Real Estate

Selling your home in a depressed economy

Challenging economic conditions mean the real estate market is great for buyers, but a graveyard for sellers hoping for a good deal. The housing market in the United States is at its lowest point in nearly three decades. The Mortgage Bankers Association states that in 2011, 8 million Americans were at least one month behind on their mortgage payments with 5 million of these homeowners two months behind. With a large number of homes for sale, prices are falling rapidly and sellers are caught in a trap. Here are some tips for selling your home in a recessionary economy for a reasonable price.

Find a great real estate broker

Although you can try to sell the property yourself, you are asking a lot to list your home and do all the groundwork without any real knowledge of the industry. Even though a real estate agent will cost you 3-6% of the sales price, their experience could easily make up for that difference. Find a local agency that is familiar with your neighborhood, including knowledge of comparable properties in the area, school systems, etc. Check the real estate agent’s sales history for the past several years. You want a successful real estate agent who is not too busy to give your property full attention.

Marketing plan

Your real estate agent is responsible for producing a marketing plan, but it is your duty to familiarize yourself with the plan as it is an essential element in generating traffic and getting more people to see your home. Your property must be visible on major Internet sites, such as realtor.com. The best real estate agents have their own website, so make sure your property is on display there as well.

Preparation

This is your chance to shine. Walk around the house with your agent and he or she can point out things that may put potential buyers off. The good news is that your home prep work can be done on a relatively tight budget. First, take care of the property’s exterior with carefully trimmed hedges and colorful flowers that are always a bonus. Repair any loose bricks or handrails and also make sure the roof is in perfect condition.

Make sure all walls are painted and carpets are professionally cleaned. Eliminate all odors to leave a fresh smell and move around the furniture to make the living space look as large as possible. If you can’t get your property looking pristine by the time the first viewers arrive, your home will remain unsold.

Price

Look at active listings, pending listings, and recently sold home statistics that can be reasonably compared to yours. However, be careful when looking at the sale prices, as those sales could have taken place a few months ago. Economic conditions can change very quickly, so you may need to adjust prices to suit the existing market. Pay special attention to the listed prices as this is your competition.

After you have followed the steps above, you should quickly follow up on the queries. Your real estate agent typically handles follow-up activity, including emails or phone calls from interested parties. Hopefully, you will receive a lot of interest, thus increasing the possibility of receiving a fair price for your home.

Real Estate

How do I save my home? Using bankruptcy protection (Chapter 13)

Bankruptcy protection is often used to stop foreclosure and provide the debtor with the opportunity to restructure mortgage arrears into affordable payment terms.

When borrowers fall behind on their mortgage, the bank generally insists on paying ALL past due mortgage arrears upfront, or in a very short period of time – two to three months. This financial situation is usually impossible for the debtor who wants to save his house.

The alternative to bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor the opportunity to restructure the payment of delinquent mortgage arrears within a period of three (3) to five (5) years. This makes the recovery of overdue mortgage payments affordable for the debtor.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is commonly known as a “salaried” plan. The debtor is required to demonstrate to the Bankruptcy Court that he has sufficient recurring income or stable wages to manage the payment of a modest family budget and an adequate surplus of income that allows the debtor to pay the mortgage arrears in a period not to exceed five ( 5 years.

In some cases, mortgage arrears must be repaid with interest. However, this depends on the provisions set forth in the loan documents that govern the borrower’s loan.

Chapter 13 also allows debtors to restructure collateral advances made by the bank. If the debtor’s bank advanced the payment of real estate taxes, property insurance, etc., those advances can also be repaid during the term of the Chapter 13 plan, which will not exceed five (5) years.

As an example, let’s say the debtor’s mortgage payment is $ 1,200.00 per month and the debtor is 24 months behind on the mortgage, and the mortgage arrears total $ 28,800. The debtor’s bank has filed a foreclosure action and the bank is ready to auction the property.

When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, all debt collection activity from creditors must cease, including bank foreclosure.

The debtor can now formulate a plan to pay the mortgage arrears into a payment plan that works within the debtor’s budget.

Upon filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the debtor must stay current on all his monthly bills arising AFTER the filing date of Chapter 13. Therefore, the debtor’s income must be sufficient to pay his ordinary living expenses ( mortgage, utilities, food, insurance, car payment, medical expenses, etc.) and, in addition, there must be enough excess income to pay the Chapter 13. payment plan, that is, the mortgage arrears. That means that the debtor must have excess income of at least $ 480.00 per month above and beyond their ordinary living expenses to pay the mortgage arrears for the next five (5) years. If this is affordable, the debtor can save their home under a Chapter 13 plan.

The Bankruptcy Court will also require the debtor to make a refund to unsecured creditors. Most courts require the debtor to reimburse unsecured creditors for at least 20% of outstanding unsecured claims. So, in addition to repayment of mortgage arrears, the debtor must be able to pay a dividend to the unsecured creditors. In our example, suppose the debtor has a credit card debt of $ 20,000. The Bankruptcy Court would expect our debtor to repay unsecured credit card claims at least $ 2,000.00 in a term not to exceed five ( 5 years. Therefore, the debtor’s income must be sufficient to pay his ordinary living expenses, mortgage arrears at a rate of $ 480.00 per month plus a dividend for general unsecured creditors of $ 33.33 per month. .

As long as the debtor can pay his ordinary living expenses and the Chapter 13 plan payment, he will be able to save his home under the protections afforded by Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Real Estate

Buying Before Foreclosure: The Flexible Foreclosure Buying

I’m sure you know what pre-foreclosure is. But do you know that buying a home before foreclosure can save you up to 40% of the home’s market value before foreclosure? Or are you actually already thinking about buying a pre-foreclosure? Either way, you will need information to learn more about pre-foreclosure and decide your strategy for buying pre-foreclosure.

FYI, pre-foreclosure occurs when the homeowner has missed at least one loan payment. The lender will then issue a Notice of Default which is a public record asking the homeowner to respond to the unpaid payment / loan. This is the first legal stage of a home foreclosure. Homeowners must respond quickly to show their motivation to solve the problem. Homeowners in foreclosure will be highly motivated to search for home buyers to purchase their home during this same period.

There are always advantages and disadvantages to buying before foreclosure. You have to achieve a balance point within the advantages and disadvantages. Buying before foreclosure could be very prosperous in return, but on the other hand, it could be a nightmare.

Speaking of its benefits, pre-foreclosure purchase sale agreements could be flexible and adjustable. Because the deal only involves 2 parties: the buyers (us) and the homeowner. So as long as the pre-foreclosure owner agrees, the deal is always negotiable. Second, buying before foreclosure could save you up to 40% of the market value of your home in foreclosure. It means that if the market value of a home in foreclosure is $ 250,000, you could save up to $ 100,000. Surely your neighbors will envy you for owning the same house as them but with the different price they are paying.

Third, buying a pre-foreclosure home directly from the owner versus buying a foreclosed home through auction or REO (real estate) allows you enough time to research the property’s conditions foreclosed real estate As stated above, the agreement only involves you and the owner, you can always see the title and other details of the foreclosed home as long as the owner gives the green light, right? In most cases, buying before foreclosure requires a lower down payment and this is the fourth advantage of buying before foreclosure. As long as you have your lender, everything should be fine.

Of course, buying before foreclosure not only has these 4 advantages, but they are the main one. Having so many advantages when buying before foreclosure, does that mean that buying before foreclosure is easy? I doubt it. Great deals always take effort, and good things don’t get you easily unless you’ve planned your strategy correctly.

Real Estate

HUD’s New Lawsuit Covers Familiar Ground

In late May, the real estate world was shocked when HUD filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against several major real estate firms and a natural hazard disclosure reporting company that alleged violations of RESPA in connection with their former joint venture. Business.

Although at the time, the industry speculated that this lawsuit marked new ground for HUD to take companies to court for RESPA violations, in fact, HUD has done so once before. And, curiously, the problems in that first case are strikingly similar to the core problems in the new case.

On May 24, HUD sued Property ID of Los Angeles for allegedly making improper payments based on referring consumers to Realogy Corp. (formerly Cendant Corp.); NRT / Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Corp .; Mason-McDuffie Real Estate (doing business as Prudential California Realty); and Pickford Realty Ltd. (doing business as Prudential California Realty).

In a separate lawsuit filed against HUD, Property ID has argued that its actions were not within the purview of RESPA because “natural hazard disclosure reports are not settlement services and are not part of the escrow. Natural hazard reports they are not listed as one of the service agreements in RESPA’s own statute. The statute that requires natural hazard disclosure reports requires them for reasons unrelated to escrow. To be under RESPA’s jurisdiction, product sold by Property ID would have to be a settlement service. “

However, HUD has taken the opposite view, stating in its lawsuit that “sellers, buyers, or their agents purchase and provide hazard disclosure reports as part of the purchase and settlement of real estate involving mortgage-related loans. federal government. of real estate is pending, whether the report is purchased before or during an actual or potential deal for the sale of real estate, “adding that” the vast majority of reports are paid out of escrow in the time of settlement “.

‘Obsolete and ambiguous’

All of the real estate brokers in the lawsuit agree with Property ID that natural hazard disclosure reports are not a settlement service under RESPA.

Mark Panus, senior vice president of corporate communications for Realogy Corp. (which includes NRT), told Real Law Central, “Like most in this industry, we have operated under RESPA, outdated and ambiguous as it is, for many years. We dispute the allegations. factual and legal in the complaint, including characterizing natural hazard disclosure reports as a settlement service under RESPA. “

Likewise, Eliza Walsh, a spokesperson for Mason-McDuffie Real Estate Inc. (dba Prudential California Realty in Northern California), said: “The position of the company, based on expert legal advisers, is that the production of disclosure reports of Natural hazards are not included in the definition of ‘settlement services’ as defined by federal statute. “

And Steve Rodgers, President and CEO of Prudential California Realty and Pickford Realty, said, “We are confident that our internal policies and procedures, as well as all of our business transactions, are fully compliant with [RESPA]. “

Ironically, HUD’s first lawsuit for alleged RESPA violations also sought clarification on what constitutes a settlement service, in the 1984 case of US v. Graham Mortgage.

This case turned out to be pivotal in RESPA’s history, as the Sixth Circuit Court’s decision in this case prompted HUD to amend the statute in 1992.

United States v. Graham Mortgage

The story of US v. Graham Mortgage began in 1983, when HUD filed a six-count indictment in the Eastern District of Michigan charging four defendants with the misdemeanor of giving and accepting bribes in violation of § 8 (a) of RESPA, and with conspiracy to violate that provision.

The defendants included Graham Mortgage Corp. (GMC); Richard E. Chapin, executive vice president and director of GMC; Thomas P. Heinz, GMC Vice President and Branch Manager; and Manford Colbert, president of Rose Hill Realty, who was involved in both traditional real estate brokerage and home buying, rehabbing and reselling in the Detroit area.

From September 1975 to May 1979, GMC provided financing for the purchase, rehabilitation and resale of residences in the Detroit area by Rose Hill. For every loan she received, Rose Hill agreed to refer two home loan applicants from her regular brokerage business to GMC, in addition to recommending the buyer of the rehabbed home. In turn, GMC, by making mortgage loans to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Veterans Administration (VA) to buyers of the rehabilitated residences sold by Rose Hill, charged Rose Hill less points than it charged to other sellers.

To recoup lost revenue from reduction of points charged to Rose Hill, GMC increased the points charged to home sellers referred by Rose Hill and financed by FHA or VA loans.

Prior to trial, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that the activity alleged in the indictment did not involve the referral of a business “incident or part of a real estate settlement service” and consequently , did not violate § 8 (a) of RESPA.

The district court rejected the motion. Treating the question as a first impression, the court held that statutory language, viewed in light of Congress’s goal of eliminating kickbacks and referral fees that improperly inflated the cost of settlement services and statute interpretation in Regulations promulgated by HUD, prohibited the alleged activity.

The defendants later pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge in exchange for the substantive charges being dismissed. Following the entry of convictions, the defendants filed a motion to arrest sentencing. In an unpublished order, the court upheld its decision that the granting of a home loan was a settlement service and denied the motion. The defendants then appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court.

Sixth Circuit is not convinced

In ruling on the case, the Sixth Circuit noted that “the critical textual question is whether this definition of ‘settlement services’, which does not expressly include within its scope the granting of a mortgage loan, can properly be construed implicitly.”

HUD made a simple argument in support of its position that the language of RESPA § 3 (3) provides for treating the granting of a mortgage loan as a settlement service. The government argued that the definition of “settlement services”, on its own terms, is not intended to contain an exhaustive list of settlement services, but rather denotes “any service provided in connection with a real estate settlement.”

The government concluded that because a mortgage loan is the essential service for a real estate agreement, it must be ancillary to the agreement and within the scope of the definition in § 3 (3) of the RESPA.

But the Sixth Circuit concluded that “neither the plain language of the relevant section nor the structure of the RESPA offers an unequivocal reading that requires the imposition of criminal liability on the conduct alleged in the indictment.” Consequently, it went down in the legislative history of the statute.

HUD held that even if the language of the relevant statutes was ambiguous, RESPA’s legislative history supported the government’s interpretation of the statutes.

Legislative history of RESPA

In 1974, a bill (S. 3164) was introduced in the United States Senate to regulate certain credit practices and settlement procedures in mortgage transactions related to the federal government. The definition of “settlement services” in the bill, as introduced, was substantially identical to that promulgated by § 3 (3) of the RESPA.

Following Senate approval, the House of Representatives, by initially passing S. 3164, amended the bill by removing all Senate provisions and replacing the provisions of HR 9989, which was a House bill generally similar to S. 3164. A However, the difference was in the language of the definition of “settlement services”. The Chamber imposed a narrower definition that did not include the realization of a mortgage loan within its scope.

But the Senate refused to agree to the House amendments and eventually adopted a broader definition of “settlement services” than the one recommended by the House. HUD argued that this decision to favor a broader definition of “settlement services” showed that Congress intended to include the granting of a home loan.

But the Sixth Circuit said, “In deciding on the broader language of the Senate version, we do not believe that Congress intended to include real estate financing within the scope of settlement services for RESPA purposes,” finding that “legislative history lacks the clarity and force to compel the conclusion that Congress intended to treat the granting of a mortgage loan as a settlement service when it enacted RESPA.”

Therefore, the circuit court reversed the earlier ruling, concluding: “In light of our assertions, RESPA’s language is ambiguous regarding the question of whether the granting of a mortgage loan is a settlement service and that the legislative history of the statute does not address any resolution of that problem, ‘the leniency rule orders judgment for the [appellants]. Consequently, the conviction sentences are set aside and the case is referred to the district court for final sentences. “

This decision was a blow to HUD, which was in total disagreement with the Sixth Circuit’s position, and the decision forced the department to issue revisions to RESPA in 1992. Congress responded by amending RESPA to remove any doubt that, for RESPA purposes , a conciliation service includes the origination and realization of a mortgage loan. At the same time, Congress also made the RESPA apply specifically to second mortgages and refinances.

Future implications

The Graham Mortgage case differs from the property identification case in a significant way, in that in the first case, HUD attempted to seek criminal penalties for statute violations, while in the new case, HUD is only seeking a permanent injunction and a restitution. profit.

However, the central question remains the same. If the Sixth Circuit Court could find that the original definition of “settlement services” did not clearly apply to the granting of a mortgage loan in 1984, could the California court find that it did not clearly apply to the provision of reports as well? disclosure of natural hazards? , despite the modifications made in 1992?

And if so, will HUD and Congress have to go back to the drawing board to redefine the statute parameters again? Or will the courts this time find HUD’s argument about the statute’s broad scope sufficient?

The National Association of Realtors recently observed that “if the lawsuit is fully resolved and not resolved, businesses should finally have clearer guidance on what constitutes and does not constitute a settlement service.”

Real Law Central He will be watching to see what happens.

Real Estate

Timeshare information shows system failures

It all depends on how you look at it. Whether you’re looking from an industry perspective or a consumer perspective, the timeshare industry can present a very different look depending on your point of view.

Reading through Diamond Resorts’ second quarter financial report, it is clear that their initial public offering last month is having an impact on the way they present their message. From an industry perspective, it is a very optimistic outlook with the main indicators high. Total revenue, sales, rides generated, and price all increased, which is a constant theme among big brand timeshare developers during this reporting season.

The growth figures are impressive, but should be considered in light of recent acquisitions this year. Still, a 43 percent increase in total revenue is more than just a pocket change at a time when the global economy is booming.

Long live tourism! And the discretionary spending that it brings.

But from a consumer perspective, there are standard flash points that need to be checked and they have been a point of emphasis for years in this industry.

Diamond reported that the average transaction price rose nearly 30 percent to just over $ 16,000. Good news for the developer, bad news for the consumer. Your reasoning? Due to the sale of larger point packages and higher sales to new customers rather than existing owners.

So let me see if this is clear to me. Their sales increased because owners need to buy more points (whose monetary value of Monopoly is arbitrarily determined by the developer) and because they can get away with new customers who don’t know the difference like existing owners.

Good … for the developer. For the consumer, not so much.

But this is not to say that the product is not worth it. The value of any product is determined by those who are willing to pay for it, and to be fair, its average price is about $ 4,000 less than the general average price for an industry-wide range. But there are better ways to buy than this.

Especially when you look at your selling and marketing expenses, the amount of overhead that went into generating that sale in the first place. Diamond says it’s 50.7 percent of the total price, and they applauded that it’s down from 57 percent at this time last year. Which means that of that price of $ 16,000, $ 8,000 will pay the expenses, which is your money.

Owners often wonder why timeshare prices on the resale market seem depressed, but this is the main reason. Think in terms of car sales – buying a new car covers marketing and commissions and used cars are significantly lower on the resale market. The same goes for timeshares.

Again, this is not a blow to the developer, it is just that there is a better way to buy timeshare than through the developer. And that’s online through sites like buyatimeshare.com. I saw a Diamond Resorts Cypress Pointe Grande Villas in Orlando right now for $ 7,000, but people need to know that the option exists and many don’t until they are already exposed to the product.

The good news for consumers is that Diamond only closes about 13 percent of its touring patrons, meaning 87 percent leave the resort without shopping on the spot. Research supported by the American Resort Development Association not only shows that 32 percent of all timeshare sales are made through the resale channel (up from 17 percent in 2010), but the amount of people attending sales presentations has decreased. This would indicate that those buyers, once they have gone on a tour, are looking for other channels of purchase than through the “just for today” atmosphere that is created in the resort.

Again, the more awareness you create about savings by buying timeshare on the resale market, the better.

Real Estate

Offices, condos and apartments – how have things changed in the last 10 years in Bangkok?

Hi there. I have been working as a real estate agent in Bangkok since 2006. In that time I have seen some changes, but surprisingly very little has changed. Let me explain.

Bangkok Apartment Rental Prices 2008-2018

The rental prices of most apartment buildings have increased very marginally over the last 10 years. While a spacious 3-bedroom apartment in the Sukhumvit area would have cost 70,000 baht 10 years ago, today it can cost you 85,000 baht. That’s just a 20% increase in 10 years, actually much less than inflation, and in many ways an apartment is cheaper now than it was 10 years ago.

Why? It’s hard to say, but I guess ongoing political troubles, 2 coups, and a fairly stagnant economy that barely recovers around 3% GDP growth each year are the reasons. This level of growth may be acceptable for a world-leading developed nation, but for Thailand, which (let’s face it) still has a long way to go in terms of development, it’s not very good.

The apartment rental market in Bangkok is mainly governed by expats. Thais do not rent at these prices, or they do not earn enough, or they are sensitive enough to buy property in the suburbs, or they are part of the immensely wealthy elite and already own several blocks in the center of Bangkok. As the number of expats has remained fairly constant, so have rental prices.

Newly constructed condo buildings have seen an increase in rental prices, and there will always be a small percentage of people who have a sufficient budget and just want to live in a very new place, something is particularly true in the case of Japanese tenants. , but new buildings will get old. And once they have been built and a rental price has been set, you will notice that the price will remain relatively stagnant from then on.

This is the same with condos for sale. Once a building has finished construction, a selling price and a rental price are set, and it will remain stagnant at this level for years to come.

But the prices have been increasing in Bangkok, everyone knows it! So am I wrong?

Bangkok condo sales prices 2008-2018

I don’t think I was wrong. There are some condo buildings that have experienced a very good level of capital appreciation in recent years, but “on average” they have not.

Yes, prices have risen significantly in Bangkok, and this is something that all developers will gladly promote to you when they sell you their new project. They will show you charts with an upward trend in prices and show you that prices are increasing by at least 5-10% year over year.

Prices for new buildings have increased 5-10% year-on-year, but not finished buildings.

This is mainly due to increases in land prices. As land prices (and to some extent construction costs) rise, so do the costs of new buildings. So new buildings are getting more and more expensive, but are finished buildings following suit?

No. And that’s why I’m not wrong. A building that cost 150,000 baht / m2. 5 years ago, now there can only be 160,000 square baht – in this example, about 1.5% compound growth. This building was new 5 years ago, and a new building today still under construction could cost you 200,000 baht / m2. which is 33% more than what the new building was 5 years ago, hence the compound growth of 5% ++.

But the fact is, the building YOU bought 5 years ago may have increased by only 1.5% of composite per year.

This is the current trend with Bangkok properties. New buildings constantly set new price benchmarks and then remain the same. With even newer buildings adding a layer on top, setting new benchmarks and then staying on the same level. Even newer buildings, just keep adding another layer on top.

That is why you will find such a large price discrepancy between the buildings, even if they are located next to each other. An example would be Lumpini 24, a new condominium located on Sukhumvit Soi 24, where prices will reach 250,000 baht / m2. So a small 60 square meter 2 bedroom unit will cost around 15,000,000 baht.

Immediately next door is an older condo called President Park, where prices have been stagnant at around 60,000 baht / m2. So a very spacious 260 square meter 3 bedroom unit will cost you around 15,000,000 baht.

Four times bigger, located immediately next door, but at the same price! So the old adage “Location, location, location” doesn’t apply here. It is ONLY based on the age of the building.

Below is an example of a newer building for sale, 275 m2. asking for 80,000,000 baht: http://www.property-bangkok.com/viewproperty.asp?id=587

Below is an example of an old building for sale in a similar location, 366 m2. asking for 21,000,000 baht: http://www.bangkokcondo.org/viewproperty.asp?id=614

Yes, the new condo is much nicer, has a better design and a newer lobby and gleaming facilities. But is the price variation fully justified? I mean, 4 times the price!

Considering that the interior of the new condo will age and need to be replaced, and if you bought in the older building, you can update the interior to have it all new.

In any case, whether you buy in the new condo or in an old building, it is not here or there, the main problem that arises in this article is that the prices of the new projects may have risen considerably, but once have invested in your condo unit, it may not achieve the same level of growth that the developer directed you to achieve.

The only people who are really experiencing great capital growth are landowners. And these are mostly Thais already very wealthy as non-Thais cannot own land. It does not help the majority of non-wealthy Thais who are still struggling financially.

Office rental prices have also remained fairly static. Over the past 10 years, office rental prices have increased marginally, similar to apartment buildings. However, as most investors (both Thai and foreign) seem obsessed with condominium buildings, the price of office space for sale has also remained fairly static, with possibly office units for sale providing the best option. for rental profit, since office leases are normally a minimum of 3 years, and you don’t need to renovate the office space like you would a condo, as the first requires a whitewashed coat of paint, the second new furniture, bathrooms new, new kitchen, etc.

This is not to say that it is a bad idea to invest in real estate in Bangkok. But you need to consider office space and commercial properties as well as residential ones, and you need to consider the building very carefully, as I mentioned earlier, some condo buildings have seen good growth in the last 10 years, while most have not. .

You need to have a good eye. Best of luck!

Real Estate

Mobile homes: boxes that spit out cash

Whether you call them trailers, mobile homes, or more accurately, manufactured homes, they are worth incorporating into your real estate investment plan.

Manufactured homes are the most affordable type of housing available and there is a huge demand for affordable housing in the United States today. Consider that in December 2004, the median price for a home built on the site was $ 187,000 and the median price for a new manufactured home was $ 50,000. With strict building codes and new technology, the quality of Manufactured homes continue to improve.

For the investor, manufactured homes generate the highest cash flow of almost any investment. The reason is logical: The market rents for manufactured homes are only slightly lower than those for comparable built-on-site homes, but manufactured homes cost substantially less to buy.

Let’s clarify the terms of this business. Although mobile homes and manufactured homes are often used interchangeably and both refer to factory-built housing units, mobile homes are mobile housing units built before June 15, 1976, and manufactured homes are mobile homes. built after that date. Although most mobile and manufactured homes are technically mobile because they have wheels and can be moved, most of them are installed on site and never relocated.

Mobile homes can be located in parks or on private land. In parks, owners generally rent their lots to the park owner, who sets the rules and regulations for the park, maintains common areas, and can provide various amenities. In most cases, when a mobile home is located on private land, the home owner also owns the land.

If you are unfamiliar with the mobile home market and have some negative preconceptions about it, let’s deal with that right now. Yes, there are mobile home parks that fit the negative stereotypes you may have heard about problem occupants and run-down facilities. But there are many more middle-income families and retirees who choose to live in manufactured homes, and these are people who take pride in and take care of their homes and neighborhoods. Manufactured homes have never been more respectable and desirable than they are today, and that trend is likely to continue as construction costs on site continue to rise.

Finding and Investing in Manufactured Homes

Opportunities for mobile / manufactured home investment are greatest in younger and smaller cities, suburbs, and rural areas. While you’re not likely to find mobile homes in New York City or downtown Boston, you probably won’t have to look far to find a market for this type of affordable housing.

Study your market and test the waters by buying a few units. Look for second-hand homes that may need a little repair; they can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a comparable new unit. Once you are familiar with this aspect of real estate investing, consider becoming a park owner.

If you are interested in multi-unit housing, manufactured home parks are a great alternative to small and even medium-sized apartment buildings. Not all parks are the same. They vary enormously in size and amenities. The three basic types of parks are family, retirement, and RV parks.

Family parks allow renters of any age and are the easiest to find. However, they tend to have higher tenant turnover and are more management intensive. Retiree communities over 55 have lower tenant turnover and are easier to manage, but more difficult to find tenants due to age restrictions. RV parks have the highest turnover with large seasonal variations and high intensity of management. Unless your location is superior, this type of park is the hardest to find tenants.

One strategy for investing in mobile home parks is to buy a park with a high vacancy rate, high income potential, and poor management. Fix the administration, fix the park and fill the empty units. Then put the park on the market at its new value and make a quick profit. Or keep the park and enjoy its higher income.

Essentially, any proven real estate investment strategy (wholesale, foreclosure, lease option, etc.) will work just as well with manufactured homes as it does on-site, and will generally generate higher cash flow. Because manufactured homes cost less to buy, they are excellent opportunities for a beginner without a lot of cash, even when they are wildly attractive to seasoned investors who want solid returns. They are most likely perfect for your own wealth building plan.

Real Estate

Closer to the Truth: Revised Mathematics

There is an ongoing PBS television series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer to Truth.” It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He has appeared in individual interviews and panel discussions with the cream of cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. from the actuality. on all the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of general themes: Cosmos; Awareness; Sense. The trilogy dealt collectively with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology, and so on. Here are some of my comments on one of the general topics covered, mathematics.

Is mathematics eternal?

# The number of potential equations is as close to infinity as there are no probabilities. But only a few reflect our reality (whatever it is). What role do others play, such as an inverse cube law or say that energy is equal to mass times the speed of light (not squared)?

Is mathematics invented or discovered?

# The idea that seven times six equals forty-two (7 x 6 = 42) is only true because we all agree that this is the case, just as we can and we all agree that a dollar bill Twenty dollars is relatively small ($ 20) is worth twenty dollars even though the special paper it is printed on may be worth or cost only twenty cents. So we also agree on that equation: a twenty dollar bill equals twenty dollars. But, if suddenly the vast majority of the population said that seven times six is ​​not equal to 42, but let’s say 24, then that would be the case and seven times six would no longer be equal to 42. The same applies with respect to the currency. If suddenly all the merchants said that your twenty dollar bill was only worth twenty cents, well, twenty cents will be worth it. Therefore, mathematics and mathematical equations are governed by almost absolute agreement or consensus, and therefore mathematics is an invention that does not exist in any sense of reality outside of that consensus. Seven times six equals forty-two or seven times six does not equal four-two – nor does it exist as a universal truth other than what we collectively determine by consensus is the case.

# I gather that one could express mathematics in the English language (French, Chinese, German, whatever). I mean, one plus one equals two is as valid as 1 + 1 = 2. So, the language of mathematics is a subset or a subpart of the English language (French, Chinese, etc.), and those languages ​​are used for all subjects. Of course, mathematics, written or in symbol form, is not just for physics and science. I guess part of the universal universe, well, the human one anyway, is to use math to do your income tax return and your household budget, and find out at the supermarket which brand of product is cheapest per unit of amount. Anyway, English is not universal and French is not universal and Chinese is not universal, but the English, the French and the Chinese would agree that 1 + 1 = 2 is universal, whether it is expressed in symbols or letters; hieroglyphs or characters. Even the “Grays” would probably agree that 1 + 1 = 2. However, is mathematics universal before any conscious mind was conceived in the philosophy of Mother Nature? Did 1 + 1 = 2 exist in some form, shape, or form nanoseconds after the Big Bang?

# Clearly there are concepts that cannot be expressed mathematically, such as beauty or Wednesday, so I suggested that the language of mathematics is a subset of some larger language, such as English, French, Chinese, or Klingon. There are probably billions of ideas that can be expressed in English, some of which involve math.

By “universal language”, I mean that mathematics will probably be the initial means by which we can begin to communicate with an extraterrestrial intelligence anywhere in the Universe. We probably have in common Euclidean geometry, arithmetic, Pi, etc. One would assume that one and only one straight line can join two points on a flat surface and that would be true anywhere in our galaxy and our Universe. That would be a universal. If you suddenly saw the traditional pictorial representation of a Pythagorean Triangle engraved or carved on the Martian surface, you would have to conclude that a non-human intelligence did the engraving or carving and that we have something in common that could set communication in motion.

# This is probably too simplistic, but things that can be discovered had actual existence or reality before life forms that evolved from non-living structures and substances existed, especially life forms with minds that have self-awareness, consciousness, intellect and reasoning skills. etc. Now, while Jupiter probably didn’t exist before intellectual life forms evolved within the Universe, the things that make up Jupiter certainly did. Therefore, Jupiter was discovered, therefore discovered, not invented.

Invented things had no current existence or reality before the evolution of life forms, especially life forms with intellect. Those invented things are so much physical things that would never have happened without an intellect to conceive of them, therefore making them like coffee makers, as well as concepts (like language and math and logic and beauty) that non-intellectual objects (like Jupiter ) would. I could never, never invent. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot ignores coffee makers and calculus! The calculation was invented by the intellect and some intellects consider it beautiful. Of course, once something is invented, that something in turn can be discovered. You didn’t invent calculus and you probably didn’t invent the coffee pot, but you discovered both as a result of someone else’s intellect. But, my conclusion is that if there is no intellect in the cosmos and there never has been, then there would be no calculus and no coffee makers.

# Perhaps other dictionaries are different from mine, but my dictionary defines “invent” or “invention” along the lines of “producing or creating with the imagination” or “the exercise of imaginative or creative power”. “Inventor” is “a person who invents”.

Now the cosmos is many things to many people, but unless each and everyone wishes to return to the concept of papsychism, I doubt that the cosmos has an active “imagination” or “imaginative power” and that the cosmos it certainly isn’t. ‘ta “person”. The act of invention appears to be a deliberate process, requiring intellect.

Natural evolution is not directed; it is not goal oriented. Mother Nature did not order the cosmos “to have humans.” On the other hand, artificial selection is directed; It is goal oriented. Humans (not Mother Nature) say “let there be a bionic ear”; “that there are medicines that allow people to live longer and healthier”; “Let there be designer babies without birth defects”; and “that there are robots with ‘artificial intelligence’ that can vacuum carpets and robotic ‘pets’ that can provide comfort to the sick and elderly in institutions.”

Therefore, I defend something in this sense: in the absence of the natural evolution of life forms on Earth, rocks, minerals and water (in one or more forms) existed waiting to be discovered when (and if) life arose and evolved on Planet Earth. In the absence of the natural evolution of life forms on Earth, calculus and coffee machines did not exist. These abstract concepts had to wait for the origin and evolution of life here on Planet Earth to finally invent them. There is no life: there are rocks, minerals and water. There is no life: calculation and coffee makers do not exist.

Certainly, mathematics has evolved, but only within intellectual capacity. Ancient humans who migrated from Africa 70,000 years ago probably didn’t know much more than bone head arithmetic. The ancient Greeks added geometry but did not know the calculus. Calculus came later and mathematics is still evolving today thanks to human intellect and inventiveness.

# If flesh and blood humans are a part of nature, and who can argue against that claim (aside from some far-right religious fundamentalists), then anything humans produce, evolve, or are replaced by cyborgs or androids . or artificially intelligent robots, they must also be part of the natural scheme of things. No problem. However, I still object to the phrase that nature “invented” inventors. Why not just drop the term “invented” and simply say that nature evolved to inventors? Again, “invented” implies a specific direction or goal that nature intended all along, and I maintain that anyone would be hard-pressed to set the “intention” on nature, unless, of course, they equated nature as a synonym. of a deity or deities.

# As long as mathematics has evolved within the confines of the intellect by intellectual beings (humans or other self-aware entities, including extraterrestrial intelligences, even artificial intelligences), then that’s okay. I would have a hard time adjusting to the notion that mathematics evolved from arithmetic to geometry, hence set theory and calculus and fractals, etc. everything between the Big Bang event and the origin of the first life forms.

# Many things existed before intellectually derived mathematics, mathematics that now describes things like orbits, collisions, and velocities. All of which raises an interesting question. Only one type of chemistry, a neurological chemistry, can discover and invent things. There are dozens of other types of chemistry such as soil chemistry, cooking chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, mineralogical chemistry, metallurgy, petrochemical chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, digestion, photosynthesis, nuclear chemistry, etc. There are all kinds of chemical actions and reactions 24/7/52, endothermic reactions and exothermic reactions, but only one type of chemistry ends up knowing and understanding and discovering and inventing. That is a very deep line between the chemistry of the intellect and the chemistry of everything else.

# By the single type of chemistry, I should have qualified it by saying that it was, for lack of a better phrase, the chemistry of Mother Nature, a natural chemistry that evolved, well, naturally.

Now I quite agree that another chemistry, a chemistry discovered, invented and engineered by that neurological chemistry, our neurological chemistry, will be a metallurgically based chemistry, and will eventually rule the roost. Of course it could be a cyborg or android compound in the early stages; perhaps ultimately a fully fledged artificial intelligence (AI).

The interesting thing here is that while interstellar travel for that which houses our neurological chemistry (the human brain even separated from the human body) is difficult: great distances, slow speeds, limited lifetimes, huge amounts of environmental infrastructure required, etc. . – Interstellar travel for an AI is much more feasible. Distances and speeds may be the same, but life expectancy is now enormous and much more indestructible, and infrastructure requirements are reduced to a minimum, with no need for toilets. Human hibernation for interstellar travel will be much more difficult technologically compared to a ‘sleep’ switch for an AI. Therefore, when it comes to the Alien UFO Hypothesis (ETH), the ET part is much more likely to be an ETAI.

Real Estate

You need to know this about home appraisals

A home appraisal is a critical component of any real estate transaction that involves a mortgage loan. If you are refinancing, you will need an appraisal, if you are selling your home to someone who needs to get a mortgage, he or she will need an appraisal.

What is a home appraisal?

A home appraisal is an opinion on the value of a qualified and impartial third party. Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to be completed when you refinance your mortgage. An appraisal is also completed in a transaction when someone is buying a home to make sure they haven’t overpaid.

Mortgage lenders require an appraisal to ensure that homeowners are not overpaying for a property because if the borrower defaults on the mortgage, the lender will take steps to remove the borrower from the home and sell it to get their money back. it is important so that the house is worth more than the money borrowed. In essence, a home appraisal is a protective attorney for the mortgage lender.

The appraisal process and how appraisal values ​​are determined

These are the main factors that influence your home’s appraised value: current market trends reflected in comparable properties the appraiser selects, home features, square footage, number of rooms / bedrooms and bathrooms, condition, if the property is considered updated, landscaping and exterior condition and parking (garage). The appraiser will do an interior and exterior inspection for the aforementioned factors and will also take note of any deferred maintenance that will be included in the report for the lender.

The appraiser will complete your report on a standard report form that is required by your appraisal jurisdiction. The information that must be included in an appraisal report will not vary much from Canada to the United States.

A standard report includes the following: comparable sales, a street map, building sketch, square footage, photos of the front, rear, and street scene of the home, photos of each comparable property used; a map showing the location of the comparables in relation to the property in question, map of the plot, description of the intended users of the appraisal report, photo and description of each room in the house.

The cost of a residential appraisal report ranges from $ 250 to $ 500, and the owner is usually responsible for paying the appraiser.

What home buyers need to know

When you’re buying a home, an appraisal could sink your business. If you make an offer to buy a home, toward the end of the home buying process, your mortgage lender will require that the home you are buying be appraised. However, if the home appraisal is lower than your purchase offer, the loan will not be provided by the lender, this could also be good for the buyer because you may be able to negotiate a lower purchase price, but very often at the point of sale of the home. appraisal in the buying process there is already a purchase and sale agreement. If a bad appraisal comes between you and your home purchase, seek a second opinion through a second appraisal. Appraisers are not perfect and they may make mistakes.

What Home Sellers Should Know

As a seller, a low appraisal means that you may need to lower the price of your home to sell it. Lenders will not approve loans for more than a home is worth, and waiting for a cash buyer who does not require an appraisal as a condition of completing the transaction is unlikely to lead to a higher sale price. No one wants to overpay for a home, but more importantly, a mortgage lender will not over-lend on the value of a property, so if the appraisal is lower than what your buyer is offering, chances are that Your deal will sink unless you drop the price.

What refinancing homeowners need to know

If you are refinancing your mortgage and want to access some of your home’s equity, the appraised value is very important. Mortgage lenders will have a maximum loan-to-value ratio that they will reach, so the greater the difference between what you owe on your current mortgage and what the home was appraised for, obviously the better. Having a better loan-to-value ratio will also allow you to obtain the lowest possible mortgage rates. Lenders place a lot of emphasis on this relationship, so a high appraised value is very important.

The bottom line

Home appraisal is a very standard process these days in any real estate transaction that involves a mortgage loan, it should be taken seriously, you should know how the appraisal works and what the value is based on, if you feel like your home is Undervalued, you can talk to the appraiser and make your case or get a second opinion.

Real Estate

Mobile Phone Tower Leasing: Sell, Joint Venture, or Refinance?

Cell Tower Lease: Charge It Or?

There are several ways to convert your cell tower or rooftop lease into cash without giving up the title. As with any other real estate, you can choose to sell your lease, go into a joint venture with your lease, or recently the option to refinance your lease is now possible.

This gives you, the landlord, more options than you’ve ever had to get the cash you need, when you need it, no matter why you need it. Let’s explore these and see if one of these is for you.

Sell ​​your cell tower lease

For the past twenty years, selling a cell phone tower rental was the only method to convert that cash flow into a lump sum. Private and Wall Street buyers paid cash for the leases, giving investors an above-average income stream. There were risks that some leases would lose their value due to carrier mergers and acquisitions, but these were discounted and the reward proved to be worth the risk.

As this set of telecom-based assets has evolved, risks have skewed downward and buyers tend to pay more for basically the same assets. There are also more players who are willing to bid even higher on purchase prices that are actually allotments of these leases ranging from 30 to 99 years. During these periods of time the buyers obtain the benefit of receiving the income that is produced. They also run the risk of a partial or total loss if a carrier or a set of carriers choose to abandon or finish a tower or rooftop.

Joint Venture the lease of your tower

That? Yes, sell part of the property on your lease or sell part of the time you have left on your lease. Almost anything is possible, as long as it makes sense to someone who is willing to pay for the reward they might receive. Remember, you own a cash flow that can be sold if it is discounted enough to allow someone else to make a profit.

What I like best about the JV (joint venture) possibility is that you can get your cake and eat it. Sell ​​half and still receive half of the income. Here’s the sweet part; It has a professional manager on board who will take care of this lease until, forever, if planned correctly.

When the time comes to renegotiate the lease, your ‘manager’ will do the best he can because he has an interest (just like yours). Whatever other operator your ‘manager’ can attract, the more revenue you will get.

And you have a built-in buyer in case you ever decide to ditch your lease balance.

Refinance your cell tower lease

This is new and huge. Until recently, a bank wouldn’t lend you a penny on your cell tower lease for good reason; it had a release clause. This meant that the cell phone carrier, its tenant, could, for any reason, just 30 days in advance, withdraw from the lease.

We have discovered a source who has learned the risk / reward calculations (probably former cell phone tower buyers) and is willing to loan money to build new towers, loan money to buy a tower lease, or even group leases. They will loan up to $ 25 million for the appropriate project.