News About Properties

News about properties and real estate
December 28th, 2014

Don’t Buy a Home as an Investment

This year, I sold one apartment and bought another. It was a reminder that the words “home” and “investment” don’t belong in the same sentence.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m all in favor of home ownership. The tax breaks are impressive. Home ownership forces us to save: With each mortgage payment, we whittle down the loan balance, so eventually we own a valuable asset free and clear. Most important, a home provides us with a place to live.

But what about the price appreciation? According to Freddie Mac , home prices have climbed just 3.7% a year over the past 30 years, not much above the 2.8% inflation rate. To make matters worse, this figure doesn’t reflect the hefty costs of buying, owning and selling a home. What if you include those? Consider one columnist’s sorry tale.

via Don’t Buy a Home as an Investment.

December 21st, 2014

Residential building boom going strong in downtown St. Petersburg

Construction cranes will remain a part of the downtown landscape well into next year as one of the biggest residential building booms in this city’s history keeps going strong.

Developers say their bet on St. Petersburg as an ideal spot for urban dwellers is paying off.

Four apartment buildings have begun opening in the past 12 months, representing more than 800 units, and managers report a strong wave of leasing.

But when the dust settles, there will be another 1,200 homes left to fill, including luxury condominiums, chic apartments and townhomes, all slated to go up within a few blocks of the downtown waterfront.

via Residential building boom going strong in downtown St. Petersburg .

December 17th, 2014

Improve your chances of a sale by boosting your curb appeal

Photo by gb_packards (Mike)

It is vital to capture a buyers’ interest immediately when selling a house because first impressions really do count. For this reason it is really important to ensure that the front of your house is presentable.

You should give your house a makeover before putting it on the market – don’t wait until after the real estate agent has taken photos. Tidy the front garden, ensure that the grass is well maintained and all shrubs and plants are under control. Any plants that are looking past their best should be removed or replaced. A good driveway is important so repair damaged areas, remove weeds and consider giving it a thorough wash with a jet spray.

Clean your windows and give wooden window frames and fascia boards a new coat of paint. Check that all your guttering is clean and tidy too. One simple way to make your home look really appealing is to install some traditional wooden shutters, which will make your house stand out and look unique.

Once you have made the house more presentable from a distance, start to work on the finer details. Clean your front door and polish brass fittings. Make sure the doorbell is working properly and that the outside light is working. If you get a viewing late in the day remember to turn the light on. It is also a good idea to hide your trash cans around the back of the house and make sure the garage door is closed (and clean) when viewers arrive.

Of course, a fantastic house fascia should not be let down by an untidy or aged interior. The key rules to making a house look presentable to prospective buyers is to clean, declutter and decorate.

Clean your house

Thoroughly clean your home before putting it on the market and ensure that it remains clean for each viewing. Have your carpets professionally washed, give the entire house a spring clean and make sure that the kitchen and bathrooms are always spotless. Nobody lives in a house that is perfectly clean all the time, but a viewer will still expect to see a home that looks more like a show house than a family home.


Remove all unnecessary items from your home, package them up and store them away out of sight. People are more likely to purchase a house that provides them with a blank canvas to work with.

Decluttering also involves making more space. Consider removing coffee tables and footstools from living rooms to give the illusion of more space. Clear kitchen worktops of all but the essential few electrical items, such as a kettle and toaster.

Bedrooms should also look immaculate. Remove items from the top of dressing tables and bedsides, put away extra pillows and blankets and keep the curtains tied back to allow in maximum light.


If your walls have not been decorated for many years it is a good idea to decorate. Decorating a home is a small investment that can significantly increase the chances of making a sale.

When it comes to selling your home a little extra care can go a long way. If you can make your house look more like a show home people will be more likely to pay the asking price. Buyers will often use dated parts of the home as bartering tools so the less work that needs doing, the harder it is for the buyer to knock the price down.



December 14th, 2014

Million-dollar home sales slowing

Growth in million-dollar home sales is slowing in areas including Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, as rising prices and the strengthening U.S. dollar discourage foreign investors who helped lead the recovery.

In seven investor-heavy markets – the Los Angeles, Riverside and Ventura areas of Southern California; Las Vegas; and Florida’s Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando – sales of homes for $1 million or more rose 5 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared with a 46 percent surge in the same part of 2013, data compiled by brokerage Redfin Corp. show.

Luxury sales, which have been outpacing the total market, are beginning to slow in many of the areas most dependent on investors and other cash buyers. Foreign shoppers are now facing a weakening global economy, less favorable exchange rates and higher U.S. home values.

via Million-dollar home sales slowing.

December 4th, 2014

How Art and Real Estate Are Coming Together

The art scene in Miami continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, so much so that for many residents living in some of the most high-end buildings in the world, a trip to the museum isn’t always necessary for a daily dose of creativity. Developers are engaging major artists in large-scale collaborations, raising the aesthetic bar at their latest projects and putting installations and one-of-a-kind pieces on display for inhabitants to enjoy.

In these new condo towers, art is a fundamental aspect of the entire project, and not just a colorful wall-hanging picked up at moment’s notice because it matched the drapes; these are big new vertical Xanadus dripping in art. Everyone is trying to outdo one another—Faena House, developed by Alan Faena, will house the Faena Bazaar and an artist-in-residence center by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, while Oceana Bal Harbour will feature two larger-than-life works by Jeff Koons—Pluto and Proserpina and Ballerina, purchased in 2013 for $14 million—both of which will be shared and owned by building tenants.

via How Art and Real Estate Are Coming Together.

December 4th, 2014

Special tax reporting rules for rental properties

 Many people own rental property of some kind – whether they are renting out part of a primary residence or a vacation home. Regardless of the type of rental property, owners must make themselves acquainted with the various tax rules that apply to it, as these can differ significantly based on the degree to which the property is used for personal purposes.

The first step is to determine the status of the property – either dwelling or mixed-use.  A dwelling unit used for personal purposes is not necessarily a main home – main home is defined as the location where a person lives most of the time. A mixed-use property is one that is used for both personal and rental purposes. A day of personal use of a dwelling unit would be any day that it is used by the owner or any other person who has an interest in it, such as a member of an owner’s family, anyone under an agreement that exchanges use of the unit in question for use of some other dwelling unit, or anyone who uses it at less than the fair rental price.

via Special tax reporting rules for rental properties.

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