Social Media Network UniMarter: Create and Discover Global World

The UniMarter social network media site is a full-fledged information service on the global Internet with practical knowledge graph and guides on various topics. The purpose of this website was the need to create a reliable source of knowledge of a social nature, which will be entirely created by the online community and available 24/7 without leaving home. UniMarter is one social network and many possibilities!
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2 days ago

What is Premium for Tax Lien Certificates?

Premium is an amount over and above the tax lien certificate amount that the investor will pay to the municipality to acquire the lien. When premium is paid for a lien, it is not the lowest interest rate that is bid that wins the lien, but rather the highest premium. Premium is not bid in all states that sell liens. In some states the interest rate is bid down and the lien is sold to the investor who bids the lowest percent interest. In other states the interest rate is kept constant while premium is bid for the lien, thus lowering your return on the lien (since in most states no interest is paid on premium).Every state has its own rules regarding bidding and whether or not premium is bid. New Jersey is unusual in that the interest rate is bid down and once the interest is bid down to 0%, premium is then bid. This means that the investor is getting no interest on the certificate amount or the premium, significantly lowering the returns on this investment. The only interest made in this case is the interest paid on the subsequent taxes, which in New Jersey is 18% for lien amounts over $1500.00.In New Jersey the municipality holds premiums and if the lien is not redeemed within a 5-year period, that money is not returned to the investor. Of course the investor can start foreclosure proceedings after 2 years, but if the property is foreclosed on, the investor does not get his premium back. He can get the property, but the premium will be forfeited and considered part of the cost of the property. Rules about when and if premium is paid back to the investor and whether or not interest is paid on premium bid is different for every state.Why does this happen?At almost every tax lien sale that I attend, there is a local investor, new to tax lien investing, who is confused and wants to know what is going on. Why would anyone want to buy a lien, pay more than the lien amount and not get any interest on their initial investment? They assume that investors do this in hope of being able to foreclose on the property.The real reason that tax lien investors pay premium is that once you are the lien holder, you then have the ability to pay the subsequent taxes. In New Jersey you can earn from 8-18% on the subsequent taxes depending on how much is owed. For amounts owed over $1500.00 the interest rate is 18%, for anything under $1500.00, the interest rate is 8%. Also as long as the lien is redeemed after the certificate is issued, even though you didn?t get the certificate amount at an interest rate, there is an additional redemption penalty that is paid to the lien holder. The redemption penalty in New Jersey is 2% for certificate amounts from $200.00 - $4,999.99, 4% for certificate amounts from $5,000.00 ? 9,999.99, and 6% for certificate amounts of $10,000.00 or more. The homeowner must pay this penalty when he / she redeems the lien and it is only calculated on the certificate amount, not on any subsequent taxes that the lien-holder has paid. Each state also has different penalties that may be applied in addition to the interest amount on the lien.In addition to all of this, some municipalities in New Jersey have an additional year-end penalty for overdue taxes in excess of $10,000. A penalty of 6% is added for amounts due over $10,000.00 at the end of the year. This penalty only applies to the subsequent taxes. So, if you are a lien holder and you?ve paid over 10,000.00 in subsequent taxes, at the end of the year the homeowner will have to pay you back at 24%, should he redeem the lien, plus you will get the redemption penalty on the certificate amount of your lien.A Simplified ExampleLet?s look at a somewhat simplified example: Let?s say you go to a sale and purchase and a $5,000 lien on a property with annual taxes of $10,000.00 (not unusual in some municipalities in New Jersey) and you bid $10,000 premium. You pay the municipality $15,000.00 (lien amount + premium) on the day of the sale. The sale happens to be held in December 1st and last year?s delinquent taxes are being sold. On December 11th you pay the current year?s taxes of $10,000.00. And let?s assume that the lien is redeemed December 11th of the following year and that you didn?t pay any more of the subsequent taxes.In order to redeem the lien, the property owner must pay the certificate amount plus the redemption penalty and the subsequent tax amount at 24%. That?s $5,000(lien amount) + $200(4% redemption penalty) + $10,000.00(subsequent taxes) + $2400.00(24% of subs) = $17,600. The municipality has to give you back your premium of $10,000.00. You collect $27,600.00. Your initial investment was 25,000.00. You have a total profit of $2,600.00 for a yield of 10.4%. This is a simplified example. Your actual yield will be a little higher if you continue to pay the subsequent taxes until the lien is redeemed.Joanne Musa is a Tax Lien Investing Coach and Consultant who works with investors who want to learn how to buy profitable tax lien certificates and tax deeds. She is the president of Tax Lien Consulting LLC, a consulting firm for tax lien investors.
She is the author of Tax Lien Lady's E-books, available at http: / / / store2 / sales.html
For more tips on tax lien investing send an e-mail to

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Will My Children Be Able to Afford a Home?

The achievement of homeownership for many has been a cornerstone of their financial stability. Many baby boomers have found themselves property "rich" as property values have continued to skyrocket in the last five years. Although very thankful for their own good fortune, many baby boomers are now seriously concerned about the prospects of their children ever being able to afford to purchase a home. With the median sales price of a California home exceeding $550,000, less than 14% of all California households are able to qualify. The ability to qualify is based on the buyer coming in with a 20% down-payment, and using a 30 year fixed rate loan with current interest rates at or slightly above 6%. If the incomes of the offspring of the baby-boomer generation are analyzed separately, they are even less likely to be able to qualify.The California Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors has identified Housing Affordability as one of the critical issues facing the industry. Many cities have, in response to calls for action, started working on policies to help make housing more affordable. The Homeownership Alliance, an alliance of varied industry trade association and non-profit associations, has published a survey of different programs across the country that have been acknowledged as providing workable solutions to this problem. Ultimately, the health of the real estate industry depends on the ability of buyers to buy, providing those who wish to sell the means to do so. The full report can be found at boomers who want their children to enjoy the benefits of homeownership can assist their offspring by teaching them what it takes to own property. The sooner a parent is able to get their child started on such an investment, the more likely the success. There is hardly any better time than the present, if the capacity is there. Today's real estate environment has generated tremendous amounts of equity, and there is no one more capable than us to assist "our" children in ensuring that they will be able to afford a home. Our children will generally see what we do successfully and will use that as an example of how to live their lives. This mentoring generally occurs subconsciously, and is even more powerful if conscious attention is paid to it. As a method of instruction, a parent could assist their adult child to purchase a property jointly with them, and assist them in the management of the property. In time, as they learn to handle the finances and management of the investment, a parental decision can be made to partition the gains. Eventually, the parent can help their children gain financial independence by making that decision to partition the gains, or by "gifting" them their (the parent's) interest as a reward for the adult child's successful completion of the "mentoring" program.Nef Cortez has been dealing in real estate and foreclosures for over 29 years. For real estate trends and free foreclosure lists please visit Diamond Bar Real Estate

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2 days ago

Icon Las Olas and Fort Lauderdale Real Estate - What Savvy Investors are Doing Now

Introduction:Fort Lauderdale real estate is one of the hottest markets in the US today. It appreciated over 25% last year, says Andrew James, Realtor, Preconstruction investor and founder of MiamiNewConstructionGuide.comAfter 7 years of litigation, final approval for Icon Las Olas, the luxury high rise condo towering at 42 stories and embodied with 272 gorgeous units. Icon Las Olas will be the tallest condo development in Fort Lauderdale. This is a major event in the history of Fort Lauderdale.Fort Lauderdale downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments.
Fort Lauderdale is very protective of its waterfront and the word is that it will be a long wait before another waterfront development approved by the city of Fort Lauderdale.Icon Las Olas will start taking reservation middle of January 2006. It's priced between $600 to $650 per foot. The pricing will set a new higher standard for prices charged in Las Olas Riverfront area in Fort Lauderdale.Icon Las Olas - Strong demandWe're seeing high interest in the project by buyers seeking luxury vacation home to be ready in few years, as well as savvy investors. It's going to be the place to meet the rich and famous and excellent place to network,says Andrew. If the recent past is an example, Icon South Beach and Icon Brickell delivered great returns to their investors.Icon Las Olas is a riverfront development which will give its future residents ocean (some units), river and downtown skyline views. You do not need to drive. In front of the building, you can take the waterbus to major shopping areas, resturants and Art exhibits including the musuem where King Tut is hosted right now.How to benefit from this eventFort Lauderdale real estate has been rewarding to its buyers. According to CNN, Fort Lauderdale real estate is expected to appreciate another 21.9% next year.To benefit from Icon Las Olas approval:Option 1: Reserve a unit in Icon, it requires about 10% now and 10% in Dec. 2006.Option 2: Consider buying a unit in one of the new Las Olas condos. New condos in the Las Olas riverfront area will be appreciating because of the new Icon. You can get one of these units starting in the 300?s and rent it or use it as a vacation home. The rental market by Las Olas Riverfront has low vacancy rate and demand high premium. Tenants are willing to pay higher rents to enjoy the quality of life that Las Olas Riverfront area offers.About Fort Lauderdale, Florida:Fort Lauderdale is known as ?Venice of America?. Fort Lauderdale offers extensive network of canals, and is an especially popular destination for fishing and yachting. Fort Lauderdale downtown area, especially around Las Olas Boulevard, has seen dramatic growth in the past decade, and now hosts many new hotels and high-rise condominium developments. Other improvements include a wide array of new boutiques, galleries, and restaurants as well as upgrades to Lockhart Stadium.Fort Lauderdale is alive in its unique way. The Las Olas great energy for working, shopping, dining, gallery-hopping and people watching, while a few blocks to the east the beachcombers hang back in their easy-going style. Several large companies are based in Fort Lauderdale, including AutoNation USA, Citrix Systems, and National Beverage Corp.Whether you're considering Icon Las Olas as a vacation home or for investment, Icon Las Olas will offer an opportunity to own a world-class waterfront property in world-class city with dynamic present, bright future and excellent potential for appreciation.Milestone is celebrating a record year of sales.
They are offering 20% Cash back rebate (limited time offer) to real estate Buyers. This could mean substantial savings to buyers.SummaryIcon Las Olas is a welcome addition to Fort Lauderdale real estate. It will have a positive impact on the Las Olas Riverfront Condo market.Andrew S James is an acknowledged expert realtor and resident of Fort Lauderdale Miami. Andrew brings over 20 years expertise in Real Estate Investing combined with strong background in 1031 Exchange, tax savings strategies, Internet and computer engineering.If you are interested in Icon Las Olas or other Fort Lauderdale real estate, contact Andrew James for more insights into this topic.Direct line: (786) 326-7776
Other helpful information regarding Icon can be found at:
http: / /
http: / /

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2 days ago

Shopping for a Holiday Home in the Sun

At this time of the year when the days are short and the skies are grey, focus tends to shift towards the glorious summer months when we can escape the daily commuter grind and the realities of the 9 ? 5 and take a couple of weeks out to lie on a sun drenched beach somewhere.But why take just two weeks away when you could own a holiday home in the sun, vacation in it whenever you wanted to and even let it out for an earnings supplementing rental income?If you?re one of the increasing numbers of people considering buying real estate for investment purposes, why not combine your investment with pleasure and buy a holiday home abroad?Buying real estate overseas needn?t be a complicated or stressful experience; with this ten step guide to buying property abroad you?ll find the whole process a breeze - and you?ll be lying next to your very own swimming pool soaking up the summer sunshine before you know it.1) Country ? you may already have had your perfect holiday overseas and know exactly where you?d ideally like to own a holiday home in the sun, if on the other hand you?re still undecided about which country to buy a second home in you should factor at least the following considerations into your country based research to determine which nation ideally suites your requirements: - weather, property prices, accessibility, stability and things to do.2) Location ? having decided on a country the next challenge is to find the most suitable area of the country to target for your holiday home search. Think about whether you want to be close to the coast, inland, in a city, away from the crowds, in the thick of it or on a desert island.3) Property Type ? apartment, detached villa, bungalow or rural retreat ? which property type suits you and also, if you?re thinking about renting out your holiday home in the sun, which type of property will be easiest to let?4) Budget ? how much money have you got available to you, how much money will be required in fees and taxes when buying overseas? Think carefully about how much of your budget you can allocate to buying a property and then stick to that figure, do not be tempted to over extend yourself as this could get you into difficulties and even prevent you from having the funds available to travel and holiday in your brand new property.5) Assistance ? because you?re buying in a foreign country you may encounter language barriers, different legal systems and a whole new buying process therefore it is wise to employ the services of a real estate agent and essential to secure the services of a lawyer who can guide and protect you throughout the purchase process.6) Management ? whether you intend to let out your holiday home or not you will probably require the services of a good management company to make sure your pool is clean, your roof never leaks and no one tries to break into your home. Take recommendations locally from other people who have their second homes looked after by a third party and don?t be afraid to ask a property management company for references.7) Income ? if you?ll be letting out your home in the sun for an income find out about any taxation you will be liable for on that income and also about any deductions you can take from your liability to reduce your overall taxation burden.8) Investment ? if you?re interested in holding property overseas for investment purposes look into the buoyancy of a market and ensure that the real estate market is capable of sustaining an investment property ? some overseas real estate markets are stagnant and difficult to realize a capital gain from.9) Insurance ? because your property will either be vacant for long periods of time or occupied by people unknown to you it will be important to have insurances in place for the building and the contents.10) Enjoyment ? and last but not least, once you?ve secured your holiday home in the sun save as much money as possible so that you can enjoy your home as often as possible and for as long as possible! After all, you deserve the time away from work.Rhiannon Williamson writes about real estate investment abroad and living overseas. To read more information about buying holiday homes abroad click here.

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2 days ago

Anatomy of Strata Developments

Combining the advantages of apartment occupancy with those of home ownership has long been a dream of urban dwellers, but direct ownership of "condos" has not been easily achieved. Historically, the law allowed landowners to subdivide their land into two or more separate parcels. The owner of any piece of land also owned the building(s) on it. But what if the owner of a building wanted to subdivide a building into several parts each owned by separate owners? Although owners could subdivide land, the law did not easily permit them to subdivide the buildings into separately owned parts. In Roman Law it was forbidden and at Common Law, though it was permitted, it was generally viewed as dangerously cumbersome in the absence of express statutory authorization.Prior to the introduction of condominium ownership an alternate form of apartment ownership known as ?Commonhold of Flats? in England and ?Real Estate Stock Cooperative? in the United States were introduced. Nowadays, laws facilitating such "condominium" ownership have been enacted in both civil and common law lands. ?Strata Title? is a form of ownership devised for multi-level apartment blocks, which have apartments at different levels or "strata". Strata title was first introduced in New South Wales, Australia to better cope with apartment blocks. Previously, the only satisfactory method of dividing ownership was company title, which suffered from a number of defects such as the difficulty of instituting mortgages.A strata development consists of strata lots, common property and common assets. The part of the property that is individually owned is technically called ?strata lot?, although we normally refer to it with various terms such as ?condominium? , ?condo? or ?strata unit?. Every strata owner owns a proportionate interest in the common property and common assets of the strata corporation. The owner cannot separate his or her interest in the strata lot from the proportionate interest in the common property and common assets, with a few exceptions. In practicality this means that the strata lot owner cannot sell only the proportionate interest in the common property and common assets while retaining the interest in the strata lot.The owner of a strata property has less autonomy than someone who owns a non-strata interest in real estate. This is so because the individual strata ownership is always subject to the broader community interests of the strata development. The strata corporation is based upon a democratic structure, with by-laws that reflect the strata?s community values. These by-laws govern how owners and tenants may use the strata lots, the common property and common assets. The combined owners of all strata lots make up the strata corporation. Each owner has one vote per strata unit, and eligible voters elect a strata council to carry out the day-to-day work of the strata corporation.Major decisions that affect strata owners or their strata lots must be made by the eligible voters in general meetings. The same legal principles that apply to a 450-unit residential condominium development apply to a 50-unit industrial warehouse complex and a 20-parcel bare land strata or, for that matter, a two-unit duplex strata. The strata scheme is self-enforcing, in that there is no government body that regulates compliance with strata legislation and there are no ?strata police?. To enforce the provisions of the law, every owner has the right to file an application into Court for an order requiring the strata corporation to comply with the legislation. In addition, certain disputes among owners or with the strata corporation can be arbitrated.A strata development is not the same as a cooperative housing project. Aside from the fact that the law governing strata corporations is different from the law governing cooperatives, in a housing cooperative a corporation is created to purchase or lease and develop land for housing. The corporation is called an ?association?. The association owns the lands or buildings or in some cases leases the property from a leasehold landlord. An individual becomes a member of the cooperative by purchasing a share in it.The most significant difference between the two types of ownerships is that in a strata development the owner buys an interest in a strata lot and, thus, owns real estate. Instead in a housing cooperative the member only owns a share in the association. He does not own an interest in real estate. Finally, it is possible for condominiums to consist of single family dwellings: so-called "detached condominiums" where homeowners do not maintain the exteriors of the dwellings, yards, etc. or "site condominiums" where the owner has more control over the exterior appearance. These structures are preferred by some planned neighborhoods and gated communities.Luigi Frascati is a Real Estate Agent based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics and maintains a weblog entitled the Real Estate Chronicle at http: / / where you can find the full collection of his articles. Luigi is associated with the Sutton Group, the largest real estate organization in Canada, and is based with Sutton-Centre Realty in Burnaby, BC.Luigi is very proud to be an EzineArticles Platinum Expert Author. Your rating at the footer of this Article is very much appreciated. Thank you.

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Investing in a Rental Property

Over the last few years, relatively weak stock markets
(compared to the late 90?s) along with continued global
economic uncertainty have changed the way many
Canadians are investing their hard earned dollars. More
and more Canadians are venturing into the rental property
market, some swayed by the real estate appreciation that
we?ve seen over the last few years. Others want to add
real estate to their investment mix to better diversify their
investment portfolios.Condos and Multi-UnitsApproximately 25 per cent of the condominium units built
in Canada will be used as rental apartments. Additional investment is occurring in multi-unit residential properties
such as duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, as well as
single-family detached housing. Canadians are looking to
have the rent from these investments at least cover their
costs and, over the long term, gain a reasonable return on
their investment.Consider Your Mortgage and Financing Needs CarefullyInvestors who consider adding real estate assets are often
confused about their mortgage financing options. Since the
Bank Act allows only up to 75 per cent of the value of a
property to be in uninsured financing, many investors who
put 15 per cent down use an insured mortgage for the difference.The cost of the insurance premium can be as high as 4.5 per
cent, which can translate into a $10,000 cost on a $225,000
mortgage. Even so, not all investors can meet the strict
requirements that go along with an insured mortgage on
rental property.These requirements include having a relatively high net worth
and demonstrating that you can carry the mortgage payments
in addition to your other debts without factoring in all of the
rental income you will receive. This certainly doesn?t leave
room for many Canadians who want an investment property.Another option if you have a good amount of equity in your
principal residence is to take some of that equity out, typically through a line of credit, to get a big enough downpayment that then may qualify you for a regular first mortgage.Financing Made EasyTo simplify the process, you can also now consider
those lenders who have mortgage products specifically
designed for small investors who own or are purchasing
a residential investment property. Canadian investors
can now access up to $500,000 without costly mortgage
insurance premiums, or leveraging the equity in their
principal home. Up to 85 per cent financing inclusive of
applicable fees is available for single family units or up
to a fourplex located in major urban centres. Properties
on well and septic systems located in a town or
subdivision can also qualify. Typically, 75 per cent
financing is available for condominium units and all
properties must generate a positive cash flow.Perhaps now more Canadians can heed the wisdom offered
by many financial professionals and diversify, diversify,
diversify by including real estate in their investment portfolios.Donna Lewczuk has worked in the financial services industry for almost 20 years. The last 3 years have been as a mortgage consultant and speaker. Although she arranges mortgages for all different needs, her specialty is dealing with clients who are struggling with financial overload. Donna has helped numerous clients save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month. And also to sleep better. If finacial stress is getting you down, even if you feel your case is hopeless, please visit Donna's website for more information. http: / / or by email at

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Real Estate Ownership - Condominium or Fee Simple

Real Estate OwnershipGenerally, apartment-style buildings are called condos, two-story row houses are known as town homes, and free-standing homes on small lots are referred to as garden homes. Unfortunately, this description creates some confusion about real estate ownership. Apartment, town home, and garden home describe the design or construction of certain homes. The word "condominium" does not refer to a the layout or style of a building. Condominium is a form of ownership of real estate. The form of ownership of real estate cannot be recognized by observing the building design.Condominium RegimeThe legal definition of condominium is: the absolute ownership of a unit based on a legal description of the airspace the unit actually occupies, plus an undivided interest in the ownership of the common elements, which are owned jointly with the other condominium unit owners. Each unit owner of a condominium has individual title to the space inside his unit. The space is sometimes described as beginning with ?the paint on the walls.? In addition, each unit owner has an undivided interest in the physical components of the condominium buildings and land.A popular type of condominium development is the multi-story apartment. In this case, there is no land under each unit. In these developments, the condo association usually handles maintenance of the building exterior and common grounds, while the unit owners maintain the interiors of their units. A condominium association is selected to make decisions about expenditures for repairs, and to handle administrative work related to the common areas. Fees are collected from the unit owners to pay for common maintenance. The association normally holds an insurance policy covering the jointly-owned areas, while individual owners carry insurance for the interior components of their units.Condo projects may resemble duplexes, town homes, garden homes, or residences on regular lots. In general, the creation of a condo regime allows the developer to get more density approved than would be allowed if he had done single-ownership lots. This is often the reason why the condo regime is chosen instead of a development with single ownership lots. A condominium may be built as two units of a duplex. In this case, the two owners may jointly make decisions concerning maintenance of any common areas. By setting up the units of a duplex as two condos, the owner is able to sell them to two different owners.Each condominium has rules that are specific to the development, so no assumptions should be made about their requirements. It is important to read the condominium documents carefully before purchasing a condo. The documents specify the maintenance that is covered by the common budget. In one project, the association may handle exterior components, decks, pools, sidewalks and driveways. In another, the individual owners may be responsible for more maintenance of their units, including foundations, roofs, and exterior walls.If you have questions about the division of labor between the common budget and the individual owners of a condominium, you can present your question to the condo board itself. The board can give you an interpretation of the rules and clarify how the issue has been handled in the past. Another possibility is to ask a real estate attorney to review the documents for you. Realtors, other unit owners, or maintenance workers are not appropriate or reliable sources for the interpretation of condo documents.The Texas real estate contract for condominiums contains a provision requiring that the buyer be given a copy of the condo documents, with a period of time to review them. During the document-review period, the buyer may terminate the contract without penalty. In addition, a resale certificate is must be provided by the association president or manager. This document provides information on the current budgets, insurance coverage, special assessments, lawsuits and other matters that affect the association.Fee Simple OwnershipIn contrast to the condominium regime, you may own real estate by fee simple. ?Fee?, which comes from the word, ?fiefdom?, refers to legal rights in land, and ?simple? means unconstrained. Fee simple is the most common type of ownership. It is the absolute legal title to real property, including both buildings and land.In fee simple, there are several different possibilities with regard to your obligations of ownership:(a) Your property may not be in a subdivision at all. In this case, your deed will not include any subdivision restrictions that control your use of the property. Be aware that there could be some deed restrictions put in place by previous owners. In addition to deed restrictions, you may be governed by city or county ordinances or zoning laws that limit your use of the property.(b) Your property may be in a subdivision with very few restrictions, no common areas, no architectural control committee, and no mandatory dues. Usually these are older subdivisions.(c) Your property may be in a subdivision of homes on large lots, or in a town home or garden-home community in which there is a legally created homeowners association. In this case, every homeowner is required to be a member of the association. The association may charge mandatory dues and enforce subdivision rules. A certain level of maintenance may be required of each property owner. For example, you may need association approval of exterior paint colors, fences, or additions to your home.Like the condominium form of ownership, fee simple ownership does not prescribe how maintenance is handled or how developments are governed. For example, the owners of a town house, with fee simple ownership, may be required to fully maintain their units. Or, the owners' association may cover painting, roofing and yard work for the owners. In subdivisions where there are single family homes on large lots, it is more common for the homeowners association to manage the common grounds, pools and parks, while the individual lot owners fully maintain their own properties.Understand your ownership rights and obligationsBefore buying into a condominium regime or purchasing a fee simple property, you should have a clear understanding of the type of ownership you will have in your property. If you are buying a condominium, it would be wise to read the condo documents carefully and understand how maintenance is divided between the individual owners and the condominium association.If your ownership is fee simple, with individual ownership of the land, you should review the deed restrictions (if there are any) and understand the restrictions and obligations that apply to your property. In the fee simple form of ownership, there may be mandatory dues to pay for common area maintenance, or, in some cases, the dues may be used for partial maintenance of the individual properties.If you have a question about your type of ownership or about your obligations as a homeowner, it would be wise to review the title documents with a real estate attorney before proceeding with your purchase. Ask plenty of questions! A clear understanding of your type of ownership, and of your obligations as a homeowner will result in a more satisfying real estate purchase.Roselind Hejl, CRS, is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker United in Austin, Texas. Her website: Austin Texas Real Estate Guide offers homes for sale, real estate market trends, and buyer and seller guides. Let Roselind help you make your move to Austin.
Top 25 Residential Agents - Austin Business Journal

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Santa Barbara Real Estate Comparison of this Year vs Last for Carpinteria/Summerland Thru December

In the Carpinteria / Summerland Real Estate area of Santa Barbara Real Estate for the Condo Market the number of total listings for ?05 versus what was on the market last year at this time is up by 18 for a total of 146 properties currently listed and the New Listings that came on this year are up by 21 for a 17% increase. The number of sales however is down by 34 for a -30% decrease. Even though sales are off pretty dramatically for the area the Average Sales Price continues to rise. Last year at this time it was $608,347 and this year it?s up to $656,683 for an increase of 7%.In the Single Family Home market for the Santa Barbara Real Estate area of there are 10 more properties on the market right now as opposed to last year for a total of 171,Summerland / Carpinteria Real Estate and there are more new listings this year with 136 for last year vs. 151 for this year. The sales just like Condos are down pretty dramatically with 71 this year vs. 107 last year for a -33% decrease. But the Average Sales Price is up dramatically from $1,749,261 last year to $2,306,259 this year for a 31% increase.In the Planned Unit Development Market of the Santa Barbara Real Estate area of Carpinteria Real Estate / Summerrland Real Estate there is 1 less property on the market right now as opposed to last year for a total of 6, but there are exactly the same number of new listing this year with 6 for last year vs. 6 for this year. The sales just like Condos are down with 4 this year vs. 5 last year for a -20% decrease. And the Average Sales Price is down from $1,064,980 last year to $891,000 this year for a -16% decrease.That's it for Carpinteria Real Estate / Summerland Real Estate for now.Gary Woods is a Real Estate Broker in Santa Barbara California and is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear him on Radio 1290 AM Mondays from 9-10AM in Santa Barbara

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2 days ago

Flipping a House for a Real Estate Profit

House Flipping is the term used by investors who purchase a home for the sole purpose of quickly relisting the house for a profit. In many hot markets, a house can appreciate in as little as a few days! In these markets, it doesn?t take long to realize a profit. However, this is the exception rather than the rule.More commonly, an investor purchases a home in a hot market, performs some general repairs, fixes obvious problems, paints, and replaces flooring. This means that the investor must hold onto the property for a few weeks to a few months. In this case, you must be able to afford to pay the mortgage for a few months.When searching for an investment that you want to flip, you must find the right property. Not all homes are good candidates for flipping. Certainly, buying a home in a depressed area would not be a wise decision. You should look for an ugly home in a nice neighborhood.Many potential investors ask whether they need to be a handyman or contractor to successfully flip a house. Not at all! You can be the ?general contractor? and manage the house repair while you get it ready to resell. Of course, much of your profits will go to the people doing the work on your home, but you don?t have to give up your ?day job? to get the work done.When budgeting for your flip, a good idea is to get estimates from several contractors. Ask them to quote the price for the fix-ups, and more importantly, the amount of time it will take to complete the job. Remember that the longer the project takes, the more you?ll be paying on your mortgage.Once you have several firm quotes, double the amount of the quote as a closer estimate to what you?ll actually spend. Unknown problems will be uncovered during the remodel and you?ll need to have some extra capital and have extra time available to complete the job.Once you complete the project, get the house back on the market! And sell for a profit. Many people are successfully flipping houses as you read this. And many are making huge profits. But the first step is to start! So go buy a property and get it fixed up. Good luck!Dean Novosat writes and hosts the site http: / /

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2 days ago

Exceptional Investment Property Potential in Estonia

Property investors are targeting the tiny Eastern European country of Estonia with a vengeance because it offers massive and sustainable long term potential for profit and property price gains with real estate prices having already increased by as much as 30% in just three years.The popularity of this breathtakingly beautiful country stems from many different points: firstly the country is an economic success story. Having escaped the domination of Soviet rule back in 1991 it has since established strong trade links with Finland, Sweden and Germany and now has a GDP growth rate of around 6% annually. Secondly the government of Estonia is committed to the promotion of foreign direct investment and to this end it offers some impressive tax breaks to companies who establish themselves in Estonia.Income tax is a flat 26% in Estonia making it one of the most competitive of all European nations and therefore more appealing for multinational companies seeking a base in Europe and more appealing for local and foreign employees. And finally, Estonia has a rugged and natural beauty and its natural landscape and friendly people are drawing more and more visitors to the country annually and so the tourism market in Estonia is growing quickly.Property investors have been targeting the capital city of Tallinn where the majority of international companies investing in Estonia are establishing bases and where there is an increasing demand for quality residential and commercial property to rent, buy or lease.Those who bought just three years ago in the most desirable districts have realized real profits in the region of 30%. These rates may not be sustainable over the longer term but prices and rental rates are set to keep on climbing because the demand for property outstrips supply and will likely continue to do so for quite some time.A lot of the residential real estate in Estonia?s cities is old Soviet style apartment block units and these properties are not at all popular. More and more developers are constructing new and modern accommodation that property investors are snapping up and renting out to tenants or selling on to first time buyers or other property investors upon completion. Those who wish to buy these types of property pre-construction benefit from the fact they buy at today?s prices but take possession in 12 ? 18 months when the real value of the property has risen quite substantially.Unlike in many other countries around the world, those who buy off-plan in Estonia usually only have to find between 10 and 20% of the property?s price during the build period because the majority is payable upon completion ? this makes it easier for a property buyer to save to afford a property or to flip upon completion and resell to realize the profits with which to pay the developer.The investment property potential in Estonia is exceptional and anyone looking to diversify their real estate portfolio should consider this Eastern European country?s property market.Rhiannon Williamson writes about property investment in emerging countries around the world. To read more about investment property in Estonia click here.

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2 days ago

Land Contract

Using a land contract (or "contract for deed" or other similar terms) to buy your home is very much like getting a mortgage loan from a lender and using these funds for your purchase. Some of the terminology is slightly different. The seller is known as the VENDOR; you, the buyer, are known as the VENDEE. In this type of transaction, the seller / vendor makes the final decision about whether or not to make the loan.Whether you use your own funds and pay cash, or if you borrow the money from a lender, or if you buy on the installment plan (land contract sale) directly from the seller - you OWN the property! You do not receive the deed to your property until you fullly discharge the land contract, but you do get what is known as equitable title. This form of ownership en"titles" you to all of the rights (like the tax benefits) and privileges (like paying the property taxes!) that cash buyers get.Not having the bank involved in your real estate transaction is good in an important way. They won't kill your first home deal just because you don't presently meet their standards for income and / or amount of down payment available. You may not have much money saved for a down payment yet, and you are still earning a relatively small salary - but you KNOW that will change soon. Just because you are not qualified for a home loan in the eyes of the bank doesn't mean you shouldn't be a homeowner. Many sellers will share this point of view.However, there is an important reason to get a new mortgage loan from the bank in order to buy your home: they take care of many important details for you. These matters include ordering the appraisal, title search, and survey. The bank will set up property tax and insurance escrow funds, do the document preparation and recording, and perform the closing itself.In fact, although I firmly believe you should always retain an attorney to review all the documents (banks DO make mistakes!!) you can probably get by without hiring (and paying for) a lawyer if you buy your home with a financial institution's assistance. On the other hand, if you do choose to buy your home using a land contract, retaining a qualified REAL ESTATE lawyer is imperative!! More information on land contracts and other topics of interest to the first time home buyer is available on the author's website.Paul Anderberg
http: / /
Straight talk about real estate.

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2 days ago

How to Love Your Landlord!

Finding a rental home can be a problem in some markets. If there aren?t many houses or duplexes available for rent or lease when compared to the number of people coming to the area to live and work, you may have a hard time finding suitable housing. A possible solution is to find a competent property manager.Property managers are real estate professionals who handle the renting and leasing of homes and residences. Ideally, one should look for a real estate property management company which specializes in home rentals. Most real estate companies are involved in sales almost exclusively. Both areas, management and sales, are highly specialized and require dedication to sales or to rentals. It is difficult to be competent in both.When a person or family is relocating to a new area, the first thing to do is find a place to live. Unless one intends to buy immediately, the choices are to rent or stay with friends or relatives.There are basically two ways to rent. One is to stay in a hotel for a short term. Cost of daily rent is important here. The other way is to rent a dwelling. This is where property managers are important.A competent property manager is one who realizes that each time the phone rings, there is a person with a problem, at the other end. Usually the problem is that the caller needs a place to live and wants help finding it. The property manager then becomes a rental agent and begins doing the job that is the basis for the rental housing industry.A good rental agent will make the caller feel important. The agent needs to hear what the caller needs by asking enough questions to determine things like when and where. The amount of the rent budget is another important consideration.Once these items are revealed by the caller, then it is up to the agent to help the person find these locations and see if they are acceptable. If an agent has an inventory of vacancies, he may have a better chance of making the sale, or in this case, the rental.After the paper work is done and the new resident has moved in he should be able to expect that the manager will be responsive to his maintenance needs. Since the property manager is usually working for the owner, it is his job to protect the owner?s investment by keeping the property in good repair.The resident should be able to reach the managers office business days and should be able to reach a contact at any time in an emergency. Usually, voice mail, answering machines and answering services serve as the emergency contact.Choosing a rental agent to help you get relocated is an important job and usually begins with a phone call. The home rental agency (property manager) may get only one chance to make a good first impression. When the call is answered, look for a friendly voice that can help you now. If that doesn?t happen then you may ask why that person answered and move on to the next number.Finding a rental agent is as easy as looking in the yellow pages of the phone book or on the internet. The key is in knowing where in the yellow pages to look. Rental homes are real estate. Two categories to look under are ?Real Estate Rental Service? and ?Real Estate Management.? Rental-service is the most accurate choice. Look for a display ad that tells you that the company offers what you are trying to find. Then make that important call and listen to the voice that answers.Another place to look is the internet. The site should be easy to navigate and should show you some properties to garner your interest. It should also provide you with a way to write the company and get a response. And finally, the site should give you a phone number to call to reach the rental agent who can help you get the home for you to move into.A third way to find a rental agent is in the Sunday real estate section of the newspaper. Look for duplexes, and homes, unfurnished. The agency that is really interested in attracting your attention is the one that makes it easy for you to spot and contact them. Things like bold print, a phone number and a name are signs that they want your call.Then make the call and don?t be afraid to explain your situation. The more the agent knows about what you need, the better he can help you find your next home.Mickey Lavy is the co-owner of Bluebonnet Properties property management in Waco, TX. He is also a licensed real estate broker and owns a number of rental properties in the Waco area.
http: / /

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2 days ago

Home Buying 101 -- How Much House Can You Afford?

Starting a home buying process means answering a lot of questions:Are you ready to buy a home? How much of a mortgage loan can you afford? How's your credit? What size house do you need? How are your cash reserves?The more Q&A, research and soul searching you do in advance, the smoother the process will be later on. Let's look, then, at one of the key questions from this list.What Can You Afford?
Before house hunting, you should determine how much of a mortgage you can comfortably afford. "Comfortably" means you can pay your mortgage each month and still have money for living expenses, savings, and quality-of-life niceties.In other words, you don't want a mortgage payment that forces you to "squeak by" each month.
To determine your mortgage comfort-zone, you need three things: a budget, a price and a mortgage calculator. For the price, just start with the cost of a house you think you might be interested in buying.At first, don't worry about whether the price is too high -- you'll find that out soon enough when you run the numbers.Next, run the home price through a mortgage calculator at current interest rates and at a 30-year fixes mortgage. You might choose a different mortgage type later on, but this exercise is just to get a ballpark mortgage payment based on home price. So choose the 30-year fixed option for the sake of simplicity.Mortgage calculators can easily be found on the Internet. Just type "mortgage calculator" into any major search engine, and you'll find several. Or, you can use the calculators we provide at you?ve obtained an approximate monthly payment for various mortgage sizes, you can more accurately figure the price ranges into your budget. It?s a quick and easy way to see what homes are inside your comfort zone -- and to find out exactly what your comfort zone is in the first place.Copyright 2006, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article in its entirety, provided you leave the byline, author's note and website hyperlink intact.About the AuthorBrandon Cornett is the editor of, one of the Internet's largest and most respected libraries of home buying information -- more than 100 expert articles in 12 different home buying categories! Put this knowledge to use by visiting http: / /

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2 days ago

Why NOW is the Time to Buy Real Estate in Belize

Last year Belize appointed a new Tourism Minister who is committed to the development and promotion of Belize as a luxury market for private tourism; this fact is the number one force driving massive real estate investment in Belize right now.While Belize has long been associated with low cost and attractive real estate and has long been considered an affordable overseas destination for British and American tourists and retirees, never before has it sought to so fully embrace its cultural and ecological advantages and build on its reputation as a friendly and relaxed destination to directly target the wealthier tourism market.Belize is of course already a tourism hotspot with travellers drawn to the beautiful cayes, the beaches, the barrier reef and the flora and fauna?but with the development of a luxury end tourist market place in Belize, the appeal of the country can only rise and rise.International real estate investors are well aware of this fact and are buying up land and property in Belize to position themselves ahead of the projected upward swing in real estate prices.Those who are taking advantage of Belize?s policy of actively attracting investment today will benefit over the medium term when the country?s plans for the development and promotion of the tourism market are fulfilled. In other words, those who buy now stand the very best chance of making maximum profit.Not only are real estate investors well aware of this fact, a growing number of American baby boomers are too and they are securing their retirement lot now while prices remain attractively low. They know that if they spend the next few years before they retire getting their ideal property built so that it will be fully completed and ready to move into when Belize is well under way with establishing itself as a sophisticated travel destination, they will be moving straight in to a more sophisticated country as a result.In terms of what will drive residential property prices up in Belize, as more and more people travel to Belize so more and more people will understand the charm and appeal of the country and will wish to set up home or buy a vacation home in Belize. This increase in demand for real estate in Belize will come from an increasingly wealthy section of society if the Tourism Minister?s plans for Belize come to fruition and these people will be able to afford to pay more for property and this will sustain price increases. Furthermore any increase in demand naturally pushes property prices up anyway - and in fact this trend has already started in the most attractive coastal resorts in Belize and just highlights the shape of things to come.Therefore NOW is the time to buy real estate in Belize if an investor wants to get the most for his money whilst buying into the maximum period of growth potential.Rhiannon Williamson writes about real estate investment in emerging markets worldwide. To read more about buying real estate in Belize click here.

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2 days ago

Money Matter-Real Estate Tips For Buyers And Sellers

Are you thinking about buying or selling a home? Starting and operating a small business of your own? Maybe you need a little help with personal motivation or computer technology? If so, you may find this column useful over time because we will be discussing ways you can save time and money, protect your legal and financial interests and deal on a more level playing field with industry operatives to help you avoid costly mistakes made by so many people. Let?s face it, it?s a complex world out there and either you operate from a position of knowledge and insight or from guesswork and blind trust. Money Matters is designed to help remove the blinders. Knowledge is power right? We believe applied knowledge is powerful.To jump-start this column we decided to throw out a few tips for homebuyers and sellers before the real estate season begins. You may want to clip this article and tuck it away for safekeeping. Buying or selling a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most people?it?s a BIG business deal composed of people, emotions, contracts and cash?all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don?t know what you are doing (and most people don?t).1. Buyers: real estate agents legally represent sellers, NOT buyers?their job is to get the highest possible price for the property. They are not ?your agent? and what you tell them may be used against you. Caveat Emptor is legal jargon meaning ?buyer beware??2. Buyers: avoid giving more than $100.00 when you write a purchase offer on a home. In this way, if you cannot complete a transaction you have less money at risk. Large good faith deposits do NOT guarantee you will get financing. Why risk your money?3. Buyers: arrange your home financing first, BEFORE you look for a home. Doing so gives you the same power as a cash-buyer You can use your financial pre-qualification to SAVE THOUSANDS when buying a home if you are a smart negotiator.4. Buyers: when you sign a purchase offer, make sure that you write above your signature the clause ?subject to buyer?s attorney?s approval?. These 5-magic words (known as a weasel clause) can get you out of a bad deal if your attorney does not approve? you can (weasel) out of a bad deal?5. Buyers: remember; a purchase offer becomes a legally binding contract when accepted by the seller. Fully understand the legal details before signing ANY contract or document.6. Sellers: avoid signing long-term listing agreements with any real estate agent. Keep the listing contracts limited to 90-day increments so that you can review selling performance.7. Sellers: Avoid signing a listing agreement with part time agents. Use only full time agents so that you increase your chances for more professional representation.8. Sellers: Interview multiple agents before signing a listing contract. Make sure the ?potential selling prices? they are quoting you are accurate. Many agents will quote high selling prices just to get the listing contract. There is a saying in the real estate business ?if you don?t list, you don?t last??many agents will do and say most anything to get you to sign a long term listing contract. (See tip-6)9. Sellers: avoid signing purchase offers with unqualified buyers. Doing so removes your property from the market while waiting to find out you are dealing with a dud.10. Sellers: Make sure your agent presents you with an itemized marketing plan detailing the selling activities that will be performed during the listing agreement.If you are interested in further information about Smart Books, check us out online at www.smart67.comCopyright ? 2005
James W. Hart, IV
All Rights reservedJames W. Hart, IV, a consumer advocate and CEO of Smart Books Publishing, has been involved in the field of residential and commercial real estate mortgage financing since 1987. Hart, previously licensed to engage in the sale of real estate in the state of Ohio, has been directly involved in the origination of residential and commercial mortgage financing and has worked with residential and commercial mortgage lenders, large commercial mortgage banking firms and life insurance companies for financing. Hart is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Army, graduate of the University of Toledo and graduate of the Cleveland Institute of electronics. He is a member of the National Panel of Consumer Arbitrators and the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. During 1992 / 93 Mr. Hart appeared on a number of radio and TV stations throughout the U.S. including WJR-AM, WWWE-AM, WHUR-FM, WRC-AM, WLW-AM, WTVN-AM, WSPD-AM, KDKA-AM, KBGS-AM and CNBC-TV and many others?

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