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Category Archive : Real Estate

How to become a professional home builder – Part I

Over the years, many of our student builders have asked relevant questions, such as what size house should I build; I am giving; where do i build it? Looking back, it’s easy for me to make these decisions now, but when I started building in 1975, these were trial and error situations. And my hindsight is very clear. It’s so easy for me to look back and see things I wish I’d known when I started building. That is what you are going to learn in this article.

You will learn the ins and outs of being a speculative or spec maker (as opposed to a contract maker). If you’re not familiar with those terms, a spec builder is one who will select a site, choose a design, build a home, and then sell it to a client. A contract builder is a builder you hire to build a home for you. By the way, I suggest you start with building specs rather than building a house for someone else. I’ll explain why later.

I’ll start by showing you how to be one of the top spec builders in your area, even if you’ve never built a home before. I’ll expand on this information by discussing points that are unique to build specs. In what follows, I will discuss the points that are unique to contract construction and the points that are relevant to both spec and contract construction.

A word of caution

I want to emphasize that when starting your construction business, you must separate your business from your personal life. In the early 70’s I was in commercial real estate sales. I barely survived a major recession. Almost everything I owned was in my name and most of it was repossessed. If I had known then what I know now, I would have kept that big house, that Mercedes, and that plane.

In the construction industry there are many things that can happen to you, some of which you have no control over. According to the 2008 Annual Report of the National Center for State Courts, in 2007 Americans filed more than 90 million lawsuits, more than a third of which were civil cases. This does not include volumes of legal disputes that were resolved before a lawsuit was filed. Based on the myriad of legal disputes that arise, in and out of court, it could be said that most Americans are at risk of being involved in a legal dispute at some point in their lives, for many people, more than once. time. This is especially true for those who work in professions with high demand vulnerability, such as doctors, dentists and, yes, especially builders! You should invest in hiring professionals to help you protect your assets. It’s easier than you may realize. This is one time you can’t procrastinate. I can tell you some great horror stories, but I don’t want to scare you so early in the game. Anyway, don’t live in fear of what might happen. You only lose if you don’t play.

I. Speculative building

A. How to be one of the best spec builders in your area

Before you buy a lot, before you buy house plans, the first thing I want you to do is assemble your success team. I call this the philosophy of Henry Ford. If you read about Henry Ford, you know that some people considered him illiterate. He once sued a Chicago newspaper that he wrote an article in which he claimed that he was illiterate. In the lawsuit, Henry Ford emphasized that he did not need to know everything about everything because he hired experts to help him with everything he wanted to do. This left his mind free and clear to do all the things he really knew how to do. Well, I’ve learned that philosophy myself over the years. I realize that there is not enough time in this life to do everything. Now I hire experts to help me make decisions, and it has been a positive factor in my success building houses.

Your success team should include the following:

1. Real estate agent

2. Landscape Architect


4. Kitchen/Bath Designer

5. Interior Designer

6. Lighting Designer

I will discuss each of these team members in detail as we go through the course. Don’t worry. When you start, you don’t need the best. These team members are more affordable than you can imagine.

B. How to get your first loan

Let me tell you a story. And the further you get from this story, the harder it is to borrow money to begin with.

Suppose you have a paid job. If you are not employed, but are self-employed, you must have a high credit score or submit tax returns for the last three years to qualify for the loan. If you currently rent a house or apartment and want to build a house for yourself, you are an ideal candidate to borrow money to build a house for yourself. So, you get the money. You build a home. You put it on the market during construction. You sell it. You go to the bank. You borrow money under the same premise. You get the money. You build a home. Put it up for sale. sell it. Do it over and over and pretty soon you walk into the bank and the banker looks at you and says, oh my gosh, you should become a home builder. And you.

Now, that’s the easiest way to start. Most builders I know started out in the industry this way. This method will also provide you with the least risk. Why? Because if you don’t sell the house, you’ll just move into it. In turn, this will make it easier for you to sell because a furnished home will typically sell faster than an unfurnished home. Eventually you will sell it and you can start the process all over again. The bad news is that you may be moving a lot. I remember a couple who wanted to own a free and clear house. They used this method on five houses, reinvesting their earnings in each house. His sixth house was built entirely with cash. They were free and clean owners and they got out of the construction business. They simply wanted to do what it took to own their home free and clean.

The further away you get from the above scenario, the more difficult it will be to get the start-up loan when you’re just starting out.

For example, let’s say you currently own a home and want to borrow money to build another home for yourself. A banker will generally be negative. They tend to look down and might comment something like this. “That sounds great, but you currently own a home. What are you going to do with your current home?” His response is: “I’ll put it up for sale during the construction of this new house and then I’ll sell it.” The banker comments, “That sounds pretty good, but what if you don’t sell your current home?” The banker usually sees the negative side, that is, you will have to pay two house payments. If he can show that he can afford two house payments, he may well get the money.

You always have to have a successful conclusion to your story that you tell the banker. Never look at the banker and say, “Well, my God, I’m only borrowing 70% of the appraised value. If the bank were to foreclose on the house, the bank would have a bargain. The bank could sell the house and make a good return on your investment. Never use this kind of logic with a banker. Bankers don’t want to be in the business of homeowners. Never hint or think in your mind that this will happen.

If you don’t have gainful employment or have a problem with your credit or cash, your next best approach is to find an investor to venture into a project with you. I’ve done this on many large projects when I didn’t have the finances to pay for it myself. What he typically did was structure the investment so that the joint venture partner put up little or no money. Investors really like that! What he needed was his solid financial status. Understand that there are many investors, like doctors, who have tremendous financial statements but very little cash. So if you can structure the investment so that it requires little or no cash, it becomes a relatively easy investment to sell. When I worked with a joint venture partner, after the investment was sold, the investor would receive a refund of the cash he had invested, plus a fair interest rate agreed to in advance. All remaining profits would be split 50% to me and 50% to the investor. Normally, in a situation like this, the investor would let me deduct any out-of-pocket expenses but understandably wouldn’t let me take any salary.

You wouldn’t believe some of the wild, crazy, ridiculous investments that require large amounts of cash that I’ve seen these people put money into. Many of them have the same luck in the stock market that I have. These people should feel blessed that you have come into their lives with a viable real estate investment. I have found these people by talking to friends, attending investment seminars, and placing ads in the newspaper.

Tenant Credit Lease (CTL) Loans Explained in Simple Terms

Credit Lease Lease (CTL) financing is a unique lending platform designed for use exclusively with net leased real estate. Due to the distinctive nature of CTL loans, they are only available through specialized CTL lenders.

What are net leased properties?

Net lease refers to the clauses in a real estate lease that specify which party (landlord or lessee) is responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance.

When a tenant agrees to bear the burden of some or all of these significant expenses, the rent will be less, but the tenant’s responsibilities will be greater. Rent is said to be “net of” any expenses borne by the lessee.

If a tenant is responsible for all three (taxes, insurance, maintenance) of the extraordinary expenses, the tenancy is described as “triple net” (NNN). Triple net leases release the property owner from all responsibilities and obligations associated with real property, except for the mortgage payment if financed. Obviously, net leasing comes in single and double net as well.

Because a triple net lease pays a monthly rent but imposes virtually no other requirements on the holder, it is considered a financial instrument much like a bond. Like a bond, a triple net lease derives its value from the strength of the entity (tenant) that agrees to make the payments.

What is a credit tenant?

Simply put, a credit holder is a tenant with good credit. A credit tenant will not only have the financial resources to be able to pay their rent, but they will also have a strong legal and ethical incentive to keep up.

To be considered a credit lessee and eligible for CTL loans, a lessee must have an “investment grade” rating from one of the established corporate rating services, such as Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s.

Credit tenants are coveted by landlords, and credit tenants who rent on a triple net basis are the most prized of all.

What is CTL Finance?

CTL financing is a unique and highly specialized form of loan designed to work hand in hand with net credit lessee real estate. CTL loans are actually equity products that combine commercial mortgage lending with sophisticated investment banking.

When a lessee of credit, net leased property is financed, the lease is actually securitized and, in a sense, becomes a private placement corporate bond. At the same time, a commercial real estate mortgage loan is written against the property. The mortgage is adjoining (which coincides with the duration of the lease), fully amortized and without recourse.

The bond, which is backed by the lease, is then sold on the secondary market, usually to insurance companies or pension funds, but also to private investors. The proceeds from the sale of bonds are used to finance the mortgage loan.

The lease and mortgage are managed within a trust and are managed by a third-party trustee who collects the rent, pays the mortgage, and distributes any excess to the property owner.

Net lease real estate investors with credit tenants should consider CTL financing when deciding how to capitalize on their property.

CTL offers permanent, non-recourse, fully amortizing commercial mortgages with no loan-to-value (up to 100% LTV) or loan-to-cost (up to 100% LTC) restrictions and is available for financing, refinancing and construction. and development, including cash-out financing.

Closings, deeds and restrictive agreements: does the buyer know what is being bought?

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice depends on the particular circumstances of each person. If you have a related issue, you should consult with your attorney who practices law in his state regarding his particular circumstance. This article is for informational purposes only.

The title agent ushered us into a large and beautiful conference room. My client sat down first. I sat in the chair directly across from her. After flashing me a nervous smile, he placed his arms on the cold, shiny conference room table and clasped his hands, interlacing his fingers.

She was clearly nervous…

And I should have been nervous; this was the first time she had bought real estate. Plus, she was buying this house during the real estate boom, when the real estate market was at its craziest. More importantly, you were buying this home directly from the builder, and you agreed to allow your builder’s mortgage company to finance the purchase of the home and your builder’s title company to close the real estate deal, which generally complicates the stuff for unsuspecting homebuyers.

Unfortunately, I did not represent her at the time she signed her real estate contract as she hired me just days before closing. (For the record, I generally advise most buyers to get their financing and title/closing agent services from a party unrelated to the builder.)

The closing agent brought a stack of documents for my client’s signature. He put the documents in front of me and then left the room, closing the door behind him. Of course, I was there to review each document of my client to advise her before he signed any more documents. Most of the documents were fine.

However, there was one document that caused me serious concern: The Deed.

“Did someone tell you that if you sold your house within the next 4 years, you would have to pay the builder a penalty of 15% of the sale price?” I asked him after reviewing his handwriting. I was surprised to see such a provision in the deed as I did not remember seeing such a requirement in the real estate contract a few days earlier.

“NO!!!!!!” she responded quickly. Obviously she was surprised by my question.

“Are you okay with paying the builder a 15% penalty if you sell the house within 4 years?” I asked, looking up from the writing.


“Therefore, I advise you not to sign any of these closing documents and to withdraw from this closing unless the builder agrees to remove these provisions from your deed…”

I called the title agent into the room and informed him that the closing would not go through unless the builder agreed to change the deed. The title agent returned to the office. He promptly returned with a revised deed.

From then on, we closed the real estate deal.


Do you understand your work? What about your restrictive covenants? Do you even know what restrictive covenants are? Do you know to demand to see all of your closing documents before closing?

Would you believe that most buyers don’t? Would you believe that lawyers who don’t practice real estate don’t?

As a result, just like the seller in the previous scenario, sellers can easily surprise potential buyers right at the closing table. This obviously puts sellers at a substantial advantage.

What’s worse is that even if the buyer is surprised, the seller can threaten to keep the buyer’s deposit if the closing does not occur that day. This puts the buyer in an obvious dilemma. Since real estate deposits tend to be substantial, most buyers feel they have no choice but to sign the closing documents.


Buyers should try to protect their interests in their closings:

  1. Consider asking your closing agent to provide all your documents at least 48 hours before closing.
  2. Consider reading all your documents. If you don’t understand something, consider asking an appropriate person to explain it to you.
  3. If you see anything suspicious in your closing documents, consider consulting with an attorney in your jurisdiction about the matter.
  4. If trying to understand the closing process, documents and/or concepts overwhelms you, consider hiring a real estate attorney to represent you in the transaction.
  5. In many jurisdictions, hiring a real estate attorney to solely represent you in the closing process typically costs less than $1,500.00, which is less than a month’s mortgage payment for many people. This is a small investment to protect the investment you are making in your new home.

7 Simple Solutions to Soothe Symptoms of Nighttime Heartburn and Acid Reflux

What person has not woken up straight after sleeping through the night, awakened by the unexpected and terrible burning pain in the abyss within the stomach area? No matter if you ate a very hot and spicy meal, or ate a lot of leftovers from the night, these quick fixes for heartburn symptoms can soothe any stomach aches and help you get back to sleep in peace.

1. When sleep is interrupted by painful heartburn, you should first stand up. This will help keep the acid in check as you head for a glass of cold water.

2. Once you finish the entire glass of water, you will need to mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1/2 glass of water and drink it. A word of caution is needed here for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure, as this remedy may cause some water retention and increase your blood pressure.

3. Stay away from mints or milk to get rid of heartburn. These may provide some relief at first, but they consist of protein and fat that only add to the chemical process that will cause your stomach to produce more acid and heartburn more intense. You will find that the mints can be somewhat calming, but what they will also do is relax a small valve between the stomach and the esophagus that is there to keep stomach acids back. Once the valve relaxes, unwanted acids can travel up and cause more painful heartburn.

4. Sometimes heartburn pain can be caused by not enough stomach acid. Believe it or not, taking a tablespoon of vinegar is just the remedy to supply the acid your stomach needs and give immediate relief to the problem.

5. It is known that there are certain foods that when eaten before bed can perpetuate heartburn. Here are some that you should completely avoid to avoid the painful burning that heartburn can cause. To get started with caffeine-containing beverages such as carbonated soft drinks, there are, of course, garlic, alcohol, chocolate, tomato and tomato-based products, along with citrus fruits. Avoiding these foods, especially before bed, can save you from excruciating and aggravating burning at night.

6. For this food try a banana a day to keep heartburn away. In cases where you already have indigestion you can eat potato, pineapple or drink the juice to calm the situation. How about a teaspoon of mustard to calm the beast? Works!

7. A few more things you can do is try to sleep at a slightly vertical angle or on your left side as it has a tendency to make it difficult for acid to flow upwards. Keep your stomach’s acid-producing activity to a minimum by not eating for at least two hours before bed.

While the above remedies will help relieve nighttime heartburn in most cases, if you find that you are having attacks on a regular basis or that they come with a lot of pain or vomiting, this may indicate that the situation is much more serious in nature. . It is advisable at that time to seek the advice of a doctor without delay. In the meantime, stay away from things that might cause you a problem before bed for a peaceful, restful sleep.

The benefits of flood insurance and who needs to have it

Flood insurance is a separate type of policy that should be purchased by anyone who lives in an area that has a high risk of flooding because most, if not all, standard home insurance policies do not cover two things: earthquakes and floods. And for people who live in areas of high to moderate flood risk, there is a 26% chance that your home will experience some flood damage in the thirty-year period you have your mortgage. Even a few inches of water running through your home can cause massive damage.

Even a few inches of water running through your home can cause massive damage. Think about it. Floodwater goes to contain sewage, pollution, and chemical waste like oil and gas, and now it’s in your living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, leaving a lasting imprint on your carpets and walls. Even in the best of times, your carpets and flooring will need to be ripped out and replaced, and if your walls have been damaged, you’ll likely need to remove the drywall, insulation, and baseboards and replace those, too, to protect against mold and mildew. the rot.

Can you afford to replace the contents of your home and make the massive repairs that will be required to make your home livable and marketable again without the help of insurance? If we learned anything from Hurricane Katrina, it’s that home repairs are extensive and expensive, and that most homes that were hit by Hurricane Katrina are still damaged and abandoned all these years later, as the former owners couldn’t make the repairs. expensive repairs to make homes safe again. .

Even if you feel safe from flooding because you live in an area that is not considered a flood zone, you should keep in mind that flooding can happen anywhere and at any time. All states have flood risk. Flooding can start from something other than hurricanes or rivers rising over the banks. Winter storms, snow melt, and even new construction alter water runoff patterns in an area, causing flooding where it is least expected.

The cost of flood insurance varies based on a variety of variables, including the age of the building to be insured, the number of floors, the building’s occupancy, the location of the building’s contents, and where it is in a flood zone. Other factors that affect premiums include how much coverage you want and whether you want to cover the building or the contents of the building or both.

Talk to your agent about flood insurance before you need it because when you really need it and don’t have it, it’s too late.

Whiting New Jersey feeds water to aliens on Mars; Read all about it!

He was walking on the foundations of the old hotel near Docspond. You know the ones Piney burned in the late sixties. Ah, you know, I saw you in the hidden woods when it was on fire with your ax in hand and the helmet you struggled to keep slipping over your eyes. But that is years ago and neither is heard nor exists. But you want to know a bigger secret that I found out that the local fire company burning the nudist in town. MY B.

Yes, that’s right, MIB. Yeah. I found one of those mind blotting things. You might think I’m a little crazy, but I sure did find one. Marked “United States Government Property”. Very good, it’s a little rusty and one end is missing, but the piece that slides up and off the shaft is still intact.

Now Officially, it was first cleared and established as an iron forge and a site for swamp mining in the 19th century. Gone are the glory days when the swamps provided the devil pills for the Revolutionary War, but no less viable. The hotel was originally built to house employees in this industrial city. On three plots, an industrious young man even grew produce to feed these forge men. Until 1944, being abandoned for years, until that time, Miss Jeanie Epolito was forced to sell when the county foreclosed on all Manchester Land Companies properties for tax evasion. That’s when Mr. Giovanni Enea, some kind of doctor, owner of United Spring down the street, snatched up that property for a nudist colony. To build on your success in selling mineral water to New York City, why not have a spa where you can not only drink the water but also bathe in it? Adding many years to your life.

Now you may not have liked Mr. Enea, or Doc as he was called, but you must admit there was some fortiture and propensity, if not fortunsity! To be a Doctor and genealogist in Biotechnology. Did he grow some monster blueberries with Mrs. White of Whitesbog, the first woman or man to grow blueberries. He even made those little plastic baskets that all the fruit comes in nowadays. I still eat them from the garden and they are so juicy! But there was more to this Sicilian Doctor…

When I first moved into this corner of the colony kitty house, I used to see this strange star. He sat low in the sky. Too high for a streetlight that stood on a small hill through the woods. But too short to be any star. Yes, Fort Dix was shooting flares, but these were yellow and they zigzagged and fell in fifteen minutes. No, this stayed motionless in the sky all night, just after sunset. I have seen this star every summer for four years. Then one summer he was gone.

I didn’t think much of it for the next five years, until! My parents left when I was in high school and I invited some friends to a party. Being a little concerned, rough people, we sat outside on the porch. One named Shambo pointed up and looked us all in the eye and said, “Have you ever heard of that alien that got shot trying to escape over a fence at Fort Dix?” I thought he was full of shit. “They captured his ship and were examining it until one day he got fed up and apologized. Well, he got to the fence okay, but no further.” I learned long ago from Pugsley, or Peanut in the account that he was the first to be caught stealing peanuts or whatever at the new feed store, to listen to stories and not interrupt them with questions of validity as long as money and transportation they were not part of it. So I listened, though not believing Shambo until…

“Yeah, that alien got shot five years ago!”

Five years ago? No, it can not be. It has been so long! Summer of ’73, yes it has been. These are things that went through my head at that time.

Now the northwest facing window from my bedroom. It’s a bit strange. Now look towards the southwest corner, that’s where I saw the star. Now we know what happened to that. Below is where the doctor burned himself. But in the north corner, that’s where the tower that was supposed to connect to the Hindenburg is located. But we all know what happened before he could do that. The window of destruction.

Now let’s go back to yesterday. I found that MIB mind eraser thing right. I did some research on topographic and aerial maps. They were inspected in the field. Not only were they inspected in the field, but the 1947 aerial map is top secret. 1947 Roswell sighting and all. The USGS office doesn’t even have access to it. Have you ever heard of Whiting, New Jersey? So why should the military do it?

When I was little walking through the swamps behind Docspond, I found PVC pipes coming out of the center of the swamp. Ventilation? A five-year-old mind heads towards underground silos. Could there be men sneaking in here in the middle of the night with lunch boxes to go to work? “Hello Joe”: Good evening, Frank.”; in the swamp. We have a known silo just three miles away. It has been closed since June 7, 1960. A BOMARC missile at McGuire Air Force Base, [near Trenton,] The New Jersey in ready storage condition (allowing launch in two minutes) was destroyed by explosion and fire after a high-pressure helium tank exploded and ruptured the missile’s fuel tanks. The warhead was also destroyed by fire, although the high explosive did not detonate. The nuclear security devices acted as expected. The contamination was restricted to an area immediately below the gun and an adjacent elongated area approximately 100 feet long, caused by fire extinguishing water drainage. Well, the next town on Toms River has radionuclides or something in the water, but not to worry.

The New York Times reported that the 47-foot missile “melted under intense fire fueled by its 100-pound TNT detonator… The atomic warhead apparently fell into the remaining molten mass of the missile, which burned for forty-five minutes.” . .” The radiation “had been caused when the magnesium thoriated metal that forms part of the weapon caught fire…the metal, already radioactive, becomes highly radioactive when burned.”

I think the aliens did this on purpose. To mark the place. You know how a billboard seen from the stars. a lighthouse. Were the Doctor’s nudists Earthlings or not? Was Giovanni Enea more than a recent alien from Sicily, or was he from the stars? You might say New Yorkers might be out of this world, but was he selling his mineral water to Mars? As all scientists know, there is no water on Mars. So who else would need it more than them?

I don’t know how in 1947, three years after the opening of Nature’s Rest Nudist Colony, how they came to meet these aliens. MIB, how did you find out? Was it spied on during normal aerial photography that they saw something strange? High up on Devil’s Mountain from the forest colony is a circle of trees toppled like dominoes. On the outskirts, for a sixteenth of a mile in thick undergrowth, trees have been felled. Now, this was the landing site?

But what brings them here in and around 1940? Well, in 1938, the Hindenburg was the world’s first internationally broadcast news disaster. Now those waves bounce around in space forever. Did you hear it? Did it take you six years to hear it and travel here? In that report it was heard: “In the resort town of Lakehurst, a Manchester boron on the outskirts of Whiting in ..”. Maybe all they cared about was the mention of a resort town. Could this be all that was needed? Did some cosmic Lief Erickson sell some aliens to travel to Whiting NJ? Did the scouting parties report on the United Spring Co drawing water from one of the largest aquifers in North America, the Cohansey-Kirkwood Aquifer? 17 billion tons in Cohansey alone. Where else would you go if you were from Mars and needed water? Have you ever heard of whiting?

So, Doc Enea wasn’t just hated for his car with the black devil of a redneck hood ornament mocking you, or his clothing-optional style, his intellectual snobbery, or his dangerous choice of fauna for nudists (Honey Locust and Holly), but he was hated for allowing illegal aliens to enter.

That explains all the military transports flying low, very low, over the site during all hours of the day. You know!

For Sale By Owner: Getting Delisted From The MLS Is Risky Business

Since 2013, there has been an increase in sellers pre-selling properties and listing them on the Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Core Logic reported that in 2013, 53% of real estate transactions conducted in the US were not listed on the MLS. Most sellers do not have a real estate license and are not allowed to use the MLS, the standard listing portal for a licensed real estate agent. Although buyer’s agents are willing to work with For Sale by Owner (FSBO) listings, they are not allowed to give any advice to the seller or access marketing.

Sellers who want to list a FSBO may be losing tens of thousands of dollars in actual market value on a property, especially if they list properties without an up-to-date appraisal or current market research. Often a seller will list a FSBO based on the sales price of a neighbor’s home, which may or may not be the best option for a comparable property. A local real estate agent continually lists properties in their regional sales area and is best suited to offer a market comparison in the neighborhoods they cover. Remember, tax assessments, while readily available, are not the best tool for gauging the true market value of a property at any given time.

One nuance about FSBO sales that should give sellers pause is the fact that an experienced buyer’s agent may have the upper hand in a FSBO real estate transaction. Why? The seller may not be familiar with state laws and fiduciary codes and/or the ramifications of contractual issues that arise during negotiations. Even with an attorney creating a real estate contract on a property, the final outcome of a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) real estate sale can be delayed due to a variety of issues. Experienced REALTORS know how to circumvent these obstacles quickly and keep a property transaction on track.

FSBO does not equal the advertising potential of a REALTOR

Working with a professional REALTOR is worth the commission under these circumstances. An FSBO has limited opportunity for marketing, and becomes more dependent on real estate portal websites like Zillow.com. With an experienced agent, the advertising penetration of a property is much higher. For example, I list my properties for sale in Williamsburg, Virginia on four MLS websites. This gives my sellers a wide area of ​​coverage so other agents can see the listing and buyers on the MLS can see it too. My MLS listings are also republished on Realtor.com, which is owned by the National Association of Realtors and is also a trusted website in the industry.

My broker, Coldwell Banker Traditions, also has a listing mechanism on their local website, where my clients’ properties receive excellent visibility. Not all REALTORS list properties as extensively on the Web, so check with individual realtors and ask them for specific information about the advertising provided for client listings through MLS and other places on the Web.

There are other disadvantages to listing properties without an agent. If the owner misses a visit to a potential buyer, he may lose the opportunity to sell a property outright. For sales of real estate in my territory, Southeast Virginia, an owner cannot use legal forms created by the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR), unless he is licensed. Real estate forms are formally VAR registered and sanctioned for exclusive use by members. This puts the seller at another distinct disadvantage in the transaction. Having to create legal forms all over again is not only time consuming, but can also add to the costs of a lawyer.

In addition to some of the more obvious advantages of listing with a licensed real estate agent, there is also a common misconception that using a real estate attorney will save money instead of paying agent commissions. The seller still has to pay the buyer’s agent’s fee (which varies by state and the type of real estate transaction). All FSBO sales contracts must be created and finalized with an attorney. The sales process involves the buyer reading the contract and making changes. The attorney reviews the contract properly and presents it at closing. Lawyers in Virginia charge much more to create an original contract (in my experience) than the commission on the seller’s side, in most cases. Sellers wishing to go it alone should seriously consider that attorney’s fees may be more expensive and largely unpredictable, depending on the number of legal forms required, length of negotiations, and additional contract requirements.

Sellers need to forego the FSBO and be smart in a real estate market that is definitely on the move in many regions of the US. Prices tend to rise in the 2014 market and inventories are low in many markets. Therefore, sellers need expert advice on pricing real estate at current market value now, more than ever. In addition to the potential loss of proceeds from the sale of the home, the seller can easily be faced with legal and contractual issues that may not be resolved quickly. Worse yet, these issues may be resolved too late to meet the time limits of certain loans such as FHA and USDA. If the seller does not know what he is doing and the terms are not taken into account, this can cause the buyer to lose the loan. In turn, the property loses a good buyer and valuable time on the market.

Be prudent and do not engage in risky business: listing a property outside of the MLS or without an authorized agent. It is best to have representation from a licensed agent for a variety of reasons. The main reasons are: the seller will have expert advice, will most likely sell the property sooner, and the property will be priced at fair market. Say no to FSBO. Instead, find a capable real estate professional in your region for peace of mind.

Crypto TREND 2017-01

Everyone has heard how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have made millionaires out of those who bought it just a year ago. Gains of 1000% or more are not only possible, but have been commonplace with many of these cryptocurrencies. Someone who bought Bitcoin in May 2016 for less than $500 would have made a 1400% profit in about 17 months. Then, in the last few days, we saw Bitcoin lose almost $1,000, so to say that these crypto currencies are volatile would be a gross understatement.

Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2008, we at Trend News have been skeptical of the survivability of cryptocurrencies, as they present a very clear threat to governments that want to see and tax all transactions. But while we may still be wary of actual cryptocurrencies, we are well aware of the potential of the underlying technology that powers these electronic currencies. In fact, we believe that this technology will be a major disruptor in the way data is managed, affecting all sectors of the global economy, much like the Internet impacted media.

Here are some questions and answers to get you started…

Q: What are cryptocurrencies?

The best known cryptocurrency (CC) is BITCOIN. It was the first CC, started in 2008. Today there are more than 800 CCs, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Zcash, Ripple, Monero, and they are all “virtual”. There are no “physical” coins or coins.

Q: How do CCs work?

CCs are virtual currencies that exist in very large distributed databases. These databases use BLOCKCHAIN ​​technology. Because each Blockchain database is widely distributed, it is believed to be immune to hacking as there is no central point of attack and every transaction is visible to everyone on the network. Each CC has a group of administrators, often called “miners”, who validate transactions. A CC called Ethereum uses “smart contracts” to validate transactions. Crypto TREND will provide more details in upcoming news posts.


Blockchain is the technology that underpins all CCs. Each CC’s purchase, sale or exchange transaction is entered into a BLOCK that is added to the chain. This technology is complex and will not be explained here, but it has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry as transactions can be executed quickly and easily, with fees reduced or eliminated. The technology is also being examined for applications in many other industries.

Q: Are CC Exchanges regulated by the government?

For the most part, the answer is NO, which for some users is a huge draw of this market. It’s the “wild west” right now, but governments in most developed countries are looking at this market to decide what regulation may be needed. A big decision is whether to treat CC as a currency or as a commodity/value. Canada and the US have so far stated that CCs are legal, however the situation remains fluid regarding tax and reporting implications. Crypto TREND will follow and report on these developments.

Q: How do I invest in this market?

You can buy, sell and trade CC using the services of specialized “exchanges” that act as a brokerage. You start by selecting an exchange, setting up an account, and transferring fiat currency to your account. You can then place your CC BUY and SELL orders. There are many exchanges around the world. Opening an account is quite simple and all of these exchanges have their own rules about initial funding and withdrawals.

Crypto TREND will recommend CC Exchanges in the future.

Q: Where do I keep my CC?

In order to have the freedom to move your cryptocurrency and pay bills, you will need to have a digital wallet. These wallets come in various formats such as desktop, cloud-based, hardware (USB), mobile phone, and paper. Many of them are FREE, however security is an important factor as no one wants to lose their wallet or have it stolen. Crypto TREND will recommend digital wallets in the future.

Q: What can I do with my CC?

In addition to investing in CC products, you can also use cryptocurrency for some financial transactions, such as money transfers and bill payments. The list of companies that accept cryptocurrency is growing rapidly and includes big companies like Microsoft, GAP, JC Penny, Expedia, Shopify, Bloomberg.com, Dish Network, Zynga, Subway, and WordPress.

Q: What’s next?

As we started, we will keep each of the Crypto TREND articles brief and keep the scope of each one as limited as possible. As we noted above, we believe that cryptocurrency technology will be a game changer and that potential investment opportunities like this come around once or twice in a lifetime. Make no mistake, early investment in this sector will only be for your most speculative capital, money you can afford to lose.

Even if you don’t want to invest right now, gaining an early understanding of this disruptive new technology will put you in an advantageous position to benefit from our recommendations as we move forward.

Expect to see more specific Crypto TREND news and recommendations as we begin this journey into what may at first seem like a foreign jungle. This is a volatile market and it may not appeal to all investors, however Crypto TREND will be your guide when you are ready.

Stay tuned!

How to buy a self-storage facility correctly

Buying a self storage facility is much more difficult than you think, especially if you want to make money from it. Over the years, there are some basic traits that separate winning installations from losing ones. And that genetic code is hard to break.

There are plenty of people who will tell you all about buying a self storage facility to sell you a book, course, or boot camp. But they really have limited or no experience. The concepts that we are going to tell you about here are based on real life information (and lots of it) from the operation of one of the largest websites dedicated to the industry. And it can be very different from what you’ve heard before.

50,000 inhabitants within 3 miles of the facility.

The myth that you can build a self-storage facility in the middle of nowhere and fill it up needs to be exposed. Self-storage depends on people, people who need to store things. In the absence of population, you have no demand. You can’t build or buy a self-storage facility in a small town of 5,000 and be successful, at least not enough to make money from it. Population density is key.

Traffic count passed by the installation of more than 25,000 cars per day.

Most self-storage customers find their self-storage home by passing by. It is, in many ways, a purchase decision point. Few people put a scientific study on where to store their things. They seek convenience and often simply stop at the first one near their home or business. As a result, it’s also a myth that you can have a successful self-storage facility that’s either hidden from view or stuck on a two-lane street with no traffic.

Median household income of $50,000.

To pay for storage, to pay $100 per month or more, the customer must have discretionary spending power. If they are struggling to cover their rent or mortgage, they are not going to have the desire to add to their already struggling finances. Also, to have a need for storage, you will have to actually have excess belongings. Only people with higher incomes can accumulate enough material items to store them.

400 units onwards.

There are some major fixed costs in a self-storage facility, the biggest of which is the administrator. You must have enough units to support the personnel needed to run the complex. You cannot run a self-storage installation from a kiosk, contrary to what some people may suggest. And you can’t run it without any management. That is why the small complexes in the rural markets are always for sale.

High barrier to entry.

You may have noticed that there are a large number of self-catering units in almost every major city in the US, and in most midsize markets as well. It is extremely important that you select a market that has virtually no self-storage facility construction. Otherwise, occupancy may never go above a certain level, as there is always more supply on the market.

These barriers to entry can include an improperly zoned property, or a high price per square foot for properly zoned land, making construction of a new facility uneconomical.

No more than 6 square feet of storage space per person on the market.

A market of 100,000 people should not have more than 600,000 square feet of available space. If it does, the area is overbuilt. The best markets have ratios well below 6. Remember that market density has a lot to do with this. In areas with much more dense housing, there is less land available for self-storage facilities and a larger population to support it. San Francisco, which is extremely dense, is a huge self-storage market, while Stockton, California, always suffers from vacancies.

Rental rates around $1 per square foot on existing storage.

A healthy self-storage market will have a rental rate of around $1 per square foot. This is the number that maximizes the economy of the installation. When you find fees significantly below $1, it not only implies that the supply/ask is out of control, but that you won’t be able to generate enough returns to make the facility a winner.

Buy in a hurry, if you can.

We are entering a period of unparalleled dislocation in the credit markets, coupled with the current US recession. Many, perhaps most, commercial real estate will be in trouble for years to come, as their existing notes won’t be able to renew because they paid too much for the property. There will be a plethora of REO properties on the market, as well as desperate sellers.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime time to buy a self-storage facility, when you can buy quality property for a penny on the dollar.


There are strict rules and guidelines for purchasing a successful self-storage facility. Once you know and understand them, you’ll already be a mile ahead of the competition. And that, coupled with the timing of the commercial real estate crash, may give you some of the highest-yielding self-storage investments of all time.

Townhomes are the pinnacle of wealth and flexibility for an owner

Everyone who has spent even a few hours in the home market has read and reread the term “townhome” several times. However, few people understand what a townhome encompasses and where the term comes from. When coming to a final decision in terms of which custom home build to invest in, it is beneficial to understand the origin and elements incorporated into the townhome design.

The truth is, custom townhomes have some defining characteristics that set them apart from other manufactured homes or apartment complexes. These features are precisely why luxury townhomes are so desirable and considered the pinnacle of any custom home builder’s repertoire. The following is a brief discussion of some of these features and tips to consider when investing in an affordable custom home builder of your own.

Since the term was first introduced, a semi-detached house denoted a luxury residence. For noble families, a townhouse was literally a second home built in the city. The rich tended to go between two houses; a fashionable townhouse that was built in an affluent area of ​​the city and a larger palatial estate in the countryside. Consulting with a luxury home builder meant that he wanted to build a seat from which to enjoy the social and cultural leisure of downtown society. Only in modern times has the semi-detached house become a standard primary home for families.

In modern times, a townhouse is much the same as it was in the past, in terms of location. Townhomes are luxury built homes that tend to crop up in up-and-coming, modern neighborhoods. With the days of having two homes over for most homeowners, modern townhomes come fully equipped with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and all the amenities expected of a regular home. A townhome means a wealth and freedom of space that is normally limited to typical urban apartment living and is typically built in bustling areas filled with shops, restaurants and other conveniences.

Townhomes are flexible and customizable for the luxury home builder in question. Because a townhome is built as a stand-alone unit and not part of a complex or apartment building, there are a multitude of different styles and constructions that can be incorporated into your design and implementation, making each townhome an individual home. and personalized. The multi-story layout of a townhouse allows for compartmentalization as required by the builder. A popular move that new townhome owners like to make is to split a townhome into two duplexes, creating an additional source of income through rent to help pay for the custom home builder.

Avoid the prefabs that litter the suburbs. A custom home builder can create a beautiful luxury townhome at affordable prices. Enjoy the heyday of the custom home builder trade, a beautiful and affordable townhome in the most desirable areas of your city.