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Category Archives: Real Estate

Finding Perfect Urban Condo

Do market research.

As previously noted, there are a plethora of high rise condos available across a wide gamut of price points. Once you figure out how much you want to spend, you can start investigating specific condos that fall within that range. By doing so, you can figure out where you’re going to get your best value.

You want to look at the obvious things like how much square footage you’ll get for your money with each condo, but there are other, less quantifiable metrics you should look at as well. For example, what is the pool like? Are there private tennis or racquetball courts? Is there a fitness center, and is it substantial enough to preclude the need for a regular gym membership?

Finally, HOA dues are a huge consideration. Two condos could have the same price point, but if one’s HOA is $150 per month more expensive than the other’s, you won’t actually end up paying an equal price.

Clearly, all this information can be difficult to analyze and digest on your own, which leads to this final tip.

Work with a qualified real estate agent.

In a hot, fast-paced real estate market, you don’t want to try to go at a condo purchase on your own. You need the most experienced agent on your side if you want the best deal and the most seamless transaction possible. Having the right agent can mean the difference between missing out on your dream home and getting in it at the best price possible.

Homes for Sale and the Challenge

Just as you didn’t land your dream job by leaving it to chance, you shouldn’t make a career move into or out of homes for sale without thorough research and planning.

For example, consider the neighborhoods you wish to target. Apart from the regular considerations of safety and availability of good schools, think about proximity to your new workplace. Specifically, if you’re moving to or a city of comparable size, you can settle almost anywhere without being burdened by a lengthy commute.

Conversely, the right choice of locations in a large metropolitan area can make the difference between a short drive to the office and a long haul traversing two time zones. Taking a new position is stressful enough as it is, so why compound it with a trip that really puts the “hour” in rush hour?

Relocating for work, like the work itself, is a two-way street. Not only does it benefit you and your family in the form of more opportunity and perhaps better pay, but it also helps the company put the right person in the right position.

That explains why many businesses offer relocation assistance ranging from reimbursement for moving expenses like transportation and storage to free temporary housing that can ease the transition to or from homes for sale. Should they fail to offer anything, ask what’s available and be prepared to negotiate for moving support that’s not currently being given. Remember, if you’re valuable enough to be uprooted from your present life for the betterment of the company, they can darn well help to replant you.

Before you start shedding tears of stress and get overwhelmed with homes for sale, cry for help instead. Ask the realtor who’s assisting you with the sale to connect you with one of their colleagues in your new city. If they don’t know anyone, check with friends, family or your new co-workers for a recommendation.

Once you find someone you trust, they can ease your burden by suggesting neighborhoods that meet your needs, scheduling viewings and offering lots of suggestions to facilitate the moving process. Best of all, since realtor fees are paid by the seller, you can get expert advice and peace of mind without spending a dime.

Search For Rental Property

Choose the Location Wisely

The location of the property can determine the rental charges and the kind of neighborhood you will have. This makes it very important to choose your location. Before visiting the areas of interest, check with agents to find out if the area is within your budget range. Renting can be a bit expensive in major cities as compared to less popular cities. It is most advisable that you shortlist at least four areas or suburbs of interest so that you have a suitable choice by the end of making all comparisons. Consider the facilities and transport network too before renting.

Search for Your Ideal Property

When you have targeted areas you wish to rent in, your next step should be to start with the search. Luckily, there are property websites where you can begin your property search from. The best thing about search sites is that they will have comprehensive property listings for you to go through and compare to make a choice. Most have detailed information about the properties, hence making it very easy for you to decide and remain within your budget range. When renting, for instance, you will easily narrow the search with the city as your keyword search.

Understand Your Rental Agreement

The contract will differ from one property agent or owner to the other. It is however very important that you take the time to read through the agreement to make sure that you agree with every clause that is included in it. When dealing with a lease, you might be required to pay a month’s rent and bond which acts as a security deposit against damages on property or unpaid bills. It is also important to find out about payment methods to make sure they suit your preferences.

Investing In Real Estate versus Stock

Real Estate

The Benefits

1. Middle-Class Friendly

Real estate includes houses, apartments, hospitals, and other tangible things that middle-income and even lower- income groups are familiar with. This is in stark contrast to stocks, as the general population knows minimal about the latter. Hence, they prefer investing in property over stocks.

2. Safer Investment

Compared to stocks, which have a higher risk factor involved, property investments are relatively safer. While both real estate markets and stock markets are quite turbulent, the former has a bigger safety net. The reason being that with property investments, not much is left to chance.

The Drawbacks

1. More Research Involved

Stock investments are pretty straight forward and don’t require excessive research on the investor’s part. However, real estate investments involve a lot of hard work. From deciding on the property type to finalising on the mode of payment, there are a lot of tough calls to make.

2. Eligible For Tax Payment

Property investments are eligible for tax payments, which is not the case with stock investments. So, unless you rent out your property, you will stand to lose due to tax payments.

Stocks

The Benefits

1. Greater Profits

Most market analysts have agreed that stocks provide more profits as compared to property investments. Also, holding a stock for a long period of time has been one of the greatest wealth creators that puts stocks ahead of real estate in terms of the profit earning capacity.

2. Easier To Diversify

When you invest in the real estate market, you can only choose one property type at a time. This is not the case with the stock market, due to the availability of mutual funds. Mutual fund is a type of professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. This gives investors a wide basket of stocks to invest in.

Stay Away From Real Estate Fraud

a) Foreclosure Fraud

Cash-strapped property owners that can’t afford to meet mortgage payments sometimes get taken for a ride. Deceitful people make an offer to pay the loan on the owner’s behalf, as if to help them out of the situation, but then leave without fulfilling the promises. The trickery usually requires immediate payment for the trickster’s services and an agreement to transfer the property title to him or her. Once this is done, the trickster flees, while you are left behind with piling amounts of debt and no property. This type of fraud is called foreclosure fraud.

b) Home-Equity Fraud

Watch out for those people who are eyeing your house equity. If you rely on your house equity to borrow money, you have to constantly be on the lookout for unscrupulous lenders so you can stay away from them.

When it comes to leveraging properties, there are huge risks involved. The risks must be carefully explained by your lender. Those who want to make extra bucks will embellish their application such that the income, down payment, and property assessment values are exaggerated, ultimately helping themselves to a huge loan amount.

Be Wary Of Money Laundering

Money laundering is another common method of deceit. Illegal money is made to seem like a clean asset. Stay wary of people who purchase a property with illegal proceedings and sell them to other people. On the face of it, the property might look legitimate to you, but only careful inspection and assessment can spell out the dirty secrets.

Ideal Granny Flat

The name “granny flat” is said to have come from the fact that these structures would be used by families to provide a separate living space for their ageing or disabled parents, so that they could maintain some degree of independence while still remaining within the family property where they can have company, assistance or any help that they would need.

But more and more people are becoming creative with their use of the granny flat; others would use the space as a home office or a place to pursue hobbies, like making crafts or building things in a workshop. Still others fix up the place to so that they can rent it out to individuals or couples looking for an affordable place to live.

Granny flat designs, Sydney experts say, can vary greatly from place to place, depending on their intended purpose. Generally, a granny flat has to be smaller than the original house in the property; some of the minimum requirements include maintaining a property size of 450 square metres, and a maximum size of 60 square metres for the actual granny flat.

Some granny flats come with one or two bedrooms, one bathroom, and an open-plan kitchen and living area. Others can have up to three bedrooms and two bathrooms instead of one, plus high ceilings so that the unit can benefit from more space and light. A porch in front can also be incorporated so that its dwellers can have a place to enjoy the sun and the breeze.

Moving in the Winter

Clear the Snow

Slipping on snow and ice can turn a simple move into a disaster. Before you even start, make sure all walkways at both old and new homes are clear; ice or sand if necessary. Keep shovels, salt and sand on-hand.

Parking Considerations

Whether you’re using a moving company or getting help from a gang of friends, be sure there’s adequate parking for the moving truck at both locations. Parking at urban condos can be particularly, and this could mean a bit of negotiating with new neighbors or the landlord if space is tight.

Protect Your Floors

Winter’s snow, ice and salt are notorious for dirtying up or even scratching some kinds of flooring. Protect floors and carpets with big pieces of cardboard or plastic sheeting for the big day. You can use duct tape if the floors can withstand it, and small tacks work well on carpeted areas.

Have a Plan B

With the constant threat of winter storms, there’s always a chance that your move will have to be rescheduled. If you’re using a moving company, call and see what their storm policy is, as some may want to reschedule the move, meaning you can’t move out and new tenants or owners can’t move in. Check with your landlord or real estate agent to see if it would be alright to stay a few more days. If you can’t, you may have to arrange a few days of temporary housing.

Keep an Eye on Mother Nature

If you’re moving a distance, keep an eye on the weather along your travel route, checking with local authorities by phone or on-line if the forecast is ominous. Scout out overnight accommodations in case you need to make an unexpected stop.

Prep Your Car

Be sure your car is serviced and winterized, with brakes and tires checked and fluids topped. If you have chains, be sure you know how to use them, doing a trial run on installation in the garage before you go. Carry salt or kitty litter in case you get stuck, pop a snow shovel and blanket in the car and be sure you have a gas can and roadside assistance membership.

Keep a List

Your winter move emergency contact list should include roadside assistance, highway control and a number for road conditions. Be sure someone who’s not on the moving trip knows the route your taking and schedule a call-in with them to be sure all is fine.

Extra Clothes

Not only do you want to stay warm and dry during the move, you’ll want to be sure your helpers are comfortable. Bring along a bag of gloves, hats, sweaters and socks in case of changing weather or wet clothing.

Tips Find great Building Contractor

If you are struggling to find a good contractor, you can ask for recommendations. Contact friends and relatives who have recently purchased properties. This will surely help you to gather names of some reliable builders.

Your next step should be viewing work samples. Here, we would like to advise you not to opt for the first project of any builder. Always opt for companies or professionals who can show your samples. Looking at the past projects of the person or company you are looking to rely on will give you the confidence required for investing a big sum.

Don’t forget to check certificates and licenses that make a construction a legal construction. You can talk to your lawyer to know what kind of licenses and certificates a real estate contractor must possess. If the contractor fails to show you necessary documents, don’t think twice before discarding him.

Whatever might be the area of the property you are looking to purchase the builder should be able to offer you a fixed price quote. You may be looking to buy a commercial property covering an area of 15000 square feet or a 2BHK apartment covering an area of 1000 square feet, you must get a fixed price quote before completing the registration procedure.

If it’s a residential property, you should know what kind of neighbors you will be having once you start living in the newly purchased apartment. Top real estate contractors always make sure that people buying apartments from them have a good background. So, it’s extremely important that the company you are purchasing the flat from is one of the most trusted builders in the area it is operating in.