Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turn-Key Luxury Home In Hale

Areas such as Alderley Edge, Hale and Prestbury have had their Edwardian and Twenties suburban homes demolished in recent years to make way for modern mansions. During the boom years these homes were bought for their plot of land, flattened and replaced with open plan high tech houses all around Cheshire. Local cried out as they witnessed perfectly good homes being razed to the ground, they felt that the mansions were too big for the plot of land. Hale has a mixture of these homes along its fancy residential streets but one of the houses stands out from the crowd. A resident of Hale for twenty years, Rittu Kumar, has built a spectacular home which is not only furnished but fitted with the bed linen too. She feels that the boom years of developers buying a plot of land for ?1million, spending ?1million on the build and then selling for ?3million have now disappeared. These developers have now gone out of business; she has adopted a different approach with her turn-key homes. Any person interested in one of her properties only has to turn the key in the lock.

Her first project was a house in Carrwood in Hale Barns, the house was valued at ?5.5million. The house was over three levels and 9,200sqft in size. She bought the one acre plot in 2007 and demolished the sixties home that was on the land, she built a classic house making maximum use of the sloping site to create two storeys at the front and three storeys at the back of the house. Along with her business partner, an interior designer, she left her distinctive mark inside the house. She uses bold colours, hard woods and glass, something your average developer would not. She uses textured leather on the walls or purple and red fabrics and there is no cream and magnolia throughout in her homes. She hopes to bring the high end turn-key homes to Cheshire that the Candy brothers create in London. Her next project is two flats in Mayfair and a villa in Cannes. She makes sure that every room has at least one striking feature and the Cheshire house has a ?100,000 cinema room installed which comes equipped with twelve leather chairs.

The house has been on the open market since October but she expects it sell in the spring but she has already been offered rental of ?25,000 for the house. However she feels that a wealthy entrepreneur will buy the house and not the expected rich footballers of the region. The property market in Hale is doing well and so she might get her buyer in the end.

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When It Comes to Investing: A Good Realtor Is A Huge Part of Your Success!

Many Realtors will tell you they work with Investors and they really do, but when it comes down to the business of investing and turning a profit sometimes the only person making money on a deal is the Realtor who sells the property in the first place. If you have been an investor a while, chances are you have a good Realtor that you have an established relationship with. But if you are new to investing or new to an area, or worse, like me, new to both, sorting out which Realtor really knows what properties and what price will work in the investing world and what won't are two different stories. It always pays to do your homework and use caution when you are about to purchase an investment property regardless of how much or how convincing a Realtor can be. A good realtor can jumpstart your business just like a bad one could help kill it. Due diligence even when establishing relationships is key!

Recently I signed a Purchase and sales agreement on a REO and the offer was accepted. Like any investor I've made dozens of offers and a lot of times I don't even go see the properties until they are accepted because I would do a whole lot of running around for properties that the banks would never accept my offer on. But in this case the bank did accept my offer on this property and it probably was because it wasn't much lower than the asking price. This offer price and this property were heavily influenced by a realtor that told me how savvy he was and how great this house and this area were. So, I was the proud owner of a new property and according to this Realtor, who, by the way, worked almost exclusively with Investors as buyers, this was a property that I was going to make a ton of money on.....or so he told me. This Realtor, he was so excited, he tells me how I am going to easily make 20k, and if I walk with less than 10k I have done something wrong. Tells me I can sell this baby within 90 days and in 90 days I'm going to kiss him I'll be so happy cashing my check. Perfect, I say, a paycheck in 90 days sounds good, that's exactly what I'm looking for. He says you are going to see how great it is to work with me, I've got you hooked up with a money guy, a title guy and now I'm getting YOU this Steal of a Deal! "Oh my!", I think, "I am one lucky girl."

So, with much excitement and trepidation I went out to this glorious property that my Realtor told me I would kick myself if I did not buy -- to find a house that is almost a DUMP. Ok, ok, I'm in the business of buying dumps and making them pretty and reselling them, right? That is what I am doing as a real estate investor, right? Heck yeah!

Here's the thing. I told this Realtor I need properties right now that I can Turn and Burn. 90 days, done. So, with this one he was telling me all the pros and cons, the fix up and the potential resale value. He sent me comps, the comps he sends back what he was saying and then some! How exciting, man do I ever need a paycheck!!!! But... and, of coarse, there is a but, I start my due diligence, and lo and behold, the house 2 houses down is for sale, has been for 120 days for 183k and recently was reduced to 169k. It's not moving. Explanation from the Realtor: that house is way dated. Ok, maybe, but that area still wasn't boasting house prices of over 185k and to make money I would need to sell for at least that amount.

Ok, take it in stride, let's look at the place. The neighborhood is great!! Houses are pretty, the house 2 doors down-great! Whoa, wait a second, this nice looking house, 2 doors down, with the price dropped down to 169k is pretty, prettier than the house I just bought. I tell myself, well ok, let's take a look in my house and see what we can do... OK, WOW! This house is going to need an overhaul!! This house needs a kitchen update, a new vanity for a double sinks in the bathroom, new tub, new windows, new doors, trim throughout, a new stove, a new master bath update, new exterior paint, some siding replaced, the basement is a wreck with all these itty bitty (8x8) creepy rooms down there, (eww), what else, there is even more-the cost of this rehab is adding up in my head. Not to mention all the stuff, the dumping fees are going to be huge!!! The carpet needs replaced and it just has a real creepy feel to me. Ok, I tell myself, well even with this, let's look at the house 2 doors down to see why I will be able to sell my house at a higher price and then we'll take a look at the rehab and figure out what we can do with and do without.

So, two doors down, it is clean, newly painted, has new kitchen cabinets, new floor in the kitchen, wood floors polished, it looks nice. Only issue I see upstairs is some fuddy-duddy wallpaper on one wall and a green counter top in the bathroom. But that's it, the house has a nice feel to it and is move in ready. So, the basement, on the other hand, has old, ugly carpet and needs paint. So, how does this compare with my prospective house. Well, my Realtor says that this house does not compare because it is so dated, it looks like some blue haired lady lived here with 80 light fixtures and pink flower wall paper. In my house, he tells me that I should take up the carpet and polish the wood floors, don't replace the cabinets in the kitchen---see about painting them, buy a new stove, paint the exterior, paint the pink bathtub, new floor in the kitchen, paint interior, clean it up and call it good. So, tell me how am I going to sell this for more than 169k like the house 2 doors down? I'm doing almost exactly the same thing but wait ---I won't have new kitchen cabinets and my house has these itty-bitty creepy rooms in the basement. So, what should I do-Realtor says he is willing to take risks, that is what you do in this business, so buy it, and then wait, oh yeah, hold it for 6 months and if it doesn't work make it a rental. I don't have 6 months to wait....

The bottom line is, this realtor wanted to sell me this house. The offer that I was told was such a killer deal, wasn't. With hard money costs, closing and selling costs, the only way I could make money is if I could sell around 185k, but that wasn't going to be possible when 2 doors down was not selling at 169k. This Realtor told me I was missing out on a good deal, but I disagree. The deal I got was - learning to not do business with this guy, he'd sell me ocean view property in Arizona if I'd buy it. Realtors are the most important part of a good investment team and a bad Realtor, like this one, could put a quick end to your business as an investor. Getting to know your Realtor, finding out what kind of experience they have with investors, and checking things out before you go all the way through with a deal are critical. Once you have an established relationship with a good realtor your business will grow and it is worth sorting through the crowd to get just one good Realtor that really knows how to work with investors!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Venturing Into Rental Property Investments: Advantages You Should Know

There are so many benefits in owning a commercial or residential property on a rental. Even for managing a rental property, advantages are overflowing and a lot of people and investors are having a frenzy grabbing these opportunities. One huge advantage in particular of having your own property to be rented by others is that it's a tangible asset compared to other types of investments like bonds and stocks.

People find it easier to understand and comprehend when one can use the five senses on a particular object. Moreover, the flow of income with rentals an owner receives through time can be measured easily and thus continues on a long-term basis with possibilities that rental rates will increase in the future due to many factors. With this, rental property investments are on the rise.

While most people are more involved in investing their money and other assets into financial systems such as banks, stocks, securities and bonds. But these are low in rate of return; if one really wants to grow their wealth and asset base on a faster and larger scale, one has to the risks and spend money on potential income making projects. With this into consideration, real estate investments are what others do.

The stock market is known to be unpredictable even with expert stock market analysts with constant and dynamic changes. On the other hand, real estate is more likely to be stable for a longer period of time even if the investment market performs poorly. Rental property investment can still go strong even when there's a recession, which can lead to credit crunch and other alteration in fiscal and monetary policies, is because during this period properties acquisition generally becomes tighter as people's income level becomes less stable and some even looses property due to foreclosure.

And when this happens, displaced people and those who had budget cuts tend to shift to cheaper dwellings which are rental properties. With this, you can be assured that your rental property investment are sure to have a return in the future no matter what economic condition the town or city or even the country may be into.

Hence, owners can be assured of a constant cash flow which can sustain your operation as well as mortgage payments on the property if any. Maintenance and repairs will not be too heavy on the budget and one can have an allotted budget ahead of time due to previous income from occupants.

One should also consider the fact that most real estate properties gain value in time depending on various factors specially when nearby properties and getting developed. Although property appreciation doesn't always happen and thus depends on factors such as type of property, property age, location, upkeep, status of nearby properties, visibility and others. Correct rental property investment needs to consider all those factors to ensure stability of the business and a potential increase in property value which can be used in the future.

Another benefit in rental property investments is the fact that total cost can be divided into the number of years you operate the rental property. Initial costs such as licenses and mortgages may be heavy for the first few years but may decrease the weight of cost in the long-run. Benefits in rental property investments too are larger in the long-run compared to buy-and-sell real estate businesses.

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Toronto Real Estate Market

Confused about where to invest? Well, let's peep into Toronto, for the time being. It houses a full extensive range of investment prospects. Whether you are interested in brown and green fields, port lands, developed urban areas or expansive suburban parks, Toronto has it all! The diversity in Toronto is further complimented by outstanding access to customers, suppliers and trained plus talented labor!

This might be the attraction that foreign investors fall for as there has been a considerable rise of investors in the real estate industry of Toronto! In 2010, this phenomena showed a 5 times increase when compared to 2009. The potential of the Toronto market is not hidden and this new wave of foreign investments is quite encouraging. It is leading the sector of real estate towards success, stability and establishment. Normally, Toronto is on the hit list when it comes to large scale investments in the real estate market. While every other market is suffering from the economic recession all over the world, the Toronto's real estate sector doesn't seem to have taken much effect. Due to the massive foreign investment, the market is gradually preparing itself to move towards the next step of higher success, reputation and establishment! The time isn't far when Toronto's real estate market would be on the top list of most valuable markets all around the globe!

The major foreign investors who have led Toronto towards this honorable status are the Russians, British, South Koreans, Venezuelans, Greeks, Chinese and people from Ireland. Recently, the citizens of Iran have started taking interest in this blooming sector and their main focus is on vacation homes. So you might soon here people boast about having holiday homes in Toronto, just like they brag about having summer homes in France!

One more significant factor behind this foreign investment trend could be the social tolerance existent in Canada. You rarely find information related racism, class system, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, prejudices or other forms of negative behaviors. The welcoming nature of Canadians irrespective of the person's religion, class, creed, nationality or culture has attracted the South Asian countries. The impact is influential enough to change the direction of real estate business investment from USA or UK towards Canada.

Today, Toronto is thought of as one of the most visited cities on the planet, Earth. This is yet another major reason which lures the endless inflow of foreign investors and helps them decide where to pour their precious money. Of course the choice is clear! Exactly who would not want to invest in a tolerant, developing and well-renowned market? Especially when the authorities of the market themselves encourage and boost you to come and invest and gain- in simpler words, offer you the membership of the leading real estate market of the world! Therefore, due to all these inspirations, it seems quite obvious and the only right choice to fall for Toronto as it is an emerging, global leader in the real estate investment sector!

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Tips On Finding A Fixer-Upper Home In Italy

Real estate investors' spending ability may have been restricted thanks to the difficult economic times, but the appeal of real estate in Italy is still undimmed.

Hence rising numbers of foreign purchasers in Italy are opting to renovate properties or even build anew as opposed to going for resale property. The top attraction is glaring - finance. Ditch any notions of unearthing ruins for Euro 1, a PR gimmick initiated a couple of years ago by one Sicilian town.

Yet in parts of Italy such as Basilicata, Molise and Sicily a rustic ruin can be snapped up from a trifling Euro 11,000. Factor in a bill for renovation that can begin from just Euro 800 a sq m and is it possible to convert a mound of rocks and stones into a 90sq m longed-for holiday house for just Euro 90,000 - a mere fraction of the cost otherwise. In addition, beyond the initial purchase price, construction expenses can be split over the length of the building project, which can take as long as the you prefer.

Stef Russo, from Italian real estate search firm The Property Organiser, explains: "The credit crunch has seen greater numbers of buyers going down the restoration path. Restoration costs in places such as Abruzzo are about Euro 900 per sq metre - about half what you would face in Tuscany. And rather than buyers having to come up with finance up front, restoration permits them to spread expenses over months or even years.

"In addition, buyers get the opportunity to put their personality on their homes, which is easier to do through renovation than if they buy a resale and then try to change it." The country's long history means it is replete with buildings up to 400 years old, merely awaiting some TLC to make them into welcoming modern dwellings.

Italy also has a rich supply of farmhouses - always popular with foreign investors - in large part because of the mass migration of swathes of people who, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, deserted Italy's villages for towns and cities or even a new life in the US and Latin America.

By the by, if you are tempted to try something a little more unorthodox, the answer to your prayers may lie in the approximately 6,000 religious buildings available to be converted into apartments and houses.

Once you have chosen a property, the next step is engaging the right professionals to bring your dream into reality. Although some are happy to do the legwork themselves, the most advisable route is to find a reputable geometra/surveyor (your realtor ought to be able to put you in touch with one).

They will be able to source good workmen for you as well as negotiate with local authorities for the necessary building permits. Be aware that many ancient rustic homes are built in stone and therefore sprucing up such homes will need constructors used to dealing in stone. A constant danger with projects such as this is that your outlay can fly beyond control, often by up to 25%.

Common moneypits include pools which can cost up to Euro 20,000); upgrading access roads budget up to Euro 35 a metre); and upgrading landscaping. But your surveyor can thrash out a contract with your builders outlining a maximum budget and a deadline, with penalties applicable if they are not stuck to. Although surveyors design homes to a certain level, their expertise is limited and it is wise to also seek out an architect to take charge of design.

It is vital from the get-go that you are crystal clear what you envisage and that you convey this to the architect. Brand-new ideas after your workmen have begun takes up valuable time, is expensive and demoralising for everyone else concerned. Face up to the likely timescales involved.

The purchasing process can take up to 12 weeks and obtaining building permits another six months depending on the Commune involved. One last thing, unless you intend being on-site almost continually, you should also have an independent project manager to oversee everything and help keep the project on track. Your architect or geometra can also step into this role.

One project manager says: "By popping up on site frequently, more often than not with no advance notice, we keep the purchaser clued in on progress with the help of detailed notes and photographs. So any issues can be sorted out straight away. We maintain everything going to plan and, even more crucially, ensure the buyer receives no unpleasant shocks."

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Ubud, Bali, Property Investment: Five Great Reasons Why Ubud Real Estate Will Grow in Value

By Glen Allison Glen Allison
Level: Basic

I'm a vagabond visual artist and travel photographer/writer presently embarked on a nonstop, ten-year marathon odyssey around the globe to capture the world's most extraordinary ...

?Bali is one of the worlds' most sought after tourist destinations. Its unique ancient Hindu culture is rich with elaborate religious ceremonies and processions that occur almost daily.
Five Great Reasons for Property Investment in Ubud:
1. Ubud is the art and dance cultural center of Bali. Located in the center of the island-state, this small village is one of Bali's three primary tourist areas. Ubud thrives on a steady, dynamic level of tourism that stimulates a fast growing real estate business climate for both commercial and residential properties. Bali's stable provincial government is democratically elected and encourages an open and welcoming business climate since economic growth adds greater tax revenues that permit new and ongoing development projects. The government's ever increasing investment in infrastructure stimulates even more foreign investment and the implementation of new business standards and regulations underpin long-term economic success strategies that point to sustained growth in coming decades. Even during the recent global economic crisis, Indonesia maintained approximately a 6% growth rate. This burgeoning economic giant in the region was little influenced by the downtrend, primarily because the Indonesian financial system doesn't function as a credit-based economy. Most foreign investment in real estate is on a cash basis. Today property values maintain a steadily increasing growth curve and the investment value of property in Ubud continues to augment because of the town's popularity amongst tourists and locals alike.
2. Ubud, a quaint little village of only 8000 people, is a magical place. In 2009 it was rated "Best City in Asia" by readers of the US-based luxury magazine Conde Nast Traveler. Ubud dethroned Bangkok as the best Asian city. Bangkok had held the top spot since the category debuted in 2004. Ubud also beat out several other key travel destinations--Hong Kong, Shanghai and even Tokyo--all major contenders for the prestigious award. Ubud's validation by Conde Nast Traveler as being "The Friendliest Town of All" is just one of many aspects that will most likely boost property and business values in the area for years to come. On a side note for connoisseurs, Cathay Pacific's Inflight Magazine, named the martinis at Naughty Nuri's restaurant in Ubud as being one of the top five best in all Asia.
3. Adding to Ubud's media frenzy buzz, the town was prominently featured in the wildly popular, global best-selling book, "Eat, Pray, Love," which remained on the New York Times Best Seller List for a staggering 187 weeks. Oprah Winfrey devoted two full episodes of her show to discuss the book's success, which was soon followed by a Hollywood movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts, who won the 2001 Academy Award for Best Actress. Ubud's recent accolades have intensified global investment interest in the town, which continues to show strongly augmenting revenues in the tourism sector of its economy. Property values and land rental rates for restaurants, shops, residences and hotels continue to skyrocket, which has stimulated even more interest in private real estate investment.
4. Notwithstanding the attraction of Bali's rich ceremonial culture and its lush tropical environment, one contributing factor to the island's dynamic rate of tourism growth is its low cost of travel expense when compared to high-key Western destinations in the States and in Europe or even in the nearby Southeast Asian cities of Singapore and Hong Kong. Indonesia's average per capita income is approximately US$2 per day across much of the country and per capita income for workers in Bali typically is less than five dollars per day. Such low cost greatly reduces construction expense for new projects and the cost for staff once the projects are completed. This factor becomes highly attractive for not only foreign commercial real estate ventures but for private property investment as well. Retirees seeking exotic locales for retirement often place high-value-for-money-spent as a primary investment concern.
5. Living in Ubud has its rewards. Since the town is located in the center of the island at a higher elevation than the over-crowded beach areas further south, the temperature is several degrees cooler. And there's a bit more rain in Ubud, which generally is of short duration, that nurtures the nearby verdant rice terraces--some of the most dramatic on the island. Ubud's rich cultural heritage in art and dance has fostered a vibrant expat community of countless individuals involved in the creative arts, many as working professionals. The magic draw of Ubud has triggered the opening of numerous art galleries, fine dining establishments and five-star hotel accommodations. Many foreign investors seek property investment opportunities in Ubud to capitalize on Bali's lucrative tourist industry by tapping into the luxury holiday rental villa sector.
Ubud's vibrant residential real estate market has spawned some of Bali's most innovative architectural designs, many that incorporate structures rising from infinity-edged reflecting pools. The concept blends unique contemporary design with the traditional Balinese "alang alang" thatched roof. The climate is temperate all year long so glass-enclosed, open-air rooms can invite nature inside in an often striking juxtaposition of elements.
Today's Ubud seems to have captured the most exotic aspects of Bali's rich cultural heritage while it keeps abreast with the future. It surely has captivated the world's attention.
Copyright ? Glen Allison ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Article Submitted On: February 13, 2011

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What If My Income Property Goes Into Foreclosure?

Rental property investing is a great way of making your money work for you. If you are renting out an income property and paid a fair price for it, then in the long run you are almost guaranteed to realize an excellent return on your investment. However, if you've overpaid for a property, you may find that the rent you receive from the tenants is not enough to cover the expenses of the property, like the mortgage. In this scenario, foreclosure is a real possibility.

Impact of Investment Property Foreclosure

Obviously no one wants to become a foreclosure case, but in certain situations it is unavoidable. Unfortunately, being foreclosed on can be financially devastating. First and foremost, you will lose your investment and get nothing in return. Not only will this impact your livelihood, but you will have also lost any money you put into the property, such as the down payment. Also, there is an opportunity cost; that is, you no longer have the money to invest in a property that will actually bring you a return.

There is also the damage to your credit history. Any rental property investor absolutely must have access to credit and loan facilities to acquire and maintain their properties. Simply put, having good credit is crucial to the survival of your business. Foreclosure can mean that you will not be able to access loans for the next seven years, as it takes this long for a credit blemish to wipe clean.

The bottom line is that all of these things together will create a ripple effect that will permeate your entire financial situation. It is therefore important that you look for other ways to stem off foreclosure on your investment property.

Avoiding Investment Property Foreclosure

The best option is to try and sell the property and essentially cut your losses. You will need the help of a realtor with experience in such situations to assist you in selling the property. You may be forced to put up the property for short sale, which means that it will be sold for an amount that is less than what you owe on the mortgage. This is something that you will have to negotiate with the mortgage company so that you know what your target price should be even though you are selling on a short sale. This will help you set your expectations accordingly.

Another option when you are facing foreclosure on your investment property is to seek help from the government. There are several new programs sponsored by the government that are designed to help people facing foreclosure, no matter whether the foreclosed property is a residence or an investment. Do a quick Google search and you will find everything you need to know about these programs on page one of the search results.

Another option is to approach your mortgage lender and request a refinance. Many times you will be able to get a loan modification, which will reduce your monthly payments. This is especially true considering the original loan probably had a relatively high interest rate by virtue of the fact that it was used to finance an investment property.


Foreclosure on an investment property can have far reaching financial effects that are usually difficult to recover from. So do what you can to save yourself from this unpleasant result. If you can dump the property and cut your losses, participate in a government program, or refinance with your lender, your credit score will be spared and you will be able to recover and start investing again sooner.


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