News About Properties

News about properties and real estate
April 29th, 2008

Investors eye Southeast Texas rental business

Investors eye Southeast Texas rental business

Earning $100 profit a month from one house, or breaking even, can be cause for celebration for first-time rental property owners.

From an outsider’s perspective, renting property might seem almost like a turnkey operation – allowing landlords to sit back and reap the rewards of their investments with little or no effort.

But while rental properties can be a sound investment, it’s not as simple as it might seem and the cash isn’t always rolling in.

Only 35 percent of single-family rental property owners participating in the Census Bureau’s Property Owners and Managers Survey reported a profit. The survey, which was conducted inthe mid-1990s, found almost 17 percent reported breaking even, 28 percent reported a loss and the remainder were unsure or did not respond.

April 29th, 2008

Homeowners groups are in a fix

Homeowners groups are in a fix

John Rankin remembers the day the owner at 2214 Sonoma Drive skipped town.

“He packed up his truck one day, and drove away,” said Rankin, president of the Mission Estates homeowners association in Venice. “Then he just never came back.”

That was nearly a year ago.

As weeks and then months went by, the property fell into disrepair — with the pool turning green and grass growing wildly. Rankin said the homeowners association eventually took matters into its own hands, as its residents took pride in their neighborhood and did not want one house out of 93 negatively affecting the image, and property values, of the larger community.

April 26th, 2008

Seattle luxury-condo complex Escala will raise prices

Seattle luxury-condo complex Escala will raise prices

The market for new downtown condos has cooled. Many potential buyers are backing off, fearful of recession and wary of the national real-estate downturn.

So Escala, the 31-story luxury complex under construction at Fourth Avenue and Virginia Street, is raising its prices?

Developer Lexas Cos. said this week that on June 5 it will raise the asking prices 3 to 7 percent for about 70 unsold units that have been on the market since last spring.

Another 22 units that will be released for sale May 1 also will have higher price tags.

April 26th, 2008

Condo seller employs new strategy: pay back buyers [South Florida]

Condo seller employs new strategy: pay back buyers [South Florida]

Selling condos in South Florida has become such a difficult task that some sellers are actually paying buyers to acquire their units.

The Villas at Emerald Dunes, a recently finished condo development in West Palm Beach, is offering buyers a deal where the seller would pay buyers monthly, the equivalent of an annual return of 8 percent of the purchase price for two years after the closing. For instance, investors paying $325,000 for a unit would receive an income of $2,167 per month. The seller also would pay property taxes, association fees, maintenance and property and management fees.

The guaranteed return strategy was used in the early 1990s by commercial real estate owners who tried to cope with an oversupply in the commercial market, said David Dabby, president of Coral Gables-based real estate research firm Dabby Group.

April 24th, 2008

Students find luxury near campus [North Florida]

Students find luxury near campus [North Florida]

Jacey Dykstra’s condominium is anything but an average student residence.
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The University of Florida sophomore nursing student comes home to 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops, French doors that open onto a private balcony and walls so thick, she never hears any of her more than 80 neighbors.

Todd Shealy, who owns Campus View development company Focus Real Estate Group, is building an additional 49 two-bedroom units to the 66 already inhabited. Shealy said he has sold a single unit for as much as $340,000 and is selling the two-bedroom condos for a base price of $229,000.

“They seem to be selling as fast as we can build them,” he said.

April 24th, 2008

Phoenix Couple Struggles to Hold On To Several Investment Properties

Phoenix Couple Struggles to Hold On To Several Investment Properties

We’ll be periodically checking in with home sellers, owners, buyers and investors who have been affected by the cooling real-estate market.

The Investors: Donna Butera, 47 years old, a home-staging professional, and her husband, Mark Butera, 45, a contractor, in Phoenix. The Buteras got started in real-estate investing in 2001, and to date, have turned a profit on 12 properties that they have renovated and sold.

The Investment: In 2005 the Buteras bought six properties — four single-family homes in Phoenix, plus a house and condo in Scottsdale, Ariz. With the exception of the condo, which they intended to use as a short-term vacation rental, they had hoped to quickly renovate and sell the other properties.

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