News About Properties

News about properties and real estate
June 22nd, 2015

Guernsey: Where Home Buyers Find Shelter (From Taxes)

It is sandwiched between England and France, yet it is not part of the European Union. Its expat community is mostly made up of seniors looking for an old-fashioned way of life. And it expects foreigners to pay at least twice as much as locals for the privilege of living on its 30-or-so square miles.

Could old Guernsey be the world’s most unlikely tax haven?

The quirky little jurisdiction is one of seven permanently inhabited islands in the English Channel and sits about 90 miles south of Britain’s mainland. But despite the proximity, Guernsey and neighboring islands like Alderney are little known even to the British.

via Guernsey: Where Home Buyers Find Shelter (From Taxes).

June 22nd, 2015

Reverse-mortgage change saves homes for surviving spouses

Soon after Judy Stephens, of Lafayette, La., lost her husband in January, she got hit with more bad news, this time from the mortgage company. She needed to come up with $107,000 — the amount of principal, accrued interest and fees racked up by the reverse mortgage on the home she owned with her husband for the past 16 years — or face foreclosure.

She didn’t have the money, nor could family members come up with the cash needed to buy the house. So, Stephens told me last week, the mortgage company informed her that it would foreclose in mid-August.

Why? Because like an estimated 12,000 other widows and widowers around the country, Stephens, 65, is a “surviving spouse” whose name does not appear on the reverse-mortgage note. Though she and her husband, Raymond, had been assured multiple times since 2009 by loan officers and others that in the event of her husband’s death, she could continue to live in the home indefinitely, the reality turned out to be starkly different. She was not protected.

via Reverse-mortgage change saves homes for surviving spouses.

June 11th, 2015

Quirky Homes Show Their True Colors

Hosam Haggag and Fatima Rahman bought a fixer-upper in a historic neighborhood in Santa Clara, Calif., for $415,000 in 2011. Because of its shabby condition, the house was a rare bargain in Silicon Valley, where Mr. Haggag is a product manager for a large technology company. As part of a 2½-year renovation that cost almost as much as the house, the exterior got a new coat of colors: yellow, pink, blue and green with orange trim—hues that mimic the house in “Up,” a popular children’s movie.

“We drove our 3-year-old daughter by the house and said ‘That’s our house. We’re going to live in it,’ ” said Mr. Haggag. “And she said, ‘Yes, and then we’re going to fly away.’ ” It was a joyous moment for Mr. Haggag, 29, who said they chose the look to delight their two young daughters, and because it made them and people who passed by the house happy.

As the housing market and broader economy have recovered, some luxury homeowners and residential developers are going loud and proud with exterior colors. The playful palettes are a form of self-expression for families that want their house to stand out, and a way for urban developers to broadcast youth and trendiness.

via Quirky Homes Show Their True Colors.

June 11th, 2015

How Renters Can Build Long-Term Wealth, Too

Home might be where your heart is, but it isn’t necessarily where your wealth grows.With American homeownership in a steady decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, many households are not living in the passive asset that is a house.  Homeownership is a long-term play, and for most families, true wealth only materializes when the mortgage is nearly paid off. Renters have an array of alternative strategies for building wealth, but doing so requires an extra dose of self-discipline to save money in the absence of a mortgage that converts an essential cost of living to an asset.

“The costs of ownership are so high in so many areas that it does make sense to rent – if you can invest the difference,” says Rachel Podnos, a financial planner with Wealth Care LLC, based in Merritt Island, Florida.

via How Renters Can Build Long-Term Wealth, Too.

May 24th, 2015

Bad water holding down property values

Florida Realtors says yes to both in a recent report that says property values were suppressed by nearly $1 billion a year because of poor water quality.

Improved water quality in Lee County would increase property values by an estimated $541 million while Martin County’s property value would increase by an estimated $428 million, the report says.

Overall, property values are rising in both counties, but they’re being “severely dampened” by poor water quality, the report says.

via Bad water holding down property values.

May 24th, 2015

Alternative Retirement Income: Rental Properties – Columnists

For many Americans, especially the Baby Boomer generation, retirement is either here or just on the horizon. The first of the Boomer generation to hit retirement age was in 2011 and according to the National Association of REALTORS®, the population of baby boomers entering retirement is projected to be 10,000 people a day, for at least the next two decades! Mind=Blown! This is the largest mass retirement in our country’s history. With retirement comes the promise of R&R, but you can only relax if you have a way to pay for it reality is a tough pill, ugh!.

Many people are not financially prepared for retirement and thus, the average retirement age keeps creeping up.It may be time to think outside the 401K box. Don’t get me wrong, having 401Ks, stocks, bonds and other traditional investments is great! However, diversity is key in investing and any investment that sends you a check every month while simultaneously growing in value is a huge win in my book.

via Alternative Retirement Income: Rental Properties.

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