the end of last year, institutional investors accounted for nearly 18% of sales in Memphis, fifth-most among metro areas considered. The city continues to struggle with unemployment, with a jobless rate of 9.5% as of November and relatively sparse job growth.

5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.
> Pct. distressed sales: 29.6%
> Unemployment rate: 6.8%
> Pct. change in home prices: 25%

In the Miami metro area, all-cash sales accounted for more than 64% of home sales in December 2013, more than any MSA reviewed by RealtyTrac except for Jacksonville. By contrast, 42.1% of U.S. residential sales in December were all-cash purchases. Often, all-cash purchases are made by international investors and wealthy retirees rather than local families. It may be that locals are unable to compete with all-cash home buyers. As of 2012, income disparities in the Miami area were among the largest in the U.S.

4. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

> Pct. distressed sales: 30.1%
> Unemployment rate: 6.3%
> Pct. change in home prices: 14%

More than 30% of Tampa area home sales were distressed sales as of December. Despite the high level of distressed sales in the metro area, the Tampa Bay region has seen a rise in conventional home sales. The median home sales price that month was $112,000, less than most metro areas considered. Perhaps as a result, more than 57% of the Tampa Bay area’s real estate deals were cash sales in December of last year. Also contributing to a high number of cash sales, a relatively large portion of homes were sold at foreclosure auctions. According to Blomquist, buyers at such auctions must often pay cash.

3. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich.
> Pct. distressed sales: 31.2%
> Unemployment rate: 9.3%
> Pct. change in home prices: 33%

The median sales price of a home in the Detroit metro area jumped by 33% between December 2012 and December 2013, more than any other city considered. Despite the jump, prices remained quite low, with a median home price of just $93,010 at the end of last year. Many of the cheapest homes on the market were likely either bank-owned properties or sold at foreclosure auctions. These homes were sold at a 72% discount from normal homes and accounted for 21.3% of all sales — in both cases more than in all but two other metro areas. The mortgage crisis hit Detroit’s housing market hard, and while the housing market has recovered somewhat, the city of Detroit recently entered into bankruptcy after years of accumulating debt while losing residents.

2. Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.

> Pct. distressed sales: 35.9%
> Unemployment rate: 5.9%
> Pct. change in home prices: 19%

Nearly one in five home sales in the Orlando area was a short sale in December of last year, meaning it sold below the value of the mortgage on the property. In addition to this, another 16% of homes sold were foreclosure-related, making Orlando the second most popular metro area for distressed sales. Many regions in Florida, including Orlando, were hit hard by falling prices during the housing crisis. The situation has improved somewhat, but last month 57% of sales were all-cash, implying families have still not fully returned to the market.

1. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
> Pct. distressed sales: 41.0%
> Unemployment rate: 9.2%
> Pct. change in home prices: 25%

Of all home sales in Las Vegas 41% were foreclosure auction sales and distressed sales, by far the highest in the country. The median sales price in the Las Vegas metro area was just $159,000 in December, below the nationwide median of $168,391 despite rising 25% from the year before. By several measures, the Las Vegas housing market is trending in the positive direction, as is the area economy as a whole. Speaking to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Brookings Institution’s Mark Muro noted, “There’s some normalization of the real estate market, and that’s a broad background benefit for the overall economy.” But as of November the area’s jobless rate remained above 9%, versus just 7% unemployment nationally.

 World News US


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10 Best Cities to Flip a House 2013 – 2014

By Alexander E.M. Hess and Thomas C. Frohlich

10. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $92,538
> Flipped price: $304,346 (14th highest)
> Number of flips: 75
> Change in flips Q2 to Q3: -34%
People who flipped homes in Vallejo in the third quarter of 2013 bought their property for just under $218,000 on average. This was roughly in line with the national average for these purchases. But those sellers received more than $304,000, one of the highest average flip prices in the nation. A flip in Vallejo returned more than $92,000 last quarter, higher than in most markets. Despite their profitability, home flips in Vallejo during the third quarter actually fell by 34% from the previous quarter and by more than 50% from the same quarter of the previous year.
9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.
> Avg. gross profit: $97,002
> Flipped price: $319,280 (13th highest)
> Number of flips: 485
> Change in flips Q2 to Q3: -32%
Home prices in Seattle have been rising since early 2012, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. At the same time, home flips rose considerably, peaking at 711 in the second quarter of 2013. However, in the third quarter, flipping activity declined by nearly a third compared to the previous quarter. Home flipping remained profitable with an average gross profit of $97,002 per home. One reason for the lower activity may be tight real estate market in the area, which reduced the number of opportunities to buy homes to flip. Bloomquist expects inventory to rise.
8. Salinas, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $100,228
> Flipped price: $438,333 (7th highest)
> Number of flips: 69
> Change in flips Q2 to Q3: -10%
Salinas, a major agricultural producer, is located in the central coastal region of California. Compared with other housing markets where home flipping is profitable, the number of flips has been relatively low in the past few years. Just 69 homes were flipped in the most recent quarter. Average gross profits from home flipping increased by more than $40,000 when compared with the same quarter last year.
7. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $113,001
> Flipped price: $411,909 (9th highest)
> Number of flips: 125
> Change in flips Q2 to Q3: -18%
The Santa Rosa-Petaluma area makes up Sonoma County, a major part of California’s Wine Country. Since the start of 2012, home flipping activity has increased, peaking at the end of last year with 197 homes flipped in the fourth quarter. However, activity has declined as of the third quarter of this year. The area remains expensive. While the average purchase price for a home that was later flipped was quite high — nearly $300,000 — the same homes were sold for nearly $412,000 on average, higher than all but eight other cities.
6. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.
> Avg. gross profit: $120,180
> Flipped price: $475,306 (5th highest)
> Number of flips: 900
> Change in flips Q2 to Q3: -22%
In recent years, home flipping activity in San Diego has surged. In the first quarter of 2011, just 285 homes were flipped. At its peak, in the second quarter of this year, flips totaled 1,160. But higher prices and higher mortgage rates have removed some of the appeal for buyers in general, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Coupled with a decline in the number of available distressed properties, home flipping also may have become less appealing. The number of flipped homes dropped by 22% from the second to the third quarter of 2013. Flipping was still profitable last quarter. The average gross profit on flipped homes was more than $120,000, up from fewer than $89,000 last year.

World News US

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Top 5 States to Flip Property in 2013-2014

By Thomas C. Frohlich and Michael B. Sauter

In 2013, investors bought more than 156,000 homes, only to fix them up and quickly resell them for an average profit of $58,081. Home flipping became increasingly popular as the housing market began to recover. However, While the number of U.S. home flips increased in 2013 compared to 2012, home flips as a proportion of all home sales declined from 7.1% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2012 to just 3.8% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Daren Blomquist, vice president at home data site Real Trac, explained, “We saw this surge in flipping that corresponded with the market bouncing off the bottom. And now that home prices are beginning to moderate, flippers are beginning to pull back on their activity. I think another thing causing flippers to pull back is there’s not as much inventory available, particularly distressed inventory at a discounted price.”
Where homes are available, however, substantial profits can still be made. In six states, home flippers made an average profit of considerably more than $80,000 in 2013. In Massachusetts, the gross profit on a flipped home was more than $100,000. 24/7 Wall St. examined the six states where home flipping was most lucrative in 2013.
Buying homes to flip when market prices are relatively high may mean more overhead, but the fact remains that the states and metro areas with the largest average profits on home flips were the more expensive housing markets. All of the six most profitable states to flip a home in 2013 had among the highest average purchase prices that year. For example, California homes intended to be fixed up and resold for a profit cost an average of $284,650, nearly $100,000 more than similar houses across the U.S. Of course, they were then resold for an average price of $381,221. “High prices result in higher profits,” confirmed Blomquist. “These states are basically the highest-priced markets in the country.”
Two of the markets on this list, New York and New Jersey, may be lucrative and popular because a large number of properties became available to flip when the region was struck by superstorm Sandy in October, 2012. Notably, the second-most lucrative housing market to flip last year was Ocean City, New Jersey, where several hundred homes were flipped for an average profit of more than $158,000. “I would suspect Sandy had some impact.”
Blomquist added. “We saw a big increase in foreclosure activity in these areas, and some of that is related to properties homeowners were walking away from. Those homes are prime candidates for flippers. They probably have some damage that other buyers would shy away from, but a flipper would be willing to take on.”
24/7 Wall St. examined the six states with an average gross home flip profit of at least $80,000 in 2013, based on data from RealtyTrac. RealtyTrac also provided average flip price, average gross profit, and the proportion of all home sales that were flips for 2011 and 2012, and Q4 2013 for States and U.S. Metro areas. We also reviewed RealtyTrac’s foreclosure rates for 2013.
These are the six best states to flip a house.
6. Washington
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $89,525
> Average purchase price: $190,983 (10th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 3.4% (24th fewest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 84 (11th highest)
Investors flipped 2,828 homes in Washington last year. The average home purchased in the state for the purpose of flipping was bought for $190,983 and sold for $277,022. The average gross profit of nearly $90,000 represents a 46.9% return on investment, considerably more than the national gross profit of just $58,081 and an average return of just 30.7%. Home flipping in Seattle delivered especially high profits of more than $100,000 on average, 14th-highest of any U.S. metro area. The state’s higher than average foreclosure rate in 2013 likely attracted home flippers because foreclosed homes make ideal homes for flipping. In 2013, one out of every 84 homes were in foreclosure in the state, the 11th-highest rate in the country.
5. New York
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $91,970
> Average purchase price: $204,479 (7th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 10.7% (2nd most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 176 (15th lowest)
About one in 10 property sales in New York were home flips last year, more than in any other state except for Nebraska. Home flippers were also able to make larger profits in New York than in most other states that year. The average gross profit was nearly $92,000. The New York City – Long Island region had more homes flipped, and at better profits in than in the rest of the state. There were 10,683 home flips in the New York City area last year, more than in any other MSA. On average, home flippers earned $118,546 in the metro area, more than double what home-flippers earned across the nation.
4. New Jersey
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $92,744
> Average purchase price: $214,858 (6th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 7.6% (6th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 91 (13th highest)
Home flips in New Jersey increased dramatically as a% of all home sales, from 1.9% of all sales in 2011 to 7.6% of all sales in 2013. That return on investment actually increased throughout the year. The average gross profit of more than $118,000 in the last quarter of 2013 was more than in any other state. Ocean City is a particularly lucrative home flipping market. Home flippers sold a home in Ocean City for an average of around $674,300, at a profit of more than $150,000. Across the state, flipped homes were sold for $328,404 on average, at a profit of $92,744.
3. Maryland
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $98,122
> Average purchase price: $284,650 (2nd highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 6.2% (13th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 64 (4th highest)
Home flipping is not only extremely lucrative in the state, but it has become more popular in recent years. In 2011, just over 1,000 homes were flipped in the state. Last year, there were 3,522. Perhaps one reason for the increase in flips in the state is the availability of recently foreclosed homes. In 2013, 1 out of 64 homes were in foreclosure in the state, the 4th highest rate in the country. Flipping also became more profitable over the course of the year. Gross profits from home flipping in Maryland the last quarter of 2012 were higher on average than any other state except for Hawaii, at more than $100,000. In some of the state’s metro areas, home flipping was even more lucrative. On average, flipped homes in the D.C. metro area were sold for $372,792 at a profit of more than $112,000 last year, more than in most other metro areas.
2. California
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $99,999
> Average purchase price:
> Pct. of all home sales: 6.0% (14th most)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 100 (16th highest)
For three years running, more homes were flipped in California than in any other state. Not only that, but the number has increased over the last three years from 14,490 home in 2011 to 21,152 last year. Although California trails Massachusetts in average gross profit on home flips, the state’s metro areas dominate urban home flipping markets across the nation. Of the 10 most lucrative metro areas for home flipping, seven are in California. Home flippers in San Jose, for example, made more than $160,000 on average reselling homes last year, the most of any city nationwide. Profits may be high in the state because home prices are very high. Flipped homes were more expensive than those in any other state last year, selling for more than $381,000 on average. In addition, home flippers may be drawn to California because of the state’s many foreclosed homes. One out of 100 of the state’s 37 million housing units were in foreclosure last year, which was in the top third for foreclosure rates nationwide.
1. Massachusetts
> 2013 avg. gross profit: $103,384
> Average purchase price: $202,850 (8th highest)
> Pct. of all home sales: 2.3% (18th fewest)
> Foreclosure rate: 1 in 287 (9th lowest)
Home flippers sold less than 900 homes in Massachusetts last year but at a higher profit than in any other state. The average flipped home was resold for more than $300,000, and profits were more than $100,000 on average. Unlike many other states where home flipping was common, the foreclosure rate in Massachusetts was relatively low. One in every 287 homes were in foreclosure in 2013, better than most states. Home flipping in Boston has increased in recent years, perhaps due to the high likelihood of making a good profit. Home flippers in the Boston area earned $119,258 on average last year, much more than in the vast majority of metro areas. A&E even produced a second season of “Flipping Boston” last year, a show that follows the successes and failures of investors who fix and resell homes in the Boston area.

World News US

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Real Estate Selling Tips…

Most everyone who puts a home up for sale would like for it to move as quickly as possible. In today’s flooded real estate market, however, that’s easier said than done. After you’ve made all the final repairs and upgrades, plus cleaned every square inch, make sure your house is in top form before a showing.

So, it’s been a few days since your house has been on the market. Your real estate agent just called, and finally, she’s bringing over a prospective buyer in one hour! What should you do to prepare? First impressions are a key ingredient when it comes to selling a home. Here are five areas to consider before prospective buyers come through the door.

The Grounds – Walk around your entire yard, front to back to ensure there are no surprises. Put garden tools away, get rid of any trash, and make sure that your animals did not leave you any presents. Raking and mowing need to be addressed on as needed basis. Blow or sweep driveways, walkways, and all entrances. Stop at the front door to inspect the entry area, inside and out. Your mission through this entire process is to see your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer.

Walk Thru – Grab a laundry basket and a dust cloth for the next step. Move through every room and area of the house and check for out of place items, dust, and debris. Hopefully you will have already thinned out decorative items for a clean, uncluttered staging. Remove any culprits and if there’s no time to put things in their proper place, stash the basket in the trunk of your car, you can put it away later. Remember, your house will have just one chance to make a first impression! If there was no time to scour the bathrooms, wipe surfaces and put the toilet lids down.

Pack up the Pets – Do not assume that everyone is an animal lover. Obnoxious dogs and crazy cats should be boarded or relocated before a real estate showing. Sorry, but you will also need to remove all signs of your furry family members as well. Put away their beds, dishes, kennels, leashes, toys and litter boxes.

Lights – Camera-Action! During your walk through, check out every room to ensure that they are all well lit. Opening blinds and draperies is one way to gain maximum light. Another way is to use table lamps and floor lamps. If you have time, install bulbs that give out a bright, but soft light.

Set the Mood – Let the seasons be your guide when the set the mood for a real estate showing. If it’s a chilly fall or winter day, use scented candles, build a fire in the fireplace or turn on the gas logs. Aromatic pine boughs and baskets of pinecones are inviting, as well as economical and long lasting. Beautiful bowls of fruit in the kitchen and fresh flowers elsewhere add to the ambiance. The enticing smell of freshly brewed coffee, along with bread or cookies baking, creates a cozy vibe, especially on a rainy day. Keep refrigerated dough and boxed cake mixes on hand to make it simple.

During spring and summer months, open up windows if it’s not too warm. Spray a citrus air freshener or bake something lemon for a clean, welcoming fragrance. It’s a fact, when it comes to home fragrances; more people favor the scent of citrus over a floral.

Music helps too, as long as it remains in the background. Smooth jazz, soft rock or soul are subtle ways to complete the staging process.

Hope these ideas will help!

World News US


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Facing a Foreclosure?

Facing a foreclosure can be a difficult thing for you to deal with so make surthat you do everything in your power to avoid this from happening to you. Talking with your financial lender is always a good place to start because they have the power to foreclose on your home.

In most cases there is a period of time that payments are not made before a bank will foreclose on a home. If you are like so many other people and have had there interest rate adjust upwards then making payments can be a challenge. Know that banks understand that things happen and people get into difficult situations.

Open communication is key to dealing with your lender because they can make adjustments to you loan. If you want to save your home then you need to be on board with talking with them and re figuring you loan where you can afford it and they are happy as well.

Realize that banks are not in the business of selling houses and they do not really want to foreclose on you and have to worry about selling your home. They almost always would rather work the terms of your loan out to make it work.

Remember that even though times may be tough for you and you might be facing a foreclosure there are options. Go and sit down with your banker and let them know why you have been unable to make payments. You will be surprised that in this current economy they will be willing to listen.

Contributing article by Bryan Burbank

World News US


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