Oct
2

Chicago Condo Hotels: Luxurious, Easy to Manage Investment Properties

Changes in options for home ownership, Chicago Condo-hotels! What could be more perfect that having a five-star home at a landmark resort and receiving rent revenue whenever you’re not using it? Chicago Condo hotels are the newest real estate trend, combining a lavish lifestyle and comfortable ownership with investment potential.

Chicago Condo hotels diverge from owning a traditional Chicago Condominium or Chicago home. Chicago Condo Hotels offer services and amenities that a standard home owner cannot have the luxury of looking forward to. They are fabulously-furnished Chicago Condominium units located in some of the most famous hotels in Chicago. The properties are usually large, high-rise, upscale hotels celebrity like the Ritz Carlton, Trump, Hyatt or Hilton. Chicago Condo Hotels Generate Revenue to reduce the costs of ownership. Owners can participate in programs much like vacation home rental programs by capitalizing on hotel popularity. How? Chicago Condo Hotels can generate revenue when occupancy is available by offering the unit for rent to others who wish to stay for long periods of time in a non-traditional hotel setting.

Similar to vacation rental services, owners can use the name recognition, popularity and reservation system of the hotel to secure a higher income from this investment than general home owners would. Participating in a revenue generating program such as this can assist Chicago condo owners in reducing the costs of their Chicago Condo-Hotel unit. Managing this type of income is even easier as the hotel management company sees to the needs of guests and maintains the unit.

Why? Chicago Condo Hotels appreciate at a higher rate than traditional homes. The services and standards are parallel to none. Easy maintenance and cost is distributed.

Oct
1

Gain Best Deal in Selling Your Siesta Key Real Estate Property

Did your company ask you to relocate since you were assigned to work in a new city? If that is the case, you need to sell your home in Siesta Key real estate market in order for you to have money for your move and relocation.

Selling a home comes with lots of preparation, time, effort and patience to come up with the best deal ever. No doubt, you would want to have the best deal in selling your home, so you have to prepare your home properly before advertising it for sale. But before you do some advertising strategy you should be preparing your home for a make over.

Making over your home is the first step before selling your home. You should start with the outside appearance of your house by painting it and make it look like brand new. This will make your home attractive to those who pass by your home. Having an eye catching appearance will really a good start in selling a home. So even without saying any word the appearance of your home will talk for itself that it is beautiful.

Aside from painting your home, you should take into consideration doing a general cleaning inside your home, put things in proper place and take away those things that are unpleasing to the eye. Clean roof and flooring and remove stains if any. Remove personal attachment to your home by taking away those things that identify your personality, so that, if a prospect buyer came to visit your home they can easily imagine them owning the houses.

After preparing your house, be prepare for unexpected visit from prospect buyers. Answer all questions as possible and respond as quickly as you can so that buyers will not have any doubt in buying your home. A big house for sale streamer in front of your house is a good way of advertising your home. So that passers by can have an idea that you are selling your home. If you really want to sell your home in a faster way, you can pay a local newspaper to advertise your home for home for sale section. Giving away flyers in a crowded place is also a good idea in marketing your home.

But if you do not have any idea on this kind of business, you can ask real estate agent to help you in selling your home. Real estate agents are usually the people who have a lot of experience with regards to selling and advertising your home. Usually they have a list of prospect buyers that can give you great offer. But you should not be too complacent in selling your home; you should be patient enough so that you can get good deal in selling your home.

But in case that you have done everything in selling your home, you should consider lowering the price but make sure that it is appropriate to all the expenses that you have made in doing a …

Sep
30

Gain Best Deal in Selling Your Siesta Key Real Estate Property

Did your company ask you to relocate since you were assigned to work in a new city? If that is the case, you need to sell your home in Siesta Key real estate market in order for you to have money for your move and relocation.

Selling a home comes with lots of preparation, time, effort and patience to come up with the best deal ever. No doubt, you would want to have the best deal in selling your home, so you have to prepare your home properly before advertising it for sale. But before you do some advertising strategy you should be preparing your home for a make over.

Making over your home is the first step before selling your home. You should start with the outside appearance of your house by painting it and make it look like brand new. This will make your home attractive to those who pass by your home. Having an eye catching appearance will really a good start in selling a home. So even without saying any word the appearance of your home will talk for itself that it is beautiful.

Aside from painting your home, you should take into consideration doing a general cleaning inside your home, put things in proper place and take away those things that are unpleasing to the eye. Clean roof and flooring and remove stains if any. Remove personal attachment to your home by taking away those things that identify your personality, so that, if a prospect buyer came to visit your home they can easily imagine them owning the houses.

After preparing your house, be prepare for unexpected visit from prospect buyers. Answer all questions as possible and respond as quickly as you can so that buyers will not have any doubt in buying your home. A big house for sale streamer in front of your house is a good way of advertising your home. So that passers by can have an idea that you are selling your home. If you really want to sell your home in a faster way, you can pay a local newspaper to advertise your home for home for sale section. Giving away flyers in a crowded place is also a good idea in marketing your home.

But if you do not have any idea on this kind of business, you can ask real estate agent to help you in selling your home. Real estate agents are usually the people who have a lot of experience with regards to selling and advertising your home. Usually they have a list of prospect buyers that can give you great offer. But you should not be too complacent in selling your home; you should be patient enough so that you can get good deal in selling your home.

But in case that you have done everything in selling your home, you should consider lowering the price but make sure that it is appropriate to all the expenses that you have made in doing a …

Sep
29

What Homeowners Need to Know When Facing Foreclosure

Understanding the Foreclosure Process

What Is Foreclosure?

Foreclosure is the process that allows a lender to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by selling or taking ownership (repossession) of the property securing the loan. The foreclosure process begins when a lender files the appropriate documents with the appropriate officials (see below for more details).

Colorado Foreclosure Laws

Colorado foreclosures occur through both in-court (judicial) and out-of-court (non-judicial) proceedings.

The judicial process is used when no power of sale is present in the mortgage or deed of trust. The process begins when the mortgage lender files suit with the court system. The borrower then receives a letter from the court demanding payment. Typically, you’ll be given 30 days to respond with payment or a written response to the bank’s attorney and parties involved. If you do not respond within the time limit given, a judgment will be entered and the lender can request sale of the property by auction. If you file a written answer with the court, there is a hearing and the process takes longer and can even be forestalled. If a judgment is entered, then an auction date will be set, usually several months in the future. Once the property is sold, you’re served with an eviction notice by the sheriff’s office, and you must vacate the home immediately.

The most commonly practiced method of foreclosure in Colorado is the non-judicial foreclosure process. It is carried out by a Public Trustee who acts as an impartial party. The process begins when the lender files the required documents with the Public Trustee of the county in which the property is located. The Public Trustee then files a “Notice of Election and Demand” (NED) with the county clerk and recorder. Once the NED is recorded, the Public Trustee Sale of the property is scheduled to take place between 110 and 125 days of the recording.

Pre-foreclosure Period

Many factors can lead to default of payment on a home loan and eventually foreclosure. Many are not the fault of the homeowner. Perhaps it is due to a hardship (loss of income, military deployment, health or family issues) or to “loan fraud” or “creative financing” by the banks (Adjustable Rate or ARM, Option ARM, Negative Amortization, or Interest Only loan). Whatever the cause, facing foreclosure is not an enjoyable experience.

The foreclosure process usually begins after the homeowner has missed several payments and different attempts have been made by the bank to collect. Let’s look at what typically takes place and what you can normally expect.

Day 1: You miss your first payment

Day 1-15: Grace period (Some lenders only allow 10 days)

Day 16-30: A late charge is assessed

Day 30: Borrower is in default

Day 45-60: Lender sends “demand” or “breach” letter, and phone calls begin

Day 60-90: Lender sends letters and makes phone calls. A repayment plan or a loan modification plan may be offered.

Day 90-105: The lender refers the loan to the loss mitigation department/foreclosure …

Sep
28

Foreclosure Tax Implications – Short Sale vs Sheriff Sale

There seems to be some confusion about the income tax implications of foreclosure. Because a gain on the sale of a property can trigger income tax liabilities, unless the gains are invested in another piece of real estate within certain time limits, homeowners assume that any sale of their home, in foreclosure or otherwise, will cause them to owe the IRS money. However, only in certain instances will there be any liability; and there will most likely be no income tax to be paid if the house is sold at a sheriff sale for a loss.

For purposes of illustration, we will provide an example of possible numbers of a foreclosure case.

– Balance of mortgage is $400,000.

– Property sold at sheriff sale for $366,000.

– No short sale was accepted by the bank.

– Fair market value of house at time of sale was $381,000.

The first question that homeowners have is if they will have to claim the difference between what the house sold for at auction and how much the balance owed on the mortgage was at the time of sale. The answer is that no, they will not have to claim that as income. The forced sale of the property at county auction and the fact that it sold for less than what was owed at the time of sale indicates that homeowners received no proceeds from this sale. They owed $400k and the house was purchased by the winning bidder for $366k. In fact, the homeowners probably did not see a single penny of proceeds from the sale, because it is a loss. Therefore, no tax is due in this scenario.

However, if the homeowners and the lender had worked out a short sale before the foreclosure, and the bank had accepted $366k when they were owed $400k, then the foreclosure victims would have income to show. The difference between what they owed and what the bank accepts is counted by the IRS as “forgiven debt” and is taxable income. It is as if the lender gave the homeowners the $34,000, which was then used to pay down the mortgage. But this is only if there is an agreement between the homeowners and the lender to proceed with a short sale. If this does not exist, the homeowners do not receive the “forgiven debt.”

In the case of a foreclosure, where the house is ordered to be sold to satisfy the mortgage debt, the bank probably had a judgment against the homeowners for the full $400k owed on the mortgage (or more, with fees and court costs). Just because the house sold for a loss at the sheriff sale does not mean they forgave any of that debt. The house simply sold for less than what was owed, no portion of the amount owed was forgiven. Thus, with no forgiven debt, there is no taxable income.

There is just a loss on the forced sale of the property. The homeowners will not be responsible …

Sep
27

The 7 Most Attractive Bogota, Colombia Neighborhoods For Foreign Real Estate Investors

The real estate boom in Colombia is definitely attracting more and more foreign real estate investors every day. Growth in Colombia’s capital city, Bogota D.C. has been extraordinary. However, as in all markets some locations within the city have been performing better than others. Furthermore, foreign investment in Bogota Real Estate has been mainly focusing on 7 high profile Bogota neighborhoods which are yielding the best results.

Below, we will list the 7 most attractive Bogota neighborhoods for real estate investors. But first let’s go over how the city of Bogota is actually divided. Bogota has 2 types of divisions: Localities and Neighborhoods. Localities are large sectors that have many neighborhoods within them. Sort of like Burrows in New York City but a bit smaller.  

Bogota Colombia is broken up into 20 Localities (Localidades), each having many neighborhoods:

  • Antonio Narino
  • Barrios Unidos
  • Bosa
  • Candelaria
  • Chapinero
  • Ciudad Bólivar
  • Engativa
  • Fontibón
  • Kennedy
  • Martires
  • Puente Aranda
  • Rafael Uribe
  • San Cristobal
  • Santa Fe
  • Suba
  • Sumapaz
  • Teusaquillo
  • Tunjuelito
  • Usaquen
  • Usme

Where should I Invest in Bogota?

There is actually no, one best answer. However based on current growth and demand the neighborhoods below seem to be great candidates. For foreign real estate investors, coming mainly from the US and Europe, the 7 most attractive and profitable Bogota Colombia Neighborhoods right now, seem to be:

  1. Chico, (Chapinero)
  2. Cabrera (Chapinero)
  3. Rosales (Chapinero)
  4. Santa Barbara (Usaquén)
  5. Santa Lucia (Usaquen)
  6. Santa Ana (Usaquen)
  7. Chapinero Alto, (Chapinero)

It’s interesting to note that these 7 neighborhoods are only coming from 2 Bogota localities; Chapinero and Usaquen. Both of these localities are in the North Eastern part of the city where most of the country’s wealthy citizens live. Profitable Bogota real estate opportunities are abundant in these neighborhoods and construction is very prolific.

A Possible Explanation as to Why Investments in These Locations Have Greater Demand

These are exclusive neighborhoods where housing is a bit more expensive than in the rest of Bogota but the value of the properties tends to increase more rapidly. Rent costs are also higher and will therefore bring in better passive income streams to those who decide to go that route.

What About Real Estate in Other Localities and Neighborhoods?

Of course, there are also many other opportunities in different neighborhoods, such as Cabrera and Candelaria (These being 2 very popular tourist spots in Bogota) however these places mostly attract the younger adventurous type of crowd. Home prices have risen in these areas as well but not as fast as they have in more elite neighborhoods such as the 7 mentioned above.

Commercial real estate opportunities in the 7 neighborhoods mentioned above are also abundant. Foreign company’s and multinational firms are rapidly migrating to these northeastern neighborhoods in Bogota.

“It used to be that Downtown Bogota was the place to find international firms and multinational companies but that has changed” says Fabio Rodriguez, Social Media Strategist at VivaReal.net’s Bogota Colombia office, who helps manage a lot of the firms Real Estate inventory in Bogota and affirms that …

Sep
26

Assignments of Rents – Lenders Beware!

“How can you have any pudding, if you don’t eat your meat?”

Pink Floyd

———————————–

Assignments of Rents. Here’s a topic that doesn’t pop up in light conversation very often.

Assignments of Rents. Virtually every commercial real estate financing includes an assignment of rents – either as a separate instrument, or in the mortgage, or both. We think we know what it means, and what protection it provides. But do we?

Assignments of Rents. What could assignments of rents possibly have to do with Pink Floyd?

It has been suggested on occasion, only half-jokingly, that I don’t like lenders. That is really not true. Lenders are valuable participants in the commercial real estate market. Without lenders, few of my clients could buy, develop or own commercial real estate projects. Commercial lenders provide valuable liquidity to the market (usually) and allow commercial real estate developers and investors to leverage available resources.

For years, I have described commercial lenders and their borrows as “friendly adversaries”. Friendly, because they need each other. Adversarial, because their interests are not always completely aligned. They are each necessary complements to the other.

In good times, all typically works well, with lenders and borrowers sharing a common goal -financing a viable commercial project that makes each of them an attractive return.

In troubled times, like we have seen over the past several years, lenders and borrowers can find themselves at odds. The current economic downturn has been particularly brutal because the commercial real estate market has seen an unprecedented collapse in property values and tenant rental revenue. Lenders often blame the borrower, because the loan has ended up in default. Realistically, for most commercial real estate borrowers, there is little if anything they could have done to prevent a default, save not acquiring and financing the project in the first place – which, in hindsight, most borrows wish, as much as most lenders wish, had been the case. But neither borrowers nor lenders foresaw the dramatic financial debacle we have been experiencing since 2008.

Still, we are where we are. Commercial real estate borrowers are holding projects with substantially lower values than existed five or six years ago, and may be in default of their mortgage loans. Not unreasonably, commercial real estate lenders want their money back.

Assuming the lender has properly documented and administered its commercial real estate loan, the lender should be in the driver’s seat. All else being equal, with a properly documented and administered commercial loan, a lender has a powerful arsenal of enforcement tools at its disposal.

That said, lenders must still comply with the law. Assuming they can pass the test of having a properly documented loan that has been properly administered in a manner that does not violate the rights and interests of the borrower, the mere fact that a lender is owed millions of dollars and has a secured interest in the borrowers project (including, yes, an assignment of rents) does not mean a lender can do whatever it …

Sep
25

You Can Negotiate With the Bank For a "Better Cash For Keys Deal" After Foreclosure

As a last resort before beginning eviction proceedings, banks will often offer homeowners or leftover renters a cash for keys deal. Most of the time, though, these offers will be in the best interests of the bank, but will not help out the people living in the property very much.

Many banks will hire a real estate or property management agency to make the cash for keys offer. For example, t may be as little as $500 and two weeks to move out and turn over the home. Honestly, though, this is very little to a family who has just undergone a financial hardship.

Banks make these offers to persuade owners or tenants to leave a house without causing any damage. They reason that it costs less to pay people to move than to go through eviction proceedings in court and end up with a possibly severely damaged property.

So what is a homeowner or tenant to do if the cash for keys offer is ridiculously low? They should call the agency back and ask for more money and more time. Cash for keys deals are 100% negotiable, up to a certain reasonable point. Those who have been offered such a deal should keep in mind a few things about the situation.

First, if they destroy the property on their way out, because they are frustrated about the eviction, it will cost the bank a lot more to fix up the damage. Keeping previous owners and renters happy and the property in good condition is worth a bit of money to a mortgage company who has to sell that house later on the open market.

Second, if $500 isn’t enough for a family, they need to determine how much really will help them. $750? $1,000? In any case, they probably should not expect to get much more than $2,000, if that. But $1,000 might pay for most moving expenses and help with a deposit on a new apartment. If they need more money, the people living in the property after foreclosure should ask for it and explain the situation to the agency.

Third, homeowners can probably get 21-30 days to move out, if they ask for it. Two weeks is a small amount of time, and probably not enough to get everything out and keep the property in great condition (hint, hint). But if the borrowers or tenants need more time than was originally offered, they can certainly ask for it and can probably get it easily.

Anyone who has been extended an offer should keep in mind that a cash for keys deal is negotiable with the agency that offered the money and the lender that owns the property now that it has been foreclosed. All of this is allowed (including extremely low offers), but negotiating for a better deal is also allowed.

The tenants should come up with what they want and need to move out peacefully, keeping the house in good condition. Then they can try and …

Sep
24

Thessaloniki Student Housing

A brief Thessaloniki student housing guide

Based on the Greek Ministry of Education, there are approximately 330.000 students at Greek public universities at any one time. Thessaloniki accounts for nearly 1/3 of the total number of students in Greece with an estimated 100.000 students (including those attending private colleges and other higher education establishments).

For a city of 800.000 people (city population 2011) this means a particularly high proportion of students, which is evident from the lively atmosphere and nightlife. The majority of the students are coming from other Greek cities, from Europe via exchange programs and from the Balkan countries in order to study at high quality private colleges. Estimating that on average a full-time student spends about 4 years in Thessaloniki (excluding exchange students), this means that there are approximately 25.000 new students in the city every year. And they all need a place to stay…

This article will provide a brief guide to the types of available student housing, the areas, prices, and things to be aware of regarding student accommodation in Thessaloniki.

1. Types of student accommodation

1a. University public dorms.

The University of Thessaloniki offers dorms to students, based on need and mainly on financial criteria. They are provided free of charge. In practice this means that it is pretty difficult to get a dorm room even if you are eligible to get one. The dorms are mostly located close to the university campus, but their quality is very low and maintenance is a big issue, along with issues about safety etc.

1b. University Student Hostels.

These are private properties (entire buildings) which are subleased by the University and are provided mainly to exchange students requiring accommodation for a few weeks or months. These are usually ERASMUS students. As of 2011 there are two student hostels, “Matsi Street 7” and “Kassandrou Street 134”, both very close to the university. They offer fully furnished “dorm-style” rooms with ensuite private bathroom and kitchenette (Kassandrou 134) single and double rooms, a laundry area and wireless internet access.

1c. Private hostels.

For students wishing to stay only a few days/weeks, these hostels are more appropriate and a better solution than a hotel. However, these are hard to find as private hostels that rent rooms/beds by the day/week are not legal in Greece unless they are Non-Profit Organizations.

1d. Private rental flats.

These are standalone flats (studio, 1 or 2 bedrooms) located all over the city that students can rent from private owners. You can usually find them through real estate agents (beware) or online ads. You will need to find the appropriate one to suit your needs. Most of them are unfurnished or partly furnished and are more suited to students who plan to stay in Thessaloniki for a few years (as you’d have to buy electrical appliances, fridge, cooker, etc).

When you move in you will need to enter into a contract with the electricity company DEI, the water and sewage company EYATH and the gas company for …

Sep
23

Buying a Home Off of Parents or Grandparents – Can I Get a Home Loan for a Favourable Purchase?

Favourable Purchase: What is it?

A favourable purchase is a bank term for what they call a transaction where a property is sold “off market” and under “market value”. Off market means without a real estate agent involved so the buyer and seller either know each other or it’s a private sale. Under market value refers to the situation where the seller is not selling the home for what the property is worth and are therefore in essence gifting the purchaser equity.

The most common example is where mum and dad may be retiring or looking to move or downsize and will want to sell the family home. Sometimes the children decide they would like to purchase the property off their parents. The parents will then sometimes sell the property to the kids for a price less than what they could sell on the open market to help their kids out or keep the home in the family.

This is a favourable purchase and different Australian lenders apply different policy on this issue.

How do the banks view a favourable purchase when approving a home loan?

It is important to distinguish a favourable purchase from a sale where the buyer believes they are getting a great deal and buying the property at well below market value. Banks will always lend and base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the contract of sale price or the valuation unless an exception applies. If for example you purchase a property for $500,000 and the valuation did come in higher at $550,000, the bank will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the lesser of the two, in this case the purchase price of $500,000. If however the valuation came in lower than the purchase price then the banks will base it on the lower of the two being the valuation.

Just stating that you have got a great deal is not sufficient to get the bank to make an exception to the rule and base their deposit and LVR on a valuation that came in higher. There must be a compelling reason why the vendor is selling under market value – the fact they are going bankrupt or it’s a deceased estate is not a compelling reason as, theoretically, what you are paying is market value as that is what the market has deemed the property worth on that given day.

The primary reason why the bank would make an exception is where a favourable purchase is involved. If parents are selling to children the banks understand that there is a reason there, essentially being for love and affection, why the parents are selling below market value. The result is that many lenders will base their LVR and deposit requirements on the actual valuation and not the purchase price.

So what does this mean to me and how much deposit will I need?

When purchasing a home in Australia and getting a home loan you need a deposit. Generally the …